Island Hopping In The Andaman Sea In Thailand 1

It’s hard to narrow down the recipe for a perfect holiday to just one experience or location. I enjoy long coastal walks just as much as resting in the shadow of a tree on a challenging mountain hike. Some days I am desperate for a jungle adventure, but then there are times when I fancy exploring the art and culture of a buzzing metropolis. However, having worked ridiculously hard in the second half of 2012, I really craved a winter break that involved turquoise water, white beaches, stunning scenery and total relaxation. The location of choice had to be affordable – flight and accommodation-wise – and not too crowded, if possible.

There are very few destinations that fit all of these criteria, but thankfully the west coast of Thailand nails it.

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Situated between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, the Land of Smiles offers some of the world’s most amazing coastlines, friendly and service-orientated residents, and (and this was a real bonus for me) an environment in which women can travel alone without being hassled – and all of this without having to spend a fortune.

BaldHiker Social Walks

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Tourism is well developed in Thailand – largely thanks to its numerous islands – so it can be attractive to both families and young adventurers. After a short stopover in Bangkok, I chose Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe as my destination and prime locations, because both islands are quieter than the more touristy Koh Phuket or Krabi (yet equally gorgeous).

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From there, I could explore the region via daytime (or overnight) tours. These revealed some unforgettable sights: especially the elephant jungle trip in Koh Lanta itself and the stop-over at the Emerald Cave.

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This spectacular laguna is situated in the middle of a tiny island in Trang district and is only accessible by swimming through an 80-metre cave at low tide. As the cave is pitch black, this certainly is not for everyone, but overcoming that fear makes it completely worth it. When you make it through the cave, you are rewarded with the most stunning white beach you will ever see and high cliffs drenched in a gleaming emerald light.  For a moment, you feel a bit like Robinson Crusoe himself or the more contemporary Leonardo Di Caprio in The Beach. Speaking of which, The Beach was actually shot at Koh Phi Phi – an island only about an hour north of the Emerald Cave!

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Sadly, I only had two weeks for exploring Thailand – and that clearly is not enough time to see all of the beauty this country has to offer. So, I am definitely planning a return trip. I am particularly looking forward to travelling through the less touristy countryside in the North and visiting the border regions close to Myanmar and Cambodia.

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But if you need an affordable, fun-filled break with a hint of seriously luxurious relaxation – book a ticket to the Land of Smiles. It’s a win-grin holiday destination.

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  2. Mike Tunstill says:

    This was my second time to Kamala, one of less touristy beaches on the west coast of Phuket. This time I visited Phuket FantaSea, and I found a lot of entertaining things to see and do. Plenty of opportunities to shop for reasonably priced souvenirs and handicrafts, a good buffet dinner with lots of Thai and international food (available for 400Baht upgrade but supposed to be largest such facility in Asia), an entertaining games town and a wonderful show. The place was crowded with people, but still pretty well organized. Overall – highly recommend!

  3. Wow! amazing pictures too. I haven’t been to Thailand for 2 years now, but hope to come back very soon, and this time visit the Andaman sea islands. One of the things I really want to do there too is have a ride on an elephant! 🙂

  4. astonishedxpression says:

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of the Andaman Sea islands!

  5. Wow! What a nice place! Would love to visit here.
    Thanks! 🙂

  6. Hi Nini. I agree, Thailand is definitely one of the most beautiful and friendly (and cheapest) places I have visited. I spent a couple of months visiting a couple of the islands as well as Cambodia and Laos. Awesome! Phuket was beaitiful and the diving was great but a bit too touristy. I would love to go back. Beautiful pics you have posted.

  7. Nishi Jain says:

    Nimi, I am wondering if it’s the camera quality or the beauty of the place that makes the photographs look absolutely fresh and enticing. It indeed sounds like a win-grin holiday 🙂
    When did you go? There was this amazing floating cinema, the Archipelago Cinema, on the west coast of Thailand, built for Film on the Rocks Yao Noi, film festival in Thailand. With stars, sea, and a good film floating on water, it was a marvellous experience, I heard. This was sometime in mid-2012. Too bad they dismantled it after the festival ended.

    1. Nini Baseema says:

      Hello Nishi!
      I went last year in November/December. I havent heard fo the floating cinema but it sounds like a fun thing to do!I can’t wait to visit Thailand again, it’s such a beautiful place to travel to. I loved every minute of it!


  8. Very beautifully captured in words and photos 🙂

  9. Beautiful. I’ll be in Thailand most of April (mostly) island hopping. Looks like a great time.

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