Thailand's South



There were two reasons I did not go back to the South of Thailand recently :

  • I had visited quite a few places in 1995 and most of those places are now quite developed (too developed ?)  I did not wish to get a worse impression than on my first visit...
  • The West Coast monsoon was just starting and most of the islands I was planning to explore were therefore getting off limit

Indeed, there are still a few paradises left in Thailand.  Places were tourists still do not flock en masse. Places which are not yet registered in the "famous" guidebooks.  Places where it is still possible to enjoy an authentic natural way of life (some of those places have no electricity)  in - almost - unspoiled surroundings.  Places where there is still more coconuts trees than girlie bars...

I did not discover any so I have nothing really to talk about but there are a few areas which seem like having a lot of potential. It would be a good idea to head there before the crowd : 

  • Chumphon area, on the east coast :  Chumphon is for most people a place to take a boat to Ko Tao but some of the nicest beaches (Hat Thung Wua Lean for example) have been reported there.  In particular in Pathiu district, in the north of town.  More than 50 islands can also be found opposite the coast and diving or snorkeling there show a lot of potential. Waterfalls, temples and jungle complete the offering. 
  • Narathiwat area, on the east coast : nice lonely beaches near the border with Malaysia
  • Ranong area, on the west coast :  near the border with Myanmar, the two islands of Ko Chang (yes, another elephant island !) and Ko Phayam offer paradisiacal environment without too many things spoiling it yet. A well kept German secret, there is no electricity and no girly bar yet. But for how long ?
  • Trang and Satun areas, on the west coat : Satun was described to me as a "very nice place" and the whole area, full of islands and boosting the same kind of scenery as Krabi or Phang-Nga was recently targeted as the next touristy battle zone. Hurry up ! Trang itself is a fairly relaxed place reputed to be the cleanest city in Thailand. There are a number of waterfalls nearby. 

Backpacker's Tips : Anonymous (Nov 00)
I just discovered Trang in October 2000 and go back in a few months: not spoiled my tourism, awarded "cleanest city of Thailand", desolate beaches, beautiful mountains: the ideal place for eco-tourism

If anybody visit those places - or others - and would like to set up a section about them, please contact me !