Tao Island (Ko Tao)

Sairee BeachTao Island is composed of 21 kms of rocks and coconut trees, surrounded by shallow beaches. It is located 45 kms north of Samui and 40 kms east of Chumphon. On the west coast Mae Nam, the main town, is the residence of most of the local population. The busiest beach is Sairee Beach north of Mae Haad where you can have the widest choice of accommodation. The second most famous beach is Ao Chalok Ban Kao south of Mae Hadd. Other small bays and beaches are difficult to access by road.

Rock formation of turtle's headKo Tao, meaning turtle island, is named after the topography of its central mountain which resembles a turtle's back. The small tropical island amid the deep blue sea is encircled by miles of coral reefs and pinnacles where you can find some large, deep-water fishes such as mantas and whale sharks.

Most tourists come here for diving as its diving industry is reaching a higher and higher peak. Yet, Tao Island still has other charms of a tropical island; beautiful and quiet coves, wide stretches of sand, transparent seas, cheap accommodation, and a peaceful atmosphere. However, the beaches are not nice and Underwater scenethe sea is too shallow for swimming.

Although there are a variety of choices of accommodation to choose from, the facilities on the island are simple and basic, but are improving. Electricity on the island comes from the generator which is shut down at 7 pm. However, most bungalows and resorts provide 24 hour electricity service and some have air-con rooms.

How to get there
Tao IslandFrom Samui: There are speedboats leaving Bophut and Maenam piers at 8.30 am for the price of 450 baht. Speedboats leave Nathon at 12.00 am and it takes a half hour to get to Ko Tao. Or else you can take Songserm Express boats from Nathon leaving at 12.00 to Mae Haad via Phangan for the cost of 450 baht. For cheaper transport, there are slow boats running from Maenam - departure at 9.30 am to Mae Haad via Thongsala for 100 baht.

From Phangan: Speedboats run from Thongsala to Mae Haad leaving 8.30 and 12.30 am for a fare of 250 baht.

From Chumphon: There are speedboats leaving Chumphon pier at 7.00 and 8.00 taking almost 2 hours to Mae Haad with a fare of 500 baht. Another alternative is Songserm Express boats leaving at 7.30 am for the cost of 400 baht.

Tien BayRocky Beach

Article Source: http://www.thailand.com/

Lamai Beach (Hat Lamai)

Lamai Lamai beach was the first to be developed for tourism. Actually, it was once more developed than Chaweng. Before that it was an authentic and peaceful fishing village. Its infrastructure has changed considerably within the past two decades. The entire village nowadays has completely turned into a tourist-oriented town. Over the last decade Lamai has lagged behind in development compared to Chaweng. Lamai is a linear village running the length of the beach. On the eastern coast, the beach stretches for around four km. Most of the resorts are on the east of the main road, running down the beach. Usually the beach is far less crowded and disturbed than Chaweng. The sea is also deeper and clearer due to being well maintained by the community.

Sunset at Lamai BeachThe town is smaller and more compact than its neighbor, with a stronger village feeling as most restaurant bars, cafes shops and even the main nightclub are all concentrated in the small but lively center known as "Lamai Gulch". Internet providers, supermarkets, shops, travel agents, and a caravan of bars and restaurants are all crammed together along the roadside and down the dusty side lanes. But for food lovers, your appetite may not be satisfied here. Although there are a few good restaurants, there is certainly not as much choice when it comes to eating and drinking. All imaginable tourist facilities can be found: post office, e-mail, banks, money exchanges, travel agencies, clothing shops, trailers, gyms and body piercing.

Central Lamai has a broad selection of bungalow type accommodation, ranging from the budget end of the scale to the magnificent, the latter with landscaped gardens, swimming pool and seclusion. There are just a few luxurious hotels along with a number of guesthouses for a wide range of budgets.

Party time comes at night and Lamai is pretty lively. Most of the action happensLamai around "Lamai Gulch". You can find some real home-style outdoor restaurants serving Thai and western food, the beach bars offer live bands, music clubs with old rock and reggae along with trendy new techno music, video features and a variety of restaurants. There are few discos which start swinging at about midnight. This area is pretty cheap and is home to dozens of girlie bars.

Yet, amid the touristy ambiance, there remains a village character. Ride or walk to the back of the beach road and you're in the heart of banana groves and coconut plantations. You can take a mountain bike ride up the hill tracks and into the rocky interior. Or follow the road down past the cape at the southern end where many large rocks make rather weird formations and you will find the pools where the famed Grandfather and Grandmother rocks attract most tourists with the bizarre scenery.

Hat LamaiShopping in Lamai is not nearly so varied as in Chaweng. There are of course plenty of supermarkets and minimarts and tailor shops every 100 m or so. There are also a string of souvenir shops on the road running down to Hin-ta, Hin-tai and another set on the ring road at the northern entrance to Lamai beach.

There is a charming old monastery with a tiny museum. There are even a couple of meditation centers, and a number of local gyms where you can take Thai boxing lessons.

There is also a choice of dive shops offering trips to Lamai reef. Most are dead coral reefs which can be accessed by a beach dive from Lamai beach. There are jet skis costing 1,400 baht per hour or 500 baht for 15 minutes and paragliding for 800 baht per trip.

Within the last few years Lamai has become an attraction for health and healing resorts. A number of healing centers and spas have risen up around the northern stretch and this area is known as 'longevity beach'. To get to the beach, it is very easy to take a songtaew running around the island for the cost of 150-200 baht.

Hua Thanon

Hua Thanon

Hua Thanon villageHua Thanon is a village at the head of the road on the south coast. It is home to a busy Muslim community with a fishing village feeling. You can find a lively market and a couple of restaurants, but probably not more than that. In a sense, the village offers just local and authentic ways of life. There are no bungalow resorts, but there are a number of houses for monthly rental. The only recommended thing to enjoy is to go shopping for food. Hua Thanon is the best place to buy superb fresh seafood at reasonable prices. You are pretty much guaranteed that seafood here is better than anywhere else on the island. One can take a songtaew from anywhere on the island as they run to almost every nook and corner of Samui at a price of about 150-200 baht, depending on the distance.

Phangan Island (Ko Phangan)

Thong Nai Pan BeachLocated just 12 km north of Samui, Phangan can be easily accessed by a half hour boat ride. Once it was just a backdoor neighborhood of Samui. But it is getting a new look.

Since Samui has begun to target up-market tourists, more and more backpackers and budget travelers have found the great hideaways here. It becomes increasingly attractive to other travelers who discover that Samui has nothing matching with their interests. Less expensive and less crowded are two main advantages experienced by backpackers. There are 160 places to stay around the190 square km of the island, at a cost of about 100 baht. Except for Rin Beach, many of the beaches are nearly deserted.

The island has two main attractive sites: Rin Beach and others. Rin Beach is a center for parties and hanging out while other beaches are tropical escapes with untouched nature and breath-taking scenes. Phangan has long been famed for its astonishing beauty which attracted King Rama IV to make regular visits here. Thong Nai Pan, one of the top five of Thailand's best beaches, was his long time favorite.

There is not the full range of modern development and tourist entertainment like the atmosphere of Samui. Not to mention no airport, big resorts, hotels, or paved roads. But it is a real paradise for all the senses, with undamaged nature and raucous parties, which may seem to be a contradiction, but the island has a certain magnetic power which makes it magically possible.

Getting There:
Speedboats leave Samui daily from Maenam and Bophut piers to Thongsala at 8.30 am at a cost of 250 baht and also leave Nathon at 12.00 am, then return from Thongsala at 10.30 am for the price of 150 baht.

Tha Sadet BeachSongserm Express operates express ferries from Thatong, Samui to Thongsala via Nathon. The ferries leave Thatong at 8.30 am, arrive at Nathon at 10.30 am, then leave Nathon at 11.00 am and arrive at Thongsala at 11.45 am. They also run a car ferry service from Kanom to Thongsala via Na Thon. The ferries leave Thongsala at 6.30 am, arrive Na Thon at 8.00 am, and reach Kanom at 9.30 am. The return trip from Kanom leaves at 6.00 pm, arrives Nathon at 7.30 pm and reaches Thongsala at 9.00 pm.

Longtail boats run from Maenam pier to Phangan at three main destinations: Rin Beach for 120 baht, Tien Beach for 150 baht and Thong Nai Pan for 200 baht.

For an alternative route, but a longer trip, you can take nightboats from Ban Don, Surat Thani to Thongsala. The boats leave at 10.00 pm and take six hours and a half for the price of 170 baht.

Getting Around: It's recommended to take a songtaew as it's the fastest and most convenient means of transportation on the island. Fares depend on the destination, but are not higher than 100 baht around the island. Or else you can hire a motorcycle which is pretty much more expensive depending on how great you are at bargaining. There is crowd of motorcycle taxis outside Bovy Supermarket near the pier at Thongsala.

The interesting beaches and natural attractions on the islands include:

Phangan BeachThongsala: Thongsala is the only main port and it is also the only town on Phangan, houseing most of the island's residents. It provides all kinds of necessary facilities you may need including banks, ATMs and a post office. Aside from that, there is not much of interest about the town, just a small under-developed Thai village with some construction in progress.

The town is busy during the day because crowds of tourists come and go. At least, if you have to hang out waiting for the boat, there is a line of restaurants along the road leading toward the pier. There are lots of alternative choices here to enjoy local and western style food. For a more entertaining moment, you can absorb the Thai art of boxing at a boxing stadium within Thongsala. Or there are a few karaoke restaurants that create a bouncing atmosphere. Tourists go wandering away from Thongsala at night and the local people are left with a quiet and sleepy town.

Rin Beach and Full Moon Parties: On the far southeast of Phangan, Hat Rin is the liveliest and craziest beach. It has been marked as "something different" from all other places in Thailand, and probably the world. It now has become a spot for a travelers' community whose members truly believe in hedonism.

Rin is composed of two beaches: sunrise on the east and sunset on the west. Sunrise beach is a wide stretch of white sand in a stunning curved bay while sunset beach is not really as nice. All ranges of accommodation from low budget to air-con bungalows are concentrated around the two beaches. There are no comfortable and luxurious five-stars hotels and resorts here as Rin's reputation is for cheap and wild living.

Rin Beach is the ideal for all kinds of pleasure that the young and young at heart are searching for. It is a venue for the world famous Full Moon Party happening every month on the sunrise beach. Hanging out, going to parties, meeting wild and weird people, matchmaking, listening to techno, garage, house music, marijuana, drugs and spiritual awakenings all can be experienced at Rin Beach. Hat Rin has all kinds of music to fit with everyone's tastes and you'll not be disappointed.

The party starts when the first gleam of golden moonlight touches the white sand. The beach is lighted up with thousands of lamps and is full of thousands of travelers until dawn. Have fun and get wild!!!

Thong Nai Pan BeachThong Nai Pan Beach: Thong Nai Pan is a magnificent double bay which is split by a narrow cape creating two wide beaches of white sands: Thong Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi.

As a major attraction for members of the Thai royal family, the beach has long been kept as a secret and hidden place away from the crowds. There is not much development going on around here and it has the old and authentic atmosphere of Thai beach village. You may have to put in some effort to go there, but it is well rewarded with perfect beaches and friendly people.

On the southern bay, Thong Nai Pan Yai, the bigger of the two, is the residence of nearly all the local population. The beach has a wide sandy beach and a small village encircled by coconut plantations. There are a few bungalow resorts along the beach, two shops and a few bars and restaurants and the locals own most of the businesses here. Thong Nai Pan Noi, the quieter of the two, is a magnificent long beach of white sands with coconut trees in the background and surrounded by mountains. There are plenty of beach huts and bungalows along the beach. Thong Nai Pan Noi is a good place for pleasurable swimming and snorkeling.

There are two ways of commuting to Thong Nai Pan. You can take a pick-up songtaew from Thongsala and it can be accessed by boats from Thongsala, Rin Beach and Maenam.

Thong Nai Pan NoiYao Beach: On the west coast of the island, Hat Yao means Long Beach. It has almost one and a half kms of white sand with deep water making for good swimming. There are just a few basic and low budget bungalows on the beach, but a more comfortable and expensive resort is in the process of construction.

One main thing to be informed of is that Hat Yao is quite a laid back village, but under development. Once Hat Yao was quite difficult to reach because there was no proper paved road, but now the situation is better as the road from Thongsala to Hat Yao is almost finished. Not everywhere in Hat Yao has electricity yet. All the electricity used during a few hours each evening comes from the main generator. So no nightlife entertainment at all.

Than Sadet Waterfalls: Than Sadet Waterfalls means "Royal Stream" as many members of Thai royal family have made frequent visits here, including King Rama V, King Rama VII, and King Rama IX, the present king. For a confirmation, the three kings left their signature on the rocks below the falls. So it could be assumed that the waterfalls must have some sort of extraordinary beauty to attract even the rulers of the country to come for a vacation. The falls have been guaranteed and it's really worth it to prove it for yourself.

Situated at Thong Nang Village, you can reach it by taking the road from Ban Tai Village to Thong Nai Pan Beach. Then turn-off about halfway up the road and head east toward Sadet Beach at Thong Nang Village. The trail follows a river along which you can see a series of waterfalls.

Phaeng Forest Park Waterfalls: About halfway between Thongsala and Chalok Lam there's a turn-off heading to the waterfalls. The waterfalls themselves are worth a visit, but you can have some pleasure absorbing the magnificent nature and stunning viewpoints on the way. Uncountable coconut trees, pure white sands and deep blue sea colored with a bright blue sky can be seen from here. Along the trail to the falls there is a marble Buddha Image which is said to be one of the finest statues on the island.

The best way is to get a motorcycle to explore the splendid vistas. It is most convenient to rent one. You need at least 125cc to travel up and down the hills because some roads are dirt tracks which are sheer and uneven.

Bophut Beach (Hat Bophut)

Sunset at Bophut BeachOnce Bophut was the largest town after Nathon on Samui, but progess now seems to be frozen. It was a prosperous and busy town with a fishing port and a harbor full of brightly painted boats, with a pier extending toward Phangan Island in the distance. There were family-run Chinese shops along its narrow streets which ended at a small square. At present, the old authentic atmosphere hasn't changed a bit, but most of shop houses are now restaurants, and scuba diving companies own most of Bophut Beachthe beautiful painted boats. Tourism still keeps spreading its powerful influence in every nook and corner, not excluding this village which is one of the most genuine on Samui.

The beach is not nice and the water is not great for swimming because there is a lot of seaweed and algae in the bay. If you wish for a little better water, the eastern end of the beach is dotted with resorts Bophutspilling onto the sands. One thing to make clear is that Bophut itself, rather than the beach, is the dominant attraction because it is an authentic Thai village.

Bophut is on the north coast, connected with Big Buddha Beach (Ban Ruk) on the east and Maenam on the west. You can access the main village by highway 4171 and many of the resorts are only accessed from the main highway 4169. The village itself is pretty small and congested with shops, restaurants and bars which can be easily discovered on foot.

Chaweng Beach (Hat Chaweng)

Chaweng BeachOn the east coast of Samui Island lays Chaweng Beach, a classic tropical beach in all respects. Chaweng Beach is the longest strip on the island. Stretching for 6 kilometers, Chaweng is most popular and offers a wide range of facilities from the luxurious to the very basic at varying prices.
The strip splits naturally into three sections, with the Chaweng Beachresort town located in the central area. In recent years it has blossomed into the island's second largest town. It is a magnet for visitors from all over the island. All the attractions are easily accessed by the road which runs parallel to the beach.

Chaweng is considered as the center of tourist activities. It is the most developed area, too. You can find some of the island's best hotels, together with an endless number of bungalows, beach bars, restaurants, discos and shops. You can just sit and lie on a deckchair in the shining sun - it's quite common for most people here. Relaxing for lazy hours on the beach here is the one way to escape from the sophisticated, frustrating world. If you wish to find something more active, there are ample things to do.

If you stroll along Chaweng road you can find myriad shops Chaweng Beachand stalls offering something for everyone including shopping enthusiasts, Internet addicts, book lovers and food hunters. Food lovers can find just about anything, whether it's Thai or western, and there are also some very good seafood restaurants. For a quieter evening there are plenty of bars and restaurants right on the beach, offering a dreamy view of the Gulf. You may find that the prices of Thai food here are more expensive than other places on the island, but the taste is worth it. If windsurfing, catamaran dingy, jet skiing, water skiing and parasailing are what you are looking for, many resorts and hotels offer quite reasonable equipment rental rates.

Chaweng BeachNightlife at Chaweng is reaching legendary status, so it is rather noisy and crowded. Central Chaweng Beach has the greatest concentration of venues. Most of the nightlife attractions are located there. A good choice of music venues ranges from traditional Thai to jazz, rock to reggae. There are nightclubs, outdoor theaters, cabaret shows, beach bars, girlie bars, pool bars, snooker halls, video shops, British, American, and European style pubs and clubs. Many of them stay open until the first gleam of daylight so that you can enjoy the nocturnal life from dusk till dawn.

Chaweng BeachChaweng has the greatest number of dive shops on Samui, many of which organize day and night dives at the long reef just off Chaweng beach. A number of companies operate one-day trips from Chaweng beach to Angthong, Sail Rock, Ko Tao and other sites.

Despite all the activity, however, Chaweng still maintains the classic image of a palm-fringed tropical beach. The beach both in Chaweng Noi and Chaweng Yai is a really lively nature paradise. Generally, you can say that for beach-lovers, and sun-seekers, Samui's palm-fringed, sandy beaches and warm waters are just the very paradise on earth they are searching for.

One can get a songtaew or "two row" truck to reach Chaweng. They run all over the island and the price from Nathon to Chaweng is 30 baht. After arriving on the island, you can hire a taxi from the airport to Chaweng for 150-200 baht for a more private and comfortable ride.

Nang Yuan Island (Ko Nang Yuan)

Ko Nang Yuan is a group of three islands northwest of Ko Tao. The pretty little islands are interconnected by a long sandy beach. The long stripe of smooth white sand can be explored on foot.

The beaches on the islands are undisturbed and quiet, and they are all clean. The highlight of Nang Yuan is the beautiful scenery of the underwater world. The most magnificent and deepest spot is called Kohng Hin Nang Yuan which has unspoiled and untouched coral reefs.

Long BeachNang Yuan is also good for snorkeling. Just 10 m away from the shore, the deepwater coral reefs and marine life are clearly seen in the transparent blue seas and the bright sun. The stunning view of a panoramic scene of the sandy beach that links all three islands together can be reached by a 50 m staircase.

Kohng Hin Nang YuanThere is one bungalow resort on Nang Yuan with a full range of facilities for your convenience, but the price is quite expensive, ranging from 1,200 to 3,500 baht. From Ko Tao's pier there is a long tailed boat to Nang Yuan for the price of 100 baht, from 8.00 am - 4.00 pm.

Lanta Island

Although less scenic than some other areas in the province, Lanta Island is perhaps the most idyllic area available in Krabi. While lacking the towering karsts, Lanta Island offers travelers something that is growing increasingly difficult to find on Phi Phi or Pranang: peace and quiet. With over 19 pristine, tree-lined beaches, remarkably friendly residents, and inexpensive accommodations, Lanta Island is the perfect place to go for a serene, relaxing vacation.

A section of the southern portion of the island was recently made into a national marine park, and further south is a large community of sea gypsies. Passenger boats to Lanta Island cost 150 baht, and can be taken from the Chao Fah pier. Lanta Island can also be reached by a combination of minibus/ferry. Minibuses to Bo Muang leave from in front of the TAT sub-office in Krabi, and cost 40 baht. Ferries from Bo Muang to Lanta Island leave at 12.30 and 2.00 pm,for another 40 baht. Ferries can also be taken to the new port at Saladan, which is more developed, for 50 baht. This ferry leaves Bo Muang at 1:30 pm.

Klong Dao:
This beach is the most populous of those offered on Lanta, with several bungalows at very reasonable prices. Located 2 km from the Saladan pier, this beach offers visitors clean, sparkling sand, tepid, translucent waters, and excellent views of the surrounding areas. Recreational activities are limited, but there is plenty of sand and sun to go around, making this a wonderfully relaxing and stress-free vacation spot.

Phra Ae: At the northern end of Lanta Island, this beach is known for its fine sand and quickly shelving coastline. Accommodations at Phra Ae are extremely affordable, and the food is sumptious. Like most of the beaches on Lanta Island, recreational activities are few and far between.

Klong Koang: This beach, 2 km south of Phra Ae, is extremely peaceful, and has excellent accommodation at basement prices. Although the food is not quite as good as at Phra Ae, the beaches are isolated, tranquil and serene.

Klong Nin: Like nearly all the beaches on Lanta, Klong Nin is isolated and quiet. Fine, sandy beaches are essentially all one will encounter here, and the accommodations are adequate. Again, this is not the place to go if you want to go jet-skiing or para-sailing, but perfect if you want to read a book on a beautiful beach.

Kantiang: Towards the southern tip of the island, Kantiang beach is one of the most beautiful on Lanta Island. Although accommodations are extremely average, the sparkling sands and iridescent aquamarine waters more than compensate. There is also excellent snorkeling available in the surrounding area.

Klong Jark: This is the southernmost beach on Lanta, and although rather average by most standards, the proximity to completely deserted Mai Phai beach, and the national park make this a good place to stay. Also, there is a small waterfall and a lagoon nearby.

Waterfalls on Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai

Mae Ya Waterfall: The North of Thailand is famous for its many waterfalls and one of the most beautiful in Chiang Mai province is Nam Tok Mae Ya. This waterfall is thought to be the highest in Thailand and is well worth the extra effort to get there.

Nam Tok Mae Ya is a beautiful, fanning cascade, dropping down an ever-widening series of steps. The water tumbles down a 100 m cliff in a series of spectacular leaps and National Park officials estimate that the Mae Ya River plunges more than 250 m at this point. At the bottom is a cool pool where children can swim and enjoy the pleasant picnic area. It is without a doubt, a photographic favorite for most visitors.

The 14 km route to get to Nam Tok Mae Ya begins in Chom Thong village. Mini-buses labeled in English Doi Inthanon Park can be hired at either Chom Thong or Mae Klang for the trip to the summit; the cost is about 500 baht for the round trip.

Mae Klang Waterfall: The Nam Tok Mae Klang Waterfall lies 66 km southwest of Chiang Mai city at the foot of Doi Inthanon Mountain. This unusual waterfall has been visited by Thai people for many years and is easily Chiang Mai's most photographed waterfall. Visitors continue to come in large numbers on any sunny day in the year to swim or simply unwind in this beautiful natural setting.

The waterfall is reached via Highway 108 to km 57 (just 1 km before the village of Chom Thong). Turn right onto Highway 1009 and continue 8 km to where the road forks. Mae Klang is 300 m straight ahead. The summit road forks to the right, reaching Park Headquarters near km 31 and the summit of Doi Inthanon at km 48. Once there, the waterfall provides a picturesque setting for picnics and relaxation. The area is fast becoming popular with many international visitors as well as local Chiang Mai families who own homes along the riverside.

The rapids and waterfall spill over a wide exposure of granite and can be approached closely. Rocky paths climb up beside the 30 m high falls and if you reach the top there is a fine view. Visitors are asked to exercise caution around the waterfall area and while swimming either above or below the falls. There are food, drink and souvenir stalls at the entrance and below the main falls. Across the bridge are the beautifully laid out gardens of the northern branch of Wat Chai Monkon, a famous Bangkok temple. In the grounds is a spectacular chedi containing a lift. There is also an enormous Buddha statue made out of one piece of Canadian greenstone. A well-maintained trail leads up the side of the waterfall and continues to the Visitor Center and beyond.

Mae Sa Waterfall: The Nam Tok Mae Sa Waterfall is 26 km from Chiang Mai city and is located at km 7 on the Mae Rim - Samoeng Road. This eight-tiered delightful waterfall occupies a natural setting among gigantic towering trees and always impresses visitors.

Wachirathan Waterfall: Nam Tok Wachirathan waterfall is on the route to Doi Inthanon and is a thirty-minute drive from Nam Tok Mae Klang. It is a beautiful scenic spot for picnics and is reached by a short, easy trail from the parking area. Nam Tok Wachirathan tumbles down a granite escarpment, creating a misty veil of great beauty. Visitors should be very cautious, as three people have tragically fallen to their deaths while taking photographs.

Just a short distance on the main road beyond the waterfall is the small Karen hill tribe village of Ban Sop Had. If you turn right just past the bridge you will find the village a few hundred meters up the dirt access road.

Siriphum Waterfall: Access to the Nam Tok Siriphum Waterfall is via the road intersecting with the main summit road on Doi Inthanon at km 30.4. The waterfalls are actually twins: two parallel plumes named for His Majesty King Bhumibol and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. An excellent view of the waterfalls can be enjoyed by walking along the track that forks left from the main road - just beyond the entrance to the guesthouse compound.


Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands

Travel to the Phi Phi Islands

Koh Phi Phi can be reached by boat either from Krabi or Phuket. In downtown Krabi tourists can take a boat at Chaofa pier. The boat leaves for Koh Phi Phi daily. Boat tickets are available at the pier or from travel agents in the town. It takes about 2 hours and a half for the journey. Regular boats from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi are also available during high season.

Mu Koh Phi Phi
An archipelago of six islands consists of Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le as the major islands. The superb scenery of the islands includes high hills with jutting cliffs surrounded by marvelous beaches and emerald sea, hiding underneath a bank of coral reefs and colorful marine life. Places to visit of Mu Koh Phi Phi include

Koh Phi Phi Don
Koh PhiPhi Doncovers a total area of 28 square kilometers : 8 kilometers in length and 3.5 at its broadest point. At the north end is Cape Laem Thong, where there is a Chao Ley, or sea gipsy village. These sea gypsies emigrated from Koh Lipeh in Tarutao National Park, near the border with Malaysia. Diving at Laem Thong is excellent, as it is also at Hua Rah Ket to the extreme south. There are long beaches with rocks scattered about. Two curving bays are especially beautiful : Ton Sai and Loh Dalam. This is also where accommodations and tourist services are found.

Koh Phi Phi Le
is 6.6 square kilometers in total area : 3 kilometers in length and 1 at its broadest point. The island is entirely limestone and steep cliffs rising from the sea very nearly ring it. Surrounding waters average about 20 meters in depth, reaching 34 meters at the deepest point off the island's southern tip. Phi Phi Ley has several beautiful bays : Pileh, Maya and Loh Samah ; Ao Pileh is very nearly enclosed by the limestone walls of the island's cliffs, so that the water appears almost to be an island sea. On Phi Phi Ley's northeast is the famous Viking Cave; this was renamed by H.M.Rama IX when he visited it in 1972, Tam Pya Nak, from the shape of a particular boulder, which resembles in shape the head of the great serpent of Buddhist legend, the Naga.
Koh PhiPhi Le
It is a place much revered by the local people who come there to collect the swift's nests used to make Bird's Nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy. On the eastern and southern walls of the cave are colored drawings dating from historic times. There are pictures of elephants and also of various boats : European, Arab and Chinese sailing ships ; baroques, motorboats, and steamships. It is theorized that these pirates who paused in their travels from west to east, sheltering in the cave to escape the monsoon winds, transfer cargo, or make repairs. Travel to the Phi Phi Islands Tour operators in both Phuket and Krabi provide transport and tour packages to this popular destination. Regular boat service is available form Jao Fah pier in Krabi.

Koh Phai
lies also to the north of Phi Phi Don, not far from Koh Yung. Sandy beaches are on the north and east sides of the island. Broad coral reefs stretch away into the south.

Koh Yung
lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There is a rocky beach on the east side, and a smaller strand of sand in a fold of the hill. Many beautiful and various corals are found there.

Yasothon - Thailand

Temples and Antiques
Wat Mahathat
Located within in Muang municipality. It has existed ever since the beginning of the community of the original Ban Ta Singh, major ancient structures include the Phra Buddha Busayarat statue, the Phra That (holy relic) Yasothon and the Scripture Hall. Festivities and events place there.

Phra That Kong Khao NoiPhra That Kong Khao Noi
is an ancient chedi dating back to the Khorn Era. Located in a field in Tambon Tad Thong of Yasothon district. It can be reached by going out of town for about 8 kms. on Highway No.23 (Yasothon-Ubon Ratchathani).
At about Km. marker 194, turn left and proceed on for another kilometer. At Ban Tat Thong is a distinctive brick pagoda dating back to the late Ayutthaya period (18th century).

The Phra Buddha Busayarat
Also known as Phra Kaew Yad Nam Kang, cast in the Chiang Saen style, is a statue in the Meditation posture, with a lap width of 1.9". It is an ancient symbol of Yasothon and was presented to the first governor of the town by King Rama III.

Dong Muang Toey
near the village of Ban Song Puay in Kham Khuan Keao district is the site of a community believed to have originated around the 6th century. The ruins of a building at the site bear words which indicate it was a Brahman shrine.

Phra That Yasothon (Phra That Anon)
Phra That Yasothonis one of the major and ancient Phra Thats in the Northeast. Square shaped with the top similar to the Phra That Phanom, the chedi enshrines the ashes of Phra Anon. The architecture reflects the influence of Laotian art popular reflects the influence of Laotian art popular during the Late Ayutthaya Period-Early Rattanakosin Period, which supports the belief that it was built around that period when Phra Vor and Phra Ta led immigrations to settle down in that vicinity. The Phra That has a square base, each side measuring 81 m. built of brick and mortar with a tapered waist in the form of face-up and face-down lotuses. The actual Chamber is located above. The four arches on the four compass points are adorned with standing Buddha statues. On the four sides top of the Phra That are smaller Pli Lek knots, while the central top is double-tiered. The general style is similar to the Phra That Kong Khao Noi. The Phra That Anon is celebrated in an annual fair during the month of March.
Also known as Phra Kaew Yad Nam Kang, cast in the Chiang Saen style, is a statue in the Meditation posture, with a lap width of 1.9". It is an ancient symbol of Yasothon and was presented to the first governor of the town by King Rama III.

Mae Nam Chee Beach
Mae Nam Chee Beachis a two-kms stretch of river bed along the banks of the Chee River. The area is exposed when the river recedes during the dry season from December to May. During this time vendors set up food stalls and the "peach" becomes a recreation area.
There a number of interesting caves in the scenic mountainous vicinity of Phu Tham Phra 16 km from Loeng Nok Tha district. The cave on Phu Tham Phra contains several Buddha images. Other notable caves include Kheng Ngu Chuang, Kliang and Phrom Butr.

Phu Thang Kwian
is a rocky peak in the Phu Phan Mountains 24 km from Kut Chum district. It is worth a visit to see the surrounding landscape. Local people pay homage to a shrine while they are there.

The village of Ban Si Than Pa Tiu
District 20 km east of Yasothon on Highway 202 is noted for making khid cloth and triangle-shaped mawn kwan pillows.

Natural Attractions
Phraya Than Public Park
The park is located on Chang sanit Road (Highway No.23) next to the Lam Tuan Reservoir. Small streams meander around the 18-Rai park which is made up of plots of flowers and decorative plants, a Sangkeet Sala (open-air stage), a children play-ground and a fitness park. The annual Bung Fai (rocket) fair is organized here by the municipality. (According to local belief, Phya Than is the God of Rain who must be presented with shooting rockets come the sixth month of the lunar calendar to ensure there will be regular rain). The park is also the venue for the annual short-boat races and the Songkran festival.

Phu Tham Phra
To the east of Ban Kud Hae, Tambon Kud Chiang Mee, Lerng Nok Ta district, about 12 kms. from the district town on Highway No.212, or about 85 kms. from Muang district, is the Phu Tham Phra, literally mount of Statue Cave. The cave houses numerous Buddha images and statues, all very ancient and sacred. all very ancient and sacred. About 3 wag-wide and 8 Wah-deep, Tham Phra is located on the south cliff through rocky opening stretching to the north and easily to walk through. The hill exudes an air of coolness and pleasantness because of thick foliage. There are also other caves nearby.

Antiquitites Sites at Ban Song Puay
To reach Ban Song Puay, which is located in Kam Khuan Kaew district, proceed on for 25 kms. from Yasothon-Kam Khuan Kaew route along Highway No.23. Then take a right turn and proceed on for another 10 kms. Major sites and religious places of worship include:-

Phra Buddha Roob Yai
The principal statue in the Ubosot of Wat Song Puay, has a lap width of 3 m. and is 8 m. high. Built of brick and lime and believed to be at least 200 years old, it is highly revered by the local people.

The Chedi Containing Earth from Sangvejaniyasthan (sacred places).
The 200-year old chedi was renovated and added on in 2489 B.E. and funded by Field Marshal Plak Phibulsonggram. Phra Plad Khian Ammaphan, a senior monk, brought soils from the four Sacred Places (where the Lord Buddha was born, enlightened, gave his first sermon and where he passed away) in India to be put here.

Replica of the Holy Footprint
Built by Field Marshal Plak Phibulsonggram (a former Prime Minister) and his wife, draws crowds of worshippers during the Thai New Year (Songkran) to pour lustral water on the replica.

The Dong Muang Toey Ancient Ruins
Are about 1 kilometer to the south of the village of Ban Song Puay. Remains of temples, ponds and city walls although broken down, still can be seen and their original outline discerned. It is believed that originally it was the site of an ancient community during the Jenla-Tharavadi Period beginning in the 12th century B.E. Records left by King Jenla indicated that the ancient site was constructed as a Brahmini religion as house to worship the God Shiva. During that period the areas around Dong Muang Toey and nearby communities could have collectively been a city called "sangkha Pura and a vassal state of the Janla Kingdom, which in fact was the Khom kingdom during its domination over the Mun-Chi basin.

Ku Jan
Located at Ban Ngiew, Tambon Ku jan, Kam Khuan Kaew district, is about 12 kms. east of the district town, or about 35 kms. from the provincial seat. Legend has it that Ku Jan has been in existence since the famous Phra That phanom of Nakhon phahom was built. The Ku Jan chedi is one of the province's ancient works.

Phra Buddha Baht Yasothon
The Phra Budda Bath Holy Footprint of Yasothon is located at a temple of the same name in Ban Nong Yang, Tambon Hua Muang, maha Chana Chai district, about 6 kms. from the district town to the west along Highway #2083, or some 47 kms. from the provincial town. The terrain around which the footprint is sited is a mould of white sand jutting up from the Chi river basin. It is considered an antiquity treasure of Yasothon. Nearby is another ancient relic, a Buddha statue of the Nak Prok posture made of laterite with a lap width of about 50 cm and a laterite slab inscribed in ancient scripts saying that they were brought over from Ayutthaya in 1378 B.E. Also inscribed are prayers paying homage to the Holy Footprint. Some letters are illegible because of age. During March-April, flocks of worshippers from the district and nearby communities converge here to pay homage to the Holy Footprint.

Hoh Trai at Wat Sra Trainurak
The century-old Hoh Trai, or Scripture Hall, of Wat Sra Trainurak, is in the Burmese or Thai Yai architectural style. A wood structure, it measures 8.30 m. wide and 10.50 m. long. The four-tiered corrugated-sheet roof has extended eaves on the four sides. The panels of the single goor are beautifully carved. It is erected in a deep pond of the Wat which is located at Ban Na Viang, Tambon Na Viang, Sai Mun district, about 25 kms. from the provincial town.

The Ban Singh Ta Old community
Around the Khum (mansion) Ban Singh Ta in the Muang municipality has been the neighborhood of an old community which traces its origin to the be ginning of the town founding. Today there are still rows of antiquated shop-houses of delightful appearance and designs, all carefully preserved. It is an area inductive to the study of native art and culture.

Handicraft Village
After the rice-harvesting season, villagers of Ban Sri Than turn their attention to the making of weaving and the famous Mon khit pillows, which are hugely popular among visitors. The village can be reached by going along the Yasothon-Pha Tiew-Anmat Charoen route for about 20 kms. out of town. Then at between markers Km. 18 and 19, take a right turn into an asphalt road for another 3 kms.

Ban Toong Nang Oak
Ban Toong Nang Oak is within the Muang district about 8 kms. from town proper on Highway No.2169 (Yasothon-Kud Chum). The community is noted for its basketry products used as household utensils and as gift items.

Ban Na Samai
Ban Na Samai is a village not far from Ban Toong Nang Oak. It is noted for fine basketry works and replicas of carved carts.