From Chumphon in the north to the Thai-Malaysian Border in the south and secured by Gulf of Thailand in the east to Indian Ocean in the west is Southern Thailand. Southern Thailand has 14 provinces, namely, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Satun, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. Mixture of the natural as well as man-made beauty of the tropical islands, beaches, coral reefs, marine life, fishing villages, national parks, mountains, waterfalls, rubber estates, temples, and mosques makes the Southern Thailand will amaze the visitors.
Southern Thailand before the 9th century AD, or the Malay Peninsula includes several independent states, namely, Pahang, Trengkanu, Kelantan, Tamphonling or the present Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khorahi or Chaiya, Langkhasuka now in Malaysia, Keta or Sai Buri, Hrarak Kola or Takua Pa and Panpala now in Myanmar. All of these independent states were united to form a powerful Srivijiya Empire from 11th to the 13th century AD. Nakhon Si Thammarat became an independent place after the disintegration of the Srivijiya Empire in the 13th century AD and extended its influence over other cities. The whole region came under the control of Ayutthaya in the 14th century AD.
Rattanakosin Period, the southern provinces largely remained independent under the command of the principal governors. King Rama IV decided to prolong his power over the southern provinces and paid two personal visits to reinforce the association between the southern provinces and Bangkok. King Rama V undertook very large administrative reforms, which included the consolidation of the southern Thailand into some of the regions with Phuket, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Pattani as the administrative centers under the absolute control of Bangkok.
The largest island of the Kingdom of Thailand is Phuket, spread over an area of 543 sq. km. As the ‘Pearl of the South’ Phuket is perched against the Andaman Sea and is 862 km from Bangkok. Phuket gives splendid palm-fringed beaches, coves and bays, pearl farms, Indo-Portuguese Mansions, surrounding peninsula, greener mountains, beautiful waterfalls and delicious seafood in Thailand. The most visited place is the Patong Beach, which is a 4 km long well developed open stretch of sand.
Thailand province and is famous for its beaches is Phuket, also well known to its shopping and city center. In addition to the beaches, an Indo-Portuguese style residential house was built by late 19th-century tin and rubber magnate holds the attentions of the tourist visiting the place.
Situated near the north of the Phuket town, Khao Rang is a small hill from where one can have the amazing view of the town. It is Proud to be the first fitness park in Thailand. In reality is a series of hillside sculptural image enhancing keep fit exercises.
Koh Sirey is a small island separated from the mainland only by the Tha Chin Cana at a distance of 4 km from the town. Have a look at the Sea Gypsy Village to know their culture, which is also known to be the biggest in Phuket.
Visitors in Phuket must also visit the Phuket Butterfly Farm and Aquarium, Phuket Orchid Garden and Thai village, Chana Charoen Crocodile Farm, Sirinat National Park and Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary.
Krabi is 814 km from Bangkok; Spread over an area of 4,708 sq. km Krabi is one of the most amazing tourist spot of the southern Thailand with white pearl beaches, coral reefs, peninsula, forests, and waterfalls. Krabi is divided into 8 districts, namely, Amphoe Muang, Ao Luk, Khao Phanom, Khlong Thom, Ko Lanta, Plai Phraya, Lam Thap, and Nua Khlong.
Khao Khanap Nam
Khao Khanap Nam is the mountain, which are like the symbol of the town. The Krabi River runs from these mountains. One can get to the mountains by a long tail boat from Tha Chao Fa, the major key in the town.
Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
Over an area of 390 sq. km in the district of Amphoe Muang you will see Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park .One can be amaze by the sights of Limestone Mountains, white sandy beaches, islands, and coral reefs. The unique attractions of this park are the Hat Noppharat Thara, Ao Nang, Susan Hoi or Fossil Shell Beach and Mu Ko Phi Phi.
Than Bok Khorani National Park
Spread over an area of 1211 sq. km in district of Amphoe Ao Luk 45 km from Krab is Than Bok Khorani National Park The famous attractions of the park are than Bok Khorani, Tham Lot, Tyham Phi Hua To, Tham Pet or Diamond Cave, Ko Thalu, Mu Ko Hong, Ko Garose, Tham Chao Le, Wat Khlong Thom and Pa Thung Tieo.
Mu Ko Lanta
The National Park of Mu Ko Lanta consists of many big and small peninsulas some of which are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, like Ka Ha, Ko Rok, and Ko Hai. The park is also home by the Sea Gypsies.
The peninsula of Koh Samui was in existence for some 1500 years back and the first home of the region were the fishermen. The peninsula can also be seen on the 500 years old maps from the Ming Dynasty of China. Fishing and coconuts farming has been the first source of income on Koh Samui Island. Nathon is the town on the Koh Samui Islands.
The star attractions of the Koh Samui Islands are the beaches with silvery sands and adorned with coconut palms. Situated on the northeast of the peninsula is the 7 km long Chaweng Beach, the most developed and famous beach of the peninsula. Situated to the southeast of the Koh Samui Island is the Lamai Beach, which is the most amazing beach in the region. The other beaches on Koh Samui Islands are the Mae Nam, Big Buddha, and Bo Phut.
While visiting at Koh Samui Islands, indulge in water sports like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, parasailing, wind surfing, water surfing, kite boarding, snorkeling and scuba diving. Enjoy the facilities in activities like gym, Thai boxing, shooting, karting, bungee jumping, and buffalo fighting. Relish the visit to the Butterfly Garden, Magic Garden, Muang Fall, and Hin Lad Fall.
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Songkla – discover Thailand’s deep south
Songkla is located in the deep south of Thailand, approximately 950 kilometers away from Bangkok, near Malaysian border. Resting along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, the place is an important port and trade hub of southern Thailand. Other than that, Songkla also borders with provinces of Phatalung, Nakhon Ti Samarat, Yaka, Pattani and Satun.
Songkla is off the main tourist track, making in an excellent place for quiet weekend. Amazing Samila beach is empty for most of the time and the prices tend to be lower than in other regions. Fresh sea food is available throughout the town, served at either beachside restaurant, street vendors or more traditional restaurant sets.
Songkla is a mix of Thai, Chinese and Malay culture, including historic ruins and arts. Almost every visitor feels impressed with what city has to offer in terms of historical sites. Unique tradition and customs make every visit in Songkla exceptional.
The biggest and most known city in Songkla province is Had Yai, which serves as transportation hub of the south. Songkla and Had Yai could not be more different. Songkla is quiet, relaxing and rich in cultural sites, whereas Had Yai is bustling city almost deprived of anything worth to see for an average tourist. Nevertheless, everyone on the way to Malaysia or Singapore passes through Had Yai and many choose to stay overnight. Unlikely quiet Songkla, Had Yai’s nightlife scene is big. Had Yai is full of nightclubs and bars, catering to both locals and tourists, majority of which come from Malaysia and Singapore.
Had Yai has a big bus terminal, connecting the city with every major place in Thailand and Malaysia. There are at least five buses to Bangkok daily and taking train is another option. Had Yai and Songkla is serviced by many public buses, minivans and shared taxis, not only from the bus terminals, but also many other spots in the city. The most expensive and convenient option is using the city airport.