From Bangkok to the South of Thailand


The southern peninsula of Thailand is dominated by the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east and stretches to the border with Malaysia. Major resorts include Cha-Am/Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Krabi and Phuket. The outstanding natural beauty of South Thailand's beaches and islands, with miles of white sand lapped by azure waters and teeming coral reefs, attracts millions of visitors. But the region has much more to offer. The region is among the most fertile in the country with fast-growing rubber trees, sugar and oil palms, coffee beans, cashew nuts, pineapple, rambutan and durian fruits. There are still many colorful fishing villages along the coast. Dense jungles characterize the interior and are interspersed with rocky mountains and mangrove forests. The region is also well-known for the astounding beauty of its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It is a unique area with a rich multi-cultural heritage.

From Bangkok to Koh Samui – Exploring the Gulf Coast

A narrow coastal strip with the mountains in the background on the border with Myanmar stretches from the cultural center of Phetchaburi to the fishing town of Chumphon. To the north are the seaside towns of Cha-Am and Hua Hin with their popular beaches. Inland you will find the vast hilly Kaeng Krachan National Park and on the coast the limestone cliffs of Khao Sam Roi Yot and further south Kuiburi National Park, the best wild elephant sighting spot in Thailand.

Near the town of Prachub Khiri Khan, Thailand is only 12 km wide.

From Chumphon highway 4 from Bangkok becomes highway 41 in the direction of Surat Thani.

Off the coast of Chumphon are the islands of the national park of the same name.

Further south, the trading town of Surat Thani is best known as the gateway to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and the truly unspoilt scenery of Ang Thong National Marine Park, all located off the coasts of Chumphon and Suratthani.

Inland lie the spectacular cliffs and rainforests of Khao Sok National Park.

Destinations - Sights - Hotels

Phetchaburi & Khao Wang Palace

Located 125 km south of Bangkok on highway 4. The capital of the Phetchaburi province is one of Thailand’s oldest towns and an important cultural center. Interesting temples can be explored like the Wat Mahathat and Wat Kamphaeng Laeng.

During the 19th century it became a royal retreat, and King Rama IV built a summer palace on the hills of Khao Wang, now part of the Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park. Nearby is the large Khao Luang cave, filled with stalactites and many Buddha images.


Popular beach resort, approx. 180 km from Bangkok. (See our beach destinations)

Hua Hin

Thailand’s oldest and very popular beach resort, approx. 200 km from Bangkok. (See our beach destinations)

Kaen Krachan National Park & Pa La U waterfall

South of Phetchaburi town and west of Cha-Am and Hua Hin lies the Kaeng Krachan National Park. Containing tropical evergreen forest, the national park is the largest in the country. It spans an area of nearly 3000 sq km and is home to many mammals and birds. The park offers some excellent hiking, as well as boat rides through the 45-sq km Kaeng Krachan Reservoir, and waterfalls, a.o. Pa la U waterfall.


20 km south of Hua Hin cross a river and enter Pranburi. The place is known for its beautiful beaches and the Pranburi Mangrove Forest Park located by the Pranburi River

Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park

Just south of Pranburi lies the approximately 100 km2 Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, a beautiful and varied landscape of limestone formations, mangrove forests, freshwater swamps, caves, and beaches on the Gulf of Thailand. The park is known for the limestone peaks, which rise straight out of the swamps up to 650 m. The swamps are a refuge for many waterfowl and the limestone formations are home to several monkey species. Hiking trails have been set out in the park and you will come across impressive caves such as the Tham Praya Nakkon, one of the country's most photographed caves.

Kuiburi National Park

Located 40 km south of Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park and on the way to Prachuab Khiri Khan. Known to be the best wild elephant and gaur sighting spot in Thailand. It is almost 99% sure the visitors will see wild elephants any given day of the year in Kui Buri National Park’s wildlife watching area.

Prachuab Khiri Khan

Located along the narrowest stretch of Thailand, between Myanmar on the west and the Gulf of Thailand on the east, 90 km south of Hua Hin. Prachuab Khiri Khan is a significant fishing port and prominent provincial capital in southern Thailand. The inland edge of the town is ringed with limestone mountains. A famous landmark is Khao Chong Khra Chok, the “mirror mountain”, and offers visitors fine panoramic views right across the town and bay. The town has a nice promenade near the pier. Close to the town are some lovely bays and beaches, like Ao Manao and Hat Ao Noi.

Hotel: Prachuab Grand Hotel - 3 Stars (3/5) ; T-Boutique Hotel - 4 Stars (4/5)

Ban Krut & Bang Saphan

Approx. halfway between Prachuab Khiri Khan and Chumphon are lovely stretches of beach facing the Gulf of Thailand. At Ban Krut the Chedi Kiti Prakat is a great spot to view the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand. From the fishing harbor Bang Saphan, you can visit the small islands of Koh Talu, good for a daytrip.

Hotel: Baan Grood Arcadia Resort & Spa - 4 Stars (4/5)


Located about 500 km south of Bangkok, the important provincial capital and transport hub, Chumphon is a transit point to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. The town is located on the Isthmus of Kra with the mountain range of Ranong to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east. The main attractions are Pak Nam Chumphon, the fishing harbor, and the islands of the Chumphon National Marine Park. From Chumphon highway 4 becomes highway 41 in the direction of Surat Thani, gateway to the Koh Samui archipelago.

Hotels: Novotel Chumphon Beach Resort - 4 Stars (4/5) ; A-Te Hotel - 4 Stars (4/5)


The town of Chaiya is one of the oldest and historically one of the most important settlements in Thailand. A beautiful example from the Srivijaya period (7th-13th century) is the Phra Boromathat Chaiya Temple and it houses the National Museum of Chaiya.

Surat Thani

Strategically located at the mouth of the Tapi and Phum Duang rivers, approx. 600 km from Bangkok. Surat Thani is the capital of the largest province in southern Thailand. The town is an important center with its fishing harbor, cultivation of rambutan, rubber, rice, and coconut, commercial seaport, and jumping-off point to the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, or even Koh Tao, Surat Thani has an airport, and is an important stop on the railway link between Bangkok and Hat Yai. The province is home to the Khao Sok National Park, the oldest rainforest in Thailand.

Hotels: Diamond Plaza Hotel - 3 Stars (3/5)

Khao Sok National Park

The Khao Sok National Park, together with neighboring reserves, forms the most impressive and largest tract of virgin rainforest in southern Thailand. The park is a combination of the Klongsang Nature and Wildlife Reserve, with 1,000-meter peaks, and the fairytale Chew Lan Lake, which includes over 100 islets with majestic rock formations rising from the water. Elephants, bears, wild boars, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and other felines inhabit the park, along with approximately 200 bird species, including argus pheasants and hornbills. Interesting flora includes the rare rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world that can reach a diameter of up to 80 cm. Nature lovers can indulge themselves. Many hiking trails are suitable for everyone, but there are also more difficult tours for experienced hikers. Main attractions are Chew Larn lake, canoe and bamboo rafting trips on the Klong Sok river, Nam Thalu cave and Coral cave, Than Sawan waterfall and Sip Chan waterfall. Khao Sok, a wilderness of jungle, limestone cliffs, caves, and waterfalls.

Hotels: Khao Sok Rainforest Resort - 3 Stars (3/5) ; Khao Sok Boutique Hideaway - 3 Stars (3/5)

Koh Samui

Thailand’s third largest and most well-known island of the Koh Samui archipelago. (See our beach destinations)

Koh Phangan

15 km north of Koh Samui. Popular island resort. (See our beach destinations)

Koh Tao

Approx. 1 hour by highspeed ferry from Chumphon and 1.5 hour by highspeed ferry from Koh Samui. (See our beach destinations)

Phetchaburi - Khao Wang Palace

Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park

Khao Sok National Park

From Chumphon to Phuket and Krabi – Exploring the Andaman Coast

Near the town of Chumphon, main road 4 crosses the peninsula to the Andaman coast.

The Andaman coast is renowned for its natural beauty and has some of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia.

North of Phuket, rainforests provide the backdrop to the quiet beaches of Khao Lak and Ranong. Divers and snorkelers can visit the remote archipelagos Similan and Surin from here, famous for their spectacular underwater landscape and rich marine life. Further inland are the spectacular cliffs and rainforests of Khao Sok National Park.

The internationally renowned resort of Phuket serves as a good base for visitors to explore the region with its wide range of shopping, dining, entertainment, and watersports options. The imposing limestone stacks and mangrove channels of Phang Nga Bay are worth a day trip.

South of Phuket and Phang Nga Bay is beautiful Krabi. Surrounded by tall limestone crops, similar with those in Phang Nga Bay, Krabi combines fine beaches with spectacular cliff landscapes, and is a scenic spot on its own. The idyllic island scenery of Koh Yao and Kho Phi Phi are also accessible from Krabi and Phuket. South of Krabi is the beautiful island of Koh Lanta.

Destinations - Sights - Hotels


Ranong, the name of both the province and city, lies approx. 120 km west of Chumphon on the Andaman coast. The town is used as a hop-off point for the nearby islands Koh Phayam and Koh Chang and boat trips to Victoria Point in Myanmar. In the early morning a visit to Saphan Plaa, the fish auction, is recommended. The city itself has limited tourist interest, it is offering a peaceful atmosphere, however the surrounding area contains various natural attractions. You can find hot springs, unspoiled mangrove forests, mountains, jungle, nice waterfalls, islands, and scenic coastline.

Hotels: Tinidee Hotel@Ranong - 3 Stars ; Nam Sai Khao Suay Resort - 4 Stars (4/5) ; Farmhouse Hotel - 4 Stars (4/5)

Main attractions in Ranong province are: Isthmus of Khra, 60 km north of Ranong, a viewpoint where you can get good views of the Kra Buri river, the border between Thailand and Myanmar; Punyaban waterfall, 15 km north of Ranong ; Raksawarin Hot Springs and Public Park, 2 km away from Ranong town; Ranong Canyon, 10km drive from the hot springs; Ngao Mangrove Forest Research Centre, 17 km south of Ranong; Namtok Ngao National Park, 20 km south of Ranong, home of a steep 300 m high Ngao Waterfall


Approx. 100 km south of Ranong, the small town of Khuraburi is a jumping-off point for the famous Surin archipelago, 60 km offshore. It is also the main port for the nearby Mu Ko Ra-Ko Phra Thong National Park.

Takua Pa & the Little Amazon

At Takua, approx. 50 km south of Khuraburi, Highway 4 goes in the direction of the Khao Lak coast and H401 to the entrance of Khao Sok National Park.

Nearby Takua Pa, the little Amazon is a small tributary of the Takua-Pa river known as ‘Klong Sang Neh.’ Guests can explore the area with a guide via canoe or long-tail boat. Paddling down the river, you will enjoy an unbelievable sight of contorted stranger-fig trees soaring overhead. Home to birds, and monkeys, as well as a few snake species, the figs trees form a complex overhead network of branches and trunks, all wound and bound together. It is a truly exceptional sight.

Khao Sok National Park

See section above - From Bangkok to Koh Samui

Khao Lak

The coastline south of Takua Pa with long stretches of rocky and sandy beaches, attracting more and more visitors. A popular holiday destination for those seeking tranquility and departure point for trips to the islands of the Similan Islands Marine National Park. (See our beach destinations)

Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park

The beautiful landscape of the south culminates in the 400 km2 large Phang Nga bay. Some 40 freestanding limestone rocks rise almost perpendicularly from the calm, shallow water, and reach heights of up to 350 m. Many of these rocks contain narrow tunnels and sea chambers. The interior of this coastal region is characterized by majestic mountains and mangrove forests. The Phang Nga Bay in the Andaman Sea is one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Thailand and is the most spectacular remnant of the once imposing Tenassarim Mountains that still extend to China. You will also find the Koh Panyi fishing village built entirely on stilts and the James Bond Island here


Thailand’s largest island and one of Southeast Asia’s most popular holiday destinations. (See our beach destinations)

Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi

Located south of Phang Nga Bay, approx, halfway Phuket and Krabi. The islands have nice beaches, small fishing villages, coconut and rubberplantations, and small areas of rice paddy. (See our beach destinations)

Koh Phi Phi

Located approx. halfway between Phuket and Krabi, the islands are renowned for its beauty, drawing visitors from all over the world.

(See our beach destinations)

Koh Lanta

A group of 50 islands, dominated by two main islands, Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi. Located southeast offshore Krabi. (See our beach destinations)


With its unique location on the dazzling Phang Nga Bay, picture-perfect beaches, islands on the horizon and majestic cliffs all around, Krabi is one of the most beloved beach destinations in Thailand. (See our beach destinations)

Ranong - Punyaban waterfall

Takua Pa - Canoeing

Phang Nga - Koh Panyi fishing village

See our range of tours