Many of us like to set a wallpaper with a view of some paradise beach from the other part of the world. A boat moored at the shore, or a picturesque cove – when we add to this white sand and crystal clear water, we’ll get something like a typical picture of Thailand. It’s a place that can be hardly reach by a camper, but it’s worth to take a plane, then spend some time in a bus, later change it for a boat and sail right to the paradise. And when you’re finally there… If someone doesn’t know how to swim can just stand on the beach and cry of despair – or learn how to swim.
When writing about Thailand it’s hard not to mention the word “paradise” many times. And it’s hard to enumerate all the islands – pearls, which this exotic country full of temples, astonishing flora and spicy food is famous for. Everybody will find his own piece of paradise, whether it’s an adherent of loud beach parties, or someone who wants to escape from the noise of the big city and looks for peace on Thai islands.
Koh Lipe – Chao Ley and the oasis of peace
Surely worth mentioning is Koh Lipe, a little island (with the length of about 3km) located in the Tarutao Marine National Park. It used to be intimate, and many people could really rest there, however its popularity still grows and in few years it may become as commercial as Phuket, and will lose its original charm. In the future it’ll turn into a trampled paradise , nonetheless today it tempts tourists with three main and few smaller beaches with numerous bungalows to rent, as well as countless restaurants and bars. As for now, there’re no loud beach parties, it’s relatively quiet and calm, the more that the island has no roads and there’s no possibility to go there by car. Every place can be reach on foot.
On tourist forums we can often read about the food served in local diners and restaurants. It’s worth to take the opportunity of trying the fish and sea fruits dishes served on fishing island inhabited by the tribe Chao Ley. Not only the gourmets of exotics, but also divers will like Chao Ley. There’re few diving centers and a plenty of amazing underwater places to explore – you can do it from the beach, but also take a boat and sail to the best local spots.
Koh Tao – a place of real diving
Those, who can’t imagine holidays in Thailand without diving, may consider living on Koh Tao, also known as a mecca for diving. On this small islands you will find dozens of diving centers , whose offer aims at both experienced divers, as well as at those, who just begin their adventure with this sport. Before arrival it’s worth to check the rental rules - it may happen, that someone, who’s not going to dive, won’t get the house on the beach. Of course, in the high season (December-January) there’re masses of tourists, which pushes the prices up by about 30%. If you want to spend your vacations here, it’s worth to consider the time or the place – maybe on some other island you could spend the holidays of your life, without treading on other tourists foot.
Phi Phi – partying in a paradise
Another Island is Koh Phi Phi, a real “movies star” among islands. Apart from serving as a background in movies, it tempts thousands of tourists, which, unfortunately, can still be felt. Next to Phuket, Koh Pha Ngan is the loudest island, which is not just pulsating, but rambling with life. And really, it’s not a complaint – Phi Phi is designed for people, who love to party. For them, the holidays spent on this alluring island may turn out to be the best in their lives.
The island actually consists of two islands – Little Phi Phi and Big Phi Phi. The smaller is completely free of inhabitants, while the bigger is a kingdom of parties. It has some lovely coves, including Maya Bay, which was regarded one of the most beautiful in the world, and where “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was set. So what can we say about Phi Phi – it offers views straight from the paradise, which cannot be forgotten. The drawback is, in fact, that it’s an opinion of thousands of people, so during high season the place is mercilessly crowded.
Koh Samui – a coco island
In conclusion, it’s worth to say few words about Koh Samui, the heart of the southern part of the Gulf of Thailand. Compared eg. to Koh Lupe it’s pretty big – it’s 21 km long and 25 km wide, but it takes 1-2 days to explore the whole island. If we decide to spend our holidays on this island, we’ll see everything what others see only on pictures – fishing boats softly rocking by the shore, bathed in the beams of sunset. Such views are reserved for tourists visiting one of the two most popular beaches of Koh Samui, Lamai. Many modern hotels, restaurants and gift stores stretch along main beaches, while in the southern and western part of the island we find coves less crowded, where you can forget about the, so called, real world.
Tourists spending their holidays on Koh Samui will be regaled with sandy beaches with palm trees, crystal clear water, charming bungalows and forested mountains behind the coast. When visiting coconut plantations we can see performances, where specially trained monkeys help in harvesting the fruits. However, in the evening tourists can spend time in outdoor disco, or try the local cuisine in one of restaurants located by the beach.
In conclusion, Thai islands are the pieces of Garden of Eden scattered on the sea. As to this there’s no doubt. It’s surely worth visiting, however if you want to rest, it’s better to go there off season. On the other hand, if you’re tempted by the option with parties and getting to know the whole masses of new, interesting people, the high season would be what you’re looking for.