Thailand is The Land of Smiles which is why its people are regarded as the friendliest in Asia. All of which makes Thailand the perfect travel destination. Add to this perfect weather, exciting cities and idyllic islands and you have a recipe for a happy holiday.
Getting there is now much cheaper since the advent of cheap airlines like Air Asia which operates flights to and from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. For islands like Koh Samui and Koh Chang, Bangkok Airways offers reasonably priced flights.
Koh Chang is the fastest developing island in Thailand today, due to the new airport built at Trat which is operated by Bangkok Airways. It is only one hour away from Bangkok whereas just a couple of years ago it took more than 4 hours by bus.
Koh Chang was plagued by underdevelopment and bad infrastructure up until a few years ago but is now well placed to take advantage of this year’s expected increase in tourism.
Popular for many years now, Koh Samui is still a fantastic island. It has had its share of bad publicity recently, but the island’s governing body has come to grips with the unruly elements and now it is attracting visitors who demand good service.
It is the second biggest island in Thailand (after Phuket and before Koh Chang) and has an excellent infrastructure with good roads, and superb 5* hotels along with budget bungalows. No high-rise buildings are permitted so the overall appearance of the island is one of unpretentious but glamourous living.
From the beach, there is little to see, as most of the buildings are hidden behind palm trees.
Koh Phi Phi and Krabi
Krabi is not really an island but it is often referred to as one, because of the number of beautiful beaches that are reached from Krabi. It is from Krabi also that the island of Koh Phi Phi where the Hollywood movie “The Beach” was filmed.
Koh Phi Phi was one of the worst-hit places in the tsunami of two years ago, but it has made a full recovery and is now back to welcoming visitors for diving, snorkeling and swimming with rainbow fish for which it was long famous.
Phuket is undoubtedly the winner in the island stakes, and its popularity stretches back to the 1970s when backpackers first discovered this island with beautiful beaches.
Originally a source for tin rubber, and cashew nuts, tourism has now supplanted this. The opencast and ugly mining craters have long since been incorporated into beautifully landscaped golf courses and hotel surrounds (notably in the Laguna complex on Bang Tao beach.
Many world-class resorts are found on Phuket, fronted by some of the best beaches in Thailand. Amusement is found in theme parks, nightlife, restaurants, golf courses and every sort of water activity you can imagine.