Traveling to a beautiful tropical island doesn't have to break your budget. Many people put expensive faraway places like Fiji, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Maldives, Hawaii, Cayman Islands at the top of their travel bucket lists. In fact there are several inexpensive places around the world that you could visit to experience pristine white, sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water, top-notch resorts and more. In this blog I'd like to introduce you to a country I visit very often for business and leisure - Thailand.
Situated at 15.8700° N, 100.9925° E on the globe, Thailand is a southeast Asian country with endless amazing coastlines along the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea. Although Thailand is several thousand miles away from my home in California, and might not be a practical place to vacation for many Americans due to the long distance, it is so worth the trip for its natural beauty, delicious cuisine, exotic temples and historical architecture, modern shopping centers, unique weekend markets and floating markets, and most important, relatively lower and more affordable travel costs and expenses! Beautiful tropical beaches and islands are one of the country's top attractions drawing more than 35 million tourists in 2017.
For your first trip to Thailand, I'd like to introduce three tropical islands I've visited many times and highly recommend: Phuket (pronounced Poo-get, Samui (pronounced Saa-moo-i) and Koh Chang (pronounced Kauk Chaang) Islands. Depending on the time of year you are visiting Thailand and the duration of your stay, each place has its advantages. In this blog I will be talking only about Phuket. The other two islands, Samui and Koh Chang, will be discussed in my upcoming blogs.
Situated along the Andaman Sea (west of Thailand), approximately 524 miles (844 kilometers) south of Bangkok, Phuket is best visited during the cool and dry season from November to February. Less favorable times to visit are during the monsoon season from mid-May to October and the hottest season from mid-March to May.
Phuket has many hotels in all price ranges to choose from. The best hotels are located on the southwest side of the island which is lined with beautiful white sandy beaches, like Karon, Patong and Kata. The north and east side of the island have rocky coastlines, therefore are not as popular. Besides hanging out on beautiful beaches in Phuket and taking local trips to cashew and rubber plantations, jewelry shopping centers, flea and night markets, cultural & architectural tours, etc, I highly recommend taking a one-day trip to the Similan Islands. Situated 52 miles (85 kilometers) northwest of Phuket, Similan Island Archipelago consists of 9 islands and is best known for its white sandy beaches and crystal blue water abundant with beautiful coral reefs and a variety of marine life. This makes it a great place for snorkeling and diving.
Sino-Portuguese Architecture Walking Tour: A self-guided city walking tour in the old part of Phuket city near Thalang, Dibuk and Krabi roads is a must-do. The Sino-Portuguese architecture reflects Portuguese and British influence dating back to the 16th century when Europeans settled in the area for interest in the lucrative tin industry.
Indigo Pearl, currently called The Slate, one of the hotels I stayed at, is situated at Nai Yang Beach 116 Moo 1, Sakhu, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand (the northwest side of Phuket). Rated as a 4-star hotel, the hotel guestroom rate runs around $200 per night. Check out the video clip below to get a idea of the hotel ambience, inspired by Phuket's tin mining past combined with industrial elements and natural beauty.
Follow my blog to get my upcoming articles on other attractions around Phuket like Kao Sok National Park, Phang Nga Bay, Phi Phi Island, to explore.
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