PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Journey to Midway Island
There’s no denying that Phuket offers fantastic scenery, countless breathtaking beaches, and a very active nightlife. Put those three things together and you get a very enjoyable island holiday but it’s easy to see that the increase in tourist numbers have left the island feeling quite crowded and have driven up prices significantly, leaving the tropical island paradise, not quite as it once was.
With record numbers of tourists, high prices and not being able to walk down the street without being harassed by the merchants that have built their businesses around the growing tourist industry, it’s no wonder that would-be holidaymakers are looking for cheaper alternatives.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the 6 best tropical paradise locations easily accessible to Thailand and neighboring countries.
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr – CC By 2.0
Topping the list is a Thailand favorite, being the resort town of Krabi situated on the Andaman Coast. Krabi is the ideal location to use as a base for day trips exploring the many nearby islands where scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking are common attractions. After visiting the beautiful islands, you might like to take a day or two to explore the sensation inland waterfalls that have to be seen to be believed. Krabi has an international airport and is conveniently accessible from many locations. If you are already in Thailand, there are numerous public transport options, with the cheapest being to catch a minivan which can cost as little as $4USD.
PHOTO CREDIT: WikiCommons
The 104 islands, collectively known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, are situated just off the coast of Malaysia, in the Andaman sea. Langkawi Island, being the largest and most populated, is a haven for tourists offering many of the same activities as Krabi, and considered to have some of the world’s best beaches. From duty-free shopping to walking on sky bridges that will take you over rainforest canopies, Langkawi offers it all.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Photo Credit: Flickr – Sandalwood Samui Villas – Koh Samui, Thailand
Thailand’s other favorite island was always sure to make it on this list not just because its beaches are of equal splendor to Langkawi and Krabi, but because it also boasts a list of exciting activities to equal Phuket. A few of the favorites include speed boating, visiting the island’s giant Buddha, snorkeling and of course shopping. With all these exciting things to do, make sure you take the time to enjoy watching the sun go down while sipping your favorite cocktail or deliciously cold beer.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Photo Credit: Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0- Biển Nha Trang những ngày đầu Thu
Nestled on Vietnam’s South Coast, Nha Trang has long been coveted by backpackers as one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. Becoming more and more popular over the last couple of years for travelers all over the world, Nha Trang has a very laid back “beach bum” vibe and you can find yourself losing entire days to the relaxing environment, totally forgetting about any commitments you might have at home. Catching the long-distance cable car to the island based adventure park Vinh Pearl provides one of the most stunning views of the massive Nha Trang Bay.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Photo Credit: Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 – Old Hoi An at Night
Another example of why Vietnam is considered to be Asia’s emerging leader in coastal tourism. The contrast between Hoi An’s beautifully preserved townsite and its modern beachside tourist facilities creates a sensational atmosphere and allows this city to offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to soak up some of Vietnam’s incredible history and culture, while still being able to relax by the beach every afternoon.
Kho Phangan, Thailand
Photo Credit: Flickr CC BY 2.0 – Koh Phangan
Of course, no list would be complete without this notorious party-centric Island. There are so many options for the party going tourist but none have quite the same status as Kho Phangan’s legendary Full Moon Parties for which Thailand has become so famous.