South of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand lie Pattaya, Southeast Asia’s best-known seaside resort, and the less crowded resort of Bang Saen. Not far away is KohSamet, a pristine island that can easily be reached by boat (travel time 30 minutes) from Rayong. An approximately two-hour drive from Bangkok are Chaam and Hua Hin. Hua Hin was once a royal seaside resort and is currently enjoying increasing popularity. Many popular holiday destinations are located on the Indian Ocean.
The island of Phuket is connected by a causeway to the southwest coast of Thailand. In recent years, numerous hotels have sprung up on this island, making Phuket gradually dispute Pattaya’s claim to being the number one resort in Southeast Asia.
But there are still some deserted beaches and secluded coves. In Phang Nga Bay, which is easily accessible from Phuket, the view of the ocean and the surrounding islands is truly breathtaking. More than 3,500 islands (hongs) are spread out over the bay. These rocky islands have a rich fauna and flora. Until some time ago there was no access to the hongs, so that nature could develop without any human influence. There are also special canoe trips, with which you can visit the interior through crevices and caves. Songkhla in the south of the country on the Gulf of Thailand is about 1300 km from Bangkok. It is a charming and friendly place with a Chinese flair and ideal for those seeking relaxation.
Further north in the Gulf of Thailand are the idyllic islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan with its fine sandy beach and numerous coconut plantations. There are also many waterfalls here. Although they are no longer an insider tip, they represent an acceptable alternative to the large tourist centers.