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Provinces in Southern Thailand

Near the equator, sun-soaked coastal and inland resorts for the fun loving holidaymaker. This is the South East Gulf of Thailand.

Some publications split the Andaman Coast in to two sections - Upper and Lower. This may have been applicable several years ago – when there were marked differences between the two areas in tourism and holiday terms.

The Lower Western Gulf of Thailand

There is often confusion as to exactly what this area consists of and where it is in Thailand.

It is often referred to as the Lower Western Gulf of Thailand.

Being referred to as West, you would expect to see it on the left of your map, but in fact it is firmly on the right.

It is the South East Coast area of Thailand, which is washed by the Lower Western Gulf of Thailand Sea.

One could easily assume that this area only consists of a few major islands. Important they are of course, but we talk now of the mainland provinces - blessed with the lower Gulf of Thailand Sea.

This whole area is second only to the Andaman Coast - which is to the west, and as its name suggests, is lapped by the clear waters of the Andaman Sea.

The four provinces which have coastline - and superb beaches - from the Lower Gulf of Thailand Sea are - (Top to Bottom).

Beaches and Islands Lower Southern Gulf of Thailand

Offshore we have some of the favourite islands in Thailand - easier to get to for a weekend away from Bangkok than those of the Andaman coast, being Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Toa and of course the superb Ang Thong Marine National Park.

There are other islands, but dealing with the mainland coast, we have huge stretches of beautiful beaches - white sand aplenty, with more than enough going on, and to see, to prevent you from wanting to stray too far.

Generally it is an interesting area, with gradual change to different cultures and beliefs to the areas to the north.

It is not a sudden change from Buddhist to Muslim, but a gradual pleasant mingling of different cultures. Mosques start to make an appearance as does the different clothing worn. And the food starts to take indifferent spices the further south you travel.

There is an intensity of superb beaches on the coastline of Surat Thani province. Whilst many are relatively quiet compared with the East coast beaches of Pattaya and the likes, there are the usual restaurants and shops, with plenty of inter-beach transport to make a stay here booth convenient and pleasurable.

The Lower Gulf of Thailand is almost certain to expand its tourist base as the present popular areas become crowded - and more expensive.

Lower Gulf Islands Accommodation

Ko Samui Island

Ko Pha Ngan

Koh Tao

There are other provinces to the south of this area. A little bit of uncertainty down there at the moment, so we will do nothing other than mention them. Even further south includes:


Nowadays, with the rapid expansion of provision in the whole area, the lower part of the coast is rapidly catching up – providing many more hotels and resorts to catch the ‘overspill’ from over-developed Phuket.

There are few opportunities left for tourism developers in the upper section of the Andaman.

They are now turning their attention to the increasing holiday and tourism popularity gains of the hitherto unspoiled areas further down the mainland coast from Phuket.

Other than the near saturation of holiday and trip locations in the areas above Phuket, there are of course the National Parks, which prevent further development to a large extent.

There is also Krabi Province - one of the most beautiful provinces and coastlines in Thailand.

The entire Andaman are shares the same climatic conditions, with more than a fair share of rainfall for most parts of the year. This makes for the lush forests and that are so part of this verdant area.

The Provinces of the Andaman Coast

Rice farming is not an option on this coast – mainly because of the rugged terrain, but also because the local climatic and topographical conditions favour the growing of rubber tree, coconut and palm oil plantations.

Beaches and Islands of the Andaman Coast

Koh Poda Island BeachBeautiful as the greenery is, we are talking of the Andaman coast. The Andaman coast is home to some of the most beautiful islands, beaches, and clear seas in the world.

Phuket is part of this are of the Andaman, but we have given that its own section. It is after all one of the world’s most sought after holiday locations.

There are plenty of other places for tourists and holidaymakers to enjoy on the Andaman.

National Parks In Andaman Area

The Andaman truly excels in natural beauty with both the mainland and offshore National Parks ensuring that this beauty is retained for future Thai generations and of course for the tourists who are vital to the area's financial wellbeing.

Upper Andaman North of Phuket

Lower Andaman Area South of Phuket

Provinces on the Andaman Coast

If we include Phuket, the stunning Andaman coastline is home to 5 provinces, all of which share substantial coastline of the Andaman Sea.

Running from North to South, these provinces are Ranong, Phang-Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Satun.

Ranong Province

As well as being the least populated province in Thailand, is probably the least visited, with the exception of being the main gateway to Andaman by way of the Highway 4.

Its lack of popularity as a holiday destination may be connected to the fact that it is also the wettest part of Thailand insofar as rainy months are concerned.

For around 32 weeks of the year, it is at least showery. The advantage of this being that it is one of the lushest areas of Thailand. By way of diversion, Ranong is also home to several natural hot springs. We are talking of hot, not warm!

Phang-Nga Province

Phang Nga is the next province down and rapidly re-establishing as a province of note after the horrific 2004 tsunami, which is rarely talked about in the other Andaman coast areas.

Phang-Nga also shares some of the rain that besets its northern neighbour of Ranong. So much so, that it almost - but not quite - closes for most of the rainy season in Thailand.

But, the high season between November through until April, sees it alive and taking advantage of its beautiful white beaches and clearest of turquoise sea. The sun shines of course, as an added bonus.

Phuket Province

Moving past Phuket Province for the simple reason that it has its own section on this website.

Krabi Province

Krabi Province Amazing Rock FormationsMy first introduction to the Andaman Coast was by way of Krabi. I had travelled across country from the south east gulf, when I came across the magnificent rock structures springing up from the greenery.

These rocky pinnacles are not confined to Krabi on this coast, but for me at the first moment I saw them, there was not more beautiful place on earth.

The sheer rock faces bring thousands of would be rock climbers to Krabi each year.

But as I was soon to find out, the rocks are not the sum total of Krabi’s beauty. Beaches, islands and sea caves are gently lapped by the turquoise sea, and the resultant photographs are in most of the Thailand Holiday Brochures.

Trang Province

Trang lies next to Krabi in a southerly direction, and it shares much of the topographical delights. It also has some superb islands sitting in the crystal sea, together with beaches that stand comparison with any in Thailand.

As of yet, Trang is relatively ‘undiscovered’. But entrepreneurs in the travel business are making changes to that, urged on with the relentless tourism that is the financial bedrock of the Andaman coast.

At the moment, the beaches of Trang are little more than convenient places from which to get a boat out to one of the many islands. That will all change, as more and more savour the delights of this slightly traditional area.

Satun Province

Is a place to be aware of and not to be ignored as it has for so many years by mainstream tourism. Abutting the Malaysian border, it is very different to the rest of Andaman, in geographical and cultural terms.

The beaches of Satun are as white as any, and generally unspoiled as of yet with tourism. It cannot escape over time of course, but for the time being, make your way to Satun for a bit of dreamy relaxation.

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