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||Located approximately 862 kilometers south of Bangkok is Phuket, Thailand's largest island, which is often dubbed as the pearl of the Andaman, or the pearl of the south. Its natural resources- rocky peninsular, limestone cliffs, white powdery beaches, tranquil broad bays and tropical in-land forests contribute to making it the South's wealthiest, busiest, most visited and most popular island and province.
Nestled in the tropical zone off the west coast of the southern part of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean, the province covers an area of approximately 543 square kilometers (excluding small islets). It is estimated that Phuket Province covers an area of approximately 590 square kilometers if its 39 other small islands are included. The islands total length, from north to south, is estimated at 48.7 kilometers and approximately 21.3 kilometers wide.
Phuket borders on Phang-nga Province to the north. The other 3 sides are encircled by the Andaman Sea the place where many of the best diving sites are located. The island is connected to Phang-nga Province by Sarasin Bridge and Thep Krasattri Bridge.
Staying on the island is easy, as there are only two seasons in a year - the rainy season (May to October) and the hot season (November to April). Visitors are not recommended to travel to Phuket between September and October as they are the wettest months. The best period for a visit, is from November to February, when it is possible to see the clear blue sky, feel the fresh sea breeze and marvel at the crystal clear water while lying on powdery, palm-fringed beaches. Average temperatures ranges between 23°C and 33°C.
Phuket's topology is exceptional with 70 percent of its area covered with mountains which stretch from north to south and the remaining 30 percent being plains located in the central and eastern parts of the island. The island does not have any major rivers except for a total of 9 brooks and creeks.
Phuket is divided into 3 administrative counties namely Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Thalang and Amphoe Kathu.
Phuket has a lot more to offer its visitors other than its natural heritage sea, sand, sky, beach, forest, and world renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travelers to the city, while Phuket-style hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walks of life. In addition, accommodations ranging from world-class resorts to tropical-style bungalows have warmly catered to the different needs of travelers. For seafood lovers, there is a lot more to sample than just Phuket's famous lobster. Altogether, these characteristics have made Phuket a truly unique destination.
||The province of Phang-nga is located some 788 kilometres from Bangkok. It covers an area of 4,170 square kilometres.
Phang-nga is a province with two characters - land and sea - and packed with national parks that guard magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions.
Most famous is Ao Phang-nga National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns and startling rock formations rising sheer out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered ideal for expeditions of sea canoes to explore the many fascinating caverns with their own eco-systems.
Phang-nga's andaman coast offers parks of a different kind. The island groups of Surin and Similan are renowned for their beautiful unspoilt beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attracting divers from around the world. Khao Lak is a coastal park full of birds, mammals and scenic waterfalls, with a number of hotel developments after Tsunami disaster in December 2004.
||Located approximately 814 kilometers from Bangkok is Krabi Province, one of most attractive destinations in southern Thailand. Encompassing an area of 4,708 square kilometers, the western border of Krabi is the Andaman Sea, the northern borders are Surat Thani and Phang-nga Provinces, the southern borders are Trang Province and the Andaman Sea and the eastern borders are Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang Provinces. Krabi is an ideal getaway destination teeming with natural attractions including white sandy beaches, fascinating coral reefs, numerous large and small islands and verdant forests with caves and waterfalls.
Krabi's topography is mostly mountains and highlands separated by plains in some parts. Flowing through Krabi City to the Andaman Sea at Pak Nam Sub-district is Maenam Krabi which is 5 kilometers in length. In addition, there are several canals originating from the province's highest mountain range, Khao Phanom Bencha including Khlong Pakasai, Khlong Krabi Yai and Khlong Krabi Noi. Lush mangrove forests line the canals and the banks of Maenam Krabi particularly before it empties into the Andaman Sea. The provinces sandy soil conditions are suitable for growing various agricultural products, particularly rubber trees, palms, coconuts, cashew nuts and coffee.
Due to the influence of the tropical monsoon, there are only two seasons in Krabi; the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures range between 17 °C and 37 °C.
Krabi is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes (Districts): Amphoe Mueang, Khao Phanom, Khlong Thom, Plai Phraya, Ko Lanta, Ao Luek, Lam Thap, and Nuea Khlong. The provinces jurisdiction covers not only in-land districts and sub-districts, but also extends to more than 130 large and small islands including the world famous Phi Phi Islands.
In addition, Krabi is the location of two world class beaches Ao Nang and Hat Rai Le which offer numerous diving trips, restaurants, shops etc. Additional attractions in the province are stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations which make it a heaven for rock climbers and a National Park located approximately 40 kilometers outside of town with lakes, caves and spectacular natural scenery.
||Located approximately 828 kilometers from Bangkok, Trang Province covers an area of 4,941 square kilometers. The province borders on Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to the north, Satun Province and the Indian Ocean (Andaman Sea) to the south, Phatthalung Province to the east and the Indian Ocean and Krabi Province to the west. Trang is considered a magnificent coastal province as it long, beautiful coastline stretches 199 kilometers along the Indian Ocean. In addition, the province has two major rivers flowing through it, the Trang River, which originates in the Khao Luang Mountain Range and Maenam Palian from the Banthat Mountain Range.
Despite the fact that Trang City plays a key role in facilitating trade and communications to Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand's southern commercial hub, Trang is a province less traveled to by tourists. It was only recently that Trang has been poised to establish itself on the international travel map.
Trang has geographical advantages similar to that of Krabi and Phang-Nga. This includes breathtaking islands and astounding beaches along the coast as well as awe-inspiring inland limestone- propped mountains. The province consists of an archipelago in the Andaman Sea with over 46 islands. Of these, 12 are in Amphoe Kantang, 13 in Amphoe Palian and 21 in Amphoe Sikao. The best time to visit Trang is between December and May.
Trang has both mainland beaches and a whole string of offshore islands. For visitors interested in light-adventure activities such as cruising coastal waters, visiting notable sights such as the enchanting Emerald Cave, which is accessible only by water, will prove to be remarkable experience. Additional attractions include the Mu Ko Petra National Park with beaches and islands lapped by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. Some of the dive sites in the National Park are world-class. There are also wildlife sanctuaries such as Namtok Khao Chong and Khlong Lamchan Park with waterfalls, nature trails and caves. For those looking for a relaxed, tranquil ambience, Trang is a perfect place to unwind amidst stunning scenery.
With an abundance of blissful attractions mixed with cultural heritage, Trang Province is truly an emerging fascinating tourist destination with numerous jungles, mountains and waterfalls.
The City also has numerous attractions. Walking around Trang City, visitors will be amazed at the mixture of Western, Chinese and Thai cultures reflected in the architecture that range from the Sino- Portuguese shop houses to the Chinese temples and shrines. The Pan-Ya House is the local style of houses in Trang, which offers an insight into the architectural heritage of this town. In addition to architectural attractions there are many parks to stroll through and markets to explore. The main two markets in Trang are Ta Klang and Municipal markets.
|Nakhon Si Thammarat
||Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest province of the South and the land of predominant Buddhism during the Srivijaya Period, is 780 kilometres from Bangkok. It occupies an area of 9,942 square kilometres consisting of high plateau and mountains in the west then sloping down towards the east and becoming a basin along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand.
In addition to its great history, Nakhon Si Thammarat boasts pristine verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation and is also noted for picturesque beaches and beautiful waterfalls.
||Phatthalung is an ancient city in southern Thailand. It is a land of mountains. In town is Khao Ok Thalu, which is clearly visible from afar. Phatthalung is regarded as the birthplace of the shadow play and the Nora dance. From ancient times to the present, Phatthalung has been closely linked to Songkhla Province, particularly in terms of geography, history and migratory settlements through many ages. During the Srivijaya period (13th-14th Buddhist century), the Phatthalung community received Indian cultural influence in the way of Mahayana Buddhism. In the reign of King Ramathibodi I (U Thong) of Ayutthaya, Phatthalung became one of twelve royal cities. Later during the reign of King Rama I in the Rattanakosin period, the king had the Ministry of Defense oversee Phatthalung, upgraded it to secondary city status and moved it to the mouth of Pam River.
When there was an administration reform in the reign of King Rama V, Phatthalung prefecture came under Nakhon Si Thammarat prefecture until 1924, when King Rama VI relocated the city to Tambon Khuha Sawan where it has been ever since. Upon the abolition of the prefecture system in 1933, Phatthalung became a province outright.
Phatthalung city is situated on the west bank of Songkhla Lake, about 846 kilometres from Bangkok. It has an area of 3,424.473 square kilometres and is divided into 10 districts and 1 sub-district, as follows: Mueang Phatthalung, Khuan Khanun, Pak Phayun, Kong Ra, Tamot, Khao Chaison, Pa Bon, Bang Kaeo, Si Banphot, Pa Phayom, and the sub-district of Srinagarindra.
||Satun is a small province in the south of Thailand that borders Malaysia, facing the Andaman Sea. The province possesses renowned picturesque islands with verdant forests and mountainous land. The majority of the locals are Muslim. It is located 973 kilometres from Bangkok and occupies an area of 2,478 square kilometres with 80 kilometres of coastline.
Most tourists head out to the pristine islands of Tarutao National Park. Its landscape is full of underwater peaks, excellent beaches, calm and peaceful coves, jungle and mangrove swamps. Snorkelling can be found at Lipe island, while neighbour Adnag island is stunning with forest, hills and waterfalls.
Around Satun, there are plenty of interesting sights, including dove farms, forest parks and huge waterfall. Thale Ban National Park is famous for its abundant wildlife, with many waterfalls and caves worth visiting.