Tag Archive | beaches

The Top Beach Holiday Destinations In Thailand

thailandThailand is a country that is quickly developing an excellent as a tourist destination, and the range of amazingly beautiful beaches, bays and coves in the country is likely to see this reputation continue to grow.  The small nation of Thailand is one that is distinctly split between the mountainous north and the low lying coastal areas and islands of the south of the country, with the best of the beach resorts in the south of the country.  Although it enjoys a warm climate throughout the year, it is worth noting that Thailand has a significant monsoon season which is worth checking before booking your holiday.


The town of Patong is one of several beach holiday resorts that can be found on the island of Phuket, and although it was devastated during the tsunami in 2004, it has been entirely rebuilt.  The sandy beaches of Patong are perfect for relaxing, and for those more adventurous types there are plenty of exploring opportunities around the island.  Among the most attractive features for those considering a trip to the town is the vibrant nightlife, and like much of the country the prices for nightclub entry and drinks are particularly reasonable.


The town of Krabi is another excellent destination for those looking for easy access to top notch beaches, and beaches such as Phra Nang are among the most beautiful in the country. The azure waters and the golden sand on these beaches are often surrounded by idyllic unspoiled woods and they are also a great base for activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.  The town has grown significantly over recent years, with many more chain stores being found in the area, and accessibility to the region has improved with the opening of KrabiAirport.

Koh Samui

The island of Koh Samui is the second largest of the islands to be found of the coasts of Thailand, and this has long been one of the most popular destinations for those heading to the country for beach holidays.  The peaceful sands and clean waters are an idyllic setting for a beach holiday, while the exciting and vibrant nightlife in the resorts is almost as good as that to be found in the capital Bangkok.  Lying further south than much of the country, Koh Samui also benefits from a drier climate, with the monsoon season being much shorter between January and September.

The coral reefs that lie off the coast of Koh Samui have also helped to make this idyllic island popular among divers and snorkelers, and provides a change of pace after a few days relaxing on the beach.

Koh Phi Phi

The island of Koh Phi Phi is a destination that has grown in popularity over recent years, and the island tends to be quieter and more idyllic than some of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.  As with many other islands in this area, the excellent beaches and clear waters are ideal for those looking to enjoy activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling, and its waters can boast some of the best marine life in the region.  The island was largely untouched until the film ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio brought the island to international attention in the 1990s, and it is still much more traditionally Thai than some of the tourist islands.

Koh Lanta

The island of Koh Lanta is another of the Thai isles that can claim to be sparsely developed in terms of the tourist industry, and many visitors will find it much closer to the Thailand that people would have found decades ago.  The beaches here are again amongst the best in the country, and the sensational waters are excellent for swimming and other water activities.  The majority of tourist accommodation on Koh Lanta is still in bamboo huts, which will really give people a taste of the traditional Thai lifestyle.

Travelling To Thailand

thailand temple sunset

It is essential to carry items that may be necessary to make your stay at any tourist destination comfortable and interesting. You may be aware of certain precautions such as using sun block or insect repellant when you plan to visit Thailand. However, there are some things that you may not be aware of and you should ensure that you plan to take them when you set off for your holiday. It is always advisable to learn more about the place that you intend to visit before you reach there and be prepared to ensure that you have a great vacation.

Book your airline tickets well in advance to avoid any disappointment.  You can check with various travel agents for cheap flights to Thailand and take the best option available. Thailand enjoys a warm climate throughout the year except in the north where you need to wear a jacket when you are up in the mountains. It is not necessary to carry warm or heavy clothing. The clothes you carry should be light so that they dry out easily and you can wear them again. You can also have your clothes washed for about 30 to 50 Baht per kilo if you wish so there is no need to carry too much clothing.

Be wary when you carry chocolate to snack on in Thailand from Europe, UK or USA. These chocolates melt with the heat and will become messy unless you plan to eat them up quickly or place them in a fridge to ensure that it does not melt. You can easily purchase chocolate in any mini market or supermarket as most of it comes from Australia.

Here is a list of things that you may not even think of carrying which are necessary for your trip.

It is important to understand that you will be facing tropical weather in any part of Thailand, regardless of whether you are in Chiang Mai which is a tropical island in the north or if you are in Bangkok. If you decide to book a room at the tropical Hua Hin hotel remember to bring a pair of small binoculars to enjoy viewing the dolphins as they swim off the coast of Hua Hin or to look at the Water Monitor Lizards that swim in the Chao Phraya River or even the Crested Eagles that generally hover over the mountains of Chiang Mai. Butterflies can also be viewed in myriads of colors as they glide through the various places such as tree tops or up above.

Ensure that you carry some plastic “flip flops” that are inexpensive and practical for wearing in hot weather.  In Australia, these types of foot wear are referred as “thongs.”They are easy to wear and do not damage easily and since it is customary to take off shoes when entering rooms, it is very convenient foot wear. They are light and can be worn when you go for a swim or when shopping.


beach in thailand

Thailand is referred to as the orchid capital of the world and you will notice them all over the place. Make sure you carry a pocket guide that will explain the various types of orchids available in Thailand that range from the Slipper Orchids which are exorbitantly priced to rare Bee Orchids.

Best Beaches in Phuket

patong beach phuket

Most of the best beaches in Thailand are located in Phuket. Backpackers enjoy these beaches, as much as families and couples, who book flights to Phuket to enjoy their vacation.

There are seven prominent beaches that you can visit when you are in Phuket.

Patong Beach
One of the topmost travel destinations that you can find in Phuket is at Patong Beach. Tourists relax on these beaches during the day to get a tan and then head to the many clubs and bars that abound in this area for some entertainment at night.

Patong Beach caters not only to your relaxation comforts but if you are adventurous, you can enjoy many other activities such as water sports, which include snorkeling, apart from parasailing and snorkeling.

Bangtao Beach
Not too far from Bangkok. Initially, Bangtao was a town that was famous for tin mining. Today it has become a travel destination that abounds with luxury resorts for vacationers. You can enjoy a holiday here as there are many facilities available for the tourists. If you wish to enjoy peace and relaxation, you can head to Bangtao beach and avoid the eclectic atmosphere that pervades Phuket.

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach is small but the greenery that abounds in this area is lush, and you are surrounded with a peaceful ambience and sparkling white sands that you will not find in other areas of Phuket.

The bottom of the seas here are rocky and not ideal for swimming. However, tourists enjoy snorkeling activities in this area. Fine dining is available with international and Thai Cuisine in the restaurants at this beach.

Kamala Beach
This beach is not very heavily infested with tourists. Families prefer to head to this destination as they can avail of low cost sun beds and street vendors do not trouble them to buy their wares.  The beaches shimmer with blue sparkling water and white sparkling sands.

Freedom Beach
If you travel about 6 km from Patong, where there is a lot of noise and bustle, you will find Freedom beach, situated at the foot of the green hill. Water sports are strictly forbidden at this beach though many enthusiasts love visiting g this beach. This is due to the fact that is has been touted as one of the cleanest beaches and very famous in Phuket.

Karon Beach
The second largest and longest beach in Phuket is Karon beach.  Since they are equipped with no more than two rows of sunbeds, you should plan to reach there early to enjoy lying on one of them.  You can also play golf at the Dino Park Mini Golf, located nearby, if you are not interested in lazing on the beach.

Kata Beach
Kata Beach is located next to Karon beach and the water here is sparkling blue and clear and surrounded by white sandy beaches. It is important to book your accommodation in advance to take advantage of the sun beds. You can get involved in many water activities, which include parasailing, surfing as well as jet skiing, amid other activities. Children enjoy watching the tropical fish that abound in these shallow waters.

Patong Beach is definitely the most popular of the beaches in Phuket as it offers many sporting activities. It would be in your interest to book flights to these sandy shores in Phuket to enjoy a vacation full of fun and relaxation.

Enjoyable Family Vacation in Australia


Our last holiday in Australia was a mecca to some of the most beautiful cities in the state. We visited the culture capital of Victoria and the state capital, Melbourne, which is the largest city in Australia. Melbourne is sophisticated and boasts of excellent architecture, displays of sculptures and conducts many events that are world-class.

Tourists are greeted with many restaurants and cafes when down under, and look forward to sampling the cuisine. As a connoisseur of food, I visited the Queen Victoria Market, where I was able to pick up a variety of ingredients for cooking up gourmet dishes. I enjoyed the evening at the Crown Melbourne casino, where I was astounded by the mere magnificence of the water feature that was displayed in the foyer!

The Yarra River runs through Melbourne and provides water to many vineyards in this region. We took a day trip to the Phillip Island which is a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. My children had a whale of a time sampling the chocolates and getting their energy levels up at the Paddys Chocolate Factory after being entertained for hours on end with optical illusions, puzzles and mazes at A Maze’N Things. My wife and I led stroll around the conservation area to look at the koalas, sea lions and the amazing variety of birds around.
great alpine road

We unanimously agreed that the drive down the Great Alpine Road after breakfast was a memorable treat and a great experience. This scenic road runs 308 kilometers and is well sealed and accessible throughout the year. This route starts from the North east at Wangaratta to Bairnsdale. Though we could complete this trip in about four and a half hours, we decided to make a stop and have lunch, after which we tried to catch fish while the children spent the afternoon cycling in the area.

We took in several cultural events and visited the theatre and art museums when we were there. We had scheduled our trip for November and since we were around for the first Tuesday in the month, I even placed a small wager at the racing event that is popularly known as the Melbourne Cup.

Our family voted Australia as one of the best tourist destinations in the world and confirmed that they had great fun during the entire trip. We enjoyed visiting this wine country and found several good bed and breakfast places that tourists could stay and explore the surroundings. The scenery was breathtaking, the rides enjoyable and the tours well conducted.

Go to Goa

Goa was once the destination for hippies and other counterculture devotees who wanted to drop out of the commercial world. That element still exists here, but another side of Goa has emerged. This is a side that is flashy, hip and endlessly fun. Goans enjoy the highest per capita income in India. Its well-heeled inhabitants live a luxurious lifestyle, shopping at designer retail stores for their clothing and household goods.

Goa may be the smallest state in India, but it enjoys a vibrant lifestyle. Its location on the coast gives it beautiful beaches that draw millions of tourists from around the world each year. Even travellers from within India flock here to experience firsthand the Goa slogan: Take it easy.

This is easily achieved in Goa as the entire state exhibits a rather relaxed, ‘anything goes’ sensibility. The Portuguese occupied the region for nearly 500 years and their influence can be felt throughout. Many Goans are Catholic and it is not unusual to find Hindu temples and Catholic churches standing in relatively close proximity. The Portuguese influenced the language and architecture here as well, making Goa a fascinating destination that interestingly blends two diverse cultures. The lifestyle is so laid back here that anyone can feel at home.

A variety of accommodations are available throughout the state, but most visitors are concentrated along the bustling coastline. Interesting, and quieter, lodgings can be discovered inland where travellers are less frequent. Anyone wishing to escape the crowds should head inland and avoid the coastal areas. Villas are available for rent to travellers with discriminating and luxurious taste. Although these properties tend to be expensive, they are the last word in elegance and taste, many of them coming with full staff and hundreds of amenities.

Frugal travellers will find plenty of comfortable lodgings as well, though they may not be as luxurious. Some are former hippie hideaways; others provide gorgeous views of the beach and thoughtful amenities. Generally, speaking there are plenty of options for everyone.

Goa is widely recognized for its pulsing nightlife. Rave parties have become almost commonplace and many nightclubs offer an opportunity to dance the night away. To really experience a Goan party, though, it is necessary to inquire among some of the beachside shacks. Gatherings called full moon parties – though they may happen in the middle of the day – are often kept hushed up to avoid police involvement. Essentially these are underground parties where dancing, music and good times prevail. Intoxicants are freely imbibed, even the illegal ones, generally making for a wild time. Another attraction is the Silent Noise Headphone Party where attendees dance to the music on their headphones in deference to a 10:00pm noise ban.

Goa is gorgeous by day and lively by night. It truly has something for everyone, from breathtaking landscapes to wild parties. To really get the most out of one of India’s most spectacular destinations, visitors should take advantage of American Express credit card rewards.  By using an Amex card, travellers can collect points whilst enjoying one of Asia’s great holiday destinations.

The Maldives

maldivesThis is a guest post.

Last year we traveled to the Maldives for our honeymoon and I can honestly say that it is heaven on earth. The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia and it is made up of around 1,190 coral islands, which are surrounded by warm cobalt blue waters. It is just paradise! I would definitely recommend this destination to anyone who wants a luxury holiday or romantic break.

Just imagine waking up in a luxury villa and looking out the window of your room to see translucent waters below you. That is exactly what it is like in many resorts in the Maldives. We stayed in one of the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s water villas, which was actually located in the sea. The photographs we had looked at of our villa prior to traveling were nice, but seeing and experiencing it in person is something else. We had breakfast every morning on the beach before soaking up the sun and exploring the coral reefs.

As you can imagine, a holiday in the Maldives is not cheap. You will definitely pay for peace, luxury and exclusivity, and of course the service you receive is faultless. From our experience you are more likely to spend less by booking all-inclusive packages or full board deals, which include flights, transfers, accommodation and catering. However, it is a good idea to shop around as you can still find cheap flights and accommodation by booking them separately online. We flew with British Airways, which is one of the most popular airlines offering direct flights from London Gatwick to Malé International Airport.

A holiday in the Maldives will probably be the most expensive you ever go on, but it is a once in a lifetime experience in Asia. Get your money box out and start saving now!


goa beaches

A tropical paradise located on the west coast of India, Goa offers some of the best beaches in Asia. Goa has a varied and rich past being a Portuguese colony with a large number of cathedrals and Christian architecture, and although it is India’s smallest state it boasts one of the largest Christian populations. The capital of Goa, Panaji offers a breath of local culture topped with rich ambience that makes it one of the country’s favourite tourist destinations.

Most holiday packages to Goa are tailored around beach holidays and most flights to Goa transit through Mumbai, but there are also first class coaches that travel between Goa and Mumbai. It is not a difficult flight at all and most airlines have fantastic service that makes the hours fly coming from North America.

Once in Goa, there is no shortage of what to do or places to visit. The state is renowned for its sandy beaches, water sports, easygoing lifestyle and exotic festivals. Goa also boasts a rich tropical flora and fauna habitat that preserves a wild range of exotic wildlife. You should check in advance on the seasons as Goa is much more enjoyable in the sunny summer seasons. If you are there off peak you will miss the other tourists but also the sun, which is not as fun if you are planning to work on your tan.

Goa has a large collection of hotels that range from basic to five star ones which offer superb amenities of luxurious standard. You can always find cheap flights to Goa with a lot of travel companies offering packages and flight deals.

What makes Goa stand out as a perfect holiday destination in India is that it has a diverse and rich history influenced by being a former colony of the British Empire and the Portuguese colony which embolden the spirit of the state leading to a flowering, creative and undeviating character of its people. Goa is a place with soul, history and because it’s not so well know, is an excellent place to go to discover new horizons.

Asia’s Best Beaches

Mai Khao beachAsia is home to the longest as well as some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Since Asia is such a vast continent that covers many tropical areas, it stands to reason that it would have many beautiful, sandy beaches. There are, in fact, so many beaches to choose from that coming up with a list of the best is quite difficult.

Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, Thailand, is one of the few remaining beaches that are quite and almost deserted. It is just 17km of peaceful, beachfront. In fact, it is the longest beach on Phuket, with only one resort. This is the place to go to experience some serenity. April provides some excitement however, due to the hundreds of baby sea turtles that are released into the ocean.

Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi, Malaysia is another secluded and private beach. It is a huge, secluded cove that contains the one of the longest stretches of private beach anywhere. The beach is wide with soft sand and the deep blue water is perfect for swimming. There is also only one resort, making it a perfect romantic getaway, or just a private taste of paradise.

Lombok, off the coast of Bali, Indonesia has pure white-sand beaches with clear aqua-blue water. It is so private that sometimes you may have the beach all to yourself. Considering that Lombok is just a short ride from Bali, it is a wonder that it remains so secluded.

The island of Koh Phangan, Thailand in the Southern Gulf has developed rather rapidly over the past 20 years as it’s become a tourist hotspot. The tiny island has lots to offer: fabulous beach and water perfect for swimming and snorkeling, lots of accommodations to choose from, outdoor activities, and a big party scene. If you would rather be surrounded by fellow beach goers, then this is your perfect destination.

Tioman Island may be small, but it is vast in beauty. With its lush jungles, crystal-clear streams, and dazzling white-sand beaches, you will never want to leave. It is also not as developed as some other beaches in the area, making it a dream destination for those seeking something off the beaten track. Juara Bay is as isolated as you can get – a quiet beach on the east coast, braced by three rivers leading to waterfalls in the jungle.

The beaches in Boracay, Philippines provide a laid-back atmosphere, but still draw crowds nonetheless. The 4km of sparkling sand that makes up White Beach is claimed by some to rival the beaches of the Caribbean. The water is shallow, the sand is like powder, and the shops and services surrounding it cater to every need and budget.

Last but not least, you cannot have a list of best beaches without mentioning the Maldives. The tiny island nation southwest of Sri Lanka contains many beaches that remain undisturbed. The white sand and turquoise waters make it heaven on earth. Plus the government has stress quality over quantity when it comes to its tourism, meaning that the beaches should remain somewhat undisturbed for years to come.



After traveling to Bangkok, I went down to Phuket. Phuket is the big beach resort area in Thailand. It is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Asia and is filled with big hotels, resorts, beaches, bars, restaurants. and much more. There is some great diving here and they even filmed a James Bond movie here.

After being in Bangkok for awhile, I needed a break for the beach. I’d heard a lot about this area so I figured I would test it out. Normally, I prefer more off the beaten path destinations but everyone was raving about Phuket. You can’t hate a place you’ve never been so I thought I would try it out. I looked for some good Phuket hotels and finally settled on a place just south of Patong beach. Patong beach is where all the action is and I didn’t want to be surrounded by drunks and sexpats for my whole time there so I decided to get a place just south and then travel there. Better to only visit the craziness than live in it.

I spent my time in Phuket doing what I wanted- sitting on the beach. I thought the beaches and water were very nice. But they were very crowded with people and it was hard to get some “peace and quiet.” One thing I really hated were all the hawkers trying to sell me something every five minutes. If you go to some of the beaches on the southern part of the island, it’s a bit nicer, quieter, and with less hawkers. I ended up going down there for a few days to avoid the crowds.

One of the big activities to do here is to go diving. There seems to be a dive shop on every corner here- it’s like Starbucks! It was hard picking which one was good or bad but I just used the hotel’s advice. I ended up going to a dive shop on Patong and learning how to dive. I’d never dove before so I was a bit nervous. But after my first dive, I can see why everyone loves it. I’m hooked. I didn’t have time this trip but next time I am going to get my PADI. I’ve heard that many of the Phuket accommodation booking sites do a combo where you can do a dive/hotel package so I am going to look into that. But then again, I also heard it was better to do that in Ko Tao. Thoughts?

Overall, I liked Phuket but I’m not 100% sure I’d go back. With nicer and quieter beaches elsewhere in country, Thailand has a lot more to offer.

Cambodia’s Beaches

Sihanoukville BeachYears ago, I went on a Cambodian beach vacation. You don’t often hear about the beaches of Cambodia- usually Thailand’s beautiful beaches crowd them out of the news. However, they deserve just as much if not more of the attention. While throngs of tourist visit Thai islands, Cambodia’s beaches lay empty. They are truly an undiscovered paradise. Travelers are always looking for the next big thing and I’m amazed they have yet to discover this area, not that I am complaining. I wouldn’t want this area to be like Ko Phi Phi or Phuket.

But back to when I was in Cambodia…..

Heading down south from the capital, I went to Sihanoukville. Back in the days of the Vietnam war and in the early 90s, this was a seedy place. A place where people went to find sun, beer, and prostitutes. While some of that is there, much of that has gone away to make room for the next big backpacker destination. Now the beaches are lined with bars and cheap accommodation catering to the thousands of backpackers who move through the country each day.

One thing that amazed me about the area though was despite its beauty, few people still went there. Most travelers simply stop in Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh. Though the destination is getting bigger, the beaches down in Sihanoukville are still fairly empty. You can lay in the sun all day without touts coming up to you or worrying about getting your stuff stolen. And if the few people actually there in Sihanoukville bother you, simply head down a bit further down the coast to Kep for great seafood and emptier beaches.

For a good guide to the beaches of Asia, check out “the best beaches in Asia” website. It has a good collection of off the beaten path places if you don’t feel like fighting for beach space in Thailand.