T.I.C.D.: Intro to the Southern Thai Andaman Sea
An out-of-the-way feel and some fabulous island hopping make Thailand's far southwest a personal favorite.
Welcome back to the Thai Island & Coastal Directory, a book-in-progress that I expect to be the most complete guide to coastal Thailand ever written in English, covering more than 800 islands. For info on how to use the T.I.C.D. and a working Table of Contents, paddle over here. Thank you for reading!
Comprising the far southwestern corner of Thailand near Malaysia, the Southern Andaman coastal zone includes the provinces of Trang and Satun, plus a few stray islands of Krabi. It has at least 145 islands and 15 notable mainland areas, and its overall tourism popularity falls into the mid level among Thailand’s seven coastal zones. This makes it a key alternative to the busier Central Andaman.
Southern Andaman: The TIQ take
I love this area as much as any other part of Thailand.
Part of the reason for such fondness is the central role that these islands played in my background as a writer. But the bigger factor, I think, is simple: the Southern Andaman hosts many phenomenal islands that can be strung together into some of the finest island-hopping trips available anywhere in the country.
Another reason why I adore this zone is the languid atmosphere that pervades most of it, even parts of the provincial capitals. As one saying goes, “Krabi is more relaxing than Phuket and Trang and Satun are more relaxing than Krabi.” If you’re into sedate Thai islands where mid- to low-level tourism exists alongside communities of Thai Muslims and Urak Lawoi sea people, then you are in the right place.
The Southern Andaman also hosts several islands that I’d put firmly into the “most beautiful in Thailand” conversation.