Phuket is famous as a crowded beach destination, but the island not only boasts less crowded beaches but also beaches so secluded they don’t even have official names. In this post, I will show you two small beaches that, I believe, have to be the most secret or at least the most unknown in Phuket. Both beaches are located within 500 hundred meters on Phuket’s southern coast (see map further down) in an area that has managed to retain most of its original character. While the first beach is close to empty, the second has a little activity.
Unnamed Beach #1
Located on the east side of Erawan National Park in Kanchanaburi, the Erawan Waterfall is the most famous multi-level waterfall in Thailand and a place my wife and I have long wanted to visit. With this in mind, my expectations were high as we hit the falls last month. But although it was not bad, my expectations were not quite fulfilled.
We went here on a weekend which turned out to be a mistake as it was overcrowded with locals picnicking and swimming. And sometimes places simply look better in pictures than in real life; Erawan Waterfall is a place that has been beautifully captured by skillful photographers from all over the world. But it sure is a natural wonder, and if this were just a random place somewhere without the crowd, I would be more inclined to rejoice.
Also, I do believe that coming here early on a weekday after the rainy season around November and December would make a huge difference. Below is our visit in pictures.
Inspired by the biblical Mount Sinai in Egypt, Z9 (Zinine) Resort in Kanchanaburi similarly want to present the peaceful shelter with the philosophy: Recharge your life energy, renew your spirit. And that is what this place is all about — getting away from it all for a weekend and just enjoy the calm surroundings.
Z9 Resort is a floating resort located in a remote area at Srinakarin Lake’s southern end 20 km north of Erawan National Park, and we decided to stay here with the aim of visiting the beautiful Erawan Waterfall the next morning. We went here with our friends from Bangkok, not only because it’s a tradition to meet once a year, but also to celebrate that two of them are getting married in May.
Completed its unique design building in 2017, awarded for its hospitality in 2018, and known for being eco-friendly, Z9 Resort is really something else!
Below are some of the pictures I took during our stay in early March.
Khanom is a quiet, yet beautiful coastal town in Thailand’s southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. With sandy beaches, lots of exotic coconut palms and rare pink dolphins swimming just off the coast, this hidden gem could be the next big thing in Thailand. My wife and I brought the whole family to stay overnight one night at the beautiful Nadan Beach with the aim of seeing those pink dolphins the next morning.
The Ancient City or Muang Boran is one of the largest open-air museums in the world featuring replicas of Thailand’s most historic buildings from different kingdoms such as Lanna, Ayutthaya, and Rattanakosin. While most of the buildings have been scaled down to about one-third of the originals, some structures are life-size replicas.
The Ancient City was created by multi-millionaire Lek Viriyaphant (passed away in 2000), who also created the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan and the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya. Founded in 1963, it’s quite remarkable how unknown this park is — at least I didn’t know about this place until recently when I saw some cool pictures on Instagram.
Phatthalung southeast of Krabi is quite an unknown province to foreign tourists but a popular destination among Thai people. Located between Songkhla Lake to the east and the mountains to the west, Phattalung is an excellent destination to see some of the country’s natural beauty without the massive crowds. The big attraction is the Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve in Khuan Khanun which is a protected freshwater wetland with millions of pink lotus flowers.
Located near the town of Kanchanaburi in Thailand, the lush and tropical setting around the rail bridge on Khwae Yai River makes for a beautiful location in contrast to the horrible history which took place here during WWII. Estimated 100,000 people died during terrible circumstances when the Japanese forced Asian slave labors and prisoners of war — most of them British, Dutch and Australian — to build the Thai-Burma Railway, a part of which is the bridge.
The bridge made world-famous by the 1957 movie The Bridge on the River Kwai, and although the movie was filmed at another bridge in Sri Lanka, the real one on Khwae Yai River has become a major tourist attraction and a symbol for the notorious railway.
The history of the ‘Death Railway,’ as the Thai-Burma Railway is called is also depicted in the highly successful film The Railway Man from 2013 starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which has been selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) unique as a cultural, historical or natural site that shows “outstanding universal value” and is legally protected by international treaties. There are currently five World Heritage Sites in Thailand and six other sites on the tentative list considered for nomination. Out of the 11 sites listed below, we have visited three (those with a checkmark), meaning we have lots of interesting places yet to explore.
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
1. Ayutthaya Historical Park ✓