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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
24 | www.probussouthpacific.org travel cruise anytime, and at just about any price (to be agreed before departure, of course). To Phuket or not to Phuket? Most visitors start their coastal exploration at Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and the region’s major transport hub. Phuket’s beaches are generally crowded, and a more alluring base is the historic capital, Phuket Town, which is well connected to the island’s beaches and is home to the port. From Phuket, most visitors make a beeline to the island of Ko Phi Phi, where post-tsunami reconstruction has created a mishmash of pizza bars, Irish pubs and scuba-diving centres alongside the still beautiful beaches. If that doesn't sound like your ideal holiday destination, the delightful riverside town of Krabi is an alternative hub and well connected by air, land and sea. It offers majestic markets and mangroves, and is only 20 minutes by songthaew (open-air public truck) from the enticing beach at Ao Nang. From both At Phra Nang, there are no cafes or bars on the sand, so tourists line up in knee-deep water beside a charming long-tail decked out as a floating cafe. take a lonG-tail koh lanta: from cafes along the east coast, or Lanta Town, charter a boat to Crusoe-esque islands with names like Bu Bu. koh Phi Phi: tours from Koh Lanta showcase Phi Phi’s magnificent beaches, islands and caves, and will make you realise why Koh Lanta is a far nicer place to stay. krabi: chartered boats from the central pier weave past mangroves, caves and floating homes. PhanG nGa bay: tours of the stunning karst outcrops, such as ‘James Bond Island’, are understandably popular, and best arranged from Phang Nga town. railay: Frequent public boats from Ao Nang and Krabi speed past extraordinary rocky landscapes. walk it out koh lanta national Park: on the island’s southern tip, there’s an engrossing 90-minute nature trail and pristine beaches. krabi river: the riverside esplanade passes the pier, marina, evening food market, parks, mangroves and a floating restaurant. mai khao: part of the Sirinat National Park, Phuket’s longest beach is a perfect combination of undeveloped forest and sand. noPParat thara: connected to Ao Nang, this beach boasts food stalls, superb island views and a cove full of long-tails. Phuket town: the ‘Phuket Town Treasure Map’ highlights the region’s finest colonial and cultural attractions during an easy, half-day stroll.
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012