Southern Thailand is all about island life. Stretching from just south of Bangkok down to the Malaysia border, this region of Thailand is home to hundreds of islands scattered through the glittering Andaman Sea and the gorgeous Gulf of Thailand. You’ll find many of the country’s most well-known resorts here, including Krabi, Phuket, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Tao and Ko Samui.
It’s hard not be dazzled by the picture-perfect beaches and azure bays in the South’s islands, with each having its own individual charm. Koh Phangan is best known for its full moon parties, Koh Phi Phi is instantly recognisable from the 2000 movie The Beach, and Koh Samui is loved by backpackers for its lively nightlife. On the mainland, provinces including Krabi and Khao Lak are home to some of Thailand's most spectacular scenery, with a tapestry of tropical rainforests, towering limestone karsts, scenic waterfalls and high mountain peaks.
There are international schools across Southern Thailand, predominantly in Phuket, Krabi, Songkhla and Surat Thani. Phuket is Thailand’s largest and most popular island, but there are also small expat communities in other parts of the South including the up-and-coming Rayong. Life in the South is certainly quieter and more low-key than in the North, and with some of Thailand’s most famed beaches on your doorstep it can feel like you’re on a permanent holiday.
The region is well-connected with Bangkok by railway as well as a major highway, and it has five international airports.