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Thailand has some of the world's best beaches, but just following the throngs of tourists won't necessarily lead you to them. Thailand offers a mix of very developed areas with many beach resorts and pristine beaches that can make you feel like you are in uncharted territory. Khao Lak edges up against the Andaman Sea and has not yet been very developed, and features yellow sand and clear water. It features waves that could be a problem for small children. To the south of Khao Lak is Phuket Island with its famous resorts. It is the largest, most developed and most expensive of Thailand's islands. Avoid the popular and overcrowded Patong Beach, and seek out the less densely populated beaches on the northwest and southwest sides of Phuket, such as Nai Harn, Nai Thon and Mai Khao, which is so isolated that it is a safe turtle hatching area. Newly popular is Ko Phi Phi, with its turquoise waters, fine white sands and palm trees. Bypass the busy center and find more pristine and private conditions in Loh Dulum Bay. Refer to local guides for more ideas.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|