Idyllic isles further south

May 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Trang

trangWith islands like the ’Emerald Cave’, Trang offers a unique experience that is seriously off the well-trodden path. Why is it that, with the age of the Internet and all the information available on places to go in Thailand, people, when choosing a holiday destination, always select the same old places? Especially, when it’s a tropical beach they are after.

So, for people who are bored of well-trodden tourist haunts and their endless array of banana boats and beer bars, why not get off the beaten track and head to Trang province in the south of Thailand? While Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga get tourists and travellers by the bus and planeload, Trang’s coastal beaches and 47 islands remain virtually forgotten.

Natural and rare

Among all those islands is beyond a doubt one of the most breathtaking in all of Thailand: “Emerald Cave”. The island is one of only two in the world that has a huge sun-lit open-roof beach inside a cave. Be warned though, it’s a trip that requires care and planning. One can only get there and out during low tide by long-tailed boat; otherwise you would be stuck inside perched on some rock until the following morning. Trang’s other islands are known for their unspoilt beauty and are idyllic for simply sun-bathing, diving or bird-spotting (the species that has two wings and a beak). When you’ve had enough of the sun, you’ll be going home via Trang provincial town, a place not only home to former prime minister, Chuan Leekpai. Trang also has a unique breakfast cuisine found nowhere else in Thailand. One of those is Hokkien-style “dim sum”, which is dished up at local morning coffee shops (ko pii). Fortunately, you don’t even have to waste time trying to speak Thai to order, you simply eat what’s there laid on the table and pay for what you’ve eaten. So, if you’re thinking of getting off the beaten track this summer, then think of sticking Trang on your itinerary.

By Stephen Cleary
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