The Andaman is Thailand’s dream coast: one of those places that you see on a postcard which make you want to quit your job and live in flip-flops…forever. And it is stunning. Pure-white beaches of soft sand, a turquoise sea, towering limestone cliffs and jungle-covered isles extend down the Andaman Sea from the border of Myanmar to Malaysia. Phuket is the glitzy show-stealer, but head north and you'll uncover world-class dive sites, little-visited islands, and the waterfalls and caves of Phang-Nga's national parks. To the south, you can lazily island-hop down to the Malaysian border.
The catch? The Andaman Coast is no secret and its beaches are increasingly crowded with backpackers, package tourists, high-end jet-setters and everyone in between. Flashy resorts are pushing out the bamboo shacks and Thai-Rasta bars and authenticity hides largely in the backwaters now. But if you're willing to search hard, your postcard dream is still here.