The view from the top of Koh Phi Phi, an island in north west Thailand, of course does not tell the whole story. Even at the lower elevations it is quite a nice island. I cannot believe the number of people who take ferry boats from the mainland to inundate the island each day. On Phi Phi, there are backpacker rooms and very expensive resorts to stay
in. For the most part, I would say it is quite the party town. It is not my favorite place for a vacation though. My top pick would go to Playa Conchal on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It is a Malia operated hotel meaning, the freestanding bungalows are very nice and very expensive. There are less expensive places, on the beach, to stay in the area. But at Playa Conchal they have the largest swimming pool in central and south America. You can swim from oasis to oasis for yet another pina colada. Plus, Mt. Arenal, an active volcano is a good day trip from Playa Conchal, horseback riding on the beach, rain forest trips and great bill fishing off the white beach. Eastern Fiji, cruising on a big old wooden tourist sailboat is another top pick. Fiji has waterfalls, clear water on the reefs, the nicest natives in all the Pacific. Paradisio in the Dominican Republic is a great spot. It is an all inclusive and very importantly they have the beach toys, wind surfers, Hobi-cats etc. on the beach at no extra charge and lots of entertainment at night. Club Me does a good job. Club Med “Columbus Isle” which is actually the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas, where Columbus first landed. They have more than beach toys, SCUBA in clear water, sailboat races, entertainment in the evenings a lot of activities included in the price. Who wants to go on an expensive vacation and just lay on a beach? There needs to be options. Club Med in the Turks & Caicos, which is in the southeastern Bahamas, is another good one. If someone from the U.S. really wanted to go on vacation to Thailand, I would suggest the island of Koh Chang (Island Elephant) in the Gulf of Thailand. The ocean water is not clear for snorkeling but good for swimming. On land they have the tourist elephants, at least 4 waterfalls, one of which you will most likely have to yourself via motorcycle and trips to nearby islands, the party scene or the more quiet out of the way places to stay.