Thailand's world-famous attractions have been well documented on television, are used as backdrops in several Hollywood movies and crop up again and again in modern fiction. Still, to witness the Grand Palace in person or to watch a Railey Beach sunset or even to approach Phi Phi Don for the first time is guaranteed to send a shiver up the spine of even a hardened traveller and the frisson of passing by a limestone monolith in Phang Nga Bay is unforgettable.