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(CNN) — With tourist arrivals expected to reach 40 million this year in Thailand , the country's most popular islands are buckling under the pressure of mass tourism. Yet the kingdom has hundreds of quieter islands, some lined by beaches with a wow factor to match any of the popularity contest winners. Others have an air of tranquility so resonating that travelers return perennially, often staying in the very same bungalows while reconnecting with small island communities. Natives of these alternative islands have managed to dodge mass travel and its pitfalls, some embracing solar power and ecotourism. Offering a smile to travelers without a sales pitch attached, they preserve their ways ... Full story

11 September