The island has very different waterfronts with light yellow sand and huge boulder.
This combination is particular before arriving at the Batu Ferringhi beach and looks real beautiful, often there are some tents in the sand because Muslim women are around, but they used to walk into the Andaman Sea with clothes anyway.
This are pretty vacation spots just having what people want on the seafront including accommodations, apartments, hotels, resorts and houses owned by retired foreigners. This is different to Thailand where they wont allow foreigners to own a piece of land.
There is quite some real estate business going on because of that. It's not the usual Thailand cheat where they tell you you can but something which is a straight lie and if you believe that (there are many doing so) you can spend a lot of money just to find out after you paid it still wont believe you, it is all only flimsy cheat.
One stuff compared is good and that is prices in booth countries are very similar on the low end for goods produced locally.