Any journey to the country can be made more memorable by seeing some of Thailand’s most incredible islands. With gorgeous beaches, swaying palms, and lodging near gently lapping waves, it’s a great place to relax. There is truly something for everyone along the kilometers of coastline in Thailand, whether in the western Andaman Sea or in the eastern Gulf of Thailand. Thailand is home to hundreds of islands. Thailand is home to hundreds of islands.
These are the locations that offer a full spectrum of good beaches, an abundance of tourist amenities, and a tropical island ambiance. Of course, any list of the best islands in Thailand is sure to be subjective. See which Thai island best suits you by taking a look.
The 12 best islands in Thailand
- Koh Lanta
- Koh Yao
- Koh Phi Phi
- Koh Samui
- Koh Kut
- Similan Islands
- Koh Tao
- Koh Pha Ngan
- Koh Chang
- Ko Kradan
- Koh Mook
Phuket is a great starting point for touring the other islands and can accommodate all of a traveler’s demands. Phuket’s three main neighborhoods—Patong, Kata, and Karon—are very well-liked by tourists but are not the entire island.
Visit Nai Harn beach while you’re there; it’s popular with both locals and foreigners. The longtail boats may transport you on numerous day trips to nearby, smaller islands, including Koh Hae, often known as “Coral Island,” and James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan), which was featured in The Man with the Golden Gun.
A relatively undeveloped island off the coast of Krabi with a gorgeous 27-mile shoreline, Koh Lanta can be explored on a moped. Adventurers will love the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, where opportunities for snorkeling and spotting animals are abundant. Alternatively, a boat journey to the surrounding islands of Koh Rok Nok and Rok Nai is not out of the question if you want your own slice of uninhabited paradise.
Making the most of the long journey time, which includes the two- to three-hour boat ride from Krabi and the time it takes to drive overland to your chosen destination on the island after arriving, calls for staying longer than two days on Koh Lanta (which can be anything from one hour or more).
The single mall on the island is affectionately referred to as the 7-11 by islanders, who prefer tranquil fishing towns to flashy beach clubs. Although there isn’t much to see or do, that adds to their attractiveness.
Both islands are dotted by a patchwork of rice fields and rubber plantations connected by a few paved highways and dirt roads.
Koh Phi Phi
The Phi Phi Islands, which have limestone karsts with dense jungles and breathtaking coves of golden beaches, is the epitome of exotic beauty. Phi Phi Don, the only inhabited island, has seen rapid development recently, which has somewhat diminished the island’s allure as a getaway. It also indicates that there are more tourist amenities, including dining establishments, beach bars, and retail stores. The full moon parties, which are incredibly well-liked by the backpacker crowd, are when Koh Phi Phi’s nightlife is most apparent. Both visiting Koh Phi Phi Leh, the iconic location used for The Beach, which launched the island to popularity in 2000, and scuba diving in the area around Koh Phi Phi is quite popular.
One of Thailand’s most well-known resort islands is Ko Samui, which welcomes about 1.5 million tourists annually. Koh Samui is known more for its upscale resorts, perfect for family vacations and romantic retreats, but it offers it all. Despite its massive tourism sector, the island still has thriving coconut and rubber commerce.
The middle region of the island, Khao Pom, Thailand’s second-largest island, offers a backdrop of the tropical jungle, beaches, and fishing communities. The island of Samui, as it is jokingly called, is home to an almost impenetrable mountain of jungle that beckons the most daring adventurers to try their hand at exploring the depths.
You go to the Thai island of Koh Kut to do nothing. People who love the calm and are yearning for a vibrant nightlife should hang their heads in shame and leave; this is not the place for you. On this palm-lined island, hammock living is a way of life, but when you need a break from that (is it possible to rest too much?), you may spend your leisure time kayaking and snorkeling in the ocean.
Low-lying, forested islands in the Andaman Sea make up the Similan Islands (also known as the Nine Islands). The islands, which are a part of the Mu Koh Similan National Park, are home to a wide variety of natural marvels, including strangely shaped boulders, white sand beaches, and deep woods teeming with wildlife.
Not only are these peculiar rocks dispersed throughout the chain of Similan islands. They can also be found offshore, where they have created natural reefs. The islands have some of the best scuba diving locations on Earth, thanks to these rocks and their crystal-clear water. Along with diving, popular pastimes include snorkeling, hiking, and bird viewing.
The largest island in the archipelago, Ko Similan, is an excellent site to explore other islands’ sights, including Sail Rock, Sunset Point, and Similan Viewpoint. Be aware that only campsites and wooden bungalows are available for accommodations; there are no hotels.
Koh Tao, “Turtle Thai Island,” can be the ideal destination for your next vacation if you enjoy relaxing beach days and a welcoming atmosphere. The fact that this island is among the greatest in the world for learning to scuba dive is one of the key reasons to pick it. There are a ton of operators present, along with teachers from practically every nation on earth. Various colorful water species, including turtles, call the brilliant coral reefs home. Due to the tiny size of the island and the friendliness of the inhabitants, after a few days on Koh Tao, you’ll begin to feel like a local.
Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan is a perfect Thai island for those who like a three-day beach party for their ideal vacation. This island is popular with dreadlocked tourists and hard-core partygoers because of the perfect parties on Haad Rin’s Sunrise Beach. When the island is busiest, 20,000 people may be seen partying, dancing, and having fun on the white sands beneath a full moon. There are half-moon and black-moon parties in the weeks in between, and there is action every night of the week at the cocktail bars and the island’s beach, so don’t worry if you can’t make it at the correct time of the month.
The difficulty of getting to Koh Chang, one of Thailand’s most remote islands, has contributed to the preservation of its natural beauty and laid-back vibe. It is also a sizable island (second only to Phuket in terms of size), yet it only receives a small portion of the tourists that visit its more well-known sibling. It is more rugged than most Thai islands due to the steep topography, making exploration more difficult and intriguing. On Koh Chang, numerous beaches make it simple to locate your sliver of sand. You can find several beautiful waterfalls and temples on inland.
Ko Kradan is among the most stunning islands in Trang, according to the Thai tourism agency. Ko Kradan, one of Thailand’s larger islands, lacks a village and appropriate roads; instead, it is covered in Hat Chao Mai National Park’s lush vegetation on all sides and beach resort after blissful beach resort on the other.
A lengthy, white-sand stretch with crystal-clear water is what the main beach promises. Amazing vistas of limestone karsts and a beautiful coral reef may be seen from here. Ko Kradan Island offers very few activities, yet that is part of its appeal. Visitors flock here to unwind and savor the allure of the beach.
Spend your days relaxing on the beach, sipping cocktails while you sunbathe, or, if you’re feeling more active, kayaking the entire island. Soak the route through the jungle in the evenings to reach Chonglom Bay Beach and take in some of the best sunsets the island has to offer.
Koh Mook is a sizable island with stretches of white sand beaches to the east and a hilly west shore. The beaches here are tranquil and restful because the area has remained off the tourist map and still only has a few resorts and guesthouses. Simply unwind on the stunning beaches or explore the island during your free time. You must see Emerald Cave but get there early to beat the crowds of day visitors. Visit Charlie’s Beach to have a beverage while watching the sun set into the water. We adore the Sivalai Beach Resort, a charming little inn on Koh Mook’s flawless white dunes.