Your Guide To Thailand’s Islands

Thailand has some of the world’s best islands. Each has its own personality, catering to different tastes.

Some are famous for their wild nightlife, others are known as the perfect family getaway. There are islands that offer incredible scuba diving while others have remote beaches where you can live out your beach bum fantasies.

To help you plan your paradise getaway, below is a quick guide to Thailand’s different islands.

Ko Lipe

Ko Lipe is a small island that visitors can crisscross in an hour. It has three main beaches and plenty of accommodations that range from grass huts to air-conditioned bungalows. This is your little getaway island come to life. 

Ko Lanta

Ko Lanta is a beach bum's paradise, you'll get to enjoy long stretches of beach without the crowds. It's also an important destination for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. With out-of-this-world dive sites, you'll  get to swim with manta rays and whale sharks.

Ko Samet

Tired of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok? Then head off to Ko Samet for an overnight getaway or a weekend trip.
 
The majority of the island is a national park, but it has some great white sand beaches. If you're looking for a peaceful and relaxing settings then head to Ao Noina, Ao Phutsa, Au Nuan, and Ao Wai.

Hat Sai Kaeo and Ao Hin Khok are busier. Visitors come to these beaches for the sun, sand, sea and excellent nightlife. 

Ko Samui

Ko Samui is Thailand's second largest island (located in the Gulf of Thailand) and one of its most popular destinations. It's famous for it its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and mountainous rainforests. If you're looking for your creature comforts, then you've hit the jackpot. It has lots of luxury resorts with posh spas to choose from. 

Ko Pha-Ngan

Ko Pha-Ngan is backpacker central. Young travelers arriving to the island are looking for a wild time. Every year the island holds an EDM party called "Full Moon Party", which is basically one massive rave.

What happens in Ko Pha-Ngan stays in Ko Pha-Ngan.

Ko Phi Phi

This is another party island. Which is a shame, since it has a lot of attractions that make it better suited for families and regular tourists. It has great scuba diving sites, beautiful small islands and beaches to visit (the most famous being Maya Bay) and lots of outdoor activities. 

The nighlife here can get wild. There are tons of bars, lots of young partiers getting drunk on buckets of hard liquor and nightly fire shows (pictured above). 

Ko Tarutao

This is a quite island with stunning jungles and mountain scenery. Part of a 51 island National Marine Park archipelago, you'll get to see plenty of limestone cliffs that Thailand is famous for.  You can rent campsites and bungalows near the beach for a unquiely private experience. 

Phuket

Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is Thailand's largest and most popular island.

Phuket is a very well developed, and it caters to a wide variety of tourists. From travelers looking for luxury, to families and budget travelers looking for cheap accommodations to backpackers staying at guesthouses.

Some showstoppers not to be missed in Phuket are:  Phang Nga Bay's sheer limestone cliffs (like the famous James Bond Island pictured above), world class scuba diving in the Andaman Marine Parks and island hopping around the smaller islets that surround Phuket. 

Ko Tao

Ko Tao is all about the scuba diving. This is one of the most popular (and probably cheapest) places to get your diving certification. Just be prepared, the diver traffic under water can get pretty bad. 

Ko Chang

Bordering Cambodia, Ko Chang is a new addition to the popular island circuit. It has gorgeous nature that boasts several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs, rainforests and long white sandy beaches. Even though it is now a prime tourist island, it's still quieter than Phuket and Ko Samui. 

Ready To Book Your Trip To Thailand?

Use Skyscanner to search thousands of flights for the best deals.

Agoda is a great site to find discounted rooms around the world.

Viator has biggest selection of excursions from group tours to day activities.

Thailand Travel Videos

Recommended Travel Gear



Related Posts

24 Hours In Bangkok

Normally, writing my "24 hour in .." a city posts are tough, because 24 hours is never enough. In Bangkok's case, it's perfect amount of…


Island Hopping, Binge Drinking And Playing With Fire In Ko Phi Phi

The ferry finally arrived into Ko Phi Phi. As we neared the main island we pass smaller islets that are stunningly beautiful. Their tall…


The Essential Chiang Mai Experiences

There's a reason why all travelers sing praise to Chiang Mai. It's the perfect tourist destination. It's a place that invites you to dig…


Zipling With The Flying Hanuman

I have deadly fear of heights. It's an irrational fear that I've struggled with all my life. I've frequently tried to face it head on,…


10 Reasons You Need To Visit Thailand Right Now

Thailand is simply amazing. It's a magnet for backpackers, families and the rich, all looking to escape their mundane lives. In Thailand…


Bangkok Top Attractions

I have to admit, Bangkok isn't my favorite city in Thailand. The chaos, dirtiness and unforgiving heat and humidity makes for a less than…


Off The Beaten Track In Japan

Most travelers visiting Japan follow the popular tourist circuit which takes them through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and do day trips to…


Ko Phi Phi Travel Guide

Ko Phi Phi is an archipelago in the province of Krabi. The main island (Ko Phi Phi Don) is the only island with permanent inhabitants.…


The Meoto Iwa Scam

I never intended to visit Meoto Iwa, but I was conned into going by the Japanese Tourism office. I like to think that I'm a sophisticated…


Thailand Travel Basics

Below is a primer on Thailand covering visa requirements, accommodation, food and transportation.


Top 8 Attractions In Kyoto

Kyoto is an ethereal city that's packed with over 1600 shrines and temples, countless beautiful Zen gardens and more history than you could…


Kyoto’s Hidden Gems

Kyoto is blessed with having a seemingly endless supply of temples and shrines, and yet it seems all the tourists congregate around the…