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.