Did you know that Thailand is home to a whopping 1430 islands? Between them are some of the most beautiful ones in the world. White sands, swaying palm trees, rustic beach shacks, the best full moon parties, amazing diving… there is something for everyone. Each island is distinct from the next, with its very own characteristics, and that is exactly what makes island hopping in Thailand so unique! But with so many islands to choose from it can be hard to decide which one to visit. That’s why we’ll give you a list with some of the most amazing islands to visit.
Koh Kood (also known as Koh Kut) is our all time favorite island in Thailand. It’s not really located in the area where most people go to the islands but is tucked away in the far east of Thailand, very close to the Cambodian border, together with Koh Chang and Koh Mak. Koh Kood is definitely the pearl of these three islands, with swaying palm trees, some of the whitest sandy beaches of Thailand, beautiful nature and impressive waterfalls. It’s actually an all-in-one package with everything you need in a tropical destination. The island is still relatively unknown which makes it wonderfully quiet, so you can still really enjoy the unspoilt nature of this bounty island.
Koh Phi Phi
Even though Koh Phi Phi is probably one of the most touristic destinations in Thailand, it is downright amazing! Think of a perfect tropical island and you’ll see the Phi Phi archipelago. The islands are pure paradise, offering cliffs with the most epic views, thick jungle and the most amazing white sandy beaches. Koh Phi Phi Don is the largest island and the place where you’ll most likely find your accommodation. It’s also the island to go for parties with lots of buckets till the early hours. Koh Phi Phi Leh has the biggest highlight of the archipelago, Maya Bay, which is featured in the movie ‘The Beach’. For us, the beach seemed a bit like a tourist trap but it was still gorgeous nonetheless. Don’t forget to also explore the underwater world around Koh Phi Phi because this is one of the best sites in the world!
Koh Lipe is a small island located in the south of Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. It’s also called the Maldives of Thailand and for good reason! It has the most stunning beaches and crystal-clear water that lends for the best diving and snorkeling adventures. The charm of the island is that it’s so small that there are no cars or bikes, so it’s quiet, which makes for a perfect holiday!
Koh Tao (turtle island) is fast becoming a popular destination, mainly for scuba diving. While the beaches of Koh Tao are beautiful and the jungle is worth exploring, the island’s true beauty lies underneath the surface. It’s here where you find vibrant coral reefs that are home to colorful sea creatures, including turtles, hence the name. There are even submerged statues in the water and there are a few shipwrecks. This is the island to get your diving certificate but also the island to really feel at home thanks to the laid-back atmosphere and warmth of the locals.
Koh Lanta is the perfect mix of mountains, jungle, caves and beautiful beaches with amazing sunsets. The island offers almost everything you are looking for, which makes it a perfect destination. There are 9 different beaches for you to enjoy, but exploring Koh Lanta’s National Park is also a must. You can do this by foot on one of the many hiking trails, which makes this island also perfect for the more adventurous spirits!
The Similan Islands are a group of islands located in the Andaman Sea, that belong to the Similan Islands Marine National Park. They are limited in terms of facilities and there are only two islands you can stay on but if you are looking for beautiful beaches and very good diving, then they are well worth the effort to get there. Only accessible between October and May, the islands take about 1.5 hours to get to by speedboat from Phuket. But once you are finally there, it’s pure paradise! Uniquely shaped boulders, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters with the most impressive marine life are what makes these islands so special. The islands are even touted very often as one of the best places for scuba diving and snorkeling in the world!
Koh Pha Ngan
Known for being Thailand’s main party island, with its famous full moon party, Koh Pha Ngan is especially a must-visit for backpackers. There’s also half moon and black moon parties and actually late-night beach parties every day that involves fire dancers, lots of neon, glowsticks and buckets of alcohol. These parties can get really crazy but still, they are just too good to be missed. But there’s more to Koh Pha Ngan than partying! The island has plenty of natural wonders, with lush jungle, white sand beaches, gorgeous lookout points and beautiful waterfalls. So if you can get away from the parties then please explore the island as well!
Koh Samui is a perfect island to get a taste of island life in Thailand. It’s a pretty touristy island but because of that, it offers excellent facilities, luxury resorts and spas, delicious restaurants and even some large shopping malls. Yoga retreats and spa treatments are very popular on the island, with Thai massages, cleansing fasts, chakra-balancing treatments and much more. If you’re not a fan of these tourist spots, then the island is also home to stunning beaches with lots of palm trees, wild rainforest and more gorgeous nature. Also, not only luxury travelers come to the island, it’s still a great place for backpackers as well. Everything is just very easy on Koh Samui, which can also sometimes be pleasant on a holiday. It is even home to its own international airport, so there’s no excuse to skip Koh Samui!
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