In southeast Asia, there sits this beautiful tropical country Thailand. Blessed by Heaven, the land of Buddha has a good number of islands and, of course, so many beautiful beaches. With so many options available, it’s hard to decide where to go and to visit all of them in one go is next to impossible. Islands of Thailand literally have everything to offer you that you could possibly ask on a beach holiday. Either you want to paint your body with neon paints and get lost in the crowd of thousands grooving to the most upbeat music, or you want to dive deep in the water, watch coral reefs and sea life, and do some other epic thrilling activities. Or if you are one of those who would like to sip refreshing drinks, get some tanned skin, practice some yoga classes and try the yummiest authentic Thai food; you will get it all. The islands of Thailand will make a gateway for you to another romantic world, and trust me; you won’t want to come back.
Thailand has hundreds of islands in both the Andaman sea as well as the Gulf of Thailand. South of the capital Bangkok, you have hundreds of various islands to head to for your kind of vacation. There lie Krabi, Phuket, and Phi Phi islands by the side of the Andaman Sea, whereas you will find Koh Tao, Koh Samui etc. in the Gulf of Thailand.
Islands of Thailand in the Andaman Coast
The tropical coast of the Andaman sea offers you warm ocean water filled with colourful sea life and the seashores best for your youtube channel. White sea sand and bright sun to keep you the happiest and yummiest flavourful food to keep your taste buds satisfied, Andaman will keep you glued. Let’s check the list of some most incredible spots for you.
One of the most popular tourist spots of Thailand, Phuket is a tourist hub with super fine food, the swankiest hotels, and many water activities. Being the largest island in Thailand, it has its own mountain range in the island’s west from the north to the south. If you are someone who will enjoy the hustle-bustle of a foreign land and accessible shops and malls, with lots of water activities and other sports like rock climbing etc., Phuket should be on your itinerary.
- Things to Do: Diving, Snorkelling, Swimming, Sightseeing, Hiking, Boat Tours, Shopping, Chilling, Cultural Activities, Exploring Thai Food
- How to Reach: Take a flight to Phuket from Bangkok or India directly. Direct Air-conditioned bus from Bangkok to Phuket
James Bond Island
Ko Khao Phing Kan, popularly known as James Bond Island, is located in northeast Phuket. Celebrated by tourists worldwide, Koh Khao Phing Kan gained popularity after a feature in the James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun. Famous as James Bond Island since then, it welcomes you with the rock pinnacle limestone cliffs. The preserved area of the Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park is flooded with abundant opportunities to click timeless pictures and offers several activities like swimming, snorkelling, sightseeing etc. If you are planning to visit Phuket, this island has to be on your itinerary list. Make sure you post your pictures with the backdrop of those famous rock cliffs.
- Things to Do: Sightseeing, Swimming, Snorkelling, Diving
- How to Reach: Reach to Phuket; Take a ferry or a longtail boat from Phuket or Phang Nga Bay
Railay or Rai Leh, is actually a small peninsula between Ao Nang and Krabi. Two major divisions of the area are West Railay and East Railay. East Railey is the port if you are riding a boat from Krabi. As you enter here, you will be welcomed by the lush green tropical mangrove trees. On the other hand, West Railay is the primary destination for beach lovers. This is where your boat ride will end if you are coming from Ao Nang. Accentuated by tall limestone cliffs on both sides, Western Railey presets a cluster of shops and restaurants in the interiors of the island. The cliffs entice the rock climber tourists and people interested in Kayaking and hiking. Although if you want to chill at the beachside with a lesser crowd around, at the southern corner of the peninsula, Phra Nang waits for you. The view of clear waters and cliff stones is soothing for a laidback time.
- Things to Do: Kayaking, Rock Climbing
- How to Reach: You can take ferries from AoNang and Krabi. Boats and Ferries are also available from Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta
Phi Phi Islands
Mu Ko Phiphi, popularly known as Phi Phi islands, are a group of islands between Phuket and the Straits of Malacca. The islands lie under Krabi Province and consist of multiple islands, Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh and some other islands. Phi Phi Don, the largest one, is one of the most beautiful islands of Thailand, which offers a breathtaking view of tall limestone cliffs and fine soft sand beaches with the hidden cave beaches along with stunning underwater coral gardens making it a perfect spot for scuba diving, snorkelling and such water activities. Phi Phi Leh is the second largest island of this island group and is entirely uninhabited, but you can visit here and witness the beautiful hues of turquoise waters with the set of rocky limestone cliffs. The shallow water bays make it perfect for shallow snorkelling and safe swimming. Along with this you are suggested to tick off Maya Bay, which acquired fame after being a feature location in the Leonardi DiCaprio film The Beach. Visit Bamboo islands, Khai Island and Leh National Park. Phi Phi has many activities like Kayaking, rock climbing, fishing etc. After long hours of having fun, you can find many options to relax yourself with an authentic Thai massage and grab some deliciously cooked Thai meals.
- Things to Do: Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Sailing, Rock climbing, Swimming, Relaxing, Taking a Massage, Enjoy Thai Food, Boat Ride, Sightseeing, Visit Cave Beaches.
- How to Reach: Take a flight/train to Phuket from Bangkok. From Phuket, you can take a ferry. If coming from Krabi, Take a Ferry.
If you are someone who keeps expectations high and not easy to please, Koh Lipe will seduce you with its beauty. Located in the Andaman sea, Koh Lipe is a small island in the Adang-Rawi Archipelago. You will find clear water with turquoise water, soft white sand on the beaches, the best Thai seafood and inexpensive but fantastic massage places. Visit Tarutao National Marine Park; it would be best if you tried stunning sea diving and snorkelling for an underwater experience. If you are a loner wolf and want some thrilling adventure, take that kayak and leave into the sea. It is a perfect getaway to enjoy tropical beachside life and forget everything else.
- Things to Do: Kayaking, Snorkelling, Diving, Shopping and Relaxing
- How to Reach: Take a flight/Train/Bus from Bangkok to Hat Yai, then van/bus to the pier and finally a ferry to Koh Lipe.
Koh Lanta is a group of tiny islands and two bigger islands called Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai. Situated close to the coast of Krabi, Koh Lanta has the cleanest beaches of Thailand. Baan Saladan village by the coast is where most ferries and taxis arrive. Here you will find the utilities, rental outlets, shops etc. The south end of the island Koh Lanta has an undiscovered palace, Kantiang beach, with few tourists. This beach is a perfect spot for snorkelling. Soak some sun and sip some chilled beer under the shade of palm palapas by the beach. Another gem on this island is Long Beach. With the best of sunsets, it is perfect for couples and families as many tourists choose to re-visit this beach. Not only orange painted sunsets, but this island can also offer you the best scuba diving spots. According to many, Koh Lanta brings you the most spectacular Scuba diving in Thailand. If you land on this island of Thailand, you should definitely experience an unforgettable underwater experience.
- Things to Do: Kayaking,, Diving, Shopping, Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Eat Thai Cuisines, Relaxing and Watching Beautiful Sunsets
- How to Reach: Take a flight from Krabi/Phuket/Trang Airport to Koh Lanta. Or Book a private or public minivan from Krabi to Koh Lanta
The Similan Islands is an archipelago in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand. This island is nearly 80 km northwest of Phuket and has the best beach destination in Thailand for yachties and boat tours. You come across geographical formations lying low, covered with deep green thick jungle. With the most favourable conditions for coral growth, you can watch the coral gardens of more than 200 species beneath the water level. Surrounded by gum trees, bamboo and jackfruit trees, this place is inhabited by monkeys, huge langurs and different species of birds who would not stop singing songs to you. Plan to come to Similan Islands if you want to have long beachside walks, soak yourself in low waters, absorb some vitamins, and snorkel down the sea.
- Things to Do: Diving, Snorkelling, Sailing and Cruising
- How to Reach: Take a boat from Phuket or Khao Lak. Take a bus to Khao Lak and take a boat from there.
Koh Poda, a tiny fragment of Poday archipelago, comes under the Krabi province, and it is utterly heavenly. If you want to teleport to some other world where there is nothing but just you and nature, you can’t miss this little piece of paradise fallen on earth. The island is a part of Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park, and you have to pay nearly 400bhat at the entry. Although, majority of Thailand beaches have beautiful beaches and clear water, but this place keeps the claim of being the most pristine of the island that lines the coast. What makes this place close to Eden garden? You will not see huge crowds here, so you can literally feel like you have the beach up to yourself. Not a soul near you to disturb you. If you plan to sit on a rock, soak your feet in the water and get some vitamins while soaking in the sun, a bunch of tiny beautiful fish will welcome you to the island. Grab some delicious tangy Thai food and come to the beach where the fantastic view of the limestone cliff waits for you. The most transparent water with those coral reefs brings an excellent snorkelling experience. The sound of the sea waves will take you to the meditative state that you will attain Nirvana. Just close your eyes and breathe.
- Things to Do: Snorkelling, Eat Yummy Food, Relax at the beach.
- How to Reach: Take a Bus or cab from Karbi can be taken to Ao Nang; A speedboat or a longtail boat from Ao Nang.
Koh Muk or Koh Mook is a beautiful tiny island in the southern region of the Andaman coast, Thailand. Dazzled by the bright sun and turquoise hues of the water, this island is purely a blissful place. Muk or Mook is a Thai word translated to “Pearl”, which means Pearl Island, and you will churn out some priceless eternal moments on this island, just like a pearl. Apart from the signature blues and beaches, this island of Thailand brings you another adventure of Morakot Cave, also addressed as Emerald Cave. The fantastic cave is one of the main tourist attractions on this beautiful island. Once you are done exploring the cave, the azures of Koh Muk wait for you. So put the gear on and snorkel around the sea. If you are in the mood to relax, you can visit Farang beach and Charlie beach. These are the nice spots to chill and relax with the typical beach holiday vibe.
- Things to Do: Snorkelling, Explore Morakot Cave and Relax by the Beach
- How to Reach: Reach Trang, Flights from Bangkok to Trang are available; Take a Minibus and a Boat, the bus will drop you at the nearest jetty and a boat to the Farang Beach of Koh Muk.
Islands of Thailand in The Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand is on the southeast side of Thailand, where the main rivers reach the seawater making it look sea-green. The Samui archipelago consists of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Angthong Marine Park. If you are a backpacker, or even a couple looking for a gateway to a secluded place, you should pick these and put them on your itinerary.
Koh Samui is the best island in Thailand if you are travelling to Thailand for the first time or on a honeymoon. Embellished with the palm fringes and coconut groves by the coast, dense mountainous rainforest, this island holds marvellous sceneries and flourished marine life too. Initially, it used to be a rustic place with cheap huts, but now it has become a well-known beaching spot equipped with excellent infrastructure and the finest luxury resort on the island. Inholding many luxury and fine spas, the 12m-tall golden Big Buddha statue offers enough things to do in Thailand for couples. Popular among newlywed couples as a honeymoon spot, this island can bring you some irreplaceable memories for a lifetime. You can find an accommodation representing classic Thai architecture for the most authentic vibe of Thailand. You will come across some retreats to learn yoga. If you are in the mood to get some adrenaline rush, You can go Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Kitesurfing. As well as you can do other sports like go-karting, off-roading, paragliding, shooting, ziplining etc. If you look for a calm excursion, take an elephant ride, watch the crocodile show, visit the Buddha temple and the popular statue, the Secret Buddha garden. If you feel a bit goofy in the evening, attend the Ladyboy Cabaret Show.
- Things to Do: Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Paragliding, Go Karting, Ziplining, Off-Roading, Swimming, Elephant Trekking, Sight-Seeing, Watching Cultural Shows, Spa, Relaxing and Dining.
- How to Reach: If you are in Bangkok, take a flight/ train/ bus to Surat Thani, and from Surat Thani, you can easily get a ferry.
Also called ‘Samui’s Little Sister’, Koh Phangan is famous for its craziest full moon beach parties. Bundled with hiking trails, limestone caves, sky-tall cliffs, palm jungles, coral reefs, white-sand beaches, Koh Phangan will bring out the most romantic evenings alive. With thousands of tourists coming down to the island for beach parties at Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan offers serene and some of the most beautiful and the best beaches of Thailand. Go for a hike and encounter Bottle beach or snorkel down the sea. Kayaking and scuba dive is also enjoyed by many. Don’t miss the things like exploring street food, visiting temples, and getting a Thai massage. If you plan to visit around the full moon party, go and groove your body at the Haad Rin Beach with thousands of people coming from the entire world. But don’t worry if you can’t match it with the moon. Every night, every weekend, you will find parties in Koh Phangan.
- Things to Do: Snorkelling, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Party and Chill
- How to Reach: Take a Flight/ train/ bus to Surat Thani, and from Surat Thani, a minibus to Donsak pier and from there, you can quickly get a ferry.
Koh Tao island in Thailand is a part of the Chumphon Archipelago and lies on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao, which means ‘Turtle Island’, justifies its name by providing shelter to sea turtles on its beaches. Travelled less than Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Koh Tao is becoming popular among young backpacker tourists. Being one of the best scuba diving spots in Thailand, Koh Tao also offers a ravishing underwater life, including blazing bright coral reefs, other sea creatures and, of course including sea turtles, which makes it great for snorkelling too. Hiking, rock climbing and bouldering activities are also enjoyed by tourists very much. The beautiful white-sand beaches and pristine blue water make it a lovely spot for beach activities. If you land at this godly piece of earth, make sure you visit Sairee beach, Mango Viewpoint and John-Suwan Viewpoint and take a dive underwater and say “Hello” to those hawksbills
- Things to Do: Scuba diving, Snorkelling, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Bouldering, Sightseeing
- How to Reach: If coming from Bangkok, Take a flight to Surat Thani/ Samui/ Chumphon and then take a ferry to Koh Tao. Train and Bus options are also available from Bangkok to Chumphon. Ferries from Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are also available.
Being one of the largest islands in Thailand, Koh Chang, which means ‘Elephant Island’, derives its name from its elephant-shaped headland. Along with the presence of elephants, the mountainous island has the densest and steep rainforests. If you like to take walks in nature and be surrounded by natural bright hues, you will like this island of Thailand a lot. Since it is a part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, where you will find preserved hiking trails and lovely waterfalls, it is a great spot for solo backpackers, groups and couples. The coastline stippled with beautiful beaches offers many spots for water activities like Kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing etc. You can also enjoy zorbing, elephant trekking and zip-lining etc. If you like to do bonfires and camping, you can also go to the forests and camp for a night or two, apart from this you will find cookery schools here. You may try your hands on Thai culinary skills and make your favourite Thai curries when you go back home.
- Things to Do: Scuba diving, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Sailing, Trekking, Hiking, Camping, Cookery Class, Zorbing
- How to Reach: From Bangkok, Take a Flight to Trat Airport and from Trat, take a ferry to Koh Chang. Or Take a bus from Bangkok to Laem Ngop and then a ferry to Koh Chang.
Aru Prakash is a content professional who creates SEO friendly content for advertising and marketing purposes. She believes in writing content that the masses can easily absorb and aspires to write creative lyrics, fictional stories, series, and scripts. Apart from being a curious nerd, she is passionate about music and films. She is generally glued to a book, her piano or home theatre on weekends.