Here is a selection of the best 11 islands to visit in Thailand, whether you are looking for solitude, relaxation, adventure or a party atmosphere, you will find an island for you below:
Koh Samet is very lively near the pier area with nightlife and shops, with quieter beaches as you get further away from the pier and town areas. Only a 15 minute speed boat ride away from the coast, this island is easy to get to, where you can also book fishing boat trips and have a candlelit dinner on the beach. It is becoming a little bit over-developed now and child fire jugglers can be a bit disturbing to watch. However, Ko Samet is still a fantastic island for families especially.
Aka ‘Elephant Island’ and sometimes called ‘The Beast of the East’, Ko Chang is a big island with a mountainous jungle in the heart of the island, where you can visit waterfalls, go on jungle treks or take elephant rides. You can stay at a 5 star resort or easily find cheaper accommodation, so this island suits all budgets. Lonely beach offers a backpacker vibe with many budget accommodations, whereas if you are looking to stay at a beautiful resort there are literally hundreds to choose from.
This large island off the coast of Krabi has long powdery white beaches with secluded locations, making this island an ideal place to chill out. Although it is an ideal island for just relaxing and reading a good novel, there are also plenty of activities and things to see on the island. Such as muay Thai stadiums, yoga, cooking schools as well as being an ideal island for snorkelling. This island is mainly laid back, with lots of small family run resorts and operations.
If you are looking for an island that is off of the usual tourist route, then Ko Tarutao will be an ideal choice of an island to visit. This island was the site where ‘Thailand Survivor’ was filmed. It is underdeveloped, with camping spots and some bungalows to stay at. In the past, convicted criminals were sent to this island. It is a rugged island with a mountainous central region and is rumoured to be a place where treacherous spirits dwell. This island has a very earthy, primal and mysterious beauty to it.
Koh Phra Thong
Koh Phra Thong has a luxury resort and also backpacking accommodation options, where you’ll see monkeys, turtles and kingfishers along vast stretches of beach that is still undeveloped. This island is unique in that visitors liken the landscape of the island to the savannahs of Africa, as you will see fields of long grasses and sandy white dunes. If you are looking for a secluded and tranquil atmosphere this island will be ideal.
Located further away from Ko Chang is Ko Phayam island, which is a little known island which is quiet and inexpensive. There are mid-range priced accommodation and budget accommodations to choose from. The only downside is that there are many sandflies on the island. However, the island is not overdeveloped and has only one village, with walking trails where you will hear tranquil birdsong surrounding you. This island has no ATMs, although most of the island has mobile phone signal coverage.
This large island in the Trang province is where you may be lucky enough to spot the now endangered dugong (sea cow). There are no banks or ATMs on the island so you’ll need plenty of cash to bring along. Inland you’ll find jungle covered hills, as well as areas where you’ll come across cashew trees, fruit orchards and rubber groves. This is an island well off the normal tourist track if you are looking for adventure.
Koh Bulon Lae
A very tranquil island which has beautiful flowers and butterflies, as well as being very clean and not over-developed. On this island you will feel that you have discovered your very own secret island as not many travellers visit here. Ko Bulon would be a perfect place for a romantic getaway or as a place to escape the rat race.
This rugged island that is part of the Tarutao National Park has beautiful white beaches plus excellent snorkelling areas. A great place to be if you like hiking as there are many trails where you can see some amazing waterfalls. You can either camp on the island or stay at one of the bungalows available. The main attraction on the island is the steep hiking trail up the 150 metre high Chadoe Cliff where you’ll find an excellent viewpoint.
Koh Chang Noi
Koh Chang Noi is a sleepy island peppered with rustic wooden or bamboo bungalows. The island has an arty, nature loving feel to it where you can attend yoga classes or chill out listening to some reggae. The spacious golden beaches are photogenic and often empty. On the island you will find no hospitals, clinics or ATMs, although there is a mini mart and a few places where you may find an internet connection.
Koh Pha Ngan
If you want to go somewhere with many people and a party atmosphere then Ko Pha Ngan will guarantee this. The island is home to the famous Full Moon Party and has cheap guest houses which are popular with backpackers. The Full Moon Party, which attracts thousands of people when it is held every month is the main attraction for most people, however, there is also the Half Moon Party and the Dark Moon Party if your holiday dates don’t overlap with the main Full Moon Party.