If you’re looking for a dreamy place to escape to this year, look no further than the beautiful islands of Thailand. Sure, they’re hardly a secret but Thailand’s islands are famous for a reason. Whether you’re in the mood to lay on the beach all day, hike through the hills, or party all night, there is something for everyone on these islands. With so many to choose from it can be a little daunting to narrow down your choice. To help with the decision, guest blogger Wassana Lampech shares her top five islands to visit in Thailand.
Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is one of the quietest islands in Thailand. Floating in the Phang Nga Bay, it is an isolated strip of beauty. The unspoilt shorelines are free from the crowds and rampant development that blights other, more popular, islands. If you’re looking for a place to pass the time sitting under swaying palm trees on pure white beaches, this is the island for you. Though there are fishing villages to explore when all that rest and relaxation gets a little too much (if that’s possible). If you’re looking for a slice of paradise, then Koh Yao Noi is definitely one of the best islands to visit in Thailand.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s second-largest island. Sitting in the beautiful Gulf of Thailand, it’s a traveller’s paradise that is well-populated with award-winning resorts, spas and world-famous restaurants. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained from kayaking around the nearby cliffs to taking authentic Thai cooking classes, to visiting a 12-foot-tall golden statue of Buddha. It is literally impossible to run out of things to do.
Koh Lipe is a place of pure paradise residing in the South Andaman Sea near the Malaysian border. Much less crowded than Koh Samui, it is another great secluded spot to relax all day on. Best-known as a romantic getaway, you can book couples’ massages at many of the resorts and spas here. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, be sure to take advantage of the diving and snorkelling tours on offer. It’s a great chance to explore the kaleidoscopic reefs nearby.
Phi Phi Islands
A popular filming location, you may recognise the Phi Phi Islands from the movies. It is another of the best islands to visit in Thailand, with picturesque white beaches, huge rock formations and bright turquoise waters. With plenty of things to do for the whole family, you can take the kids kayaking around the beach, sign up for a rock climbing lesson, and go on a diving tour all in one place. This is also the spot to be if you’re ready to dance the night away. The Phi Phi Islands have a vibrant nightlife complete with beach parties and swanky bars.
Last on the list, but not least, is Koh Lanta. Sitting just off the Andaman coast, it is a great place to explore the natural beauty of Thailand. You can easily take a dip on the beach and find yourself in the middle of an incredible row of coral reefs. With a giant network of underwater caves, lush jungles, and limestone cliffs, there’s an endless outdoor adventure to be had. It is a large island with lots to do, great restaurants and luxurious resorts. Go further south to enjoy some solitude on the less-crowded beaches.
When to Visit
It is best to visit Thailand’s islands between November and April when the weather is driest. After the rains of the monsoon, the interior landscapes are lush with green and there’s a cool wind that stops temperatures from getting too unbearably hot. There is also less risk of running into pesky mosquitoes. Bear in mind that this is peak season in Thailand so book early to get the accommodation you want.
Extra Tips – Island Hopping
Why spend all of your time on one island when you can hop around? Thailand’s island-hopping routes are easy to navigate if you plan ahead. Here are three popular routes that people take:
- Choose a boat route near the city of Phuket that takes you through the Andaman Sea. From there, you can hit up Koh Yao Noi and the Phi Phi Islands nearby.
- On the Gulf Coast, you can start with Koh Samui. From there, many islands are within a short distance and easy to visit for the day. A full chartered boat will take you around easily.
- If you visit Koh Lanta there are boats that run to the beautiful secluded island of Koh Lipe. It takes only a couple of hours to get there and is definitely worth the trip.
About the author: Wassana is a freelance writer, hailing from the southern part of Thailand. Like most of us, she loves travelling and especially enjoys bringing the joys of her home country to curious travellers. She currently writes for Coastal Escape and you can find her on Instagram @wasmam.