10 of the most incredible islands in Thailand
Is there anything better than an island getaway? Whether you’ll more likely be found sunning your body on the beach or hiking up a cloud-topped mountain, there’s no denying an island makes the ultimate escape. And is there any destination better to experience the perfect island than in Thailand?
Packed with hundreds of islands, Thailand has a jaw-dropping turquoise beach, cliffside hotel and award-winning ocean view restaurant at every corner. Choose from enjoying a cocktail (or a few) in Phuket to relaxing on a lounge in Koh Phi Phi, or even jungle bashing in Koh Trang; the country really does have an activity on offer for every sort of traveller. Here, we’ve rounded up Thailand’s best island haunts, so you too can envision yourself relaxing on white sand, dipping your toe in clear blue water and enjoying all that island life can offer.
Koh Phi Phi
Made famous by The Beach, Koh Phi Phi is one of the most breathtaking locations in Thailand. However, crowded beaches (The Beach’s Maya Bay has been famously closed after too many visitors) can make for a less enjoyable experience, but a visit to the island is a must. Ideal for groups, the island has a famous nightlife scene, which is certainly worth checking out once the sun goes down.
The Similan Islands
Made up of nine islands in total, the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea are an untouched paradise. White sandy beaches, picturesque coral reefs and stretches of water all to yourself, there’s a reason these islands are only accessible by boat: they’re holding out for those who really, really want to get away.
Perhaps the most famous of all the islands, Koh Samui has it all: extraordinary hotels, incredible restaurants and awe-stopping vistas. Perfect for just about every traveller, a trip to this famed Thai island is best done away from the crowds in one of the many luxury villas outside the main towns.
A paradise otherwise known as Turtle Island, Koh Tao is famous for its sandy stretches of beach and world class dive sites. Instagrammable to boot, this island is one for the adventurers — because getting the perfect shot is basically an endurance sport.
For those who want to get back to nature (and not always be sandy doing it), Koh Chang is the answer. More traditional than it is touristy, the island is a serious jungle paradise for those in the know.
Made up of many smaller islands, Koh Lanta is ideal for the laid-back traveller who also wants to experience something more. From isolated beaches to stunning natural reserves, Koh Lanta’s mystique lies in its ability to please all — backpacker or luxe traveller alike.
More remote than some of its more mainland companions, Koh Lipe is the secluded tropical paradise we’ve always dreamed about. A honeymoon favourite, the island is ripe with activities — snorkelling, diving and walking included — but a better option might just be to lie on the beach and enjoy the view.
One for the party animals and night owls, Koh Phangan’s stunning vistas may be best enjoyed at sunrise, but an afternoon walk is just as scenic, right?
Koh Si Chang
Only two hours from Bangkok, Koh Si Chang is perfect for those with a time limit. Restaurants are plentiful and the landscapes are pretty, both of which are all that matters when all you want is to relax, eat, sleep and repeat.
Notoriously stunning and very popular, Phuket is the island you must experience at least once. Packed with incredible hotels, restaurants to die over and beaches worth travelling for, Phuket might not be the quietest island in Thailand, but it lives up to its picturesque reputation.