Has Thailand already made its way to the top spots in your bucket list of the countries to visit in the new year? Wonderful! If not, stop! Stop right there, read, and re-evaluate. The best islands in Thailand will surely make you wish to visit the dreamy destination.
Map Of Thailand Islands
Most countries would only dream of a single splendid coastline. But such is not the case with Thailand. With a plethora of islands in Thailand that are spread across the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, deciding on which to visit can be daunting.
Which Islands In Thailand Are The Best?
Confused? Fret not! This hand picked list of the best islands in Thailand will answer all your queries. There are more than one beautiful Thai islands to match your interest. Emerald lagoons, pristine beaches, verdant peaks, and exciting water sports in Thailand: each one has its own specialty.
Discover your very own island paradise in this personally crafted list of the top islands in Thailand before you book a holiday in Thailand.
1. Phuket: For a Larger than Life experience
Ranked among the world’s most popular destinations for splendid vacations, Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea in Southern Thailand. Stunning gold sand beaches, colorful shoreline, thrilling watersports, & cosy beach resorts in Phuket make it one of the best islands in Thailand. And then there are celebrity-chef restaurants and other cosmopolitan diversions that add to the glitz quotient of the popular Thai island.
Things to do: Tourists can relax in a Thai spa, enjoy the cultural shows at Siam Niramit & Fantasea, take jungle safaris, go for snorkeling or scuba-diving, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Phuket.
Places to stay: Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, The Shore at Katathani, and Anantara Phuket Villas are some of the best places to stay in Phuket.
2. Mu Koh Ang Thong Marine Park: The Bowl of Gold
Mu Koh Ang Thong Marine Park is a group of 42 islands in Thailand. The term Mu Koh literally translates of a group of islands while Ang Thong means Bowl of Gold.
Places to visit: Beaches and tropical forests across the archipelago are the major tourist attractions in Ang Thong.
Things to do: Tourists can kayak through the hidden lagoons, munch on barbecue on an isolated island, and walk along the beautiful beaches.
Places to stay: Bualuang Angthong Hotel, Ayutthaya Retreat, Baifern Homestay, and Tony’s Bed & Breakfast are some of the stay options in Ang Thong. However, tourists can also stay in Koh Samui.
3. Koh Samui: The Original Thai Island for families, honeymooners, yoga bunnies, & ravers
With an annual footfall of over 1.5 million tourists, Koh Samui outstrips even Phuket as the undisputed king among the best islands in Thailand for couples, backpackers, ravers, & even families. While it once drew party enthusiasts with its sensational beaches, cheap huts, and escape parties; it has now emerged as a luxury destination. And the beaches in Koh Samui – such as Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, and Lipa Noi – meets one’s ideal picture of a tropical coastline.
Places to visit: Kamalaya Rainforest Spa, Lipa Noi beach, Namuang Waterfalls, Crocodile Farm, Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, and Wat Khunaram are some of the best attractions of the island.
Things to do: Tourists can dine at exotic beachfront restaurants, attend crocodile & snake shows, relax at spas, take an elephant trek from the forests, and enjoy the best of Koh Samui nightlife.
Places to stay: Four Seasons Resort in Ang Thong, W Retreat on Maenam Beach, Banyan Tree Resort in Lamai, and Tongsai Bay Resort on Choeng Mon Beach are some of the best resorts in Koh Samui.
4. Koh Pha Ngan: Where hedonists & hippies gather for Full Moon Parties
Koh Pha Ngan is one of Thailand’s best islands for nightlife. Though the destination is most popular for its rave Full Moon Parties, tourists can enjoy the beauty of its beaches & other tourist attractions and indulge in spa therapies during the day.
Places to visit: Phaeng Waterfall, Kuan Yin Chinese Temple, Wat Pho & the nearby tall tree of Dipterocapus Alatus Roxb.ex, and Khao Ra peak are the most popular tourist attractions in Koh Pha Ngan. Haad Rin’s Sunrise Beach, Bottle Beach, and Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach are the best beaches in Koh Pha Ngan.
Things to do: Take a spa therapy at the Ayurvana Spa at Santhiya Resort, go wild at the full moon parties on Haad Rin’s Sunrise Beach, or take a temple tour.
Places to stay: Suncliff Resort in Haad Rin, Santhiya Resort on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, and Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort & Spa on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach are the best resorts in Koh Pha Ngan.
Suggested Read: Full Moon Party In Thailand Is Beach Madness At Its Loudest
Popular Islands In Thailand Near Krabi
5. Mu Koh Phi Phi: For solo travelers and couples
Mu Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands in Thailand near Krabi where solo travelers pour in large numbers to relax or party on its splendid beaches. Though it is Phi Phi Don that is the largest & the only permanently inhabited island in the archipelago, it is Koh Phi Phi Lee that shot to fame after featuring in the 2000 movie “The Beach”. The recent years have seen the island group rebuild almost entirely post the Tsunami of 2004.
Places to visit: Beaches like Maya Beach, Long Beach, Monkey Bay, Laem Tong Beach, & Phak Nam Bay, Vikings Cave, and Phi Phi Viewpoint are the most popular places to visit in Phi Phi.
Islands: Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Lee, Koh Yung, Koh Mai Phai, Koh Bida Nok, Koh Pai, and Koh Bida Noi are the islands that are a part of the Phi Phi archipelago.
Things to do: Tourists can spend a day in Phi Phi island by sun-bathing on the beaches, beach & island hopping, swimming, or exploring. In the evening, one can go shopping or hang around at the bars. They can also see performances of Thai dancers juggling with fire.
Places to stay: Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, Dee Dee Beach House, Viking Natures Resort, and Sunwaree Phi Phi Resort are the best stay options in Phi Phi.
Suggested Read: 15 Best Beaches In Thailand You Need To Visit Right Now
6. Koh Lanta: For snorkeling & scuba-diving enthusiasts
A mere 30-minutes’ boat ride from the Krabi town takes you to the beautiful island of Koh Lanta Yai. There are a few other islands nearby that, together with Koh Lanta Yai, form the Lanta group of islands. Its beautiful beaches, world-class diving centres, massage parlours, sumptuous seafood, and friendly fishing villages are not to be missed.
Places to visit: Klong Dao Beach, Klong Khong Beach, Klong Nin Beach, Bamboo Beach, Waterfall Beach, Lanta Animal Welfare, Old Town, Rasta Baby bar, Oasis Yoga, and Sand Ga U village are the major tourist attractions of Koh Lanta.
Islands: The Lanta group of islands include Koh Lanta Yai (or Koh Lanta), Koh Lanta Noi, Koh Bu Bu, Koh Poh, Koh Klang, Koh Ma, and Koh Ha.
Things to do: Travelers can go island hopping, try snorkeling, go kayaking through a mangrove forest, or take a tour of the beaches & other tourist attractions of Koh Lanta.
Places to stay: Andalay Boutique Resort on Klong Nin Beach, Pimalai Resort & Spa on Ba Kantiang Bay Beach, Bamboo Bay Resort on Bamboo Beach, and Lanta Cha Da Resort on Klong Dao Beach are the best stay options in Koh Lanta.
7. Koh Kai: Chicken Island
Koh Kai, popularly known as the Chicken Island, is a part of the Poda islands in Thailand near Krabi. The island of verdant cliffs received the name of Chicken Island due to the large rock formation that resembles the head and the neck of a chicken.
Suggested Read: Get Lost Amidst The Wilderness James Bond Island
Other Popular Islands Of Thailand
8. James Bond Island: Limestone cliffs emerging from the emerald-green waters
Koh Khao Phing Kan and Koh Tapu, after featuring in the James Bond movie – The Man with the Golden Gun – in 1974, became popular to the outside world as the James Bond Island. Located in the Phang Nga Bay, these islands are limestone tower karsts that emerge from the emerald green waters. Of these, the 20 meter high Koh Tapu (literally meaning Nail Island in Thai) is the most iconic structure.
9. Koh Tao: Scuba diving paradise people like to call the Turtle Island
There are primarily two types of travelers that you’ll find on Koh Tao – those who want to do scuba diving and those who want to take a scuba diving course. Not that there isn’t anything else to do. The island boasts of a vibrant nightlife, little sandy coves, and pretty lantern-lit restaurants. But it is one of the best and – thanks to the high competition – one of the cheapest places to take diving courses. In addition to the regular diving courses, there are advanced courses like night diving, wreck diving, shark diving, and Nitrox diving.
Places to stay: Casas del Sol on Koh Tao and Nang Yuan Island Dive Resort on Nang Yuan island, just off Koh Tao, are the best places to stay here.
Planning your holiday in Thailand but confused about what to do? These Thailand travel stories help you find your best trip ever!
Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.
10. Koh Lipe: For the hopeless romantics
There are 51 islands between Thailand and Malaysia that make up the Tarutao Marine Park. Of these, Koh Lipe is the most popular destination. Its jaw-dropping beaches and views of sunrise & sunset are beyond compare.
Places to visit: Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, Adang Viewpoint, Happy Vibe Bar, Walking Street, and Royal Indian Restaurant are the must-visit attractions in Koh Lipe.
Things to do: View the beautiful sunrises & sunsets from the respective beaches, go for a boat tour around the island, and try snorkeling & scuba diving.
Places to stay: The Reef in Walking Street Area, San Pita Resort near Sunrise Beach, Bundhaya Resort on Pattaya Beach, and The Cliff Sunset Resort on Sunset Beach are some of the stay options to consider in Koh Lipe.
Lesser-Known Spectacular Islands Of Thailand
11. Mu Koh Chang Marine Park: The archipelago of 52 islands with coral reefs
12. Similan Islands: For island hopping among the 11 pristine islands in Thailand
13. Koh Si Chang: An archipelago 12 km off the Si Racha town near Pattaya
14. Koh Kut: A lesser known wonder for the enthusiasts of water sports
15. Koh Tarutao: High-rise peaks of tropical rainforest
Looking For Directions From One Island To Another?
The list of the most beautiful islands in Thailand can go on and on. But if you are yet to discover Thailand, plan a holiday in Thailand. and choose one of the above mentioned islands for a wonderful experience.
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