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Thailand islands that all travelers should visit on holiday

by Pancho Barranco | May 20, 2020
temple in Thai island

Thailand is usually the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a trip to Asia. The quintessential exotic destination fits all budgets and it is perfect for both backpackers and Asian luxury lovers. After spending a few days touring Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the so-called Golden Triangle, you will surely want to relax on one of the many Thai islands of paradisal beaches and crystal clear waters, one of the best things to do in Thailand

There are hundreds of islands in Thailand where you can practice all kinds of water activities such as diving, swimming, riding jet skis or windsurfing, or simply sunbathing while enjoying a good cocktail. Do not miss this guide on some of the best Thailand islands and beaches in Thailand.  

Koh Samet

This Thai island, which is located very close to Bangkok, is the perfect destination to disconnect from the bustle of the capital without having to travel too far. Most of the island is a national park, but there are a number of places for tourism.

One of the main attractions of Koh Samet are its white sandy beaches and translucent blue waters. You can choose between beaches with a calm atmosphere, such as Ao Phutsa, Ao Nuan or Ao Wai, or very lively beaches with a thousand activities to do, such as Hat Sai or Ao Hin Khok.

If you like to party, this is your place, because when night falls, you will find it. When Bangkok residents want to party, they come to Koh Samet.

Grand Pavilion Hor Kham Luang in Thailand

Koh Tao

Surrounded by islets and reefs, Koh Tao or Turtle Island, is one of the best islands in Thailand for its beauty and for being a paradise for divers. As its name suggests, here you will find sea turtles, but, in addition, if you go scuba diving or snorkelling, you will get to see grey sharks, whales, all kinds of exotic fish and incredible corals.

On the beach of Sairee you will find bungalow complexes, beach bars, bars and diving schools. It is loud and busy, but very fun. If you are looking for something more exclusive, there are hotel complexes located to the south of the jetty or you can take a trip to the mountains to breathe fresh air and enjoy the views.

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are nine small islands (similan comes from the Malay "sembila" which means nine), just an hour and a half from Khao Lak and not far from Phuket, Thailand which form a chain of postcard tropical paradises.

These islands of Thailand are part of the Mu Ko Similan National Park and only six are visited, since the other three are fully protected because they are used by turtles to lay eggs. In the remaining six it is allowed to snorkel and dive, but only in the two largest you can stay for the night: Koh Meang and Koh Similan. The latter only has one accessible beach, but it certainly deserves to be visited as it is one of the most beautiful Thailand islands in the entire Park.

Thai island with boats at sea

Koh Chang

Although it rains frequently and is somewhat mountainous, the second largest Thailand island is also one of the best islands to visit in Thailand. Kilometric beaches, jungle, forests, and a deserted and wild island environment.

The pick-ups that are swarming everywhere are in charge of transporting travellers while they travel on the only road on the island, which, with an inverted U-shape, largely runs along the coastline.

Lonely Beach is the place to visit in this Thai island. It is the backpacker area per excellence, where there is a good atmosphere with bars and live music, barbecues at dusk and the beach side cabins costing only 6 euros a night.

Ko Phi Phi

Ko Phi Phi is one of the most famous Thailand islands. Located right next to the Koh Lanta archipelago, in this island you can find one the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world: Maya Bay, one of the most photographed places in all of Thailand.

On the island you can find a lot of backpacking atmosphere, with a wide variety of places to eat and party from 6pm. In addition, you can hire day trips to visit the most impressive places in the archipelago, with countless coves accessible only by boat.

Apart from the typical excursions to get to know the rest of the islands, the Phi Phi Islands are the perfect place to go diving

The Thailand island of Ko Phi Phi

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is one of the most visited islands of Thailand and it even has its own airport. Samui means "safe paradise" in Chinese and the island certainly lives up to its name. This Thailand island offers a little bit of everything, from white sandy beaches, to jungles with waterfalls. The atmosphere is relaxed, although you have many places to go out for a drink at night.

If you want to party, go to the northeast of the island. There the northern beaches are cosmopolitan and exclusive. If you prefer to delve into Thai life, head south, you will find small fishing villages, palm groves and hidden paths that lead to secret beaches.

Koh Yai Yai

Koh Yao Yai means "the long and great island", and is just 20 minutes from Phuket and 15 from Krabi by boat. Despite its size and easy access, it is not well-known among travellers, which has allowed it to retain an essence of authenticity and rural Thailand.

There you will find Laem Had Beach, a long and virgin beach of coconut palms that on one side creates an incredible sandbank. The waters surrounding the sandbank tend to be more greenish than bluish, but it's still a place worthy of a travel magazine cover.