Island Hopping in South Thailand – Backpacking travel guide
Thailand is an amazing travel destination for traveler and backpacker all of the world. Traveling around is easy und uncomplicated, the accommodations and transport are still cheap and easy to organize. We managed to have a daily budget with no more than 20 Euros! At the end of the Thailand Island hopping blog post you will find useful information’s about the prices, transport and accommodations!
Thailand with its clear turquoise water is popular for its world best white powder sandy beaches – and so it offers to explore some of the most beautiful islands of Thailand by island hopping.
You want to do Thailand Island Hopping but you are not sure where to go?
There are more than 300 hundred islands to choose – here is the itinerary of our latest South Thailand Island hopping trip:
We had been to Bangkok for a couple of days and although this city is really cool, it was time to explore the best beaches of Thailand. For our first stop we chose Krabi, one of the most beautiful provinces in Thailand. Krabi the town itself doesn’t have any beaches, but you should stay there a night to visit the beautiful Tiger Cave Temple with its „Wonderland“ forest! We met a nice monk who was walking with us around – the forest was so calm and peaceful – an amazing experience!
Although Railay Beach is attached to the mainland of Krabi province, it’s not connected by road. Just take a long-tail boat from Krabi to Railay beach (100 baht p.p). With its limestone cliffs and the turquoise clear water, Railay is a real tropical paradise, not just for sunlovers but also for climbers. And if you walk around the peninsula for sure you will see some monkeys too!
There are 3 different beaches to explore with some nice resorts in all price classes.
After 2 nights we headed off to Koh Lanta (Minibus 400 baht p.p). We really loved Koh Lanta! It is actually a place I could imagine staying longer. It’s for sure not the most beautiful island in Thailand BUT Koh Lanta has a great vibe! Just hire a scooter and explore the island! You will find plenty of relaxing beaches to stay and enjoy some fresh coconut. If you fancy to go for a snorkeling trip, you should go to Koh Rok – on this island you will have the chance to see some huge lizards.
Next stop was Phuket, where we picked up some friends from the airport. Even there, there is a view of nice things to see, Phuket is quite busy with a vibrant nightlife but not that too amazing, so we left the next day to Koh Phi Phi.
Koh Phi Phi – Koh Phi Phi Leh
From Phuket we took the ferry to Koh Phi Phi (800 baht p.p). We stayed at beautiful Long Beach – there a few nice and price able resorts. Koh Phi Phi with its clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and fantastic party vibe is not for nothing one of Thailand’s most popular backpacker islands. Hike up to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint (ap.30 min from Ton Sai Village) – the view from the top is breath taking!
We highly recommend to visit surrounding beaches, like the Monkey Beach, and islands with a traditional long-tail boat. For sure you have to visit the Koh Phi Phi Leh Island – it’s a must see! There is the famous Maya Bay from the movie “the Beach”.
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Koh Ngai – Ko Hai
Koh Ngai is an Island where you just want to get lost. The beach is just beautiful and the island is so relaxing – there are just a handful of resorts on it – no streets, no tuk tuks, no shops – nothing to do, just relax and enjoy! We stayed in a fantastic budget tent village – the locals had been amazing there and went on a fishing trip with us!
Koh Mook – Ko Muk
When you around Koh Ngai or Koh Mook you can visit The Emerald Caves, which was believed to once be home to pirate treasures! Entering the caves was quite an adventure – the caves are completely dark and we swam 80 m until we came out to the secret beach.
Ko Bulon – Koh Bulon Leh
Wow – what an island! Koh Bulon is a postcard island – with its white sand, palm trees, and turquoise water – the most beautiful beaches ever, I think it’s still a secret escape! It’s such a paradise for beach lovers- the water is so clear, you can see fish swarms swimming around you. And on the land there are even lizard’s strolling around! Koh Bulon came quickly my favorite of all islands.
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Koh Lipe – Ko Lipe
Last but not our least island on our list. Honestly – we had big expectations on Koh Lipe, and this island didn’t disappoint us. From there you can do some snorkeling trips to visit some nice coral reefs. We have seen a wide range of colorful fishes, some clown fishes and huge Morays. Koh Lipe was our last stop at our Thailand Island hopping trip – from there we continued our journey to Malaysia – Langkawi. But it’s also possible to return to Phuket with the boat.
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PlacesOfJuma – Insider Tips Thailand
- Where to sleep: You will find a wide range of beach resorts and bungalows in each price class, in low season you will get much cheaper rates. If you want to be on the safe side you can book in advance.
- What to eat: There are a variety of restaurants on each island. Eating out in Thailand is cheap – 1,5-4,00 Euro for local food – we loved to eat Phat Thai, Green Curry and fresh seafood.
- Transport: There are lots of agencies selling bus tickets, ferry tickets, excursions and hotel rooms. Some of them can be a bit pushing, so before you book compare the prices and try to negotiate! Here you can book tickets in advanced.
- Rent a scooter: Renting a scooter is always a good choice to explore the islands. Inspect the motorbike properly before taking it and don`t forget the wheels.
- Thai Boxing: If you are interested in Thai boxing, there is a cool place for watching at Koh Phi Phi: The Reggae Bar. They have live Muay Thai fighting with professional fighters as well as tourist who fight for some drinks.
- Bargain: Prices of hotel rooms, transport tickets, excursion tickets often can be negotiable.
- Beware: Take care of your luggage, always have your valuables with you.
- Luggage: We recommend to take a backpack instead of a trolley. It’s much easier to travel around.
- Party: If you like to party you should visit Phuket. But also Loh Dalum Bay at Koh Phi Phi is well known for its nightlife.
- Krabi: Avoid Ao Nang – you will find the most beautiful beach at Railay!