Top 10 Most Amazing Islands in Thailand

The islands in Thailand are definitely the ultimate highlight of this beautiful travel destination. Hardly any other country inspires with a more brilliant selection of absolute dream islands. Whether it’s to go snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, backpacking, partying, honeymoon or a vacation for families with children – every island in Thailand has its own advantages. Besides the world-famous Thai islands like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Phuket and Koh Lanta, there are many other island pearls to visit. Some of them are still really quiet and lonely, away from tourism with lots of hippie flair. Other islands enchant with magnificent beaches and are still cheap or offer fantastic hotels. Which island in Thailand is the best to visit and what are the real insider tips?

In this travel guide we present you the ultimate most beautiful islands in Thailand. In addition, we give you lots of recommendations and show you the best hotels and accommodations on site.

Good to know!

The Thai word Koh, often written as Ko, means island and can always be found before the island’s name.

If you are planning island hopping in Thailand, we can recommend the route from Krabi to Koh Lipe. On this trip you will find a variety of dream islands, which are also close to each other.

You can organize trips to the islands in Thailand easily and cheaply on your own. Tickets for flights, buses, trains and ferries can be found online on 12go.asia.

If you want to read more about traveling in Thailand, then take a look at our guide on the best things to do in Thailand!

General information about the Thailand islands

Hard to believe, but in the south of Thailand there are more than 500 islands and islets to discover! So it is often very difficult to choose the right one. In principle, there are 3 different regions that are ideal for a vacation: The Gulf of Thailand in the west, the Gulf of Thailand in the east and the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s west coast. Each destination has its own special charm and everywhere you will find beautiful dream islands with tropical beaches, some even really lonely and quiet and far away from mass tourism. You should only pay attention to the travel time, because it can be very different depending on the area!

 

Koh Phangan

Definitely one of the best islands to visit in Thailand is Koh Phangan. This dream island is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is part of the Samui archipelago. It became famous mainly for the Full Moon Party, which takes place once a month in the southeast of the island. Too bad actually, because this dream island has so much more to offer, which means it’s a real insider tip! Especially backpackers, dropouts and yogis, but also demanding individual travelers and luxury vacationers appreciate this island pearl with its many quiet resorts.

Hardly anywhere else in Thailand can you find a larger selection of absolute picture book beaches, where velvety soft sand, tall palm trees and huge round rocks amaze visitors. However, not only the beaches on Koh Phangan are fantastic, there are also countless interesting attractions to discover. Among them are breathtaking waterfalls, enchanting temples and magnificent viewpoints. A fantastic island for a perfect stay in Thailand!

Hotel Tips Koh Phangan Island:

  • Wooden Bungalows on the beach: In the Castaway Beach Bungalows guests will get a real Thailand feeling. Directly at the sea you can experience magical sunsets and unique beach scenery.
  • 4-Star Hotel with style: The Buri Rasa Koh Phangan inspires with super beautiful bungalows by the sea, with delicious breakfast and fair prices!

Koh Samet

Koh Samet is one of the top recommendations among the most stunning islands of Thailand. This pearl is located on the eastern gulf coast, not far from Pattaya. With a length of only 6.5 kilometers, it is relatively small, but still impresses with countless fantastic dream beaches and lush nature. Especially the idyllic, snow-white sandy beaches are uniquely beautiful, which create a magnificent backdrop with the turquoise sea and the dense deciduous forests. Other highlights include the exceptionally beautiful temples and impressive statues that are spread across the island, creating a unique ambiance.

Although Koh Samet has become a popular destination for travels from Pattaya and is therefore quite touristy, you can still find lonely dream beaches on this island, some of which you can enjoy almost all to yourself. Especially the main beach Sai Kaew Beach at the beginning of the island is lively, but the further south you go, the quieter and more tranquil the island becomes. In the great hotels and bungalows directly on the beach, especially couples, but also families with children find their perfect vacation destination.

Hotel tips Koh Samet Island:

  • Cottages on the dream beach: One of the most beautiful hotels on Koh Samet is Le Vimarn Cottages & Spa. The quiet location, the breathtaking beach and the beautiful pool area make guests love it.
  • Affordable Resort: The Samed Villa Resort is a pretty beach hotel in a prime location and the rich breakfast buffet is also delicious.

Koh Lanta

The idyllic island of Koh Lanta is certainly one of the most famous islands in Thailand. It is located in the south of the country, on the west coast of the Andaman Sea and is one of the islands that you must see and experience. Although it is no longer an insider tip, it is still a quiet destination in Thailand, which promises incomparable island feeling. Especially backpackers but also Thailand connoisseurs and travelers who are looking for something special are drawn to this dreamlike hippie island. Mass tourism is still in vain here, but on this island you can enjoy countless quiet beaches to relax and a unique flair that can hardly be described. Also the prices for hotels and accommodations in Koh Lanta are, compared to other Thai islands still relatively cheap; another reason why many appreciate this island pearl.

The island is also famous for its unique sunsets, which are best enjoyed in one of the romantic beach bars. In addition, the wonderful attractions of this island and the interesting excursion destinations in the surrounding area won’t let you get bored. Koh Lanta is part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park and therefore you can expect a lot of nature, deep jungle, caves, waterfalls and not to forget the many dreamlike, partly still really quiet beaches in Koh Lanta.

Hotel tips Koh Lanta Island:

  • Bungalows with pool: The Lanta Casa Blanca is a beautiful eco-accommodation with breathtaking wooden bungalows, fantastic pool and the best location close to Relax Beach.
  • 5-Star dream Hotel: The elegant Pimalai Resort & Spa is one of the best hotels on the island. Here you can expect pure luxury, a dreamlike complex with a brilliant pool landscape and a pampering program.

Koh Lipe

For many travelers Koh Lipe is the most beautiful island in Thailand! No wonder, because here you will find a dream island like you know it from travel magazines. Snow-white sand, almost kitschy turquoise sea colors and a colorful underwater world make Koh Lipe unique in Thailand. Thanks to the mini size of just 4 square kilometers you can walk comfortably from one dream beach to the next and theoretically swim and snorkel at a different place every day. The fantastic offer of accommodations is also great; from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels, everything is represented on Koh Lipe. Also the touristic offer with the cool walking street, beach bars and restaurants is phenomenal!

The tiny islet is located in the very south of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea close to Malaysia and is still one of the top recommendations! You won’t meet any package tourists here, but a good mix of backpackers, couples and adventure vacationers. Also for families with children, who love to travel on their own, this island is perfect!

Hotel tips Koh Lipe Island:

  • Couples Hotel: The Ten Moons Lipe is located directly on Sunrise Beach and the large coral reef directly in front of the hotel in the sea invites to snorkel!
  • Backpacker Hostel: The Bloom Café and Hostel is one of the best and cheapest hostels on the island. It is located in a central location on Walking Street and all major beaches are within easy reach.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is one of the largest islands in Thailand and a vacation is especially popular with those who travel to the Land of Smiles for the first time. Fantastic is that you can experience a lot on this island besides sun, beach and sea. On Koh Samui you can enjoy a wonderful mix of breathtaking dream beaches, beautiful temples with huge Buddha statues, tropical waterfalls, lively night markets, high mountains and jungle landscapes. Above all, the many beautiful beaches on Koh Samui are a real visitor magnet, which also attract many package tourists.

Whether package tourists, luxury vacationers, families with children, party vacations or backpackers – accommodations and hotels in Koh Samui are available in every price range and, thus, there is certainly something for everyone. Of course, when it comes to tourism much is going on on the island, but you can still find many quiet places and beaches to discover.

Hotel tips Koh Samui Island:

  • Boutique Hotel: The Rocky’s Boutique Resort is a really brilliant hotel tip for a vacation on Lamai Beach. The whole complex is a little paradise and the pool area is fantastic.
  • Backpacker Hostel: The UBOX Hostel is a perfect tip for backpackers who want to travel to this island and stay without paying lots of money. In addition, this hostel is clean, really cozy and even equipped with a pool.

Koh Jum

Koh Jum is an absolute insider tip if you are looking for a really authentic and cozy island in Thailand. It is located in the Krabi region in the south of the country. On this beautiful island pearl many guests feel set back in time, and experience a Thailand feeling “like 30 years ago”.  Koh Jum is still really quiet, with little tourism and much charm. Nevertheless, even for backpackers this island is rarely on the travel list. Too bad, because among connoisseurs Koh Jum is a real insider tip and one of the islands that you should have seen at least once in Thailand.

During a visit you can expect endless, lonely beaches with coconut palms and beautiful scenery. The locals are extremely hospitable, and you feel still really welcome as a tourist. Also the island prices are still cheap and you can find many quaint bungalows in the best location directly by the sea.

Hotel tips Koh Jum Island:

  • Budget Bungalows: Especially recommendable and in the budget price range is the Garden Home Resort. It’s a beautiful and relatively new bungalow resort with absolute feel-good character.
  • Bungalows by the sea: The Cha Cha Bungalow inspires with beautiful, rustic wooden bungalows directly by the sea. It could hardly be more romantic!

Koh Similan

A really spectacular island is definitely Koh Similan. Strictly speaking, it is an archipelago consisting of 9 small islands, one more beautiful than the other. This breathtaking archipelago is located about 60 kilometers off the coast of Khao Lak and inspires with real dream beaches and a breathtaking underwater world. Especially divers and all those who love snorkeling should definitely visit these islands. In order to protect nature, the entire archipelago has been declared Mu Ko Similan National Park and therefore you will not find any accommodations here. You can only visit this group of islands on a day trip, where snorkeling or diving is also offered.

Tip: Trips to the Koh Similan Islands start from Khao Lak or Phuket and can be booked locally or online on GetyourGuide.

Koh Mook

An absolute must-visit is the island of Koh Mook. This natural gem is located near Trang in the Andaman Sea and is a real hidden gem, especially for individual travelers. As part of the Chao Mai National Park, a large part of Koh Mook consists of jungle landscape. Breathtaking dream beaches and still a lot of untouched nature await you on a vacation. The small, quaint village of Baan Koh Mook is also really cute, where you can immerse yourself in the authentic life of the inhabitants. In addition, the island is completely car-free, which makes Koh Mook a really quiet island and gives it an extra dose of charm.

A must-see is Emerald Cave, a former pirate hideout that can only be reached by swimming through a pitch-black tunnel. Also the beaches of the island are breathtaking, especially the paradisiacal Sivalai Beach, probably one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of the country. In addition, there are some great spots around the island to go snorkeling. Sometimes you can even spot clownfish and giant starfish.

Hotel tips Koh Mook Island:

  • Dream Hotel: The Sivalai Beach Resort is located on the famous Sivalai Beach and pampers its guests with bungalows directly on the beach! Definitely a hotel for the very special island vacation!
  • Bungalows in the jungle: The Nature Hill inspires with beautiful bungalows directly in the forest. There is also a beautiful beach just a few minutes’ walk away.

Koh Ngai

Koh Ngai is another pearl of the Andaman Sea and certainly one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. It is located in the Trang region and already when you arrive by boat you cannot stop being amazed. Turquoise sea, white sand and tall palm trees conjure up an almost kitschy picture book setting. The island is tiny and therefore the perfect place to relax. While doing nothing, you lose yourself in the sound of the sea and only relaxing is the order of the day on this quiet island. If you still want to be active, grab your diving goggles, snorkel and discover the colorful underwater world in the offshore reef or go on excursions to the surrounding Trang Islands!

Especially couples and honeymooners love the island of Koh Ngai, where you can enjoy wonderful seclusion and romantic sunsets on the dream beach. Backpackers looking for a unique island feeling in Thailand are also often drawn to this pearl.

Hotel tips Koh Ngai Island:

  • Hotel in best location: The Kaimuk Thong Resort convinces with a great location directly on the most beautiful beach section. The prices are also good there.
  • Resort on a dream beach: The Mayalay Beach Resort offers dreamlike bungalows made of bamboo and palm leaves. Super location on the most beautiful part of the beach!

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