The Best Islands in Thailand
31 Aug 2018
Thailand is a tropical paradise with beautiful islands and white sandy beaches, it truly offers bliss to any traveler looking to get away from a busy and fast-paced life. Thailand has so much to offer for anyone looking for relaxation, rejuvenation, culture or adventure.
1. Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is located in the Satun Province. It’s a small island in the Andaman Sea and part of the Tarutao National Marine Park. With its calm waters and rich marine life that can be viewed not too far from the beach, Koh Lipe is an ideal destination for snorkeling. Visitors who want to explore the underwater paradise more can go scuba diving.
The Low ‘rainy’ season, is from May to November. You can save up to 60% on accommodation during this time. High season is from November to May, while the peak season is from December to February. Thailand celebrates many holidays during high season, which makes it the best time to really experience Thai culture. Don’t be too put off by the rain though – it can pour for an hour or two in the afternoon then be fine again. The weather is still beautiful and warm and you can see some amazing lightning at night.
2. The Similans
The Similans, are located in the Phang Nga Province and composed of nine islands – about 50km from Khao Lak. It’s a very famous dive spot and has featured as one of the top ten dive destinations by the National Geographic Society. The Similan Islands is closed from 15 May to 1 November every year. The weather can be rough around this time and it’s illegal to visit.
The Similans have no resorts and just a few bungalows to rent. They are best visited for a day trip or an overnight stay. The National Marine Park sign has some good advice for travellers: ‘Take only pictures, leave only footprints…'
3. Racha Islands
Coral Island and Raya Island, also known as Racha Islands, are located South of Phuket. Both islands are surrounded by clear blue waters and have a number of white sand beaches that are perfect for lounging under the sun. There are plenty of snorkeling areas for beginners as well and a number of advanced dive sites for those looking for a more adventurous swim.
Coral Island is privately owned by the Coral Island Resort while Koh Raya is home to three small resorts and a number of bungalow operations. Coral Island is just 15 minutes away from Chalong pier and receives a huge number of visitors. Raya Island, on the other hand, is a favorite destination of yachties and divers.
Some of the activities in the Racha Islands are snorkeling, mountain biking and nature hikes. You can also join organized activities by resorts like fishing trips and horseback riding.
The best time to visit is from December to February since the weather is not too extreme and the waters are calm, which is perfect for swimming and other water activities.
4. Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is best known for the full moon parties hosted on Haad Rin Beach every month. However, it is also famous for many tranquil white sand beaches where visitors can relax under a coconut tree and just take in the beauty of nature.
If you are travelling as a family, it is best to go the beaches facing south towards Koh Samui. The beaches are protected by an offshore reef and shallow water, making it a perfect (and safe) place for families with kids. Koh Phangan is also a great place to go for fishing trips, elephant trekking, diving, ATV rides, zip lines and kiteboarding.
It is also fast becoming a center of meditation retreats as yoga and detox centers are starting to sprout around the island.
If you want to have serious beach time, the best months to visit are between January and April when it’s dry and rain is unlikely. If you want to avoid the crowd, it is fine to go here between May to September, but expect light rain showers in the afternoon.
5. Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is located in the Krabi Province. This group of islands features clear waters and white sand beaches – perfect for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation. Koh Phi Phi offers a setting perfect for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and other fun water activities for visitors of all ages.
If you want to escape from the crowd, there are about half a dozen beaches in the north only accessible by boat. Accommodations with ranging prices are ready for visitors on the part of the island.
The hottest months are from April to May. If you want to avoid this weather but still enjoy the sun, the best time to visit is from November to March when the humidity and temperature are just right and the waters are still calm. Take note that crowds flock Koh Phi Phi during these months, which is why it is best to book way ahead of time.
Phuket is an island in the south-west coast of Thailand on the Andaman Sea. It’s the largest island in Thailand and has been highly developed in most parts due to the huge flow of tourism.
Although known for its busy nightlife, Phuket is also popular for white powdery sand beaches and clear waters located on the west coast. Visitors who want to relax and just enjoy the beach and the sea can go for activities like diving, snorkeling, yachting, and sailing.
The perfect time to visit is from December to March when it's not too humid. Since this is the peak season, try to book a retreat or accommodation before your trip to make sure you have a comfortable place to stay during your vacation.
7. Koh Rong
Hilly and filled with tropical rainforest, Koh Rong is a group of uninhabited islands protected by the Koh Chang National Marine Park. It offers excellent water conditions and a rich marine life for snorkelers and divers.
Visitors who want to camp on the island need to contact the ranger on Ao Cho Bay. The best time to visit is from November to February when the weather is not too hot and the waters are tranquil. There are day trips available to Koh Rang if you do not want to stay overnight.
8. Koh Samet
Koh Samet is a small island located in Rayong Province. It has white silky sand beaches and tropical coral reefs lining the eastern coast. The waters are calm and clear, making it a good place for relaxing activities like snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing.
Koh Samet usually misses the heavy monsoon season, with great weather year round. The perfect time to visit is from November to February. However, since many visitors book during this time, it’s advisable to reserve your retreat or accommodation prior to arriving.
9. Koh Lao Liang
This tranquil island is located south of the Andaman Sea. Koh Lao Liang is a breathtaking and serene destination in Thailand. It offers both relaxation and adventure to its visitors with white sand beaches, clear waters and coconut trees lining the shore, as well as activities for the more adventurous like rock climbing.
The best time to visit is from November to May when the wind is not too strong and the waters are calm.
10. Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan is a favorite destination of people who want to get away from a busy lifestyle. It has calm waters perfect for swimming and white sand beaches where visitors can lay down and enjoy the sun. This tranquil island will help you slow down and enjoy the scenery. However from August to November showers can be heavy - the sun always comes back though! Thailand is the land of sunshine...
What's your favourite Thailand Island? We'd love to hear from you xo!