With over 1500 islands, Thailand is the perfect destination for people who want to be surrounded by beaches and water. Here is a list of the best islands in Thailand to help you plan a dream vacation.
What you will experience - Phuket & Surrounding
Phuket island in Southern Thailand is the largest island in Thailand with a length of 48km / 30 miles and width of 21km / 13 miles. It is among the best beach destinations in the world for its clean white sand beaches, abundant sunshine, glittering seas, swaying palm trees and vibrant towns.
Around the island, there are over 30 beaches with a wide variety of atmospheres, scenery, facilities and sand qualities. So it’s not easy to say which one is the best, although there is no doubt that Nai Harn Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Bang Tao Beach, Surin Beach and Kamala Beach are among the top beaches on the island.
Swimming, sunbathing, freediving, diving, snorkeling and yachting are the most popular activities on Phuket Island.
Swimming in the crystal clear water of Phuket Island is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Phuket Town in the southeast of the island is the largest town and economic hub of the island. It’s an old town full of heritage buildings and unique cuisine. The contribution of foreign cultural influences has produced a unique history and cuisine different from other islands, giving you a wonderful taste of Phuket.
Phuket is hot and humid all year round, generally with the hot season from March to early May, summer monsoon season from May to October, and "cool" season from November to February.
Phang Nga Bay
Not far from Phuket Island, Phang Nga Bay lies in the Strait of Malacca between Phuket and the Malay Peninsula. This 400 km²/ 154 miles² bay features gravity-defying limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the green water. The most famous island in the bay is Ko Tapu, also known as James Bond Island because of the movie The Man with the Golden Gun. It is a needle-shaped limestone rock in the sea. Collapsed cave systems, and archaeological sites are also highlights of the bay.
A gravity-defying limestone cliff that juts vertically out of the green water.
Sea canoeing is the best way to admire the breathtaking scenery, explore the mangrove swamps and island grottoes, and discover the unique wildlife within them.
Don't miss the spectacular sunset over Phang Nga Bay, and the magical phosphorescence resulting from millions of plankton swirling in the water.
Koh Khai Nok is a secluded small island in Phang Nga Bay. It's only about 30 minutes by boat from the east coast of Phuket, but remains a hidden gem. This idyllic island is completely surrounded by coral reef, so you have a chance to get up close and personal with various colorful tropical fish including the cute clownfish of "Finding Nemo" fame.
Swimming and snorkeling amongst the marine life in the turquoise waters, or sunbathing and relaxing on the beautiful beaches are also popular activities for your choice.
What you will experience – Krabi & Surrounding
Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands (Ko Phi Phi) in Krabi Province in Southern Thailand are among the most naturally beautiful islands in the world, famous for their stunning limestone mountains with cliffs, caves, long white sandy beaches, colorful marine life, and offering the ultimate tropical getaway. It is a small archipelago of six islands named Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Leh, Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island), Ko Yung (Mosquito Island), Ko Bida Nok and Ko Bida Nai. These islands each have their unique characteristics.
Cruising through the stunning limestone mountains with cliffs is one of the highlights in the Phi Phi Island.
Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest and only populated island. Monkey Beach, Yao Beach, Lanti Beach and Ton Sai Bay are highly recommended places to visit.
Ko Phi Phi Leh is a smaller island famous because the movie "The Beach" was filmed there. These two islands are the most well-known among all the six islands. Tham Phaya Naak (Viking Cave) with prehistoric paintings and edible bird's nests, Maya Bay and Lohsamah Bay, are the most famous spots on the island.
Ko Yung (Mosquito Island) has a stone beach on the east and sandy beaches at the foot of the hills.
Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island) is a small low-lying islet entirely surrounded by a strip of white sand, and its central part is covered with lush vegetation including Bamboo that gives its name to the island. It offers great opportunities for snorkeling with fantastic coral reefs lying just near its shore.
Ko Bida Nok is rich in pretty coral and marine life including leopard sharks, turtles and moray eels, and is popular with divers.
Ko Bida Nai also offers superb underwater fauna and flora, making it a good place for diving. If you are lucky, you will see the blacktip reef sharks.
Island hopping by speedboats or long-tail boats is ideal for experiencing the features of all the six islands.
This region has tropical weather with only two seasons: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December.
Koh Hong (Hong Islands)
Koh Hong is a stunning group of tiny islands, some with soft white sandy beaches, beautiful scenery and an amazing lagoon. Many islands in the group are so tiny that they have no beaches. But the largest island has some lively beaches.
The distinctive features of Koh Hong are the breathtaking natural lagoon and the spectacular limestone formations surrounding it. The lagoon is perfect for leisure swimming as the water is just about one meter / 3.3 feet in depth. The gateway to the lagoon is about 10 meters / 33 feet in width, so it can be easily passed through by long-tail boats and kayaks. At Hong Island Bay, you can swim or snorkel to meet countless colorful fish that will come around you. If you are lucky, you may see big lizards or water monitors on this island.
Koh Hong is about five miles from the mainland Krabi Province, and takes only about 15 minutes by speedboat and up to 40 minutes by long-tail boat.
The best time to go there is November to April. Please note that only day visits are allowed. No overnight stays.
What you will experience – Koh Samui & Surrounding
Koh Samui is 25 km / 15½ miles in length, 21 km / 13 miles in width, and 247 km² / 95 miles² in area, and the second largest island in Thailand, and the largest among over 80 islands in the Chumphon Archipelago forming the Ang Thong National Marine Park. It is regarded the second most popular island destination in Thailand, just after Phuket Island.
People come to Koh Samui mainly for the beautiful white sand beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Chaweng and Lamai are the most popular beaches. If you prefer more peaceful places, visit the beaches and adjacent villages on the north or west coast. Picturesque Na Muang waterfalls, coral beds, butterfly garden and aquarium are also nice attractions for nature lovers, while for those interested in religious imagery, the Bang Rak (Big Buddha) will impress, especially at sunset. The tasty coconuts for which Koh Samui is well known and available everywhere.
The soft white sand, emerald water and relaxed atmosphere, will make you not want to leave.
The weather in Koh Samui differs slightly from the rest of Thailand, with the driest season being from January to March, fairly dry season from April to September, and the wet season from October to December.
Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan is also a part of Chumphon Archipelago, and located between Ko Samui and Ko Tao. The beauty and wildness of Koh Pha Ngan make it popular among nature lovers. It is also well known for its full moon parties.
The best time to visit Ko Pha Ngan is from December to March, when the water is high, clean and perfect for swimming. July-August is another high season. Avoid visiting during the dry season from April to June, when water in the best beaches on the northwest coast is shallow, and useless for swimming.
Ko Tao, literally meaning Turtle Island, is an island 70 km / 43½ miles north of Samui, and just off the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand. As a part of the Chumphon Archipelago, it is a diving and snorkeling paradise with the clearest seas and best underwater visibility in the Gulf of Thailand.
When diving or snorkeling, you can find various coral species and tropical marine life. You can even feed some colorful fish with bread by hand.
Swim or dive in the clearest sea in the Gulf of Thailand.
Peak seasons in Ko Tao are from December to March and July to August.
Not far from the Ko Tao, is Koh Nan Yuan, which is comprised of 3 small islands connected together by white sand strips. Here you can admire a fantastic underwater world.
Looking for nice places for relaxation and recreation? Go visit some stunning islands in Thailand. For any questions about Thailand's islands, please reach us at . We highly recommend you to tailor-make a private Thailand islands tour according to your interests to fully enjoy the beautiful scenery and laid-back atmosphere.