Visiting Thailand’s islands is just as important as visiting its mainland. Read on to learn about ten islands in Thailand that are worth the journey.
Turquoise waters give way to gentle ocean breezes. Scuba divers swim alongside teeming sea life. Michelin-starred establishments impress the savviest foodies.
The islands of Thailand offer travelers an array of different experiences. But with 300 islands which are right for your vacation?
From islands paradises where you can party all night long to secluded vacations designed for a romantic escape, here are the best islands in Thailand worth the visit.
Top 10 Islands In Thailand Worth The Journey
When you’re looking for the best in Asia highlights, here’s what you need to see and do. Grab a pen, paper, and your passport – let’s go!
1. Koh Samui
Wrapped in world-class luxury and an enriching history, you’d never know Koh Samui used to be a backpacker and ravers spot with cheap rustic huts and all-night parties. This original Thai island has changed in a really big way.
Now one of the hottest yoga and wellness destinations in the world, travelers come to the luxury beach resorts and hotel spas.
In Koh Samui, dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant, book a spa treatment, and arrange childcare in family-friendly hotels that offer Western menus and splash pools for the little ones.
2. Koh Pha Ngan
Looking for a hardcore party island? Well, Koh Pha Ngan is your island oasis. Head to the full moon parties at Haad Rin’s Sunrise Beach for three-day beach parties.
And it’s no wonder it’s so popular. It’s coined James Bond Island.
If you’re there during peak season, you just might view 20,000 partygoers getting their groove on the white sand dancing beneath the full moon with a drink and partner in hand.
If you can’t book your trip during peak season you can still live it up at black-moon and half-moon beach parties. There’s a party every night and you can also find secluded beaches if you want a party of their own.
Phuket bustles with more energy and activity than any island in Thailand. Stay in a 6-star resort with your own private butler. Dine at a restaurant featuring a celebrity chef. And shop at designer boutiques on the island.
You can even schedule a tummy tuck in glitzy Phuket. Then head to the beach and recline on a lounger or enjoy tropical drinks at a beach bar. If you want to escape the glitz, head to Kata Noi for a laid-back vibe.
4. Koh Tao
A popular island for divers, Koh Tao, nicknamed “Turtle Island” is a scuba diver’s paradise. Discover beaches with sandy coves, lantern-lit eateries and plenty of dive shops.
If you’re visiting for the diving but aren’t certified, you can sign up to take a four-day PADI or SSI Open Water Certification.
If you don’t want to take the full course you can get a one-day Discovery Dive course where you can dive down 39 feet without a certification.
If you’re certified you can take advanced classes and learn night diving, shark diving, and wreck diving.
Although many island visitors come to dive, there’s plenty to do for non-divers. Dance to a booming nightlife, go to the full moon party, enjoy water sports and more.
5. Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is home to several small islands. The most popular: Koh Lanta Yai. In this beautiful destination, you can lounge on secluded beaches and explore nature preserves.
This island is more for the 30+crowd and it’s also good for families because of its tranquil waters. Not a favorite for young backpackers.
Sunbathe on pristine white sand beaches, get a soothing massage, go to a lively beach bar or kayak through a mangrove forest.
When you’re done, enjoy a bowl of tom yum in one of the friendly fishing villages on the island.
6. Koh Lipe
A great island for newlyweds and romance!
Koh Lipe boasts one of the most beautiful beach islands in Thailand. This fantastic destination is part of Tarutao Marine Park that borders Malaysia.
And the island offers the best of both worlds: postcard-perfect sands and luxury lodging. You won’t see swarms of vacationers like you’d see in Phuket or Samui which adds to this island’s charm.
For a quiet vista, stroll along secluded Sunset Beach where you can book diving and snorkeling tours close by or visit Pattaya Beach for some of the island’s nightlife.
7. Koh Chang
Want to explore Thailand’s eastern islands? Then Koh Chang makes a great starting point. More quaint than Samui and Phuket, Koh Chang is a snapshot of Thailand.
On Koh Chang, you can experience a national park where you can go jungle trekking. Explore some of the archipelago’s more secluded islands from this departure point.
Looking for a bohemian vibe? Head to Had Sai Noi Beach. You’ll love the bar scene! Visit the unique fishing village in Salakkok Bay and snake through the mangroves on a kayak. It’s a rare sight that’s quickly disappearing.
When you get to land, try the homemade curry pastes in the family-run eatery in Klong Prao village which also has a cooking school.
8. Koh Phi Phi
One of the best islands in Thailand for singles and solo travelers. The island draws a sophisticated younger crowd that enjoys a party punctuated by days of relaxation.
While it’s not as hardcore as Pha Ngan, Koh Phi Phi hosts a good party. Especially if you’re vacationing on New Year’s Eve.
Koh Phi Phi got a total rebuild which people love after the tsunami destroyed the island. Guests can go cliff jumping, take a boat trip to Koh Phi Phi Ley where”The Beach” was filmed.
Spend the day swimming and enjoying the beach bars. The evenings come to life with Thai fire dancers who juggle flames until the wee hours.
9. Koh Si Chang
Have a business meeting in Bangkok or visiting Thailand for a few days? Then you can still make it to an island without traveling far. Koh Si Change is a two-hour ride from Bangkok. A popular spot for Bangkok residents who want to take a day trip or a weekend break.
And if you’re visiting Bangkok for business, here are some cool ideas on how to plan a corporate retreat.
While Koh Si Change doesn’t offer the best island beaches Thailand has to offer, it features a verdant- hued scenery, quaint fishing villages and a quiet respite close to busy Bangkok.
While you’re there, head to Haad Tham Phang Beach for fresh seafood and enjoy a tropical beverage with your toes in the sand.
10. Similan Islands
If you’re looking for a good location to go island hopping, with nine islands, you’ll find it in the Similan Islands!
Numbered from one to nine, the islands form a national park in the Andaman Sea. Relish white sand beaches on Koh Miang with its quaint bamboo bungalows. For soft sand that sparkles, hit Koh Tachai.
Want to go diving for whale shark? Then Richelieu Rock is your destination. The best viewing months: February through April.The Similan Islands close to vacationers from May through October.
The Takeaway On The Top Islands in Thailand
Now you know the top 10 islands in Thailand that are a must-see!
Party all night long and dance under the moon. Enjoy secluded beaches offering total island bliss. Dive into turquoise waters and explore below. Relish authentic dining experiences unlike any other.
The islands of Thailand offers a rejuvenating escape for all. Check out more exciting world travel destinations on the Beekman Beer Garden website.