In addition to its mainland, Thailand is comprised of a vast number of islands ranging in size from tiny specks of land to sprawling tropical wonderlands. No visit to Thailand is complete without taking a voyage to at least view these spectacular islands.

1. Phuket

Photo: Phuket Island by Maksim Zhashkevych via Unsplash

One of the ultimate vacation destinations in Thailand is the island of Phuket, blessed with a myriad of attractions. Being the largest of Thailand’s islands, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Phuket; indeed, a trip to the island is nearly a whole vacation within itself! Phuket is synonymous across the world with paradise and luxury–a beautiful balance is struck between nature and modernization, giving the stunning tropical island full equipment of super-modern high-end resorts and other amenities.

Explore everything from historical sites, nature tripping, nightlife, and the breathtaking presence of the white beaches and the sea. It is on this island where you can find the top world-class Phuket Marinas, where you can charter luxury yachts and private boats to explore the Andaman Sea, and Phuket’s most luxurious villas to rent with excellent full-time chef, staff, and concierge.

2. Koh Samui

Photo: Koh Samui Island by Nahel Patel via Unsplash

The largest of Thailand’s offshore offerings is Koh Samui, situated off the east coast of the mainland. Similar to Phuket, the island of Koh Samui has enjoyed a wealth of development and has made a name for itself as a fantastic destination for the five-star tourist. Playing host to resorts, hotels, and villas, Koh Samui has many activities and things to offer and is quite attractive and inviting to every type of traveler, offering lush sandy beaches, plentiful spots for diving, excellent places to stay, dine, relax, and more.

While quite popular, Koh Samui is never quite as populated as its larger brother, Phuket, giving the island a bit more of a “secluded paradise” feel compared to some of the more bustling spots around Thailand.

3. Koh Phi Phi

Photo: Phi Phi Islands by Jonny Clow via Unsplash

Koh Phi Phi is a set of six islands. While there is some notable development, Phi Phi Don is the only island that is actually populated. The rest of the islands are quite small but incredibly inviting destinations for a day trip. Great for snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the sun, the Phi Phi Islands are plentifully equipped with luxurious sandy beaches and enticing tropical delights.

4. Koh Tao

Photo: Katarzyna Zygnerska

Previously something of a divers secret, Koh Tao is now becoming widely recognized as a foremost destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Granting easy access to some truly awe-inspiring ocean depths is proving to be the defining feature of Koh Tao; the tiny island is far less well-developed than even Koh Phang Nga. Despite this, it is a welcoming and hospitable island rapidly becoming more popular with backpackers and anyone with a flair for the wonders of the sea.

5. Koh Lipe

Photo: Myra Pro

Koh Lipe is a beautiful little gem rising out of the Andaman Sea – a secluded paradise perfect for the ultimate getaway. With stunning beaches perfect for a great swim or a full day of lounging relaxation, Koh Lipe offers a gateway to the tropical paradise in which every dream vacation takes place.

Koh Lipe is relatively undeveloped but is home to a few resorts and villas. It is a perfect destination for anyone looking to completely leave it all behind for a while. 

6. Similan Islands

Photo: Thailand Starts Here

The Similan Islands are a chain of nine small islands. Thailand’s forestry department declared the underdeveloped islands a national park, making them a protected area. For good reason, the Similan Islands are a virtually unspoiled tropical paradise. Recognized as one of the top ten dive destinations in the world by the National Geographic Society.

For anyone who wants to get a look at a real tropical paradise in all its natural glory, the Similan Islands should not be missed. 

7. Koh Lanta

Photo: Lilian Pang

Koh Lanta is a relatively well-developed small island to the south of mainland Thailand. Occupied with shops and resorts, the island takes its pride mostly from the exceptionally long, white sandy beaches that are plentiful along its coasts. In addition to the wonders of the tropics, the island has quite a few shops and restaurants worth a visit. 

8. Koh Yao Noi

Photo: The Colours of Thailand

Koh Yao Noi prides itself on being a pristine tropical paradise. This is the destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature as much as possible while still being able to retreat to the comfort of a modern resort. Despite the presence of some developments, overall, the island manages to remain quite pristine and less impacted by human activities than many of Thailand’s other islands.

9. Koh Bulon Leh

Photo: Pin Your Footsteps

Virtually undeveloped, Koh Bulon Le doesn’t even have much in the way of roads, shops, or any other trappings you might expect from a modernized area. Instead, Koh Bulon Le is a simpler place – a place for exploring the beauties of the jungle, enjoying the fine sand, the surf, the joys of snorkeling, and the merriment of good company.

 10. Koh Rok Island

Photo: Thailand Travel Informations

Rok Nok Island consists of two islands: Koh Rok and Rok Nok. These two islands are situated right next to each other but are separated by an incredible coral reef. One of Thailand’s top diving destinations, the waters of Rok Nok are ripe with incredible sea life, ranging from beautiful corals to exotic and colorful reef fish.

11. Koh Racha

Photo: THAIest

Not far from Phuket, Koh Racha is renowned among divers for its crystal clear waters and stunning displays of the denizens of the deep. For many years, the exclusive haven for in-the-know divers, Koh Racha has been beginning to experience a wealth of new accommodations and paving the way for a larger tourist presence. Blessed with beautiful shimmering beaches and incredible waters, this is a destination high on the list for anyone looking for a classic, authentic tropical paradise.

12. Koh Phang Ngan

Photo: Secret Beach in Koh Phang Ngan by Digital Travel Couple

A few sizes smaller than the comparative giants listed above, the humble island of Koh Phang Ngan has become world famous for its electrifying Full Moon Parties, an event that attracts interest and travelers from around the world. In recent years, the island has become more developed as a tourist destination and offers reasonable accommodations. The island’s small size gives it a very secluded feeling, and despite the presence of some society, Koh Phang Ngan is a fantastic place to get away from it all.