In addition to its mainland, Thailand is comprised of a vast number of islands ranging in size from tiny specks of land up to sprawling tropical wonderlands. No visit to Thailand is complete without taking a voyage to at least a view of these spectacular islands.
Phuket is synonymous across the world with paradise and luxury. One of the ultimate vacation destinations, the island of Phuket is blessed with a myriad of attractions. A beautiful balance is struck between nature and modernization, giving the stunning tropical island a full equipment of super-modern high-end resorts and other amenities. 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! Explore everything from historical sites, nature tripping, nightlife, and the breathtaking presence 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
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 the 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
Koh Phi Phi is a set of six islands. While there is some notable development, the only island that is actually populated is Phi Phi Don. 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 Island’s are plentifully equipped with luxurious sandy beaches and enticing tropical delights.
4. Koh Tao
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
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 every dream vacation takes place in.
As yet, 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 awhile.
6. Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are a chain of nine small islands. Undeveloped, the islands have been declared a national park by Thailands forestry department, 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
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 which are so plentiful along its coasts. In addition to the wonder of the tropics, the island has quite a few shops and restaurants worth a visit.
8. Koh Yao Noi
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
Virtually undeveloped, Koh Bulon Le doesn’t even really have much in the way of roads, shops, or any of the 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, of enjoying the fine sand, the surf, the joys of snorkeling and the merriment of good company.
10. Rok Nok Island
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
Not far from Phuket, Koh Racha is renown 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 is 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 the classic, authentic tropical paradise.
12. Koh Phang Ngan
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 which 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 small size of the island 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.