When planning a trip to one of many Thai islands, it is important to know what is available among these incredibly diverse and vibrant communities. There is something for everyone who visits these islands, yet this does not hold true for each individual island.
There are so many islands to explore and some of Thailand’s best islands are ones you may not have heard of yet. To help simplify your search, here are seven of Thailand’s best islands to visit.
Koh Munnok, Rayong
A private island experience awaits the traveler to Koh Munnok, with all that sort of experience offers. Starting with a private boat ride, perhaps a walk on the pristine white beaches, and ending with marvelous food and accommodations, Koh Munnok has all travelers covered. The opportunities are endless and tailored to individual preferences, from snorkeling, hiking, or simply meditating on the lush, natural, untouched beauty of the island. The offered lodgings are simple, providing an escape from the demands of technology and the modern world. Requests are easy to grant, from basket-classes to a favorite movie delivered to your room.
Recommended place to stay: Koh Munnok Private Island by Epikurean Laem Tarn Pier, Koh Mun Nork, Rayong
Koh Kood, Trad
Farthest away from the mainland, Koh Kood is rarely frequented by tourists, making it even more of an idea spot for your hard-earned vacation time. With about 70% of its area covered by tropical rain forests, a mountainous interior, and little development focused on the shores, Koh Kood offers some of the most untouched nature left on Earth. Amazing beaches and the fantastic Tan Sanuk Waterfall highlight the rare delights that nature offers the discerning eye. The landscape and views are most suited to bring calm, peace and serenity to the weary traveler. This is most certainly one of Thailand’s best island escapes, regardless of the small amount of visitors.
Recommended place to stay: Away Resort Koh Kood 43/8 Moo 2 Baan Klongchao, Ao Plaow, Trad
Koh Phayam, Ranong
Uniquely shaped like a kangaroo, Koh Phayam is a small pearl waiting for travelers to discover it. A smaller island, there is less potential to run into crowds of tourists wandering the same paths that one wants to wander alone. As with many of these islands, the beaches and views of the sea are simply superb. The roads are small and narrow, providing access for bicycles and motorbikes, but not so many cars. This protects the beautiful nature which surrounds every aspect of this amazing island. Finally, there is a unique sea gypsy settlement on the south end of the Buffalo Bay, perfect for a day trip! Making it another one of Thailand’s best islands.
Recommended place to stay: Phayam Lodge 97 Moo 1, Koh Phayam, Muang, Ranong
Koh Racha, Phuket
One of the less busy islands, Koh Racha is simple, peaceful, and silent. Very simple dirt paths and trails take wanderers far and wide over the little island. The short distances make it ideal for hiking; however, motorbikes are available for rent. The fantastic snorkeling at Koh Racha is second to none in the Phuket area, offering rocky reefs and solid coral forests. For the less ambitious, or those traveling with family, ‘SNUBA’ services combining the best of diving and snorkeling are readily available through certified programs.
Recommended place to stay: The Racha 42/12-13 Moo 5, Rawai, Muang, Racha Island, Phuket
Koh Yao Noi, Phang Nga
Peaceful and serene, Koh Yao Noi island offers a simple, relaxed atmosphere for the tired traveler. One of the best quiet islands in Thailand, it is well placed between the Malay Peninsula and Phuket. Visitors can easily rent mountain and motorbikes to explore the lush, exotic location and the amazing nature which Koh Yao Noi offers to all. Wooden homes and quaint rice paddies offer a look beyond nature and into the native culture of the island, accessible to every visitor. Accommodations are available from the simple to the luxurious, providing something for everyone.
Recommended place to stay: Coastal Escape, 54/1-4, Moo 5, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao, Phang Nga
Koh Lanta, Krabi
A more touristy but still lesser-known than some of the islands, Koh Lanta offers the best of both worlds. With wide, white beaches, there is always a restful place even on the most busy of days. The natural landscape is dominated by towering mangroves, virgin rain forests, and, of course, the sea. A variety of well-paved and dirt roads makes transportation an adventure depending on where you are going. The diverse native culture includes Muslims, Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, and sea gypsies, providing a celebration at any time. The entire island lives in harmony with each other. Koh Lanta is a varied and wonderful place, offering something for everyone.
Recommended place to stay: Sincere Guest House & Restaurant 150 Moo 1, Saladan
Amphoe Ko Lanta, Krabi
Koh Tarutao, Satun
The first of Thailand’s Marine National Parks, Koh Tarutao is well known worldwide. This may make it not one of the best quiet islands in Thailand, but quiet is not what everyone desires. More developed than some of the others on this list, Koh Tarutao offers designated bird-watching areas, guided tours, and boat trips or rentals. These are specially designed to sweep travelers away with easy to understand explanations and tailored experiences. Overall, it offers a more accessible, slice-of-life experience of one of Thailand’s best islands.
Recommended place to stay: National Park Accommodation Ao Phante Malaka and Ao Molae, Ko Tarutao. They are the only offer on the island.
Riya is an inspired writer. She is now based in Thailand. She is delighted to work with many aspiring small business owners. Riya loves cooking, crafting and yes! sipping a good coffee. Thanks to Riya for sharing some of Thailand’s best islands with us. Check out her twitter, @sanderriya.