Top 10 Thai Islands
Bangkok’s Khaosan Road has been drawing in backpackers for decades with its cheap-alcohol prices and lively atmosphere. However, away from the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s capital city there are a whole host of dreamy islands to explore. From almost deserted white sand beaches, to incredible snorkelling spots and hedonistic full moon parties, there really is something for every type of traveller on these isles.
2 Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is on its way to tourist-heaven but, before then, it's just about undeveloped enough to allow you to feel like an intrepid explorer for holidaying here. This is an island where nature rules supreme. The island's beaches are bedecked with white sands that slope gently into turquoise seas brimming with brightly coloured fish, and lush fauna fills the interior. Holidaymakers can choose between the hippie vibes at Sunset Beach, the village-backed Sunrise Beach and the glam Pattaya Beach with its boutiques and luxurious hotels.
There are ferries between Koh Lipe and Langkawi in the high season.
3 Koh Samui
4 Koh Chang
Koh Chang is an island of two sides. To the south east villages such as Ban Salak Phet and Salak Khok offer traditional hospitality amidst lush mangrove forests. Whereas the west allows backpackers and adventurers alike to flock to the beaches, where the crowds are still few and azure waters beckon. This is an island that is still pared back, creating a laid back atmosphere and a seemingly spontaneous party scene.
Bangkok is the nearest major international airport to this dreamy island.
5 Koh Lan
6 Koh Jum
7 Koh Tao
Holidaymakers looking to gain their PADI qualification will want to head to Koh Tao. There are over 50 dive schools on an island that has barely 13-square miles, and it's clear to see why when you plunge into the cool, clear seas here. Keep your eyes peeled for shy clown fish hiding in the anemone, huge hulking whale sharks and shoals of barracuda. Once you've had your fill of the sea, head up to the Josh Suwan viewpoint which offers views out over two bays facing away from one another.
Flying in to Koh Samui and then catching a ferry over to Koh Tao is the speediest way to reach this pretty island.