Got a thing for tropical islands? I feel you. There is something exciting about them. Something you associate with total relaxation. That’s why a trip to Thailand is high on many holiday wish lists. But which island should you visit? Here are 10 tropical islands you need to check out – both developed and uninhabited.
#1 Koh Kradan
Koh Kradan is a narrow little island in Trang archipelago south of Krabi. The island boasts excellent beaches between rugged forest and turquoise sea. There is no village here and no roads — just a few bungalow resorts along the beachfront. The southeastern corner of the island offers one the best spots in Thailand for off-the-beach snorkeling with coral formations and tropical fishes. Kradan is a great place to getaway. See more.
#2 Koh Phuket
Known as the “Pearl of the Andaman,” Phuket is the largest and also the most popular (read touristy) island in Thailand. Phuket has a truly tropical atmosphere with its white sandy palm-lined beaches and bays with lush mountains covering 70% of the island. From the colorful Sino-Portuguese buildings of Phuket Town to the beaches on the west coast and the wilderness in between — Phuket has it all! See more.
#3 Koh Samui
Koh Samui, located in the Gulf of Thailand, is the second largest island in Thailand. Koh Samui is called “Coconut Island” by the locals since coconut trees grow just about everywhere on the island. The central part of the island is the most unspoiled with tropical jungle including the highest peak at 635 meters. Koh Samui also boasts some incredible white sandy beaches. See more.
#4 Koh Poda
Koh Poda 6 km offshore of Ao Nang in Krabi Province is such a postcard-perfect island with white sand and transparent turquoise water. The spot around the longtail boats is where the day trippers from Ao Nang stays; keep walking around the corner to find a spot alone on the beach with the softest sand you ever walked on. This uninhabited palm tree filled island is only 1 km in diameter.
#5 Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is an island in the middle of the beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Despite its closeness to Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east, Koh Yao Noi has remained largely untouched. Visitors come here for the slow pace of life, stunning views of Phang Nga Bay and fantastic accommodations like Paradise Koh Yao.
#6 Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is a lovely island with rainforest-covered mountains and a long coastline with beautiful beaches. You might think that this is yet another busy island — but it’s not! Koh Lanta is known for its chill vibes and families come here to relax, sunbathe and swim. However, Koh Lanta is a highly seasonal destination, and the island pretty much shuts down during low season leaving the beaches uncleaned.
#7 Koh Wua Talab
Koh Wua Talab is an island in Ang Thong National Marine Park 90 minutes offshore Koh Samui. The most common thing is to visit the national park for a single day trip, but there are bungalows and tents for rent for those wishing to stay overnight in this tropical paradise. Don’t miss to walk up the 500 meters long steep trail for a fantastic view of the national park. You might see shy dusky langurs on the way up. See more.
#8 Koh Similan
Koh Similan is one of nine uninhabited islands that make up Mu Ko Similan National Park in the Andaman Sea, 65 km off the coastline of Phang Nga Province. The exceptionally clear water and stunning underwater world attract thousands of scuba divers every year. The island and entire national park are closed six months per year (May – October) to let nature and wildlife recover. See more.
#9 Koh Kho Khao
Koh Kho Khao is a relatively undiscovered island just north of Khao Lak, and during low season you can walk on the 18 km long beach without meeting a living soul. The water is not as clear as other tropical islands, but the long golden beaches and spectacular sunsets make this island a great romantic getaway. See more.
#10 Koh Lao Lading
Koh Lao Lading, or “Paradise Island,” is what Krabi is all about: stunning limestone cliffs and caves in blue-green waters. Belonging to the Hong Island group, this tiny island can be reached only via a booked day trip. Tour agents can be found every few meters along the street in Ao Nang.