What is the best island in Thailand?

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Updated on 16th December, 2014. First published 21st March, 2006

Thailand is famous for its tropical islands. From Phuket to Ko Lipe, Ko Samui to Ko Tao and from one Ko Chang to another, there's an island for every month, a beach for every week, and a new palm tree to lay under for every day. But the question begs, "What is the best island in Thailand?"

While the simple answer is "None" a better answer is "it depends". It depends because it's not so much a case of finding the best island in Thailand, but rather finding the best island for you in Thailand. So here's our guide to the islands that we hope will help you find your best Thai island.

Thailand has three main sets of islands; those to the east of Bangkok, between Bangkok and the Cambodian border; those in the southern Gulf of Thailand; and those in the Andaman Sea -- off the west coast of Thailand, between the Burman and Malaysian frontiers.

Each of these groups has one or two particularly well known islands that attracts the bulk of travellers and tourists. To the east of Bangkok you have Ko Samet and Ko Chang, in the Gulf you have Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, and in the Andaman you have Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. All these islands have seen a steady flow of tourists for well over a decade and they are very developed. Often heaving with tourists in the high season, they all suffer to varying degrees from the problems that typically blight popular islands in developing tourist destinations -- overcrowding, dodgy operators, uncontrolled development and waste management issues.

But it isn't all bad news. All the afore-mentioned islands are still worth visiting -- you just need to do your research and be a little more selective about where you stay. When your travel agent in your home-town tells you to stay on Patong Beach in Phuket, check that they've stayed there themselves -- we bet they haven't! Not only to all these islands have their hidden away gems, they're also surrounded by other, lesser known islands that can often be just what the doctor ordered.

Last but not least, be sure to check the Travelfish blogs on islands in Thailand. You can read about the Andaman Islands here and the Gulf islands here.

A work in progress on Ko Kut.
A work in progress on Ko Kut.

So what are you looking for?

Call me Crusoe
If it's deserted beaches and few tourists, then you're going to need to wander further than you'd have needed to ten years ago. Don't make the mistake of assuming the entire island needs to be deserted -- both Ko Samui and Phuket have totally deserted beaches that run for kilometre after kilometre, but for a real island experience, consider Ko Rok, Ko Phra Thong, Ko Ra, Ko Phayam, Ko Chang Noi (the other one, near Ko Phayam) and Ko Tarutao.

Further reading:
Thai islands for nature lovers
Thai islands to lose yourself on

Late light on Ko Phra Thong
Late light on Ko Phra Thong

Where's the party?
Everyone knows about Thailand's infamous Full Moon Parties -- easily the biggest party in Thailand, and it happens every single month. So if you're after the party, Ko Pha Ngan should definitely be on your itinerary, Ko Phi Phi also has a pretty lively single's party scene, while if you're after throbbing clubs, Ko Samui is hard to beat. Consider Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Samui and, if you want a smaller island, Ko Lipe.

Never jumped a flaming skipping rope?
Never jumped a flaming skipping rope?

This is a family vacation
Thailand's islands can be pretty good with kids, though the range of distractions you want for them will play a part in picking where you stay. Phuket and Ko Samui lead in this area with everything from mini-golf and go-karts through to water-sports and child-care. If you kid's idea of a beach holiday is more sedate -- a few buckets and a sand castle perhaps, then both Ko Lanta and Ko Bulon Lae are excellent choices, as is the southwest coast of Ko Pha Ngan.

Watch the kids from the deck.
Watch the kids from the deck.

Pampering please
There's been an explosion of spa and "lifestyle resorts" across Thailand, and again Phuket and Ko Samui are the premiere destinations for these types of self-contained resorts. Some particularly tasteful ones have also appeared on Ko Lanta, and, more recently, Ko Chang.

I'm after some local flavour
If you're tiring of hanging out in tourist ghettos, there's an ample supply of islands where tourism is but a small part of the local economy. Ko Yao Noi is an excellent choice, as is Ko Jum, Ko Libong and Ko Kut. Ko Kut in particular attracts a lot of Thai weekenders, so as a foreigner you'll often be in the minority -- a refreshing change from most Thai islands.

Where's the beach?
You've read the book, seen the movie and now you want to swim in the waters. You're looking for Ko Phi Phi.

Where's the diving?
Ko Tao issues more PADI Open Water Certificates than just about anywhere else in the world. It is, for better or worse, Thailand's diving mecca. Phuket is also popular with divers, but mainly for its live aboard cruises and trips out to the Similan Islands. Diving is also possible from Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Ko Chang and Ko Lipe.

Shall we go?
Shall we go?

Still undecided? Here's the best and not so best of Thailand's islands in under 30 words apiece -- not this isn't ALL of the islands -- you'll have to dig around to find the rest ;-).

Andaman Sea

Thailand's most developed island. International airport brings added convenience but package tour hordes. Some stunning six star resorts, but budgeteers will find it woefully overpriced. Very heavily touristed. Read more about Phuket or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Phuket's Naithon Beach - certainly not awful.
Phuket's Naithon Beach – certainly not awful.

Ko Phi Phi
Devastated by the 2004 tsunami, Ko Phi Phi is more or less fully recovered, and, all things considered, is looking about the best it has in a decade or so. The island is beautiful but continues to suffer from extremely uncontrolled development and overcrowding. There is a popular singles scene, good diving and snorkeling. Guesthouses and hotels expensive compared to other islands. Read more about Ko Phi Phi or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Phi Phi: Despite all the efforts, still spectacular.
Ko Phi Phi: Despite all the efforts, still spectacular.

Ko Lanta
Sedate, calm waters make it a family favourite. Excellent value budget guesthouses -- laid back, often family-run operations. Not overly scenic, good for snorkeling and liveaboard diving. Ideal for doing nothing. Read more about Ko Lanta or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Lanta: Gorgeous in a just gorgeous kinda way.
Ko Lanta: Gorgeous in a just gorgeous kinda way.

Ko Jum
Small island with traditional Muslim village and a handful of backpacker bungalow resorts. Beach is similar to Ko Lanta, calm waters, grainy yellow sand. Popular with island-hopping backpackers taking their islands slowly. Read more about Ko Ko Jum.

Ko Jum: One of our favourites.
Ko Jum: One of our favourites.

Ko Ngai
Popular with a good range of mid-range resorts. Not many budget offerings. Fine snorkeling, pretty beaches, but little nightlife to speak of. Good base for day-trips to other islands. Read more about Ko Ngai.

Ko Ngai: Easier to lay on than pronounce.
Ko Ngai: Easier to lay on than pronounce.

Ko Muk
Home to the heavily touristed Emerald Cave. Fine range of budget to mid-range resorts. Lovely sunsets. Good swimming and sunbaking though snorkeling limited. Good base for day-trips to other islands. Read more about Ko Muk.

Living the simple life on Ko Muk.
Living the simple life on Ko Muk.

Ko Kradan
Stunning island long blighted by a very average resort, but there are some good spots too. Decent snorkeling and lovely white sand beach. Better accommodation has sprung up over the last year or so -- check out Wally's! Read more about Ko Kradan.

Ko Kradan: All that pesky shade.
Ko Kradan: All that pesky shade.

Ko Rok
Stunning twin island with terrific snorkeling and camping potential -- so good we were tempted not to list it. Best visited from Ko Muk, Ko Kradan or Ko Ngai.

Please set your timepieces to Ko Rok time.
Please set your timepieces to Ko Rok time.

Ko Tarutao
National Park status. Largely undeveloped. Camper and self-sufficient traveller's paradise. Sand flies can be a problem. Camping and Park bungalows available. Site of Thailand Survivor. Read more about Ko Tarutao.

Ko Tarutao: The picture says it all.
Ko Tarutao: The picture says it all.

Ko Adang
Fairly remote and rugged. Ideal for naturalists -- large waterfalls, good snorkeling -- big island with loads of empty space. Read more about Ko Adang.

Ko Adang: Still more trees than concrete.
Ko Adang: Still more trees than concrete.

Ko Lipe
Increasingly popular. Party scene. Decent snorkeling off the beach. Good range of budget to mid-range bungalows. Very small island -- can walk around it in half a day. Serious over-development and environmental issues. Read more about Ko Lipe or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Lipe: Hold on to your seat, this place is achangin.
Ko Lipe: Hold on to your seat, this place is achangin.

Ko Hin Ngam
Pebble beach. Take a pebble and you're cursed. A friend was run over by a longtail after taking a stone -- she sent it back the next day.

Ko Hin Ngam: Do NOT take one with you!
Ko Hin Ngam: Do NOT take one with you!

Ko Bulon Lae
Low key, sedate island with some good beaches and isolated resorts. Not far from the mainland. Dense wooded interior ringed by beaches and bays. Read more about Ko Bulon Lae.

Ko Bulon Lae: A slow day bounty.
Ko Bulon Lae: A slow day bounty.

Ko Libong
Dark sand now there's a change. Fine selection of resorts at a very low-key island. Famous for the dugong which can be visited from the island. Read more about Ko Libong.

Ko Libong: Can't move for the package tourists.
Ko Libong: Can't move for the package tourists.

Ko Yao Noi
Large island with isolated resorts. Conservative Muslim villages on the island. Very local feel -- particularly hospitable and friendly. Beaches are of mixed quality. Read more about Ko Yao Noi.

Ko Yao Noi: Where every swing has a view.
Ko Yao Noi: Where every swing has a view.

Ko Yao Yai
Another large island with with a conservative Muslim fishing-village scene. Very hospitable and friendly, with super sleepy resorts. Beaches are mixed. Read more about Ko Yao Yai.

Ko Yao Yai: Just another sunrise.
Ko Yao Yai: Just another sunrise.

Ko Chang noi
The "other" Ko Chang. Small island with west-facing beaches. Breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Burmese archipelago. Low key, backpacker orientated resorts. Very popular with Euros. Read more about Ko Chang Noi.

Ko Chang Noi: Peak hour.
Ko Chang Noi: Peak hour.

Ko Phayam
Little known island, further out from Ko Chang. Fine beaches with a handful of budget to mid-priced resorts. Very sandy interior, some complaints of sandflies. Very quiet. Read more about Ko Phayam.

Ko Phayam: Almost off the map.
Ko Phayam: Almost off the map.

Ko Phra Thong
Lovely island home to one fancy resort and a backpacker option. Stunning 11km-long deserted beach, monkeys, turtles and more. Fabulous! Read more about Ko Phra Thong.

Ko Phra Thong: No need to share sunsets.
Ko Phra Thong: No need to share sunsets.

Gulf of Thailand

Ko Samui
Thailand's second most developed island. Everything from deserted beaches to Tescos. Heavily touristed, ongoing unregulated development. Waste and flooding an issue. From backpackers through to six star resorts. Read more about Ko Samui or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Samui: Much more to it than Chaweng.
Ko Samui: Much more to it than Chaweng.

Ko Pha Ngan
Home to the Full Moon Party. Over a dozen bays and beaches, some of the cheapest guesthouses in Thailand. Some beaches very developed, others deserted. Extremely popular with backpackers. Read more about Ko Pha Ngan or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Pha Ngan: A backpacker -- and flashpacker -- favourite.
Ko Pha Ngan: A backpacker -- and flashpacker -- favourite.

Ko Tao
Diver's mecca. Large range of dive sites, competitively priced dive shops. Very popular, lively single's scene. Some beaches very quiet, others boisterous. Full range of accommodation. Read more about Ko Tao or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Tao: Dive and dive and dive and dive.
Ko Tao: Dive and dive and dive and dive.

East of Bangkok

Ko Samet
Overdeveloped. White sand beaches, particularly scenic. Some snorkeling. Full range of accommodation from budget shacks to full service resorts. Just three hours from Bangkok. Read more about Ko Samet.

Ko Samet: Being close to Bangkok is good and bad.
Ko Samet: Being close to Bangkok is good and bad.

Ko Mun Nork
Private island with one resort. Very clear water, pristine beaches. Accommodation poor value for the money. Has a bit of a Crusoe feel to it. Food gets mixed reports. Read more about Ko Mun Nork.

Ko Mun Nork: Oh yes, quite pretty.
Ko Mun Nork: Oh yes, quite pretty.

Ko Chang
Thailand's "next big thing". Over a dozen bays and beaches, full range of budgets catered for though focus moving upmarket quickly. Massive jungle interior, waterfalls, elephant riding. Read more about Ko Chang or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Chang: A big island with some very hot spots.
Ko Chang: A big island with some very hot spots.

Ko Maak
Medium sized, very flat island. Beaches and bays ring the island. Bungalows very good very and mostly budget orientated. Calm waters, low key destination. Popular with repeat visitors. Read more about Ko Maak.

Ko Maak: No reservation, no problem.
Ko Maak: No reservation, no problem.

Ko Kut
Very popular with Thai package tours, slowly becoming more popular with western independent travellers. Some spectacular beaches. Resorts are mostly mid ranged rather than budget. Read more about Ko Kut or check for discounted rates with Agoda.com

Ko Kut: We love it.
Ko Kut: We love it.

Related links

Thailand island reviews Our reviews on some of the region's most popular islands
Thailand island map A map listing all the islands in Thailand.
Last but not least? Our favourite islands in Cambodia.

I just trapped and killed lunch.
I just trapped and killed lunch.

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Read 76 comment(s)

  • I'm thinking of going to Phuket in April/May -haven't been before - usually go Ko Samui but fancied a change and some nicer beaches. We like to stay in a quieter resort but with relatively easy access into the nightlife - any suggestions?

    Posted by karenforbes on 11th November, 2008

  • Where's the beach?
    You've read the book, seen the movie and now you want to swim in the waters. You're looking for Ko Phi Phi.

    Everybody knows that The Beach is in The Ang Thong National Park in the Koh Samui archipelago. "We go from Bangkok to Surat Thani, from Surat Thani to Na Thon and from Na Thon to Chaweng". To say you should go to Phi Phi to find the "real" beach is not so professional from a travellers site of view.

    Everything else is good though :)

    Posted by Koh on 7th December, 2008

  • "The beach" you see in the movie, is on the smaller island near Koh Phi Phi (Maya Beach), that's why they said to go to Koh Phi Phi to see the beach. :)

    What they say in the movie, isn't necessarily true, right? Not every movie about a city is actually shot there either... :)

    Posted by MadHatter on 21st December, 2008

  • Hey Karen,

    How are you? I just got back from Thailand and enjoyed it immensely. I have stayed in Koh Samui as well as in Phuket. I'd suggest you go to Ko Phi Phi Don, which is about 1.5 hr boat ride from Phuket. This way you can relax and sunbathe on Phi Phi Ley (Maya Beach), where supposedly the movie "The Beach" was shot; it's a nice a quiet beach, not too quiet but definitely not over crowded considering it was Peak season. You can hire a long boat from Phi Phi Don, we paid 1200 Bath and the guy "Tiger" showed us some beautiful inlets of Phi Phi Ley where we went for a quick swim in the turquoise waters, before taking us snorkeling in another inlet and then off to Maya Beach where we stayed for a few hours, while he waited for us. As for nightlife Phi Phi Don wasn't boring, nothing spectacular, but definitely not boring; There were some nice bars and on the other side of Phi Phi Don there were some fire shows that were quite entertaining followed by some beach clubbing.
    I'm not too sure about the weather in April/ May, but you can check that out perhaps.

    Good luck and enjoy.

    Posted by Anoir on 17th January, 2009

  • Thanks for a great read. From your experiences, which islands are the least polluted? Thanks

    Posted by Maria on 25th January, 2009

  • I'm curious about the water temperature in the various areas, and the variance between seasons (for example, I will be travelling to Thailand in July). If anyone has any information on that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks! :)

    Posted by Carissa on 13th February, 2009

  • Hi going to thailand in July for a month I would love you opinions on the best Islands. two girls (27) travelling we want to stay in reasonable accomadation nothing over fancy but nothing horrible either and with the odd spoil here and there! . So if you could name the best and the worst Islands and reasons why that would be great. I have heard phuket and phi phi are very expensive oh and talk to me about the heat people!!!

    Posted by Colly on 18th April, 2009

  • Hi,
    Im goin to thailand on boxing day and i have comeup with this.
    Bangkok for 3 nights, ko samui for 7 with a 24hr boat trip to ko pha ngan for full moon, then onto ko Chang (ment to be still unspoilt but the next big thing?) for 5 nights before heading back home. Do you think this will work and i have avoided the west side (phucket, phi phi, krabi) is that tyhe right choice?

    Posted by Ryan on 22nd April, 2009

  • Ryan,
    Couple of points:
    Boat from Ko Samui to Ko Pha Ngan takes 1-2 hours (depending on which port you use). Ko Chang (I'm assuming you mean the big one near Cambodia) is far from undeveloped -- it's packed with guesthouses and resorts.

    Otherwise, all doable.

    Posted by somtam2000 on 23rd April, 2009

  • why only on west coast whats wrong with
    the east ryan?
    phi phi is a must do..

    Posted by jason sportswide. on 26th April, 2009

  • Hi all can anyone give advice or pointers on the islands please. going in July could be travelling on my own or with one female friend. Want to hear of nice places to stay and things to do and the odd island to stay away from. Thanks.C

    Posted by Colly on 29th April, 2009

  • Hi colly, i am also travelling in july, staying in Bangkok for few days then heading down to Ko Tao, this island supposed to be very nice, am doing some diving here, two islands next to this is ko phangan which has full moon parties, and also ko samui which is supposed to be amazing.. then am planning on going to phuket to see phi phi island where they filmed the beach..

    Posted by kay on 13th May, 2009

  • Hi,

    Heading to Thai, cant decide if i should go to phangan and samui or lanta? Any suggestions since i'm going alone. Thnx!

    Posted by r11 on 14th May, 2009

  • Thanks Kay sounds mostly the same as Im doing cant wait! I dont want to plan in too much but bangkok for a couple of days then up to chang mai- lots of animals and elephant trekking apparently then down to the Islands East and West coast and maybe do a night in Singapore. A little worried about the humidity thats all. Have you heard about any islands that are a waste of time? Suppose you have to do them for yourself. Diving , Cooking, Activity and Relaxing what I want alright.Thanks C

    Posted by Colly on 15th May, 2009

  • Wow...

    I am a 28 y.o. British man who is thinking of visiting Thailand and has come across this webpage and been reading the comments over the last couple of months.

    Can anyone help me? I have never been outside of Europe (apart from the US) and want to see Japan and Thailand, as I work I can only get 2 weeks off to travel what are the most imperative parts of the region I should visit, I dont want to be trying to fit too much as I want to enjoy the trip as well as explore.
    I was thinking Toyko, Bangkok, Vietnam then a couple of Isles such as phi phi and Ko Pha Ngan and kho samui

    I have no idea how to plan my flights, where to start really I have bought a few lonely planet books to start plannign my visit (which I intend to do in Feb 2010)

    Can anyone help me with experiences?


    Posted by Carl on 20th May, 2009

  • Hi Carl,

    I would suggest visiting just one country if you have only 2 weeks time. I know that it is tempting to visit as many places as possible in one trip (as I often tend to want to do as well) but visiting Japan, Vietnam AND Thailand in 2 weeks is really too much I think.

    You will hardly get to see a thing of each country. Your time would be better spend exploring one region in depth, it will also give you more value for your money (no need to buy multiple plane tickets).

    Just to speak from my experience: I was in Tokyo for 3 days which was not nearly enough to see it all. Spent 3 weeks traveling in Japan overall and feel like I've only seen the tip of the iceberg. People have been telling me that to get a good idea of Vietnam, you'll need at least a month. Myself I am planning to go to Thailand for a week after my upcoming trip in Vietnam, which I think is barely enough to do 1 or 2 days Bangkok and some days on one island.

    About flights: check websites such as expedia.com. Air Asia is a great budget airline in Asia that could serve you well.

    Posted by Green on 9th June, 2009

  • Hi

    I visiting thailand in July '09...for 4 days and then heading to malaysia fora nother 4 days...my first time there hence want to know of places that i can cover..im interested in adventure sports kayaking, snorkelling, diving etc...also don't wana miss the full moon parties... want to engage in some local shopping...nd visit historical places. I have identified following places in thailand, please let me know if they are good ..also how do i commute between these places,

    Landing in Phuket
    Ko phi phi
    Ko Pha Ngah
    Chiang Mai
    Phang Nga Bay

    Have no clue of places to visit in Malaysia, but would love to explore picturisque place there too...please please help!


    Posted by Ponks on 24th June, 2009

  • Don't try and do Malaysis and Thailand in 8 days - you will spend so much time travelling it just won't be worth it. Also, don't underestimate the size of Thailand, the places you listed can't be hopped between. For a nice 8 days I would suggest fly to Ko Samui then on to Ko Phanghan and Ko Tao. You will spend a certain amount of time on boats but much better than trying to get around the whole country.

    Posted by Nicola on 30th June, 2009

  • How risky would it be to plan a 2-weeks trip at the end of September in Thailand, from a weather point of view? I was thinking 3-4 days Bangkok, 6-7 days Phuket or Koh Samui (depends on weather) and then 3 days in Singapore or Chiang Mai.

    If we want to relax at the beach (no kids), is Phuket the right place or should we go for Koh Samui?

    Posted by Alex on 1st July, 2009

  • This is a valuable article as it emphasizes the diversity of Thailands islands. We get all types of visitors and have all types of island for them to enjoy. On Ko Phra Thong, which was not mentioned, we have 25,000 acres and only a small resort and some nice home stays managed by Andaman Discoveries, a non-profit. Besides long, empty beaches, there are masses of golden savannahs with lots of bird life and tranquilty. Hope you get a chance to visit some time.

    Posted by Dana on 23rd July, 2009

  • Hey,

    We are planning on going to Thailand for the infamous full moon party over new years.
    The only problem that we are having is deciding on which is the best island to party,
    Koh Samui or Koh Penyang?

    If you could help me with my problem that would be fantastic...

    Massive thanks!

    Posted by jess on 11th August, 2009

  • Hey,
    My partner and I have booked our trip to phuket for the 7th of Jan to the 22nd of Jan.
    We want to stay in phuket for a few nights at the end to go shopping. Apart from that we are after nice beaches!!
    Where do you suggest?

    Posted by Katie Poehland on 20th August, 2009

  • my wife and i are in our mid forties and are palnning to go to thailand for 2 weeks in early November. We will spend 2 nights in bangkok. Have done a reasonable amount of research on which island to visit. We are now considering either Ko Chang on the west coast or Ko Samui on cheang beach.
    We like the peace and quiet of good hotel/resort facilities during the day and the hustle and bustle of good night life, markets , bars and restaurants.
    Has anyone got any recommendations on which would be the best island to visit and best value 5 star accomodation.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Posted by Eamon on 23rd August, 2009

  • One place not mentioned which I adore is Railay or Rai Leh. Technically not an Island Railay is a small peninsula located between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang. It has all the other Islands have to offer with a slightly more relaxed feel to Phi-Phi,Koh Pha Ngan etc and to boot its only a 2hour bus ride plus a 15-20min boat ride from Phuket.

    Certainly worth a look IMO.


    Posted by Adam Sarfati on 8th September, 2009

  • HI

    this page has been really helpful, me and my bf are going to Thailand on the 8th december, staying 3 nights in bangkok then heading down to samui ko phangan etc (however ive heard the weather hear can be dodgy at that time of year?) then doing the khao sok national park for a few days, then a week in the south islands whicch should hopefully be more secluded for xmas and heading up to phi phi and railay for new year. (although it is very expensive and the hotel reviews not great)

    I would say definatly delegate a month to do everything you would want to do and limit having to tavel long distnaces as it wastes time.

    Any comments much appreciated,

    Any ideas for romantic seclusions for Xmas on a budget?

    Posted by Jenny on 10th September, 2009

  • Hi Jenny,

    For Xmas/new year I highly recommend Koh Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort!!! It lies on the quiet East coast of the island. You come here by long tail boat from the main pier in 30 minutes. Dream-like accomodation in the midst of unspoilt nature. Very nice staff as well. Njoy!

    Posted by Lo on 13th September, 2009

  • Hi Jenny,

    For Xmas/new year I highly recommend Koh Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort!!! It lies on the quiet East coast of the island. You come here by long tail boat from the main pier in 30 minutes. Dream-like accomodation in the midst of unspoilt nature. Very nice staff as well. Njoy!

    Posted by Lo on 13th September, 2009

  • Hello All,

    Just to let you know Maya Beach has not much to do with the real Beach from the film. I have meet someoene who lives in Thailand for 17 years and know where the proper Beach is. It s a secret though ;)

    Posted by Paulishia on 23rd September, 2009

  • I'm sure there are many secret beaches in Thailand but the "real" beach well what the movie/book was based on does not exist in the way you mentioned above.


    Posted by Adam Sarfati on 24th September, 2009

  • hi all, going to thailand middle of nov 09, back packing for a few months. never been before and im doing it alone, very excited but dont have a clue where to go or what to take.could anyone give me some good advice about this kind of trip. many thanks. simon.

    Posted by SIMON on 17th October, 2009

  • Hello,
    We plan to do our honeymoon mid-april 2010 and this is the program we are thinking:
    - Kho Samui for 5 days with visit of the waterfall one day, safari another day, and then to discover some little islands such as The Ang Thong National Park in the Koh Samui archipelago. Total 5 days.
    Then we fly to Phuket and we will stay 4 nights at the amazing Sarojin Hotel www.sarojin.com/ and then after from there we will go to discover some islands such as Kho Phi phi or Kho rok. Total 6-7 days.
    Grand total of 2 weeks.
    What do you think? We want to mix activities with spectacular sceneries, some amazing beaches and of course a bit of romance :-)
    Is April a good season for the Kho Samui and the Phuket side?
    Many thanks!

    Posted by David on 24th October, 2009

  • Where was the photo taken that has the caption "A swing with your name on it?" It's lovely.

    Posted by Nisarat on 13th November, 2009

  • Nisarat, that pic was taken on Haad Saikantang on Ko Pha Ngan. A great spot!

    Posted by Stuart on 15th November, 2009

  • Hi All,

    I am wondering if there any advice as to how best split the ten days i have around the west coast of Thailand. I am planning on flying into Krabi in mid Jan and will then fly out of Phuket up to Chiang Mai ten days later. Any tips of what islands to go to and places to stay (as a solo traveller) would be much obliged!


    Posted by Mary on 18th December, 2009

  • We have decided to go later in the year now to escape some of the crowds. Do you think this a good idea?

    Posted by Katie Poehland on 26th December, 2009

  • Hey everyone. My boyfriend and I have just got back from 3 weeks in Thailand and spent time on Koh Bulon, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, Koh Lanta and Koh Tao.

    I'm putting up a review of each island on my blog which you can find at http://adateatthetate.blogspot.com/

    In answer to Katie's post..from what I've read the rainy season picks up from about May to November so I'd avoid that if you can. For our most recent trip we left on 30th November and it was perfect (if you can wait that long of course! The rain had gone so we had perfect weather but its still classed as low season so it wasn't crowded and accomodation and even some restaurants were cheaper.

    Posted by Rachael on 3rd January, 2010

  • hi all,
    me and my friends are gonna go to thailand for 10days.we've been to koh pha ngan before.so this time we wanna go visit a different island.we are mainly thinking about koh phi phi,so can anyone tell me if its expensive or/and crowded these days?we want a trip on budget,so pls help us.

    btw,how far is it from bangkok to phuket?and what is the most comfortable way to get there?(it was a nightmare to take an over night bus and ferry to koh pha ngan!)

    Posted by Blair on 17th January, 2010

  • Hi,

    My wife and I (in our early thirties) are planng to go to Thailand in April. As its our first time can any suggest where we should go. We heard Phuket, Ko Sami is great. we are thinking of going for 10-14 days. I would like to maybe start in Bangkok for a day or so then to a beautiful beach where we can relax. Somewhere also we can experience the local food as we are big Thai food fans. Would it be good to include the full moon party?. How do we find out when it actually happens so we can get the dates right in the trip. Heard about staying in the huts on the beach-sounds great and cheap than a hotel. Does anyone know where the best ones are? We wanna have fun as well as a relaxed holiday. As you can see I have a lot of questions but we would be very grateful if anyone could help out as there is sooooo much to do there. A big thanks...

    Posted by Aykut Hilmi on 12th February, 2010

  • HI Kykut,

    You should defo go to a full moon party in Koh Phangan, its a great experience, as far as I no there is one 28th April, but you can check on www.fullmoonpartykohphangan.com and it will give you the full list of dates. You can stay on Koh Phangan Island for the Party but there is a min stay in nearly all places of 3 days or sometimes 5, besides the party itself there isnt much going on, so I would say if your going Stay in Koh Samui and get the boat over, only takes about an hour and then you can get the boat back.... Its a mad place and easy to lose people so if you dont have phones, arrange a meeting spot if you get lost. Koh Samui is lovely, especially along Chaweng Beach, try the Arc Hotel for its beach parties at night always good. Phuket is nice but very packed and can be expensive, I would suggest going to Koh Phi Phi, it is gorgeous, you can get a boat from Phuket, only about 500BHT and takes about an hour. As your only going for 2 weeks dont try to go to too many places as it could be alot to do, and I would suggest booking your internal flights in advance as they can get booked out and other transport can take up to 24 hours... hope you enjoy

    Posted by ashling on 14th February, 2010

  • Hi ppl...

    4 of us (2 couples) are going to Thailand for 9 days from apr 24 to 2 May. Plan is 3 nights in Krabi, 3 nights in Koh Samui (will catch the 28 April full moon party in Koh Phang Nan) and then 2 nights in Bangkok for the shopping.

    Some ppl tell me Krabi is pretty similar to Koh Samui, should I replace it with Chiang Mai since its a different type of place? What is the stuff to do at Chiang Mai? Will be glad to hear any other alternatives.

    p.s. This is our first trip to Thailand :)...big thanx for any replies

    Posted by Shail on 19th February, 2010

  • Hi, my bf and I are going to Thailand at the end of March through mid-april. Definitely would love to go island hopping for 7 days or maybe 5. Never been to Thailand before so I am hoping someone can recommend the best ones. We are looking for an island with great beaches, white powdery sand and clean, turqoise calm, swimmable water. If anyone also has a hotel that they recommend where the beach is less than 500 meters. It doesn't have to be fancy, but clean. We have been to many pretty deserted islands (Panama's San blas, Fiji and Philippines) to name a few so I am hoping someone can recommend an island that will not be a disappointment.

    Any help would be great.


    Posted by Aps on 22nd February, 2010

  • Hi to all,
    just been reading all reviews of different islands etc in Thailand. I know we all are different but i have been travelling to Thailand for many years now and have visited, koh samui, phuket,koh chang etc. Most i think are overated especially Koh samui. I have just returned from a 3week trip with my girlfriend and have found paradise now in thailand. KRABI, will get my vote way above the rest, stunning. Hope this helps many of you. regards.Phil

    Posted by phil foster on 24th February, 2010

  • Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your comment. Where would you say is the best place to stay in Krabi seeing thats where you believe true paradise lies? thanks...

    Posted by Aykut Hilmi on 24th February, 2010

  • Great news Phil since I'm excited about my visit to Krabi in April. I hv the same question as Aykut...which hotel would u reco in the region of 2500 - 4000 baht?

    Posted by Shail on 24th February, 2010

  • Hi To Aykut and Shail,
    Sorry for the delay in my response back to you guys. Well my girlfriend and me stayed for 2 nights at the aree tarar, supposedly 4 star , really nice but not 4 star, we booked that off laterooms.com for 2 nghts was bout £80.00 for both of us inclusive of breakfast, we then walked into the queens bay pavillion WOW, we managed to get a deluxe room here for 3000 baht a night, infinity pool , massive room and massive balcony with a great view of the sea and a massive swing chair on the balcony, room 406 we had there and the sun was on the balcony from 1600 to sunset which was beautiful. Queesns pavillion is my favourite hotel that i have ever stayed in in thailand. However you will get accomadation no problems whatso ever, we met people there staying in large rooms with air con etc paying about 750 per night per room. Queens pavillion is a £200 a nigh hotel so i grabbed that chance of luxury at a great price. any more questions then feel free to ask about thailand or krabi as said not being modest but ive travelled around there for a few years and mopre thatn willing to assist fellow travellers on any advice . Regards Phil

    Posted by phil foster on 25th February, 2010

  • Thanks Phil...will chk it out fr sure.

    Any recommended hotels in Koh Samui and Bangkok? max range of say 4500 - 5000 baht per night....


    Posted by Shail on 26th February, 2010

  • Hi Shail,

    May I ask who you booked your holiday with as that package your are doing sounds great and something my wife and I would also like to do. Its quite tricky to book the flights that particular way I found.

    Posted by Aykut on 26th February, 2010

  • hi again to aykut and shail,

    shail i always stay at the woraburi in bangkok, sumkumvit road, busy area but this hotel is downd a side road, good medium range hotel, ive just come back from there and they were doing superior rooms for 1200baht per nght per room including buffet breakfast that price is inclusive for 2 people, the skytrain is a 5 minute walk which is nana station to link u up with getting around bkk, if u use it and ur gonna do few pllaces in one day gey a day unlimited ticket for 100baht.shail i stayed in koh samui bout 4 years ago and stayed between lamai and chaweng beach beautiful place for around 1800 baht , again that was per room, very quiet though and abit of a walk at nght in lamai. sure it was called the samui yacht club , beautiful private beach 2 mins from ur bungalow, exceelent for us but depends if u wanna be in centrasl lamai or chaweng. hope this helps you shail.aykut i always book all myself as we go , i use kayak.co.uk for my flights, to bkk and air asia for all my internal flights, and normally late rooms .com for accomadation unless we just walk in and ask, actually good tip for you all, phone the hotel and iu will normally get a better rate then walking in, well most of the time anyway.regards phil

    Posted by phil on 27th February, 2010

  • Hi all,

    Me and my bf are off to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in a few weeks. After a tour around Cambodia and Vietnam we are wanting to spend some time on a thai island, we were thinking Ko Samet? We want somewhere that isnt too far to travel from Bangkok, has good food, nice beaches, and chance to relax! Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Sheryl

    Posted by Sheryl on 11th May, 2010

  • Hi Sheryl,
    Koh samet is beautiful,but only for a few days as not much there at all and not many places to eat etc? unless its changed much in the last 3 years. Depending on time that u have and the money i would fly down to krabi and stay there u can visit some of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. Hua hin is nice and bout 2and half hours from bkk by taxi or 6 hrs by train, not an island but nice and really cheap.Any more help then please feel free to ask


    Posted by phil foster on 11th May, 2010

  • Hey...we just came bk from a Krabi - Koh Samui - BKK trip abt 10 days back. From my experience, I think Koh Samui is a bit overrated, maybe not more than 3 days stay...bkk is gr88 only for shopping. Krabi is beautiful, but remember its not that developed. Stay at Ao Nang beach area in Krabi, frm whr u must do Ko Phi phi and Railay beaches, those are stunning!


    Posted by Shail on 12th May, 2010

  • Hi,
    My partner and I (both early 30's) are going to Thailand and Cambodia in mid July. Does anyone know if it would be ok to camp at say Ko Rok in July? - Or would it be too wet?
    Thanks in advance :-)

    Posted by Jess on 31st May, 2010

  • Hi

    My husband and I are fed up of the rat race in London and are going to take some time out in Thailand. We hope to be leaving for our travells in August sometime and would really appreciate some advice on where to go and what to do - at this stage we are going with open minds and what to experience culture, relaxation and something we can rememeber for yers to come....any ideas would be really appreciated...we have never done anything like this before!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by dervandham on 31st May, 2010

  • Hi all,

    Me and my wife have plan to spent 8 nights in Thailand between 22-30 of July. As seen from the review Phuket and Koh Samui are overpriced and very crowded so me and my wife plan to visit Krabi for 4 nights as recommended most of you. This would be the first trip to Thailand so we are not aware of many things. First we would like to stay in mid range (daily around 150$-200$) hotels. And we come up with Pimalai and Tutkaak resorts. But we don't know any of those close to other small islands for short trips? We like to rent private bot (long tails or speed bots) and have short trip to other small islands to avoid any crowded beaches... Is it possible to rent bot from the any company of village. Hotel's arrangements always pricy but it is much secure so is it safe if we rent bot from the village or any company. We don't want to have experience like "Open Water" movie :) I know it is a movie but again...

    After 4 nights we haven't decide we may go to stay in Phi Phi or Phuket or Koh Samui :(

    There are to many and we don't know what to do :(

    Where is the place we can get beaches sandy and no one around at least 50 meters around... What would be the your recommendations?

    Posted by Erbuer on 26th June, 2010

  • we're going to Thailand for 2 weeks in August.. With so many islands I can't decide where to go! Also, any suggestions what else to do in Thailand? We may stay in chiang mai for a little bit, apparently you can spend the day with an elephant and look after it which sounds great... Probably visit a temple and the floating market, but otherwise do you have any other ideas how to make the most of thailand!?

    also, is it better to just book a night on arrival and then haggle for accommodation for the rest?

    Many thanks for any advise,

    Posted by James Radford on 12th July, 2010

  • We are spending 2/3 weeks in the South of Thaialnd from 1 - 19 November. Where are the bests islands to go to at this time of year? Looking for relaxation/pampering, clear water with a bit of partying thrown in. all thoughts appriciated!

    Posted by confused on 21st July, 2010

  • Hello Confused! I would consider Koh Phra Thong and Golden Buddha Beach for some pampering, and true relaxation. There is a little bit of partying and drinking possible at Mr Chouis but definitely nothing too strenuous.Hope you find what you are looking for.

    Posted by Myles on 11th August, 2010

  • I'm looking to go to Thailand with my wife from the 29th of August for 7 days and would have liked to spend some time on the beach. Only thing is that I'm a little worried about the weather, which beach do you recommend would be the best. I mainly like to know local culture and people and if possible beaches where you can breathe.

    Thanks for any advice you may give me.

    Posted by Louis on 11th August, 2010

  • Alot of the duration and destination questions are answered right here on this website. Plan your trip and be prepared to cut 1/3 or 1/4 of it off.Sabai Sabai

    Posted by Dave on 20th September, 2010

  • I have about 12 days to see some islands - would I be able to do, say Ko Phangan, Ko Samui as well as Ko Phi Phi and Ko Muk?

    Or should I stick to some others on the west rather than Phangan and Samui?
    If so, which others?


    Posted by James on 24th September, 2010

  • Hi I was wondering if anyone can help me here:) Its 8-10 of us going to Thailand for 10 days in January; planning to go to Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui(will probably spend 1 day or two in Bangkok for shopping)any ideas if we can actualy get a suite for 10 pp? thanks. Parya

    Posted by Parya on 11th October, 2010

  • Thanks! Very handy and helpful.

    Posted by Ryss on 20th October, 2010

  • Oh this is a tough call you must visit all. I am a particular fan of the small underdeveloped KO Yao Noi. This island is just heaven and is a short trip from either Phuket or Krabi. It has no cars, no ATM and just one 7eleven. The resort is heavenly and the owners enjoy the fun of their visitors. A very nice place to chill after busy Phuket.

    Posted by Simon Coleman on 26th November, 2010

  • Hi there,

    I'm looking for some advice.We are travelling to Thailand for the first time in December/jan 2011 and we are looking at going straight from London to bangkok then onto Phuket,ko phi phi,Krabi,Ko Samui,Ko Tao, Ko Phangan and then Bangkok.What is the best route to follow?I know we can do Phi phi as a day trip which is fine but would it be easier to fly from bangkok to phuket then start the circle that direction then head to Ko samui?

    Posted by Michelle on 17th June, 2011

  • Hello,

    My fiance and I are visiting Thailand for 2 weeks in January and I would love to get some suggestions as to which islands we should visit.
    Our plan is to fly into Bangkok and spend a day on a River Kwai tour, before spending one day in Bangkok and heading south, probably by sleeper train. We have 9 nights to see an island or two before flying back to spend another couple of days in Bangkok and then flying home.

    We are looking for something fairly chilled. I have a picture on my head of my own private beach hut, but close enough to a village or town so we can visit bars and do activities. Not interested in a party holiday and we don't want to be somewhere too touristy. We don't want to go anywhere however which is too far off the beaten track as we don't want to waste too much time getting there.

    I have been told Phi Phi is nice and chilled in places, and Lanta is the same. Am open to suggestions though. Is Samui completely tourist ridden or are there quieter areas on the island? Have heard Chang is amazing but we're not looking to head over that direction this trip.



    Any suggestions would be great! Interested also in elephant trekking and we definately want to see a Muay Thai fight, but expect we will probably do this at one of the large stadiums in Bangkok.

    Many thanks!

    Posted by Samantha on 24th July, 2011

  • I have 2 children aged 2 and 6 years old.. I went once to Ko Samui as I have had 1 kids..We will go to Thailand in August and I try to find an island like Ko Samui.. (i do not prefer to go to the same island) Can someone give advice to which island shall I go with 2 children?

    Thanks in advance

    Posted by ayca on 2nd December, 2011

  • I am going to the Thai Islands for just a few days in July. Since it is the rainy season I am not which are the best islands (where the weather is best and predictable) to visit? Any advice?

    Posted by Ashley on 22nd March, 2012

  • Hi,

    My wife and I are going to thailand for one month, maybe thinking of hitting Vietnam beforehand.

    Anyhow, any recommendations? I was thinking of hitting Ko Yao Noi, Ko Rok, and Krabi. Any advise on these beaches or other would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Posted by Robb on 7th May, 2012

  • Hi,
    My BF and I are planning on going to thailand in september, but we have never been there before. We mainly only want to relax, but I think some shopping would be in order after a while! And possibly fishing too?! Just wondering if anybody could lend some suggestions on the best area to stay? And maybe even suggest some accommodation ideas? Looking at spending around $150 AUS/night.

    Any help will be enormously appreciated. Thanks!

    Posted by Emma on 24th June, 2012

  • I went to Ko Payam, a not well known island and it was amazing. We paid about 3 dollars a night to stay there and were almost the only tourists on the beach (low season). I loved the fact that it's such a small island you can only travel by motorbike or walking. Perfect to relax for a few days.
    You can get here by taking a boat from the harbor in Ranong.

    Posted by Anouk on 5th October, 2012

  • Waaaay too many to choose from :)

    Posted by Ally on 16th December, 2012

  • If money is not a problem, and I want kayaking, snorkel, walking distance to the beach (no buggy), calm beach, I don't like big resorts. What would you suggest?

    Posted by MAYA FERNANDEZ on 22nd October, 2013

  • I think, that you forget Ko Poda in the Krabi Province. Also, one of the best is Bamboo Island (I don't know its thai name). This island you can meet by traveling from Krabi to Phi Phi islands. Poda island is one of my favorite islands in Thailand. It is near "big earth", it is easy to get, it is near Phra Nang, Ao Nang, Railey etc...

    Posted by Alex Cardo on 29th December, 2013

  • My favorite is Koh Tao, but man you opened my eyes to a bunch of "kohs" that I didn't even know existed. Great article!

    Posted by Kconan on 31st January, 2014

  • WoW! That was really a helpful post for people who wants to explore the Thailand. I appreciate how you details each beach in Thailand.

    Posted by Asianwonders on 4th April, 2014

  • Koh Lipe is the most beautiful island in Thailand, That's why they call "the Maldive of Thailand".
    The transparency and the colour of the sea make koh Lipe and the other island of Tarutao national park (koh Adang, Koh Rawi,) the most beautiful island of all Thailand.
    For diving around Koh Lipe there are some of the most beautiful spot in the world.
    Perfect for families couples and singles who want relax but without miss a nice time in one of the chill bars in the beach, or one of the western restaurants.
    Fortunately is not suitable island for "sex tourist" or for high drug tourist, for this kind of tourist they should know, there is not prostitution and there is not strong drugs in Koh Lipe.
    For all the people who say becoming like Phi Phi......too many tourist.....bla bla bla, I answer to them "learn to be a tourist".... if you pretend to stay in the main beach near the walking street 25 December and to be alone that's impossible. Koh Lipe is developing like every other place in Thailand and in the world, but you can walk around and there are many beautiful beaches where you can be alone, or you can pay 100 bath and take the taxi boat to koh Adang and be naked alone in the beach without anybody. I go to koh Lipe every year for the last 10 years and I see all the changes in the island, yes it changed a lot but it is still the best island in Thailand and one of the best in the world without any doubt.

    Posted by marino on 26th August, 2014

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