what is the most 'off the beaten track' island (or beach) you have visited in Thailand.
I love Thailand, I've been a couple times. I like mellow and slow - not full moon party. I've been to a few islands in Thailand (Ko Chang, Ko Tao, Ko Samet) I've also visited Ton Sai. I loved all of these places probably Ton Sai the best but I'd love to know if there are any more obscure beach/island spots I could (should visit).
If you liked Ton Sai, the first island that comes to mind is Ko Chang Noi: https://www.travelfish.org/blogs/thailand/2012/04/05/ko-chang-noi-thailands-most-laidback-island/
I missed Ko Phayam but apparently it's similar, though a little more developed from what I've gathered.
Ko Kradan might be too small for some... It's great for couples looking for a getaway. It does have a much better beach than a lot of the more offbeat islands. If it weren't for Paradise Lost, Kradan would be almost completely a midrange to high-end island. Ko Muk is good b/c you can visit Kradan on a daytrip and it's big enough to walk, hike and bicycle around.
I also really liked Ko Bulon Lae, although I saw they added a regular speedboat service in high season so maybe it's getting busier now. Ko Sukorn, Ko Libong and Ko Phra Thong are all great if you want islands that are really outside of the tourist trail. I especially liked Ko Phra Thong. With its rolling sand dunes, the savannah landscape of Phra Thong is unlike anywhere else in Thailand, and you can have massive stretches of beach all to yourself there. I've yet to hit Ko Jum, Ko Si Boya and Ko Yao Yai / Noi, but those are all supposed to be good for a similarly 'out there' vibe (and if Tiliapia says Ko Jum is all that then I'd believe it).
And then of course there are the national park islands. Of those I've been to (Similans, Ko Surin , Ko Tarutao , Ko Adang, Ko Rawi and Ko Ra), I felt Ko Surin was the best. The scenery there topped any island I've visited -- absolutely breathtaking. Similans are comparable in terms of scenery but they tend to be overrun by tour groups; Ko Surin is more laid back and has similarly incredible snorkeling, but travel around the islands is by longtail rather than speedboat at the Similans. Ko Surin also has the presence of the Moken (traditionally nomadic sea people), which adds a sort of mystical element. Tarutao is also good but in a different way. It's perfect if you're looking to jungle safari it into the rugged hills then descend down to completely empty beaches.
Though it's a lot more popular, I'm also a big fan of Ko Lipe. Great lively atmosphere and beautiful beaches, and with the bonus that you can daytrip to Ko Adang, Ko Rawi, Ko Hing Ngam etc. From Lipe you can also easily hit Ko Tarutao or Ko Bulon on the way to/from Pakbara.
Oh yeah and there's Ko Kut. I haven't been but Travelfish's founder says it's "the most beautiful island we've seen in Thailand over two decades of travel to the kingdom". That's quite an endorsement.
"I'm also a big fan of Ko Lipe. Great lively atmosphere and beautiful beaches, and with the bonus that you can daytrip to Ko Adang, Ko Rawi, Ko Hing Ngam etc. From Lipe you can also easily hit Ko Tarutao or Ko Bulon on the way to/from Pakbara."
Can you do these daytrips in June/July?
The national park islands are officially closed then, but you can still find a longtail driver on Lipe who will take you out there so long as the seas aren't too rough. Why do you ask?
"Ton Sai near Railay has nothing."
It has very good rock climbing. And bong hits. Although the quality of the latter might not be so great.
Just wondering what's open and operating as I always go low season. Bong hits? geez.
The Mali resort on Lipe looks pretty awesome. I noticed they have a good deal on a garden room low season. But if tours and activities are down then I'm not sure it's worth the trouble going.
Some of the islands are close? I'll have to do some research for Nov.
Ton Sai DOES have good rock climbing, and I thought it was really beautiful when I was there - about 10 years ago now, sigh.
I did. That's where I learned to climb, it's been a hobby ever since. My boyfriend at the time gave it a go but it wasn't his thing. I continued to climb without him though, much to his irritation.
pad_thai, as I recall the national park islands open either November 1 or mid November... Just check in the individual destination pages for each to find out. Other islands are getting into full swing in November so no worries there. Island hopping routes and other ferries also start running in early November.
Leonrad, a big proportion of people who go to Railay/Ton Sai go specifically for rock climbing. It's considered to be among the best climbing destinations in the world.
Ko Tarutao and Ko Lipe are both beautiful, though the latter's getting built up -- these are my favourite Thai islands visited so far. I have not yet been to Ko Yao Noi, which is about 40 minutes by boat off Phuket 's east coast but everyone I know who's gone there absolutely loves it. Beaches are apparently not as nice as Phuket but great views out to Phang Nga Bay and laid-back local scene. Hope to get there soon!