It's true that Florida has some of the best beaches in the US, but the crystal blue waters and Thai hospitality set apart the islands of southern Thailand. Travelers ready to explore the exotic wild can live bucket list dreams on the serene and natural Thai islands that adorn the Andaman Sea. The most remote and untouched islands are just a quick connection from the mainland. Absolutely worth the flight, a hideaway on these tropical islands makes an unforgettable experience. These islands offer something for every visitor. Travelers seeking romantic sunsets, white sand lounging, local flavors, or adventurous snorkeling and kayaking tours can choose from these ten amazing islands to create the trip of their dreams.
10 Koh Pha Ngan
Although known for its (in)famous Full Moon Parties, Koh Pha Ngan is more than just a party destination. Crystal blue waters and a well-established and welcoming community of foreigners and locals give this island a particularly homey feel. Perfect for an extended stay and well positioned for island hopping, upscale and budget travelers can enjoy everything the island has to offer, including resorts for every taste and traveler.
- Accommodation: Princess Paradise Koh Phangan
- Address: 117/11 M6, Ko Pha Ngan
- Amenities: Pool, patio/terrace, restaurant
9 Koh Lanta
A haven for travelers and ex-pats based all over Thailand, Koh Lanta is a thriving community with vegetarian and vegan food options, co-working spaces, and all the necessary creature comforts. Ideal for digital nomads, this island is ideal for squeezing in an island getaway while staying connected. Although known for its backpacker vibe, the available accommodations include luxury options, modern minimalist and local-style designs. What’s more, visitors can enjoy a stay by the beach or hide away in the jungle. Among the Thai islands, Koh Lanta is tough to beat for variety and convenience.
- Accommodation: Layana Resort & Spa
- Address: 272 Moo 3 Saladan, Ko Lanta
- Amenities: Adults only, pool, spa
8 Koh Muk
Pearl Island, as the name translates, is deserving of the title. Only a short distance from the Southeast Thai coast, this island offers peaceful isolation and easy access to the mainland. Secluded Sabai Beach is a perfect launch point for kayaking the caves along its coast. The perfect place for relaxation, a beachfront stay is essential to enjoy the mellow tropical vibe that defines Koh Muk. Island hopping to some lesser-known Thai islands is a perfect way to discover uninhabited islands like Ko Waen and Ko Chueak.
- Accommodation: Koh Mook Sivalai Beach Resort
- Address: 211/1 M00 2, Tambon Libong, Ko Muk
- Amenities: Beachfront, Pool, Spa
7 Koh Libong
Dramatic rocky beaches and curious rock formations make this island a perfect choice for travelers interested in the magic of nature. The rich coastal life makes this an ideal beach for snorkeling. Evenings here are peaceful and quiet, with life revolving around the resorts. Choosing the perfect stay guarantees an ideal getaway, embraced by the rugged, wild charm of the island. The inland zone is a steep elevation and adventurous visitors should take a local guide to explore this area.
- Accommodation: Andalay Beach Resort Koh Libong
- Address: 117/4 Moo 5, Ko Libong
- Amenities: Airport shuttle, pool, kitchen/kitchenette
6 Koh Lan
Not to be confused with the similarly named Koh Lanta, Koh Lan is an adventurer’s paradise. Visitors can take on the zip line at Nual Beach for an adrenaline rush and nearby islands also offer unforgettable adventures. Ko Sak offers snorkeling and rocky Koh Krok is a challenging but rewarding hike. Dotted along its western coast, Koh Lan offers a wide range of beautiful accommodations where the most popular beaches can be found. For active travelers who like a good adventure, Koh Lan offers a mix of heart-pumping adventures and relaxed beaches to rest and recuperate.
- Accommodation: Koh Larn Riviera
- Address: 170/26 Moo 7, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Ko Lan
- Amenities: Pool, terrace/patio, restaurant
5 Koh Phi Phi Don
The only inhabited island in the Phi Phi archipelago, this island is the perfect jumping-off point to explore its uninhabited sisters. Travelers can hire a boat and crew to explore the area. Kayaking and snorkeling give visitors an exclusive view of the beauty of this area from above and below the water. The island itself is home to white sand beaches, quaint local eateries, and untouched wilderness. Elegant and peaceful accommodations provide the perfect respite after a day of exploring the mesmerizing beauty of the island and its environs.
- Accommodation: Phi Phi Coco Beach Resort
- Address: 299 Moo 7, Tambon Aonang, Ko Phi Phi
- Amenities: Beachfront, spa, pool
4 Koh Jum and Koh Pu
With more than a kilometer of essentially untouched beach, Koh Jum/Koh Pu is a hidden gem among the Thai islands. Perhaps the confusing naming of the island has contributed to its secrecy. The northern part of the island is known as Koh Pu while the southern part is called Koh Pu, although the land is just one small island. The island is sparsely populated and only found by the most curious and adventurous travelers. Koh Jum/Koh Pu is the perfect resort escape for the intrepid traveler. Those who do make the journey, however, are rewarded with untouched wild, pure beaches, and authentic local experiences.
- Accommodation: Purin Resort & Restaurant
- Address: 203 Moo 1, T.Thalingchan, Koh Jum
- Amenities: Airport shuttle, pool, terrace/patio
3 Koh Samet
The quintessential beach hideaway, Koh Samet (often spelled Koh Samed as well), is all about chilled-out vibes and seaside lounging. Sunset strolls in the white sand and sunrise breakfasts at the beautiful resorts are the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway. Visitors seeking leisure can find it here. The vibe is pure beach relaxation. Grab a page-turner and get some reading done in a hammock, or take a cool drink after a dip in the crystal waters. The only thing to do here is relaxing, and that’s perfect to keep leisure travelers blissfully unbusy.
- Accommodation: Larissa Samed Resort
- Address: 8/1 Moo 4, Samed Island, Ko Samet
- Amenities: Terrace/patio, grill, Wi-Fi
2 Koh Yao Yai
The largest of similarly named twin islands, Koh Yao Yai is a resort experience haven. There are plenty of things to do on the island beyond the resorts, too. The picturesque viewpoint in the northeast of the island offers a sweeping view of the mainland and the nearby islands, including the sister island Koh Yao Noi. Palm Beach Club draws sunbathers with its Instagramable decor and an enviable location right on the beach. The friendly locals make visitors feel at home all over the island. The magic of Koh Yao Yai extends to the resort stays, which include traditional Thai-style design with modern amenities and conveniences.
- Accommodation: Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa
- Address: 88 Moo 7, Phunai, Ko Yao Yai
- Amenities: Pool, spa, restaurant
1 Koh Yao Noi
The smaller sister island to Koh Yao Yai, this island is home to multiple paradise beach resorts. Tha Khao Beach offers a breathtaking view of the surroundings and is especially striking at sunset when the limestone islands jutting up from the bay cast quizzical shapes against the horizon. Close to multiple popular islands, Koh Yao Yai is an ideal island hopping base. The true draw to Koh Yao Noi, however, is the resort scene. The coastline is dotted with both glamorous and homey resorts that appeal to every budget and taste.