Far away from Austria, in South Asian Thailand, there are over 500 beautiful islands that await visitors with incredible beaches and a unique atmosphere. Each one has its own charm and offers conditions for different types of vacation.
It doesn’t matter whether you are planning a luxury vacation in one of the beautiful beach resorts or are on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, because here you will find great accommodations for every budget. And most importantly, the beauty of the Thai islands is completely free. So that you get a good overview of the most beautiful and worth seeing islands in Thailand, I would like to give you a first impression. Some of the islands in the Thai Gulf and also in the Andam Sea are not inhabited, while others are so well developed for tourism that you might feel a bit like an artificial paradise for foreign tourists. So that you know what to expect, I present you the most beautiful islands in Thailand in more detail.
The islands in the Gulf of Thailand
In the south of Thailand are the three popular islands Ko Tao, Ko Phangan and Ko Samui . Due to their proximity to each other, these islands are ideal for island hopping . With the ferry you can get from one island to the next relatively quickly and thus explore every island. Depending on the route, a crossing costs around 150 baht, which is just under € 4. You can buy the tickets directly at the pier. If you like it even more convenient, book a crossing including transfer at a local travel agency.
Ko Samui – The largest island in the Thai Gulf
According to petsinclude, Koh Samui – also Ko Samui – is the largest of the three islands and is around 35 kilometers from the mainland. It belongs to the province of Surat Thani. With an area of 233 km², Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand after Ko Phuket and Ko Chang .
Getting to Koh Samui
Koh Samui can be reached easily and several times a day from all airports in Southeast Asia. Flights go, for example, from Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Krabi. Alternatively, you can also travel by ferry from the mainland.
Together with 60 other islands, including Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Taen, Koh Nang Yuan and the around 40 islands of the Ang Thong National Park, it is part of the Samui Archipelago. On site you can expect temperatures around 30 degrees all year round and the water will not get cooler than 27 degrees. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Particularly popular tourist destinations are the towns of Chaweng and Lamai , which lure with beautiful beaches, Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, among other places . The six kilometer long Chaweng Beach, followed by Lamai Beach, is the longest, most beautiful and most popular beach in all of Koh Samui. The best thing to do is borrow a scooter and explore the island on your own with my Koh Samui tips!
Ko Phangan – Known for legendary parties
Koh Phangan – also Ko Pha-Ngan or Ko Pha Ngan – is the neighboring island of Koh Samui and only 15 kilometers away from it.
Getting to Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan does not have its own airport and is therefore best reached by ferry from Koh Samui.
However, Koh Phangan is smaller and has an area of 125 km². The deepest jungle, impressive viewpoints and hidden waterfalls offer you an exciting experience. The island can be explored very well by motorcycle, on foot or on a mountain bike tour. For those of you who prefer to relax, there are numerous beautiful beaches such as Thong Nai Pan or Salad Beach, where you can laze around. There is also a very large yoga scene on Koh Phangan. Especially in and around the place Srithanu you will find a lot of great yoga resorts with many workshops and courses.
The Full Moon Parties on Ko Phangan
If you like to let it rip after a relaxing yoga session, you are in particularly good hands on Ko Phangan! A full moon, half moon and black moon party takes place here every month . The full moon party is the biggest and most blatant. Every month around 30,000 people come to the island at this time to celebrate with lots of alcohol and neon-colored shirts on the infamous Haad Rin Nok beach. The parties are legendary and now have the reputation of being extremely degenerate. Drugs, lots of alcohol and the climate cause total failures for some visitors. In any case, take good care of your personal belongings and avoid trouble – then you can experience the night of your life.
Ko Tao – The purest paradise for divers and snorkelers
The 21 km² small island of Koh Tao – also Ko Tao – is the smallest island in the Samui archipelago. Translated it is called “Turtle Island ” because a long time ago many sea turtles settled around the island.
Getting to Koh Tao
Koh Tao does not have its own airport, so the best way to get there is by ferry from Koh Samui or Surat Thani (mainland).
Koh Tao is particularly known for its incredible underwater world. The intact diving area makes the island a very popular destination, especially for beginners, with many diving schools. There is hardly a beach on Koh Tao where you don’t have the opportunity to dive and spot sea turtles and shimmering fish. Otherwise everything on Koh Tao revolves around Sairee Beach , the most famous beach on the Thai island. Here you will find numerous hotels, bars and restaurants that will sweeten your evening.
Anyone who has ever been to Koh Tao should definitely visit the island of Koh Nang Yuan to the north . There you can hike to a lookout point and then have a breathtaking view of a sand dune that connects three islands.