Get ready to daydream about the beach…

The Thai islands are quite frankly little drops of heaven right here on earth. Each island has its own personality,  its own character, its own quirk – and every single one will leave you in awe.

The islands of Thailand can’t be compared to any other shoreline, so we’re giving them our stamp of approval as we attempt to choose just five for this list. It’s going to be tough…


 Koh Phi Phi

Like many of the islands on this list, Koh Phi Phi features idyllic beaches. With crystal clear (and warm!)  blue waters surrounded by dense jungle greenery; it’s an oasis for the devoted beach bummer.

If you visit, then you must take a boat trip out to Maya Bay. Yes, we said you must. Maya Bay served as the beautiful setting for cult classic traveler film The Beach. As you travel to Koh Phi Phi,  see the huge limestone rocks protrude from the greenish sea, stop off to feed monkeys hanging out waiting for tourist boats and snorkel in the middle of shoals of tropical fish as they swarm around you in their hundreds, it’s a massive thrill and one of the most memorable moments from my own round the world trip.

Once the sun goes down, Koh Phi Phi really comes alive – get entertained by fire dancers, down cocktails, gaze at fireworks and dance on the beach.

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is quite literally what Thai island dreams are made of where turquoise lagoons meet small islands of flour soft sand, poking up through the water. Heaven.

Koh Lipe can be found just down near the border with Malaysia and is a lot quieter than the other, more frequently visited islands, so it’s the perfect place to just disconnect and get lost in nature.

It’s small, you can actually walk around the whole thing in an hour, but it’s perfectly formed. As it’s right on the edge of Tarutao National Park, there are certain laws in place to make sure that development is kept to a minimum – great news if you like your island experience to be as Castaway-esque as possible.

ThaiIslands_KohTao_620Koh Phangan

It has long been an infamous stop on the backpacker trail thanks to its legendary (and absolutely crazy) full moon parties on Haad Rin beach. This is Thailand’s most talked about party island, and for good reason. Partying is big business here. And it’s taken very seriously – the locals will make sure you have the time of your life.

Koh Phangan is so much more than just buckets and beach bars. It’s also Thailand’s hippie Mecca thanks to its mass of Buddhist temples and the abundance of opportunities to get lost in your own laid back world.


ThaiIslands_KohChang_620Koh Chang

Koh Chang can be found further north, near the border with Cambodia. It has everything you’d expect, and hope for, in a Thai island, including a long stretch of white sandy beach, clear waters and great snorkelling along its coral reefs.

Thanks to its mountainous back bone, it’s also spoilt with waterfalls, rain forests and deserted coves. If you’re looking for somewhere to explore and discover, this is pretty much the perfect place. There are areas that are absolutely deserted, if your goal is to embrace tranquility.


4996131561_9169fb9eb9Koh Tao

Koh Tao, Thailand’s premier dive spot, can be found to the north of Koh Phangan, and has a more relaxed atmosphere than its busy neighbor.

The main stretch of beach is called Sairee beach and you’ll find shops, bars and restaurants close by. You can snorkel, dive – which is widely popular – and hang with wildlife just off the coast. If you plan to learn to dive while in Thailand this is the place to do it.

 Photo: Justin Ornellas

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