No trip to Thailand could be complete without visiting at least one of the country’s many amazing islands. They’re the stuff, fantasies are made of. With so much fantastic choices, it can be difficult to decide where to go first. But believe me when I say that all of them are worth it. Somewhere I feel where there is less crowd, the place remains a mystery and is more wonderful to enjoy. Hence, the concept of island hopping in Thailand gained importance as you can’t be satisfied with only one. To help, we have picked five of our favourite islands below.
Koh Phi Phi Island
Heading on holiday on your own or with a group of single friends? Then Conde Nast Traveller says Koh Phi Phi is the place for you. And we agree – it’s got a reputation as the place to go and have a good time. It certainly provides a beautiful backdrop for energetic parties and next-day hangovers.
On Koh Phi Phi, you’ll find like-minded individuals to enjoy a drink with and watch Thai dancers juggle with fire in the evenings. Invite them to join you on the inevitable trip to the islet of Koh Phi Phi Ley – where ‘The Beach’ was filmed.
Ban Koh Tao
Also known as turtle island, Koh Tao is a fantastic island lined with sandy coves. If you’re willing to walk a bit, you can probably find a beach to yourself. But you’ll want to head back into the hub to eat some amazing fresh seafood in one of the picturesque coastal restaurants.
Most people come to Koh Tao to dive, so enjoy plenty of food to re-energize. If you’re new to diving, it’s one of the cheapest places to learn and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to diving operators. If you’re an experienced diver, why not take an advanced course in night diving or wreck diving? You won’t regret it.
When it comes to Thailand, much of the focus is on the great beaches. But there’s a lot more on offer. In Koh Chang, a lot of its interior is national park, which is great for jungle trekking. However, there are no signposts – so you’ll ideally need to join a guided trek. You can find some useful suggestions, including on an elephant trek here.
But if you’re dying to be near the water, visit Salakkok Bay. You’ll get a rare insight into the life of a traditional fishing village and get to kayak through the mangroves.
If the typical backpacking scene isn’t your thing, we suggest Koh Lanta. It takes less than an hour by boat from Krabi and is best described as an all-rounder, offering diving, relaxation, kayaking, massages, amazing food and more. It’s a slice of luxury in Thailand, whilst retaining the value for money the country is known for. This is one island you really need to visit and stay in, during your island hopping spree.
Last but not least, the Similan Islands come highly recommended for diving, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime trip. As an archipelago of nine numbered islands located in Mu Koh Similan National Park, the scenery is breath-taking. The crystal clear waters and amazing reefs make it an obvious choice for divers, but no-one will be disappointed when visiting such a remarkable place, even if you are not into diving.
Bear in mind that the Similan Islands are closed between around May and October due to the bad weather – plan your trip accordingly and don’t miss out.