* Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and book something (there is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
‘Amazing Thailand’ as the tagline goes for tourism in Thailand, undeniably doesn’t stop amazing the visitors! Shopping, spellbinding monuments, Thai-culture, massages, nightlife and a lot more (let’s keep this discreet!) the country doesn’t cease to entertain you! However, if you like to take the off-beaten path, here is a list of hidden islands in Thailand, that not many know of. And no the conventional Krabi or the Samui are not a part of this!
This is the brightest gem in the dazzling list of Thailand’s islands, that are considered to be the kingdom’s gems! There are two main islands, both equally gorgeous - Ko Surin Nua and Ko Surin Tai. The islands and their surrounding waters are encompassed by the Mu Ko Surin National Park. On your visit here, while a day trip might be a good idea, a two-day stay is even better to absorb the unspoilt natural beauty both on land and underwater, including some of the finest white sand beaches and shimmering emerald waters to be found anywhere in Asia. This archipelago offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Thailand. The island is accommodating with options of a few tents and bungalows too. You can reach Ko Surin by flying to the nearest airport Phuket , further trading by a ferry from the Khao Lak.
A kangaroo shaped island in the Andaman sea, Ko Phayam stretches 10 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. Cute already, ain’t it?! An island without roads suitable for automobiles, an off-beat travel here couldn’t get more real. The Ao Yai is the largest beach among the many beautiful beaches here. This is an island that is emphatically untouched by the prosaic lifestyles, except for the ferry pier area with vibrant with restaurants, a few internet and other shops, and places to settle into a lounge chair or hammock and enjoy sipping on some coconut water. The best things to do here would be exploring the island on a rented motorbike, going on the many hikes this place has, enrolling in a yoga class or undertaking kite-surfing or surfing lessons. To reach here, fly or get a bus to Trat from Bangkok and from there, catch a speedboat from Laem Sork pier.
Afloat in the Andaman Sea again, Ko Lipe is one of the 51 islands in the Ko Tarutao National Park on the southwest coast of Thailand. It is situated in the Satun Province of southwest Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. Lined with vibrant green rainforests and teeming with fauna, surrounded by healthy coral reefs and radiant white beaches, this teeny island is as perfect as it sounds! There are budget, standard and luxury accommodations to suit every requirement. A fun fact about this island - It was originally settled by a group of sea gypsies (chao leh in Thai), originally from Malaysia, known as the Urak Lawoi’ people.
The second biggest island in the Tarutao National Marine Park, Ko Adang is 6 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, with the highest point on the island at 690 meters. Ko Adang has close proximity with the Ko Lipe island. This archipelago is surrounded by only a few sandy beaches, but the offshore coral reef is abundant. The substantial hilly interior is covered in dense jungle, which makes this place a good hiking spot. The island also has two waterfalls. Get on a long-tail boat (that can be hired) for discovering other sights on and around Ko Adang, including a black sand beach to the north of the island.
The ultimate laid-back-traveler place! Located in the southern part of Thailand, Koh Bulon is a part of the Petra National park, with fantastic beaches and crystal-clear water as it assets. Many people who have been traveling to Ko Bulon Lae, don’t want to talk about it in order to keep the island a secret! Resembling a botanical garden, the island has a surfeit of nature trails. This charming village has enough shops and restaurants to keep you occupied for a while. Away from the commercial frenzy on more popular Thai islands, Ko Bulon Lae quietly preserves its rural tranquility. Make a trip around the island in a rented boat or go fishing and snorkeling. If you are planning a trip here, advance booking of accommodation is recommended as this is a very small island with limited accommodation facilities.
If great swimming, romantic walks and dazzling sunsets with folks and family, is on your mind, Ko Kho Khao is the place to be. This place is absolute serenity, that can be enjoyed doing just about anything, sitting on the beach, taking a long stroll. Stretching at 16 kilometers from north to south, the island is characterized mostly by flat, grassy sand flats towards its center and a sprawling area of mangroves and canals to the east. Most of the high end resorts are situated along the southern stretch of beach known as Pak Koh, which is also the busiest (but not at all busy) of the island’s five villages. Further north is the most remote stretch of sand, the Nok Na beach, giving similar viibes of the ultra-secluded beaches of Ko Kho Khao’s northern neighbour, Ko Phra Thong, explore the dirt paths here, that wind deep into the mangrove areas to the east by renting a motorbike or bicycle.
Located at the north of the Phi Phi islands , the tiny Bamboo island is one of Thailand’s most impressive beaches. It is a 13 kilometer boat trip from Ton Sai pier and 5 kilometers from the northern tip of Phi Phi Don Island. An ideal setting to relish a cold pint of beer! En route Bamboo Island is a very nice coral garden called Hin Klang, a great place for snorkeling, where not many tourists stop as they instead go on a trip to Maya Bay instead. It’s a good daytrip island, small in size, which can be walked across in half an hour. Every foreigner has to pay a National Park entrance fee of 400/200 (adult/children) Baht to be allowed to stay on the island, irrespective of the time you choose to spend. It takes a minimum of 45 minutes to get here from the beach of Ton Sai on Phi Phi Don, by a long tail boat, depending on sea conditions. A postcard-perfect island awaits you!
Now don’t confused between Koh Chang Noi and the much bigger Koh Chang, this island is an impressive destination on its own right! The island has it unique charm in spite of not having the sparkling and buzzing commercial rage, or any nightlife for that matter. This is one of Thailand’s most undeveloped, needless to say quiet and rejuvenating islands. Given this feature, there are a lot of artists, writers, and musicians who come here for long-term stays! Vaguely resembling an elephant, the island got its names from actual elephants living here. Activities to do here range amidst wildlife, rocky cliffs and steep hillsides, vast stretches of largely barely developed beachfronts, picturesque rubber plantations and cashew nut orchards! Do not expect fancy accommodations, but cozier, ingenuous and much earthier ones in the form of simple, rustic bamboo or wood bungalows! Sounds like a painting, doesn’t it?!
A district in the Krabi Province, the Ko Lanta is quite a large island province consisting of four island groups. It boasts of stunning white beaches and mountainous interiors clad with dense rainforests. A day spent swimming in the warm seas followed by a lazy nap on the hammocks, sounds like the most apt thing, one can do here! For the active kinds, there are shrimp farms and historic villages to explore. Scuba diving session with exotic marine life and grand coral reefs too is a great idea here. Spend the evening with a glass wine, gazing the oceans galore, with a loved one! Also popular as the "Big Ko Lanta", the island stretches at 25 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, living up to its name! Reach this province by flying to the nearest airport Krabi.
Ko Kut or Koh Kood is an island in Trat Province in the Gulf of Thailand and the easternmost island before Cambodia. Talcum powder soft sands, clear waters lapping the bay, and less buildings but more coconut palms, could perhaps be the most apt description for this gem! With resorts like Tinkerbelle, Peter Pan among other such comical names, the island actually gives a fairytale vibe. Ko Kut has long been the domain of a seclusion-seeking elite, but today the island is becoming more egalitarian with a lot of independent travelers, especially families and couples, finding base here. With fantastic beaches, the island has some beaches with an other-worldly Maldivian appearance. It's beautiful!
However clichéd this sounds, life after all is too small to not explore, or not do what you really need. Thailand with its amazing characteristics, has something for everyone. Especially more, if you like the off-beaten path. Now, happy island-hopping to you! After reading this blog you might have a question how to plan a trip to these amazing hidden destinations of Thailand? Visit TripHobo Tripplaner.