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Islands in Thailand: 10 overlooked islands you must visit on your vacation

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Thailand is much more than Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. We guide you to ten overlooked islands in southern Thailand.
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Islands in Thailand: 10 overlooked islands you must visit on your vacation is written af Jacob Gowland Jørgensen.

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10 beautiful and overlooked islands in Thailand

Thailand offers much more than the city of Bangkok, which you will probably fly to if you travel to the country. In addition to the cities of Chiang Mai and Phuket, Thailand also invites you on a fantastic journey with crystal blue sea, long sandy beaches and perfect island paradises.

If you are in doubt about which islands to experience on your holiday to Thailand, read along here and be inspired by these overlooked islands in southern Thailand. And remember that regardless of the season, there is an island that is suitable for the climate of southern Thailand is different from area to area.

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Koh Ngai - when dreams go towards islands in Thailand

South of the famous island of Koh Lanta in the south Thailand lies Koh Ngai, which has only a handful of small and medium-sized hotels. Koh Ngai, or Koh Hai, as it is also sometimes spelled, is exactly the kind of island that most people think of when they dream of island hopping in Asia.

The sand is white and soft, the coral reef is just offshore, and the water is calm most of the time. Here, life takes its peaceful course with snorkelling, massages and Thai food, and there is no hint of mass tourism. We know several people who speak highly of Thapwarin Resort, as you can see in the picture above.

You can sail to Koh Ngai from Koh Lanta or from the south from Koh Lipe or from Langkawi i Malaysia. Remember to choose a 'slowboat', unless you are more than exceptionally strong at sea - then, on the other hand, it is a super pleasant sailing trip out there.

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Koh Jum - here you avoid mass tourism on your holiday in Thailand

There are many beautiful islands in southern Thailand, and there is a big difference between them. Koh Jum is more dramatic than Koh Ngai with its small mountain, cliffs and views of the Phi Phi Islands.

It is located north of Koh Lanta and contains both small fishing villages and about 30 hotels, some of which are quite small. It is recommended to look at Oon Lee Bungalows.

There is also no hint of mass tourism here, as seen in Phuket or Phi Phi. Beautiful beaches, warm water, and since there are rocks out in the water in several places, there are also good snorkeling opportunities.

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Koh Racha Yai - get the island for yourself

Just south of Phuket lies Koh Racha Yai, which differs from others Islands in Thailand in several ways. Firstly, it is close to Phuket, so many day tourists come and you do not have to stay there to stay overnight.

But if you do, you get a goddamn little island almost to yourself when the last boat is sailed in the afternoon. White sand, beautiful cliffs and beautiful horizons.

There are only a few individual accommodations on Koh Racha Yai. Bungalow Raya Resort can be recommended unless you have money for a luxury class hotel.

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Koh Tao

Koh Tao is on the other side of the peninsula, north of Koh Samui. It is one of the larger islands in Thailand and there are significantly more options in terms of restaurants and hotels. Koh Tao has both cliffs, long sandy beaches and a strip of bays.

At the same time, there are really good diving opportunities from the island. Koh Tao a really beautiful island in many ways. However, it takes a bit of initiative to get to the island, so even though there are quite a few tourists, it is not completely overcrowded.

You can sail to Koh Tao from Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

Do you want to know more about traveling in Thailand, you can read our insider guides to Chiang Mai. You can also become wiser about what you can experience if you visit one of Bangkoks most famous streets, Khao San Road.

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Koh Surin - no cows in Mu Koh

Koh Surin covers five small islands in Thailand 100 km north of Phuket, and the entire area belongs to the Mu Koh Surin National Park. Here you will find one excellent snorkeling and diving site after another - and relatively few other travelers. Despite Mu Koh Park's name, there are no cows here, but instead tons of fish and life havet.

Because the islands are located in a national park, there are extremely limited in terms of accommodation options. In return, you can both go on day trips or buy a trip out there with accommodation. See some options here.

You can reach Khuraburi Port directly by bus from Krabi.

Several islands in western Thailand: Phi Phi

In addition to those mentioned, there is also popular Phi Phi, which is easy to get to from both Phuket and Koh Lanta.

Many people use Phi Phi as an obvious stop-over on island hopping in Thailand, and it's easy to find out where to stay: If you're into partying and active beach life, stay by the harbor, and if you're into peaceful days in the sun, you must choose the back side.

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More options for beautiful islands in eastern Thailand

Most of the islands in Thailand are in western Thailand, but there are also a few nice island options in the east. Among other things, it is relatively easy to combine Koh Chang, Koh Kood - also called Koh Kut - or the lesser-known Koh Mak, with a trip to Cambodia or In Stock.

Koh Kood is known for its strong focus on sustainability, and half of the hilly island is a national park. Mass tourism has not come to Koh Kood yet, as it is close to Cambodia and has been disputed for decades. The island is therefore perfect for a sustainable holiday.

Koh Mak is located midway between Koh Kood and Koh Chang and offers a flatter landscape, beautiful beaches and a completely relaxed lifestyle – just what the body and mind need.

There is also an overlooked island in the bay off Bangkok, Koh Sichang, also called Koh Si Chang. It is not difficult to get out there, but it takes just enough time that there is no mass tourism, and a relaxed island life. Because there are few sandy beaches, it is one of the most authentic islands in the region. Koh Sichang is located in Chonburi Province, southeast of Bangkok.

A little further down the coast is Koh Samet, which is only a 3-hour drive from Bangkok and offers beautiful beaches and many fine hotels. Avoid the weekend if you can, as many local tourists come.

If you want to get away from it all, head for Koh Phayam, which is south of Ko Chang in western Thailand. There are not many places to spend the night here and not many other tourists. On the other hand, there is peace, tranquility and idyll. Can you wish for more?

You can also See all Thailand travel deals and articles here.

Have a good trip to one of the easiest travel countries in the world!

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Islands in Thailand you must experience:

  • Koh Ngai
  • Koh Jum
  • Koh Racha Yai
  • Koh Tao
  • Koh Surin
  • Koh Chang
  • koh kood
  • Koh Lipe
  • Koh Mak
  • Koh phayam

Did you know: Here are editor Anna's 7 favorite islands in Thailand

7: Koh Mai Thon south of Phuket
6: Koh Lao Lading at Krabi
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About the author

Jacob Jørgensen, editor

Jacob is a cheerful travel geek who has traveled in more than 100 countries from Rwanda and Romania to Samoa and Samsø.

Jacob is a member of De Berejstes Klub, where he has been a board member for five years, and he has extensive experience in the world of travel as a lecturer, magazine editor, adviser, writer and photographer. And, of course, most importantly: As a traveller. Jacob enjoys both traditional travel such as a car holiday to Norway, a cruise in the Caribbean and a city break in Vilnius, and more out-of-the-box trips such as a solo trip to the highlands of Ethiopia, a road trip to unknown national parks in Argentina and a friend trip to Iran.

Jacob is a country expert in Argentina, where he has been 10 times so far. He has spent almost a year in total traveling through the many diverse provinces, from the penguin land in the south to deserts, mountains and waterfalls in the north, and has also lived in Buenos Aires for a few months. In addition, he has special travel knowledge of such diverse places as East Africa, Malta and the countries around Argentina.

In addition to travelling, Jacob is an honorable badminton player, Malbec fan and always up for a board game. Jacob has also had a career in the communications industry for a number of years, most recently with the title of Communication Lead in one of Denmark's largest companies, and has also worked for several years with the Danish and international meeting industry as a consultant, e.g. for VisitDenmark and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Today, Jacob is also a senior lecturer at CBS.


Comment here

  • Good bid!

    Koh Kood must be hurried to visit before it is completely overrun… On the other hand, just between Koh Kood and Koh Chang there is a much smaller island called Koh Mak - there you are completely at peace without many other tourists. It can be recommended if you want to experience “the real Thailand” that many are looking for 🙂

    • Thank you Kristoffer, also for the tip about Koh Mak - we will add that immediately :).

      / Jacob


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