islands in thailand

Thailand is one of the greatest vacation spots in the world. There are so many islands off the beaten path to discover. Thailand is cheap, has welcoming people, tasty food, a diverse culture and an amazing variety of sites to visit. You can rest on wide sand beaches, climb tropical mountains, dive fantastic coral reefs, discover ancient historical sites, explore great caves, and hang out in crazy and fast paced cities.

Most travelers come to Thailand for the beaches and, these tropical islands are the best reason to come to Thailand. However, Thailand has hundreds of tropical islands to choose from.  Most tourists stick go to a few popular Thai islands and with good reason. They wouldn’t be popular if they weren’t good.

However, despite Thailand being firmly on the tourist trail, there are still many undiscovered islands in Thailand.   Here are seven tropical Thai islands that are relatively not very touristy:

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a tiny island located in the southern Thai province of Satun and is situated in the Andaman Sea. The island is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park. The name “Ko Lipe” means paper island in the local Chao Ley language. Though this destination is slowly becoming more touristy, it is still a relatively quite place for now. There are coral reefs right off the island for diving, white sand beaches, cheap food, and very friendly people. Most places only have electricity until midnight, giving you a place to watch the stars at night. Avoid the holiday season when the crowds peak.

Koh Tarutao National Marine Park

Koh Tarutao National Marine Park is made of 51 islands located in the Andaman Sea. Ko Tarutao is the main island and is where the park headquarters is located. There are no lodges, resorts, restaurants, or bars on the island. There is just the park’s canteen and a small store that is only open until 8pm. Accommodation here is simply cheap bungalows or tents. For those looking for a cheap and secluded island in Thailand, this place is it.

koh chang travel guide

Ko Chang

The island of Koh Chang is a tropical marine national park. Situated in the east near the Cambodian border, it’s Thailand’s second largest island after Phuket. Recently, with the surge in development and popularity, Ko Chang is Thailand’s new popular tourist destination. 

With its chain of white sandy coves and beaches, pristine rain forests, abundant wildlife, coral reefs, high mountain peaks, waterfalls, and great nightlife, Ko Chang is one of Thailand’s most sought after holiday destinations. If you stick to the east side of the island, there is very little development and you can still enjoy a holiday away from the crowds.

Surin National Park

Surin National Park is found some 60 km off the west coast of Phang Nga province. The excellent diving, snorkeling, hiking and game fishing are what most visitors come for, and those hoping to find a quiet refuge from the tourist traps will be delighted with the lack of “development.” Surin Nuea is also home to a community of around 150 Moken, or “sea gypsies”, who have settled there on a semi-permanent basis for several decades.  The islands are protected and can only be visited by organized tours, which helps keep the diving good and the crowds thin.

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are composed of nine granite islands washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with some of the world’s finest beaches. Despite a rough start, the Similians and all its reefs have recovered from earlier calamities and overuse. Boats entering the Similan Islands have to follow strict rules imposed and controlled by the national park officials, have to use the moorings prepared by the national park and use closed waste water systems to avoid any pollution.

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is popular with tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties. It’s popular with a more relaxed crowd than nearby Ko Phi Phi: more walking on the beach and watching the sunset than drinking and dancing.  And even when the island is at its fullest, there will be a quiet place for you to relax – the beaches are never full.

Koh Mak

Koh Mak is one of Thailand’s best kept treasures. It is an ideal destination for visitors who want a tranquil environment unspoiled by mass tourism. Amongst 10,000 palm trees, there’s a temple, three fishing community villages, rubber plantations, and two uninhabited beaches. Hardly anyone comes here, except couples and divers. Koh Mak is the perfect place to relax, explore, calm your mind and soothe your senses.

Trips to these Thai islands will give you serenity, quiet, empty beaches, clear water, and not a lot of people. Let’s keep this secret between us though so the islands stay that way for as long as possible, otherwise these tropical island treasure will be ruined at a quick pace.

Islands Off the Beaten Path in Thailand