Thailand wouldn’t be Thailand without the allure of the islands in the south. Escape the chaotic madness of Bangkok and take a trip to an island of your choice; be it for pure relaxation, adventure or just to top up your tan, there is always an island that is designed just for you.
Explore the most beautiful islands in Thailand’s South below and add them to your must-do’s in Thailand – you can thank us later!
Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
Forget the three S’s, Koh Tao is known for four: sand, sea, sun and scuba! Travellers come from all over the world to Thailand to take a glimpse of the underwater kingdom beneath the clear waters close to the island and go diving on Koh Tao. Pretending to be a mermaid has never been so fun!
TAC Tip: When you aren’t exploring the depths of the ocean, make sure to relax in your own little slice of paradise. Plenty of hotels all over the island provide you with the chance to indulge in your tranquil side on a privately owned beach but barefoot-luxury-chic Haadtien Resort is one of our favourites on one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand.
Phi Phi Islands, Andaman Sea
Consisting of six different islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lee are the largest and most well-known ones in Thailand’s south. They might have a bit of a reputation as a party destination, but fear not; they are so much more than night clubs and vodka buckets. From the most incredible viewpoints, to the bustling markets full to the brim with the cutest bikinis and summer dresses known to man, the Phi Phi Islands are an idyllic haven crammed with some of the highlights of Thailand. (FYI – Leonardo DiCaprio filmed segments of his movie The Beach here). Add this cinematography paradise to your must-do’s in Thailand now.
TAC Tip: As night draws in on Phi Phi Don, the sea transforms from a crystallised blue to a velvety black; the perfect time to experience the magic of bioluminescence. As you swim in the darkness, plankton reacts to your movement and lights up, creating a starry effect that is truly a magical experience for any adventurer. Click here for more information.
Koh Mak, Gulf of Thailand
Sparely populated and not a huge tourist spot yet, Koh Mak is one of the more chilled out islands in the south of Thailand. It is known for being more peaceful than the party atmosphere of other islands, meaning you can explore it completely undisturbed and at ease with the nature that surrounds you. A well kept secret from most travellers, this privately owned island has stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear water.
TAC Tip: Koh Mak Seafood is one of the more popular eateries on the island. Famous for its delicious range of seafood, the restaurant has breathing views of Ao Nid Bay and is the perfect setting for a dreamy evening.
Koh Lipe, South Andaman Sea
Koh Lipe is every adventurer’s dream; a short distance from a wide variety of other Thai islands, you can use this as your base camp and still explore other islands throughout your trip. Even if you would rather just stay put, Koh Lipe has plenty to offer; breathtaking beaches, a variation of food from around the world and more coconut trees than you can imagine – undeniably one of the best islands in Thailand’s south!
TAC Tip: Occupied with some of Thailand’s most exotic underwater wildlife, Koh Lipe is a great place to go snorkelling. Turtles, seahorses and even whale sharks have been spotted by keen divers. Get those gopros at the ready! Click here for more information.
Koh Samet, Gulf of Thailand
The wildest activity you’ll get up to in Koh Samet in Thailand’s south is lazing around on a hammock with a fruity cocktail of your choice. The chilled out vibes radiate across this beautiful slice of nature, and if escaping reality is high on your list, we recommend you add this island escape to your must-do’s in Thailand!
TAC Tip: Treat yourself to a spa treatment at Paradee Spa. Featuring outdoor bathtubs, airy relaxation areas and a beautifully chilled-out aesthetic, Paradee is the ideal luxurious break for all the travellers who know the importance of treating themselves.
Koh Lanta, Andaman Sea
One of the larger islands, Koh Lanta has a whole range of amazing activities. Visit the national park, hit up the local food market, have dinner on the beach, or practise your snorkelling skills. The possibilities are endless on this beautiful island in the south of Thailand!
TAC Tip: Island paradise Koh Rok is only a short boat ride away – a day trip to go snorkelling and exploring its undisturbed underwater world is mandatory! Charter a private boat with friends or book a boat tour to discover this unspoilt white sand beach heaven and its glistening blue waters!
Happy island hopping!
Spill the secrets of your favourite islands in Thailand’s south in our Facebook group The Asia Collective – Luxe Travellers and ask fellow travellers for travel tips or share advice!