11 Best Thailand Islands To Visit [Thai Island Hopping Itinerary]

Luke Iles – Uploaded 20.06.2024

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What Are The Best Islands To Visit In Thailand?

Thailand, a land of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and captivating coastlines, is home to some of the world’s most enchanting islands. These islands offer a mix of serene white sand beaches and exhilarating activities that cater to every type of traveller.


From the bustling beaches of Koh Samui to the tranquil shores of Koh Lipe, the best Thailand islands promise an unforgettable experience. This guide will take you on a journey to the top Thai islands, offering insights into the best island for hopping, must-visit spots, and the ultimate Thailand island-hopping itinerary.


If you are wondering what the best places to visit in Thailand are so you can plan your trip, check out our blog.

Our 11 Thailand Island Hopping Itinerary

thailand boat in water

The eleven best Thai islands you need to visit include:


  1. Koh Samui
  2. Koh Chang
  3. Koh Lipe
  4. Koh Tao
  5. Koh Pha Ngan
  6. Koh Yao Islands
  7. Koh Lanta
  8. The Similan Islands
  9. Koh Samet
  10. Koh Mak
  11. Koh Kood

1. Koh Samui: A Tropical Paradise

koh samui

Koh Samui, one of the most famous Thai islands, is a haven for tourists seeking both relaxation and adventure. With its palm tree-fringed beaches, coconut plantations, and luxury hotels, Koh Samui offers a blend of natural beauty and modern comforts.


Chaweng Beach: The most popular beach on Koh Samui, known for its vibrant nightlife, beach bars, and a plethora of water activities. Enjoy lively beach parties at Ark Bar or relax with a cocktail at On Street Bar. During the day, try jet skiing, parasailing, or snorkelling in the clear waters.


Luxury Hotels: Koh Samui boasts some of the finest luxury hotels in Thailand, providing top-notch services and breathtaking views. Six Senses Samui offers private villas with stunning ocean views, Banyan Tree Samui features a serene atmosphere with lush surroundings, and W Koh Samui provides stylish villas and a lively beach club.


Day Trips: From Koh Samui, you can take a day trip to nearby islands, enhancing your island hopping experience. Visit Ang Thong National Marine Park for kayaking and snorkelling, explore the excellent diving spots of Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan, or enjoy the beautiful beaches and waterfalls of Koh Phangan.

2. Koh Chang: The Adventurer’s Dream

koh chang

Koh Chang, the second-largest island in Thailand, is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. It’s less commercialized compared to other islands, offering a more authentic and serene experience.


National Park: A large portion of Koh Chang is covered by a national park, making it perfect for hiking and exploring lush interiors. Enjoy scenic trails, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife in this natural haven.


Scuba Diving: The waters around Koh Chang are ideal for scuba diving, featuring rich marine life and clear visibility. Dive sites like Hin Luk Bat and Hin Rap offer vibrant coral reefs and an array of sea creatures.


Beach Bars: For a laid-back evening, visit one of the many beach bars along Koh Chang’s coast. Relax with a drink in hand at spots like Nature Beach Resort or Lonely Beach Bar, enjoying the serene beach atmosphere.

3. Koh Lipe: The Maldives of Thailand

koh lipe

Often referred to as the Maldives of Thailand, Koh Lipe is renowned for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in nature.


Turquoise Waters: Koh Lipe’s beaches are characterized by their turquoise waters, making them ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Enjoy vibrant marine life and colourful coral reefs at popular spots like Sunrise Beach and Pattaya Beach.


Secluded Beaches: For a more intimate experience, visit the less crowded beaches on Koh Lipe. Hideaway Beach and Sunset Beach offer tranquillity and pristine beauty, perfect for a peaceful getaway.

4. Koh Tao: Diver’s Paradise

koh tao

Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island, is famous for its vibrant underwater world. It’s one of the best islands in Thailand for scuba diving and snorkelling.


Scuba Diving: Koh Tao offers some of the best scuba diving spots in Thailand, with numerous dive schools and courses available. Popular dive sites like Chumphon Pinnacle and Shark Island feature rich marine life and excellent visibility.


Beautiful Beaches: Beyond diving, Koh Tao boasts beautiful beaches perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. Sairee Beach and Freedom Beach offer stunning views, soft sand, and crystal-clear waters ideal for a tranquil beach day.

5. Koh Pha Ngan: The Party Island

koh phangan

Koh Pha Ngan is synonymous with the legendary Full Moon Party, attracting party-goers from around the world. The Full Moon party is one of the best parties I have ever been to and making Kho Pha Ngan one of the best party holiday destinations in Asia.  But beyond its party scene, the island also offers serene beaches and stunning landscapes.


Full Moon Party: Held monthly, the Full Moon Party is one of the most famous beach parties in the world. Revellers from across the globe gather on Haad Rin Beach to enjoy music, dancing, and fire shows under the full moon.


Secluded Beaches: Away from the party areas, Koh Pha Ngan boasts many secluded beaches where you can unwind. Beaches like Haad Yuan and Thong Nai Pan offer peace and quiet, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

6. The Koh Yao Islands: Tranquility at Its Best

koh yao

The Koh Yao islands, consisting of Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, are located in Phang Nga Bay and are perfect for those seeking peace and tranquillity.


Koh Yao Noi: Koh Yao Noi is known for its serene atmosphere and luxury resorts. Enjoy the tranquil environment and stunning views of the surrounding limestone cliffs.


Koh Yao Yai: Koh Yao Yai offers a more rustic and laid-back vibe, with beautiful beaches and local villages. Explore the island’s natural beauty and experience the traditional way of life.

7. Koh Lanta: A Blend of Relaxation and Adventure

koh lanta

Koh Lanta is a larger island that provides a mix of relaxation and adventure. It’s perfect for families and those looking to explore both land and sea.


Koh Lanta Yai: The main part of the island, Koh Lanta Yai, is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Enjoy the lively beach bars and restaurants along Long Beach and Klong Dao Beach.


Lush Wildlife: Explore the lush wildlife of Koh Lanta with its jungles and waterfalls. Hike through the tropical rainforest and visit sites like Khlong Chak Waterfall and Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest for a dose of natural beauty.

8. The Similan Islands: A Diver’s Dream

similan islands

The Similan Islands, located in the Andaman Sea, are considered one of the best diving destinations in the world.


Scuba Diving: The Similan Islands offer some of the best scuba diving experiences with diverse marine life and stunning coral reefs. Explore renowned dive sites like Richelieu Rock and Elephant Head Rock for an unforgettable underwater adventure.


Day Trips: Often visited on day trips from the mainland, the Similan Islands are a must-visit for diving enthusiasts. These excursions provide a convenient way to experience the islands’ pristine beaches and vibrant marine ecosystems.

9. Koh Samet: The Weekend Getaway

koh samet

Koh Samet is a popular weekend getaway for locals and tourists alike. It’s close to Bangkok, making it an easily accessible island destination.


Beautiful Beaches: Koh Samet is renowned for its beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. Visit popular beaches like Sai Kaew Beach, Ao Prao Beach, and Ao Phai Beach for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside activities.


Beach Parties: Enjoy vibrant beach parties on Koh Samet that make the nights as exciting as the days. Head to places like Sai Kaew Beach and Ao Phai Beach where beach bars and clubs come alive with music, fire shows, and lively atmosphere under the stars.

10. Koh Mak: The Hidden Gem

koh mak

Koh Mak is a small, less commercialized island, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more popular islands.


Secluded Beaches: Enjoy the quiet and pristine beaches of Koh Mak without the crowds. Explore secluded spots like Ao Kao Beach and Ao Suan Yai Beach, where you can unwind, swim in crystal-clear waters, and enjoy peaceful surroundings.


Coconut Plantations: Explore Koh Mak’s lush coconut plantations and indulge in fresh coconuts. Take a bike ride or walk through the island’s interior to see rows of coconut trees and visit local farms where you can learn about coconut cultivation and enjoy refreshing coconut water straight from the source.

11. Koh Kood: Nature’s Retreat

koh kood

Koh Kood is another lesser-known island, offering unspoiled beauty and tranquillity. It’s ideal for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.


Emerald Cave: Discover the hidden gem of Koh Mook, the Emerald Cave, perfect for exploration. Accessible only by swimming through a narrow cave passage, the Emerald Cave opens up to a hidden beach surrounded by towering cliffs and emerald-green waters. It’s a magical experience for adventurers and nature lovers alike.


Lush Interior: Explore Koh Mook’s lush interior, which is ideal for hiking and nature exploration. Trek through dense jungles and discover hidden waterfalls like Phra Nang Lagoon and Morakot Cave. The island’s rich biodiversity and serene landscapes provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature.

Island Hopping in Thailand

monkey beach koh phi phi

Island hopping is a popular activity in Thailand, allowing travellers to explore multiple islands in one trip. Whether you’re planning a Thailand island-hopping itinerary or a spontaneous island-hopping adventure, the Thai islands offer endless possibilities.


Thailand Island Hopping Itinerary: Plan your trip to include the best islands, such as Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Pha Ngan, for a diverse experience.


Thai Island Hopping: Enjoy the freedom of hopping from one island to another, each offering unique experiences and stunning landscapes.

The Andaman Sea: A Haven for Island Lovers

andaman sea

The Andaman Sea is home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful islands, each offering something unique.


Phang Nga Bay: Famous for its limestone cliffs and emerald-green waters.


James Bond Island: A must-visit spot named after its appearance in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

Peak Season and Travel Tips

thailand crowd at full moon party

When planning your trip to Thailand’s islands, consider the peak season, typically from November to April. This period offers the best weather for beach activities and island hopping. Make sure you have the relevant Thai visa and get to planning your trip!


Luxury Hotels: Book your stay in advance to secure the best accommodations during peak season.


Boat Ride: Enjoy scenic boat rides between islands, offering stunning views of the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.


Wear The Correct Clothing: Depending on the season, you will need to make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing. Read our blog on what clothes to wear in Thailand to learn more.


thailand island sky view

The best Thailand islands offer a mix of adventure, relaxation, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant nightlife of Koh Samui, diving in the clear waters of Koh Tao, or enjoying the tranquillity of the Koh Yao islands, there’s something for every traveller. Plan your Thailand island hopping trip today and discover the magic of these incredible islands.


This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the best islands in Thailand, helping you plan an unforgettable island-hopping adventure in one of the most beautiful regions of the world.


If you are planning to land in Bangkok before you visit the Thai islands, it is always worth spending a few days in the city before heading down to experience that beach life. Check out the best places to stay in Bangkok with our blog. 

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Luke Iles

Luke is a leading travel writer within the travel niche and is also a co-founder of HandL Blogs one of the UK’s leading travel blogging websites. Luke has a love of all things travel.

Initially becoming friends with his other co-founder, Harry, at the age of four years old, they let their love for travel evolve, making it their mission to visit every country in the world!

Today they want to share their passion and experiences of travelling across the globe with written blogs on topics that are most important to them. From travel, cooking, fitness and tech blogs!

Whether that be trying new food in a new country and sharing it in a cooking blog; visiting a new gym in a certain city and reviewing it in a fitness blog or learning about the newest tech within the travel industry.

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 Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to HandL Blogs at no cost to you if you decide to purchase through these links. These are products we have personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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