My favorite islands in Thailand

I’ve been coming to Thailand for years. I first came in 2005 and I feel in love with the country right then and there. I came back here in 2006 and have lived here on and off ever since. I love everything about the country- the people, the atmosphere, the food, and the climate. I especially love the islands in the country. I’ve been to a ton of them and these are my favorite:

Ko Chang

Koh Chang Edits
Located in eastern Thailand, this island has seen a lot of development in recent years but luckily it is still relatively deserted. It’s one of the best islands in all of Thailand, which considering Thailand has hundreds is saying a lot. Blue water and white sand beaches ring the island and as a bonus it has a milder monsoon season than other places.


Phuket is the top tourist destination in Thailand. This island has amazing beaches, is located near some great diving spots, and has three national parks on it. It’s no wonder why it’s the number one destination in Asia. The island contains some of the best spas and golf courses in the region. For those looking for luxury, Phuket offers it.

Ko Tao

Koa Tao is famous for its diving and great off shore reef. The weather is temperate and the diving classes cheap making it the best place to learn diving in Southeast Asia. Additionally, you can head to Ko Nangyuan, three little islands off the coast that are connected by a sandbar during low tide.

Ko Lipe

Located in southern Thailand, this island is well of the tourist trail though every year seems to bring it a little closer. White sand beaches, abundant fish, and friendly locals make this heaven. My three days turned into three weeks and you might also have a hard time pulling away. It’s located in a national park giving you a chance to explore hundreds of deserted islands.

Ko Phanagn

Full Moon Party
Ko Phanagn is home to the infamous Full Moon Rave. This monthly party see about 15,000-30,000 people depending on the season. During New Year’s, this place is bursting at the seams with people. You can get peace and quiet in the northern part of the island but people really just come here for the party. That’s why I do. If you want a crazy out of control party, head here during the full moon. It’s a wild time.

Ko Jum

Ko Jum
When I want an out of the way place to go but that’s still not too far from the mainland, I head here. It’s a tiny island off the west coast near Ko Phi Phi. There’s isn’t much to do here but sit on the beach and relax. That’s pretty all you need here on this peaceful island. If you are looking for a peaceful place, this place is it.

Thailand has hundreds and hundreds of islands to choose from. There’s something for everyone really. From dive islands to luxurious islands to party islands, you’ll find whatever you want here. But for me, these are the only places I find worth going to and where you’ll find me when I’m in Thailand


Nomadic Matt is from Boston, USA and has been travelling the world since July 2006. He is the author of where he aims to keep people motivated to travel through stories, features and photographs.

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  1. Agreed with them all. Thailand has some beautiful beaches. Ko Lipe had to be one of our favorites because when we were there in 2004 it was not well traveled. We loved Ko Lanta as well. That photo of Phuket looks a lot like Ralay in Krabi. Karts formations everywhere. That is what makes Thailand Beaches so beautiful!

  2. I also have to agree. I have been to Phuket and can testify that it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.The water there is clear and warm, great for diving. The landscape is simply breathtaking and the tourist hotels are great; they give great information and the people are very nice and accommodating. Regards!

  3. After going through your details and pics I like Phuket and Ko Lipe. Hope to see one day

  4. I can’t wait to explore the islands of Thailand! Ko Lipe sounds exactly like my kind of place.

  5. Have been to thailand a few times and have never heard of Koh Lipe – next time i am going there!

  6. This is a great compilation of islands in Thailand. I’ve been going to Thailand every year for the last seven years. When I first journeyed there, most of these islands were still relatively unspoiled and weren’t incredibly touristy.

    Phuket quickly moved to the bottom of my list after visiting these other islands. While there are loads of activities to keep you busy, I’ve found that the crowds of tourists really deter from all of them. Over the last ten years, Phuket has become too overdeveloped and gimmicky for my tastes, although it is nice to go at least once to see Phang-Nga Bay, James Bond Island, and the Floating Gypsy Sea Village. The sea-kaying tours available in this area are well-worth it, though.

    Ko Phanghan has also changed drastically over the past ten years. It used to be a clean, eco-friendly backpacker’s haven. However, the last time I was there, I was really dismayed to see the amount of trash on the beaches and floating in the water. Ko Phanghan might be famous for its full-moon parties, but those parties are having a drastic effect on the natural environment.

    I fell in love with Ko Lipe. It’s stunning and I can well understand how Matt overextended his stay there.

  7. Now that I’ve traveled through Thailand and spent many a day enjoying the island life I need to add Koh Phayam to this list. No cars on the island, only scooters. No power, just generators and solar. Most guesthouses will only supply you power for certain hours of the day. Really makes for a new experience. To top it all off its picture perfect! Check it out.

  8. Likewise we have been going to Thailand since 2004.
    Unfortunately we have seen a steady decline in Phuket with prices rising considerably. We now seek out those lesser known islands for our annual trips.
    Koh Phayam from the above poster sounds interesting


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