Island guide Thailand: Which island is the right one for my vacation?

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Hello Thailand, you tropical island paradise! About 500 Islands there is in Thailand. It goes without saying that one can sometimes be overwhelmed by which island in Thailand is best to spend his vacation on.

If you feel the same way: You’ve come to the right place on our blog. We have been to Thailand countless times and have explored some of the islands on our own.

In this blog article we will show you our favorite islands in Thailand. Which island is suitable for beginners? Which ones for families? And where can I find an insider tip for the island? You can find answers to your questions on our travel blog.

1. Koh Samui: The classic in Thailand Let’s go on one of the most touristic islands in Thailand: Koh Samui. Koh Samui has been geared towards tourism for decades. There is an airport (which has several daily flights from Bangkok) and accommodation like sand on the sea.

But we would like to clear up the prejudice that Koh Samui is only suitable for package travelers. In our view, that is not the case. On Koh Samui there are places away from mass tourism. Nevertheless: If you drive along the main streets of Koh Samui, there is no sense of seclusion and relaxed island vibes.

We recommend Koh Samui especially to Thailand newcomers. There are beautiful hotels where you can really have a good time. Some beaches are also great for a holiday with children.

For whom is Koh Samui the suitable island? Thailand NewbiesPackage travelers
families with children Here you can find our detailed article: Tips for Koh Samui
Our hotel tip for Koh Samui: Amari Koh Samui

2. Koh Phangan: One of our favorite islands in Thailand Koh Phangan is Koh Samui’s smaller neighboring island – and yet it has a completely different vibe. On Koh Phangan it is more comfortable and relaxed . The island mainly attracts backpackers and young families. In the meantime, a fairly large yoga scene has also established itself on Koh Phangan.

We love Koh Phangan. We love the many great restaurants, the paradise beaches and that Flair on the island. Still, we have to admit that tourism in Koh Phangan has more than arrived. Or to put it another way: Koh Phangan is also clearly geared towards tourists – albeit towards others than Koh Samui, for example.

So if you are looking for a cozy island in Thailand, but do not want to do without a good infrastructure (nice hotels & restaurants), Koh Phangan is the place for you. Koh Phangan clearly has the potential to become my favorite island.

For whom is Koh Phangan the right island? Backpackers Families with children
Yogis Beach Lovers Here you get to our island travel guide: Tips for Koh Phangan

Our hotel recommendation for Koh Phangan: Mangata Boutique Bungalows

3. Koh Tao: The diver’s paradise in Thailand All good things come in threes: next to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan there is also Koh Tao, the smallest of the three islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Because the islands are well connected by ferry, it is worth visiting two or even all three islands.

Koh Tao is a popular destination, especially among divers. Around the island you will find some of the best diving areas in Thailand or even Southeast Asia. There are also paradisiacal beaches and bays and great snorkeling spots.

Koh Tao is also blessed with beautiful nature: you can expect mountainous, densely overgrown hinterland as well as rocky coastal sections with some very bizarre stone formations. One criticism on Koh Tao is that the tiny holiday paradise has now developed into a very touristy island. Nevertheless, you can definitely spend a great holiday here.

For whom is Koh Tao the right island? Water sports fans (diving, snorkeling)Beach Lovers
Backpackers Our accommodation recommendation for Koh Tao: EcoTao Lodge

4. Koh Lanta: The cozy Thai island Koh Lanta is a pleasant mix of beautiful nature, beautiful beaches and a relaxed island flair. The island is big enough to make one or the other excursion, but still quite manageable.

Unlike Koh Samui, Koh Lanta is quiet. Luckily you won’t find any huge hotel bunkers. Nevertheless, the island is by no means extinct, but has a good infrastructure. We also find the old town of the island very pretty.

We felt very comfortable on Koh Lanta . Thanks to the gently sloping beaches, the island is ideal for families with children. Those seeking tranquility or backpackers will also like Koh Lanta. A small disadvantage: We personally don’t find most of the beaches quite as heavenly as, for example, on Koh Phangan.

For whom is Koh Lanta the right island? families with childrenPeace seekers
Those looking for a good mix (beach, excursions & old town) Here you can find more information: Island Guide for Koh Lanta

Our accommodation recommendation for Koh Lanta: Alanta Villa

5. Phuket: For Thailand newcomers Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, however connected to the mainland by a bridge. If the word “mass tourism” is appropriate anywhere, then unfortunately on Phuket.

Hilling, green Phuket is beautifully scenic. However, some beaches are so crowded in high season that the laid-back island vibe is gone.

Phuket is most suitable for those who are traveling to Thailand for the first time and are looking for a good start. The good news: There are really beautiful, sometimes even secluded hotels on Phuket – you can find our recommendation below. Unfortunately, they usually have their price.

For whom is Phuket the suitable island? Thailand newbiesPackage travelersLuxury vacationers Here you can find our detailed experiences: Insider tips for Phuket
Our hotel tip for Phuket: The Cove

6. Koh Yao Noi & Koh Yao Yai: Insider tip in Thailand Hello island paradise! Are you looking for a Thai island far away from mass tourism? Then we can warmly recommend the two neighboring islands of Koh Yao Noi (North Island) and Koh Yao Yai (South Island).

The two islands are around 40 minutes boat ride from Phuket – but are the complete opposite of it. The two islands are the epitome of comfort.

The price level is rather high on both Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, which is why the island is mainly couples attracts. But backpackers will also love it here. The only drawback: The beaches are (with a few exceptions – see the first photo) definitely not as paradisiacal as you might be used to in Thailand.

For whom are Koh Yao Noi & Yai the suitable islands? Peace seekersCouplesThose who avoid mass tourism Here you can find our detailed island guide: Tips for Koh Yao Noi & Yai
Our Hotel recommendation for Koh Yao Noi: Cape Kudu

7. Koh Chang: Thailand’s second largest island Are you looking for an island that you can reach from Bangkok without a flight and can reach it comparatively quickly? Then Koh Chang could be something for you. The journey from Bangkok takes about 6 hours (bus and ferry) – and hey presto you’re already on the island.

Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, but has still retained some of its originality – at least in some places. All in all, the island is very well developed for tourism. (By the way: Koh Chang should not be confused with the mini island of the same name on the west coast of Thailand.)

The landscape on Koh Chang is beautiful. The island is very green and hilly – just how we like it. When it comes to beaches, Koh Chang is certainly not the ultimate, but there are some really great bays. Anyone who has ever made it to Koh Chang should also pay a visit to the nearby island of Koh Mak.

For whom is Koh Chang the right island? Domestic flight refusersNature loversIsland hopping fans (Koh Mak!) Our hotel recommendation for Koh Chang: The Dewa

Transparency: Affiliate Left This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

27491Are you planning a Thailand vacation on one of the islands and still have questions? Or would you like to tell us your favorite Thai island? We look forward to hearing about your experiences in the comments.