A destination that has something for everyone, Thailand island hopping will give you a chance to experience all the beauty this country has to offer!
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Thailand, a picturesque country in South East Asia, has over 1400 islands. So how exactly can you plan a trip without getting lost or missing out on the best spots?
Well, lucky for you, my guide includes everything from beaches for relaxing on vacation with your family or friends to caving trips where you’ll be exploring underground caverns! My Thailand island hopping guide will take you on a tour of Thailand’s best islands, show you the best things to see and do on the islands and direct you how to get from one island to the next!
Thailand island hopping is a great way to get off the beaten path for adventure seekers! You’ll find some of the most stunning natural scenery here as well as plenty of things for an adrenaline junkie’s bucket list, such as kayaking, snorkeling, spelunking (possibly my favourite word EVER), diving and hiking.
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Here are my top choices for Thailand island hopping.
Table of Contents
- Koh Samet
- Phi Phi
- Koh Nang Yuan (Chicken Island)
- Koh Kut (Koh Kood)
- Koi Chang Noi
- Koh Yao Yai
- Koh Pha Ngan
- Koh Kradan
- Koh Rayang
- Ko Poda
- Khao Phing Kan
- Koh Jum
- Koh Racha Yai
- Koh Si Chang
- Koh Phayam
- Koh Chang
- Ko Wua Talap / Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park
- Koh Libong
- Koh Tarutao National Park
- Koh Tao
- Koh Lanta
- Koh Lipe
- Koh Mak
- Koh Samui
- Thailand island hopping summary
On Koh Samet (also known as Koh Samed) you can relax on dreamy beaches with clear blue water. You can spend your days lounging about in hammocks, going for long walks on the sand and eating the freshest seafood that Thailand has to offer.
You’ll find that there’s a laid back charm to Koh Samet that is hard to find in other parts of Thailand. The monk-led Buddhist ceremonies, delicious street food and peaceful atmosphere are just some of the reasons why this small island is one of the favourites in Thailand.
One of the coolest things to do is rent a canoe or kayak and explore the picturesque coastline. There’s also snorkeling, scuba diving , windsurfing and plenty of other water sports to try out.
If you don’t fancy doing water sports every day, set off to see the amazing wildlife of the island. Koh Samet was designated a national park, owing to its unique nature, and you’ll see everything from fish to birds and even small crocodiles!
How to get to Koh Samet
Ban Phe Pier is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Bangkok and there are various buses available for the trip. You can also rent a private taxi. Once you arrive at Ban Phe Pier, you’ll take a 45 minute ferry across to Na Dan Pier on Koh Samet island.
Where to stay on Koh Samet
Your budget may be the ultimate deciding factor in where you stay on Koh Samet. For budget accommodation, staying in the town is the cheapest option, whereas if you have extra to spend and looking for a view, you’ll want to stay by the coastline.
Budget: Lazy Sandals – This is a quirky budget hotel located just a few minutes drive from Na Dan Pier, close to the town but also walking distance to a beach.
Mid level: Ao Cho Grandview Hideaway Resort – A 3* hotel located to the east of the island, with cosy rooms and tropical views. This hotel is especially popular with families and couples.
Luxury resort: Ao Prao Resort – This 4* resort lies on the west coast of Koh Samet on beautiful white sandy beaches. Guests can enjoy scrumptious Thai and international food at the resort’s restaurants, water sports and outdoor pool and hiking and biking trails.
Phi Phi is one Thailand island hopping spot that you can’t miss out on. This stunning island has some amazing beaches, turquoise water and plenty of things for adventure seekers. You’ll find great snorkeling spots, world class dive sites and incredible rock climbs here. It’s easy to see why this place was featured in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio!
Phi Phi island is made up of two large rock formations connected by a large strip of sand
One thing I love about Phi Phi is that it’s a bit off the beaten path but still easy enough to get to from Bangkok or Phuket. There are no cars on this island so walking is your best option – which isn’t bad since there are gorgeous views everywhere you look.
Hiking is a very popular activity on Phi Phi because of the spectacular views from the tops of craggy cliffs. Take a 30 minute hike up to Phi Phi Viewpoint to take in the stunning surroundings.
As with most of the Thai islands, there are so many water sports to get adventurous with – snorkeling, speedboating, jetskiing, sailing. And if you love diving, you can also take a 3 day course to get your PAD diving certificate here!
If you’re unsure of how to navigate the island yourself, why not join a day tour to take you around to the best beaches and locations on Phi Phi island?
How to get to Phi Phi
Phi Phi is a 90 minute ferry ride from both Phuket and Krabi. You can also take a speedboat to the island but this is more costly. If taking the ferry, be sure to grab a spot on the upper deck for the best views.
Where to stay on Phi Phi
Budget: Ibiza House Hostel – Not your average hostel, Ibiza House is right on the beach of Lo Dalum Bay and pool parties with a live DJ are a regular occurence!
Mid level: Phi Phi The Beach Resort – This hillside accommodation has spectacular ocean views and features snorkeling and kayaking facilities as well as an outdoor pool. Phi Phi The Beach Resort is located on Phi Phi Island’s Long Beach.
Luxury resort: Zeavola Resort-SHA Plus – This world class resort is located on Laem Tong Beach, with its own private beach area, an outdoor pool and a relaxing spa for guests to enjoy. There are also various restaurants featuring international, Thai and Mediterranean menus.
Koh Nang Yuan (Chicken Island)
This may not sound like the most exciting place to go but don’t let the name of ‘Chicken Island’ fool you! Koh Nang Yuan is actually a very magical place.
For some incredible views, hike up to the Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint where, on a clear day, you’ll see as far as some neighboring islands. Unfortunately, due to popularity, the viewpoint can get quite crowded. My advice is to get up there as early as possible in the morning.
Koh Nang Yuan is almost famous for its snorkeling and diving opportunities, so make sure you get out to nearby coral reefs for an underwater adventure that will leave you breathless.
One thing I love about this island is that they have introduced a ‘no plastic’ rule in an effort to be kinder to the environment. So if you plan to visit Koh Nang Yuan, I suggest bringing your own travel water bottle with you.
Something else to note is that the island closes at 5pm each evening. That’s right….closes! This means that only residents of the hotels on the island can enjoy the sunset and evening drinks and if you’ve taken a day trip over to the island, you’ll need to make sure you don’t miss your boat back!
How to get to Koh Nang Yuan
The easiest way to get to Koh Nang Yuan is from nearby island of Koh Tao. It’s just a 15 minute boat ride from Sairee beach on Koh Tao. You’ll be able to get a water taxi no problem as they’re all lined up at Sairee beach, so there’s no need to pre-book.
Where to stay on Koh Nang Yuan
There are not many options for staying on the island, so you may prefer to take the ferry for a day trip when visiting this island.
In fact, Nangyuan Island Dive Resort is the only hotel on Koh Nang Yuan for tourists to stay. This means that rooms get booked up quickly (especially by those on diving trips) so if you plan to stay on the island you need to get in quick!
Koh Kut (Koh Kood)
If you want to get away from it all Koh Kut is the place for you!
This is Thailand’s easternmost island, where you’ll find nothing but calm blue water and lush landscapes. If that doesn’t sound like paradise then I don’t know what does!
This is a great night spot too – everyone gathers on the beach after sunset to make offerings to their ancestors and reflect upon their lives. The atmosphere here is magical as dinner slowly starts being served outdoors under clear starry skies.
What’s even more amazing about Koh Kut is that it’s a nature lover’s dream come true with all the diverse wildlife and lush vegetation. Wildlife lovers will have an easy time spotting monkeys, birds and snakes depending on where they’re located on the island.
Koh Kut has some of the most magnificent waterfalls emerging from the mountains of the island so be sure to take in a hike while you’re visiting.
If you’re looking for incredible snorkeling spots and coral reefs, then Koh Kut is a great place to head to! You’ll see plenty of colorful fish and possibly even some sharks depending on what time of year you visit this Thailand island hopping destination. Book your snorkeling tour here.
How to get to Koh Kut
The fastest way to get to Koh Kot from Bangkok is to fly directly to Trat Airport and get a 30 minute ferry down to the island.
Coming from nearby Koh Chang, hop on a 45 minute ferry ride to Koh Kut.
Where to stay on Koh Kut
Budget: Suan Maprao Ko Kut Resort – Located in the Klong Chao Beach district of Koh Kut, this budget resort is highly rated among tourists.
Mid level: Dusita Koh Kood Resort – Dusita Resort Koh Kood is located at Ngam Khor bay. Close to beaches, nature, waterfalls and forest,
Luxury resort: The Beach Natural Resort Koh Kood – This beautiful resort is surrounded by white sandy beaches and located in the middle of the crescent shaped Bang Bao Bay.
Koi Chang Noi
Not to be confused with the larger, more popular, Koh Chang, on Koh Chang Noi, in the northern part of Thailand, you’ll find a stunning landscape with lush tropical forests. This place is so small that it’s easy to walk around and explore every inch of this colorful island.
You might see monkeys swinging through the trees or even venture into caves where you can see stalactites and stalagmites like you’re walking through an amazing cave system!
There’s also great snorkeling on Koh Chang Noi, as well as plenty of powder soft beaches and incredible sunsets, not to mention some tasty Thai food.
A lot of this island is quite remote, some areas have no cell service, a lack of electricity, no ATM, and some resorts even run out of hot water at times. While it may be a shock to the system initially, it’s still worth it for the beauty the island has to offer.
How to get to Koh Chang Noi
The easiest way to get to Koh Chang Noi is to travel to the city of Rangong and catch a ferry from Ko Phayam Pier to the island.
Where to stay on Koh Chang Noi
There are only one or two places to stay which can be defined as ‘resorts’ on this island. Bungalows are the usual options for visiting tourists. They can usually be rented without pre-booking, but I recommend calling in advance if you plan to visit during busy periods, such as Christmas or New Years.
Koh Yao Yai
Ko Yao Yai is the larger of two islands which make up the Ko Yao Archipelago in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. If you’re looking to get a bit of high-end fun in an amazingly beautiful area, this is the island for you.
This island boasts some of the best luxury resorts in Thailand, and these places are nothing short of amazing! Top class accommodation with gorgeous views is what you’ll find here.
There’s lots of great activities on Koh Yao Yai too, including sailing, kayaking, and even biking around the island.
Something I suggest doing while staying here is to rent a moped and go exploring everything Koh Yao Yai has to offer – from amazing waterfalls to beautiful secluded beaches.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Koh Yao Yai is also a great place to go diving! In fact, he best diving spots are Shark Point and the King Cruiser Wreck near Anemone Reef.
How to get to Kho Yao Yai
The island of Kho Yao Yai is located half way between Phuket and Krabi. You can easily catch a boat from either cities to the island. A speedboat from Phuket takes just 25 minutes and from Krabi takes 40 minutes.
Where to stay on Kho Yao Yai
Budget: Koh Yao Modern Inn – this budget accommodation has rooms with balconies overlooking a beautiful garden and is just 700 meters from Laem Had Beach.
Mid level: Baan Taranya Koh Yao Yai – guests can enjoy beach front views and relaxing massages here. There’s also options to take day excursions to nearly islands.
Luxury resort: Koh Yao Yai Village – SHA Plus – tucked away in a rainforest, this luxury resort on Kho Yao Yai has a large infinity pool overlooking a private beach and nearby islands of Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay.
Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan is an absolute must to add to your Thailand island hopping list. It’s THE Thailand island to visit if you’re looking for parties at the beach, especially a full moon party! There are tons of bars, restaurants and clubs that play great music so after lying out on the beach all day you can head out for some fun in the sun!
You’ll find some great beaches here with powder soft sand and clear blue waters so there’s no doubt about why this island was made famous by endless raves and Ibiza-style festivals! Head to Haad Rin Beach where all of these events take place.
While Koh Pha Ngan is most popular during high season from December to April, you can still find plenty of fun things to do between May and November including hiking, exploring and scuba diving.
How to get to Koh Pha Ngan
The fastest way to get to Koh Pha Ngan is to catch a flight to Koh Samui and then a ferry to the island. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive way to get there.
Alternatively, you can fly to Surat Thani on the mainland of Thailand, get a bus to Donsac Pier and catch a ferry over to Koh Pha Ngan. This route is cheaper than the above but will take around 4.5 hours.
Where to stay on Koh Pha Ngan
Budget: Seacroft Bamboo Village – these bungalows almost seem like little treehouses surrounded by trees. The area is especially popular for cycling and you can hire bikes from the accommodation. Enjoy barbeque facilities in the evening also.
Mid level: Princess Paradise Koh Phangan – this accommodation is just 100 meters from Haad Rin Nai Beach. Be sure to check out the tour desk for some activities to do during your stay.
Luxury resort: Zee Luxury Boutique Hotel – just a few steps away from Hin Kong Beach, this hotel has all the luxury you need here in Koh Pha Ngan. Guests can relax at the outdoor pool or take a stroll in the gardens.
Off the coast of Phuket, you’ll find Koh Kradan Island. This Thailand island hopping destination features some secluded beaches that are quiet and peaceful as well as beautiful coral reefs with excellent diving and snorkeling spots that offer great fun for all different levels of experience.
Koh Kradan is perfect for those looking to explore the undersea world in a way that’s safe and fun. There are also plenty of resorts here if you want to stay overnight or plan your trip specifically around this island.
Koh Kradan is a small island so you’d be able to explore the entire island in just one day.
How to get to Koh Kradan
Koh Kradan is on the Phuket to Langkawi ferry line and stops at a number of the larger Thai islands. If you get off the ferry at either Koh Lanta or Koh Lipe, you can catch a speedboat easily to Koh Kradan.
Where to stay on Koh Kradan
Budget: KALUME’ Eco Boutique Resort – set among a tropical garden, this boutique hotel offers budget in luxury style. You can get a relaxing massage on site or chill out on hammocks in the garden. Each bungalow they offer is eco-friendly.
Mid level: The Reef Resort – this is one of the most beautiful resorts on the island, with 18 beach front and sea view rooms. Staying here, you can experience snorkeling in the coral reef and poosibly encounter dolphins, turtles or sea cows!
Koh Rayang is a small island that’s perfect for those who like to get away from it all!
Most people spend their days on Koh Rayang just relaxing in hammocks, reading books, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. The island is so small it measures just 400 meters from north to south and 200 meters from east to west!
How to get to Koh Rayang
The easiest way to get to Koh Rayang is by boat from nearby Koh Chang. In order to get to Koh Chang, take a plane to Trat airport on the mainland of Thailand and then a ferry from Laem Ngop to Koh Chang.
Where to stay on Koh Rayang
There aren’t many options for accommodation here on Koh Rayang so you’re better off visiting the island on a day trip and staying at the nearby Koh Mak. If you do really want to stay on the island, there is the two star Rayang Phurin Resort.
Poda Island is one of Thailand’s paradise destinations that is truly off the beaten path. This tiny island may only be a couple square kilometers but it packs an amazing punch!
There are some fantastic beaches where you can go for walks or spend your days in a hammock with a cold watermelon juice, or snorkeling off the shore.
Poda island is so small that there are no restaurants, just one small hut selling cold drinks and snacks.
How to get to Ko Poda
You’ll need to get a boat from Ao Nang in order to get to Ko Poda. On arrival at Ko Poda, you need to pay a small ‘visitor’s fee’ because the island is part of Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
Where to stay on Ko Poda
There are no hotels or resorts on this island so you’ll need to stay on a nearby island. There was evidence of people camping therer oernight, however it doesn’t seem to be officially allowed.
Khao Phing Kan
Khao Phing Kan, or “James Bond Island”, is another one of Thailand’s spectacular island hopping spots that’s getting more and more popular each year with tourists. This is the perfect example of a tiny island paradise!
It’s called James Bond Island because a scene in The Man With the Golden Gun was filmed here. In the opening credits, James Bond is seen playing cricket on an island while his opponents shoots at him and he dodges their bullets.
You’ll find an amazing coastline here that has powder soft sand, clear blue waters and plenty of opportunities for picturesque sunsets over the horizon. The white sandy beach stretches on forever so you can go for long walks along its length.
If you’re looking for something more than just lazing on the beach (let’s be honest, there’s a whole lot of that when you’re Thailand island hopping!), then you need to explore Khao Phing Kan’s caves, mangrove forest and enjoy it’s famous flora and fauna.
If you plan to visit on a day trip from nearby islands, check out one of these one day excursions:
- Phang Nga Bay: Early Bird James Bond & Beyond Tour
- From Phuket: James Bond Island Excursion by Lontail Boat
- Krabi: Semi-Private James Bond Island Boat Tour
How to get to Khao Phing Kan
From Bang Rong Pier in Phuket, get a speedboat as far as Koh Yao Nai and from there you can catch a boat to Khao Phing Kan. Alternatively, if you choose to do a day excursion, your tour guide will arrange all your transport.
Koh Jum is an island in the Southern region of Thailand that isn’t very often explored by tourists. The locals say that this place is “home” and it’s definitely a great place for them to hang out with friends, family and neighbors. It’s easy to see why they love it so much – there are plenty of dolphins jumping on the water near here so you can take part in some amazing dolphin tours!
There are also tons of creatures running around – from monkeys, lizards and birds to snakes, frogs and even cows! Rent a bike and go explore the sights away from the beaches for something different to do on this island.
How to get to Koh Jum
As with most islands in Thailand, Koh Jum is accessible by ferry, longtail boat or speedboat. The easiest way to get to the island is to catch one of many boats going between Krabi and Koh Lanta, as they stop at Koh Jum.
Where to stay on Koh Jum
Budget: Sun Smile Beach Koh Jum – offering stunning sea views, the Sun Smile Beach Hotel is fantastic value for money on Koh Jum. Guests can enjoy delicious food in the onsite restaurant and a playground for kids.
Mid level: Koh Jum Resort – expect amazing panoramic sunset views from your bungalow at Koh Jum Resort. With an outdoor pool and tropical gardens and activities such as snorkeling and fishing, you’ll have all you need at this resort.
Luxury resort: Koh Jum Beach Villas “A member of Secret Retreats” – a beautiful beachfront property offering spacious villas with a terrace, dining area and living room. Some villas even come with their own private pool!
Koh Racha Yai
Koh Racha Yai is one of the most popular islands in Thailand to take your scuba diving certification course
One of Indonesia’s most famous scuba diving sites called “The Wall” is located off the coast from Koh Racha Yai, so this is actually where many people choose to celebrate their newly acquired PADI certificates before they start exploring more exotic dive spots.
There are also some great beaches on Koh Racha Yai including Ao Nam Mao that have powder soft sand, clear blue waters and plenty of opportunities for snorkeling too! You can spend your days walking along the coast, sunbathing on the beach or taking a trip to nearby islands like Koh Jum for dolphin shows.
There are no roads or cars on the island, just beaches and beautiful coral reefs. For those who like hiking, there’s a trail that leads up to a mountain for spectacular panoramic views of the island.
How to get to Koh Racha Yai
Koh Racha Yai is very easy to get to from Phuket’s Chalong Pier. In fact, it’s just a 30 minute speedboat ride until you reach the island.
Where to stay on Koh Racha Yai
Budget: Bungalow Raya Resort – a budget friendly hotel with luxurious surroundings, breathtaking tropical views, and delicious Thai, international and seafood.
Mid level: Racha Island Resort – with a restaurant, outdoor pool, bar and fitness centre, this hotel offers a bit of luxury for mid level prices. Ter Bay Beach is just 500 meters from the hotel.
Luxury resort: The Racha SHA Plus – this luxurious resort is the most modern on the island, with its own private beach and outdoor pool looking out into the clear blue Andaman sea. Guests can enjoy pampering spa treatments and yoga lessons.
Koh Si Chang
Looking to unplug from the hustle and bustle of city life? Koh Si Chang may be just what you’re looking for. Situated not far off the coast of the mainland, this Thailand island hopping destination offers a ton of opportunities for those looking to get away from it all!
Koh Si Chang gives more of a chilled, calmer vibe than it’s neighboring party islands.
Head out to explore on a rented motorbike. Even for beginner bikers, it’s easy to get around this island. Discover Cape Nguu and mountainous routes.
Haad Tham Phang is the main beach on the island, but that doesn’t mean that it’s packed full of tourists. Don’t be scared if a wild bore cozies up beside you on the beach – they’re friendly!
How to get to Koh Si Chang
To get to Koh Si Chang, you will first need to get to the city of Sriracha, over an hour’s drive from Bankgkok. Once there, you can catch a 45 minute ferry ride over to Koh Si Chang. Make sure you say Koh Si Chang and not Koh Chang when asked where you’re travelling to, as they are two very different islands!
Where to stay on Koh Si Chang
There are no luxury resorts on this island but instead I have included a higher level hotel which has more facilities and better views than others.
Budget: Wilailak Bungalow @ Koh Srichang – a very basic accommodation on Koh Si Chang offering budget prices, air conditioned rooms and nearby restaurants to enjoy local cuisine.
Mid level: Sichang My Home – this accommodation is conveniently located in the town of Si Chang. All rooms are air conditioned and there’s a shuttle bus available to bring you to nearby beaches.
Higher level: Rubtawan Sichang Resort – situated on the eastern part of the island, this 3 star hotel boasts beautiful sea views and bungalow accommodation.
For an island in Thailand that doesn’t get many tourists, check out Koh Phayam! This little island is far off the beaten path but boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery around.
Water sports, such as kayaking through mangroves or surfing are popular on Koh Phayam.
If water sports aren’t for you, take a hike through the jungle where you’re likely to spot monkeys, hornbills and lizards.
Be sure to visit the Pier Temple which, as its name gives away, was built on the pier. It has a small Buddhist shrine inside and tourists are welcome to go in. Across the way from the Pier Temple is the Big Buddha, where you’ll have nice views of the pier and surrounding areas.
How to get to Koh Phayam
To get to Koh Phayam, you must first either get a plane or bus as far as Ranong. Once at Ranong pier, you can get a ferry (2.5 hours) or a speedboat (40 minutes) to Koh Phayam.
Where to stay on Koh Phayam
Budget: JJ Beach Resort & JJ Seafood – this budget accommodation is located on Aow Yai Beach and offers an excellent seafood restaurant with a spectacular view of the sunset.
Mid level: Phayam Cottage Resort – the 3 star Phayam Cottage Resort offers beachfront accommodation, an outdoor pool and a garden.
Luxury resort: The Blue Sky Resort @ Koh Payam – this resort features elegant thatched roofed villas set amongst a mangrove forest. Guests can enjoy spa facilities, as well as free kayak and bicycle rentals.
Thailand island hopping isn’t complete without a visit to Koh Chang! This is one of the largest islands in Thailand with plenty of activities for you try out.
Koh Chang is known for it’s spectacular waterfalls. For nature lovers, be sure to check out Khlong Phlu Waterfall, located within Mo Koh Chang National Park. Bring your swimming gear as you can swim right underneath the waterfall.
Of course what makes this Thai island so wonderful is its pristine beaches and fantastic weather.
The island also has some of the most beautiful coral reefs in Thailand so it’s easy to see why snorkeling is one of the best activities on the island. This snorkeling tour takes you on an underwater adventure exploring shipwrecks! You can also take a diving tour of the area if you want something more exciting than snorkeling.
Enjoy the sunset, sipping cocktails, from one of the many beach bars on the island. After sunset, head to Ko Chang’s night market for incredible fresh seafood and Thai delights.
The nightlife on this island never seems to stop and there is always tons of fun things going on whether it be a party, fire dance or some kind festival that people are celebrating.
How to get to Koh Chang
While there’s no airport on the island, the quickest way to get to Koh Chang is to fly to Trat, get a taxi to Ao Thammachat Pier and catch a ferry to Ao Sapparot Pier on Ko Chang.
Where to stay on Koh Chang
Budget: BeachBox@Koh Сhang – owned by a friendly couple, this budget accommodation offers a fun, relaxing stay to guests. It has an outdoor pool, a shared lounge and is just 200 meters from the beach.
Mid level: Koh Chang Paradise Resort & Spa– this beachfront resort offers sea view and garden view rooms, outdoor dining experience, fitness center and spa facilities.
Luxury resort: Sea View Koh Chang– this resort is in a small secluded area of Koh Chang. You’ll get panoramic views of Kai Bae Beach and have access to resort activities such as cinema night, pizza workshop, batik painting and many more.,
Ko Wua Talap / Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park
The Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park is next on our list of Thailand island hopping destinations. There are 42 islands in total which make up the archipelago and while Ko Wua Tailap isn’t the largest island, it is considered the main one.
This heavily forested area has some of the most pristine beaches anywhere in Southeast Asia. The water here is crystal clear and there are plenty of little islands nearby that you can visit if you don’t want to spend all your time at only one location.
The park itself isn’t very large, but you can definitely see some worthwhile sights even if you just stay for a day or two. If you’re interested in seeing some of nature’s natural beauty then make your way to Mu Koh Angthong for an unforgettable experience!
Some of the animals found on the island are lizards, iguanas, otters, turtles, snakes and 54 different species of birds.
For spectacular views, there is a steep 500 meter climb up to a viewpoint where you’ll have panoramic views of the islands. The hike takes between 30 and 40 minutes to reach the top.
There are two beaches on Ko Wua Talap, one at either end of the island. The more adventurous way to get from one to the other is to follow the jungle trek trail (about 30 minutes long). Don’t worry though, there’s a rope the whole way along the trail to ensure you don’t get lost.
How to get to Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park
Ferries to Ko Wua Talap run from nearby Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. You can also book a tour to the park.
Where to stay on Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park
It’s possible to stay the night on Ko Wua Talap, though it’s not easy to book your stay! The best way to do this is through a local tour operator. There’s no such thing as luxury accommodation on the island, but there are basic bungalows available and a stay on the island is definitely worth it.
Koh Libong may not be one of the famous Thailand island hopping destinations, but if you’re looking for an escape from the usual touristy islands, then this is where you want to go.
The main activity on this island is….you guessed it…. chilling out on the beach! This place is spectacular with beautiful white sand beaches and lots of palm trees all around, so it’s easy to see why.
But for something different, rent a kayak and head out to the eastern side of the island to Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve where you have the opportunity to spot beautiful Dubongs (‘Sea Cows’).
How to get to Koh Libong
If coming from Bangkok, you’ll need to fly to Trang first and then catch a taxi or bus to Had Yao Pier. From Had Yao Pier, you can get a ferry to Koh Libong.
Where to stay on Koh Libong
Budget: Koh Libong Sunrise Homestay – if staying below budget is important to you, then this basic accommodation is the place for you on Koh Libong
Mid level: Libong Beach Resort – guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or stroll in the garden here, with air conditioned en suite rooms.
Luxury resort: Andalay Beach Resort Koh Libong – this resort is the only resort with it’s own pool on the island. It lies on a private beach on the south west of the island.
Koh Tarutao National Park
Once a concentration camp for political prisoners, Koh Tarutao is one of the rare islands in Thailand that is not overrun with tourists. If you want to get up close and personal with Mother Nature, then this is the best island for your Thailand island hopping adventures.
Here’s what you can do in Koh Tarutao National Park
- Hike to Lu Du Waterfall
- Rent a mountain bike and cycle through the jungle
- Rent a kayak and paddle through the mangroves
- Explore Crocodile Cave
- Watch the sunset from a deserted beach
How to get to Koh Tarutao National Park
The closest port on the mainland is Pak Bara. Most people arrive on Koh Tarutao from Pak Bara or Koh Lipe. The boats that run from Koh Lipe to Pak Bara and vice versa top off at Koh Tarutao. It’s just a 30 minute speedboat from Pak Bara.
Where to stay on Koh Tarutao National Park
There are no hotels or resorts on Koh Tarutao. You can camp or rent a bungalow on the island, however you need to pre-book this through the Thai Government National Park by emailing email@example.com.
Koh Tao is a great island hopping destination for anyone looking to get their scuba diving certificate or just trying it out for the first time. It’s actually known for being the cheapest place in the world to get your scuba diving certificate.
Hiking is also very popular among tourists in Koh Tao. Some of the best hikes on Koh Tao are:
- The coastal walk from Mae Head to Chalok Bay
- The abandoned resort of Laem Thain
- Mango Bay Viewpoint
It’s also not hard to find beautiful beaches and great resorts here – some of which are ranked among the best in Thailand!
Koh Tao is also known as “party island” so expect plenty of late nights when you’re on this tropical paradise. Most of the beach parties happen on Sairee Beach or there are plenty of other bars around the island.
How to get to Koh Tao
The most direct route is to fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui and then catch a two hour ferry ride to Koh Tao.
Alternatively, for something different, take an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok’s Hualamphong train station to Chumphon. Once at Chumphon, the ferry company will organise a transfer to the pier and on to Koh Tao, where you’ll arrive early morning.
Where to stay on Koh Tao
Budget: Koh Tao Tropicana Resort – this is the perfect location for budget travelers, right on the beach at Chaluk Bankao. Guests can also enjoy Thai and international dishes at Tropicana Restaurant.
Mid level: Koh Tao Beach Club – Located close to Mae Haad Pier, this accommodation offer onsite restaurant and also many options within walking distance. It also has a beachfront bar and outdoor pool to realx by.
Luxury resort: Overthemoon Luxury Pool Villas – this is Koh Tao’s most luxury resort, located at Sairee Beach. It offers guests a world class experience with stunning sea views from the accommodation.
Koh Lanta has quite a few hidden gems to discover when exploring the island. On the north of the island is Long Beach, one of the nicest beaches on Koh Lanta. It’s not overcrowded so there’s plenty of space for everyone.
Koh Lanta also has it’s own national park where you can hike, relax on the beach or explore the lighthouse.
Be on the lookout for cheeky monkeys here on Koh Lanta though. They’re not very well behaved and if you end up getting bitten by a monkey on your Thailand travels, you’ll need to make sure you get a rabies shot straight away.
Other things you can do on Koh Lanta are the usual snorkeling and scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing. For something different why not try a cooking class or take a yoga class?
There are also numerous day tours you can do to local areas:
- Old Town Sightseeing and National Park Tour
- Animal Welfare and Sightseeing Tour
- Mangrove Kayaking Half Day Tour
- Full Day Caves & Beaches Kayak Tour with Lunch
How to get to Koh Lanta
The quickest way to get to Koh Lanta is to get a ferry from Chao Fa Pier in Krabi Town.
Where to stay in Koh Lanta
Budget: Pana Long Beach Resort – this budget accommodation is located on Long Beach in Koh Lanta. Relax in hammocks in the garden or on one of the rooms with balconies.
Mid level: Lanta Castaway Beach Resort – situated on the southern end of Ko Lanta’s Pra Ae Beach, the Castaway Beach Resort has a relaxed feel to it, offering sun loungers on the beach and relaxing garden walks.
Luxury resort: Layana Resort & Spa – SHA Plus -with an infinity pool overlooking the sea, this stunning resort is in the perfect location in Mu Koh Lanta National Park. You can directly access Long Beach from the resort.
Koh Lipe is Thailand’s southernmost island. This island is known as the “pearl of Andaman” and it serves up some of the best beaches in Thailand along with a great nightlife scene.
There are plenty of water sports to be found here, from jet skiing to snorkeling – you’ll enjoy having so many different options available. Here are some of the most popular snorkeling day tours you can experience in Koh Lipe:
- Outside Zone Snorkeling Trip by Longtail Boat
- East Zone Snorkeling Trip by Longtail Boat
- Private Snorkeling and Sunset Longtail Boat Tour
- From Pak Bara: Speed Boat Island Tour with Snorkeling
For some breathtaking views, hike up to Koh Lipe Viewpoint. Make sure you have proper shoes (not flip flops!) for the hike as it’s pretty steep and rocky terrain. At certain points, there is a rope to help you along the way. There are 3 viewpoints along the way, keep going to Viewpoint 3 for the best views!
Koh Lipe is a great choice for those looking for a great night life. While not as wild as the parties on some other islands, there are fire shows, beach clubs and many bars to dance the night away.
How to get to Koh Lipe
The closest pier on the mainland of Thailand to Koh Lipe is Pak Bara. Ferries and speedboats leave Pak Bara on a regular basis each day towards Koh Lipe.
A lot of people visit Koh Lipe from Langkawi in Malaysia. In a bit of a roundabout way, from Langkawi you can catch a ferry to Pak Bara and then a speedboat to Koh Lipe.
Where to stay on Koh Lipe
Budget: The Chic Lipe – this basic 3 star hotel has air conditioned room and restaurant bar and is close to sunset beach.
Mid level: Serendipity Beach Resort Koh Lipe – I just love the name of this resort, but other than the appealing name, this resort offers a private beachfront area, a restaurant and bar. It’s also just 15 minutes away from Walking Street for some island shopping.
Luxury resort: AKIRA Lipe Resort – located on Pattaya beach of Koh Lipe, this resort overlooks the white sandy beach and crystal clear Andaman Sea. There are three pools, one outdoor, a garden and a fitness centre.
This island is about as secluded and tropical as it gets. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a getaway from busy city life. One of the less developed islands, Koh Mak is gradually starting to see more and more visitors as it develops more.
There are plenty of different activities here for just about anyone, whether you like swimming, lazing on the beach or kayaking. You can even rent glass bottomed kayaks!
Renting a bicycle or a motorbike is a great way to explore the island of Koh Mak. However, not all the roads are properly paved so be sure to take care.
How to get to Koh Mak
The best way to get to Koh Mak is by taking a speedboat from Laem Ngob pier on the mainland or from Koh Chang. A speedboat will take around one hour while a slow boat will take around 3 hours.
Where to stay on Koh Mak
Budget: Sea View Resort – this budget accommodation offers sea views and an onsite restaurant and garden barbeques amongst a luxurious tropical setting.
Mid level: Lazy Day Resort – this resort is located just, a 2-minute walk from Ao Khao Beach. Each room has direct access to a private area on the beach.
Luxury resort: Mira Montra Resort Koh Mak – this spectacular resort is located in Ao Phra, with ocean views, an outdoor pool and a clubhouse next to the private beach.
Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island. Like other islands in Thailand, Koh Samui is a diverse destination with plenty of things to do.
Take a hike up to the picturesque Na Mueang Waterfalls for a picnic and some swimming. It’s not a physical hike but be mindful that some of the paths may be slippery.
One of Koh Samui’s most famous landmarks is the 12 foot Big Buddha statue on the northeast of the island. Around the base of the statue is a courtyard where you can buy souvenirs and artefacts. There are also food stalls nearby.
Close by to the Big Buddha is the Buddhist Temple of Wat Plai Laem. The Temple features an 18-armed image of the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, and a large white Chinese Buddha set on the lake.
Here are some tours you can take part in on Koh Samui:
- Samui: 7 Hour 4WS Wild Jungle Safari Tour Including Lunch
- Koh Samui: Island Hopping & norkeling with Pig Island Visit
- Koh Samui: Traditional Thai CookingClass With Market Tour
Koh Samui has a fantastic night life which includes night markets, outdoor movies cabaret shows, beach parties and wild nightclubs.
How to get to Koh Samui
Koh Samui has its own airport, so the easiest way to get to the island is to fly from one of Thailand’s major cities, such as Bangkok, Phuket or Krabi.
Where to stay on Koh Samui
Budget: Koh Samui Resort Villa Giacomelli – less than 6km from Namuang Waterfalls and a short walking distance to the beach, this budget accommodation has everything you need for your Koh Samui stay.
Mid level: The Hive Hotel – SHA Plus – mid level prices for luxury experience, the Hive Hotel has an infinity pool facing the beachfront of Lamai Beach.
Luxury resort: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui – SHA Plus – located on the northwest tip of Koh Samui, this paradise resort is surrounded by tropical gardens, stunning ocean views and has an infinity pool and beach bar for guests to enjoy.
Thailand island hopping summary
Thailand is a strikingly beautiful country, and there’s no better way to explore it than by island hopping. You’ll find some of the most stunning natural scenery in these parts, as well as plenty of opportunities to try new activities like kayaking or caving! The best islands are covered here – from Koh Nang Yuan to Koh Samui.
Whether you’re looking to lounge, bathe and relax or snorkel, explore and hike, there’s something for absolutely everyone in Thailand. No matter where you go in this beautiful country, one thing is sure: you’ll have the time of your life on your Thailand island hopping adventure!
Have you been on your own Thailand island hopping adventure? Which islands did you visit? Have I missed any of your favourites?