With the rise in tourism in recent years, favorite Thailand island destinations, such as Phuket and Koh Phangan hold less appeal for today’s savvy traveler. But there are still great places that offer fun activities and the serene natural beauty that Thailand is known for. We’ve found the best islands in Thailand – and where to stay when you visit.
1. Koh Tao
Scuba diving is the name of the game on Koh Tao, but that’s not the only draw for this growing tourist destination. Located off the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand, this small island offers scenic white sand coasts, the adventure of the jungle and the late night fun of an active bar scene. Named after the many sea turtles that call these shores home, you’ll find turtles galore, stingrays and even barracudas in your diving escapades.
AllTheRooms Pick on Koh Tao: Jamahkiri Resort
Located on Thiang Bay, also known as Shark Bay, this five-star resort boasts a private beach, pool and PADI certified diving center. Relax in Thai style rooms with ocean views from private guest balconies and later enjoy a drink at the rooftop lounge or pool bar. Jamahkiri Resort’s location on Thiang Bay presents prime spots for diving and snorkeling, maximizing the possibility of spotting the black and white tip reef sharks the area is known for.
2. Koh Chang
Less well-known than Koh Tao, Koh Chang – which translates literally as “elephant island” is named for its topographical shape, which resembles an elephant. Koh Chang’s untamed, green mountainous terrain have kept this island on the less-touristy side. It’s also the ideal environment for jungle excursions. Like most islands in Thailand, there are plenty of opportunities to go scuba diving, snorkeling, waterfall chasing and more.
AllTheRooms Pick in Koh Chang: The Chill Resort & Spa, Koh Chang
Located on Kai Bae Beach, The Chill Resort & Spa of Koh Chang offers luxury perks from the two-story pool villas to the Sky Jacuzzi Suite with a palatial terrace and a whirlpool jacuzzi. This boutique spa resort serves five-star Thai fusion cuisine in an atmosphere that’s private and comfortable – perfect for a dreamy romantic getaway.
3. Koh Lanta
Take a motorbike through the island’s flat north to south roads and explore Koh Lanta’s miles long beaches, dive spots and cultural charm. Koh Lanta caters from midrange to luxury budgets and tends to attract mostly European tourists. Though most crowds stay in the north where restaurants and shopping are abundant, the savvy traveler will make an escape to the quiet, pleasant southwestern side of the island for a real break from the tourist bustle. If you like the sound of Koh Lanta, plan a trip soon. The island’s serenity may disappear with the upcoming bridge construction to the mainland.
AllTheRooms Pick in Koh Lanta: Crown Lanta Resort & Spa
Enjoy a relaxing stay at Crown Lanta Resort & Spa just beyond the lush green hills and staggering cliffs of Koh Lanta. Escape to the private beach of this boutique resort and 22 hectares of park-like land. Rooms and villas featuring Thai architecture compliment the Thai hospitality presented in Crown Lanta. With two resort pools, an Infinity Spa and a beachside Reggae Bar, what more could you need?
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