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Thailand Island Hopping

From luxury paradise beaches and barefoot island getaways, discover why Thailand is such a popular beach destination by extending your holiday on an island hopping adventure. Each has its own distinct character – some are wild and uninhabited; others offer a tranquil sense of luxury. It won't take you long to find your own perfect retreat, with scenic coves and miles of white sandy beaches dotted along the coastline. Whether you’re looking for secluded beaches accented by limestone karsts or a kayaking tour through whispering caves, island hopping in Thailand is an unforgettable experience.

Experience island life

There are three areas that are best-known for island hopping in Thailand: the Andaman Coast, the western Gulf of Thailand, and the eastern Gulf of Thailand. Take your time discovering one, or take a local long-tail boat, ferry or light aircraft to experience a selection.

Island hopping on the Andaman Coast

Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, abounds with life and glamour. Think five-star luxury resorts, chic beach clubs and welcoming local guides. Neighbouring Phi Phi Islands – famous as the location of The Beach – offer a thrilling menu of activities, from black tip shark watching to rock climbing through luscious jungle. Balance exhilaration with tranquillity by staying on the Koh Yao Islands, where impressive, tranquil beaches frame quaint oceanfront eateries. If you’re looking to swim, relax and enjoy local Thai delicacies, these islands provide an idyllic setting to do just that.

Island hopping on the western Gulf of Thailand

You’ll find some of the best-known Thai islands nestled on the western Gulf. Visit Koh Samui for sunrise yoga on soft sands, rejuvenating spas and lush rainforest walks. Or join the party on Koh Phangan; this lively island may be famous for its hedonistic full moon beach parties, but you’ll also find serene resorts where you can delight in uninterrupted peace. If you’re keen to scuba dive, a visit to Koh Tao is a must. Affectionately dubbed ‘Turtle Island’, here the sheltered coves, coral reefs, and submerged wrecks provide amazing colourful diving for novices and pros. 

Island hopping on the eastern Gulf of Thailand

With the relaxed historic town of Trat as your starting point, you can go on to explore over 50 unspoilt islands scattered off its picturesque shores. Sleepy Koh Kood's sweeping beaches give way to dense jungle. Koh Kood’s quiet roads are ideal for exploring by scooter, and one of Thailand’s larger islands, Koh Chang is known for its astounding natural beauty. Part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, you’ll find lush forests, cascading waterfalls and dramatic mountain terrain to trek.

Top Tips from our Experts

Clive

Content Editor

"If you ever find yourself on the vibrant isle of Koh Phangan be sure to taste the island's specialities called No Names. These spicy little fritters are served with a delicate dipping sauce and are perfect with a cold Chang beer or a coconut and pineapple milkshake – bliss.”

Christie

Destination Executive

“If you’re wondering when best to visit Thailand, island-hopping is ideally suited to the dry season which runs between November and April. Some boats and ferries don’t operate during the monsoon, so we recommend planning your itinerary around the country’s winter season”.