For many people, Thailand is synonymous with beaches, smiles, ocean waves and young coconuts. Thailand is known far and wide for its beautiful beaches. There are beaches where tens of thousands of people from around the world come to party. There are beaches that are completely secluded. There are beaches for meditation and yoga. There are beaches to suit any kind of vacation.
Here are some of the top island destinations in Thailand.
Full Moon Party – Ko Phangan
If you’re looking for a party experience, this is it. The Full Moon Party is arguably the most famous party in all of Southeast Asia. Both Thais and foreigners gather at this epic celebration. The party features burning jump ropes, fire spinners, world class DJs and all kinds of activities. The party itself is situated along the beach strip on the southern end of Ko Phangan, on a beach called Haad Rin.
During the day time, Ko Phangan is a paradise to explore. There are several waterfalls on the island that are gorgeous to see. You can drive through rows and rows of forestry. There are tons of beaches, from the pristine “Bottle Beach” to the snorkeler’s paradise at Ko Ma in the north of the island.
Ko Phi Phi – Where “The Beach” Was Filmed
In Leonardo Di Caprio’s “The Beach,” Leonardo played a wandering traveler in search of adventure. They looked for a legendary beach whose white sands were untouched by civilization. It was supposed to be the most beautiful beach in the world. That beach was filmed here, on Ko Phi Phi, in a place called Maya Bay.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s best to do so before visiting this island. The beach is every bit as beautiful as depicted in the movie. Furthermore, you can not only visit the beach, but actually get a tent and camp out on Maya Bay.
Ko Phi Phi itself is quite the party island. There are many clubs on the beach where you can party while standing on the sand. Note that because Ko Phi Phi is so a popular destination, hotel and guesthouse prices can be a bit higher than normal.
Ko Lanta and Ko Tao
Ko Tao is the world’s diving capital. It’s the #2 highest trafficked dive spot on the planet, certifying more divers than anywhere except Cairns, Australia. You can get your PADI diving certification for as little as half of what you’d pay back home. The instructors are very competent and are generally English speakers.
Ko Lanta is a chill, laid back island that has very calm waters. It’s great for walks along the beach, romantic getaways and family time. It’s also a fantastic place for snorkeling and diving. Ko Lanta is considered by many to be the “less touristy Ko Tao.”
If you’re looking for an affordable scuba diving experience, Ko Lanta and Ko Tao are the places to do it.
Ko Samet – The Bangkok Getaway
Ko Samet is the perfect place to get away from Bangkok for the weekend. It’s only a three hour drive away. Its beaches are populated by tourists who come for just a few days at a time. The beaches are amazing and there are many activities to partake in during the day.
Be sure to check out the open bottom restaurants. These restaurants allow you to each while sitting on a chair that’s around the edge of a hole. The hole is directly over the ocean, where myriads of fish swim. You can drop bits of leftover food through the hole and watch as swarms of fish come to gobble it up.
Ko Chang is a fantastic mix of both nature and adventure. The island has a very chill, very natural kind of vibe. It has picked up in popularity, but is by no means over touristy. It has fantastic seafood and fantastic fruit juices at rock bottom prices.
These are some of the many islands that Thailand has to offer. For tropical lovers, Thailand doesn’t disappoint. From relaxing beaches to thumping parties to world class cuisines to all kinds of wildlife, Thailand has it all. If you have the time, try to see at least two or three different islands on your trip.