With hundreds of islands spanning the coast of Thailand, island hopping is an exciting and fun experience for the avid traveller. Whether you are travelling to the Andaman Coast on the South West coast of Thailand, or the Gulf Coast on the South East there is a multitude of great options to meet your desires. This itinerary for your Thailand island hopping experience will give you a reference to some of the best islands to travel to, how to get there, attractions, and more.
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Thailand Itinerary for the South East Thailand Islands: Gulf of Thailand Coast
Similar to the island of Phuket on the South West coast of Thailand, Koh Samui serves as a base for island hopping. Tourists can travel to the island by plane, and then go island hopping because of the vast array of tours available on the island.
If you are considering a vacation, you may be wondering, how is the weather in Koh Samui? To answer your question, the weather is typically hot, with extended periods of rain. However, because of the vast array of indoor activities on the island, visitors can travel to the island year round, even during the raining season. You still can have entertaining activities to do when it rains in Koh Samui.
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One of the smaller islands on the gulf coast of Thailand, Koh Tao is a secluded yet exciting island. Island hoppers can easily reach the destination by taking a tour from one of the larger islands.
The island tour allows vacationers with a variety of fun activities and marvellous scenery. This includes rock climbing, snorkelling, and hiking, and diving. Book your dive tour here for the best chance to see a whale shark at the famous dive site Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand.
Travel to Koh Tao on your own terms and stay longer than you would with a tour company. Get there via high speed catamaran within 20 min. On the island you can rent a scooter and discover the island. Make sure to drive up on to one of the hills and enjoy beautiful views of the island.
Find out more and book your high-speed catamaran and coach to Koh Tao!
The island of Koh Phangan provides island hoppers on the South East coast of Thailand with an exciting and beautiful destination. In order to get to this island, travelers must take a boat or ferry tour either from the neighboring island Koh Samui or the mainland port in Surat Thani.
Once you reach the island, there are plenty of options for entertainment. For starters, there are multiple beaches to travel to, all of which have clear waters and incredible views. If you are looking for some exciting activities to do then Koh Phangan has you covered as there are waterfalls, hiking trails, and water activities.
Koh Phangan is most recognised by its Full Moon Party. This event occurs every month and is full of excitement. It is an all-night event and should be a part of your trip to Koh Phangan.
Also, read: Our Travel Guide to Koh Phangan as a Digital Nomad Family
Koh Wua Talap
Koh Wua Talap is a sparsely populated island off of the coast of Thailand. It is a part of Ang Thong National Marine Park. This island is perfect for those who want to visit exciting destinations and witness stunning views. The only way to island-hop to this location is through a tour from one of the larger islands on the gulf coast of Thailand. One very popular one is the Mu Ko Ang Thong Park: Semi-private Sunset Cruise Tour where you enjoy a relaxing sailing cruise aboard a luxurious yacht to the limestone islands of Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine Park. Secure your spot here!
The island is a popular tourist destination due mostly to the mountains, beaches, and Angthong National Park. If you want to take in the full magnitude of the island, then I would recommend going on the Pha Jun-Jaras hike with a private tour, where you will be taken to the highest point of the island and witness an incredible view.
Find out more and book a customised day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park!
Thailand Itinerary for the Andaman Coast: South West Islands
The country of Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is one of the premier destinations for traveling and island hopping. Phuket is one of the few islands off the coast of Thailand that has an airport, as well as boating companies to help you hop from island to island. This means that it is a great choice to travel to in order to journey to other islands.
The weather in Phuket is hot year long, and during certain times there are weeks straight of heavy rain. If you are looking to travel to Phuket the best time to do so is during the winter months through early spring, which allows you to avoid the monsoon season.
If you plan on staying in Phuket for a little while then take the time to experience the pristine waters, exciting nightlife, and downtown area. Also, consider booking a day-tour to one of the neighbouring islands if you like snorkelling with a guide, for example.
Find out more and book the must-do James Bond Island Day Trip!
Mu Koh Similan
If you are island hopping from Phuket, one of the prime destinations to visit is Similan. The relatively uncivilised island is a few hour boat ride, well worth the wait.
Once you get to the island, the beaches are pristine, with crystal clear water almost like a mirror, and several exciting activities to participate in. As part of the tour to Similan, travelers get to walk the beaches, snorkel, dive and hike to some of the most beautiful sites on the island. Similan is definitely one of the hidden beaches to visit near Phuket.
Find out more and book a full-day Similan Islands snorkeling trip from Phuket!
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Koh Yao Noi
If you are looking to island-hop to a quiet, peaceful island then Koh Yao Noi has you covered. The island is still underdeveloped compared to modern standards, however, the sightseeing, beaches, hiking, waterfalls, and nature is nearly unparalleled.
Unlike some of the more secluded islands on the coast of Thailand, this destination is a little bit less secluded, offering hotels and shopping for its visitors. If you plan on traveling to this island expect a boat ride of a few hours.
A fun way to discover the island is by bike. Your English speaking guide will show you the beauty of this island and introduce you to locals and their culture. Book your ticket here!
Find out more and book your Full-Day Bike Tour on Koh Yao Noi!
Koh Phi Phi
Similar to many of the other islands on the Andaman Coast, Koh Phi Phi requires a boat ride from Phuket. The islands of Koh Phi Phi are however more populated than some of the other islands off of the coast of Thailand. There are several shops and hotels to make your island hopping experience even better.
Koh Phi Phi boasts some of the best views and scenery of any of the South West islands. Island hoppers can participate in a variety of activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, and visiting the Phi Phi Le National Park.
INSIDER TIP: Koh Phi Phi attracts also many party loving young travellers and backpackers. If you book a room in one of the guesthouses or hostels there, then make sure to check the location beforehand. The more you’re in the center the louder it can become during the night! Click here to find the right place to stay!
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About the author: Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. She is currently in Thailand. As a freelancer, she understands the importance of productivity at work. Riya never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Twitter, @sanderriya.
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2 replies on “Thailand Itinerary – A Beginner’s Guide to Island Hopping in the Land of Smiles”
Great overview of the islands! Wish I had this to refer to a few years ago when I went to Thailand :). I found the Phi Phi islands to be a huge disappointment from the hoards of tourists and boats, as they have been so hyped up. I guess while it’s good that more people are traveling, it’s a shame the detriments it could have on the environment. For next time, I’d love to visit Similan islands!
Hey, thanks for your comment! I know right, that’s the downside of promoting travel destinations… as much as you want to inspire other people to see all the beautiful places in the world, it always means that you are responsible for an increase of tourism there too. And yes, Phi Phi island is really a massive attraction amongst backpackers and Thailand tourists. Perhaps it will be the next place they shut down unless the government finds a way to limit the daily visits… would be a shame, it’s such a beautiful spot!