There are hundreds of islands to visit in Thailand. They are famed for their picturesque beaches, crystal-blue waters, and enviable weather. However, because they are so popular many have become overrun with tourism.
Lots of travellers go searching for the best party-islands but others just want to get away from the crowds. Thankfully, as they are so numerous, there are still plenty of unspoilt islands in Thailand.
Although you will need to carefully plan to get from the mainland to these islands, it is relatively economical and easy to fly to Thailand.
Here are 15 of the best-unspoilt islands to visit. They are untouched paradises which are calm, tranquil, and breathtakingly-beautiful. They are so untouched that your only option is to camp at some of them.
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15 Quiet Islands to Visit in Thailand
1. Koh Kradan
Located south of the mainland in the Andaman Sea, Koh Kradan is an idyllic paradise. The 4km long island is surrounded by an untouched coral reef which is home to an uncountable amount of marine life. The transparent water and white sand make it a fantastic spot for snorkelling as the visibility is so perfect. Most of the island is a part of the wider Hat Chao Mai National park, meaning that around 90% of the land is protected for conservation. One of the best ways to appreciate the island is go kayaking, it takes around three hours to do a lap around the island.
2. Koh Jum
Locals have two different names for different parts of the island. The flat, southern part of the island is named Koh Jum and the mountainous north is called Koh Phu. The highest mountain in the north is Mount Phu, which is around 400m high and surrounded by rainforest and rubber plantations. The east coast is dotted by colourful, fishing hamlets and the locals have preserved their traditional way of living. They are incredibly welcoming to visitors and the atmosphere is very relaxed. Koh Jum lies between the two busier islands, Krabi and Ko Lanta.
3. Koh Tarutao
Koh Tarutao is a protected national park situated in the Satun Province of Thailand, close to Malaysia border. It is peaceful, clean, and might be the most unspoilt island in Thailand. The stunning, natural scenery is home to an abundance of wildlife including wild pigs, turtles, and crab-eating macaques. It is the perfect island to go on an adventure. The highest mountain rises more than 500 meters, most of the island is covered with thick jungle, and the shores consist of limestone cliffs and mangrove trees. Visitors can either camp or stay in bungalows.
4. Koh Lao Liang
Koh Lao Liang is only accessible by boat meaning that the number of visitors is restricted. The development has also been limited due to the island’s eco-resort status. Camping by the beach is the only option for those wanting to stay overnight, but those who do are treated to some jaw-dropping views of limestone cliffs as well as stunning coral reefs and white, sandy beaches. It is amazingly tranquil, there is no wifi or mobile reception, few people, and very few boats go there each day. Its unique cliffs make it a popular spot for climbers wanting to go off the beaten track.
5. Koh Mak
The small, sleepy is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. Koh Mak is around 40 km away from the mainland and is part of the National Marine Park in eastern Thailand. The island has no nightlife and no crowds. The white sands and clear, blue waters make it the perfect place to relax in a hammock and read a book. For those seeking contemplation, there is a Buddhist temple and it is a great place to go hiking. It is 16km², making it the biggest privately-owned island in Thailand.
6. Koh Yao Noi
By Ilse, Digital Travel Couple
Koh Yao Noi is a beautiful Thai island located in Phang Nga Bay in between Phuket and Krabi. This sleepy island takes you back in time with little tourism development, untouched nature, and some of the friendliest Thai people you can encounter. Koh Yao Noi is the perfect island for couples, families and peace seekers who want to have an off the beaten path island experience.
There is maybe not too much to do on the island except exploring the untouched nature, beaches and enjoying the most amazing views on the little limestone islands scattered in the Andaman Sea. But Koh Yao Noi is the perfect base to explore more of beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Do a day trip to Koh Hong, James Bond Island or the neighbouring island of Koh Yao Yai. Relax at some of the luxury resorts on the island such as Six Senses Yao Noi or Koh Yao island resort.
7. Koh Wai
By Claudia Tavani, My Adventures Across The World
Not far from Koh Chang, the tiny Koh Wai is one of the lesser-known islands in Thailand and a wonderful place to visit. Most travellers go there on day trips which usually go to other islands too, but the incredible peaceful atmosphere of Koh Wai is best enjoyed for a few days.
Koh Wai has no roads – there is just a trail going through the forest that connects the two main beaches.
There is nothing in the range of large hotels – you will find a few beach huts and a couple of local restaurants serving good food. They are the only spots where WiFi is available.
The beaches are absolutely pristine. Fine, white sand and incredibly clear waters with lots of colourful fish make the island a perfect spot for snorkelling. If you are the sporty kind, rent a kayak to go around the island.
Koh Wai can be reached from Koh Chang. Fast boats depart from Bang Bao, on the southern side of the island, and take around 25 minutes to reach Koh Wai. There are slower but cheaper boats too.
8. Koh Lanta
By Angeline Ibarra, Go Around Philippines
Koh Lanta is an area which actually comprises 52 islands and is mostly inhabited. The biggest and only one with modern infrastructure is called Koh Lanta Yai. Koh Lanta’s remote location from the mainland has kept most tourists at bay and it got to keep its empty beaches, lush rainforest and waterfalls from over-tourism.
The best thing to do there is to rent a motorbike and go to the south of Koh Lanta Yai and explore the islands’ lush jungle, clean sandy beaches, pretty coral reefs and crystal-clear water. You can also rent a boat to go island hopping to the smaller inhabited islands for snorkelling or swimming. Even after a full day, don’t forget to visit the local fish port and Baan Saladan for some local shopping and seafood treats. Koh Lanta is definitely worth a trek.
9. Koh Phayam
By Jessie Moore from Pocket Wanderings
With only around 500 locals, the small island of Koh Phayam is the perfect off-the-beaten-track destination. There are two main beaches: Ao Yai (Long Bay) and Ao Khao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). As a lesser-known spot, the beaches are quiet and wonderfully relaxing.
There are no cars on the island, so the only way to get around is by moped or bike. The lack of tourists and transport makes a visit to this island feel like you’ve gone back in time. Explore Koh Phayam by scooter to visit the beautiful beaches, enchanting coves, and discover breathtaking views. A large mangrove forest on the island is perfect for kayaking – a magical and enchanting way to discover Koh Phayam’s wilderness. Or you can enjoy the various jungle trails on a trek to spot wild monkeys and other wildlife.
For some aquatic activities, there are several snorkelling and diving trips from the island. Long Bay is a great place to try surfing for the first time, as the waves aren’t too high. This is also where you’ll find the most mesmerising sunsets.
10. Koh Yao Yai
By Bridget at The Flashpacker
Reached by a 25-minute speedboat journey from either Phuket and Krabi, the unspoilt Thai island of Koh Yao Yai is the jewel of the Andaman Sea. A mere 30 kilometres in length, this lush strip of an island is fringed with gently sloping, white sandy beaches and dense mangroves.
Koh Yao Yai is not party central. The development has been restrained and the pace of life is slow, largely thanks to Koh Yao Yai’s friendly Muslim population, who reside in the island’s wooden stilted homes.
For a touch of affordable luxury, make the idyllic Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort your 5-star base for your visit. Escape from the pressures of day-to-day life by kicking back on Koh Yao Yai’s near-deserted powder-soft beaches, stopping for a massage or a cool beer. Or if you are after something more active, explore the island on two wheels, take a boat trip or a diving excursion.
11. Koh Lipe
By Stephanie, Let’s Venture Out
Located within the Tarutao National Marine Park, close to the Malaysian border, Koh Lipe is one of the least visited Thai islands. The fact that Koh Lipe is quite far from Thailand’s hotspots means that not a lot of people make the effort to visit, making it an ideal destination to escape the crowds.
Thanks to its amazing beaches and crystal-clear waters, Koh Lipe is also known as the Maldives of Thailand! Needless to say, snorkelling is one of the best things to do here!
Other things to do in Koh Lipe include swimming at the three main beaches – Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach and Pattaya Beach, exploring the Walking Street or taking a yoga class on the beach.
You can also take a day trip to the neighboring island of Koh Adang which is located only 10 minutes away. Here, you can enjoy more secluded beaches, swim at a hidden waterfall or hike to a viewpoint overlooking Koh Lipe!
12. Ko Chang
By Elisa from France Bucket List
Ko-Chang is one of the best non-touristy islands in Thailand for a relaxing holiday. Ko-Chang is one of the Andaman’s islands, and it has a back to basics kind of lifestyle.
Ko-Chang means Elephant Island because it was a territory largely populated by elephants. Today, visitors still can see some elephants, but they are treated as a tourist attraction. Ko-Chang is also known for its protected national park, home to good short hikes, and its silent stretches of golden beaches.
For a beach holiday, head to the west coast, where you will find several seaside resorts with private beaches and on-site restaurant.
For a different holiday, go to the east coast. Here, you can find some sea backwaters with boutique hotels built on stilts along them. This is a great area to explore on a kayak.
Getting to Ko-Chang from Thailand’s mainland is straightforward. Daily boats connect the island with the town of Ranong, and from there, you can travel to Bangkok or other cities in Thailand. There are also daily shuttles from Siam Reap in Cambodia to Ko Chang via Ranong.
13. Koh Ngai
By Chris, More Life In Your Days
Koh Ngai is an absolutely stunning little island in the Andaman Sea. When you are here you can enjoy beautiful beaches, warm sea, and views that are out of this world. It’s hard to ever stop soaking in the view of small karst islands that dot the sea with Koh Mook and Koh Kradan beyond.
You can while away your days here by snorkelling straight from the beach, kayaking to secluded coves or by hiking across the island. But more than likely you will want to spend the bulk of your time just relaxing on the beach or taking a dip in the shallow sea. There are no roads here so no traffic to worry about and the local wildlife of hermit crabs, hornbills, monitor lizards and more are sure to keep you entertained.
There aren’t many places to stay on Koh Ngai, but most of what is here has been sympathetically built along the main beach. If you really want to get away from it all head to Paradise Beach on the other side of the island where there is just one place to stay.
14. Koh Chang Noi
By Anna of Anna Sherchand
One of the most beautiful mountain islands in Thailand is Koh Chang Noi. Most people know about the big Koh Chang, but not many know about Koh Chang Noi. I think this island deserves more praise as it is underrated and there isn’t much awareness around it just yet. So let me help you. Koh Chang Noi lies to the north of Koh Chang and is part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park. The waters on this small island are turquoise blue and perfect for snorkelling. It is backed by simple bungalows, cashew orchards, and jungle amid a formidable interior.
When it comes to things to do on this low key island, there are some gorgeous laid back beaches to snorkel or relax at. Recommend Long Beach, Ao Yai (“Big Bay”) is the island’s main beach, Ao Tadaeng, Ao Kai Tao, Ao Siad, and Ao Lek. For those who don’t mind roughing it up a bit, you can walk the entire island in exchange for serious relaxation. If you are someone who likes hammocks, simplicity, wilderness, tranquillity, nature, animals, solitude, budget travel, and thick books; this is the place to be!
15. Ko Kut
By Ashley Jansen / Jetset Jansen, Jetset Jansen
Lots of people tend to flock towards Thailand’s southern islands in the gulf, leaving the northern islands a bit forgotten. Off of Koh Chang in the north, there are several small and beautiful islands that still have the charm of being unspoiled. One of those is Ko Kut, also known as Koh Kood.
Koh Kood is big enough that you’ll need to rent a scooter to explore but small enough that there are no big resorts and chains that have turned it into a tourist mecca. The beach you see upon arrival has beautiful turquoise water and a nearly empty shore.
There are some beach bungalows alongside the main beach, which is a bit more crowded. But for the most part, your exploration will be interacting with the locals and finding local fruit stands. There are beautiful beaches to find and the island is great to ride around. It’s the perfect island to relax on and see real island life.