Much like how Bali is the island to visit in Indonesia, we too are guilty of picking only the popular beach locations in Thailand for our island getaways like Phuket, Koh Samui, or maybe even Pattaya. These beaches can get rather crowded though, and not quite the idyllic beach life that we envisioned when we booked the island getaway.
The party life at Phuket can get rather loud, and once you’ve been there enough times, every other bar begins to look the same. You revisit the same bars, dine at the same restaurants, and lounge at the same beach. It’s then you realise, that you need to spruce up your social media with images of another side of our neighbouring country, Thailand. That is precisely why we want you to explore lesser-known Thai islands.
Some of these lesser-known Thai islands are in fact, closer to Malaysia than we think, like Koh Bulan Lae, which is located on the south of Thailand, close to the border of our country. An additional benefit to these lesser-known Thai islands is that they could be smaller in comparison to the more developed islands, which means you get close to nature minus the herd of people. Lush, unspoiled nature — now doesn’t that sound like a dream? Read on for a list of lesser-known Thai islands. When you’re done, allow us to point you towards Indonesia and perhaps event rent your own private island.
Before you head to Koh Bulon Lae, be warned because it is a tiny island with virtually no technology — not even an ATM machine. The island is located on the west coast on the south of Thailand, very close to Malaysian borders. With its untouched nature, you can easily get around the island by foot and through the lush forest, which is fairly safe. Naturally, the beach is unspoiled and beautiful, perfect for lounging around and just enjoying nature at its most beautiful.
Unlike most lesser-known Thai islands, Koh Mak is not tiny. In fact, it is the third biggest island in the eastern gulf of Thailand. Koh Mak is privately owned by a small group of families who want to ensure the island follows the ideals of ecotourism. If you’re looking for a party beach, Koh Mak will not be it. Instead, you’ll find idyllic activities here that support nature, such as cycling trails, diving schools, and easygoing cafes overlooking clean, pristine beaches.
Getting to Koh Mook will prove slightly difficult as it doesn’t have its own airport, but let us assure you that it will be worth it. This beautiful island is a hidden gem that sees very little tourists. Should you make your way there, be sure to visit Emerald Cave, which you can only enter during low tide to make your way to another smaller beach at the other side of the cave.
If you’ve always envisioned an island in Thailand before all the loud clubs and full moon parties came about, then Koh Phayam is the island you need to visit. Although it’s been steadily enjoying more tourists over the past decade, Koh Phayam still remains largely unspoiled, enjoying eco-friendly resorts and nature-friendly activities. One catch though — the island only enjoys four months of peak season activity where the weather is good and not rainy.
Could we have too much of the beach? Apparently, yes. For those times, we’re glad to be at Koh Chang, where greenery reigns supreme. Most of Koh Chang is a national park, which makes for great nature activities like hiking and jungle trekking. There are even waterfalls for you to visit to cool off after all that hiking. If you have time, go hunt for hidden beaches aplenty in Koh Chang.