Thailand’s hidden gem islands

30 January 2019

While popular destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui rule the roost in Thailand, there are several lesser-known island destinations that are just as good for a Thai retreat. If you want white sand beaches, quiet coves and inlets or simply a taste of stunning scenery, these hidden islands are nothing short of perfect.

Koh Lanta

An abundance of graceful palms, quiet beaches and inviting seas are prominent features of the beautiful island of Koh Lanta. Now an ideal destination for those looking for a luxury getaway, this island district still guarantees miles of unspoiled beaches and vast culture.

For divers, the Hin Muang outcrop is a fantastic place to catch a glimpse of barracudas, moray eels and the occasional whale shark, while Mu Koh Lanta National Park has hiking trails, its own stretch of beach and a lighthouse ripe for exploration.

TC tip: If you’re staying in Krabi, you can catch the ferry to Koh Lanta. Whether you just want to explore the island for a day or turn your holiday into a twin-centre escape, your Travel Counsellor will help craft the perfect getaway.

Koh Racha Yai

Lying just 20 kilometres south of Phuket, Koh Racha Yai is an island with crystal clear waters and is also a popular destination for divers and snorkellers, with challenging dive sites for advanced divers, as well as appropriate depths for beginners and snorkellers. With little light pollution, the sky above Koh Racha Yai comes alive at night to become a stargazer’s paradise.

Day-trippers from Phuket make up most of the visitor numbers here, but if you want to stay for a while then why not try The Racha – one of Thailand’s premier deluxe island hideaways? Set on a pristine beach, this environmentally responsible resort provides ultra-luxurious accommodation in addition to a beautiful wellness spa and watersports centre.

Koh Madsum

Koh Madsum is another destination that is popular amongst the day-tripping crowd as it is only a half-hour boat ride away from Koh Samui.

Get up close and personal with the island’s marine life with a spot of snorkelling and see parrotfish, colourful wrasse, moray eels and maybe even a turtle or two. The island’s forest is also home to a plethora of wildlife, or if you simply want to sit back and relax then there are few spots more tranquil.

TC tip: If you are on Koh Madsum early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you may encounter the black tip reef sharks that swim by.

Koh Phi Phi Don

Overlooked by soaring cliffs, Koh Phi Phi Don is set in a magnificent bay with a curving white sand beach. With no roads on the island and a jungle-like terrain, you’ll feel as though you’ve escaped to a tropical paradise. You might want to simply lay back and enjoy the sunshine on the island’s glorious white sand, but those looking for a little more action can try their hand at diving, sailing or trekking.

Koh Phi Phi Don is also a world-class destination for rock climbing with the island offering over 600 different routes to explore.

“Every beach in Thailand is blessed with warm turquoise waters, but Phi Phi Island just felt extra special. The island has lots of watersports on offer and you can hike up to its famous lookout for incredible views out across the island and ocean.”

Lorraine, Travel Counsellor

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is so much more than a youngsters’ playground. In addition to a selection of incredible sandy beaches, visitors can go on a hike through the island’s lush tropical jungle interior to Phaeng Waterfall National Park or rent a boat and row out to one of many fantastic surrounding snorkelling spots.

With around 20 dive sites, Koh Phangan offers the chance to get up close and personal with a bevy of colourful fish. There’s also Thong Sala Night Market where you can sample some of the island’s best food, or even learn to make your own Thai fare at the C&M Study Centre.


Contact your Travel Counsellor to book your Thai island escape, and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.

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