Thailand’s Best Kept Secrets

The Guardian rounded up readers’ tips on some of Thailand’s lesser known islands.

Koh Kut

Koh Kut is close to the Cambodian border. This island is blessed with a wide array of great food. It also offers quiet time for tourists to enjoy nature away from other people. A few of the oldest trees are found in its forest with colorful drapes around them and also traditional dresses for worshiping forest gods. Trekking and kayaking are enjoyable here.

Koh Phangan

A 30-minute ferry from Bangrak or Maenam pier lies Koh Phangan. Thong Nai Pan Yai beach is located on the northeast part of the island. Along with Thong Nai Pan Noi, these two beaches have long stretches of sand and clear waters. Thong Nai Pan Yai caters to budget travelers while Thong Nai Pan Noi has more upmarket hotels.

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is near the Malaysian border and is in the Tarutao national park. The outlying islands are deserted islands full of monkeys and has clear waters good for snorkeling. Sunset beach has a laid back vibe offering lazy days and quiet nights.

Koh Chang

Koh Chang is located on the east coast and is largely undeveloped. This is also close to the Cambodian border. The island is largely a national park by 85% which makes its beauty serene with unspoiled beaches and gorgeous waterfalls.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an internationally known island. However, there are still beaches that offer peace and quiet. Thongtakian beach is nestled with palm trees and round rocks. It is situated between Lamai and Chaweng, and it is only 10 minutes from the party places. Locals cook their food on the beach, and there are a few resorts with nice restaurants.

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands which are located off Thailand’s west coast fits people’s idea of a tropical paradise. Most of the islands’ day visitors are from Khao Lak or Phuket. Booking early secures a tourist one of the limited options in accommodations inside the national park. Aside from snorkeling or swimming in the islands, another thing to do here is to go on a Similan island liveaboard trip.