OUR MOST INSPIRING PICTURES OF THAILAND’S ISLANDS

FIND YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE THAI ISLAND BELOW, AND START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP

All pictures are ours, and taken by me (Brenna)!

These are our most inspiring pictures of Thailand’s islands.


For our 18 inspirational pictures of the North of Thailand, click here!


We’ve spent a long time in Thailand. In fact, Brenna has spent almost one year in this wonderful country.

Together, we have seen almost all of the entire magical country. From the green, luscious North, to the sunny, beautiful islands. 

This is our inspirational pictures of the islands.

All of the islands on this list are ones that we’ve visited ourselves. They are: Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Kradan and Koh Lipe.

KOH SAMUI


One of my all time favourite islands in the world! This island is one of the biggest in Thailand, but is still just as awesome as the rest. Whilst the other islands boast the clearest sea and the whitest beaches, Koh Samui has the perfect balance of town and island life.

sunset on thailands best islands
Sunset on from the beach on the Western side of Koh Samui

Whilst there is an amazing (but often very crowded) beach near the busy tourist town of Chaweng, there is also some slightly less known beaches around the islands. On the Western side of the island, there is ample opportunity to watch incredible sunsets right on the beach.

On the Eastern side of the island, it’s much more built up, with malls and bars and many restaurants. It’s a good balance here. 

thai boat on koh samui
Classic Thailand boat shot, Koh Samui

We spent one too many nights out in the town in Chaweng. There is a lot of nightlife here. It’s good fun too. Everything is situated on the main drag, with everything from Irish bars to gay clubs.

If you’re after a more chill vibe, jump on a rented moped, and head down to a beach on the Western side. Here you can chill in a little beach bar with a beer, watching the still ocean.

koh samui sunset thailand island
Our sunset view from a beach bar in Taling Ngam Bay, Koh Samui

KOH PHANGAN


Everybody has heard of Koh Phangan. It’s home to the infamous full moon party. A lot of people arrive on the island in the few days leading up to the party, just to experience this huge affair.

beer on the beach koh phi phi
Our favourite past time: beer on the beach

We spent a month around the island of Koh Phangan (and the two neighbouring islands), and just missed the party by one day either side of our visit. We heard mixed reviews about the full moon party though, and we’re still not sure if we’d go back to experience it.

The rest of the island is pretty cool though. Much smaller than it’s Southern neighbour Koh Samui, but a little less busy too. The main tourist towns at the South of the island (Haad Rin and Baan Tai) see a lot of visitors, and these towns are pretty crowded. However, head North and you’ll find some pretty quiet spots, and some more luxurious places to stay.

pictures of thailands islands sunset
Our dinner view: sunset on the beach at Haad Yao See Through Resort.

One of our favourite things to do here was to just drive our moped up to a cool viewpoint with a bar or restaurant, and sit and chill for a few hours with a coffee. In fact, this was probably one of our favourite things to do in any island in Thailand.

pictures of thailands islands koh phangan
Awesome view from a viewpoint bar in Koh Phangan, Thailand

If you’re headed to Koh Phangan, make sure to find ‘secret beach’ and, if you’ve run out of things to do, don’t miss the crazy golf in the centre of the island.

KOH TAO


This island is the centre of diving in Thailand. Most well known for the turtles that most people catch a glimpse of when scuba diving here (the name of the island literals translate to Turtle Island).

thai boat on thailands best island
Another classic Thai longtail boat picture, Koh Tao

We didn’t do any diving whilst we were here, but we did enjoy the main beach area around Sairee Beach. There’s a good vibe, and at night the place comes alive with fire dancers on the beach, and loud music from the bars. 

If you’re not here to dive, there isn’t a great deal to do. When we were there, they were in the process of building the road to the Eastern side of the island. Therefore, if you didn’t have an off-road motorbike (we just had a small, regular moped), it’s pretty difficult to get over there.

If you make your way to Koh Tao, make sure you get a longtail boat over to Koh Nang Yuan, and climb up to the viewpoint. In my opinion, this is one of the best (and most Instgrammed) views in Thailand.

Like Phangan, we recommend the crazy golf! We also went kayaking whilst we there. We rented a couple of kayaks from Chalok Baan Kao bay, and made our way around the bay and into the Haad Than Beach Resort bay. The sea was a little bit choppier than we had expected and it was exhausting (not great when Danielle gets very, very seasick). Don’t make the same mistake as us, and try to pick a calm day!

koh tao viewpoint thailand
The best view in Koh Tao: climb to the top of neighbouring Nang Yuan Island.

PHUKET AND KOH PHI PHI


Phuket

Most people use Phuket as a stopping off point between some of the smaller islands around it, mainly Koh Phi Phi. However, there is some beautiful parts of this very built up island. Most people visit (or stay at) Patong beach when here, but that whole area is (in my humble opinion) disgusting. It’s so built up and busy, and the beach is so dirty that there is literally no reason to even stop here.

There is a small beach south of Patong: Nai Han Beach. This beach is a lot nicer, and less busy (however, recently it has become much more crowded). If you do need to (or want to) spend some time on Phuket, head towards here. 

Phi Phi

thailand island koh phi phi viking beach
Our favourite Koh Phi Phi beach: Viking beach

This island is potentially one of the most built up and overwhelmingly ruined islands we have ever visited. Whilst the natural beauty is incredible, it has been ruined by the sheer amount of hotels, guesthouses, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars etc. that have been built in the main area of Ton Sai Beach.

koh phangan pictures of thailands islands
Paradise: palm trees, white sand, blue sky and clear sea. PhiPhi’s natural beauty is incredible

What was once (I imagine) an incredibly stunning place, has now become a pile of concrete and overpriced souvenirs. I’d honestly say that you wouldn’t be missing out at all if you skipped Phi Phi. 

Hiking up to the viewpoint over the isthmus, you can see that the natural beauty of the island is absolutely amazing, but it’s so sad to look down and see what has been allowed to happen to it.

ko phi phi viewpoint
Koh Phi Phi from the viewpoint. Incredible natural beauty, but the view is spoiled by the huge amount of development

KOH LANTA


Another big island, this one is also more of a stopping off point to the islands South of here. We were here for a few days, and our highlights were the HUGE beach of Pra-Ae Beach and the small mojito bar on it. 

thailands best islands
Majestic bar: great mojitos and great happy hour deals.

We’re big fans of having a beer (or 7) or a cheeky cocktail on the beach, so this place was great with it’s happy hour deals!

KOH KRADAN


the beach at ko kradan
Being on Koh Kradan was full of moments that I was very grateful to have a drone.

This island is a lot less well known than most other Thai islands. And, luckily, that means a lot less ugly infrastructure. Here, there are less hotels and resorts. There are no beach bars or restaurants. If you want an afternoon beer (like us), you’ll have to head to one of the islands 3 beach side resorts to get your fix.

pictures of thailands islands
Is Koh Kradan the most incredible island in Thailand?

Koh Kradan is beautiful. It is almost the complete opposite of Koh Phi Phi. There is literally nothing here.

For some, that’s paradise, but for others it’s boring. We only stayed 3 nights, and to be honest, that was a little too much for us. But, we get bored easily. If you’re looking to relax, you could probably spend a lifetime here.

Some of the best things to do here: find one of the many rope (and tree branch) swings overlooking the ocean, and head over to the only accessible beach on the Western side of the island – the aptly named ‘sunset beach’.

koh kradan thai island
Our favourite spot on the island of Koh Kradan: a rope and tree branch swing in Hat Chao Mai National Park.

KOH LIPE


This is the final Thai island we visited on our one year long Asian adventure back in 2017/18. Like many other Thai islands, Koh Lipe is a little too built up. It’s not anything like Koh Phi Phi, but it is a little busy. This does mean there’s a few beach bars to visit though!

However, the natural beauty is incredible. The sea is probably the clearest we’ve ever seen (outside of the Philippines), and the beaches are wide, long and full of that lovely white sand we all want to see. 

Whilst there, you can grab a boat and head on up to the viewpoint on the neighbouring island, or just relax on the beach with a cocktail!

koh lipe thailand drone shot
Drone shot of the clearest water in Thailand, with bright, white sand… paradise?

OUR PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR


LAPTOP – Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch

SMALL CAMERA – Olympus OMD- E-M10 Mark II

ZOOM LENS – Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm Lens

DSLR BODY – Canon 60D

WIDE ANGLE LENS – Sigma 10-20mm Lens

DRONE – DJI Mavic Pro

ACTION CAMERA – GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition

MICROPHONE – Rode VideoMicro

CAMERA BAG – Lowepro Fastpack 250 AW II

So that’s our inspirational pictures of Thailand’s islands. I hope you enjoyed!

For our inspirational pictures of North Thailand, click here. For our other inspirational/photography posts, check out our Pacific Crest Trail photos here, and our Everest Base Camp photography here.

Brenna & Danielle

About Us


We are Brenna & Danielle, two travel bloggers and photographers from England. 
After quitting our jobs in 2017, we backpacked and travelled to over 3 continents, and 20 countries together. We aim to inspire, through our honest and detailed travel guides and advice.
This blog exists to serve as an in-depth guide to many destinations across the globe, but also to inspire travel and adventure in all those that peruse these pages.

2 thoughts on “18 Pictures to Inspire a Trip to Thailand’s Islands”

  1. Pingback: 19 Pictures to Inspire a Trip to Northern Thailand | Perusing The Planet

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