The Best Islands in Thailand
Where to find the best islands in Thailand?
The interest of the best islands in Thailand is due in part to increased exposure from such mainstream Hollywood movies such as The Beach, in addition to growing awareness and love of Thai food that more and more people are considering taking holidays to Thailand instead of less exotic destinations. While the mainland has much to offer visitors, the outlying islands close to Bangkok make for simply stunning holidays.
Thailand’s largest island is Phuket island. This stunning island is about an hour’s flight from Bangkok and offers visitors amazing natural beauty, powdery white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, world class resorts, nightlife and gourmet cuisine.
The west coast of this island is where most of the resorts are located in addition to the best beaches. The southern portion of the island is home to Kamala, a sleepy village slowly gaining in popularity.
It is mid way along the western coastline where one will find Patong. This is the primary resort area on the island and is home to an immense beach as well as a huge variety of bars and restaurants. This bustling area is where the majority of the nightlife on the island will be found with its myriad bars, entertainment venues and discos that come alive after dark.
There is an amazing array of activities available on Phuket. From scuba diving, canoeing, guided cruises, strolling through Old Phuket town or just sunbathing, there is something for everybody.
Phi Phi Island
Lined with beaches of fine, white sand holding back the turquoise waters that lap gently on the shores, Phi Phi Island is arguably one of the most beautiful in the world, and certainly, one of the best islands in Thailand. Even though this small cluster of islands was affected by the tsunami of December 2004, it has made a remarkable recovery and resorts, shops and services are back in business.
Located on the famous isthmus of Phi Phi, Tonsai Village is a pedestrian only area that is filled with restaurants, shops and bars, and the island seems to come alive after dark as people spill out onto the streets in the evenings after long, lazy days on the beach.
Koh Samui is one of the best islands in Thailand, and my personal favorite, located a short one hour flight from Bangkok, and is the country’s third largest island. This island offers visitors a choice between the perfect, relaxing vacation or one filled with hustle and partying until all hours. This island is filled with gently rolling hills and coconut plantations though the center of the island is nearly uninhabitable due to mountainous jungle. A variety of international restaurants and resorts line the white sand beaches making full use of the turquoise waters. Nathon is the capital of this roughly circular island, though the argument can be made that each of the resort areas is a small city unto itself as supporting business have sprung up to take advantage of the tourism industry.
Koh Chang is the second largest island in Thailand and is located in the Thailand Gulf near Cambodia. You can reach the island via a van ride from Pattaya, or surrounding areas. The ferry terminal is about a 2 hour drive from Pattaya.
Koh Chang is also known as the Elephant Island due to the elephant head shape of the island. Although elephants are not indigenous to Koh Chang. The island is mountainous with many waterfalls and interesting hiking trails. Traveling around the island is very easy with one road circling around the exterior. I recommend you rent a motorbike and enjoy exploring the island.
I should also mention the beautiful white sand beaches where many nice hotels are located. Evening activities and restaurants spring up on the beaches when the sun sets for more fun.
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