Discover Thailand’s finest island getaways

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Get out of the hustle and bustle of busy cities for a slice of paradise with Thailand’s range of spectacular islands - feel pristine sand between your toes, dive into azure waters and tuck into street food that’ll take your taste buds to new culinary heights. Whether exploring the picturesque waterfalls of Koh Samui or taking snaps of Sino-Portuguese architecture in Phuket, you’ll find each island is bursting with its own individual character, meaning you can expect a unique adventure wherever you go. To help you choose your next sun-soaked getaway, we’ve picked out four of Thailand’s finest island destinations.

Phuket

Thai boats at sunset
Located off the west coast of Thailand, Phuket is the country’s largest island and is a great base from which to explore Thailand’s smaller islands. Soak up Phuket’s rich history at Thalang National Museum – here you can learn about the island’s 18th century Battle of Thalang which saw the people of Phuket bravely drive away invading Burmese forces.

To truly appreciate Phuket’s natural landscape, visit Phang Nga National Park. Be mesmerized as you sail through the numerous natural limestone tower karst islands dotting the park. You’ll also be able spot the “James Bond Island” that featured in the famous spy movie. Phang Nga National Park is a short drive from the centre of Phuket and several tour companies operate day trips to the park.

For a delectable culinary experience in Phuket, enjoy a delicious dinner fit for royalty at Blue Elephant. Located on Karabi Road, the restaurant serves dishes that were once created for the Royal Palace.

After covering some of Phuket’s top attractions, take a ferry boat from Rassada Pier to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and beyond. Ferries run several times a day and a journey from Phuket to the islands takes approximately 2 to 4 hours depending on your destination.

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Koh Samui

Thai boat and rock
Thailand’s most visited island has something for all budgets and tastes - from luxury resorts that’ll make you feel like royalty, to more affordable beach bungalows. Whatever your choice of accommodation you’ll be able to enjoy Koh Samui’s silky beaches and laid-back vibe as you work on your sun tan. For a quiet beach location, try Lamai Beach for a refreshing swim followed by a delicious meal and drink. Koh Samui is also famous for its cultural attractions, the most significant of which is the Big Buddha temple. This iconic structure features an imposing golden Buddha and is clearly visible as you arrive onto the island. In the evenings, head to Chaweng Beach for the best restaurants and nightlife on the island. You’ll be able to rub shoulders with fellow holiday makers and locals in Koh Samui’s liveliest beach.

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Koh Phi Phi

Thai boat on the shore
One of Thailand’s most picturesque islands, Koh Phi Phi is where time slows down as you bask in the sun. Your time here will be spent swimming, relaxing and taking long walks along picture-perfect beaches lined with tropical trees. Start the day with an authentic meal of Thai curry at Papaya Restaurant. Next, hike up hundreds of steps to Phi-Phi viewpoint, where you’ll get stunning views of the island’s thick vegetation. As the day winds down, find a serene beach spot on Koh Phi Phi’s quieter eastern coast to recharge.

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Koh Lanta

Thai boat and clifs
The group of islands that make up Koh Lanta are particularly popular for water sports. Koh Lanta Yai is the most visited of the islands and its clear waters make it a great destination for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. This is also one of the lesser known spots on our list, making it ideal for families. For superb diving and snorkeling, go to Ko Haa in the east. Here you’ll be able to admire some of the Andaman Sea’s most breathtaking coral and marine life. In between adrenaline charged activities, you can tour the island by motorbike and discover its hidden beachside food shacks.

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