Phuket and Koh Samui are certainly gems to check out, but sometimes you may prefer somewhere in Thailand more quiet, and less tourist-y. Check out these quiet islands in Thailand instead.
The glistening beaches, the deep blue sea, the welcoming hospitality — there are things in Thailand that just seem to take you back again and again. While the popular attractions are a great starting point for many, there are times you want to really have a bit of R&R, far away from the crowds and the noise of the mainstream. You want something lowkey, something that feels local, and not just fire shows and random shots from girls with henna tattoos.
Why not check out some of the more quiet islands in Thailand for a change and get away from it all? Here’s a handy guide.
Quiet islands in Thailand you may not have heard about
Koh Nom Sao
Located in Phang Nga Bay, Koh Nom Sao is made up of twin islands that got their names from resembling the shape of women’s breasts from certain angles (we’re not joking). With a 500-metre-long shallow reef and a gorgeous beach, it’s perfect for snorkelling and surrounding yourself with sealife or just cracking open a book on the beach which is normally not busy at all.
Koh Kradan is known as one of the most beautiful islands in Trang, and it doesn’t get as much attention as it should, due to its remote location. The conservation efforts here keep the water pristine and the vibes not tourist-centric. For the full experience, allocate three hours of your day so you can kayak around the island.
A short ride away from Ranong will take you to this remote sanctuary. Most of the community makes its living with plantations and coastal fishery and is very welcoming to those who want to get more in touch with local culture. The sandy white beaches are far away from the crowds, and the bay on the East is perfect for watching the sunset. Even though it’s quite a large island, there are plenty of bicycle rental shops and motorcycle taxis, so sightseeing around the island is easily arranged.
Koh Tarutao is considered one of the most unspoiled islands of the Andaman, located a short boat ride away from Satun province. Between 1938 and 1948, the island was used as a prison to hold political prisoners and other criminals. Now, it’s part of Tarutao National Park, Thailand’s first marine national park that was recognised by UNESCO as an ASEAN Heritage Park and Reserve. Since it’s a national park, there are no hotels on the island, but you can find allocated campsites, or simply live along the Satun coast and make this island a day trip.
Translating to “Pearl Island,” Koh Muk has one attraction that you cannot miss at all costs: the Emerald Cave. On a boat, you must float along the waters of the cave in complete darkness for about 80 metres in order to get to the other side. But once you make it through, you’ll see how the sunlight reflects on the cave water, causing the water in the beautiful lagoon inside to be emerald green in colour as it is surrounded by white, glimmering sand. You also have the option to swim inside, if that’s your thing. It’s quite a unique experience and is annually closed from June to September to let nature inside heal.
If you want a low-key experience as you surround yourself with the essence of the local community, Koh Sukon is the perfect quiet island to be at. All year long, you’ll get to walk along rice paddies, fisheries, children collecting shells, people planting rubber, and more. Other than that, it is fantastically quiet, and you can really feel rested and relaxed for as long as you choose to stay. Trang is famous for its delicious watermelons in the Summer, so grab one if you happen to be around during that season.
Located South of Koh Chang, Koh Wai is home to beautiful coral reefs and clear blue waters. The island is very small in size; only 3km in length and 1km wide. As the middle part is largely covered by a forest, Koh Wai is a lovely place to go sightseeing and bird-watching, as the more rugged West side serves as a nesting ground for birds. There are bungalows if you plan on staying the night, but many choose to make it a day trip and stay on the mainland instead.
The gorgeous Krabi province normally has travellers flocking to Phi Phi and Lanta islands, and the beautiful Koh Jum is overlooked by many. Each beach is easily reachable via a scooter (rentals can be found on the island), and a few beach bars make watching the sunset all the better. Even in high seasons, you’ll have the beach mostly to yourself — it’s certainly a big contender for one of the best quiet islands in Thailand. You can also go for a jungle hike and visit villages on the island, which are filled with very welcoming locals.
This story first appeared here.
(Hero and featured image credit: Thailand Authority of Tourism)