Thailand’s little known islands

When you hear beaches and island paradises in Thailand, some of the first places that pop into your mind are Phuket and Krabi. Well, with travel restrictions slowly being lifted, most tourists are sure to flock back to them.

With the abundance of Thailand islands waiting to be explored by the masses, we’ve picked 10 of them to shortcut your research.

Note: The best season to explore these paradises is from April – May, before the monsoon season hits. 

1. Koh Yao Noi  – just between Phuket and Krabi

Located right between Phuket and Krabi, Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) is known for its slow paced local life that most tourists give a miss. 

It also has no big hotel names on its shores, with the resorts here being 100% locally owned. But don’t worry – you’ll definitely still be able to score some awesome shots for Instagram here.

10 Lesser-Known Island Paradises To Visit in Thailand Once You’re Bored of Phuket And Krabi 1
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Tree House Villas is a posh resort with a private beach – perfect if you’re on honeymoon with your wifey or hubby. This resort has a chill, romantic ambience where you can relax in the privacy of your very own mini pool away from the crowd.

Paradise Koh Yao Resort
Image credit: @1x9x8x1x

Paradise Koh Yao Resort is another resort on the island where you could check-in and enjoy your mini pool with a view of the resort’s private beach. This is a good option if you’re working with a lighter budget but don’t want to scrimp on the luxury.

KYN-Coconutfarm-10 paradises
Image credit: Kamonpan Na Nakorn

Coconut Farm & Restaurant is one of the local highlights here. It’s a small coconut farm house in the middle of a paddy field, where you’ll get spoilt by owners here because of their warm hospitality. Their coconuts are home grown and they will go pick their freshly picked coconuts for you.

Their farm house has a great view of the paddyfield where you can embrace the island’s natural landscapes. 

Tree House Villas
Address: 24 Moo 4, T.Koh Yao Noi, A.Koh Yao, Phang Nga, Thailand 82160
Telephone: +66 7 658 4460
Tree House Villas websiteGoogle Maps

Paradise Koh Yao Resort
Address: 24 Moo 4, T.Koh Yao Noi, A.Koh Yao, Phang Nga, Thailand 82160
Telephone: +66 7 658 4450
Paradise Koh Yao Resort websiteGoogle Maps

Coconut Farm & Restaurant
Address: Ko Yao Noi, Ko Yao District, Phang-nga, Thailand 82160
Coconut Prices:  ฿30/Piece
Opening Hours: Daily during peak season (Nov-Apr)
Coconut Farm & Restaurant FacebookGoogle Maps

2. Koh Phayam  – Maldives of Thailand

Koh-Phayam-10 Paradises
Image credit: @thisisnapapat

Koh Phayam is the closest island from Ranong mainland, and it’s frequently visited by local tourists.  This is your chance to chill with the locals the Sabai Sabai way. 

The Blue Sky Resort Koh Phayam is the Thai version of Maldives and offers you a mangrove backyard pool.

Koh Phaya-Kayak-10 Paradises
Image credit: @hameedah_dada

At this resort, you can just rent a kayak from the comforts of your hut and paddle around the mangroves. You can directly contact the resort for kayaking inquiries and special rates. 

Wat-KohPhayam-10 Paradises
Wat Ko Phayam Ordination Hall
Image credit: @para_travels

With Wats left and right in Thailand, there are tons of travelers that are temple’d out. Unlike the majority of temples in Thailand, Wat Koh Phayam’s charm is its unique floating ordination hall – not something you’d commonly find in temples in Thailand. 

The Blue Sky Resort Koh Phayam
Address: 1/22 Moo 1 Ko Phayam, Mueang Ranong District,  Ranong Province, Thailand 85000
Telephone: +66 2 247 7310 | +66 2 247 7311
The Blue Sky Resort Koh Phayam websiteGoogle Maps

Wat Ko Phayam
Address: Moo 1, Tambon Ko Phayam, Amphoe Mueang Ranong, Ranong, 85000
Admission Fee: Free
Google Maps

3 .  Koh Adang  – hidden gem near the Malaysian border

Koh Adang Viewpoint
Image credit: @byallmeans13

Koh Adang is another island in the deep south of Thailand and close to the Malaysian border. It’s another paradise getaway for you to add to your island hopping list. 

Adang-Island-Resort-10 Paradises
Image credit: @adangislandresort

Travelling to the deep south can be tiring, so an easy tip for you to stick around is to stay overnight at the Adang Island Resort. They offer a private beach and you could laze around on the poolside or bathe in the emerald waters that’ll make you forget all about life back in the city.

Koh Adang viewpoint is a must-visit spot when on the island. Those not entirely into lazing on the beach can enjoy hiking instead. Don’t hesitate to ask the resort staff how to get there.

Adang Island Resort
Address: 30/23 Satunthani Rd. Phiman Muang Satun, Thailand 91000
Telephone: +66 8 9654 8888
Adang Island Resort websiteGoogle Maps

Koh Adang Viewpoint
Address: Koh Tarutao, Mueang Satun District, Satun, Thailand 91000
Google Maps

4. Koh Mak  – scenic sunsets and clear blue waters

Koh Mak-10 Paradises
Image credit: @minkumiko

Koh Mak is a peaceful escape from the nearby Koh Chang’s tourist traps. Surprisingly, the island is quite popular amongst local tourists and is where you could make more Thai travel buddies.

Bars, beers, and beaches will fill your time here – especially during sunset – so go chill at Blue Bar Pearl, a popular spot amongst regular bar-hoppers.

Blue-Pearl-Bar-10 Paradises
Image credit: @sakunkaew_s

The bar stretches out onto the bay and will give you a scenic view of the orange sky come sundown.  

Note: Taking the speedboat from Koh Chang to Koh Mak is very easy from 1 November to 31 April, as it’s peak season. There are daily wooden boat rides as well. 

Blue Bar Pearl
Address: 1/8-1/9, Moo 2, Koh Mak, Trat, Thailand 23000
Opening Hours: 9AM – 11PM, Daily
Telephone: +66 8 1810 2679 | +66 8 9819 4511
Blue Bar Pearl websiteGoogle Maps

5. Koh Bun Le  – into the unknown of the deep South

Image credit: ไม่กี่บาท

Koh Bun Le is a short ride from the party island of Koh Lipe. This small island will give you a taste of local islander life. One of the top things to do is bunk over at Ban Ko Bun Le School home-stay bungalows, which will give you a simple, no-frills experience of island life. 

Image credit: ไม่กี่บาท

Having a drink by the beach is a favourite pastime for many, especially island hoppers who frequent the place. Ha Moo Ba Bar is right in front of Pangka Bay, and is a romantic spot to spend some time with your boo and beer and watch the sunset. 

Ha Moo Ba Bar
Address: Pnagka Bay, Ko Bulon Le,  La-ngu District, Satun, Thailand
Google Maps  

Ban Koh Bun Le School Bungalow Inquiries
Address: Koh Bun Le La-Ngu, La-ngu District, Satun, Thailand 91110
Contact details:  +66-7-472-4700
Facebook I Google Maps

6. Koh Kula  – beach camping in paradise  

Image credit: Mark Daranphop

Forget famous party islands like Koh Tao and Koh Phangan for their pub crawls and full moon parties and head to Koh Kula for the ultimate peaceful getaway.

Koh Kula is a small island that’s great for shorter trips for those strapped for time. Those looking to be one with nature can head here – your phone signal bars will be low and there aren’t a bevy of bars and restaurants here; just pure nature.

Image credit:  EDT GUIDE

Wake up in a tent with a beach view instead of snoozing in a hotel, or bunk in at the National Park’s bungalows. 

You’re able to book a tent, bungalow, and boat transfer with Mu Koh Chumphon National Park, but make sure to do that before reaching the island – not much signal, remember?

Image credit: @roaming_roam

Besides just camping or checking into bungalows, kayaking is a fun and relaxing activity here. The kayaks will be arranged by the national park staff for you to start paddling. 

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park
Address: Sawi District, Chumphon, Thailand 86130
National Park Fee: Locals ฿40, Foreigners ฿200
Rental Tent Fees:  ฿1500/ Night 6 Pax,  ฿300/Night 2 Pax
National Park Staff Contact Details:  Khun Samreang +66 8 9970 0504
Google Maps

7. Koh Talu – snorkeling and diving spot

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You don’t always need to be a certified diver to go under the sea, because snorkeling is a popular activity when in Koh Talu as well. You’ll only need a mask, snorkel, and a pair of fins to swim with the fishies and see coral life in shallow waters. 

If you don’t want to travel too far down South and are around Hua Hin or somewhere that’s closer to Bangkok, Koh Talu is a pretty accessible spot.

Hawksbill-Turtle-10 Paradises
Image credit: Koh Talu Island Resort

There’s also a sea turtle conservation project that’s got activities for you to get to meet these tiny marine critters and melt from their cuteness. 

Image credit: @phao_charoenpak

Those looking for bigger adventures down in the deep blue ocean can go diving instead – this is especially fun for open water divers and sea turtle lovers.

Koh Talu Dive Site, Snorkeling & Sea Turtle Conservation
Address: Koh Talu Island Resort ( Bangsaphan Sea Pearl Island Co. Ltd. )
111/1 Moo 10 Bang Saphan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77170
Bangkok Office Telephone: +66 8 9810 3092
Koh Talu Dive Site, Snorkeling & Sea Turtle Conservation website

8. Ko Phra Thong – eco-island with leopard cats

The Moken Eco Village at Koh Phrathong - 10 Paradises
Image credit: The Moken Eco Village at Koh Phrathong เกาะพระทอง

Around the Andaman Sea live groups of Moken people, who are popularly known as “sea nomads” for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle by the ocean. Koh Phra Thong is one of the islands in Thailand where you’ll get to meet them.

Visitors to the island can book a stay at Moken Eco Village. Their houses are traditionally on built stilts, and you will find traits of these traditional houses at the resort.

Who would’ve thought a luxurious eco village would be so close to touristy Phuket and Krabi?

Moken-Eco-Village-10ParadisesImage credit: The Moken Eco Village at Koh Phrathong เกาะพระทอง

Also, this little eco island can be a bonus to cat lovers, because it’s home to Leopard Cats.

Leopard Cat
Image credit: Bengal Cats

Leopard Cats are quite shy, nocturnal, and almost behave like domestic house cats. It can be rather tricky to find them, but those on the lookout for these wild kitties can ask the friendly resort staff to give you some tips on how to spot them.

Moken Eco Village
Address: Koh Phrathong, Kuraburi Phangnga, Thailand 82150
Telephone: +66 8 9810 3092
Moken Eco Village website | Google Maps

9. Koh Mook – mystical blue lagoon

Image credit: @thailandshots

Koh Mook is another island that’s a little closer to Krabi, which is home to the iconic Emerald Cave.

Emerald Cave 2-10Paradises
Image credit:@rubensoltvedt

To get here, you’ve got to swim through an 80 metre cave, which is the only way in and out. It can get pitch black swimming through the cave, so the best hours to visit are from 2PM – 4PM during peak season (November – May) when the sun is shining down the brightest. 

Koh Mook-Resort
Image credit: @7tvolk7

Once you’re done relaxing, head back to Koh Mook Sivilai Beach Resort, an affordable luxury resort with a private beach to relax.

Koh Mook Sivilai Beach Resort
Address: Kantang District, Trang Province, West Coast of Koh Muk
Telephone:  + 66 8 8765 0994
Koh Mook Sivilai Beach Resort websiteGoogle Maps

Emerald Cave
Address: Kantang District, Trang Province, West Coast of Koh Muk (Andaman Sea)
Best hours to visit: 2PM-4PM during November – May (peak Season)
Google Maps

Note: You’ll have to book a private tour or boat to get to the cave.

10.  Koh Si Chang – the only Royal Summer Palace island in Thailand  

Mondop Roi Phraphutthabat Buddha FootprintImage credit: Thailand Tourism Directory

Koh Si Chang is an island close to Bangkok for city dwellers looking for a relaxing getaway that is close by.

One of the locals’ favourite things to do here is to visit sacred spots around the island. Add Mondop Roi Phraphutthabat Buddha Footprint to your list to enjoy a beautiful view of the island – and get some pretty shots while you’re at it.

Image credit: @nucsnoi

This island is also home to Sichang Palace, making it the only island in Thailand with a royal palace on it. 

This attraction is where you walk through bits of Thai history – this is where King Chulalongkorn built his summer royal residence.

royal palace-10Paradises
Image credit: @mayday9616

The palace buildings are built in a unique Thai-European style, which gives you an insight into the artistic minds of Thailand in the late 1800s, where architectural inspiration was borrowed from the West.

Mondop Roi Phraphutthabat Buddha Footprint
Address: Tha Thewawong, Ko Sichang District, Chon Buri, Thailand 20120
Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  8AM-5PM, Daily
Google Maps

Sichang Palace (Phra Chudathut Ratchathan Palace)
Address: Tha Thewawong, Ko Sichang District, Chon Buri 20120
Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9AM-5PM Tuesday – Sunday
Google Maps

Visiting lesser-known islands in Thailand

Thailand’s a huge country with islands galore, but there is something for anyone – no matter if you’re an island hopper or a beach bum. With a range of islands that are not as well known, we hope you get to visit more of Thailand’s ocean-sides you may have never seen before!

Cover images adapted from (Clockwise from Left): @adangislandresort, @minkumiko, @rubensoltvedt

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