Thailand’s Southwest Beaches: November - April

Rafting through the rocks on ko yao yai thailand

Secret Islands and Snorkelling Lagoons on Ko Yao Yai

If you’re after a barefoot escape, Ko Yao Yai is an ideal spot. Still under the mass tourism radar, the island has retained a charming castaway feel. It’s a tiny tropical drop in the ocean off Phuket; a haven away from prying eyes and day-tripping boat-loads. With sweeps of golden sand and brilliant snorkeling just steps from the shore, it’s a brilliant beach retreat within easy access from the mainland.

Staff member Caroline on the beach in Thailand

Rustling Palms on Ko Raya

Forget glitzy beach bars and boutiques, Ko Raya is a step back into the simple life, with tropical beaches, waving palms and precious little else. It’s the ultimate retreat from reality, with no roads, no ATMs and no Full Moon Parties in sight. Instead, you’ll find offshore coral reefs and stretches of picture-perfect sand. Day-trippers may descend during the day, but the evenings are quiet. Grab a sunset cocktail, sink your toes into the sand and listen to the lapping waves.

Ko Lanta beach in Thailand

Discover the Flavours of Ko Lanta

Ko Lanta is one of Thailand’s larger and popular islands, but it’s got a unique character that’s impossible to resist. A protected island edged with golden beaches, it’s sensational for snorkelling and its nearby diving spots rank amongst some of the best in Thailand. Inland, you’ll find an untamed wilderness criss-crossed with caves and forest lagoons. Discover the Flavours of Ko Lanta on a local cookery class, or opt for a relaxing massage or jungle trek. If you’re a restless traveller, there’s plenty to do!

Turquoise water and huts on the beach iat Ko Hai in Thailand

Relaxing on Robinson Crusoe Ko Hai Island

Stepping ashore on tiny Ko Hai is like wandering into a desert island dream. Known as Robinson Crusoe island for its fairytale castaway feel, it’s a nook of absolute paradise. Measuring only 4 kilometres by 2 kilometres, Ko Hai is proof that good things come in small packages, with tropical forests, rocky headlands and beautiful bays lined with sparkling white sands, it’s an idyllic getaway like no other.

people in water at ko phi phi beach in thailand

Phi Phi Paradise Beaches

Fancy relaxing on Phi Phi’s Paradise Beaches? Over the years, Ko Phi Phi has achieved legendary status for its dazzling turquoise bays. While much of the island has been firmly claimed by the party scene, there are still a few remote areas that remain truly relaxed and mass-tourist-free. The lively town is nearby, crammed with bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, giving you the option to get involved in the bustle or simply bliss out on the beach. It’s the best of both worlds.

Thailand’s Southeast Beaches: January – September

Boats at the beach at ko phagnan thailand

Shimmering Bays and Secluded Beaches of Ko Phangan

Near Ko Samui, you’ll find Ko Phangan, home to the world-famous Full Moon Parties. But, there’s more to the island than glow sticks and cocktail buckets. Unwind at the Shimmering Bays and Secluded Beaches of Ko Phangan and discover Thong Nai Pan; one of the most beautiful spots in the northeast, where a string of golden bays await. Think fiery sunsets, cushions scattered across the beach, fire dancers twirling in the twilight and a carpet of rainforest just waiting to be explored.

ko samui islands in thailand

Daydreaming on Ko Samui

If you fancy a taste of the tropical high life, why not treat yourself to some Daydreaming on Ko Samui? With glorious beaches and cocktail bars, Samui has a carefree vibe and a touch of class. It’s no secret from tourists, but you’ll never be far from some heady fun. Beyond the resorts, it still retains a laid-back charm and the fishing village of Bo Phut offers an authentic glimpse into Samui life. The interior is mountainous and dripping with natural beauty, so if you can tear yourselves away from the beach, it’s well worth the effort.

people snorkelling at ko tao thailand

White Sands of Turtle Island

The White Sands of Turtle Island (otherwise known as Ko Tao), lie in the tropical Gulf of Thailand, around 2 hours north of Ko Samui. It’s a diving mecca with a laid-back vibe and a handful of killer beaches. If you grab a snorkel mask and wade into the clear, turquoise waters, you’ll find yourself in a world of colourful darting fish and swaying coral. You can even kayak around the shoreline or visit the beautiful Nangyuan National Park, for a stroll across the sand bank at low tide.

Thailand’s Central East Islands: October – April

waterfall at ko chang thailand

Ko Chang Waterfall Island

Thailand’s second largest island, Ko Chang sits close to the border with Cambodia, just five hours from Bangkok. Its interior is wild, mountainous and sprinkled with forest waterfalls- brilliant for jungle treks. The coastline is fringed with long, golden sands giving way to calm, clear seas that are perfect for swimming. During our Ko Chang Waterfall Island trip you can explore the waterfalls and mangroves before whiling your days away as you please; read a book, cocktail in hand, or take a snorkelling boat trip to tiny islands- suffice to say, you won’t get bored.

Rafting through the rocks on ko yao yai thailand

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Secret Islands and Snorkelling Lagoons

Duration:3 days / 2 nights
Location:Phuket/Krabi - Ko Yao Yai
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Cooking lesson

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Discover the Flavours of Ko Lanta

Duration:4 days / 3 nights
Location:Ko Lanta
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Rustling Palms on Raya Coral Island

Duration:4 days / 3 nights
Location:Phuket - Ko Raya - Phuket
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Featured itinerary

Discover Dreamy Beaches and Castaway Coves

Duration:15 days / 14 nights
Itinerary:Bangkok - River Kwai - Phi Phi - Ko Lanta - Ko Hai
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Featured itinerary

A Taste of Thailand

Duration:14 days / 13 nights
Itinerary:Bangkok - River Kwai - Khao Sok - Ko Phangan - Ko Samui
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Inspiration

Best time to visit Thailand
Thailand is a great place to travel any time of year, but it does have some specific climate zones. We've put together some handy tips on where to go when.
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A guide to Thailand island hopping

by Friends of Rickshaw

To find out which of Thailand's islands and beaches we offer and how they fit together, take a look at our guide to island hopping in Thailand.
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