JThe chance to explore some of Thailand’s beautiful, sun-drenched tropical islands is one of the most compelling reasons to choose the destination for a long-haul vacation.
There’s certainly plenty to choose from, with over 3,000 kilometers of coastline and hundreds of tropical islands, including many little-known spots, all featuring that picture-postcard combination of white sand beaches and waters. turquoise.
Island hopping is particularly easy and convenient around Thailand with numerous ferry and speedboat services between the islands and the mainland.
Here are four suggested island-hopping itineraries around different parts of the Thai coast…
Start the trip with a stay in Ko Chang, the largest and best-known island on Thailand’s east coast, with a wide range of beaches and hotels.
The island offers plenty of activities for all types of vacationers, including kayaking, snorkeling, and diving, as well as the chance to visit traditional fishing villages and their seafood restaurants.
Nearby Ko Kradat offers a completely different experience as the private island is home to herds of deer, which were first introduced by King Rama V in the 19th century. Visitors pay an entrance fee which includes a tractor tour of the island to see the beaches and deer.
Another unusual option is Ko Samae San which is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy. No overnight stays are possible on the island, but visitors can explore the crystal clear waters on snorkeling and kayaking excursions.
Ko Chang is accessible by ferry from the mainland. Visitors must purchase a tour package offered by Ko Kradat Resort to visit this island, while a daily ferry runs to Ko Samae San.
South Coast and Andaman Coast
The laid-back, family-friendly resort of Khao Lak, north of Phuket, is an ideal base for anyone wanting to experience the area’s exceptional dive sites, including the nearby Similan Islands and Surin Islands.
Khao Lak hotels can arrange day trips to the islands, while diving enthusiasts also have the option of taking a liveaboard trip, which usually lasts at least three nights.
Another less-discovered option is the Trang Islands, including the uninhabited island of Ko Lao Liang, where ecotourism rules limit visitor numbers and activities include rock climbing, snorkeling and kayaking. Visitors can also stay at the Sivalai Beach Resort near Ko Mook, from where they can hire a longtail boat to explore other islands.
Just north of the Trang Islands is Ko Lanta, which is easily accessible from Krabi and offers long, uncrowded beaches with a wide range of accommodation.
The Phi Phi Islands are among the most scenic and famous in Thailand. Located in the Andaman Sea between Phuket and Krabi, the six islands are known for their sandy beaches, turquoise waters and dramatic limestone cliffs.
The islands are uninhabited, with the exception of Ko Phi Phi Don, and can be explored on day trips from Phuket and Krabi. It is also possible to stay in one of the Phi Phi Don properties.
The iconic Maya Bay, famous for being featured in the film The Beach, has now reopened after being closed to allow the area to recover from the impact of high visitor numbers.
Ko Lanta can also be easily included in this island hopping tour and is an ideal stopover for those looking for a laid back holiday in Thailand. In addition to the beautiful beaches, a trip to the east of the island will allow you to explore the historic streets of its old town, home to atmospheric wooden houses and full of heritage sites, as well as fruit restaurants. beach overlooking the Andaman Sea.
The twin islands of Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai (meaning Long Small Island and Long Big Island respectively) are accessible by longtail boat or ferry from Phuket and Krabi and offer a slice of serenity with traffic-free roads to do cycling along and a distinct lack of tourists.
The gently rolling gulf coast is found in southern Thailand and is dotted with sheltered sandy beaches and seaside bungalows, as well as forests, mountains and many historical sites further inland. lands.
The region is famous for being home to the Samui Archipelago, a beautiful group of islands, the most famous of which is Koh Samui, which welcomes the region to one million visitors a year and is Thailand’s second largest island. Travelers are drawn to its palm-fringed beaches and clear blue seas, perfect for diving and snorkeling, as well as the island’s legendary party scene. Nature lovers should head to nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park, which has 42 islands to explore and snorkel, secluded beaches for sunbathing and towering limestone mountains to hike. , with a breathtaking view as a reward.
From here, you board one of the frequent ferries to Koh Phangan, an island with dense jungle covering its inland mountains and rugged coastline. The south of the island also has a big party scene, with Haad Rin Beach a major draw.
The north side of the island has a few bays that cater to a more relaxed crowd. Here divers will find plenty of coral to explore amongst idyllic sheltered bays and beach lovers may find stretches of sand they can have all to themselves, including the pristine Hat Khuat (Bottle Beach) which is accessible by a short hike.
Thailand is open to fully immunized visitors through its Test & Go program, which allows them to explore the country freely. Full registration details can be found at fanclubthailand.co.uk/quarantine-free-travel-to-thailand-faqs/
Singapore Airlines offers a perfect way to start your island-hopping adventure in Thailand, with three daily flights from London Heathrow and three weekly flights from Manchester to Singapore, with a choice of up to four cabins: Economy, Premium Economy , Business Class, First Class or Suites. Experience seamless connections to Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Ko Samui for easy island access.
Enjoy greater booking flexibility with Singapore Airlines’ Free Rebooking Policy, which offers unlimited changes to bookings made before May 31, 2022.
For more information visit singaporeair.com/Telegraph