In the small natural Thailand islands group ( 2 ) you can find Ko Lipe, Ko Samed, Ko Tao, Ko Phayam, Ko Yao Noi, Ko Phiphi and Ko Talu
Ko Tao : Thailand islands
Ko Tao is the northern Thailand islands of the three east coast islands, (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, Ko Tao), and it is the smallest of them. There is a variety of areas on the island and each one of them offers a completely different atmosphere – beginning with isolated bays where you can feel like Robizon Crusoe, going through enchanting but not isolated bays and ending with crowded beaches full of restaurants, shops and pubs.
The island main beach, Sairee Beach is spread out along 2 Km. and next to it is Mae Haad beach where the different piers are located. This is a vibrant area with many young tourists, cheap resorts, restaurants, shops, pubs etc. (see the picture on the left) **
Another popular area, which has recently become more commercialized, is the island’s south coast with its beautiful bays. There aren’t many good bays and beaches to choose from so that the quality of your holiday depends to a large extent on finding the right beach and resort! Ko Tao is famous for its vibrant nightlife, (which it seems have calmed down lately), and for its abundance of diving schools. Out of the three east coast islands – Ko Tao is the best for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Season: Monsoon season in the east coast Thailand islands is November – December, so it is recommended to go to Ko Tao on February – September.
How to get to Ko Tao: The best holiday is a combination of a stay at Hua Hin royal town with a holiday on Ko Tao which also makes getting to Ko Tao easier – about 3 hour drive to Chumphon and a short cruise from there to the island. Getting to the island from other places such as Bangkok will take you a whole day, (12 hours), each way.
Summary: Ko Tao is a nice small Thailand islands great for a beach holiday with snorkeling, scuba diving and even offers diving classes to those interested.
Only for our tourists – at the end of our Coast to Coast Tour – the ultimate Thailand experience – we will drive you to the ferry pier to Ko Tao in Surat Thani or Chumphon. We will assist our tourists, who would like to combine a holiday in Ko Tao with a stay at Hua Hin royal town, in the drive and cruise there.
Ko Phayam : Thailand islands
Ko Phayam is a nice small Thailand islands located only 45 minutes by boat from Ranong – the town at the very north of Thailand’s west coast, on the Andaman Sea and Myamar border.
It is an amazing island with pretty beaches and wonderful sunsets. You may have to search for a quiet spot on other islands but on Ko Phayam you will find plenty of those practically on every beach. This island reminds me of how other islands in Thailand looked like 30 years ago with its wild nature, great beaches, picture like sunsets and peaceful atmosphere.
There are no cars on the island but there are good concrete roads and you can rent a moped at the pier area, which is also where you will find the only village on the island offering restaurants, small shops, etc.
There is no electricity on the island but every resort has its own electricity generator to supply its own electricity needs. Which means that only one or two resorts have air conditioners, however, there is no real need for air conditioning as all the resorts are found on the water line and there is a good breeze coming from the sea and together with the fans it is nice and cool.
Till a few years ago only very few people heard about this enchanting little island but in recent years there are more and more tourists coming to the island – tourists of all ages including many families – and every one of them finds what they desire on the island – peaceful atmosphere, wonderful beaches, surfing, good food, etc.
I have stayed in the best resort on the island – Blue Sky, (which has air conditioning and a swimming pool), and in a simple but charming resort on Ao Yai beach – and here I will make an exception to the rule and tell you a little about this resort – Bamboo Bungalows.
It is a relatively simple resort but it has a wonderful atmosphere, it is located in the center of Ao Yai beach and belongs to an Israeli guy named July – who is at least as nice as the resort he owns. He has been living on Ko Phayam for the last 18 years.
I have been to almost all of Thailand’s islands but this holiday was especially great, we have even stayed a few more days than we planned and found it hard to leave!
Season: as on all Andaman Sea islands, (of the west coast), the best holiday season is November – May.
How to get to Ko Phayam: By a flight to Ranong or a three hour drive from the holiday town, Khao Lak, and from there a 45 minutes cruise to the island.
Summary: Ko Phayam is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands with great beaches which have not yet been raided by the crowds of tourists and commercialization. It can give you a wonderful island feeling just like you imagine it!
My recommendation: combine a tour of Khao Lak and Ko Phayam! The 2 places are relatively close to each other and you can enjoy two different but wonderful kinds of experiences – a great holiday town with good resorts and beaches and a real island which has not yet been ruined by the crowds.
Click here for our detailed review of Ko Phayam
Only for our tourists – at the end of our Coast to Coast Tour – the ultimate Thailand experience – we will take you to the holiday town of Ranong and take care of your way to your resort on the island.
Ko PhiPhi : Thailand islands
Ko PhiPhi stands for the complete opposite of Ko Phayam – it is an Thailand islands that used to be an enchanting natural island many years ago and became a place where commercialization and greed have joined together to change it all.
Tens of boats cruise to the island bringing lots of tourist every day – to those who knew the island years ago there is no choice but to moan the beautiful nature which has been destroyed.
The pretty Ton Sai beach has turned with the years into a crowded port with big and small boats and a pier for the boats to dock has also been built there. Without any consideration for the damage to its nature many resorts, shops, banks and stands have been built on the island.
Season: (to those of you who insist), as on all Andaman Sea islands, the best holiday season is November – May.
How to get to Ko PhiPhi: The different tourist agencies in Phuket tend to present it as if Ko PhiPhi is part of Phuket, but in reality, Ko PhiPhi is in Krabi province and is closer to Ao Nanag than to Phuket and you don’t have to cross all of Phuket island in order to get to the pier – so that going through Krabi is much better. If someone will tell you that the sea near Krabi has been closed – I suggest you don’t believe them J
Summary: Ko PhiPhi is another wonderful Thailand islands which has been ruined by crowds of tourists.
Ko Talu : Thailand islands
This is a small nice tropical Thailand islands which is different than all other islands I wrote about, as it is privately owned! The only tourists allow on the island are the ones staying at the one and only resort on the island. The island is located in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, (where the royal resort town Hua Hin is located as well as Sam Roy Yot National Park, Ao Manao Bay, etc. are found), in Bang Saphan district which is about two hour drive off Hua Hin and north of Ko Tao.
There are great beaches on the island and the only resort on it is located on the water line and offers Thai wooden villas with air conditioning and the best of convenience. There is a wonderful coral reef there too where scuba diving and snorkeling are offered and it is considered one of the best snorkeling site on the east coast.
The resort on the island offers combo deals – drive + cruise + full board stay at the resort + snorkeling and other activities are all included in the price.
Season: All year round
How to get to Ko Talu: the resort organizes tourist busses from Hua Hin and Bangkok
Summary: Ko Talu is a very small tropical Thailand islands which gives a wonderful island feeling as well as high quality snorkeling. It is great to those of you who are looking for the fun of an island holiday without the tiring and time consuming way of other far away islands. It is a good idea to combine a holiday on Ko Talu with a stay at Hua Hin.
Click here for my detailed review of Ko Talu (Thailand islands)
Only for “TipTop Travel” tourists – who are staying at Hua Hin – “TipTop Travel” will take care of your way to the pier and ferry to the island plus “TipTop Travel” will give you a special discount on the resort combo deal.
Thailand-Expert : Thailand Travel Guide
“TipTop Travel” : Thailand Private Family Adventure Tours