Over 14 million people flock to the Land of Smiles each year, but you can still find quiet beaches in Thailand if you want to escape the crowded tourist hot spots.
Patong, we’re looking at you.
These idyllic beaches and lesser known islands can be a little off the beaten track, but they’re well worth the effort to get there.
- 1 The Best Quiet Islands in Thailand
- 1.1 Koh Phayam
- 1.2 Koh Kut
- 1.3 Koh Jum
- 1.4 Koh Sukorn
- 1.5 Mu Ko Surin
- 1.6 Koh Bulon Lae
- 1.7 Koh Rok
- 1.8 Koh Tarutao
The Best Quiet Islands in Thailand
Unspoilt and ruggedly handsome, this perfectly formed island off the coast of Ranong is the second largest in the Andaman sea, after nearby Koh Chang.
To get here you’ll need to take a speedboat or ferry from Saphan Pla pier. Once on the island you’ll need to hire a motorbike or bicycle to get around as roads aren’t suitable for cars. In any case it’s a fun way to explore the many idyllic beaches dotted along the coastline.
Ao Yai on the west coast is the largest sandy bay here. Accommodation is cheap and there are often beach parties which attract a younger crowd. On the south east coast you’ll find Buffalo Bay — a quieter, more family oriented beach.
If you fancy venturing inland, you can take a hike into the hills and explore the jungle habitat of monkeys and hornbills amongst other flora and fauna.
Best Hotels on Koh Phayam
- 3* beachfront bungalow resort
- Less than 5 minute walk to Koh Phayam beach
- Private beach area
- Massage and spa
- On-site restaurant
- Pet-friendly bamboo huts
- Balcony, fan, mosquito net and private bathroom
- Bar and restaurant onsite
- Hiking opportunities nearby
You’ll find Koh Kut tucked away near the Cambodian border. This large, mountainous island remains largely covered in jungle, and getting here involves taking a boat from Laem Sok pier on the mainland.
This is an island paradise of glistening white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There is a variety of beachfront accommodation to suit all budgets, and everything is pretty laid back. There are no landlines, little internet access, and few cars.
Favourite beaches include the centrally located Klong Chao Beach with 800 meters of pristine powdery sand, and Ao Noi on the western coast, which is picture postcard perfect.
Best Hotels on Koh Kut
- 4* resort on Bang Bao Bay
- Villas and bungalows with private terraces
- Water activities, massage and other adventure tours available
- Onsite restaurant
- Surrounded by white sand beach and blue bay
- 5* villas on Klong Chao Beach
- Private pools and terraces
- Spa, fitness centre and library
- Beachfront restaurant
You can sense the ultra relaxing atmosphere on Koh Jum the moment you set foot on the sand. The jungle-covered peak of Koh Pu mountain dominates the northern part of the island.
Resorts are clustered along a 12 kilometre long sandy bay on the west coast looking out across the wide blue expanse of the Andaman sea.
To get here, take a boat from Laem Kruat or Ao Nang on the mainland. Once here there’s nothing much to do apart from relax. Away from the small selection of resorts, bars and restaurants are few and far between.
The island’s only dive school offers activities including snorkeling, fishing trips and scuba diving if you fancy a little adventure on your quiet island stay.
Best Hotels on Koh Jum
- Luxurious Thai style private villas
- 40 minutes from Ao Nang by boat
- Onsite restaurant and green garden
- Villas have a fan, safety deposit box and en suite bathroom
- Bungalows with sea and garden views
- Shared lounge and on site bar
- Ao Nang is 27km away
- Free private parking
The pace of life is wonderfully slow on Koh Sukorn. There are only 4000 inhabitants here, and far fewer tourists.
A short ferry ride from Tasae Pier on the mainland will get you to this relatively flat island filled with rubber and coconut plantations.
You won’t find many big resorts here, and as the population is mostly Muslim there are dress codes to respect and some restrictions on purchasing alcohol. Gentle pursuits like walking along the beach, swimming, relaxing and cycling are the best way to enjoy this island.
Many bays around the island are shallow and can be rocky, but the stretch of silky white sand at Haad Lo Yai beach is perfect for swimming.
Best Hotels on Koh Sukorn
- Cosy bungalows on the beach
- 1 minute from Ban Koh beach
- 5 minute drive from Ta-Sae Pier
- A choice of air-conditioned or fan bungalows
- Tour desk, bike and car rental
- Air conditioned bungalows with balconies
- 5 minute drive from Fishermans’ Village and 30 minutes to Koh Sukorn viewpoint
- Each bungalow has a fridge and en suite bathroom, some have a TV
- On site restaurant
Mu Ko Surin
Off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Mu Ko Surin is a protected marine national park made up of 5 islands: Koh Surin Nuea, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ri, Koh Khai and Koh Klang.
These islands abound with untouched natural beauty both on land and underwater, and they are the perfect place to get away from it all.
It’s a paradise for divers and snorkelers here. The extensive eastern coastline harbours multiple sheltered bays crammed with some of the most beautiful coral reefs in Thailand. Richelieu Rock is one of the most exquisite places to dive in the world.
Aside from camping on the beach there is little in the way of accommodation on the islands, and the majority of people visit as part of a liveaboard diving or snorkeling trip. Tours generally operate from nearby Kuraburi on the mainland, and will take you out to the islands by speedboat.
- Eco-friendly accommodation in tropical rainforests
- Swimming pool and onsite restaurant
- Bicycle and canoe rental available
- In Kuraburi — 17km from Kuraburi Pier
- 2.5 hour drive from Phuket International Airport
- Basic bungalows over views over the river
- Free WiFi available throughout property
- Car hire available
- 80km from Surat Thani Airport
- Very inexpensive
Koh Bulon Lae
This island off the coast of Satun province oozes old world charm. Daily life is rustic, as is the island’s accommodation — there is little electricity, no nightlife and just a few resorts scattered around. The island’s inhabitant are primarily the Chao Lae people (commonly referred to as sea gypsies).
Koh Bulon Lae is not a place to come and party, it’s a place to connect with nature and do nothing but watch the ocean from the comfort of a hammock on the beach.
This hidden paradise boasts just one major beautiful beach with incredible crystalline water — perfect for snorkeling. Koh Bulon Lae is easily accessed by speedboat or ferry from the mainland harbour at Pak Bara.
Best Hotel near Koh Bulon Lae
- 15 minute drive from Pak Bara Pier on the mainland
- Free Wifi and private parking
- Pet friendly accommodation
- 96km from Trang Airport
Koh Rok is actually made up of two islands — Koh Rok Nai and Koh Rok Nok — which have a distance of just over 200 metres between them. They’re a part of the Mu Ko Lanta national park and are commonly visited via a one-day tour from Lanta.
Diving tours from Sala Dan Pier at Koh Lanta Yai will bring you here by speedboat but this service is only available during tourist season (November to May). Diving is particularly good on Koh Rok Nai, and there is also an impressive waterfall on the island.
The beach at Ao Man Sai is particularly beautiful, and there are also several viewpoints which offer stunning views of the island and the sea. A National Park Ranger Unit station on the island has a camping area and toilets, and there are tents and bungalows available for rent at Koh Rok Nok if you do fancy staying the night.
Best Hotels near Koh Rok
- 800m from Sala Dan Pier on Koh Lanta
- 3* resort on Saladan Beach
- Swimming pool and rooms with balconies and floor to ceiling windows
- Car rental and shuttle service available
- On-site restaurant
- 3 hour drive from Krabi International Airport
- 1.3km from Sala Dan Pier on Koh Lanta
- 1.1km from Klong Dao Beach
- 2* highly rated boutique accommodation
- Free WiFi and private parking
- 24-hour front desk
- Ticket reservations and cycle rental
This 26 kilometre long island is the largest in the Tarutao National Marine Park. Mountainous with an interior swathed in ancient forest, it has a dark history as a prison for convicts and political rebels.
The water here can be a little murky — and sometimes a little rough — so it’s not the best location for snorkeling or swimming. However the beaches of Phante Malacca, Ao Mo and Ao Son are enchanting, and exploring the interior of the island is a hikers and bikers delight.
Boats from Pak Bara on the mainland and Koh Lipe drop visitors at the pier by the park headquarters in the north of the island.
Best Hotels near Koh Tarutao
- 4* resort 500m from Lipe Floating Pontoon
- Rooms and bungalows available
- On-site restaurant and bar with sea views
- Swimming pool and on the beachfront
- Free WiFi and air-conditioning
- 4* resort on Pattaya Beach
- Infinity pool with ocean views
- Spa and on-site restaurant
- Free WiFi and air-conditioning
- Selection of double and twin rooms with pool/garden/sea views or the honeymoon suite
And there you have it — our favourite quiet islands in Thailand.
What’s your pick for getting away from it all?