For me, Koh Tarutao was an adventure island. Originally a prison, the island’s history is wrapped up in pirate stories full of vengeance, hidden stashes of loot, and crocodile caves. I got to try all sorts of activities that I had never done in Thailand before, like kayaking through mangroves and mountain biking along dirt roads through the jungle. But the best part? There were only a handful of visitors during the 5 days we were there. After spending virtually my entire trip surrounded by other foreigners, it was exciting to visit a place frequented by locals. And more importantly, a place that wasn’t over-developed or over-priced. Continue reading Koh Tarutao
Koh Lipe is one of my favorite ‘touristy’ islands in Thailand. While it’s extremely developed, the island still feels small and the developers have done a good job of keeping the buildings low and the bungalows natural. There are no huge hotels here to blot out your view of the nearby islands and prices have stayed somewhat reasonable given the influx of visitors over the last few years (emphasis on the somewhat). This is a great island for relaxation and beach-chilling. Continue reading Koh Lipe
Koh Tao is most well-known for being the diving mecca of Thailand, if not Southeast Asia (or Asia at large). However, there’s so much more to do than just dive! There is awesome snorkeling right off the beach in most areas, small beaches located along the coast of the whole island that you can reach by boat, moto, or taxi (Shark’s Bay, anyone?), delicious cafes and restaurants to check out, small walking streets, and of course, the typical island life veg-out (swim, read, have a beer, nap, repeat). Accommodation, while more expensive than the smaller islands, is very reasonable and there is an atmosphere here for everyone, from budget backpackers to family resorts to remote getaways. I’ve been to Koh Tao twice, once to dive and once to relax, so let me share my insight with you. Continue reading Koh Tao
Out of the Thai islands I’ve visited so far, Koh Phayam just might be my favorite (though I have plans to visit another island soon, so things may change!). What I love most about Koh Phayam is that it’s more or less cut off from the rest of the world. Internet can only be found in one or two places, electricity is run on generators for only a few hours a day, and there are no cars on the island (which would be silly, because there’s no roads big enough to hold them). It really feels like a secluded and secret place.