Earlier this summer, we showed you five Thai islands off the very well-beaten tourist path. But those were but the smallest glimpse at the many small island paradises the country has to offer. Here are five more beach locales to consider for your Thailand travels.
This one is for the intrepid travellers, those who want to experience the Thai beaches unfettered by crowds of backpackers and luxury vacationers. A trip to Koh Sukorn means being among locals, and far from the party or tourism scene you’ll find on other islands. Here you’ll find rubber and coconut plantation workers living in small villages, and get to see the way Thais live, beyond the tourist sights. Rent a motorbike and explore the island or just sit back and enjoy the delicious fresh seafood caught daily.
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An island in the Andaman Sea, Koh Phra Thong is an eco-tourist’s dream. You can dive to see manta rays and whale sharks, snorkel among coral reefs, and explore mangrove forests. Diving enthusiasts will be especially enamored of this area, as they can dive at Richilieu Rock, a world-renowned dive site, or join an eco-dive to explore a seagrass habitat. Koh Phra Thong has more of a tourist infrastructure than Koh Sukorn, but still offers unique holiday options with an eye to environmental responsibility.
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Not far from Koh Phra Thong is Koh Ra, another island with a community focused on preservation and sustainability. You won’t find massive luxury resorts here; indeed, you’ll find an eco-lodge, beach camp and not much else. But how much do you actually need when you’re sleeping in a tent on a beach in one of the world’s most beautiful locations? There is very little development on the island, which has been proposed as a national park, so guests have the rare experience of enjoying one of Thailand’s natural frontiers.
It goes without saying that there are some gorgeous beaches to be explored on yet another Thai island, but Koh Kood has some other gems up its sleeve as well. Venture into the jungle to find the Klong Chao waterfall, or do a home stay with a fisherman’s family in Ao Salat village. This is the fourth largest island in Thailand, and the closest to the Cambodian border.
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This island offers the perfect few-day escape from the madness of Phuket, giving you the chance to experience all the nightlife and indulgence Phuket is known for while still getting to slip away and appreciate some silence and nature for a while. Koh Racha Yai is located off the southeastern coast of Phuket, and the crystal clear waters make it a great spot for snorkeling and diving. There are far fewer resorts and entertainment options, so it’s a good spot for a few low-key days. Nearby Koh Racha Noi is a rockier island, with great opportunities for fishing enthusiasts to get their kicks, though less than ideal for sunbathing. The location is convenient for those who may not have extended time for a holiday and want to check out a few islands before heading home.
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This article first appeared on TravelWireAsia.com