The islands in the golf of Thailand, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui all give a good idea of what paradise must look like. Wide white beaches, wilderness and the jungle, crystal clear blue water, but also culture and action is provided. Completing my Thai guide, here’s a whole entry dedicated just to these three islands that are absolutely worth a visit.
KOH TAO. I’d recommend you to get there by the Lomprayah travel agency, starting in Bangkok by bus and passing onto the ferry in Chumphon. Lomprayah has maybe not the cheapest offers, but they seem serious, with friendly stuff and a good organization (which is quite rare in Thailand). Koh Tao is my absolutely favourite island. Even if you’re in a shorter holiday in Thailand, don’t miss it and spend as much time as you can there. Koh Tao is a very small island, and so relaxing and natural, just beautiful. Snorkeling is a must in Thailand, and I booked a one day trip around the island that was just amazing. You’re on a boat with a small group of people and you’re shown to the most fascinating snorkeling spots around the whole island. The last stop is at Koh Nangyuan island, you’ll probably know the famous pictures from the viewpoint.
KOH PHANGAN. It’s the next island in the golf if Thailand after Koh Tao and also absolutely worth a visit. I stayed in one of the beautiful beach resorts, called Sarana Bungalows, in Surat Thani. I could have spent all the time in the pool at the beach there, but there’s a lot to see on Koh Phangan. This island is famous for the Fullmoon Parties, but just saying, I enjoyed the Halfmoon party so much more, they may cost a little, but they’re organized, and having some separated DJ areas with really great acts is really worth the money.
I was thinking about a djungle day trip around the island for so long, I finally decided to just try it. I will probably never forget this day because of all that beautiful and stunning experiences I made. Not only that elephant riding, feeding monkeys and touching snakes and crocodiles belongs to a Thailand holiday, the day trip also included a hike to a wonderful waterfall in the jungle, and the visit of an old Chinese temple. Praying there was such an emotional and moving moment I never had in my life before.
KOH SAMUI. An island that has fallen into criticism for having become too touristy. But in my opinion still an island with so many possibilities to experience culture and find great silent places far from the crowded beaches. Apart from the attraction Big Budda, there’s Wat Plai Laem just a few hundred meters further. Apparently not many tourists know that amazing temple that is by the way for free. My journey took me to Chaweng which has a beautiful beach, shallow and warm water and a lot of nice bars and restaurants at the seaside. Going down the island, you shouldn’t miss to visit Lamai. Such a cute small village with great street markets. Rent a scooter there and drive along the ring road and you will find a lot of beautiful temples, the mummified monk and other memorials. Inland, there are so many waterfalls and on top of the island, the Budda Magic Garden, one of my highlights. It’s really such an magic and amazing atmosphere over there that you’ll never forget.