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Top Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Post Date : Mar 2, 2018 | Author: Admin

Top Non Touristy Islands in Thailand – Smiling Tuk Tuk

As crowded as Thai beaches are usually known to be, fortunately, non-touristy islands in Thailand still exist. Phuket, Koh Pangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi are heavily visited for good reasons – be it the turquoise water, great parties, and tourist facilities and comfort. But it doesn’t mean the less visited ones are less beautiful or less equipped with what you need for a perfect beach holiday. If an island is more difficult to access, or offers less entertainments and parties, you know it’s more pristine. Imagining yourself lying on an unspoiled beach or strolling one for miles without a single person in sight? Read on and let your holiday plan begin here.



#1 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Talu

Koh Talu - Smiling Tuk Tuk

Talu translates to ‘through’ in Thai. This natural rock formation is the origin of the islands’s name

Located 3 hours south of Hua Hin, Koh Talu is beyond Hua Hin crowd’s reach. It’s a private island with a beautiful resort located on the main beach. Koh Talu features lush evergreen rainforest and picturesque palm-fringed beaches fronted by clear blue water. You can spend days relaxing on empty powdery sanded beaches, kayaking on mild ripples, snorkeling and be fascinated with colors of marine life: parrotfish, wrasse, seargent major fish, and a great variety of hard coral.


The main beach of Koh Talu - Smiling Tuk Tuk

The main beach of Koh Talu

The island is home to a few nature conservation projects. Joining the resort‘s (there is only one) programs, you can return coral reef to the seabed and learn how to nurse sea turtles and study their life cycle. A day trip from Hua Hin can be arranged but to truly enjoy the beach holiday escape, spend at least 1 night. The resort provides a variety of room types, from a luxury villa to a beautiful and comfortable bungalow.


sea turtles, Koh Talu - Smiling Tuk Tuk

Baby sea turtles in the nursery on Koh Talu

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

  • Smiling Tuk Tuk offers The Pristine Koh Talu Island, a day trip to Koh Talu from Hua Hin. The package includes snorkeling, lunch, pick up and drop off at your hotel in Hua Hin.

  • Take a speed boat transfer arranged by Koh Talu Island Resort. You can book room on the website as well.




#2 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Phra Thong

A usual scenery of Koh Phra Thong’s beaches

The least non touristy island in Southern Thailand, Koh Phra Thong is about an hour long-tail boat ride from Pang Nga province. If you’re spoiled by Andaman Sea’s islands with turquoise water and powdery-sand beaches, you’ll be disappointed with this island. Beaches have brown grainy sand. Big strong waves forbid you from swimming. You may think this island doesn’t sound attractive at all. This is why no travelers come here and once you do, you have it all to your own. You’ll easily find vast stretches of entirely undeveloped beaches where your only companions are wind crabs and perhaps sea turtles.


A savanna field on Koh Phra Thong - Smiling Tuk Tuk

A savanna field on Koh Phra Thong

The nature here is also amazing. This vast island is home to horn bills, deer, and various kinds of migratory birds you can’t find anywhere else in Thailand. It is a paradise for Thai bird-watchers. Except for the beach areas where people live and resorts are, almost the entire island hasn’t been developed. There is no obviously road, just paths and trails among fields of long grasses and peeling trees. The gold Savanna fields during the dry season looks strikingly similar to the savannahs of Africa and Australia. Riding a farm truck through this landscape at sunset is a truly unique experience. Visiting the nearly abandoned Lion Village built for Tsunami victims in 2004 is another thing to do on this island. There is only a handful of resorts towards the island’s northern end.

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

Charter a long-tail boat from Kuraburi pier. A boat can host maximum 10 persons. Price starts at 1,500 THB. If you book a room in advance, ask the resort to arrange boat transfer from Kuraburi pier for you.




#3 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Kood

Ao Bang Bao, Koh Kood - Smiling Tuk Tuk

Ao Bang Bao, Koh Kood

Located south of the well-known Koh Chang and Koh Mak, Koh Kood is a large mountainous island. While the interior is widely covered with jungle, the western and southern coasts are home to beautiful white-sand beaches. The island is surrounded by crystal clear blue water. Several have the perfect postcard picture of wooden bridges protruding into the water. Standing on one, you’re in Maldives, if not in Thailand.


Koh Kood - Smiling Tuk Tuk

A wooden bridge into the water can be found dotting the island

Restaurants, shops, and bars are gathered around the Khlong Chao area. The island is not a nightlight destination, unlike Koh Chang where you can find serious parties. If you want a change of air from beach and water activities, there are several waterfalls to be explored. The fishing villages of Ao Salad and Ao Yai lie at the northeast and southeast of the island. A good road runs much of the island’s length from Ao Salad in the north to Ao Yai in the south. Accommodations can be easily found along the road.

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

  • Boats leave from Laem Sok Pier, which is 4.5 to 5 hours from Bangkok, and about 30km out from Trat, the nearest provincial town. The last daily boat leaves at 2.20pm. The boat trip takes about one hour. Check this website for the most updated boat timetables.




#4 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Mak

Koh Mak - Smiling Tuk Tuk

An empty beach of Koh Mak

Sitting between the famous Koh Chang and the bigger Koh Kood is the hidden gem of Koh Mak. White sand and palm-fringed beaches are dotted around the island. Calm and shallow water is a draw for families with young children. Ao Kao, located southwest, is the most popular beach of 5 km long. It’s great beach to enjoy sunsets and a view of Koh Rayang Nok and Koh Rayang Nai. The little less popular Ao Suan Yai is located northwest, another peaceful sunset spot. If you’re a fan of secluded quiet beach, head to Ao Tan.

There is no other better activities to do on Koh Mak but lazing on a beach to pass time. There is an old house turned into a museum. The cute house with old artifacts offers a good glimpse into how a local Thai family used to live. The kingdom of Som Chai’s Affection is an overgrown garden dotted with erotic sculptures, a work of a Thai artist. From Koh Mak, you can visit Koh Kradad, a small quiet island known among Thai tourists for herds of deer living and roaming freely. You can take a safari farm truck to the island’s interior to see them. There is also accommodation on Koh Kradad but make sure to book in advance.

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

  • Slow ferries and speed boats leave the mainland to Koh Mak almost every hour in the morning. Check the time table here

  • There is no scheduled boat to Koh Kradad. Ask shops and resorts on Koh Mak to charter a boat to Koh Kradad. If you’re really strong and strenuous, you can paddle a kayak to the island. Leave from The Cinnamon Art Resort and Spa where you can rent a kayak.




#5 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Laem Sak

A stone island in Laem Sak Sea - Smiling Tuk Tuk

A stone island in Laem Sak Sea

Laem Sak isn’t technically an island but as you are in Laem Sak, you feel like it’s one. Laem Sak is located in Krabi province, famous for beaches and islands like Ao Nang and Koh Phi Phi. But if you feel like avoiding Krabi’s tourist places, this quiet coastal village is an answer. Laem Sak’s coastline is home to quiet beaches. Protected from the seasonal storms and big waves that rave the Andaman coastline, Laem Sak’s sea can be visited year-round. The village itself has a long history and see Thai, Chinese, and Malay people living side-by-side.


heart shaped hole in Laem Sak Sea - Smiling Tuk Tuk

A heart shape hole formed on a stone island in Laem Sak Sea

A long-tail boat tour in Laem Sak will expose you to pre-historical sea cave paintings, beautiful stone karst islands, and peaceful floating fisherman villages. You may spend a day kayaking down canals in the mangrove forests. Take a stroll in the village, you’ll see old wooden houses and a Buddhist temple, Chinese shrine, and a mosque near one another. As off the time of writing (early 2018), Laem Sak hasn’t been visited to foreign travelers at all. So keep in mind there are no bars, shops, and international restaurants in the village. And we hope it remains that way for a long time.


Laem Sak village - Smiling Tuk Tuk

A villager hanging out in front of her house in Laem Sak village

Getting to Laem Sak

  • Smiling Tuk Tuk offers one-day and two-day trips to Laem Sak from Krabi. Check out detail here. The package includes overnighting at the beautiful Bulan Anda Baba Resort




#6 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam - Smiling Tuk Tuk


Off the coast of the quiet Ranong province is the beautiful Koh Phayam, a medium-sized island in the Andaman sea. White powdery sand beaches embraced by clear turquoise water, together with the island’s hippie vibe is a main draw to long vacationers. Sharing space along the main road with Thai, Indian, Italian restaurants and pizzerias are colorful Rastafarian bars, cafes, shops – eye candies that make you want to pay a visit. Beach-wise, the western side of the island is more populated than the eastern side as they offer big round orange sunsets daily.

Ao Yai, the island’s longest beach offers a wide range of accommodation from cheap wooden bungalows to luxurious resorts. The shorter Ao Khao Kwai beaches facing northwest are quieter and is home to cheaper rooms. At the northern tip of the island, there is a cute small beach called Monkey beach, a great place to sunbathe and swim. Small and secluded beaches are everywhere, begging you to go explore. At night, head to a colorful hippie bar for a drink or two before you go to sleep. Don’t miss the Hippie Bar on Ao Khao Kwai. It’s unlike any hippie bars you’ll find in the world. The massive three-story building, shaped like a pirate ship, is entirely made of driftwood – a truly art masterpiece.

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

  • Speed boat (40 minutes) and slow boat (2 hours) leave from Koh Phayam pier from 9am daily. Check ferry schedules here




#7 Non Touristy Islands in Thailand

Koh Lanta

Thoong Yee Peng - Smiling Tuk Tuk

Gondola boats in Thoong Yee Peng Community-Based Tourism village

Koh Lanta is not too far from Phuket and the touristy Phi Phi island, yet has much fewer crowd compared to the two. There are 4 main beaches which stretch for kilometers and many other small and secluded ones waiting to be lounged upon. It is a choice destination for families, honeymooners, and yoga lovers. While the west coast has been developed for tourism, the east is home to fishing villages and a historic Old Town.

On the island, there’re also community-based tourism villages – a splash of culture to your beach holiday. A notable one is Thoong Yee Peng village. Joining a day program, you will be shown to local ways of life and the beauty of the island’s interior’s mangrove forest. The villagers have turned their traditional wooden boats used to carry wood into a Gondola ride which takes you onto small canals in a mangrove forest inhabited by monkeys. Sunsets over the mangrove’s canopy are as spectacular as the ones setting on beaches we guarantee.

Getting to This Non Touristy Island

  • Passenger ferries operate from November to April only. From Mayt o late October, the only way to get to Lanta Island is via taxi or minibus service from Ao Nang, Krabi Town or Trang. See this website for the ferry schedule.



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