From Austria to Asia! Thailand has more than 1400 islands to discover. We discovered that In order to fully unwind in Thailand, a trip to at least a few Thai islands is kind of essential. In this blog we share our experiences with three of the biggest islands that Thailand is known for: Koh Chang, Koh Lanta and Koh Phangan.
Koh Chang is one of the larger islands of Thailand next to Phuket. It takes about four hours to get from Bangkok and it is a very popular destination for people on their way to Cambodia. On Koh Chang you will find many restaurants, bars, supermarkets and delicious street food. While the sun warms your lazy body, you can even order your nice cocktails on the beach. On Koh Chang you can alternate lazing very well with a jungle trek or discovering the underwater world during a snorkeling or diving trip. The most popular and busy beaches such as the ironically called Lonely Beach can be found south west of the island.
We stayed at White Sand Beach which is in the northern part of the island. Slightly more expensive than Lonely Beach, but for that you also get some peace in return. Our accommodation was a nice wooden house on the beach. Every morning we woke up to the sound of the waves and every night we went to bed after counting thousands of stars. We have the best memories of staring at the colourful sunsets. Every evening the sky transformed from blue to pink, orange, red and back. And all within an hour. Pure magic we would say. We would definitely recommend Koh Chang if you have little time to hop around islands but still want to experience a bit of Thailands’ famous island life.
Koh Lanta is located on the southwest coast of Thailand and is easily accessible by boat from Krabi or Phuket. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and it is certainly a place to absolutely do nothing apart from wandering around the island, get a nice tan on and drink some cocktails. We rented a scooter and wandered around the island looking for beautiful nature spots. On the southern part of the island you will find a stunning nature reserve where the monkeys are king. They wait next to your scooter and keep looking at you. We always found it hard to estimate whether they were just enjoying watching or were waiting for the right moment to steal your beloved camera...In the nature park we made a one-hour walk that ends at an intimate and secluded beach. Koh Lanta has the perfect island vibes and it is therefore not difficult to stay here for a few days or a week. From Koh Lanta you have the option of crossing a boat to the smaller islands of Koh Ngai and Koh Lipe.
One of our favorite islands so far is Koh Phangan. We did not know what to expect in advance. Many conflicting stories are circulating about this island, so it was time to experience it for ourselves. We discovered that there are two major cultures on the island: it is the backpackers paradise with the notorious full moon parties, but there is also an incredibly large spiritual community which means there are many yoga classes, meditation retreats and conscious workshops. The combination of the buzzing part where you have the option to make a lot of new friends in combination with the inwards travel workshops and emerge yourself in nature is just perfect. We danced, followed yoga classes and visited countless beautiful beaches.
Koh Phangan consists of more than 90% nature. The island is filled with palm trees and the gentle breeze makes the leaves dance while you just see a new beach appear after the hill. The mountainous, still relatively undiscovered east of the island is very quiet. Steep cliffs dominate the rugged coastline. The only way to this side of the island consists of a broken asphalt road that gives you the feeling of being thrown back in a post-apocalyptic film where nature has taken back what humanity once claimed. The path eventually leads to the most idyllic spots.
And then the countless beaches on the island. Thong Nai Pan in the east and Malibu beach in the north are the beaches where we had to be towed because otherwise we would stay forever. We danced with the huge waves on Thong Nai Pan. One with the water, fully enjoying the surroundings. Koh Phangan will surprise you in every way, whatever it is that you expect!