Koh Lipe, Koh Mook, and Koh Kradan are three of the most popular islands in Thailand's southern Andaman Sea, although, not many people have heard about Koh Kradan and Koh Mook. Island hopping between these islands is a great way to experience the natural beauty and cultural attractions of the region.
Koh Lipe is known for its stunning beaches and clear blue waters. It is a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports. From Koh Lipe, you can take a boat to Koh Mook, which is famous for its Emerald Cave, a natural limestone cave with a secret beach hidden inside.
Koh Kradan is another popular island that can be visited on an island-hopping tour from Koh Lanta too which brings you also to the Emerald Cave. It has a beautiful white sand beach and crystal-clear water, making it a great place to swim and snorkel. It is also home to a variety of marine life.
Where to Start
I am a beach lover, palm tree admirer, sun worshiper, seaside regular, sunset stalker, and coconut collector. I LOVE the beach and the SEA and everything which comes with it.
So it is no surprise that my ideal vacation would be spent somewhere in the tropics, island hopping…and south Thailand is the perfect place to do just that.
There are so many beautiful islands in Thailand, it can be difficult to choose which ones to visit on your island-hopping adventure. I suggest staying on each island minimum of 3-4 days so you can explore the beaches, and viewpoints and get a good feel for the place.
Bangkok You can fly from Bangkok to Hat Yai it will take a 1,5-hour flight and grab a minivan plus a speedboat to Koh Lipe, the journey from Hat Yai to Koh Lipe will take about 3/4 hours and will cost 900 Bath per person or 24 Euro You can book your tickets here Another option is to fly from Bangkok to Krabi and start your trip there from Ao Nang or Railay Beach to Koh Lipe and fly back from Hat Yai to Bangkok. From Krabi airport is 30 minutes drive to Ao Nang, tickets can be booked here A shared minivan to your hotel will cost 150 Bath per person about 4 Euro
Phuket from Phuket you can take a taxi shared minivan or a boat to Ao Nang Krabi and start your trip there From Krabi to Koh Lipe. The trip from Phuket will take about 3 hours and will cost from 300 Bath to 500 or a private taxi for about 1200 Bath. You can book your tickets here
Chiang Mai from Chiang Mai you can fly to Krabi or Hat Yai and follow the same steps as from Bangkok
Island hopping in Thailand is becoming increasingly popular. Numerous travelers and backpackers from all over the world come every year to explore the beautiful islands in South Thailand. An itinerary for an island hopping in Thailand trip can be easily put together by yourself and is a great choice to explore the most beautiful places of the country's islands world. The accommodations are good and cheap, and the transport from one island to another is easy to organize. Especially popular are the amazing islands of the Andaman Sea, with the tour from Krabi to Koh Lipe being one of the most spectacular. But what are the best highlights for Thailand island hopping, what are the insider tips, and which islands are a must on any itinerary?
In this travel guide, you will find all the important information about island hopping in Thailand. We give you plenty of tips to plan your itinerary, great recommendations, and show you one of the absolutely best routes for your individual tour.
Island Hopping Itenary
Krabi Ao Nang or Railay Beach and if you have more time you can go first to Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta
Good to know!
The best time for island hopping in the Andaman Sea is from December to the end of April. Then the rainy season is over, and you can enjoy a lot of sun and hardly any rain!
2 weeks of island hopping is just enough to explore some of the best islands in Thailand. However, if you want to see a bit more, 3 weeks or 4 weeks is the perfect amount of time.
Getting between the islands is uncomplicated by speedboat, ferry, or longtail boat. Tickets are available locally, but also online, for example, easy on 12go.asia.
Thailand Island Hopping: Your Perfect Itinerary
Island hopping in Thailand gives you the opportunity to experience some of the absolute most beautiful highlights and beaches of the country. Here you virtually hop from one tropical island pearl to the next, and you will get the chance to visit real dream islands of the typical routes. Here you will find a recommendation for a perfect island-hopping route through the Andaman Sea.
The famous island of Koh Lipe, with its beautiful white sandy beaches and still intact coral reefs, attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Despite the many vacationers, you should absolutely have seen this island jewel once. Especially when diving and snorkeling, you get your money’s worth! Koh Lipe is the first stop on this island-hopping route. More about Koh Lipe
Koh Bulon is probably one of the most stunning islands in Thailand and for many travelers an absolute highlight on every island hopping route. The mini island is undoubtedly still a real insider tip, and you can expect a postcard idyll at its best. Absolutely spectacular are the gorgeous white beaches, the turquoise blue sea, and the breathtakingly quiet flair that surrounds Koh Bulon. In addition, the island is tiny, so you walk from one end of the island to the other in just 20 minutes. Many people skip this beautiful paradise on their way to Koh Lipe. Actually, it’s a pity, this island should definitely be seen.
Koh Kradan is a true dream island and a must when Thailand island hopping! The turquoise blue sea and velvety soft light sandy beach conjure a tropical backdrop like from a picture book. If you like snorkeling, Koh Kradan is the right place for you. At the offshore reef, you have the opportunity to explore a colorful underwater world. You can definitely spend a few relaxing days on this island pearl as well. If you don’t have that much time, the best way to visit this beautiful place is to take a longtail boat trip from the neighboring islands of Koh Mook or Koh Ngai.
Tip: Koh Kradan has only a few accommodations, these should be booked in advance. More about Koh Kradan
Koh Mook is an island that shouldn’t be missed on any island route through South Thailand. Much of this island pearl consists of a deep jungle and intact nature, but you will also find small, charming villages and beaches that are lined with palm trees. In addition, you will find here probably the most famous sight of the Trang region! A real highlight is the Emerald Cave, a sea cave that leads to a pirate bay. Beautiful and another celebrity is Sivalai Beach, most likely one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Tip: For an exceptional stay, we recommend the Sivalai Beach Resort, a dreamlike hotel at the island’s most beautiful beach. For backpackers, we can recommend the lovely Mook Montra.
Koh Ngai (Ko Hai)
Koh Ngai is one of those dream islands where you would like to be stranded. The white, fine sandy beach lined with palm trees and the crystal clear water is simply breathtakingly beautiful. There are no roads, no stores, no noisy tuk-tuks, only peace and relaxation. The island is an absolute paradise and therefore a real insider tip of every island hopping route.
Tip: Really recommendable is the Thanya Beach Resort, which convinces you with dreamlike bungalows, a pool, and an excellent location on the most beautiful beach section of the island.
The island of Koh Lanta has always inspired and is in any case a place that you must have seen and experienced when going on an island hopping trip in Thailand. You can explore the sights of the island best with a scooter, which you can borrow at every corner. Beautiful quiet beaches in Koh Lanta can be found everywhere along the coast, up to the end of the national park. Really great are the quaint hippie bars, which give this island a really chill flair, and from where you can enjoy probably the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand. More about Koh Lanta
Koh Jum (Koh Pu)
Koh Jum is, still, one of the absolute insider tips among backpackers and individual travelers, and moreover, a real highlight of any Thailand island-hopping itinerary. This island is located on the west coast of Thailand, and it is still really tranquil, the locals are extremely hospitable, and the beaches are wonderful for swimming. If you like it very quiet, and you enjoy being part of local life, then you should definitely put Koh Jum on your Thailand Island Hopping list.
Tip: On Koh Jum, you can still find the typical bungalows directly by the sea! Really lovely is the inexpensive Sun Smile Beach, but also the luxurious Koh Jum Beach Villas is a great choice.
Railay Beach is a peninsula, but since the bay is separated from the mainland by deep jungle and can only be reached by longtail boat from Krabi town or Ao Nang, you immediately get a real island feeling. In addition, many small offshore islands await you here, which you can reach via a short trip with the longtail boat on a 4 Island Tour. The gigantic limestone rocks, the jungle, the breathtaking Phra Nang Beach, and the beautiful Railay Beach offer an unbeatable ambiance. A real paradise for beach lovers, but also for climbers!
Tip: Really ingenious is the Railay Bay resort One of only a handful of resorts with beachfront access to Krabi’s famed Railay Beach, the 4-star Railay Bay Resort & Spa is ideally situated on a white sandy beach with crystal clear water, exotic marine life, and colorful coral reefs. Nature can be truly enjoyed with the limestone cliffs of Railay, the beaches of Phra Nang and Ao Nang, as well as the Phra Nang Cave.
Thailand Island Hopping Tips:
Travel Time: The best travel time for island hopping on the west coast of southern Thailand is from November to end-April. During this time, the rainy season should be over, but it can rain occasionally from time to time. In the rainy season, like in Mai, July, August, and September, you have to expect limited ferry connections and plenty of hotels and restaurants will be closed! On the other hand, you will find some amazingly cheap hotel deals.
How long: For a complete tour, we suggested planning at least 3 weeks, better even 4 weeks’ time. If you only have 2 weeks for island hopping, then just think about which island in the south of Thailand you really want to see and skip some other islands. For one week of island hopping, we would recommend visiting the islands of Koh Lipe, Koh Mook, and Koh Kradan.
Cost: Prices for Island Hopping can be very varied depending on if you are traveling on a budget or if you prefer luxury travel. Plan for your trip as a backpacker with a budget of a minimum of 60 euros per day. Of course, for luxury also in Thailand, there are no price limits. Generally, the food in Thailand is quite cheap. For local dishes such as Phat Thai, Green Curry, or Fried Rice, you can count on about 1.00-3.00 Euro per dish. Simple beach huts are available for around 600 baht.
Where to stay: Generally, you will find on each island mentioned above a selection of different accommodations in every price range. The prices vary depending on the season, and you often get cheap bargains in the low season. Higher prices will be charged around Christmastime and holidays.
Rent scooters: Exploring an island by scooter is a fantastic way to see all the amazing beaches and small villages. We did that at Koh Lanta and Koh Jum, and it was a great adventure. But be sure to have the right driver's license for the class motorbike you renting otherwise your insurance will not cover anything by accident.
Getting around: On each of the islands described above, you will find hotels and agencies that will be more than happy to organize your onward transport. If you want to organize your transport ticket in advance, you should use 12go.asia. You usually travel between the islands by speed boat, ferry, or longtail boat. Comparing the prices before booking is always a good idea because there are a variety of providers and variants.
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials What's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Accommodation: Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Agoda.com are the ultimate go-to platforms to search for amazing hostels and hotels at affordable prices.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Day Trips & Tours: Viator, and GetYourGuide, are great platforms to search for activities to do
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.