Why we always go to Thailand’s Islands… & why you should too!


We have been to Thailand’s islands 17 times since 2006. People have said to us, “Oh! You could have been to Mexico,” or Costa Rica, or some other place that they had just been to for their holidays. They ask us why we don’t go somewhere new. And they don’t understand why we always choose to go to Thailand’s islands. It’s a good question. So we’ve written this post to let you know the reasons to visit Thailand and why you should go to Thailand’s islands on your next trip too!

But first, let’s talk about the appeal of going to new places and why we travel. We love traveling and going to new places because we learn new cultures and languages, taste diverse foods, and see different sights. When we have an opportunity to stay in a place longer, we get to relax and fully immerse ourselves in the culture, unwind, let go, grow, and be happy.

In fact, this is why we return to Thailand’s islands every year. We are continually doing all of the above. These are the main reasons to visit Thailand!

And we have done this since we fell in love with Thailand ever since our first visit over 20 years ago. We have also been to over 50 countries in the world, and we’ve had incredible adventures. But in Thailand, we know we can return to a place we love and yet have new experiences every time we go.

Why We Love Thailand & Reasons to Visit Thailand


Thailand is a country bursting with stunning beaches, lush jungles, spectacular temples, beautiful monuments, and historic sites. And over the years, we have taken trips to cities, rural villages, beach towns, to jungles.

In Thailand, we have found a place different from our way of life. A place where people prioritize living and laughing. We have some of our most happy moments in Thailand.

While we love Thailand island hopping, the places we love the most are the islands in The Gulf of Thailand on the East Coast Thailand. Our favorite and most beautiful islands in Thailand are Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Between these 2 islands, we find everything we need to give us the best few months of our lives each year!

We have met many people who prefer one of the other islands in Thailand. There are many islands for different needs. And before you choose an island for your Thailand holiday, you should research and find the right one for you.

Some all-time favorite Thailand islands of many travelers and some of the best islands to visit in Thailand include Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Koh Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Samet & Koh Yao Islands.

And by the way, did you know that Thailand’s tropical climate means there’s no cold winter? In fact, the official winter months usually average the more pleasant daily temperatures of 85 °F (29°C.)

For those serious about Thailand island hopping, get yourself a copy of Lonely Planet Thailand’s Islands & Beaches. For a wealth of information and tips, we travel everywhere with Lonely Planet.

Our Thailand Favourites & why you should go to Thailand’s islands on your next holiday

Beachfront Paradise on Thailand’s Islands


To start with, the absolute best part of our trip is staying in basic wooden bungalows on the beachfront. There are not many places in the world you can do this! Waking up every day by the water with a magical panoramic sea view is “Living our dreams.”

We choose a budget-priced basic bungalow. Our only priority is the beachfront. But there are all levels of accommodation, from air-conditioned backpacker hostels to jungle retreats to 5-star resorts servicing all of your needs. For us, a bungalow on the water’s edge, a hammock on our balcony, and the calm blue seas are what we dream of, and it is one of our main reasons to visit Thailand.

It’s All About The People Who Make You Smile

Thailand is known as the land of smiles, and rightfully so, as the Thais are very friendly and welcoming. Meeting lovely people and returning and getting to know them better are one of the reasons we keep coming back. They teach us about language, culture, and life. We also learn to adopt the ‘Mai Pen Rai’ attitude of No worries, and that is what makes life happier! We embrace this cultural philosophy.

Island life is laid-back, and you have opportunities to meet other travelers. Many foreigners have chosen the Thai Islands as a place to call home. Seeing friends that we have known for years is one of our highlights of a visit to our favorite islands.

Exotic food in Thailand is One of the Major Reasons to Visit Thailand


Some of the best food we have ever eaten is in Thailand. If you ask most people the question, “What is Thailand famous for?” they will tell you about the beaches, the temples, and Thailand’s exotic food. With its combination of fresh ingredients, herbs, and spices, Thai cuisine is mouthwatering.

Some of our favorite Thai food includes:

  • The spicy & sweet Panang Chicken Curry
  • Garlic & Pepper Squid
  • Stir-Fried Morning Glory
  • Prawn Cakes
  • Pad Thai

Thais are enthusiastic about food, and you will often see them in groups sharing a family-style meal from platters of food.

Thailand is well-known throughout the world for its delicious street food. The food is generally safe as you can see the fresh food being cooked in front of you. It’s one of our favorite things to do, especially going to the night food markets they have on the islands. It’s also a great place to interact with locals.

Some of our favorite Thai Street Food includes:

  • Grilled chicken skewers
  • Grilled seafood BBQs
  • Spring rolls
  • Papaya salad
  • Mango sticky rice
  • The delicious pots of spicy curries made in the traditional style.

Jungles, Wildlife & Marine Life


Another reason we love the Thai islands on the East Coast Thailand and in the Gulf of Thailand is the lush jungles and diverse marine life.

Hiking to waterfalls, motorbike riding around the island through the jungle, and swimming in the calm sea with fish, turtles, and sharks, are a few of our favorite things that we get excited about.

We also love it when we see animals in the wild, like monkeys and giant lizards, and farm animals, like cows, bulls, and buffalo.

Easier On The Budget

Oh, did we mention cheap? Besides paying for plane tickets to get there, things are low-priced. Though you find ways to save money the more you know a place, even first-timers find the beautiful islands in Thailand are cheap. You can find cocktails for $4, restaurant meals for $4, and if you really want to go budget, basic huts are around $20 a night, or an air-conditioned dorm bed for only $10.

Islands like Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, and Koh Lanta offer the best options and are the best islands in Thailand for backpackers.

And Doesn’t it Get Boring?


Never! Thailand is a vast country with much diversity. And when we get bored with island life, our Thailand islands itinerary always includes Thailand island hopping and a visit to the Thai mainland. However, we are so busy drinking our fresh coconut and absorbing the panoramic sea views that we have trouble getting out of our hammocks. And we never want to leave!

And we don’t need to leave. There are many fun activities like boat trips around the island, daily snorkeling in different bays, swimming in the blue calm and tepid waters, and enjoying the scenic views everywhere. Then there is dining out in restaurants with epic panoramas, visiting temples (Koh Phangan has many), and going for a Thai massage or steam room. To top off fun and pleasurable days, there are drinks on the beach at sunset time, bar hopping, and going to parties to dance.

Read Next – Top 10 things to do in Koh Tao – the Tropical Island Paradise in Thailand.

Living in the Now on Thailand’s Islands

Most of all, it is fun living in a sarong, and we don’t really need all that stimulation. Not having to do anything is the best rejuvenation!

It is refreshing to have time to think and feel the moment. We love having philosophical flashes and epiphanies. We have quality time together and no pressure to do anything. These are the things that make you stronger mentally and emotionally, and then you feel anything is possible.


So now you know why we always go to Thailand’s islands and the reasons to visit Thailand.

And there is no rush, right?

But there is! As life is short, as you may know. And this is why we spend it somewhere we love, doing what we love.

Visit Thailand’s islands, we are sure you will love them as much as we do, and we will see you here each year too!


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19 Replies to “Why we always go to Thailand’s Islands… & why you should too!”

  1. I was only in Bangkok for a couple days when I was in Thailand but that was enough to make me want to return, and I definitely want to check out the islands on my next trip as it looks so relaxing and peaceful!

  2. We were so glad we got a little taste of Thailand’s islands on our visit. I can certainly understand why you would want to go back year after year. We missed Koh Tao but our son visited and fell in love. It is definitely on our list for a return visit. We loved the fresh fish and loads of veggies in Thai food. As long as we could get it without hot spices! I think it would take many visits to Thailand before we would get bored. We are water babies and it would take a long time to explore all the great underwater sights!

  3. Fantastic post, Oli and we could not agree more! Koh Tao is one of our favorite places on earth and Thailand is one of our top 3 countries. Great tips and information! Always such a pleasure to read.

  4. Thailand is so beautiful…I really need to make it a priority. Two of my sisters-in-law are originally from there and I know they would give me a fabulous cultural tour from a local’s perspective. I travel to the Mayan Riviera every year and I do a whole lot of nothing. I’ve seen all the touristy things over the years so I love to sit on the beach and watch the ocean do its thing…and I catch up on my reading challenge.

  5. You had me at “a bungalow on the water’s edge, a hammock on our balcony and the calm blue seas” ! This is my kind of place. I love the slow pace and living in the moment. So much to do in this beautiful place too. And I adore Thai food! What is it like in November? I may have an opening…..

    1. You Definitely should have atleast one visit to Thailand.
      November is monsoon season in the Gulf of Thailand.The weather is very rainy and windy. And rough seas.
      But on the West Coast it is better. Krabi is a beautiful town there that combines local culture, beautiful landscapes, great food. And a stepping stone for islands there.

  6. I’m convinced. You have it made there in Thailand in the summer. Thailand comes up in our conversations regularly but we have yet to make the leap (I’m convinced just twisting Beata’s arm still). I do love your philosophy, it’s a breath of fresh air. A bit like the islanders there. A fine read Oli.

  7. I love your perspective that you can have new experiences in the same location. So true! I’ve been to the Thailand islands once but I think I need to go back! 🙂

  8. Thailand… I will eventually get there! Thank you for inspiring me to yet again put Thailand up there on my bucket list. And thanks for recommending Koh Toa and Koh Phangan Islands. They sounds simply awesome. I must admit I had never heard of these islands before 🙂

    1. We would recommend for a first visit to go to Koh Samui too. There is many things to see and do.
      And you absolutely must go to the cultural centre of Thailand – Chiang Mai.

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