There are several awesome Islands around Thailand, but the 5 best Islands near Bangkok remain the notoriously famous amongst tourists. The Islands are all a quick drive and boat trip from the country’s capital. The islands offer you an escape paradise with a few hours’ drive from the city.
Unlike most of the famous islands around Thailand, where you’ll have to spend hours on the road or flight, our selection of the best islands near Bangkok is not too far from the Thai capital. Even with the remarkable sandy beaches and tropical marvel of other Thai islands, how much fun would it be to spend several hours on the road to and fro a getaway?
Regardless, these islands aren’t handpicked as the best for just nearness. What more is there to them?
1. Koh Samed
Koh Samed or Koh Samet is a trendy island in Thailand for partying students and teenagers. This beauty is widely regarded as the most fun-filled island located around Bangkok. However, it does take more effort and time to get there from the big city. Let’s just say it’s not exactly a day trip.
The island is also known for its clear sandy beaches, and even though it is not as fantastic as the Southern Thailand islands, it is sometimes favored for being few hours from the Thai capital. Statistically, Koh Samed is by far the driest island in Thailand, for its prolonged escape from rainfall evening in rainy seasons. You should also expect the island’s hotels, clubs, and bars to be populated on weekends.
Distance: 220 km, 4 ½ hours.
Direction: Board a bus from Victory Monument in Bangkok or Ekkamai all the way to Ban Phe Pier in Rayong (about 3 ½ hours). A speed can take you to the beach in about 20 minutes, plus a ferry departs every hour.
Accommodation: ranging from 2-star bungalows to 5-star resorts.
2. Koh Larn
Several Bangkok tourists usually find themselves on a beeline searching for sea, sun, and sand for Pattaya. However, they are mostly met with disappointment by the lack of immaculate white sands in the town center. If you are looking to taste the tropical marvel, the best option is to hop on a boat heading to Koh Larn. The island is typically referred to as the Coral Island, which is possibly the best island near Bangkok when it comes to amenities (watersports and restaurants) and white sand-filled beaches.
Koh Larn can be easily reached with a day trip from Bangkok only if you start the journey early enough. The eastern side coastline is decorated with seafood restaurants, plus you can grab a cab to the prettier and quieter western coast to escape from the weekend crowd.
Distance: 140 km, 3 hours.
Direction: Board a bus from Victory Monument in Bangkok or Ekkamai to Pattaya. Ferries usually depart from Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier straight to Koh Larn, and the trip takes around 50 minutes. Another option is the speedboats, which should get you there in half the usual time.
Accommodation: Koh Larn is not entirely developed and small, but there are two excellent places to lodge close to the beach at Larena Resort and Xanadu Beach Resort by the sea.
3. Koh Si Chang
Among the best islands near Bangkok, Koh Si Chang, also called Sichang, is the closest to the city. The island gets its share of foreign and local visitors who often make the weekend outing or day trip from the Thai capital or closeby Pattaya.
As a beach fanatic, you might not be carried away by the quality of the Koh Si Chang’s sand. However, where it fails in sandy beaches, it makes up for with its extraordinary village vibe, snorkeling opportunities, lively port area, scheduled jungle pathways, and several small temple trips. You also have delicious and cheap food options, including the infamous barbequed squid or fish.
Distance: 110 km, 2 ½ hours.
Direction: Board a bus from the Ekkamai bus station in Bangkok to Sri Racha, which takes about 2 hours. Ferries depart from the main pier in Sri Racha every hour, which takes about 40 minutes. A more convenient alternative is to explore the Koh Si Chang Island with a day trip from Pattaya.
Accommodation: You have basic options on the island. If you are going for a day trip, you can stay in one of Pattaya’s luxurious hotels.
4. Koh Kret
Koh Kret is located on the Chao Phraya River. It measures 2 km by 1 km and is famous mostly for the Mon Tribes, who have been the island inhabitants since the 18th century when it was created during the construction of a canal.
You shouldn’t make the trip expecting to find pure turquoise water and beaches, but it does offer a rewarding escape opportunity in the capital. Laying about 20 km outside the central city, Koh Kret provides a fascinating glimpse of what Bangkok was like in the past, coupled with a wealth of greenery, exciting wooden housing, and makeshift pathways.
Distance: 10 km, 45 minutes.
Direction: get a cab to Koh Kret Pier and then hop on a boat to the island (a minute or more). Another alternative to explore the island is a bike tour, where you get picked up from your hotel and taken around the island.
5. Koh Khram Yai
Koh Khram Yai is only a few km from Pattaya’s coastline, and arriving on the island comes with a feeling of being flushed from a shipwreck. There are no bars, restaurants, and hotels – a typically scheduled getaway. The island’s geography has posed a restraint to proper development due to its cliffs and sharp rocks.
Tourists who do seek out this escape spot enjoy the clean, small, and remarkable beaches. If you’re going to be making this trip, you need to bring your drinks and food. Also, due to a current turtle breeding program, access is restricted for some particular times.
Distance: 170 km, 3 ½ hours
Direction: get a cab from the Ekkamai bus terminal in Bangkok to Sattahip (Chon Buri). Ferries depart to the island, and there are several tour operators in Sattahip that can get you to Koh Khram for the day.
Accommodation: the best option is to stay at the close by Buritara Resort & Spa.
It might seem so challenging to pick the perfect destination for your vacation, but you don’t always have to hold an answer to everything. That is what taking a vacation is all about – enjoying the unexpected.
Although there are several amazing spots you can choose to relax in a busy city like Bangkok, you still can’t go wrong with choosing one of the best islands near Bangkok. Follow our guide and get yourself that escape we all deserve!