There are several islands near Bangkok, so you don’t need to go far away from the city to make your tropical beach holiday dream come true. Most of the Thai picture-postcard islands (koh in Thai) are located in the South, but to get there, you either have to fly or spend a whole day on the road. To reach our picks of islands near Bangkok, it takes only a few hours on the road and a quick boat ride. Since they’re easily accessed by public transportation, they become popular weekend getaways for Bangkokians (which means you can easily visit them too!) So, if you don’t have that much time in Thailand but still want to enjoy white sand, turquoise water, and palm-fringed beaches, go ahead and read on our top picks now.
And while you’re planning a trip in Thailand, don’t forget that our country is not all about beaches and temples. To make the most of your holiday, it’s best to also experience culture and the people. Consider a home stays, a food tour, or any kinds of cultural tours that give you local experiences. With Bangkok Food Tours for instance, you can experience the city’s multiple cuisines and be connected with the locals. Explore our available fun and tasty tours here!
#1 Island near Bangkok
Koh Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง)
Si Chang is the nearest island to Bangkok and is only one hour from the famous Pattaya. Beach fans might not be very impressed with this island as there are few beaches here and the ones that exist are rather rocky. But if you’re into meeting friendly locals, visiting temples and historical ruins, and exploring fisherman villages and bustling ports, Koh Si Chang should be included in your Thailand visit. Nature lovers will find lots of snorkeling opportunities and secluded jungle pathways for hiking. The island is great for a day trip from Bangkok but 2 days is a perfect length to explore the island with an easy pace yet not too long before you get bored.
Visit King Rama V’s Summer Palace (Chudhadhuj Ratchathan Palace) – The palace is a fine sample of Thai colonial architecture (combination of Thai and European architecture). Its 3 beautiful mansions and a Buddhist chedi have been popular photo spots of the island.
Watch a sunset over the island from Khao Phra Chulachomklao hilltop. With 300 steps rising from the ground, this viewpoint also offers a 360 degree view of the island. You may visit the much revered Buddha’s foot print and Chao Poh Khao Yai Chinese shrine en-route
Dine at the seaside Sichang Grill. The restaurant serves fresh seafood by kilos at very reasonable prices.
At Bangkok’s Ekkamai Bus Station, take a 2-hour bus ride to Sri Racha (ศรีราชา) where ferries go to Koh Si Chang. In Sri Racha, get off at Robinsons Department Store and take a Tuk Tuk or a motorbike to Koh Loi pier (ท่าเรือเกาะลอย). Ferries leave the pier every hour and takes 40 minutes to reach the island.
#2 Island near Bangkok
Koh Lan (เกาะล้าน)
Of course, the nearest beach destination from Bangkok is Pattaya. But don’t go to Pattaya for its beaches. Visit themed parks, zoos, shopping malls in Pattaya, then hop on a ferry to clear azure water and sandy beaches on Koh Lan! This is the best island near Bangkok in terms of white-sanded beaches, pristine nature, and tourist facilities. Most of the island is covered with heavy vegetations. It has 6 main beaches, all of which have plenty of water sport activities. You can fill a day up with parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boating, or easily idly relax on a beach chair.
Hire a motorbike (300 THB per day) and go around the island to find your favorite beach. Tien Beach is the smallest on the island and usually become deserted after 5.30pm – a great place to watch sunsets. Nuan is another quiet beach – wild monkeys can be found here.
Take a one-day snorkeling or scuba diving trip to the nearby Koh Krok and Koh Sak (east and north of Koh Lan respectively)
Go night squid fishing (from around 6pm – midnight) and enjoy sashimi or grilled squid on the boat
GETTING TO THE ISLAND:
Take a minivan at the terminal next to Century Shopping Mall (at Victory Monument). A one-way ticket costs 100-120 THB. In Pattaya, the van will drop you off at Bali Hai pier. Ask for a ferry to Koh Lan. A one-way ferry ticket costs 30 THB.
#3 Island near Bangkok
Koh Samet (เกาะเสม็ด)
Another tropical paradise island near Bangkok, Koh Samet has been a popular long holiday escape for Bangkokians. There are more than 15 beaches offering different landscapes. Most of the them have powdery white sand and several are truly secluded. Sai Kaew is the main beach and all activities happen here. If you’re a mid-range to high-end traveler and seek for supreme privacy, Ao Prao, Samet’s only west-coast beach will be your ideal choice. Near the southern tip, the isolated Ao Wai feels almost as if it’s another island. As Samet is a little further than the first 2 islands, you want to consider spending 3 days minimum on the island.
If you can bear with crowd and people or need the most budgeted accommodation, do Sai Kaew beach. Otherwise, hang out here but sleep somewhere else. The beach is the island’s best spot to socialize and party with a cluster of restaurant-cum-bar serving delicious nightly BBQ and dance parties with live music and DJs. Koh Samet full moon parties do exist but it’s nothing like Koh Pangan’s. They’re merely celebrations in the bars.
Take a windsurfing, sailing, or skimboarding lesson with Seaddict
Pick up a nice handmade accessory from Yut’s. Lovely necklaces and bracelets are made from Shiva shells on the beach every day.
GETTING TO THE ISLAND:
Buses from Bangkok’s Ekkamai Bus Terminal to Ban Phe pier, where you take a ferry to Koh Samet, takes 3.5 to 4 hours, and costs 200 THB. Tickets for the ferry from Ban Phe to the island can be bought at the same counter which sells the bus tickets.
#4 Island near Bangkok
Koh Chang (เกาะช้าง)
The second largest island in Thailand, Koh Chang is not as developed as Samui or Phuket even though they have similar sizes. Numerous activities will keep you occupied when you are not lying on a beach – from scuba diving to elephant trekking. One full day can be easily spent on a scooter to explore beaches and inland waterfalls reached by easy-to-walk trails. Otherwise, serious trekking can bring you to mountain tops where you’ll be awarded with beautiful views. Most of the populated beaches are on the west coast which make any of them perfect sunset viewpoints. White Sand and Klong Prao are the biggest 2 beaches and are catered to high-end experiences, while Kai Bae beach and Lonely Beach attract low-budget travelers and backpackers. Since the island is pretty big and further from Bangkok from the first 3 choices, we recommend spending about 4 days here.
Be Tarzan and view the jungle from a monkey’s point of view at Tree Top Adventure Park Koh Chang
Sleeping in a fisherman village. We recommend Bang Bao since there are several good seafood restaurants here. If you want a more local experience, Salak Phet village is less commercial and more secluded.
Walk the nature trail of Ban Na Nai’s Mangrove Restoration Project. The 2-km red-painted trail will expose you to colorful diversity of mangrove forest lives. Look for fiddler crabs which have one arm obviously bigger than the other. They live on the mud ground.
GETTING TO THE ISLAND:
From Bangkok, minivans in front of Raj Vithi Hospital take you all the way to Ao Thammachat pier on Koh Chang (yes, the van boards on a car ferry). The vans are available every hour. Make sure you leave before noon since the last ferry leaves the mainland to Koh Chang at 7pm. Alternatively, you can take buses from Ekkamai Bus terminal.
#5 Island near Bangkok
The Man Islands (หมู่เกาะมัน)
There are 3 Man Islands – Nai, Klang, Nork or Inner, Middle, and Outter respectively. The islands keep up the reputation to their nicknames, Maldives of Thailand. The Man Nai has been developed into a Sea Turtle Preservation Sanctuary under the royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen. You can make a day trip to visit the sanctuary and to snorkel here but can’t stay overnight. Koh Man Klang and Man Nork have one resort on each, and such make perfectly seclusive tropical island holiday escapes (think Castaway). To reach Man Klang and Man Nork, you have to buy tour packages from the resorts which include boat transfers from the Rayong mainland’s nearest pier. The island relies on electricity generator which is turned off at certain times of the day. But no phone, no internet only allow you to enjoy the present moments better.
Activities on the Man Klang and the Man Nai islands are included in the packages and they are such as snorkeling, sunset watching (at their secret spots). Things you can do on your leisure time is such as kayaking.
GETTING TO THE ISLAND:
Koh Man Nai: In Bangkok, buses from Ekkamai Bus Terminal leaves for Mae Phim Beach and takes 4-5 hours. At the beach, you can buy day tour packages to the island.
Koh Man Klang: Contact the resort, Mantakiri
Koh Man Nork: Contact the resort, Koh Munnork Private Island By Epikurean Lifestyle