The south of Thailand is famous for its sandy beaches and beautiful islands like Phuket. But if you’re staying in Bangkok and you don’t have the time to drive south or the money to spend on a plane ticket, these closer-to-home islands are the next best thing. These destinations are all within a couple of hours’ drive and a short boat ride from Bangkok. Ideal for a quick escape, or a longer stay close to the capital. Check out these sunsets, sandy beaches and beautiful jungle surroundings for a vacation to remember.
This lovely little island may not have the whitest sand in Thailand but it is a quaint and friendly place with some nice restaurants, cool bars, and excellent trips into the jungle. There are snorkeling opportunities on the island and the price of food is cheap – the seafood is delicious, and you can enjoy a cool beer while watching the sun set. Koh Chang is 2.5 hours from Bangkok. You can take a ferry from Sri Racha which takes 2 hours to reach the island, or you can go to Koh Chang on a day trip from Pattaya. There are no resorts on Koh Chang but there is plenty of cheap backpacker accommodation available.
Also known as Koh Samet, this island is the place to go if you want to party. The place fills up on the weekends with locals and tourists looking for a place to dance, drink, and have fun. The beaches are nice, although not as spectacular as in Phuket, but the island is an ideal getaway from Bangkok, being only 4.5 hours away from the capital. There is a range of accommodation to choose from, including resorts and luxury bungalows. Take a bus from Bangkok to Rayong and take the ferry or speedboat to the island.
Koh Larn is a mere three hours from the capital and is often referred to as Coral Island. This is one of the most attractive islands close to Bangkok that offers white sands and plenty of space for relaxation. You’ve also got plenty of choice in terms of watersports, restaurants, bars, and activities. The eastern coast is popular and can be busy. The western side of the islands is quieter and not very busy even at the weekends. There are a couple of resorts – Xanadu Beach Resort and Lareena Resort By The Sea – and a number of smaller guest houses on this small island. Get there by taking a ferry from the Bali Hai Pier at Pattaya. This trip by sea takes around 50 minutes to get to the island.
Koh Khram Yai
This is a highly secluded, no-amenities island that lies just off the coast of Pattaya. Koh Khram Yai is characterized by sharp, jagged cliffs and clean, beautiful little beaches that you will likely have all to yourself. You will need to bring all your own food and drink, and make sure not to access the island when the turtle breeding program is in operation.
This one is a little different. Koh Kret is a tiny islet that is not famous for its white sands or its turquoise sea. This island is located in the Chao Phraya river and is home to the Mon Tribes – visit this island, which is 45 minutes away from the center of Bangkok – to see how Thais traditionally live, and to check out the abundance of jungle vegetation and the quaint houses. This island makes an ideal day trip – you can even explore it on a bike tour.
If you want a real beach vacation from Bangkok, take a trip to Phuket. Flights are plentiful to the island and you can get there in just a few hours – for more information on Phuket and Bangkok, visit PhuketOn. PhuketOn has all the information you need for a Thai vacation – resorts, hotels, restaurants, and more.