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Koh Phi Phi, Thailand (1)  | ©  Courtesy of Jorge Brazil/Flickr
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand (1) | © Courtesy of Jorge Brazil/Flickr
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The Best Thai Islands To Visit To Avoid Tourists

Picture of Kelly Iverson
Updated: 23 January 2017
Tourism is essential in order for Thailand’s economy to thrive. While everyone can appreciate those who contribute to this livelihood, sometimes visitors simply want to escape those selfie-stick holding tourists and find their own piece of paradise. Here, the best Thai islands to visit to avoid tourists.

Koh Yao Noi

Phuket might be considered the Pearl of the Andaman, but this popular tourist destination is decorated with a number of equally as beautiful outlying islands. One of the most secluded of them all is Koh Yao Noi. Tourists are instead replaced with local Thais, who make their money by coconut farming and fishing as opposed to the tourism industry, which is the number one source of income on the island of Phuket. The eight-mile long island has a mere 3,000 people inhabiting it and it has a stunning geographical make-up. Treks through the jungle and kayaking its coastline are some of the most popular things to do on this secluded island.

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Thailand Nov 2011 – Paradise Resort, Koh Yao Noi | © Courtesy of Rev Stan/Flickr

Koh Lanta Noi

Travellers making their way to the Land of Smiles may have caught wind of the islands of Koh Lanta. It remains the less visited destination in comparison its well-known neighbors, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, who continue to win popularity contests because of their unique combinations of their idyllic beaches and thriving party scenes. The island of Koh Lanta Noi, the smaller of the two islands that make up Koh Lanta, remains largely deserted and quiet. This overlooked island is usually only visited by those travellers passing through on their way to its neighbouring tourism hot spots. Those looking for complete privacy and seclusion, however, should stay awhile instead. From fishing villages to abandoned beaches, one can surely find ways to spend time on this otherwise forgotten island.

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Sunset – Ko Lanta / Thailand | © Courtesy of Rushen/Flickr

Koh Payam

Wild animals do not always make for the best of company. That being said, those looking for the most secluded of islands might appreciate the company of a monkey or two as opposed to an onslaught of tourists. This is certainly the case on the island of Koh Payam, located on the upper Andaman coast. With only about 500 inhabitants, it is no wonder that an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, snakes, and birds call this island home. In addition to wildlife, the island is made up of forestry worth exploring on foot. With only a handful of bungalows, restaurants, and sleepy bars, this is the perfect island for those looking to get away from civilization and get back to nature.

Koh Kradan

Hat Chao Mai National Park covers an area of 89 square miles. The park was established in 1982, and since then it has been protecting a number of natural coastal landscapes on the west of Trang. Koh Kradan is one of the nine islands part of this national park, making it both underdeveloped and almost equally unvisited. Regardless of this, the island can be easily accessed by boat. It is home to an abundance of wildlife, coral reef, tropical jungle, and more. The island also boasts some of the best diving sites in the country, including a few sunken Japanese ships from World War II that are worth exploring. There are only a few resorts on the island, making it incredibly secluded.

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Sun Sea Sand plus leaves | © Courtesy of syeefa jay/Flickr

Ko Jum

A little over 20 miles south of Krabi and northwest of Koh Lanta is Ko Jum, otherwise known as Ko Pu, or crab island. The small island is only inhabited by about 3,000 people, and their main source of income is from fishing and working on the few rubber plantations found here. This island’s geography has the best of both worlds, with copious amounts of jungles and mountainous terrain in addition to its white sand beaches. Stunning and diverse coral can be found just off the coast, making it a great island to explore both on and off land. There are few choices for accommodation here, with bungalows and resorts in short supply, making it the perfect destination for those wanting to avoid tourists.

Ko Tarutao

The idea of being a castaway on an abandoned island gets a whole lot more interesting when cash is involved. Television series have long transported viewers to remote places all over the world with this same plot line: leave contestants to fend for themselves in isolated places to see what happens. One of these faraway destinations was the island of Ko Tarutao for the CBS television show, “Survivor.” Those who visit will not be forced to hunt for their own meals, but they will experience the same feeling of quiet isolation upon visiting this scenic island. This island is one of the 51 islands in the Ko Tarutao Marine National Park, and it is actually the home of the park’s headquarters.

Koh Chang Noi

People vacation for a number of different reasons. Whether they are escaping stress, responsibilities, or both, people will always find an excuse to pack their bags and make a run to find their own piece of paradise. This is exactly why visitors of Thailand should make their way to the island of Koh Chang Noi. This island sits off the coast of the popular island of Koh Chang, which attracts far more visitors than its smaller counterpart. Also known as Little Elephant Park, the island certainly lacks luxury: no hot water, sketchy wifi, no television, and other modern amenities have yet to make their way to the island. It is for this reason that many tourists tend to steer clear of Koh Chang Noi. The island’s laid-back atmosphere in addition to it remaining off tourists’ itineraries, however, makes it both quiet and secluded, athough there are plenty of things to see and do on the island.