Welcome to Thailand: the land of smiles, where turquoise waters, white sands, and lush landscapes await you. Thailand is renowned for its stunning islands, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. From the vibrant nightlife of Phuket to the tranquil beaches of Koh Phi Phi, island hopping in Thailand is a must-do for any traveler. Below, we’ll explore the different transportation options, including airlines and ferry companies, to help you plan your island-hopping adventure.
When it comes to island hopping in Thailand, you have several transportation options at your disposal. One of the most popular ways to travel between islands is by taking a ferry. These ferry services are efficient and offer a scenic experience. Additionally, speedboats and long-tail boats are available for shorter distances or private charters. Flights are also available to some islands.
The travel times between islands vary depending on the distance and mode of transportation chosen.
For example, if you’re heading to the famous Phi Phi Islands from Phuket, the ferry ride takes around two hours, while a speedboat journey can be completed in approximately 45 minutes.
There are numerous ferry companies that operate in Thailand, ensuring easy access to the islands. Most ferries offer both indoor and outdoor seating areas, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views of the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand. Some ferries even have onboard amenities such as cafes, restrooms, and Wi-Fi.
Some of the recommended ferry companies include Lomprayah, Seatran Discovery, and Songserm. These companies offer reliable services with a range of ferry types to suit different preferences and budgets.
Beware that rocky waters may cause seasickness for some travelers. We were fine on most of our ferries, but the last trip was right after a rainy day and it wasn’t the best experience for a few of us. So, be sure to bring motion sickness medicine if you get seasick.
BUYING FERRY TICKETS:
Buying ferry tickets in Thailand is relatively straightforward. You can purchase tickets directly at the ferry terminals or through various online platforms. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred departure time.
Online platforms like 12go.asia and directferries.com offer convenient booking options, allowing you to compare prices and schedules from different ferry companies.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE FERRIES:
Plan your itinerary in advance: Research the ferry schedules and plan your island-hopping route accordingly. This will help you optimize your time and ensure smooth transitions between islands.
Be mindful of the weather: Thailand’s weather can be unpredictable, especially during the monsoon season. Check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for possible delays or cancellations due to adverse conditions.
Stay hydrated and bring snacks: While some ferries may have onboard cafes, it’s always a good idea to bring some water and snacks for the journey, especially if you have dietary restrictions or preferences.
Arrive early: To avoid any last-minute rush or confusion, arrive at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This will give you ample time to check-in and board the ferry.
FLYING TO THE ISLANDS:
If you’re pressed for time or prefer a quicker way to travel between islands, flying is an excellent option. Some of the reputable airlines that fly to the islands include Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and AirAsia. These airlines offer regular flights from major cities like Bangkok and Phuket to destinations such as Koh Samui, Krabi, and Phuket. Flying not only saves time, but it also provides an opportunity to admire Thailand’s scenic aerial beauty.
While all the islands have their unique charm, some places stand out as more kid-friendly.
Phuket: Known for its family-friendly resorts, Phuket offers a wide range of activities for kids, including water parks, elephant sanctuaries, and child-friendly beaches like Kata and Nai Harn.
Koh Samui: This island boasts beautiful beaches, calm waters, and a range of family-friendly resorts with kid’s clubs and activities. Explore the Namuang Safari Park or the Samui Aquarium for an educational and fun experience.
Koh Lanta: With its laid-back atmosphere and calm beaches, Koh Lanta is perfect for families seeking a relaxed island experience. There are plenty of accommodations suitable for families, and snorkeling trips to nearby islands offer a chance to explore the underwater world.
Koh Phi Phi: While Phi Phi is known for its vibrant nightlife, it also offers family-friendly activities during the day. Take a boat tour to nearby Maya Bay, where the movie “The Beach” was filmed, or simply enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters.
Whether you choose to explore the white-sand beaches of Phuket, the vibrant marine life of Koh Phi Phi, or the tranquil shores of Koh Lanta, there’s an island to suit your preferences. Island hopping in Thailand is an incredible adventure that allows you to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture. So, pack your bags, embrace the tropical vibes, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Thailand!