If you’re anything like us, a romantic getaway isn’t complete without a mesmerising landscape as the backdrop – and Thailand certainly delivers on that front. Think aquamarine waters, watercolour sunsets and silky white sands. Whether romance means a remote escape with just each other’s company, exploring culinary delights on a foodie break or getting stuck into outdoor activities on an adventure holiday, Thailand’s islands deliver romance in abundance no matter your love language. Read on for our roundup of the top five most romantic islands in Thailand which will have you weak at the knees.
First up on our list of the most romantic islands in Thailand is sleepy little Koh Mak – a dream destination for those seeking far-flung peace and castaway-style beaches. With just you, your partner, hundreds of palm trees and miles of sand bearing little to no footprints, this peaceful island will take you back to the days before tourism boomed across Thailand. Beaches like Ao Pra and Laem Son are some of the quietest, and practically tailor-made for those wanting to nestle under the shade of a casuarina tree with a good book. Meandering over to Ao Kao beach will bring a little more action into your day, with picturesque resorts and dainty cafes fringing the coast. Kayaking, scuba diving and even Muay Thai lessons are available too, if you fancy sprinkling some activity into your stay.
Capturing photos together as a couple – cheesy grins and sun-kissed skin at the ready – is a wonderful way to reminisce over a holiday, and with over 70% of Koh Tao blanketed in mountainous terrain, there’s no shortage of breathtaking backdrops to snap. Spots such as John-Suwan Viewpoint, Grape Viewpoint and Mango Viewpoint offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding bays and tropical vegetation and are a feast for the eyes and camera. Evenings in Koh Tao Aare the epitome of romance. Find a table in one of the dreamy dimly-lit restaurants, where warm hospitality and soft music flow freely, and feast on traditional Thai cuisine – think steamed barracuda wrapped in banana leaf, sizzling pork belly with garlic and chilli or a soothing tom yum soup. Stomachs satisfied and selfies snapped, you’ll soon get why Koh Tao deserves its place as one of the most romantic islands in Thailand.
Romance is in abundance beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea surrounding the secluded island of Koh Lipe. Vibrant coral reefs burst with marine life, transporting you to another world as you swim side by side past schools of tropical fish. Back on land, Sunset Beach boasts impressive views of its namesake, allowing you to unwind from a day of underwater adventures as you watch the sky ignite. With few roads and no cars on this island, you can stroll serenely from one end to the other in just 30 minutes, and if you pay a small fee of 50 Thai Baht (around £1) you can hop aboard a taxi boat and motor across to whichever part of the island your heart desires.
The tropical Phi Phi islands are bliss for budding romantics. This cluster of 6 idyllic islands, clad with limestone rock formations, serves up enticing food to share, glistening beaches to stretch across and luxury spas to unwind in. Just the thought of sinking into a hammock at Sunflower Beach Bar, cocktail in one hand and your partners in the other, as you watch the sky paint itself golden is enough to make anyone blush. Koh Pai Island (more commonly known as Bamboo Island) is for the hopeless romantics. The island is suitably in the shape of a heart, and at its beating centre is an explosion of lush green vegetation. Meanwhile, Maya Bay is the place to seduce film lovers. The world-famous location for Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach boasts 300ft-Fhigh karst cliffs, fine white sand and vibrant waters. Things haven’t always been rosy in this patch of paradise though, with cripplingly high visitor numbers wreaking havoc on the coral and wildlife and forcing the beach to close for four years. Things are looking up now though, thanks to new sustainability measures – including a visitor cap, boardwalk and floating dock – which allows visitors to travel responsibly to this popular spot.
Last on our list of the five most romantic islands in Thailand is Koh Samui, snapping up the spot due to its blend of tranquillity and excitement. Staying in areas such as Choeng Mon Beach or Lamai Beach will see you weaving between beach bungalows and massage huts perched on the sugary sands, and feasting on plate after plate of delectable Thai cuisine. Wellness spas are never far from your fingertips if you're looking to unwind, while Chaweng is more buzzy with crowds of partygoers, buckets of fruity cocktails and late-night beats. It’s a stark distinction from the tranquillity of the daytime, but the chance to dance in the moonlight with your special someone to the soundtrack of crashing waves and DJ sets is enough to spark a love affair with Koh Samui.
Written by Evie Buller