Thailand – KOH SI CHANG

If you’re only in Thailand for a few days, schlepping all the way out from Bangkok to distant islands might not be possible. Instead, grab a day or two on Koh Si Chang (not to be confused with Koh Chang), a two-hour boat ride from the city. It is popular with Bangkok residents who head here for weekend breaks, and even day trips.

While Si Chang hasn’t got the softest white sand of all Thailand’s islands, it still makes a fabulous escape from the hectic, polluted streets of the capital, with its green interior and fishing villages. Grab a meal of fresh seafood at one of the restaurants on Haad Tham Phang beach, or sink a Singha while gazing at the waves from your lounger. Peaceful and almost foreigner-free, Koh Si Chang is your best bet if you’d rather spend your precious few hours on the beach than on a bus or boat.