Every island in Thailand.

Welcome to Thai Island Quest (formerly Thai Island Times), an independent, reader-supported newsletter sharing the beauty, challenges and distinctive identities of Thailand’s islands and coastal areas. Yes, all of them.

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Pulling up to Ko Gai in Krabi.

Introducing the Thai Island Directory

I believe that when completed, the Thai Island Directory will be the most complete guide to Thailand’s islands and coastal areas ever written in English. Containing brief but useful info on 800+ islands and a slew of mainland coastal areas divided into seven coastal zones, this book-in-progress is currently being published piecemeal, right here at Thai Island Quest. You can view all published sections at the working T.I.D. table of contents or the TIQ welcome page.

Meet your host

I’m David Luekens, and I launched this newsletter during Thailand’s nationwide Covid ‘lockdown’ in April 2020.

Having spent most of the 2010s covering coastal Thailand for Travelfish, and contributing island-related stories to CNN Travel, Business Traveller, Horizon Guides and others, I’ve been lucky to explore, research, photograph and write about more than 80 islands and most of the mainland coastal areas in Thailand.

Now I’m attempting to visit every island in the country while sharing much of what I photograph and learn right here at Thai Island Quest.

I also do freelance writing and travel consulting; check out some of my clips and feel free to contact me at luekensd@gmail.com.

Hi. I’m Dave. I like islands.

This e-newsletter…

  • virtually transports you to Thai islands and coastal areas, often focusing on smaller and lesser-known islands and beaches;

  • reveals insights related to geography, environment, conservation, terminology and natural and social history;

  • gradually covers all coastal Thai regions, including mainland coastal areas, in a comprehensive and systematic way;

  • draws attention to small businesses and charities doing good things in the region.

  • promotes responsible travel, environmentally and socially;

  • always pays its own way, never accepting freebies or other perks in exchange for promotional writing;

  • shares the pure joy of traveling Thailand’s islands and shorelines.

To see examples of what you’ll find here, check out the welcome page for links to all ‘evergreen’ articles ever published in this newsletter.

What is the point? THIS. Earning the view on Ko Adang.

How much does it cost?

For $5 / month or $50 annually, a paid subscription bags you access to the entire Thai Island Directory, the world’s only guide that attempts to include every single island in Thailand (800+ and counting) along with many mainland coastal areas, as it’s being published. At least 4 monthly posts are for paying subscribers only.

In addition to supporting independent media, a paid subscription gains you access to all coverage of the more obscure islands and coastal areas of Thailand — coverage that is entirely off limits to free subscribers.

Free subscribers receive limited coverage of mid- to high-popularity areas as well as a monthly Island Wrap and at least one feature-length article per quarter.

Which places are covered?

All of coastal Thailand is in play, from Ko Kut in the Eastern Gulf of Thailand all the way down to Ko Sarai in the Southern Thai Andaman Sea.

Specifically, coverage includes all 24 of Thailand’s coastal provinces: Trat, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Chonburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Kahn, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, Satun, Trang, Krabi, Phuket, Phang Nga, Ranong, and the 5 small provinces that touch the upper Gulf in the vicinity of metro Bangkok.

Is this only a newsletter?

You’ll sometimes find me discussing coastal Thailand over on Twitter as well.

Photos and words

are original and copyrighted to David Luekens unless otherwise noted. All photos and text in this newsletter may not be copied or repurposed without permission. Plagiarism is theft. I do offer non-exclusive rights to most photos at reasonable rates, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in a single photo or running a whole article that appears here at another publication.

What now?

Sit back, relax and enjoy some islands in your inbox.


luekensd@gmail.com 🌴

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Sharing the beauty, challenges and distinctive identities of Thailand's islands and shorelines. Yes, all of them.


David Luekens 

Focusing on Thai islands and coastal areas.