Relax. You’re on island time.

Welcome to Thai Island Times, an e-newsletter sharing the beauty, challenges and distinctive identities of Thailand’s many islands and coastal areas.

Share Thai Island Times

You’re reading the first and only publication devoted exclusively to ALL of the islands and coastal areas of Thailand. Stick with me for a while, and I promise to introduce you to every Thai island. Yep, all 826 of them, by my latest count. Since you probably can’t hit the islands right now, allow me to bring them to you.

Meet your host

I’m David Luekens, and I launched Thai Island Times during Thailand’s nationwide coronavirus-related “lockdown” in April 2020.

Having spent most of the last decade covering coastal Thailand for Travelfish, and contributing island-related stories to CNN Travel, Horizon Guides and other outlets, 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 on a quest to visit every island in the country, and Thai Island Times is my way to share that journey with you. I also do freelance writing and travel consulting; check out some of my clips and feel free to contact me at

This e-newsletter…

  • Virtually transports you to Thai islands and coastal areas through words and images, often focusing on smaller and lesser-known islands and beaches. These types of articles are filed under the Island Daze category.

  • Peels back the layers of islands and coastal areas by revealing insights related to geography, environment, conservation, terminology (i.e. island names) and natural and social history. These are filed under Island Nerd.

  • Researches news and happenings in coastal Thailand to compile the weekly Island Wrap articles. Covering a wide range of topics, these are divided into “travel and environment” and “health and tourism” editions, with each published on alternating weeks.

  • Reports on consequential issues facing Thai islands and coastal areas, from coral rehabilitation to indigenous rights to the reopening of inbound tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic and much more. While stories dedicated to specific issues fall under the Island Watch category, I also share information on these types of issues in the weekly Island Wraps.

  • Reflects on my journey encompassing more than a decade of almost non-stop travel in Thailand, especially its islands and coastal areas. Featuring unusual, humorous and thrilling recollections from the road, these stories typically fall under Island Daze or Island Eats when food is involved.

To see examples of the content you’ll find here, refer to the table of contents for links to all ‘evergreen’ articles ever published on Thai Island Times.

What is the point?

  • To be an enjoyable, useful resource for anyone interested in Thai islands and mainland coastal areas.

  • To keep you up to date on what’s happening in this part of the world.

  • To chronicle environmental issues that often receive little attention.

  • To cultivate a sense of community across coastal Thailand.

  • To introduce you to Thai islands and coastal areas that you may not know about.

  • To promote responsible travel, environmentally and socially, and to give family-run businesses a boost. I accept no comps, freebies or “pay for play.” Any business you see here is one that I genuinely appreciate.

How much does it cost?

The whole papaya is free for the time being, but if you’ve been enjoying the newsletter, please help to keep it going by making a monthly contribution of $5 if you’re able. If you’d prefer to make a one-time contribution, you can do so here. For a Thai bank transfer, please contact me via the email found below. Thanks for reading.

Which places are covered?

All of coastal Thailand is in play, from Ko Kood in the eastern Gulf of Thailand all the way down to Ko Yara Tot in the lower 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 five small provinces that touch the upper Gulf in the vicinity of metro Bangkok. The Island Wrap articles occasionally touch on other parts of the country as well.

Are publish dates set in stone?

Typically I publish twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday.

Is this only a newsletter?

Nope. You’ll find me discussing coastal Thailand over on Twitter, and other social media accounts are on the way.

Photographs and words

Are original and copyrighted to David Luekens, unless otherwise noted. (Travelfish Pty. Ltd. holds rights to many of the photos as well.) Photos and text in this e-newsletter may not be copied or repurposed without permission. Plagiarism is theft. I do offer non-exclusive rights to most photos at reasonable rates. If you like an original photo enough to put it on your wall, please contact for a price quote on a print.

What now?

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


Something going on that you’d like to see covered on Thai Island Times, from news stories to events? Or maybe you simply want to have a yarn with another island nerd?
Get in touch with me at


To Stuart McDonald, co-founder of, for help with promoting Thai Island Times. If you haven’t yet, do check that site out along with his two fantastic newsletters: Couchfish and the classic Travelfish Weekly. To learn about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack. 🌴

Share Thai Island Times