Relax. You’re on island time.

Welcome to Thai Island Times, your window to coastal Thailand.

Thai islands and coastal areas represent so much more than beaches alone. Each has an identity of its own. My job is to share them.

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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 825 of them, by my latest count. Since you probably can’t hit the islands right now, allow me to bring them to you.

On Ko Bulon, soaking in the view of Ko Thung Khu (left) and Ko Lama.

Meet your host

I’m David Luekens, and the idea for Thai Island Times first bubbled up one night on Ko Chang (Trat) in December 2017.

Having spent most of the last decade covering coastal Thailand for, and contributing island-related stories to CNN Travel, Horizon Guides and others, I’ve been lucky enough to explore, research, photograph and write about more than 80 islands and many 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

Hi. I’m Dave. I like islands.

And a lot more…

In addition to stories from my travels, I also intend to keep you up to date on what’s going on across coastal Thailand. It will all be sliced up into…

Island Wrap

A big bi-weekly round up of news from coastal Thailand to go with the “social media corner,” “video corner,” “island oddity” and one “pick of the Wrap” from the categories of island, beach, business, charity, and website. While the Wrap covers all sorts of topics, special attention is given to environmental issues like coastal erosion, coral rehabilitation, ocean rubbish, sea turtle nesting and many more.

Island Daze

These posts share the beauty, serenity and character of individual Thai islands, mainland coastal areas and much more. They all fall under travel writing rather than news, virtually transporting you to coastal Thailand.

Island Nerd

Follow along as I post about some of the obscurities of coastal Thailand and reveal my system for classifying all of the Thai islands into various categories based on development, geography, size and more.

Island Watch

Occasional reported stories on consequential issues facing Thai islands and coastal areas. Whenever I write these types of stories for other publications, I’ll give you a head’s up as well.

Island Eats

In collaboration with Thai food expert Chin Chongtong of Chili Paste Tour, you can expect an occasional story on the extraordinary food of coastal Thailand.

Ko Kradat. Expect the unexpected.

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 keep track of environmental developments that often receive little attention in other English-language media.

  • To enhance and 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.

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

What 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 Thai Andaman Sea. Whenever possible, I’ll be island hopping while posting to Thai Island Times from the road. When stationary, I’m always keeping tabs on dozens of islands and coastal areas through contacts, social media and news/travel outlets in both the Thai and English languages.

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

Want to dip your toe into all of the above? Go on a visual tour of coastal Thailand. Or, head straight out to sea with a pair of posts on the many shapes and sizes of Thailand’s islands, and how I make sense of them all.

Covering the mainland coast too. Noppharat Thara Beach in Krabi, for starters.

Are publish dates set in stone?

Typically I publish one time each week on Friday at 7:30 A.M., Thailand time (GMT+7). The bi-weekly Island Wrap drops every other Friday, with other posts coming from a mix of the categories mentioned above. I often throw in at least one additional post each month, publishing on a random Tuesday.

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. I’m also working on a non-fiction book about the Thai islands, so stay tuned for that.

Money matters

The whole papaya is free to read for the time being. More on this later.

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.) 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.

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: the new Couchfish and the classic Travelfish Weekly. To learn about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.

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