As the story goes, I seem to like the islands the most. I've been to and stayed at a few of them; and since Jan 1, 2021, live on one. What is it that's so nice about them? Pretty much most things important in a tropical paradise.
- You have to get to them across water, by boat or ferry. The one I live on, Phuket, is one of the few with an international airport. Also, a bridge. One the other hand, I live at the southern tip. It's an hour drive to the airport, tack on another 15 to get to the bridge. Kind of an island on the island.
- Because they are relatively small and surrounded by water, they enjoy a more profound effect from the natural ocean currents, so the beaches, corals, and fish life tend to be better than off the mainland.
- They tend to have their own character, I suppose that applies anywhere. But it's an island character or culture. Difficult to explain. You know it when you see it.
- #1 tends to give them a sort of remoteness or exclusivity. They don't seem boring when not much is really "going on." Rather, it's often preferable.
The only real downside is that they tend to be more expensive, and the added expense is proportional to the added transportation cost of goods. Here's the islands I've visited since arriving in Thailand mid-Jan 2020.