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The Most Interesting Islands near Phuket

The Most Interesting Islands near Phuket
1 December 2017

Phuket Island is a province in the southern part of Thailand. It has 32 tiny islands off its coast and it is Thailand’s largest island. Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea off to the west of the country, the Sarasin Bridge connects the island to Phang Nga province to the north. Krabi is the nearest province to the east across Phang Nga Bay.

The region mainly depends on its income from tourism. It has a lot of gems that you should not miss out on seeing on your visit to this fabulous island. You always have something to do on and off the island, it doesn’t matter if it rains or shines. The variety of activities and places to visit from the sublime to the profane make Phuket a remarkable destination with rich and colorful history.

On Phuket, you have much to see and do. Several smaller surrounding islands, each offering its distinctive environment features. It just takes you about two hours to reach them by boat. Most of them have good diving and snorkeling spots, while some others offer excellent lots of sandy beaches to spend a wonderful and quiet day.

Many of the islands offer accommodation from five-star resorts to rustic bamboo bungalows. These places are easily accessible and you can reach them by hiring a long-tail boat or charter.

In Phuket you can find tour operators to ensure that you will get the finest value vacation in Phuket providing all tours to the nearest islands such as Coral island tours, Phi Phi Islands, Raya Island, James Bond Island, Similan islands, Koh Yao Yai island tours, Tachai island day trips, Phang Nga Bay sightseeing trips and Krabi islands.

The capital "Phuket City" has old shop houses and busy markets. Patong "The main resort town" has many discos, bars, and nightclubs.

Let’s check out The Most Interesting Islands around Phuket!

Phi Phi Islands

If you are looking for one of the most enchanting islands in Southeast Asia, Just take a 45-minute speedboat trip and there it is. Phi Phi Island is Thailand’s superstar island, that you should have seen taking place in some of the most successful movies. It is a love at first sight when we can admire the Sheer cliffs tower and then make our way to the jungle. Phi Phi islands include two different isles; Phi Phi Leh and the most famous Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Leh is completely free of human inhabitants and Phi Phi Don is still without roads. When we visit these islands we have to forget the schedule, the hustle, and bustle, no reason to worry about the time. They are located between the large island of Phuket and the western Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands

Eleven gorgeous islands that are located just 84 km north-west of Phuket border with rocky outcrops.

Koh Similan is one of the well-known island groups in the Andaman Sea surrounded by clear blue waters where you can encounter wonders that still await to be discovered, and it is among the most interesting dive areas in the world. Lately, yachts and tour boats are taking this archipelago as one of their favorite destinations. Each of the Similan Islands has a name and number as well. Here they are from south to north:

Island 1: Ko Huyong
Island 2: Ko Payang “Ko Pa Yang”
Island 3: Ko Payan “Ko Pa Yan”
Island 4: Ko Miang “Ko Meang”
Island 5: Ko Ha
Island 6: Ko Payu “Ko Pa Yu”
Island 7: Ko Hin Pousar
Island 8: Ko Similan
Island 9: Ko Ba-Ngu “Ko Bayu”
Island 10: Ko Bon “Ko Talu”
Island 11: Ko Tachai “Ko Hu Yong”

Visit Coral Island

Another popular getaway destination just 15 minutes by boat from The south end of Phuket. Coral Island is known locally as Koh Hae And has two main beaches; Long Beach and Banana Beach. Coral island as its name says has an impressive coral reef and a lot to discover.

These beaches are kind of busy during the day, but at the extremities of both beaches, you can find peace and tranquility.

On Coral Island, you can find the Coral Island Resort and restaurants with toilet facilities, a variety of impressive cuisines, and they offer other services like chairs and loungers.

Racha Islands

Racha Islands

The Racha islands are two islands about 12 km south of Phuket. They are Racha Yai and Racha Noi. They are very popular among tourists for being an excellent diving and snorkeling destinations.

Racha Yai
lately, has been rapidly growing with many bungalows. It is a place that is getting traveler’s attention, as they come to stay for a while with resort operations developing up in the recent years.

Racha Yai
has two bays; the main bay called Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow and the other large bay is Ao Siam.

Ao Tawan Tok is kind of busy in the afternoon with visiting boats and Ao Siam is a beautiful place with lonely strolls and perfect for snorkeling.

Racha Noi
is uninhabited and has no resorts or accommodations services, but the area is a great diving place.

Phang Nga Bay

is great to explore by boat where there are dotted tiny islands of different shapes. Something that makes Phang Nga Bay distinctive is the karsts that stand vertically out of the emerald green water.

The most famous spots in this bay are James Bond Island and Koh Payee. To enjoy this spectacular scenery and quiet beaches without many encounters with the visitors; you should take boat trips from the northern end of Phuket.

Koh Yao Islands

are two large islands right in the middle of Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi, they are Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. On Koh Yao Noi the fast growth of the island is noticeable even though, it still remains a quiet refuge compared to the crowds of Phuket, while the development is remarkable. Koh Yao received the world Legacy from Conservation International and National Geographic Travelers magazine in 2002 gaining worldwide attention.

There are many activities that tourists can do like kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and swimming. Here you cannot find banking facilities, and restaurants and shops are available just on Yao Noi.

It is important to respect the local culture, the islanders like to preserve their traditional ways, remember to get some cash before leaving. It's better to overestimate than underestimate.

Other fascinating Islands Around Phuket

Koh Khai Nok

It is a small island hidden in Phang Nga Bay about 30 minutes from the east coast of Phuket and not visited by many, still, a hidden gem.

It is a 12 sq. km island belonging to the Mu Koh Similan National Park in Phang Nga Province. Here you have the perfect sites to dive since 2010 when Kok Tachai hosted snorkeling day trips just one hour by speedboat. You can find a pristine environment and a variety of species, perfect to snorkel in one of the top dive destinations in the world according to the National Geographic Society.

Visit Koh Panyee

Koh Panyee is in Phang Nga province, which you can reach by a 20-minute long-tail boat trip from Surakul pier in Phang Nga Bay. This is a magical land to wonder what it is like to live there. Koh Panyee is the Island of the Flag because inhabitants raised a flag atop its highest cliff. Toh Baboo and his family coming from Indonesia were the first settlers on Koh Panyee about 200 years ago looking for the best island to fish on.

What can you see on this small island? Koh Panyee is a tiny island with many huts, shacks, bars, restaurants, and many houses where most of them are built on stilts over the surrounding shallow water. This is a fascinating area of informal engineering where fishing was the predominant industry for these villagers and now it is number 2. And fisherman represents 40% of the local’s tourism industry. It is a tiny island but you can find a school for the community, a mosque church, a health service center, many shops, and some restaurants in front of the sea to enjoy the seafood. Koh Panyee has bungalows for overnight accommodations at a reasonable price.

Koh Rang Yai Island

It is located 5 km off the east coast of Phuket. It has a beach of one km long and is mostly visited by day trippers when they are returning from Phang Nga Bay.

This is a beach to have fun with the warm water, ride a bike in some interior paths, play volleyball on the beach, and feel the tranquility of this fascinating island. It is a western facing beach ideal for those water sports like snorkeling. And for those who like to pick something to eat there are some bars and restaurants among the trees. This island has a pearl farm that is worth a visit to look at the beautiful unique products. A good way to travel to this island is by long-tail boats from Phuket.

Surin Islands

Surin Islands

It’s a 5 islands archipelago: Koh Klang, Koh Surin Nuea, Koh Ri, Koh Surin Tai and Koh Khai. They are more or less than 60 km off the west coast of the province of Phang Nga and near to the Similans islands in Mu Koh Surin National park.

Most people love Surin Islands because there they find a quiet hideout far from urban centers and tourist crowds. These islands are perfect for diving, snorkeling, game fishing, and hiking; which are the favorite sports that most tourists love practicing when they go there. And for those who are looking for more comfort, traveling on a cruise is also available in Phuket.

The first island Koh Surin Nuea has some bays, the longest one is Ao Mae Yai on the southwest, which has gentle waters and safe port, and the second one on the southeast side is Ao Luek with a variety of marine life and shallow corals.

Naka Yai Island

If you can afford to stay at the Naka Noi, a Collection Resort & Spa, It will be a good idea because from there you can enjoy this enchanting island. You cannot find many things to do in Naka Yai Island, but this is the place to swim, take strolls on the beach and sunbathe. It is also the island of pearls because there is a site where they cultivate South Sea pearls and there you can see how they extract and develop these beautiful beads.

Naka Yai Island has one small fish village on the west side and now it is turning into an attractive resort location, simply a magical place with its longest beach with chairs and umbrellas for rent. If you want to stay all day long, you have to bring your own food.

Koh Hong Islands

These islands are on the coastline of Krabi, and they are excellent to enjoy the white virgin sand. These amazing groups of small islands are full of tropical scenery; coral reefs and a wonderful lagoon, you can also enjoy various activities during the day such as kayaking, swimming, fishing, picnicking, sunbathing, and snorkeling. These islands belong to The Koh Hong archipelago with about twelve islands, many of them are very small that they do not have beaches to stay but the big ones have great beaches that are rarely crowded because there are few activities to do.

Koh Thap and Koh Mor

These are two small islands in the Mu Koh Poda group about nine kilometers from Ao Nang. If you take the long-tail boat from the resort's town in Krabi, it will take you about 30 minutes to be there. From these tiny islands you can access Chicken Island (Koh Kai) during the low tide, just 500 meters away.

They became famous due to their distinctive shape and the crystal clear water that is perfect for snorkeling, taking advantages of both sides of the beaches.

The best way to reach these two islands that are divided by a sandbar is taking the speedboat to Krabi four islands tour, or if you want to stay there for the entire day, you should pack your lunch and get a long-tail boat from Nopparat Thara or Ao Nang, but you will have to wait for at least eight persons to join the trip.

James Bond Island

On Phang Nga Bay you can find James Bond Island. It received this name because of its starring role in James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” that gave this island an internationally notorious tourist map. This bay is also famous due to its amazing limestone cliffs that stick out of the bright greenish water. All this area that surrounds James Bond Island is absolutely spectacular and that is why during the high season it could be crowded with all the tourists around the world.

Visit Koh Sirey

It is a big island that has a cape formed on the east side of Phuket covering about 20 sq. km where everybody can construct freely and drive through its roads with its plantation of rubber. If you want to see Phuket’s east coast islands, you can visit the Abalone Farm & Restaurant that has a viewpoint over those islands and Sapam bay. Also, you could visit the small recreation park and see how the locals feed the wild monkeys.

Can i visit all the islands around Phuket in a week?

If you looked for the area around Phuket in a map, you will see many islands around; tiny islands and big ones, so it is kind of impossible to see them all in only one week, yet, you can visit the ones that are more available and reachable for you.

Undoubtedly there are many wonderful islands that offer unique sights that are difficult to find elsewhere, and some of them are famous for being the best island destinations in the whole world.

Why is Phuket a good base for tourists to visit?

Because from Phuket you can visit many nearby islands by taking a short ferry trip, a long-tail boat, or a speedboat. There are about 39 islands around Phuket, and most of them are located off the east coast. Many of these islands are deserted but still offer fabulous places to snorkel and play other important sports.

Many other islands provide a lot of fun for the entire family whether kids or adults.

To reach the islands around Phuket you can book day trips through any tour shop, booking office, or from your hotel.

Be sure to organize your tour, as it should include a transfer from your hotel to the pier, and another to take you back to your hotel from the pier.

To visit all these islands around Phuket, you need a good and reliable transportation service, and in all we care about is providing you with the best transportation services that will take you to the most amazing places.

Check our updated schedule between Phuket and the surrounding islands here.