Islands Near Phuket
Phuket itself is only just an island (the largest island in Thailand), linked to Phang Nga province by the Sarasin bridge. All around Phuket are smaller offshore islands which can be visited for the day or a few hours. Some are quite big and have accommodation, some are just gorgeous little specks in the ocean. Some are good for diving or snorkeling. For all kinds of island tours, contact my friends at Easy Day Thailand.
Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao YaiI wish I had more time to explore Koh Yao Noi and it's larger neighbour Koh Yao Yai. These islands are officially in Phang Nga province, but easily reached from Phuket by ferry. Must get over there more often before the locals sell up their land to the resorts. At the moment, it's still gorgeous with not too much development
• Koh Yao Yai Island Weekend Trip
• Exploring Koh Yao Noi
• Koh Yao Noi by Moped
Racha Yai (Raya) IslandAbout 20km south of Chalong Bay and a popular destination for divers, especially beginners as the water is clear and there are rarely any strong currents. I must have been there 100 times on dive trips before first setting foot on the island and staying overnight in 2012! We did a weekend trip staying at Ban Raya resort. Great.
• Racha Yai Island (Raya Island) Weekend Trip
• Scuba Diving at Racha Yai
James Bond IslandIn Phang Nga Bay to the north east of Phuket island you find many beautiful small islands. There are all kind of tours by speedboat, longtail boat, sailing boat, kayaking and more. On the itinerary of most tours is James Bond Island, with a view instantly recognisable. We have done quite a few trips in this area, I love this scenery.
• Phang Nga Bay Tour on a Sunny Day!
• Phang Nga Bay on a Rainy Day!
• James Bond Island - More Information
Koh PanyeeA very interesting island which can be visited on the same trip as James Bond Island. Worth exploring beyond the row of restaurants and souvenir stalls to get a hint of the local life. Panyee is a Muslim fishing village mainly built on stilts. I find it quite fascinating.
• Koh Panyee - More Information
Koh Rang YaiOff the east coast to the north of Phuket Town, Koh Rang Yai is a private island, but you can get a longtail boat here from Laem Hin - nice place to stay for half a day. Nice sand, there is a restaurant but it's not cheap. In between is Koh Maphrao, home of The Village Coconut Island resort.
• Koh Rang Yai - More Information
Koh Kaew YaiJust 1km offshore from Phromthep Cape (the southwesterly tip of Phuket), Koh Kaew Yai is a small island and a place of worship. It is said that the Buddha first stepped ashore on this island before landing on Phuket at nearby Rawai beach. You can hire a longtail boat to Koh Kaew Yai and Koh Bon from Rawai.
• Koh Kaew Yai
Coral Island (Koh He)Just a few minutes by speedboat from Chalong Bay and very popular for cheap snorkeling day trips, it is nonetheless quite pretty. Our last visit was on a late afternoon / sunset tour - best to go late afternoon and all the day-trippers are gone!
• Coral Island Sunset Tour
Koh SireySirey island is on the east side of Phuket Town.. rather like Phuket Island, it's connected by a bridge, but has a different feel and has many quiet areas as well as being home to sea gypsies. You can find a few restaurants and also an abalone farm here.
• More about Koh Sirey
• Koh Sirey Temple
Further OffshorePhi Phi is easily reached in a day trip, though it's better to stay a night or two. Can be crowded during the day with all the daytrippers. Scenery is beautiful. The Similan Islands are about 100km from Phuket and are better known for diving, but day trips for snorkeling are possible and you can even stay on the islands in national park accommodation. Koh Tachai is a bit further than the Similans and best reached by day trip from Khao Lak.
• Phi Phi Islands Day Trip
• Seaplane Flight to Phi Phi
• The Similan Islands
• Koh Tachai
Now that I am back in the UK, difficult to add more islands, but maybe on a future holiday in Thailand we can do something different!