The Southern Thai island of Phuket is a beautiful destination with a large range of attractions both on and off the island. In fact, there are numerous other islands that are only a short boat's ride away from Phuket. From tiny groups of rocks to large settlements on low, sandy banks, there's no shortage of islands in the area. And best of all, they all offer a unique experience to travellers. If you're looking for gorgeous, idyllic locations to go on an island-hopping journey around Phuket, check out the list below.
1. Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are one of the top destinations in the region. It's a group of six stunning islands that offers some of the best holiday experiences for the whole family. Phi Phi Don is the largest and only inhabited island in the archipelago, and is divided into three main areas: there's Laem Thong, the main village that's filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels; the idyllic beach that house only a few exclusive resorts; and the southern coast which has a few hotels backed by a jungle. From the main island, you can go to Phi Phi Leh which has great snorkelling spots with colourful marine creatures and Bamboo Island which is a quiet paradise that you can relax on.
2. Racha Islands
The Racha Islands have two islets: Racha Yai and Racha Noi, which are located about 20 kilometres south of Phuket. They are ideal snorkelling and diving destinations with plenty of colourful fish in the surrounding seas. Racha Yai is the only island with accommodation options and a few restaurants and bars. With deep blue waters, white sand, and bright green vegetation, it's an ideal place to spend your day.
3. Coral Island
Coral Island is a small island that's only a 15-minute speedboat ride off the south eastern coast of Phuket. It’s a short distance from Phuket and the diverse marine life in the area makes it one of the most famous day trip options amongst travellers. This small island has two beaches: Long Beach and Banana Beach, both on the north side on the island. It has a few restaurants and bars to cater to the sizeable crowd during the day—but that doesn't mean the island doesn't have peaceful spots! In fact, you can find these secret spots away from the crowd at the extreme ends of each beach.
4. Koh Panyi Island Village
Koh Pan Yi is a unique island on Phang Nga Bay, and is one of the must-visit attractions when you're in Phuket. The island is made up of a village built on stilts over the water. The village has a single, large limestone monolith backing it, making it an interesting and photo-worthy sight. The island village is a popular stop for island hopping tours in Phang Nga Bay and the number of restaurants and shops here reflect that.
5. Koh Yao Islands
The Koh Yao Islands comprise of two islands: Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, situated close to the mouth of Phang Nga Bay. The more developed Koh Yao Nao has several accommodation options from budget to luxury to suit any traveller. Compared to Phuket island, the Koh Yao islands are not as developed and are suitable locations if you're looking for a traditional Thai island to explore. Plus, there are a few bars and restaurants the beautiful coastline where you can dine in and entertain. They have a small community of Muslim farmers and fishermen as evidenced by the rice paddy fields, traditional wooden houses, and buffalos on the islands.
6. Similan Islands
The Similans comprise of nine islands making up the Marine National Park. They are located quite a distance from Phuket at around 80 kilometres to the northwest, but since they are totally undeveloped, they offer an unforgettable natural experience for visitors. The islands are ranked among the top ten best dive sites in the world thanks to their untouched nature, bright blue waters, and diverse wildlife both on land and under the sea. Whether you enjoy scuba diving or not, there's something for you to discover on these islands.
These are only some of the magnificent islands that you can visit around Phuket. Whether you choose to go on a Phuket island-hopping adventure or just take a day trip to dive at Simlian Islands, you'll surely enjoy yourselves. At Club Med Phuket, we can arrange tours to various islands including Phi Phi and Racha Islands for our guests, so make sure to reach out to us if you stay with us. Here's to a wonderful vacation in Phuket!