The best of Phuket islands, a detailed guide to the islands nearby Phuket

The best of Phuket islands, detailed guide to the islands nearby Phuket

The best of Phuket islands

The best islands nearby Phuket

Southern Thailand is blessed off its coasts by the presence of a fantastic number of islands. When I came across this information, I was curious to find out which are the best Phuket islands. After visiting these unique islands I could see all their particular details and which one could be in a special list of the best of Phuket Islands.

If you are in search of an island to visit and relax nearby Phuket, well …this inspired me to write this post, to shed some light on what islands can you visit from Phuket?

From small rocks to inhabitable larger parts of land emerging from the Andaman Sea surface, islands and, above all, tropical islands, have always been positively perceived in our collective imagination.

The feeling of freedom, escape from the crowd, and exoticism is some of the reasons why today’s tropical islands are so famous.

Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, still offers the sensations, but its rapid development over the past 20 years has undoubtedly caused it to lose some of its idyllic atmospheres (especially the Hotels boom that occurred in the past 6 years).

Yet, many smaller islands around Phuket still provide a real sense of evasion from our modern world.

Explore below Phuket’s best islands, each of which has its personality and is worth a visit if you’re coming from Phuket.

Maiton Island

Maiton Island (sometimes written as Maithon or Mai Ton) is just off the east coast of Phuket, a beautiful tropical island. It is bordered by beautiful golden sands and nodding palms swaying in the breeze, as well as crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, just 2.5 km across at its widest point.

Unfortunately, since the island is privately owned, there is extremely limited access to it.

But I consider this also a big positive side of this island, as if you will choose to visit this place with a tour, it will be a truly relaxing atmosphere!

Nevertheless, it ensures that those who can get there can experience stunning natural beauty, completely untouched by mass tourism.

For cruises, particularly those leaving Chalong Pier and Phuket Panwa deep seaport, Maiton Island is a very popular stop.

While most ships stop nearby, allowing you to swim and snorkel in the sea and enjoy the view, you can enjoy your buffet lunch on the pristine beach with selected sailings.

Alternatively, you can go offshore diving where you can find tortoises, cuttlefish, and a variety of other colorful tropical marine life.

Maiton Island is a small idyllic spot that was once home to a luxury hotel 15 minutes south of Phuket. The hotel is no longer operating, now the island’s staff can rent out some very special villas right on the beach of the island.

Most of the beach is still accessible and is a perfect day trip with a picnic and a thousand fish snorkeling.

Maiton Island Tours

Maiton Island Tour involves lots of water activities and high-quality standards with a professional and qualified tour guide, friendly staff.

Maiton Private Island provides a spacious location and a convenient tide conversion platform by speedboat departure dock. The boat trip to the island is only 15/20 minutes away.

Maiton Private Island by speedboat. A trip for all the family!

  • Enjoy a light breakfast, coffee, and tea, and an eco-alert tour guide will give you a briefing of the day.
  • You are leaving from the pier to the island of Mai Ton.
  • Love the turquoise waters of the sandy beach end as you can relax and swim and snorkel with amazing beautiful fish and corals on the Mai Ton reef.
  • You can walk to the viewpoint of the island where you can admire the spectacular scenery of Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi and Phang Nga Islands on a clear day.
  • You can relax on the beautiful beach and participate as players, scuba diving, kayaking, and SUP boards in enjoyable beach activities.
  • There is a very large restaurant to taste the free buffet lunch right on the beach.
  • You can join as well a very nice and picturesque wooden bar on the shore, just 10 meters from the water. Relax and have your cold drink getting in the meanwhile very impressive pictures!

Phuket islands. Maiton island on the map!

Rang Yai island

Koh Rang Yai is a small island about five kilometers away from Phuket’s east coast.

Its west side has a one-kilometer long beach frequented in the afternoon by day-trippers returning from visiting Phang Nga Bay’s’ hongs.’

Swimmers will notice something unusual about Koh Rang Yai: the southern current parallel gently transports you to the entire length of the beach, and the water is nearly at body temperature. It’s fun for you!

The cool, tree-lined interior has several paths that allow you to walk or even ride a hired bicycle.

You’re going to notice a small football pitch, an air-gun shooting range, and even a mini-golf course with a beach volleyball net.

It is suitable for water sports (you can rent sea kayaks here) and afternoon sunbathing due to its western-facing beach.

More adventurous types will find pretty good snorkeling near the rocks of the headland.

There are a few restaurants and bars in the forest for those who feel a little peckish.

It’s all very casual and usually tropical, and the island’s only’ serious’ facet is a pearl farm which receives regular visits to its pearl store, worth visiting for its more unique items.

One of the best ways to get to Koh Rang Yai is to go on one of these tours, and kayaking from Phuket to here is even possible, although, in poor weather, this is not recommended.

Otherwise, it’s a comfortable 20-minute trip on a long-tail boat from the east coast of Phuket, Laem Hin pier, just north of Phuket Town, a turn off Thepkasatri Road (the airport road). It’s marked well.

A lovely set of bamboo-and-thatch bungalows is located north of the west coast beach, perfect for an idyllic overnight stay at this peaceful spot. You will also find basic hire bungalows in the center of this small island past the activity center and the pearl shop.

Phuket islands. Rang Yai island on the map!

Some important notes about Rang Yai I want you to consider!

1. In the past months, Rang Yai has entered the catalog on some popular speedboat companies itinerary, as they like to bring guests to this little island during larger itineraries tours, such as, for example, James Bond island. (the same situation happening with Naka island too).

Why do I like to point this out?

2. Because if you decide to spend the all day on the island catching a long tail boat from Laem Hin Pier, you better go for it at early morning, so you will have many hours on the island with fewer tourists around, as most of the companies bring here their guests at the end of their itineraries, always after 2 PM or 3 PM. (you can reach this Pier very easily with scooter or car, there is as well a very large parking space at the Pier, so you do not have to worry about parking at all!)

Departing early morning by long tail boat to Rang Yai island
Departing early morning by long tail boat to Rang Yai island

3. Remember, before you pick a day and a time to go, to check the level of the tides on a dedicated website. The tides offset is really high in Phang Nha bay and nearby Phuket island, so the beach and the shore will completely change during the day! You definitely want to spend most of your time on the island during the high tide hours!

Arriving by long tail boat at Rang Yai island
Arriving by long tail boat at Rang Yai island

www.tide-forecast.com/locations/Phuket/tides/latest

Laem Hin Pier on the map! Catch a longtail boat from here to Rang Yai island is very easy, as you arrive at the Pier many locals will approach you offering the lift. Usually, they are all sitting and waiting for customers near the parking lot.

Naka Island

Naka Noi Island has only one small village on its west side, but the island transforms from a fishing village to a fairly exclusive resort located in a very short space of time.

Most of the beaches on Naka Noi Island are wide and sandy, and the views across Phang Nga Bay amaze along its eastern shores.

There are chairs and umbrellas for rent on the longest beach on the east side, plus a small snack counter. It fills up with day-trippers in the afternoons.

On Naka Noi there is not much to do except swimming, sunbathing and walking along the beach. If you plan to stay the day, it is recommended to bring your food.

Naka Noi is known as the’ Pearl Island’ because it is a location where rare pearls of the South Sea are produced.

Every visit to Naka Noi will inevitably involve a pearl farm tour-a a good opportunity to see how these luminous beads are being produced and harvested.

Naka Noi island. The-best-of-Phuket-islands,-detailed-guide-to-the-islands-nearby-Phuket
Naka Noi island

Long-tail boats can be hired for the day at the rickety Ao Po Pier on Phuket’s east coast (to get to the pier, take route 4027 east from the monument to the Heroines, then turn right at the sign to Ao Po and drive for a few kilometers).

Naka Noi is also part of many day trips, with plenty of boatloads of snorkelers and swimmers stopping for a few hours in the afternoon at the long eastern shore.

Same things I said earlier for Rang Yai island so keep in mind my suggestions also if you will go to the Naka island!

Phuket islands. Naka Noi island on the map!

Racha Island

Racha Island (also known as the island of Raya) is a great snorkeling and diving site just 12 kilometers south of Phuket. The island is so small that it can host only three resorts: a real luxury hideaway, Baan Raya Resort, and the modest Bungalow Raya Resort.

Believe it or not, even Phuket residents need to get away from it all once in a while and find another small piece of paradise. And they really love to go to relax on Racha island (or Raya island, as you prefer).

Racha Yai, with several bungalows and resort operations springing up in recent years, is rapidly developing into a place to stay on for a while.

Best would be for 1 night or 2, you will see why later on!

Racha Yai beautifully reveals herself, most of them landing on a strip of fine white sand tucked deep into the long,

U-shaped main bay called Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. Here the water is clear and perfect for snorkeling, although in the afternoons, the bay gets quite busy with visiting boats.

Racha Yai is home to a stunning getaway resort called The Racha.

The other wide bay, Ao Siam, is a beautiful place where solitary walks are possible in solitude.

Racha Noi is uninhabited and has no accommodation or services, but the area has some great diving and snorkeling near the reef!

Why did I say that it would be definitely better to spend time overnight on the island’s resort?

  • Truly all the tour would leave the island about 4 to 5 pm, to let all the island just for the attenders of the resorts. This makes the late afternoon, the evening, the sunset time, the early morning and the sunrise time, precious moments for you to live an extremely unique experience!

Phuket islands. Racha island on the map!

Coral island

Coral Island is a stunning getaway destination situated three kilometers south-east of Phuket, known locally as Koh Hae.

There are two main beaches on the island, Long Beach and Banana Beach. For nothing, it’s not called Coral Island.

The snorkeling off Banana Beach is fun, and if you’re going far enough from Long Beach, you’ll also have a lot to explore at its spectacular coral reef.

This place is perfectly peaceful at night; by day, it is very busy with day-trippers, but at the extremities of both beaches, there is peace. With the day tour, you can rent deck chairs and sun loungers and come free (at the resort).

All beaches have several restaurants that range from rudimentary to buffet to spectacular cuisine.

Of course, Coral Island Resort includes lunch with their day tour, but there will be no problem finding a restaurant and toilet facilities for people who come with their arrangements.

All beaches have many activities related to water sports-banana boats, canoes, and snorkeling. Long Beach, however, has a speedboat to take you for a short parasail ride (800 baht).

In either Rawai Beach or Chalong Pier, you can rent a long-tail boat.

Alternatively, book a snorkeling day trip, and you’ll be taken by speedboat (travel time, 15 minutes from Chalong) with a mask, fins, and snorkeling as well as a lunch buffet.

Snorkeling day trip to Coral island

This trip’s price (1000 baht) is not much more than renting a long-tail, and it’s faster.
If you land at Long Beach and want to check out Banana Beach, there is a trail leading through the jungle at the eastern end of the beach.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk, and it is highly advisable to wear good footwear as the surfaces are uneven and not exactly easy to walk. This trail is not for the elderly or the young.

Phuket islands. Coral island on the map!

Khai islands (Koh Khai)

Koh Khai Nok in Phang Nga Bay is a small island tucked away. It’s just around 30 minutes away from Phuket’s east coast, but ask anyone on the island if they’ve been there, and you’re likely to draw a blank stare.

Nevertheless, sometimes, a hidden gem is even more precious to be so, and when we heard that a half-day tour was going there, we jumped at the chance to check it out.

When the sea is a bit choppy, speedboat drivers explain why it’s a 30-minute ride to Koh Khai, but it’s going to take a bit longer. Will bounce into Sapan Bay and go south-east on the high tide.

It’s not long until Koh Khai Nok (Egg Island)’s distinctive shape emerges, but Koh Khai Nui’s first skirt–the smaller neighbor of the island.

Koh Khai Nok

Koh Khai Nok, a remote triangular island about the size of a large soccer pitch that includes a rocky headland and a snow-white beach.

Koh Khai Nok’s special feature is that it has at least twelve varieties of exotic tropical fish and is not afraid of humans.

As a result, many people are swimming with people taking pictures of them through them.

If you like masking, snorkeling, and fins and getting in with the fish and coral, this the ideal place.

You will head for the free sandwiches and soft drinks, rest a bit, then get in with the fishies, or put a sarong around your head, clamber in a deck chair under the shade of a parasol and take in the colorful surroundings; this is the ideal island for you.

There are more cameras on Koh Khai Nok than on Oscar night due to the photo opportunities.

We take pictures of people taking pictures. It’s a classic poise that takes you in, the beautiful turquoise water that stretches behind you, with tropical fish swimming through your legs.

The parasols are snapping and fluttering in the deliciously cool afternoon breeze on the northern shore–just 200 meters away.

Here, with plenty of shade, the water is indigo-blue. A walk down this side of the island reveals a few relaxing people in the rocky shade as well as a few anchor yachts.

Koh Khai Nok, given its relatively small size, has a lot to offer.

The center of the island there stands a series of interconnecting stalls as well as restaurants selling everything from T-shirts to sarongs to handicraft souvenirs.

Even a small shop with remarkably reasonable prices is available. This part of the island has a bazaar-like atmosphere, and hanging out is also a shady spot.

Phuket islands. Koh Khai Nok on the map!

Which is the best island in Phuket?

Phi Phi Island is the island icon of Thailand. It was in the movies. It’s the conversation topic for travelers in Thailand.

For some, this is Phuket’s only justification to touchdown.

It’s not disappointing, even with all the hype. The charm of Phi Phi is a big chunk of the allure. The islands rise from the sea like a fortress when approached by ships. Sheer cliffs rise overhead and then give way to the jungle facing the water. At first sight, it’s passion.

The second part of the story is attitude: this laid-back are just a few places on the planet.

Of the two islands near Phuket and Krabi, one is entirely free of human inhabitants (Phi Phi Leh), and the other is road-free (Phi Phi Don).

Phi Phi Islands have become one of the popular holiday destinations in southern Thailand for obvious reasons.

This small six-island archipelago is incredibly beautiful and can offer an ideal holiday for almost any taste.

Koh Phi Phi Don, the group’s largest and only inhabited island, has three main areas: the buzzing main village between the bays of Tonsai and Dalum, filled with hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants.

Laem Thong, a tranquil tropical cliché of a beach that hosts only a few resorts, and the southern coast, which has a few choices of accommodation stuck between the jungle and the sea. If you’re looking for a drastic change of scenery,

What islands are close to Phuket?

As the largest island in Phuket Thailand, there’s plenty to see and do.

With scenic islands just a few hours away, those who want to venture further will find that they will be spoiled for choice.

Here are the top five islands near Phuket to explore, making it easier for you to determine which one to visit.

Koh Phi Phi

Located between Phuket and Krabi provinces, Koh Phi Phi has long been one of Thailand’s top “must-see” destinations–and for a good reason.

Koh Phi Phi has some party reputation these days, a small island with no cars or roads, but there’s still plenty to see and do for those who like an early night.

Maya Bay, the star attraction, is one of the country’s most beautiful natural sights. Made famous after being included in The Beach’s Hollywood blockbuster, it’s a stunning bay surrounded by calcareous cliffs and a white sand beach.

The water is as pure as the promise of the guidebooks, and it is only a short boat ride away from the island’s main hub.

Be advised, though. It tends to get incredibly busy! Make sure you’re among the first on the island to get those all-important shots from Instagram.

Quick and Easy Guide to Find the Best Phi Phi island tour from Phuket

James Bond Island

The incredibly scenic James Bond Island is only 60 minutes away by big boat from Phuket.

Very popular among all the tourists, the James Bond island by Big boat experience!

Located in the province of Phang Nga, after its splendor was captured in the 1974 Bond flick The Man with the Golden Gun, it became a major landmark in Thailand and has since been a hit with travelers.

The star attraction is the relatively unstable calcareous karst in the middle of the sea, which for photography is a popular subject. Many other similar structures in the bay can be easily explored with a kayak, along with their caves.

7 Ways to go to James Bond Island

Travelling to Phang Nga Bay and Koh Yao Noi with BluAnda
Travelling to Phang Nga Bay and Koh Yao Noi with BluAnda

Koh Yao Islands

Only one hour on the Koh Yao Islands ferry from Phuket, consisting of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi.

They are perfect for exploring, relaxing, and relaxing for a day or two.

The field-based rice paddies, rubber plantations, and buffaloes offer an insight into local life that is not provided by many islands. You can rent motorbikes, and they are the best way to get around the island.

The-best-of-Phuket-islands,-detailed-guide-to-the-islands-nearby-Phuket. Koh Yao Islands
The best of Phuket islands, a detailed guide to the islands nearby Phuket. Very nice locals on Koh Yao Islands

Koh Yao Yai is much less evolved despite being larger than Koh Yao Noi. Both of the beaches on the islands have beautiful views of distant mountains, and mangrove forests are not too far away either.

Sand is gentle here, and the turquoise and welcoming water make the beach ideal for lazy days.

There is a wide range of accommodation options available throughout the islands, ranging from luxury resorts to the traditional Thai bungalow.

Phuket islands. Koh Yao Noi on the map! My favorite of the two Koh Yao islands!

Coral Island

Coral Island or Koh Hae, as it is known to the locals, is just a few kilometers from Phuket mainland and features beautiful beaches, top snorkeling spots, and even a large monitor lizard. It features two beaches with the typical white sand and colored cerulean seas–Long Beach and Banana Beach.

Coral is abundant, as its name might suggest, checking out both by the beach and a little further out. While the coral can be seen during snorkeling, scuba diving may be the best way to experience its beauty closely.

Due to the calm seas that surround it, Coral Island is a popular dive spot for beginners, and it is even possible to learn how to dive on the island.

Similan Islands

If you are a diving enthusiast, no trip to the Land of Smiles will be complete without a visit to the enchanting Similan Islands northwest of Phuket.

Considered one of Thailand’s best dive sites, there are plenty of things to see and do under the waves.

Divers come into contact with colorful fish and other marine life regularly, with huge manta rays even occasionally known to pass through the area.

Intriguing rock formations are to be checked out on the seabed, such as East of Eden and Elephant Head Rock, which has several formations that you can swim through.

Similan Islands on the map! You will notice the huge distance from Phuket, most of the time the tours to the Similan islands are really strenuous.

Best tour itineraries to Phuket islands

Khai Islands Yao Yai Island tour

Khai Islands Yao Yai Island Tour Free Hotel Transfer from Patong, Kamala, Kalim, Kathu, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Phuket City. Khai Islands Yao Yai island speedboat tour is a complete tour of Khai Nok, Khai Nai, Khai Nui by speed boat.

Khai Islands are remote and uninhabited; you can find refreshments and snacks and fruits in the temporary bars on the islands.

Watch the tropical fishes while watching the small islands. The coral and coral reefs around these islands are ideal for excellent snorkeling experiences.

Khai Islands Yao Yai island speedboat tour involves transportation from the point of departure to the pier and back (see only the locations listed above).

Khai Islands Yao Yai Island Speedboat tour also offers a beach restaurant buffet lunch, soft drinks, tea and coffee, drinking water, national park fees! Life jacket, snorkeling equipment, tour guide, insurance! Bring swimming suits and sunblocks, a light t-shirt, a beach towel, camera!

Maiton and Raya and Coral Islands tour

Maiton and Raya and Coral Islands is a full tour that takes you on a speedboat tour of Maiton Island, Raya Island, and Coral Island!

Maiton Island is a private island, largely undeveloped with golden sandy beaches and a great dolphin sanctuary, a popular entertainment for all visiting visitors.

Raya Island, also known as Racha Island, is a great place to dive and snorkel, having fun on a white sandy beach with some lovely Thai restaurants as well.

The island of Coral is known as Koh Hae, featuring two beaches called Long Beach and Banana Beach, where you can engage with many water activities such as canoeing, parasailing, banana boating, and much more.

Enjoy the best ride on the islands of Maiton and Raya and Coral.

The coral reef is particularly suitable for great snorkeling time in these islands. Maiton Island is also an excellent habitat for dolphins, so during the trip, we can see them.

It is a great idea to relax and spend the day in peace to explore beautiful tropical destinations. The speedboat tour of Maiton and Raya and Coral Islands involves transportation from the point of departure to the pier and back.

Speedboat tour of Maiton and Raya and Coral Islands also offers a beach restaurant buffet lunch, coffee, and tea, drinking water, national park fees! Life jacket, snorkeling gear, tour guide, protection! Bring bathing suits, a sunblock, a light t-shirt, a beach towel, your camera to catch all the best moments!

The Maiton and Raya and Coral Islands tour start visiting the beautiful Maiton Island.

First, you will enjoy swimming in turquoise waters on this paradise island, snorkeling near the beach, and the magnificent reef, sightseeing the dolphins roaming around the island.

You continue this beautiful tour to discover the reef for snorkeling on the uninhabited island of Raya Yai and see the incredible coral and relax on the white sandy beach.

Upon entering Coral Island’s third destination (Koh Hae), here you will enjoy a great lunch with Thai buffet cuisine, have plenty of time to snorkel the spectacular coral reef, and also relax on the beach at Long Beach or Banana Beach.

SeaStar Maiton island Raya islands tour by speedboat

“SeaStar” Maiton Island Raya Islands Speedboat Tour is a full tour that takes you on a speedboat ride to the islands of Maiton, Raya Yai, and Raya Noi! In reality, Maiton Island is a private island with a golden sandy beach, a perfect habitat for dolphins nearby Phuket.

Another excellent spot to enjoy snorkeling, relaxing on the white sandy beach islands of Raya, or Racha Islands.

Enjoy the best SeaStar tour of Maiton Island Raya Islands, a perfect idea for spending your day with fun and relaxing to explore beautiful tropical destinations.

The tour involves transportation from your hotel to and from the pier.

Included beach restaurant buffet lunch, soft drinks, tea and coffee, drinking water, fees for the national park! Life jacket, snorkeling gear, tour guide, the cover! Bring bathing suits, a sunblock, a light t-shirt, a beach towel, your camera!

A view of the Maiton island pier
A view of the Maiton Island pier

Which is the best island tour in Phuket?

There is no full ride to Thailand without a stopover at Phuket. on the one hand, you can relax and rejuvenate on its famous powder-white sandy beaches and lush rainforests.

You can as well hope nightlife at Patong Beach would make you want to stay up until the early wee hours!

Phuket has something for everyone–whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or in the mood for something more daring like swimming and snorkeling on some of the best island’s reef.

Therefore, nobody will be surprised that Phuket’s shores are swarming with visitors (even during the off-season!).

But don’t be afraid–in as little as 25 minutes, you can leave Phuket’s hubbub for the peaceful surrounding islands.

Top Islands to tour in Phuket

Phi Phi Island tours

Among Thailand’s islands, also referred to as the crown jewel, the Phi Phi islands are on bucket lists all over the world. These are made up of six beautiful islands, offering a range of activities, from snorkeling to some genuinely exotic local cuisine.

Tour Recommendation

Phi Phi Islands Khai island premium tour

Premium Phi Phi Bamboo island tour by speedboat

Phang Nga Bay tours

Phang Nga Bay Located between Phuket and Krabi, Phang Nga Bay is known for its calcareous outcrops, breathtaking ponds, pristine beaches, and caves that defy gravity.

Tour Recommendation

Speedboat to Phang Nga Bay

Premium James Bond and Khai islands Speedboat

Racha (Or Raya) Island. Raya Island tour

Racha (Or Raya) Island Racha Island has sparkling blue waters and white-sand beaches a 30-minute speedboat ride away from Phuket. It offers Phuket’s perfect getaway and is a popular water sport and snorkeling destination.

Recommendations for the tour

Raya and Coral Island tour by speedboat

See also:

Phuket boat tours and Phuket sea trips

The Best Islands of Krabi

 

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