7 Best Islands around Phuket

Tropical Island Getaways in South Thailand

Southern Thailand is gifted by the presence of an astonishing number of islands off its coasts. From tiny rocks to inhabitable larger pieces of land emerging from the surface of the Andaman Sea, islands – and above all, tropical islands – have always been perceived positively in our collective imagination. The sensation of freedom, escaping from the crowd, and exoticism are some of the reasons why tropical islands are so popular nowadays.

Phuket – the largest island in Thailand – still offers the sensations mentioned above, but its fast development through the last 20 years undoubtedly made it lose some of its idyllic atmosphere; nevertheless, many smaller islands around Phuket still offer a real feeling of evasion from our modern world. Discover below the best islands around Phuket, each of which has its own personality and is certainly worth a visit if you come by Phuket.

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Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands have become one of the prime holiday destinations in southern Thailand for obvious reasons. This small archipelago of six islands is stunningly beautiful and can offer an ideal vacation for almost any taste. Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest and only inhabited island of the group, features three main areas: the buzzing main village between Tonsai and Dalum bays, filled with hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants; Laem Thong, a very tranquil tropical cliché of a beach that hosts only a few resorts; and the southern coast, which counts a few accommodation choices stuck between the jungle and the sea. If you are looking for a drastic change of scenery for your holiday, Phi Phi Islands will surely meet your expectations. Read More...

Similan Islands

Belonging to the eponymous Marine National Park, the Similans are a group of nine islands located 84km northwest of Phuket. Totally undeveloped, they offer their visitors an unspoiled remote territory in the same state as it used to be thousands of years ago. Ranked among the 10 best dive sites in the world, the Similans can be visited on day trips as well as short stopovers. The rangers’ camp features accommodation in tents and small bungalows that allow visitors to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. With white powder sand beaches, lush vegetation, crystal waters, and only the sound being the wind through the branches, the Similans offer the ultimate place to get away from it all. Read More...

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Racha Islands

Also known as Raya, the Racha Islands are two islets situated some 20km south of Phuket. Racha Yai and Racha Noi are especially famous for their top-notch diving and snorkelling sites, as well as for their ‘full of fish’ surrounding waters. Racha Yai is the only island of the two featuring accommodation options and a small local population of Muslim fishermen and farmers. Relatively busy during daytime with the passage of day-trippers, it regains its tranquillity after 16:00, and offers its guests laid-back evenings spent in the few bars and restaurants available, or stargazing on the beach. Read More...

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Coral Island

Coral Island (Koh Hae in Thai) is a small island lying five kilometres off Phuket’s southeastern coast. The short commuting time – 15 minutes by speedboat – from Phuket, makes this island a very popular day trip destination. It features only two beaches named Long and Banana, both of them facing north and offering great diving and snorkelling opportunities. There is only one hotel - Coral Island Resort - and a few bars and restaurants on the island that, in a similar way as Racha Island, is buzzing with day-trippers until mid-afternoon before to regains its peacefulness at night. Coral Island certainly has all the assets of a tropical dream destination near Phuket. Read More...

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Koh Yao Yai and Noi are two rather large islands situated right between Phuket’s and Krabi’s coasts, at the mouth of Phang Nga Bay. From Phuket, it takes about 45 minutes to get there by local ferry, or 20 minutes by speedboat. Tourist-wise, Yao Noi is more developed than Yao Yai, with the presence of a good choice of hotels from budget to five-star. The charm of these islands stands in the fact that they have not been overdeveloped, and that a peaceful community of Muslim farmers and fishermen is the only human presence. Offering a travel back through time to their visitors, these islands have preserved their ancestral traditions and beautiful tropical landscape. Read More...

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Khai Islands

Khai Islands – Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai – are two tiny islets situated to the east of Phuket, only a 20-minute ride by speedboat. The largest of them, Koh Khai Nok, is particularly busy in high season as it offers a pleasant getaway from Phuket for those who want to enjoy sunbathing and snorkelling without the hassle of a long trip at sea. Both islands are uninhabited, and Khai Nok is the only one which can be visited. Featuring all the infrastructures necessary to spend a comfortable day on the beach – restaurants, bars, sun-loungers and umbrellas – the highlight of Koh Khai Nok is the multitude of tropical fish roaming around the shore, giving visitors the great experience of swimming in a natural aquarium. Read More...

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Koh Bon

Directly opposite Rawai Beach, off Phuket’s southeastern coast, Koh Bon is a small rocky island that features a long beach to its eastern side and a small sandy patch at its northwestern tip where the only restaurant of the island is situated. Under British management, it is a cool place to enjoy fresh seafood, as well as Thai and western delicacies. A perfect destination for a short break, Koh Bon is a tranquil island offering good swimming and a great natural escape from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. On your way there, ask the driver of your long-tail or speedboat to stop by the southwest corner of the island; it hosts an excellent snorkelling spot. Read More...

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