5 Islands to Explore in Phuket’s Low Season

Island Hopping from Phuket between Rainfalls

Phuket’s ‘low’ season is not as restrictive as many people think. Between sudden rainfalls there are flashes of brilliant weather and even on cloudy days there’s not much to hamper you getting around and exploring. A great idea at this time of year is to explore Phuket’s peripheral islands that lay largely to the east of the island.

Step back in time on Koh Yao Noi and discover what Phuket was like a couple of decades ago or go hornbill watching on Coral Island. Visit a pearl farm on Koh Rang Yai or simply soak up the peace and quiet on Koh Lone and Koh Yao Noi.

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Koh Rang Yai

Koh Rang Yai is a peaceful island lying about five kilometres off the east coast of Phuket. Its western side has a one-km long beach. Swimmers will notice something unusual about Koh Rang Yai: the southward current gently transports you parallel to the whole length of the beach and the water is almost at body temperature. It’s fun!

The shady, tree-lined interior has several paths along which you can stroll/hike or even ride a hired bike (rickety but fun) and you’ll notice a small football pitch, an air-gun shooting range and even a mini-golf course along with a volleyball net on the beach itself but apart from that it’s tranquility itself. Read More...

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Coral Island

Coral Island, known locally as Koh Hae, is a getaway destination located three kilometres southeast of Phuket. The island features two main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach. It's not called Coral Island for nothing; the snorkeling off Banana Beach is thrilling and if you go out far enough from Long Beach you will also have a lot to discover, at its impressive coral reef.

At night this location is beautifully calm; by day it is quite busy with day trippers but peace and quiet can be found at the extremities of both beaches. Of course, Coral Island Resort includes lunch with their day tour but people who come with their own arrangements will have no problem finding a restaurant and toilet facilities. Read More...

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This island is just five minutes away by long-tail boat from Phuket’s east coast. A peaceful place with agro-tours and home-stay with local families available, the island's rich mangrove forests can be explored by boat. The island, despite its proximity to Phuket, is still without mains electricity, relying on generators for the local population and the two resorts there.

Koh Maphrao has lush mangrove forests which are fun to explore by sea kayak and there are also a number of floating restaurants quite close by which daily serve up delicious fresh seafood that is reared by them. It’s the ideal place to drop by and experience absolute calm. Read More...

  • How to get there: Take a long-tail boat at Laem Hin, north of Phuket Town
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Koh Bon

Koh Bon is a small island lying some two kilometres off the beach of Rawai on the southeastern coast of Phuket. Covered with lush vegetation, this rocky islet, dotted with tiny sand coves, offers two main landing spots to its visitors: Bon Island Restaurant is ideally located between two small beaches at the northwestern tip of the island while Long Beach is a semi-private 300m-long strip of white sand situated on the northeastern coast of Koh Bon. Read More...

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A tranquil beach on Koh Yao Noi east coast

Technically speaking, Koh Yao Noi is in Phang Nga Province but it’s still only a one-hour ferry ride away from Phuket’s east-coast Bang Rong Pier. The ferry fare is about 50 baht, with daily departures from Phuket at 09:30, 12:00 and 17:00. The boat will make a short stop on Koh Yao Yai, and then cross to Koh Yao Noi, only eight minutes away. Long-tail boats can also be hired at Ao Po pier for charter to Koh Yao.

You can rent a motorbike or even a bicycle to ride along and explore the largely flat coastal roads and interior. It’s a friendly place, only relatively recently exposed to tourism and largely unspoiled so riding round is akin to seeing what Phuket was like 20 years ago. Read More...

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