Koh Rang Yai Island

Rang Yai Island near Phuket Island

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 that is frequented in the afternoon by day trippers coming back from visiting the ‘hongs’ of Phang Nga Bay. 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.

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Because of its western-facing beach it’s ideal for water sports (you can rent sea kayaks here) and sunbathing in the afternoon. More adventurous types will discover pretty good snorkelling near the headland rocks. For those feeling a little peckish there are a couple of restaurants and bars set back in the trees.

It’s all very relaxed and typically tropic and the only ‘serious’ facet of the island is a pearl farm which receives daily tours to its pearl shop, which is worth a look at for its more unusual products.

In fact one of the best ways to get to Koh Rang Yai is to go on one of these tours and it’s even possible to kayak from Phuket to here, although this is not recommended in poor weather. Otherwise it’s a relaxed 20-minute ride on a long-tail boat from Phuket’s east coast Laem Hin pier, a turn off Thepkasatri Road (the airport road) just north of Phuket Town. It’s well marked.

To the north of the west-coast beach is a lovely set of bamboo-and-thatch bungalows, perfect for an idyllic, overnight stay at this peaceful spot. You’ll also find basic bungalows for hire further into the centre of this small island past the activity centre and pearl shop.

Koh Rang Yai

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