Rang Yai Island
Jul01

Rang Yai Island

Location: Off the east coast. How to get there: Charter a boat from Laem Hin Pier. Rang Yai Island is privately owned by one company. The island is tiny and you can walk around the whole thing in about 25 minutes. The beach is awesome, but the water can be a bit murky. Rang Yai Island is a beautiful place that is popular for day trips. The resort on the island is pretty cool, with a few bungalows dotted around and some sporting activities, including even a putting green. Rang Yai Island is also home to a pearl farm, so day trips inevitably take in a tour of the farm before tourists are herded into the shop to buy pearls. Rang Yai Island isn’t exactly the sort of place you can just show up at. You’ll need to contact the resort to arrange a trip. (www.rangyaiisland-phuket.com) Rumor has it that the island is, or was, actually for sale, but we haven’t heard any more about that for some time. You can hire bikes on this Phuket island and cycle around, enjoying the sights and generally lazing about. There isn’t much point in snorkeling, but swimming is certainly possible. The food on the island is decent and is, of course, provided by the resort. It’s also possible to get married on Rang Yai Island if you fancy saying your vows there. As far as Phuket islands go, Rang Yai Island is certainly worth...

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Koh Tapao Yai

Location: Off the southeast coast. How to get there: Catch a boat from Ao Makham Pier. Koh Tapao Yai is the larger twin of Koh Tapao Noi. Koh Tapao Yai is actually home to a couple of hotels, although they aren’t especially big or plush. The attraction of the rare hornbill birds on Koh Tapao Noi is also a draw of Koh Tapao Yai. Koh Tapao Yai is very popular for its beaches, which are much larger and expansive than those found on Koh Tapao Noi. The beaches are so popular, in fact, that they’ve actually become a problem as irresponsible tourists, snorkellers and divers have been destroying the natural reef structures surround the island. As eco-friendly tourism has begun taking the world by storm, especially in areas that support endangered and rare species of animals, tourists have begun to be more responsible in most places, although not always in and around Phuket. Although Koh Tapao Yai was once home to nothing more than a small fishermen’s village, it has begun to grow into something of an exclusive resort-type island that is most assuredly tourist-friendly. For a long time, there was only one small bungalow available on the island, but the whole island is slowly expanding into a major...

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Koh Tapao Noi

Location: Off the southeast coast. How to get there: Take a boat from Ao Makham Pier. Koh Tapao Noi was for a long time an unknown Phuket island, but that could all be about to change since January of this year when the Royal Thai Navy decided to begin developing a plan for eco-tourism on the island. Flocks of colorful and rare hornbill bird live peacefully on the island and can now be observed while trekking or hiking. Although the birds are rare in the rest of Thailand, they have made their home on this Phuket island and adapted to the small human population surprisingly well. Those in charge of the eco-tourism development on the island have stated that they do not believe that subjecting the birds to a larger population of tourists will harm their natural ecology. One of the main attractions of this Phuket island is feeding the birds rice and bananas, which isn’t exactly what they’d eat normally, but nobody seems to mind. Birds are not the only attraction on the tiny island of Koh Tapao Noi, however. The lighthouse is also popular. Built in 1890 during the reign of King Rama V, it was constructed to warn boats away in case they strayed too close to the island. The lighthouse still work and its chief operators are planning to develop a nature trail around the island. There might even be two trails, each around 500 meters long or so, to provide visitors with excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife...

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Koh Racha

Location: Well off the south coast. How to get there: Take a boat from Chalong Pier or Rawai Beach. Koh Racha is actually made up of two islands: Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. Koh Racha Noi is just south of Koh Racha Yai, and is difficult to get too, although it attracts many divers and the occasional cluster of tourists. Koh Racha Noi is tiny and has rocky beaches and pretty little tide pools where you can find small, temporary eco-systems with little creatures. There are hardly any services to Koh Racha Noi and there isn’t much point in going there. Koh Racha Yai is much larger and is home to a few large resorts, the most popular of which is The Racha. The Racha is a luxury resort that attracts the cream of high-end tourists. There are cheaper accommodations on this Phuket island, starting at around 500 baht per night. Budget travelers need not fear if they fancy spending a bit of time on the island Koh Racha Yai has two long, large beaches. One has shallow water, good for adventuring and a bit of swimming, but not so great for large boats. The other beach has much deeper water, providing an ideal spot for boats to achor. The beautiful beachfront at Koh Racha Yai is the main reason why this Phuket island is growing in popularity. With no cars on the island, you’ll find yourself walking around most of the time. There are a couple of bars and restaurants on the island,...

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Koh Naka Yai

Location: Off the northeast coast. How to get there: Take a longtail boat from Ao Por Pier. Just a few years ago, Koh Naka Yai, the larger of the twin Naka islands, was only inhabited by a small village of fishermen and their families. However, recently, the island has been developed into an eco-friendly tourist destination. Environmentally conscious developers are turning this Phuket island into a paradise getaway for eco-tourism. Now there are several types of environmentally friendly attractions drawing scores of tourists to the island. Bicycling through the tropical jungle is popular on this Phuket island, as is hiking, viewing island’s wildlife, sailing, fishing, cultural festivals and much more besides. The list of things to do while visiting Koh Naka Yai is getting longer all the time island. There are several project in development on Koh Naka Yai and the small village is located on the west coast. As the island becomes more developed to suit tourism, you can’t ignore the Koh Naka Retreat and the rest of the development on the island. The Koh Naka Retreat is a luxury resort that has it all. The draw of this Phuket island is the long stretches of untouched beachfront. The views across the sea are awesome. There is really nothing to do on the island except enjoy the scenery and laze about all...

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Koh Naka Noi

Location: Off the northeast coast. How to get there: Take a longtail boat from Ao Por Pier. Koh Naka Noi is the smaller of the twin Naka islands and is located just off the northeast of Phuket. Koh Naka Noi is rapidly becoming more popular with eco-friendly tourists who want to stray a little off the conventional tourist path. There are plenty of chances to see this Phuket island’s wildlife and marine life, or else take long strolls along the sandy beaches. This Phuket island has long stretches of beach and spots untouched by mass tourism, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, tanning and just lounging around. The main point of interest for tourists is the Naka Noi pearl farm, which has guided tours demonstrating to visitors how the “South Sea Pearls” are harvested and extracted. This type of attraction isn’t found in too many other places, which definitely keeps Naka Noi on the list of fun spots to visit, but ultimately you might find that a pearl farm sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is. While touring the pearl farm, there’s also a pearl shop included as one of the stops, so you can buy your fill of...

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Koh Maphrao, Coconut Island

Location: Off the east coast. How to get there: Take a boat from Laem Hin Pier (15 baht each way). Koh Maphrao, or Coconut Island, is one of the more untouched islands around Phuket. The attraction main draw of this Phuket island is that you’ll feel as if you’re stepping back in time as soon as you set foot on the shore. Longtail boats take tourists to the island and back. Coconut island is perhaps not favored by tourists because there isn’t any electricity on the island. The locals at Coconut Island from solar panels. Don’t let this put you off Koh Maphrao, however, because the island is beautiful and pretty much undiscovered by the majority of travelers. The natural beauty and undeveloped land make Coconut Island the ideal place for a day trip. There are no facilities, restaurants or shops, but there is lots of sand. If you need to stay overnight at Koh Maphrao, it is possible to hire a very basic room. The longest beach on Coconut Island is only about 30 meters long, but it’s incredibly quiet and a choice spot for the local fishermen. The beaches on Koh Maphrao offer you a chance to see what Patong Beach looked like thirty years ago. Much of Coconut Island’s population is made up by about 200 families, most of whom are Muslim. The locals are a peaceful bunch who make a living fishing or tapping rubber.. There are no major resorts on Coconut Island and it really is the perfect island destination in Phuket. Our advice is to just get out and see Koh Maphrao before other people discover this Phuket...

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Koh Mai Thon

Location: Well off the southeast coast. How to get there: If you aren’t being ferried over by the Maiton Resort, take a boat from Ao Makham Deep Sea Port. Koh Mai Thon is a beautiful Phuket island that is home to the luxury Maiton Island Resort. If you want it to be, Koh Mai Thon can be your own private island resort, with full service and every luxury imaginable, which will either turn you right on or put you off completely. Day trips are also possible to this Phuket island. Koh Mai Thon is small, but there are still plenty of things to do. The resort is an excellent choice for visitors who prefer to go somewhere where they can basically share in experiencing having their own island. There are relatively few other people on the island and so there’s always plenty of time to explore on your own terms, as well as spend some quiet time relaxing without throngs of tourists or fighting your way to find an quiet spot on the beach. This Phuket island is also known among divers for its beautiful coral reef structures, filled with exotic tropical fish. Diving should always be done responsibly, of course, and there are places in Phuket where beginners and advanced divers can polish their skills before going into the open sea. There’s also a lot of great fishing around Koh Mai Thon. Fishing on a beautiful beach is an unconventional way to spend a quiet evening, but it can be strangely soothing. And then, of course, there’s lounging on the beach, an excellent past-time, especially for those visitors who have come to Phuket to be as lazy as possible. Swimming is awesome off this Phuket island as the crystal clear water off Koh Mai Thon is crystal clear and makes for a great opportunity to splash around with...

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Koh Lone

Location: Off the south coast. How to get there: Take a boat from Chalong Bay. Also written as Koh Lohn or just Lone Island, Koh Lone definitely lives up to the hype. Koh Lone is one of the better Phuket islands and it’s fairly isolated from the massive tourism and nightlife scene that you find in some places in Phuket. Koh Lone is quiet and is mainly inhabited by Muslim fishermen. This Phuket island is also home to only a few different resorts, none of which qualify as major entertainment establishments. Many areas of Koh Lone have no roads and there are no vehicles other than the boats that travel between the islands. If you’re looking for quiet, attractive beaches where you can enjoy some quality time in the sun or just get in pampering time, Koh Lone is a great choice. However, just lazing around all day isn’t to everyone’s liking and there isn’t all that much to do on the island. Koh Lone is surrounded by several tiny islands, which are easily reached by boat. The water between presents an excellent opportunity for divers, as well. Nature lovers will especially enjoy experiencing the small tropical-island atmosphere of Koh Lone. Those seeking a more serene experience in Thailand will find this Koh Lone to be a great deal more peaceful than some of the other Phuket...

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Koh Bon

Location: Off the southernmost tip. How to get there: Catch a longtail boat from Rawai Beach if you’re making you’re own way there. There are, in fact, two Koh Bons. One is near Rawai and the other is about 20 kilometres north of the Similan Islands. The one of the coast of Rawai is a lovely little island with some great stretches of beach and numerous opportunities for snorkelling. Definitely worth making a visit to see this Phuket island. Koh Bon is an ideal spot for lazing around and swimming. The main beach is crescent shaped and rather stunning. All of the facilities and the one accommodation located on the island are owned and operated by the the Evason Phuket Resort and Spa. The facilities on the island are only for the resort’s guests, so if you’re planning to visit Koh Bon, you’ll want to make the Evason your resort of choice, although there is only one room type of theirs on the island, which is the Honeymoon Suite. If you’re planning to dive near the island, lean towards relying on your boat for relaxation or on parts of the island that are not restricted for those who are not guests of the Evason Resort. As for the other Koh Bon, the one north of the Similan Islands, well, that’s a diver’s paradise. This island features beautiful and ideal reef structures surrounding it. Koh Bon is the perfect spot to swim with and discover manta rays. Manta rays can be seen anywhere between early April and late May, but generally speaking, they linger near the island throughout early summer. There’s also a small cove located on the island that presents an excellent opportunity for night diving. On the western side of Koh Bon you’ll find Koh Bon Pinnacle, though beginner divers are discouraged from attempting to explore this area because it lies exposed in deep water. On the south side of the island there’s a large coral wall and, like much of the coral reef structures surrounding Koh Bon, it was left undamaged by the tsunami that destroyed many areas around Phuket. Several species of shark and moray eels can be viewed near this Phuket...

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