Rang Yai Island in Phuket
Fancy a trip to your own private island? Who wouldn’t?! Phuket has a reputation for being overdeveloped and too touristy, but the only people who say that are the people who only visit the tourist areas. There are plenty of hidden gems dotted around Thailand’s biggest island.
One such gem is Rang Yai island, a tiny patch of land off Phuket’s east coast. It’s accessible via speed boat from Sapam Bay. I went there yesterday to see what was up and had a great time. The speed boat ride to the island took about 20 minutes and me and two friends were greeted at the island by the island manager and given a coconut each.
Rang Yai island has its own pearl farm (there are lots of pearl farms in Phuket) and we were given an informative talk about pearls, oysters and the farm itself. I wasn’t all that interested in the talk, but if you’re big on pearls or on holiday then this is a nice touch.
As you’d expect, after the pearl talk we were taken to a shop selling all manner of pearl products. Again, if you love pearls, or if you’re after some presents, you can buy or just have a look. There was no pressure to make a purchase, but pearls aren’t exactly my thing.
The island itself is tiny. There are bikes for hire and you can follow a trail around the island. It took about 20 minutes. If we’d had more time there were a few secluded spots that would have been worth stopping at.
The highlight of the day (as with so many of my days) was lunch. The food was fab, with plenty of fish and various Thai dishes. There wasn’t anybody else at the island because it’s currently green season (low season) in Phuket, and there has been some maintenance work being done on the bungalows.
If you want to stay in one of the bungalows, it’ll set you back 1,000 baht a night, which I think is reasonable. On the island there are a bunch of activities to keep you occupied. I saw outdoor dartboards, petonque, a volleyball net, snorkeling gear, kayaks and a mini-golf course. I was quite keen to play golf but we didn’t have enough time.
The beach was clean and the water warm, although not 100% clear. We were warned about jelly fish which had me a bit worried, but luckily there were no dramas.
Most people visit the island as part of a day trip from Phuket. There are a number of full-day and half-day packages available, from 1,200 to 2,200 baht (600 up to 1,100 for children under 12 years old). The island people will pick you up from your hotel and take care of everything. There’s also the option to camp at the island if you’re into sleeping in a tent.
If you’re looking for a romantic place to get married, Rang Yai wouldn’t be a bad choice. They also promote “team building” events.
For further information email [email protected]d-phuket.com or call 076-239893-4, 076-238565-6.