A complete guide to Phuket Island Hopping in 2020 – All you need to know about the 10 best islands to visit while in Phuket.
There are 1430 islands that make up Thailand, and some of the most popular – and most populous – are located around the largest island of Phuket. This mountainous region in the south of Thailand is considered a holiday destination of tropical paradise proportions by people from every nation and culture. Every year, Phuket sees some 9.29 million visitors come to see the sights. Many of them will go on to visit some of the 32 smaller islands, situated off the irresistible Phuket coastline.
When planning your itinerary for island hopping from Phuket, you need to plan ahead. What are the best islands and why? We asked the locals, and this is what they said…
The Best Thai Island Hopping Tour Destinations for your Tropical Getaway
We listed the best ideas for Island hopping in Phuket, Thailand, to help you make the most of your getaway. Be it romantic or adventure packed – we have the scoop on the best sights to see, all over the Phuket islands.
1. Phi Phi Island
We are cheating slightly here, since Koh Phi Phi actually covers 6 islands all clustered together. Only one of the islands is inhabited on a full time basis, with the two larger islands of the 6 most likely to be covered by Phuket island hopping tours. Visit Koh Phi Phi Leh and stop at Maya Bay… Long since considered to be one of the most romantic places in the Thai Islands. Or take in the view from the Koh Phi Phi Don island, enjoy the scenic Viking Cave, or meet the monkeys on Monkey Beach!
2. The Similan Islands
You can get a day trip out to one of the best known snorkelling bays in the whole of the country if you go there when island hopping in Phuket, Thailand. There are eleven different small islands that make up this diver’s dream. If you like the sea, love to snorkel, and want to experience the tropical fish face-to-face, then this tour is vital while you are in the area. The Similan Islands are a National Park area, representing some seriously stunning natural beauty.
3. The Racha Islands
Only 20km south of the large island of Phuket, you will find the warm, cosy shores of the Racha Islands. There are two main Racha Islands that you might visit while on an island hopping Phuket adventure. One of those is the large island of Racha Yai, and the other the smaller of Racha Noi. Both are noted for beauty, the big island, however, is also known for tropical nightlife that turns a beautiful trip into an unforgettable one.
4. Coral Island
Coral Island is best known for honeymoons at the internationally famous Coral Island resort. The beaches and geology of the area lead out into waters so blue you can see the sandy bottom for miles in all directions. Sometimes called Koh He/Hae, visiting the Coral Island from Phuket, Thailand, is a great way to learn about shallow coral reefs and the wonders you find within. Snorkel, dive, or just enjoy a swim in the sublime waters, all just a short boat ride away from the south of Phuket itself.
5. Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi Islands
Both of these islands are breath-taking in tranquillity and scenery. Tourism seems to be more plentiful on Koh Yao Yai, where the fine sands of Loh Paret and Loh Jark Beach make for a sunbather’s paradise. That being said, Koh Yao Noi is famed for the peace and quiet only found in the middle of nowhere. If you want untouched beauty and unrivalled beaches, you will prefer Koh Yao Noi.
6. Koh Khai Islands
Island hopping in Phuket, Thailand, isn’t complete without the Koh Khai Islands as a day trip destination. Half an hour from the east of Phuket, Koh Khai Nok is home to the Ao Phang Nga National Park. This outstanding area of natural beauty also includes James Bond Island, but we will get to that in a moment! The Koh Khai Islands also include the renowned Koh Panyi, which is where you will find the fishing village on stilts above the water that so many tourist operators use.
7. Koh Bon
This island is technically part of the Similan Island cluster but is worth special mention due to the fantastic underwater wildlife that lives on its shores. Scuba diving off this coastline, you can expect to come face-to-face with manta rays and giant sea turtles! If you need a few days spent on a white sand beach in the tropical sun, Koh Bon has everything you have ever been searching for in life.
8. Koh Maphrao
Phuket island hopping tours aren’t complete without a stop by the closest of them all. Koh Maphrao is known as the coconut island, and it is filled with palm trees perched at the head of some of the best beaches in the world. It’s about 850 metres from the eastern coast of Phuket and is free from habitation. This is where renewable rubber resources are made so it makes a great island hopping pit stop for those interested in sustainability.
9. Koh Rang Yai
Koh Rang Yai is the best choice in island hopping in Phuket, Thailand, for those that want to pick up some genuine souvenirs of their stay. This island is known for the pearl farm that you will find about 5 km from the east of the large island. It is mostly uninhabited, but that’s because the pearls are protected. There is an activity centre there for passing time productively or for those that want a health-focused holiday.
10. James Bond Island
Last on our list of the top best Phuket island hopping destinations is James Bond Island. This is part of a National Park and nature reserve, but was once featured in a James Bond film, which is why it got the nickname. Situated in the heart of Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island was used in The Man with The Golden Gun (1974). It is a standing pillar of an island that protrudes from the sea at a steep angle. Its true name is Khao Phing Kan.
Book Your Phuket Island Hopping Tour, Now!
So what are you waiting for? Armed with the knowledge in this article you now know which spots are worth visiting, and which you can pass by. Happy travels!