Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and with world-class resorts, a wide selection of beaches and a host of activities to keep visitors occupied, there are plenty of reasons to stay here and not venture anywhere else during your vacation. But that would be a shame because as attractive as Phuket can be, there are some delightful islands nearby. Taking an island tour from Phuket provides visitors with a chance to witness some of the outstanding natural beauty of the area.
Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island
A trip to the islands and rock formations of Phang Nga Bay is one of the most popular day tours from Phuket. Located in the Andaman Sea in between Phuket and Krabi, Phang Nga Bay is home to a stunning seascape with huge limestone cliffs jutting out of the ocean.
James Bond Island: photo by Joan Campderrós-i-Canas
The most famous location in the bay is Khao Ping Gan although it’s better known by many as ‘James Bond Island’. This was the location for Scaramanga’s hideaway in the James Bond movie, The Man With the Golden Gun. Looking out from here visitors see Khao Tapu, the needle-like limestone rock that also featured in The Man With the Golden Gun. Tours from Phuket that take in Phang Nga Bay will often include a stop at Ko Panyi, a unique fishing village that has been built on stilts and includes a mosque and school.
TourChoice can arrange tours by sea kayak of Phang Nga Bay from Phuket enabling you to explore close-up the surreal beauty of the islands dotted around the bay.
Phi Phi Island
If you’ve seen the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach, you will know already about Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh. With turquoise seas, towering limestone cliffs and a white sandy beach, it’s easy to see why this idyllic part of Thailand captures the imagination. But the outstanding natural beauty of Maya Bay is a double-edged sword because it attracts hordes of visitors to its shores searching for their own slice of paradise. Phi Phi and Maya Bay are definitely must-see attractions, but visitors should temper their expectations. The bad news is, unlike Leo and his friends in the movie version, you aren’t going to have the beach all to yourself. The good news is, Maya Bay is still staggeringly beautiful and Phi Phi island is easy to reach from Phuket.
Sailing cruise tour between Phuket and Phi Phi »
Maya Bay, Phi Phi
Coral Island (Ko Hae)
A few kilometres to the south-east of Phuket, Ko Hae is a popular day tour from Phuket. Long Beach can get busy with day-trippers, but a short walk to Banana Beach provides a quieter alternative. Coral Island is a good location for snorkelling, but it’s equally as good a spot to kick off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes and relax on the beach.
To the north-west of Phuket, a cluster of islands in the Andaman Sea form the Similan Islands. A favourite location for sailors and scuba diving enthusiasts, the scenery here is spectacular with dazzlingly clear waters encircling the dramatic rock formations found on the islands. The Similan Islands can be reached as a day tour from Phuket, but divers should allow more time here to experience the beauty of the waters and the quality of the scuba diving on offer.
Dive the Similan Islands »
An ideal day tour from Phuket, Racha Island is renowned for its clear waters making it an excellent location for snorkelling and for novice scuba divers. Of course, if you just want to soak up the sun and lie on the beach then Racha makes for a relaxing island to visit from Phuket.
Booking island tours from Phuket
TourChoice can arrange a number of island tours from Phuket. See more on the Phuket destination guide