There’s much to see and do in Phuket, but do not limit yourself only to travel attractions and activities on the island! Venture offshore, and embark on a discovery trip to explore one of the many coastal gems located close by…
Koh Yao Islands
Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are a pair of islands set in the center of Phang Nga Bay, and most of the local population reside on the latter. Visitors make their way to the islands by taking long-tail boat rides from Bang Rong Pier, located at the eastern coast of Phuket. The boat will make a quick stop over at Koh Yao Yai, before crossing over to Koh Yao Noi (just eight minutes away).
Koh Yao Noi is great for a day getaway or weekend escape. Once on the island, you’ll quicky catch on to the laid back vibes and relaxed pace of the island. Take a drive on the quiet roads of the island; let the scenery and serenity of the place clear the clutter in your mind. When in Rome, do as the romans do – here, it means you’ll spend hours lounging lazily under breezy salas or upon a swaying hammock, whiling your time away in a leisurely manner, just as the locals do. Round out your day trip by knocking back ice-cold beers and sundowners by the beachfront bars, and tucking into a Thai feast at one of the restaurants along the coastline.
Located close to the southeast coast of Phuket, petite Koh Bon can easily be reached by a long-tail boat or speed boat ride from any of Phuket’s main beaches in the area. The quiet shores are perfect for a leisurely sunbathing session away from the crowds; arm yourself with a refreshing coconut juice or ice-cold beer as you watch the yacht and sailing boats lazily drift by. Beach-goers seeking activitiy may opt for a snorkeling or kayaking trip, while those hungry for a bite may indulge in a beachside feast.
Raya Island, also nown as Koh Racha, is made up of two islands: Koh Racha Noi and Koh Racha Yai. This island is a popular diving spot, drawing streams of avid divers with its clear waters and easy diving. Be prepared to admire the island’s paradisiacal beauty; you’ll be surrounded by beautiful blues, pristine shores and swaying coconut palms during your visit. Apart from snorkeling and scuba-diving, visitors also hop over to tranquil Raya Island to escape the bustle of Phuket and Coral Island.
Venture off the beaten path from Phuket’s crowded coasts to her tranquil western shores. There lies Ko Siray Sea Gypsy Village, home to the Moken sea gypsies. Known as ‘chao ley’ in local terms, they are believed to be the original inhabitatns of Phuket. This quiet village emits a sense of peacefulness hardly found in other areas of the island. Take an exploratory stroll around the area, and you will find little else apart from a couple of beachfront restaurants, and a handful of stalls selling pearl jewellery and seashells.
For a more insightful discovery, engage a guide for your trip. Conversant in Thai, your guide will be able to strike up a conversation with the villages, providing you with more information about lifestyles and culture of the locals.
Pretty and picturesque, Coral Island is home to pristine white-sand shores and crystal clear waters. A few minutes by speedboat from Chalong Bay will bring vacation makers to these striking shores, and affordable snorkeling day trips makes the island a popular choice for water sport enthusiasts. For a quiet, laidback evening with the coast empty of day-trippers, venture here during the late afternoon, or embark on a sunset cruise.
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