Islands

From a few minutes by speedboat to a day's sailing away, Phuket is surrounded by so many tropical islands, of such outstanding natural beauty, that literally weeks can be spent exploring.

World Class Diving
At the far north of Phuket's cruising grounds lie the nine islands of the Similans - noted for their magnificent dive sites - to the south, the brooding intensity of Taratao - a prison colony during World War II and now part of the fifty-one island Taratao National Park - and in between dozens of isles offering pristine beaches, spectacular scenery and a peace and serenity unique to the Andaman.

The Beach
Perhaps the most popular - and populace - of the islands off Phuket are the twins, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. The latter of these was the stage for the recent Hollywood movie - The Beach, while the former has become a busy tourist destination, offering a range of accommodation and watersport activities. 20km southeast of Phuket, the Phi Phi islands also afford visitors some excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities - the nearby islets of Bida Ley and Bida Nok of particular note.

James Bond Islands
The sheltered waters of Phangnga Bay have their own gifts of nature peculiar to this region alone. Scattered around the bay, craggy limestone escarpments thrust up from the sea like primordial fortresses. Caves, cut through the rock by salt water and usually only accessible at certain times of the tide, allow access to remarkable microcosms of nature. These lost worlds are havens for rare forms of flora and fauna and are also home to the swiftlets whose nests are considered great delicacies by the Chinese.

It was in this region that part of the James Bond movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun' was filmed, and the gravity defying Raya Ring Island is now one of the bay's busiest tourist sites.

Best explored by yacht, charters and day cruises around Phangnga Bay are readily available from Phuket, while ferry services and dive trips run to Phi Phi daily. If time is of the essence, high speed motor launches or long-tail boat can be chartered from several locations around the island. Accommodation is available on a number of the islands - some of it rustic, some very exclusive.

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Last Update This Page:Sunday, October 23/2016