Phuket is on every traveler’s bucket list. With its crystalline waters, fairytale beaches, and colorful marine life, it’s a gorgeous destination that attracts millions of tourists every year. With delicious Thai cuisine and stunning sunset views, Phuket offers a unique experience for families, honeymooners, or adventurous friend groups.
It’s also near a few paradise-like islands that simply cannot be missed, making Phuket the perfect destination for island hopping. Here are a few nearby islands to check out that are just a boat ride away:
Recognized as one of the best beaches globally, Koh Lanta has a natural beauty that has attracted visitors for decades. With vibrant coral reefs, rugged terrain, and idyllic lifestyle, the island is a unique getaway destination that will definitely leave you filled with wonder.
It features stunning dive sites, which is said to be one of the world’s best. You’ll get a full view of the gorgeous corals and marine life native to Thai waters with spectacular underwater visibility. When you explore these reefs, it feels like entering a whole new world.
If you prefer to lounge on its beach, the white sandy beaches are the perfect setting for an afternoon soak in the sun. Coupled with a magical, fiery sunset, Koh Lanta is definitely an island to visit. It can be reached from Phuket by ferry, which takes around four hours depending on the company. If you’re aching to reach the island as fast as possible, you can take a speedboat, which cuts travel time to two hours.
Made up of nine pristine islands, Similan is among the best places to go scuba diving in Thailand. In fact, its dive sites are also considered to be one of the best in the world! Unspoiled by industrialization, you’ll enjoy a world of colors with its brilliant waters and shimmering sea life.
A famous feature of the island is its gargantuan boulders, which are scattered about. These natural backdrops serve as the perfect photoshoot environment. The island is mostly deserted, so you’ll enjoy unprecedented levels of privacy.
Camping is possible on this island, although you’ll need special permission. Most travelers go on cruises, which include multiple-day diving trips on the island. To reach the island, you’ll have to drive to Tap Lamu Pier in Phang Nga, then take a two-hour speedboat.
Koh Phi Phi
Featured in the famous movie The Beach, this island features jewel-like waters and vivid corals. It’s primarily known for Maya Bay, which is the main attraction of the island. It features a crop of rocky cliffs surrounding a dazzling lagoon, which makes you feel like you’re in paradise.
Phi Phi also features fantastic dive sites made possible by its crystal clear waters and bright marine life. It’s also one of the cheapest areas to dive in Thailand. It has a vivid nightlife, with thousands of backpackers going from bar to bar across the island. There are plenty of beach parties to attend, and fire shows to enjoy when you’re on the island, which is also accessible from Phuket by a two-hour ferry.
This island, covered in lush greenery and small sandy coves, is near Phuket. Even with its nearness, it remains mostly untouched with its abundant flora and fauna. It’s also an excellent spot for snorkeling as its waters are full of bustling marine life.
Koh Bon is known for its gastronomic delights, as it has many restaurants that offer delicious Thai cuisine. Enjoy spicy foods after an excursion through the sandy coves or cap a day after snorkeling by watching the glorious sunset, and you’ll have one of your most memorable moments on this island.
Koh Bon is only a fifteen-minute longtail ride from Phuket, making it one of the closest and most accessible destinations. There are longtail taxis on Rawai Beach that you can take to access the island.
Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi
These islands have the typical stunning characteristics of a Thai island and are perfect for relaxing. If you’ve been meaning to disconnect from an urban, highly digital world, these two islands are ideal for stringing up a hammock and relaxing all day.
With thick mangroves, golden sand beaches, and a spectacular limestone karst landscape, you’ll feel like you’re lounging on Thailand’s best-kept secret. Take advantage of the natural beauty of these islands by renting a two-wheeler. If you’re not exploring, you can kayak, snorkel, or dive in their aquamarine waters.
Highly accessible by a slow boat, it’s a one hour trip from Phuket.
Phuket alone features an incredible number of views and activities to enjoy, but its nearby islands are breathtaking. If you want to enjoy a day or two in paradise, these islands will give you an experience like no other.
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