Phuket Province is a tropical delight on its own – a beautiful sanctuary of exotic flora and fauna, with a melting pot mix of exquisite local customs, friendly culture, exciting nightlife, stunning Phuket Villas and outstanding food.
Yet, there’s much more to discover when you visit Thailand’s largest island. The stunning Andaman Sea that surrounds Phuket is dotted with postcard-perfect islands of its own.
Known in Thai as “koh”, the term “island” conjures dreamy images of white sandy shores, crystal blue waters and tropical palm trees swaying gently in the breeze. Rather than boarding a crowded vessel to be taken on a strict timetable to visit many of the picturesque islands around Phuket, book your very own private luxury yacht directly from your Phuket Villa, and take your time – traversing the waters to spend as long or as little time as you like caught among the tropical fish, wondrous local wildlife and spectacular locations of these idyllic natural reserves and village resorts.
Take some time out from your Phuket Beach villa and set sail for a splendid day on the tropical seas. These mini-paradises are the ideal destinations to really enjoy some time out on your next Thai holiday with Villa Getaways!
Coral Island (Koh Hae)
A close neighbour to Phuket, Koh Hae is situated just 10km off Rawai Beach on Phuket’s southeast coast. This little gem has two stunning main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach. The latter is ideal for snorkelling with its impressive coral reef, perfect on a calm day when the water is glassy and clear. Water sports are plentiful, as are scuba diving courses, massages and batik classes – as well as a list of food options that include casual and budget-friendly to fine dining. If you enjoy hiking (not suitable for the elderly or small children and sturdy shoes a must), land at Long Beach then take the 15-minute jungle trek through to Banana Beach.
Racha Islands (Raya Islands)
About 18km south of Cape Promthep and off the beaten track to the busier Phi Phi Don island, Racha Yai – which literally translates as Royal Big – is overflowing with exotic and colourful marine life, making it a wonderful destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. Racha Noi (small) is a nearby boat ride, and is less developed than its bigger sister. The appeal of Racha Yai is evident in the number of luxury villas that have sprung up in the vicinity. These islands are peaceful and quiet, yet there are enough decadent hideaway locations to enjoy this beautiful island. Racha Yai’s main beach, Patok Beach, is glorious with its powdery white sands and clear turquoise water and this is indicative of all the beaches between the pair – making them a highlight on your next Phuket Villa holiday in Thailand.
Bon Island (Koh Bon)
Another close neighbour to Phuket is stunning Bon Island, just 2km off the coast. The rocky islet is thick with lush jungle terrain speckled with secluded sandy coves, providing a restful waterside sanctuary. Leaving the hustle and bustle behind, with its luxury villas and sophisticated eateries, Koh Bon is perfect for complete relaxation. You’ll find a traditional Thai restaurant serving mouth-watering authentic dishes along with aromatic cocktails – perfect for a day on the sand. Bon Island is ideal for swimming and snorkelling, while the kids hunt for a sighting of hermit crabs and monitor water lizards.
Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi Lei & Koh Phi Phi Don)
The Phi Phi Islands provide a substantial amount of tourist visitors for Phuket, with plenty to see and do, along with the exquisitely beautiful yet somewhat clichéd white sandy beaches and exquisite turquoise bays. A good 52km from Phuket and about 40km from Krabi’s coast, Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Lei make an unforgettable destination when you’re travelling to Thailand. Phi Phi Lei, the second largest but the most famed in the small archipelago, is uninhabited except for the rangers who maintain the national park. Lei’s fame comes from its stunning Maya Bay, the only beach on the island and the feature of the film, The Beach. Check out the Viking Cave, with ancient paintings and native bird nests, or visit the Lei Lagoon and Coral Seeker Cove. The stunning natural landscape provides plunging cliff faces that almost act as a marine canyon when you sail through the 100m-high limestone rock faces. Phi Phi Don is more developed, with a couple of quaint villages, a 186m-tall viewpoint and plenty of dining choices.
Bamboo Island (Koh Pai)
Part of the Phi Phi archipelago, Bamboo Island is your perfect getaway from the crowds. Long stretches of pristine sandy beaches entice beachgoers with the island’s entire coastline being fringed in soft white sand. There is a notable aquarium-like coral reef, whereby you’ll find superb examples of colourful tropical fish and snorkelling is a must. A small bar to the north of the island serves drinks and snacks, which is the most development allowed on this natural reserve.
Whichever your preference, a luxury yacht acts as the ideal waterside villa when you’re next thinking of a tropical island holiday in Thailand!
-Words by Jennifer McCarthy
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