The Best Day Trips From Phuket

James Bond Island | © Kévin Veau / Flickr
James Bond Island | © Kévin Veau / Flickr
Photo of Kelly Iverson
24 June 2017

Phuket may be one of the top islands to frequent in the entire world, but sometimes, an escape from the Pearl of the Andaman is in order, with the hopes of seeing something, well, different. Whether visitors want to explore spectacular dive sites or simply lounge on a secluded island nearby, here are the best day trips from Phuket.

Koh Phi Phi

Sunny skies and sublime sunsets are just a few things visitors can expect to find on Koh Phi Phi. The islands are Phuket’s competingly famous neighbor. Loads of ferries take eager visitors to mainly one of the six islands that make up Koh Phi Phi. Long white and dreamy beaches initially attract visitors, while its epic nightlife lures them to stay for more than just a day trip. One of the most popular reasons as to why visitors check out Koh Phi Phi is to see the infamous Maya Bay, where The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed.

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Khao Lak

Located about a two-hour drive from the island of Phuket is Khao Lak. This area is one of the best in terms of reaching the Similan Islands, the next day trip on our list. Visitors often overlook this destination because of its stunning neighbors; however, Khao Lak has plenty to offer those who make the journey there. Quaint waterfalls pepper the area in addition to a number of parks, which are worth visiting. Travelers can easily explore via a scooter, picking which natural wonders they wish to see. The area also sports some relatively beautiful sandy stretches, including Hat Bang Niang and Hat Nang Thong.

Khao Lak, Thailand

Similan Islands

Though a bit of a trek from the island of Phuket, the Similan Islands are surely worth the journey. They are made up of 11 extremely isolated islands, and they are all found in the Mu Koh Similan National Park, established in 1982, which has kept them in fabulous and pristine shape, perfect for those who want to dive. Some would even argue that the best dive sites in the entire world are found here, with marine life and crystal clear water galore.

Similan Islands, Thailand

Phang Nga Bay

Limestone cliffs do not get more seemingly beautiful than those found in Phang Nga Bay. One can take a boat from Phuket to visit this bay and spend an afternoon kayaking, sunning themselves on an otherwise secluded beach, or snorkeling the bay’s crystal clear water. One of the most visited islands found in this bay is James Bond Island. It got its well-known name as it was a filming location for the movie The Man With the Golden Gun. Koh Panyee is another famous spot found at Phang Nga Bay.

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Surin Islands

The Surin Islands have some of the top destinations for divers in the entire world. These five islands have abundant marine and incredible coral reefs, along with welcoming, warm water for divers to jump right into upon arrival. The dive and snorkeling sites are so pristine because they find themselves in the Mo Ko Surin National Park, which covers a little over 54 square miles (140 square kilometers) in size.

Surin Islands, Thailand

Koh Yao Noi

As one of the most secluded islands in all of Thailand, this is a perfect spot for those visitors trying to escape the millions of tourists who flock to Phuket each year. The island is great for those wanting to take on jungle terrain on foot, as there are a number of trails to meander. Koh Yao Noi is free of tourists and instead houses local farmers, most of whom make their living off the fishing and coconut industry. The island is some eight miles (12.9 kilometers) in length, and only about 3,000 people reside here, making it one of the most secluded of day trips for visitors.

Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

Dive at the King Cruiser Wreck

Phuket is almost just as gorgeous below the sea as it is above, which is why visitors with some time on their hands should take a day to explore the island’s underwater realm. Located some 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Phuket is the King Cruiser Wreck, arguably the best dive site on the island. Dive shops will have all the equipment one needs to take to the water, and at a fairly affordable price.

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