Being the most important island in Thailand and one of many nation’s hottest vacationer locations, boredom is one thing you’ll by no means expertise in Phuket.
Whereas there are infinite points of interest and issues to do in Phuket and you’ll simply have tons of enjoyable on stunning seashores like Patong, Rawai, or Bang Tao, lots of Phuket’s hidden gems are farther afield.
Phuket has 32 smaller islands within the Andaman sea surrounding it, this makes island hopping from Phuket tremendous straightforward and the reasonably priced tour packages make splendid half-day or day journeys from Phuket. Plus, the encircling provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi supply much more great and distinctive Phuket day journeys.
Probably the most handy option to e book the preferred Phuket day excursions and journeys is on Viator or Get Your Information. These trusted platforms supply the prospect to learn actual evaluations and e book your day journeys earlier than you get to Thailand. Most excursions additionally embody lodge pick-up for a stress-free expertise.
When you haven’t booked your lodge but take a look at my insider’s information on the place to remain in Phuket and, for those who’d favor to go to the islands independently, you’ll be able to e book your ferry tickets on-line at 12Go Asia.
As I’ve lived in Phuket for 3+ years, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to check out most of those island hopping excursions and day journeys from Phuket so right here is my decide of the ten finest together with well-known sights, in style islands and lesser-known native treasures that you simply shouldn’t miss whenever you go to Phuket.
So whether or not you’re after culutral gems or the most effective diving and snorkeling spots, a nature lover searching for some tranquility, or a seaside bum searching for the final word Phuket island hopping expertise, learn on to find the most effective Phuket day journeys.
Prime 10 Island Hopping Excursions and Day Journeys from Phuket
1. Outdated Phuket City & Huge Buddha
Earlier than you begin exploring the close by islands and taking day journeys from Phuket, I like to recommend doing a Phuket metropolis tour to discover the island’s tradition.
Phuket City is the island’s cultural hub. If potential, go on a Sunday to expertise the bustling Sunday strolling market within the Outdated City. Nonetheless, no matter day you go to, you’ll discover a vibrant environment.
The easiest way to discover Phuket City is on foot – strolling round admiring the Nineteenth-century colourful homes and trying out the distinctive boutique retailers and cafes.
Then, take a taxi to Wat Chalong, some of the stunning Buddhist temples in Phuket after which head to the well-known Huge Buddha temple. This iconic sculpture is constructed excessive up on a mountain and is a powerful 148 toes tall and 83.5 toes large. Together with its peaceable mountain environment, you’ll discover epic views over Phuket Island!
Phuket City and Chalong are within the southeast of Phuket Island. When you’re staying within the vacationer seaside cities on the west coast, like Patong Seashore, it will likely be a 30-40 minute drive to the Outdated City. One of the best time to go to the Huge Buddha is at sundown.
Whereas it’s tremendous straightforward to discover this space by yourself by way of taxis, there’s additionally an incredible half-day group Phuket Metropolis Tour that may decide you up out of your lodge. It is a nice tour for anybody fascinated about historical past, tradition and spirituality because it visits all three of Phuket’s cultural highlights – Phuket Outdated City, Wat Chalong and the Huge Buddha.
2. Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are undoubtedly the preferred day journey vacation spot from Phuket. Six islands make up the Phi Phi Islands, making it a perfect island-hopping Phuket day journey!
The biggest and busiest island is Phi Phi Don – the archipelago’s solely inhabited island. It is stuffed with resorts and delightful seashores, equivalent to Monkey Seashore.
Koh Phi Phi Leh is among the uninhabited islands and residential to Maya Bay, made well-known after getting used because the filming vacation spot for the 2000 movie “The Seashore.” Bamboo Island is one other in style spot on Phi Phi island hopping excursions.
The Phi Phi Islands are positioned off the east coast of Phuket, within the province of Krabi. Being a well-liked day journey from Phuket, you’ll don’t have any hassle discovering group excursions to the Phi Phi islands.
For instance, this Phi Phi tour contains stops at Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, Ko Phi Phi Don, Viking Cave and Bamboo Island. It’s one of many best possible day journeys from Phuket and they’re going to additionally decide you up and drop you again from any lodge in Phuket.
Nonetheless, for those who’ve bought extra time you even have the choice to remain in a single day at one of many inns on Phi Phi Don and go to Krabi the subsequent day, the place you’ll be able to take a protracted tail boat to the unbelievable limestone cliffs of Railay Seashore.
3. James Bond Island
James Bond Island is one other of the preferred excursions from Phuket resulting from being the filming location of the 1974 James Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
James Bond is simply one of many 100 stunning islands in Phang Nga Bay, northeast of Phuket. This space is stuffed with fascinating limestone formations and sea caves, in addition to many improbable swimming and snorkeling spots.
Boat excursions are finest for exploring Phang Nga Bay, and there are numerous choices. I took this Luxurious Sundown Cruise, which included an honest lunch and dinner onboard whereas cruising round Phang Nga Bay. Together with James Bond Island, this distinctive tour included sea canoeing by the limestone caves of Hong Island.
4. Racha Islands
The Racha Islands encompass Racha Noi and Racha Yai, positioned within the southern a part of Phuket, slightly below Coral Island. Racha Island is among the many finest scuba diving and snorkeling spots within the Andaman Sea, so you will see that many diving journeys going right here.
The islands are a real paradise – white sand, crystal-clear waters, and no vehicles. Plus, it takes simply 45 minutes to get there, making it top-of-the-line day journeys from Phuket for all water and seaside lovers.
To discover the Racha Islands, you’ll be able to be part of a bunch scuba diving or snorkeling tour, or you’ll be able to simply prepare a protracted tail boat or speedboat switch from Rawai or Chalong pier.
One other in style alternative is the beach-club model Hype Luxurious Catamaran. On this journey, you’ve got loads of time to sunbathe on numerous Racha Island seashores and go to Banana Seashore on the close by Coral Island. On the best way again, you’ll get pleasure from a “floating celebration” with tapas, drinks, and an on-board dwell DJ.
5. Naka Island
Naka is one other of the shortest day journeys in Phuket. Naka Island is one in all Phuket’s hidden gems and is right for anybody who seeks a soothing day of sunbathing and swimming quite than journey.
Naka can also be house to the posh lodge “Naka Island Resort.” Whereas it’s costly to remain right here, day trippers can get a day cross to make use of the resort’s amenities, together with the pool, use of snorkeling gear, and water sports activities gear like kayaks.
Naka Island is only a 10-minute boat journey from Ao Por Grand Marina within the North East of Phuket. As it’s such a brief distance and there’s not a lot to do on the island, think about together with Naka in a self-guided island hopping journey with Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi (see beneath).
6. Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi are two islands barely east of Naka. Koh Yao Yai is the most important, house to beautiful resorts, stunning seashores, and mesmerizing nature.
One resort I like to recommend trying out is Santhiya, an enormous hillside resort constructed from pure teakwood. Santhiya affords a day cross to make use of the resort’s two swimming pools (together with an infinity hilltop one).
Koh Yao Noi is a a lot smaller island, which is simply as stunning, however the seashores supply totally different views from Koh Yao Yai. It’s because the north of Koh Yao Noi faces the beautiful limestone cliffs and caves of Phang Nga Bay. In the meantime, the island’s south is stuffed with lush nature, together with rice fields and coconut groves.
You’ll be able to entry these two islands by way of a 20 to 30-minute ferry from the Royal Phuket marina in northeast Phuket. You’ll be able to e book your ferry simply on-line at 12Go Asia. There may be additionally a ferry between each islands that takes simply 10 minutes, making for easy island hopping in Phuket.
7. Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are some of the well-known diving spots on the earth. Thus, these pristine islands make for some of the in style Phuket day journeys. Right here, you’ll be able to spot turtles, leopard sharks, Shovelnose rays, and plenty of extra uncommon species.
Nonetheless, whereas the turquoise waters and marine life are the highest points of interest right here, the surroundings is spectacular, too, with many distinctive rock formations. For instance, the Sail Rock hike is among the hottest on-land actions right here.
The Similan archipelago consists of 11 islands, 70 km off the coast of Phang Nga. Nonetheless, it is among the longer day excursions from Phuket, so put together for a 10-12 hour day! There are additionally multi-day journey choices, the place you sleep at a campsite or in a cabin on one of many islands.
Try the totally different choices for Similan island journeys on Get Your Information to seek out the most effective one for you. Be aware that the Similan Islands are closed through the monsoon season (June to September).
8. Surin Islands
Whereas staying in Khao Lak I needed to go to the Similan islands. However it was a busy interval and the journeys had been all absolutely booked – so ensure you e book upfront for those who’re visiting Phuket within the peak season! Anyway, as a substitute, I made a decision to go to the lesser-known Surin Islands.
What’s distinctive about these islands is that they’re house to an indigenous tribe referred to as The Moken. The Moken had been beforehand sea nomads/gypsies however settled within the Surin Islands within the Nineteen Nineties.
Dwelling in such an remoted area (a 4-hour boat journey to the mainland), the Moken dwell a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life. They sleep in very fundamental, humble picket huts on the seaside, and you’ll go to their village to see how they dwell.
Except for the Moken, you’ll discover some beautiful seashores and snorkeling spots within the Surin Islands, together with Mai Ngam Seashore.
The Surin Islands are positioned far off the west coast of Phang Nga. The one option to go to the Surin Islands from Phuket is by way of a tour. I did a snorkeling journey much like this one, which included snorkeling, seaside time, and a go to to the village.
Whereas the Surin Islands are completely price visiting, it’s a VERY lengthy boat journey (from Phuket or Khao Lak). Subsequently, you spend a lot of the day on a small velocity boat, which might not be superb for some.
9. Khao Sok Nationwide Park
Khao Sok is an unbelievable nationwide park within the northern a part of Phang Nga, the province straight above Phuket. Khao Sok Nationwide Park is house to the oldest evergreen rainforest on the earth – 160 million years previous. Subsequently, you’ll be able to look forward to finding infinite lush jungles and various wildlife, together with 48 mammal species and 311 species of birds!
One other iconic a part of Khao Sok is Cheow Lan Lake. Majestic limestone mountains and cliffs encompass this serene lake, and there are numerous floating raft homes and bungalows – a part of the resorts you’ll be able to keep at.
You’ll be able to go to Khao Sok on a day journey from Phuket. Nonetheless, it’s a lengthy drive from Phuket Island (about 3.5 hours a method), so be aware that you’ll have to go away within the early morning and spend a lot of the day in a minivan.
Contemplating this, I extremely suggest taking a 2 day 1 evening Khao Sok tour the place you’ll keep the evening in one of many floating raft homes in Khao Sok Nationwide Park – which is an entire expertise in itself. That method, you’ll get to expertise the tranquility of the lake after darkish and witness a panoramic dawn (for those who’re up early sufficient).
You too can journey independently by bus and prepare your individual lodging, then you definitely’ll even have the prospect to discover the close by Khao Lak, which, as you’re about to find, is one in all my favourite elements of Thailand!
10. Khao Lak
If you wish to escape the crowds of Phuket and Patong seaside throughout excessive season, Khao Lak is undoubtedly the place to go. Khao Lak is positioned on the west coast of Phang Nga and is extremely quiet and largely untouched in comparison with Phuket.
The lengthy stretch of coast affords quite a few serene seashores, together with Pakarang and Pak Weep Seashore. Each of those seashores have quiet elements in addition to mini “seaside villages” with just a few native eating places and “on-the-beach” therapeutic massage retailers. There are additionally a number of waterfalls close by and a spot the place you’ll be able to go bamboo rafting alongside the river!
Relying on the place you’re staying in Phuket, Khao Lak is a 1.5 to 2.5 drive, making it some of the accessible day excursions from Phuket. You’ll be able to lease a automotive and drive your self, take the general public bus (from Phuket bus terminal 2, simply north of Phuket city), or e book a personal switch.
The huge quantity of islands surrounding Phuket are one motive why I am keen on this a part of Thailand a lot so ensure you get out and discover!
Whether or not you’re right here for one week or one month, remember to take a look at all of the points of interest and issues to do on Phuket island itself in addition to leaving sufficient time to do just a few of those Phuket day journeys and island hopping excursions to discover this Thai paradise absolutely.
And for those who’re searching for extra concepts on your journey to Phuket, take a look at my different Phuket blogs and this 7 Day Phuket itinerary which incorporates all of the highlights and likewise Koh Phi Phi and Krabi for the final word Thailand seaside expertise.