For Thailand, November to January marks the high tourist season when travelers from most of Europe and America flee across the respective continents and scatter themselves across Asia to escape the winter months. And one of the most popular destinations in Asia is Thailand. Besides the warm weather, the warm smiles of local Thai people are part of the charm for these tourists. And one of the most popular destinations in Thailand is Phuket.
Nestled on one of the most southern points on the East side of Thailand, the island of Phuket is the largest island in the country. Being located next to the Andaman sea means it’s located close to some of the most beautiful beaches and idyllic islands in the world.
Here’s a list of some of the best island to visit in Phuket
Phang Nga Bay Distance from Phuket Island: 23km
Regardless of the weather, Phang Nga Bay is a mystical place to visit, and some would say it’s even religious. The beauty of the emerald-green waters forms an idyllic backdrop to the underwater caverns that sprout out from the depths beneath. Cold mornings cast a moody mystic glow on the caverns, while noon visits will uncover some of the shy marine life beneath the water. No matter the time or day, Phang Nga Bay is worth the time it takes to get there.
Ko Kho Khao Island Distance from Phuket Island: 120km
Though quite some distance from Phuket Island, this romantic escape is a great place to visit after Phang Nga Bay. Those seeking respite from the crowds will find this little ‘out of the way’ island ideal. Long stretches of empty beaches for lovely walks with your favorite person is a time-honored pastime here. While swimming is permitted, the waters here aren’t as breathtaking as the ones on the other nearby islands. Nevertheless, Ko Kho Khao (pronounced as ‘kaw ko khow’) still offers brilliant sunsets.
Khao Phing Kan (James Bond Island) Distance from Phuket Island: 23km
Famously known by its colloquial name, James Bond Island, the island found itself in a starring role in the Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ in 1974. Since then, this emerald gem tucked discreetly in the corner of Phang Nga Bay has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in Phuket.
It’s hard not to have the James Bond theme playing in your head as you explore this picturesque island. Being there, it’s not hard to see why this location was picked as the secret lair of a bond villain. Karst formations rising out of the emerald sea appear as foreboding sentinels guarding the small entrance into the bay that reveal a secluded, unspoiled white sand beach surrounded by towering cliffs that form a menacing backdrop around it (minus the large radar antennas from the movie).
Ko Khai Nok Island Distance from Phuket Island: 8km
Just a short, fast boat hop away from the West side of Phuket, Ko Khai Nok Island is a great place to experience the crystal clear waters you’ve seen and heard about. It’s a perfect place for day-trippers. But it’s most popular for snorkeling and divers, with some wrecks below for exploration. But be warned that many tourists on chartered boats use this island as a popular lunchtime stop.
Khai Nai Island Distance from Phuket Island: 12km
Another island close to Phuket, this little island can be visited in tandem with Ko Khai Nok Island. With the same crystal clear waters as other islands close by, it’s hard to find anything not to like about the island. Like Ko Khai Nok, this island is perfect for snorkeling but take note not to feed the fishes as hand feeding is strictly forbidden, and you could be arrested for it.
Ko Racha Yai Island (and Ko Racha Noi) Distance from Phuket Island: 18km
Directly south of Phuket, Ko Racha Yai is another popular spot for tourists island hopping from Phuket. Like the other islands located near Phuket, this island is a popular spot for charter boats to drop tourists off for lunch and can get pretty crowded during the day. The island features a U-shaped beach with sand that’s almost as fine as baby powder. Its little brother (Ko Racha Noi) is mostly known for its fishing spots and a great place to snorkel but not much else.
Ko He Island (and Ko Racha Noi) Distance from Phuket Island: 5km
A scant distance from Phuket, Ko He is also known as Coral Island for its crystal clear waters, where you can explore its popular reefs that are teeming with marine life and corals. There are two fantastic beaches on the island where you can lie down and soak up the tropical sun. And there’s no lack of activities on the island, with diving operators and jet ski rentals available the moment you get off the boat.
Ko Mai Thon Island Distance from Phuket Island: 18km
Colloquially known as Honeymoon Island, this privately owned island is the perfect place to get in touch with nature and your other half. Known for its incredible snorkeling and azure blue waters, it’s the closest you will get to finding the deserted fantasy island you’ve been dreaming of. There’s something for everyone here. Snorkeling, fishing, or just bird watching, it’s also perfect for couples visiting the island with kids!
Phuket Island is the perfect stepping-off point to visit some of the most incredible and beautiful islands that Thailand has to offer. And there’s no better place to be than Thavorn Palm Beach Resort, where the beautiful island of your dreams are just a scant speed boat ride away. Book a holiday with us now to find the best island to visit in Phuket!