phuket island hopping

5 Famous Phuket Islands For Best Beach Activities

If you’re looking for stunning beach vacation spots near Phuket island that combines snorkeling and sipping Margaritas on the beach, island hopping trip might be your perfect escapade.

Have you considered Phuket island tour to explore the best islands? Tropical beach vacation may be for the romantics, but visiting exotic islands in the Andaman sea is totally amazing. 

Island hopping day trips from Phuket pretty much offers it all, from breathtaking natural settings, crystal blue oceans to fine sandy shoreline amidst swaying coconut trees.

The Surin group of islands are some of the most beautiful in the Archipelago. These group of islands are awesome beach vacation spots, and it takes a bit of patience to be in paradise.

best islands to visit from phuket

Experiencing the breathtaking natural beauty of the turquoise waters and green-clad limestone islands are pretty popular with island hopping day tours from Phuket.

Visit to hidden islands in Phuket is where you can explore Phi Phi, Koh Yao and Racha Yai, among others. Each tour is totally different, from snorkeling in the crystal clear waters to kayaking into secluded lagoons and caves.

The Phuket island hopping itinerary are suitable for all ages, making this activity perfect for family with kids as well. Standard tours offer pick-up and drop-off services, ensuring comfort and convenience for you.

How to go on islands hopping that would fit your day trip schedule? Your tour usually starts early in the morning (standard practice in Thailand) with stops along the way to pick-up other guests en route to Phuket pier.

To avoid all the hassle, schedule a relaxing luxury island hopping in Phuket on a private boat, pay an additional fee to tailor-made the itinerary to include meals and all the comforts on board.

I’m sure you know where I’m headed with all this. If you adore beach getaways, keep reading to learn about our 5 best Phuket island hopping including day trips with tours and itinerary to bounce around the incredible Andaman sea.

What are the best islands to visit from Phuket

  • Phi Phi Island 
  • Koh Khai Island 
  • Koh Yao Island 
  • Racha Nai Island 
  • Koh Tachai Island 

1. Phi Phi Island

A trip to the southern eastern hidden islands in Phuket with stunning off-beat beaches to explore is a great day to kick-start your Phuket island hopping tours.

Koh Khai Nook, Ko Lon, Ko Mai, Ko Racha, Ko Yao, James Bond Island have some of the best offshore beaches with spectacular coral forest, limestone caves and super clear waters for island hopping day trips from Phuket.

One of the most popular coves in Phi Phi is Maya Bay, which was made famous in Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach” in 1999. I recommend going early in the morning to beat the crowd. 

The next stop I would suggest is Loh Samah Bay, a “knockout” lagoon which is super scenic and a bit more low-key.

Compare to Maya Bay, which allows for more privacy with its secluded beach, Loh Samah Bay’s pristine waters in the lagoon is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. 

How To Get There:

Start your Phuket island hopping with a trip to Phi Phi Island. Hire the iconic long tail boat (Rua Hang Yao) and cruise around the stunning limestone cliffs and clear blue waters of Phi Phi island, and stop by the famous Maya Bay.

Next stop, head to my secret island (Bamboo Island) It’s tiny island but blessed with incredible white sand beach and crystal-clear waters. There are no beach umbrellas to rent, so just relax on the beach or go snorkeling.

Finish your Phuket island hopping tours with a sumptuous meal at Rang Yai island near Phuket. Dinner are normally served by the beach, so you have the perfect sunset view to enjoy your food before ending your day. 

2. Koh Khai Islands

On my last Phuket island hopping trip, we made a brief stop and took some stunning photos back home. It was a totally mesmerizing island tour for all of us in the group.

Khai Nui, Khai Nai and Khai Nok are now well-known for their beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, where you can swim among swarm of colorful and friendly fishes. There are little bars on the islands to purchase beverages, coconut drinks, and even beers.

Khai Nai is a little island with fine, dazzling white sand along the beach and crystal blue water. It’s a fantastic snorkeling spot, dotted with beach umbrellas on the shoreline for a relaxing laid-back island getaway.

Khai Nok is the smallest island of the three with rocky outcrops. At Koh Khai Nok, there are also restaurants and beverages available at affordable prices.

The waters here are shallow and pretty clear with small fishes swimming around you. Good spot for snorkeling and for kids to splash around.

How To Get There:

This Phuket island day trip by boat takes approximately 20 minutes to arrive at Khai Nui. Visitors are only allowed to snorkel in the clear waters with beautiful corals and fishes swimming around you. Going ashore on one of these islands is prohibited.

This Phuket island hopping allows only 45 minutes for snorkeling activities before moving on to Khai Nai, arriving approximately a short 10 minutes boat ride.

Though, lunch will be provided with beverages and fruits, the usage of a beach umbrella and 2 beach-chairs will cost you 150 Baht. You are given 2 hours before moving on to Khai Nok.

3. Koh Yao Islands

Koh Yao Noi is similar to Koh Samui which has a ring road looping the island. It’s an offbeat quaint island with handful of motorbike shops, resorts and provision shops.

You can find few restaurants, bars, small shops, a school, post office, police station and hospital along your route.

Phang Nga Bay is home to a pair of stunning hidden islands in Phuket. Koh Yao Yai is not the prettiest of the lot but it has long white sandy shoreline. one of the best islands near Phuket for swimming and snorkeling.

The islands are sandwich between Phuket and Krabi and you can scoot off to Krabi as well from Koh Yao Nai. If all these boats transfers sounds complicated to you, it is much easier to book your tickets online with

How To Get There:

Head to Bang Rong Pier on Phuket’s east coast, longtail boats and ferries depart daily to the Koh Yao Islands. There are also daily departures from Phuket depending on the weather.

You can also hire longtail boats at Ao Po Pier for private charter which is a short ride away. Once you arrive at the larger Koh Yao island, renting a bike a great option to explore the island.

After that, head to another popular island (Koh Hong), a small outcrop with a long crescent shape beach with incredibly beautiful limestone cliff as the backdrop.

Rent a kayak and tour along the crystal clear tranquil waters or snorkel to see the marine life and colorful fishes swimming around you. 

4. Racha Nai Island

Boat trip from Phuket to idyllic Koh Racha Nai is pretty great for snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing on its pristine beaches and turquoise waters.

The tropical island of Koh Racha Yai is accessible all year. There are also numerous hotels and resorts that provide anything under the sun. The island lies 20km south of Phuket and easy to access.

It’s blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Divers flock here because they offer beautiful dive locations for advanced divers as well as lots of options for beginners.

The crescent shape beach at Ao Bungalow is totally white and seems to have a talcum powder appearance. A few resorts and restaurants notably The Racha Spa & Resort are located here.

How To Get There:

You can also book Phuket to Racha island tours from travel agents on the mainland. A long-tail boat trip takes roughly 2 hours, whereas speedboats can reach the island in an hour.

Start early with snorkeling at the super clear waters of Kon Kae Bay with tons of fishes and a spectacular underwater garden of coral reefs. 

If you are a diehard Scuba Diving fanatic, check out Aussie Divers diving spots at Siam Bay with sunken ship wrecks and stunning coral reefs with sightings of Stingrays, Moray Ells and Octopus.

Feeling hungry on your Phuket to Racha island hopping trip? Cruise to Patok Bay, another beach paradise with fine sand and clear waters for lunch at its beachfront restaurants and cafés.

After a great lunch, head over to another of my secret beach at  Banana Bay. This is a brilliant beach vacation spot with no crowds, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

5. Koh Tachai Island

koh tachai island

Koh Tachai is an idyllic beach located on the tip of the Similan Islands National Park. It has a solid reputation as one of Thailand’s best dive locations due to its remote status.

There is only one beach on this stunning island yet it’s totally incredible. You can find Manta Rays, leopard sharks and other species surrounded by lush tropical forest on the shore.

You can also hike along the shaded nature trail, check out the wildlife and beautiful flora and fauna as well. The island is 12 square kilometers in size and was named the top 10 diving destinations in the world by Nat Geo.

With its super white beach and crystal clear waters, you don’t need to dive here. Relaxing under a shady tree and admire the stunning sea view is enough for peace of mind. 

Just lazing on a hammock will refresh your way of life to the next level. The only setback is that Koh Tachai only opens for visitors from November to April.

First off,  head to Koh Boon island near to Tachai. Great spot for snorkeling in its super clear waters and abundant of coral formations.

After your snorkeling warm-up, head for some serious diving at  Richelieu Rock, an isolated outcrop. Below its waters are small caves and underwater overhanging cliffs. (Max depth 35m)   

This diving spot at Richelieu Rock is famous for big game ocean predators like Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and Barracudas. 

How To Get There:

Start by traveling from Phuket to Khao Lak, which is the closest mainland point to Koh Tachai. You can take a taxi, private car, or a shared minivan from Phuket to Khao Lak.

Once you reach Khao Lak, head to Tab Lamu Pier. At Tab Lamu Pier, you’ll need to find a boat or speedboat service that offers trips to Koh Tachai.

There are several tour operators and diving shops in the area that provide day trips or multi-day packages to Koh Tachai.

Weather Considerations

Phuket is a provincial island and can be categorized into 2 seasons which are Dry and Rainy/Wet. The Andaman Islands has 3 particular season, and November to March is the prime time to go island hopping in Phuket. 

The islands are influenced by the rain-drenched southwest monsoon from May to October, and the sunny days of northeast monsoon in November triggering the high holiday season in southern Thailand.

At an average temperature of 30°C with breezy days and cool nights, humidity levels are kept in check for all beach activities. December to early April are the best seasons in Phuket, where the waters are clear and the winds are pretty calm.

The rainy monsoon season comes early on this western side of Thailand, arriving at the end of May until October. But don’t get dishearten as this period has less crowd, and great for island hopping in Phuket.

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