The Most Idyllic Islands Nearest Phuket With Plenty of Paradise

phuket islands

The tropical islands around Phuket are some of my favorite beach getaways in Thailand, and it is one of those places where I totally desire to return. I’ve visited Phuket several times and each time I try to locate a tropical island paradise in the Andaman Sea.

A trip to Phuket pretty much offers it all, from beautiful beaches to breathtaking natural settings, crystal blue oceans to fine sandy shoreline amid swaying coconut trees. I’m sure you know where I’m headed with all this. If you adore tropical islands, keep reading to learn about my favorite Phuket trip getaways!

Phuket is a provincial island roughly the size of Singapore and can be categorized into 2 seasons which are Dry and Rainy/Wet. The island is influenced by the rain-drenched southwest monsoon from May to October and the sunny days of northeast monsoon in November triggering the high season.

The Surin group of islands is one of the most beautiful archipelago near Phuket but getting there takes a great deal of time. Although, these group of islands near Phuket are awesome but it take nearly 4 hours to get to Khura Buri Port and another 2 hours boat ride with steep price of 1,700 baht per person.

There are no accommodations on these islands and you are only allowed to pitch tent for overnight stay. Considering the amount of time to get to Surin Islands, it’s not appropriate for day trip.  

The most popular scuba diving location – Similan islands which is a national park closes every year from May 16th to October 15th due to monsoons season. December to April is the high season where the waters are clear and the winds are totally calm.

Because of climate change, coral bleaching had taken place as early as 2010 and have not totally recovered. However, whale sharks and huge Manta Rays can sometimes be spotted here as well as clown and lion fish.

The best spots in Phuket I would recommend….

  • Inexpensive: On the west coast of Phuket lies a totally relaxing sanctuary for those who are looking for a more peaceful and quiet year round beach holiday. For cheaper meals and street stalls, check out Kamala road at Northern Kamala Beach.
  • Children-Friendly Beach: Most hotels and resorts in Thailand have a policy for family vacation. Mai Kong, Kamala and Karon are the best beach to book your hotel with kids in tow.
  • Near Nightlife: Patong beach is my number 1 spot for nightlight and most hotels here cater to visitors who wants a “good time” and fun party scenario.

Weather Forecast: The Andaman Islands has 3 particular season but November to March is pretty much the prime time for tourists to flock into this beach paradise. At an average temperature of 30°C with breezing days and cool nights, humidity levels are kept in check for all activities.

The rainy monsoon season comes early on this western side of Thailand, arriving end of May until October. But don’t get dishearten as this period is a good time to visit the islands near Phuket

Other than these months, the rest gets short and torrential downpours mostly around noon. Nevertheless, the Andaman is one of the best islands getaways to visit all year round, rain or shine.   

Here is My Getaways To 5 Idyllic Islands Near Phuket

1. Loh Sama Bay

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Loh Sama Bay, Phi Phi island is my most stunning beach getaways in Thailand with breathtaking cliff and super clear waters.

Phuket To Phi Phi Islands

A trip to the southern eastern small islands near Phuket are the best off-beat beaches to explore. Koh Khai Nook, Ko Lon, Ko Mai, Ko Racha, Ko Yao, James Bond Island are some of the best offshore beaches with spectacular coral forest, limestone caves and super clear waters for sea activities.

One of the most popular cove in Phi Phi is Maya Bay, which was made famous in Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie of the beach in 1999. I recommend going early in the morning to beat the crowds. 

The next stop I would suggest is Loh Samah Bay, a “knockout” lagoon which is a very scenic and a bit more low-key. Compared to that of Maya Bay, which allows for more privacy and seclusion, the pristine waters of the lagoon are perfect for snorkeling as well as some super chill splashing about.

According to my sources, Maya Bay and the surrounding islands will be closed until mid 2021 indefinitely. Best is you have to check with the relevant authority website before tripping to Phuket.  

2. Koh Khai Islands

islands phuket

The last time I passed by these gorgeous group of islands on a speedboat, I made a brief stop and took some stunning photos back home. It was a totally captivating and mesmerizing island getaways for me.

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 where you can purchase beverages, coconuts, and even beers.

You can also book a tour which include meals. Pick-up usually at your hotel but “standard practiced in Thailand” whereby there will be tons of stops along the way for other guests enroute to Phuket pier.

The boat ride takes approx 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 Phuket islands is prohibited.

The tour program allows only 45 minutes for snorkeling activities before moving on to Khai Nai arriving approx in 10 minutes. Khai Nai is a little island with fine, dazzling white sand along the beach and crystal blue water. It’s simply a fantastic snorkeling spot. The island is dotted with beach umbrellas for a great laid-back getaways.

Though, lunch will be provided with beverages and fruits, the usage of beach umbrella and 2 beach-chair will cost you 150 baht. You have 2 hours before moving on to Khai Nok.

Khai Nok is the smallest island of the three with rocky outcrops. At Koh Khai Nok, there are also restaurants and beverages available. The waters here are shallow and totally clear with small fishes swimming around you. Good spot for snorkeling and for kids to splash around.

To avoid all the hustle and bustle, we scheduled a private boat excursion with an island hopping day-trip and paid an additional fee to tailor-made the itinerary and meals for visits all the three Phuket islands in the archipelago.

3. Koh Yao Islands

Phang Nga Bay is home to a pair of big islands. Koh Yao Yai is not the prettiest of the lot by it has long white sandy shoreline. Great stop 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 and road transfers sounds complicated to you, it is much easier to book your tickets online with which is my go-to website especially for South East Asia.

It’s quite a muddling trip if you decides to go via Phuket Bang Rong Pier. What we did was booked a cab via Grab app and proceed directly to Yamoo pier Phuket. Take a speedboat to Chong Lard Pier in Koh Yao Yai, then proceed to Ban Phru Nai by short 30 minutes road trip. See Map for easy reference.

4. Koh Racha Nai

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

The island is blessed with beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Divers flock here because they offer demanding dive locations for advanced divers as well as lots of options for beginners.

The crecent shape aptly named Ao Bungalow beach sand is totally white and seems to have a talcum powder appearance. A few bungalow resorts and restaurants, notably the 5-star The Racha, are located here.

5. Koh Tachai

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 getaways, yet it is totally spectacular.

Another brilliant island for serious scuba enthusiastic, you can find Manta Rays, leopard sharks and so on surrounded by lush tropical forest. You can also trek 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 destination in the world by Nat Geo. With it’s super white beach and crystal clear waters, you don’t need to dive here. Just lazing on a hammock will refresh your way of life to the next level.

The only setback is that, this charming island opens from November to April. You need to check with the local travel desk at your hotel in Phuket for day tour and liveaboard for scuba diving package. 

Note: Each year, the opening month changes, so double-check before heading out.

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