Islands - Phuket

Lon Island
This large, mountainous island is only 20 minutes by regular passenger boat from Chalong Bay, in the south of Phuket. The mainly Muslim inhabitants engage in fishing, rubber and coconut planting. There is a long stretch of beach on the northeast coast. Boats to Ko Lon leave daily in the early morning from Chalong Pier.

Coral Island or Hey Island
This island of Phuket's south coast is so well known for its coral reef that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. In addition to the splendid reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west. Coral Island is part of a marine preserve, but accommodations, restaurants, various water sports and diving are all available. Boats leave from Rawai and Chalong. Package tours are also available.

Mai Ton Island
This tiny island of Phuket's southeast coast is highly prized for its still perfect natural environment, including fine white beaches and crystal waters; ideal for swimming, diving, or fishing. The only business of any kind is the plush Maiton Island Resort. Those not wishing to stay overnight may take a daytime excursion leaving from Ao Makham Deep Sea Port. For details contact (076) 214954-7.

Taphao Yai Island
10 minutes from Phuket by ferry from Ao Makam on Phuket's southeast coast. The island is home to the Bucerotes hornbill. To get there from Phuket Town take Chao Fa Rd., to the Sakdidet Rd., intersection, turn left on Sakdidet and follow it 8 kms. to Ao Makham. The road splits in the vicinity of oil storage facilities; take the left fork about 200 meters to the Ko Taphao ferry pier. Dining and accommodations are available on the island. For details call Phuket Paradise, (076) 214917.

Raya (or Racha) Islands
Two islands running roughly northeast to southwest off Phuket's southern coast.

- Raya Yai Island On the west coast is a fine beach closed in by the hill that stretch away from it like to arms of a horseshoe called alternately Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. Clean sandy beach and crystal clear waters of Raya Yai attract day trippers from Phuket. From the top of the hill to the south of the bay is the viewpoint from which the whole island can be seen. On the east, at Ao Kon Kae Bay, is an excellent site for diving. Accommodation

- Raya Noi Island This island, 10 kms. from Raya Yai, is the result of coral reef build up, and there are more rocks than beaches. In a small bay on the west is a boat anchorage. The waters at Raya Noi are emerald green, and fishing is famous, but swimming is not recommendable.

- To get there contact a charter boat at Ao Chalong or Rawai, or go to travel agent for details on package tours to the islands. By long-tailed boat the travel time is about two hours. Larger boats operated by tour companies will make the trip in about one hour. Travel to Raya Islands is restricted to dry season and periods when the monsoon is not blowing.

Rang Yai Island
Lying off Phuket's east coat, this small island has been developed for out-of-doors minded tourist. Among the many activities are snorkeling on the coral reefs. sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting the island's pearl farm. To travel to Rang Yai Island, boats may be hired from Laem Hin Pier from Phuket Boat Lagoon. Package tours are provided by Richy Island Tour, Tel. 238163, and other tour agencies.

Sire Island
Separated from the mainland of Phuket by the Khlong Tha Chin, a shallow mangrove swamp, this twenty square kilometer island is connected by a causeway to the city. Wat Ko Sire, on the hill, has a large Reclining Buddha and provides fine views of the surroundings. Phuket's largest settlement of Sea Gypsies, or Chao Ley, are on Ko Sire at Leam Tuk-kae. Swimming is not present because of the muddy bottom. There are some popular seafood restaurants on the eastern shore.

Nakha Island
This small, quiet island with fine sandy beaches lies just off Phuket's northeast shore. Waters are suitable for swimming. One item of interest at Ko Nakha Noi not found in many other places is its pearl farm. Boats can be hired from Ao Po Pier, off Pa Khlok Rd., for travel to Ko Nakha Noi, and package trips are available at tour agencies, generally including lunch and a visit to the pearl farm.

Phi Phi Island
Phi Phi Islands are located about 48 Km southeast from Phuket, 42 km south from Krabi Town and 40 km from Ao Nang Beach and can be reached by boat In between 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the type of boat you take. Boats leave from Phuket, Ao Nang and the Chao Far Pier in Krabi Town everyday. The characteristics of the islands are steep, lightly vegetated cliffs rising vertically from the seabed and hidden bays concealing petite, pristine beaches and calm clear waters.

Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi, is one of the largest islands surrounding Phuket and can be reached in one hour by boat from Phuket. The island is situated within a very short distance to the well-known destinations of Koh Bileh islands, Krabi, Phang Nga (James Bond islands). The tourism has not been developed on a large scale on the island, Thai life style remained unchanged and peace and privacy abound. South of Koh Yao Noi it has its twin island, Koh Yao Yai, which is even bigger and wilder and offers wonderful spots for trekking.

Similian Island
Similian Islands (Koh Similian) is a group of islands located approximately 100 kilometers north-west of Phuket. There are a total of nine granite islands covered with tropical jungle and surrounded by chalk white beaches and crystal clear blue water, that offers some of the best diving in Thailand and the world. There is a big variation in the underwater environment to be found here that are not offered on any other places around the world.

Koh Bon Island
Koh Bon is located north of Similian Islands and offers world-class diving. The dive site is on the southwestern point and consists of a 33 meter wall facing the small cove, and a step-down ridge that carries on to depths of over 45 meters. Koh Bon is one of the better places to see manta rays, especially towards the end of the season when there is more plankton in the water. In that area you also have the islands Koh Tachai, the Surin Islands, and Richelieu Rock.

Published At: http://phuket.sawadee.com
Permanent Link: http://phuket.sawadee.com/island2.htm

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