With Phuket reopened to international travelers, you may be wondering what sort of activities you can experience on your Thailand vacation. Phuket has many hidden gems on the island, from enchanting waterfalls to cultural wonders. But did you know that surrounding Phuket are some of Thailand’s most exquisite islands? There are a total of 32 islands around Phuket, all distinct in their own way. Whether you love to snorkel, hike, or simply relax on the beach, the islands surrounding Phuket are an experience you won’t want to miss.
Thailand Insider is excited to share all the breathtaking islands around Phuket that you may not have known about. In your upcoming vacation to Thailand, don’t forget to add some of these nearby islands to your travel itinerary!
A few kilometers from Phuket city is a gorgeous tropical paradise known as Coral Island. Within Coral Island are two beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach, both with relaxing and adventurous activities for you to enjoy. Spend a day lying on the serene white sand beaches or snorkel the emerald green waters.
For the more adventurous at heart, parasail over the waters to experience the beaches at new heights. Many restaurants and bars line the shores for an authentic meal with unmatched views of the ocean. To get to Coral Island, hop on a speedboat from Rawai Beach, and you’ll be in paradise in just 15 minutes!
Ko Racha Yai
South of Phuket is Ko Racha Yai, an island with a u-shaped bay and the softest sand to stick your toes in and feel like you’re on cloud 9. The bay is perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling with incredible visibility to experience all that the sea has to offer.
With no cars or roads, the island offers total tranquility with only the sound of swaying palm trees and the crash of the soft waves to shore. Swim freely with the fish by day and watch the sunset light up the island by night. To get there, take a speedboat from Phuket’s Chalong Pier for a 30-40 minute boat ride. A stay in Ko Racha Yai is ideal for a 2-3 day getaway, as the island has just a few properties and is cut off from the crowds.
Coconut Island, or Ko Maphrao, is located off Phuket’s east coast in a less modernized tiny islet with rubber trees, local fruits, and vegetables grown in the central part of the island. Locals mainly inhabit this island, where they farm and fish, providing visitors with fresh ingredients and a charming experience.
Surrounding the island are lush mangrove forests home to long-tailed macaques. To experience the authentic local life of Coconut Island, take a five-minute long-tail boat ride from Laem Hin Pier.
James Bond Island
Known for the 1974 Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun, James Bond Island is loved by all, and for good reason. Located in Phang Nga Bay, the island is abundant in beautiful, sheer limestone cliffs such as Ko Ping Ghan, a high-leaning rock with impressive caves. The island is known for kayaking, as visitors get to experience the karsts up close.
James Bond Island is like experiencing a postcard in person with emerald green waters, lush vegetation, and of course, the massive limestone cliffs. To get there, rent a long-tail boat ride in Phuket or hop on the ferry.
A rocky islet with vibrant vegetation and small sandy coves await you on the southeastern coast of Phuket off Rawai Beach. The island is known for its clear waters that are exceptional for diving. Traverse the waters and meet some of its inhabitants, including Manta Rays, Leopard Sharks, and underwater stone barnacles. The wildlife on the island is also abundant with lizards, insects, and local birds.
Aside from the wildlife, Ko Bon is a relaxing respite for you to lay back on the white sandy beach, warmed by the sun and shaded by swaying palm trees. To get there, take a long-tail boat ride from Rawai Beach.
Ko Khai Island
Three tiny islands make up the picturesque island of Ko Khai. Located 15 minutes from Phuket’s east coast, Ko Khai Nai, Khai Nai, and Ko Khai Nok all boast incredible scenes of tranquility with delicate sandy beaches and water so clear you can see the vibrant fish swimming about.
After soaking in the sun on the beach, head into the sea for many water activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and water skiing. You can get there by taking a ferry from Ko Lipe, which also ventures through Ko Tarutao, another Thailand island adventure.
Just fifteen minutes by speedboat off the east coast of Phuket, Maiton Island is a private oasis with large strips of sandy beach framed by lush green hills. The island is relatively quiet, offering a more relaxed getaway to escape the hustle of Phuket.
Swim in the clear waters, sunbathe on the warm stretches of golden sand, or explore some of Thailand’s most vibrant coral reefs. If you’re lucky, you may encounter cuttlefish or beautiful sea turtles. Keep in mind the island is private, so it may be more challenging to visit. However, there are tour companies that can help you book a stay on this island escape.
Explore the Islands Around Phuket!
Now that you have more insight into the gorgeous islands around Phuket, you can start planning your travel itinerary for when you visit. While we just covered a few of the surrounding islands, there are still many more for you to discover. Your tropical island getaway awaits you in Thailand! For more information about travel to Thailand, visit our How To Travel page.