As wonderful lazing around your hotel is, everyone visiting Phuket should venture out and experience some of the nearby islands and beaches as well. If you want to do more than just relax at your beachfront hotel pool while on vacation, there is a whole array of fabulous day trips from Phuket to keep you entertained!
Phi Phi islands – The most popular of all day trips, these two large rocky islands lie two hours from Phuket. Though Phi Phi Don is quite touristy these days, even the crowds can’t detract from the natural beauty of sheer rock walls dropping into turquoise waters below. Besides, you simply can’t miss the exceptional wonder that is Maya Bay.
Phang Nga Bay – Phuket’s most famous neighbor, Phang Nga is known for it’s James Bond island tours. However, though the James Bond bus tour may sound tempting, it’s actually a tourist trap that misses the most stunning part of the island. By far the best way to see the island is by boat, which passes through the heart of the Bay and its remarkable scenery. Alternatively, you can do a kayak tour, which takes you paddling through the caves for an up close encounter with the strange and extraordinary hidden world.
Similan Islands – Though these nine beautiful little islands are 90kms out to sea and can be 2+ hours on a high-speed boat, the Simian Marine National Park is worth the trip. The crystal clear water and abundance of underwater life make it a top scuba diving and snorkeling destination of the region.
Racha Islands (aka Raya Islands) – This gorgeous pair of tropical islands is visible from Phuket and known for scenic rocky coastlines and fabulous diving and snorkeling. The beautiful beaches have become very touristy, so the best way to visit these islands is by renting a boat, so you can drop anchor and avoid the main inlet and hordes of boats. If you time it right, you’ll be able to enjoy a scenic sunset on your trip back to Phuket.
Khao Lak – A relatively new beach destination about an hour’s drive up the highway, Khao Lak offers a tranquil getaway from bustling Phuket. It now has over 40 beachfront resorts all with every amenity you could ask for.
Krabi – The second most famous beach resort on Thailand’s Andaman coast, Krabi is a 1.5-hour drive from the top of Phuket Island. Most of the best Krabi beaches have to be chartered by boat, but in a day trip you should even have enough time to do the 3-hour boat trip to the islands of Koh Poda to visit the famous Railay Beach.