Phuket is a remarkable island, there is no doubt about it, and we feel very lucky to live here. We have the best of everything on our doorstep, from the white-sand beaches, dramatic coastline and lush mountains, to the aroi maak food and exotic fresh fruits available on every corner.
There are times however when we get island fever and feel the need to take off, even just for a few hours. This calls for a weekend trip to the mainland or a quick Boat cruise around the clear warm waters of Phuket. Here are some ideas on how to explore the surrounding islands.
Long-tail Boats to the Islands
Rawai beach is where the local fishermen hang out touting for business from tourists and locals alike with trips to the islands. The long-tail boats were traditionally used by the fishermen to bring in the daily catch. These days they’re also used as a form of transport and run passengers to and from Phuket and nearby islands.
The boats are simply made with a propeller that is attached to the end of a long pole and powered by a large engine. The propeller is raised and lowered in and out of the water by the boatman and propels the boat as well as steering it.
Walking along Rawai seafront you can’t miss the large boards advertising the most popular boat trips to the local islands. Koh Bon, Coral Island, Koh Racha and Koh Khai Islands are some of the closest where the snorkelling and swimming are superb. Prices for boat trips seem to be standard with the captains, although you might be able to haggle them down a little, there’s no harm in trying!
You hire the captain and the long-tail boat for the trip, so whether you are alone or with a few friends the price is generally the same. There are hundreds of small islands dotted around Phuket. If you like the idea of just meandering through the cool, clear waters stopping at a deserted beach when the fancy takes you then this is also possible. Just ask the captain as he’ll know all the best places to go.
Speedboat to Phi Phi Island
If you want to take a Phi Phi tour or a trip out to Phang Nga Bay, then there are various boat operators in Phuket. The fastest way to get to these islands is by speedboat, although this isn’t particularly the most comfortable.
Another alternative is to join Phuket boat tours or charter a boat just for you and friends. It’s not as expensive as you might think if everybody helps with the cost, and can be cheaper than joining a public tour if there are enough of you.
The natural beauty you encounter once away from Phuket is astounding and it’s easy to appreciate why Thailand is so popular as a holiday destination. A boat tour is a great way to discover the Andaman Sea with its secret coves and hidden islands that you generally wouldn’t get to see.
On board MV Phuket Champagne we offer the perfect opportunity to explore islands and lagoons that most people never set eyes on. Charter your own boat and get the most out of your tropical holiday.