Activities off the island
Phang Nga Bay
A visit to Phang Nga Bay on the east side of Phuket is the one big ‘musts’ for visitor to this region. Photos of this bay, with its mystical rock formations towering vertically out of green waters, are almost as well-known as Phuket itself. There are many tour options, with the many tourists taking one of the inexpensive bus-and- oat trips. By far the best way to see the beauty of this bay and avoid mass tourism is to take one of the boat trips that depart from Phuket Island itself.
James Bond Island
This strange but overrated rock was featured in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and has never had a quiet day since. The mass of tourists who take the standard bus-and-boat tours to Phang Nga Bay are all deposited on this island where they are besieged by trinket vendors. The day boat tours generally just pass by this islet, giving tourists only the quick glimpse that it deserves, so that they can spend their time amongst the more spectacular parts of the bay.
Sea Gypsy Village (Koh Pannyi)
This village balancing on stakes out in the bay is also a part of the standard bus-andboat tour of Phang Nga. At lunch up to 3,000 tourists are all deposited here to eat and shop. Indeed, the village is fascinating, but again it’s best if you can take a boat tour that avoids the midday crowds. And just for the record, there are no ‘Sea Gypsies’ in this misnamed village. The people here are all in fact Muslim fishermen.
Getting to some of the many little resorts on remote islands in this region is not so easy. But for those who succeed, that is half the fun. The other reward is finding remote places with few other people. There are bungalow resorts on Phi Phi, Koh Mai Thon (upmarket) Koh Racha, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Naka Yai and along the Krabi Coast.
Phi Phi Islands
This pair of islands 40 kilometers southeast of Phuket is justifiably famous for the spectacular rock walls rising from crystal seas and the stunning scenic beauty of its beaches and coves. Unfortunately, mass tourism has now found these islands, with hundreds of trippers being deposited here every day. But even this cannot destroy the overwhelming beauty of the place, and Phi Phi is still worth a visit. There are many small bungalow resorts here and it is undoubtedly best to stay overnight. The evenings and early mornings are the most beautiful times and are free of the mid-day masses.
Facing Phuket from the east side of Phang Nga Bay this region of soaring rock walls and stunningly beautiful beaches is now famous as a destination in its own right. Those who have time are strongly recommended to make a visit here, either by driving a rented car, or by taking a ferry from Phuket Town pier. The car trip takes one through attractive rural countryside with rice fields, rubber and palm oil plantations nestled amongst towering rock cliffs and mountains. The famous portion of Krabi is peninsula that is entirely isolated by sheer cliffs and can only be reached by boat. Sea Canoeing With reason, this is now one of the most popular day tours out of Phuket. There is no better way to appreciate the inner world of strange geographic formations, plant and animal life of Phang Nga Bay than to be paddled quietly through its caves and lagoons in sea canoes. This is a more satisfying tour of Phang Nga than the junkets to James Bond Island.
With reason, this is now one of the most popular day tours out of Phuket. There is no better way to appreciate the inner world of strange geographic formations, plant and animal life of Phang Nga Bay than to be paddled quietly through its caves and lagoons in sea canoes. This is a more satisfying tour of Phang Nga than the junkets to James Bond Island.