To many, Phuket is the perfect island in itself with its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife. It is also the ideal base for island-hopping throughout the Andaman sea to some of the world’s most incredible locations. There are beaches and islands to suit all tastes and budgets, here are some of our favourites:
Fun for families: Phuket - Phi Phi - Krabi
Luxury & Romance: Phuket - Koh Racha - Koh Yao Noi
Phi Phi is just a speedboat ride away from Phuket and is very popular with families and paradise seekers; vivid turquoise water, white sand and sheer limestone cliffs with beachfront jungles are all hallmarks of these islands. Phi Phi actually consists of two different islands, Phi Phi Leh and the larger Phi Phi Don, which attracts the most visitors. Being uninhabited, Phi Phi Leh is the quieter of the two islands, giving a greater sense of tranquillity; very few places in the world are this laid back.
Excellent for families and honeymooners alike, Krabi day trips from Phuket usually include a visit to the stunning Phra Nang Beach and Phra Nang Cave on Railay peninsula, as well as a visit to Chicken island and sunbathing at Poda Beach. The Krabi province is one of Thailand’s most beautiful regions, with towering karst formations breaking up the rugged coastline; the islands themselves are a pure tropical paradise. The numerous bays and coves along the coast were once home to pirates and sea gypsies; today they form a natural adventure playground for rock climbers and hikers, while snorkelers and divers are drawn to the clear turquoise waters and some of the country’s finest coral reefs.
Koh Racha's white powdery beaches and clear turquoise waters are perfect for couples looking for a quieter slice of paradise. With a handful of luxury resorts and hotels, gorgeous beaches that promise spectacular sunsets and not much else to do except sunbathe, snorkel, kayak or enjoy some pampering at a spa, this is a dream honeymoon destination.
The island of Koh Yao Noi is perfectly placed in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, roughly halfway between Phuket and Krabi and forms part of the Ao Phang-Nga National Park. The views from here are quite possibly the best in Thailand as you look out across the ocean to a peppering of limestone karsts before you. With just a few luxury hotels to choose from, no loud party scene, unspoiled palm tree fringed beaches, restaurants serving fresh seafood just caught by local fishermen and the ultimate sunrise and sunset this is the definition of 'paradise'.
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