Phuket eastern islands
The Phuket eastern islands are generally easy to get to. Koh Sirey is just a quick drive over a small bridge and the Phi Phi islands are a ferry ride away. Here is the PhuketSpace choice of Phuket eastern islands:
Koh Khai Nok
This pristine island has a beautiful snow-white sandy beach surrounded by clear emerald-green water, with perfect conditions for relaxing on the beach, swimming and snorkelling.
You can charter a longtail boat to Koh Khai Nok. A day trip is the only realistic option, as there is no accommodation on the island
It takes around 20 to 25 minutes to reach the island of Koh Khai Nok; with a bit of luck you may even see a group of dolphins on the way.
Koh Dok Mai
Koh Dok Mai (Flower Island) is a small limestone island about 10 miles east of Phuket, about halfway between Phuket and Shark Point. If you’re expect a beach at Koh Dok Mai you’ll be disappointed, as there aren’t any.
Koh Dok Mai is a limestone karst island that soars dramatically up from the sea-bed. The water around the island is a haven for divers, with a diversity of sea life such as leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles.
Just off the east coast of Phuket and easily accessible via a ten-minute boat ride, Koh Maprow (also known as Coconut Island) is a fairly large island opposite Laem Hin Pier. It has a couple of pleasant beaches, though as they aren’t ideal for swimming it has not really become a destination for day trips.
There are some excellent floating seafood restaurants between Phuket and Koh Maprow that serve seafood caught fresh daily by the fisherman and kept in nets next to the restaurants. The island has a single resort, with beachfront villas that have their own swimming pools.
Although many would regard Sirey as a suburb of Phuket Town, it is in fact an island in its own right. Separated from the mainland of Phuket by a shallow mangrove area, this twenty square kilometer-island is connected by a bridge to the town.
Phuket’s largest settlement of Sea Gypsies are on Koh Sirey at Laem Tuk-Kae. Swimming is not ideal – as with much of the upper east coast of Phuket the sea floor is a little muddy. There are some popular seafood restaurants on the eastern shore of the island plus a single large international hotel.
Koh Phi Phi
About 48 km southeast of Phuket, the islands of Phi Phi have been a favourite with visitors to the area for many years because of their fabulous beaches, crystal clear waters and spectacular limestone landscapes. Scuba diving and snorkelling are the main attractions of the Phi Phi islands, but the range of activities and accommodation has grown considerably recently – it’s no longer the dozen beach bungalows of twenty-five years ago.
Phi Phi visitors are never bored. With hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, parasailing, waterskiing, snorkelling, yachting, fishing, sun bathing, reading, relaxing and eating among the reasons for visiting, people keep coming back again and again.
Spectacular coral beds at Hin Pae off Had Yao provide some of the best snorkelling in Thailand, and provide a chance to see (harmless) black tip sharks feeding early in the morning. Phi Phi Leh is where the Leonardo Di Caprio movie “The Beach” was filmed, and remains uninhabited and relatively unspoilt. Also worth a visit is Viking Cave, where the edible swiftlet nests used to make birds’ nest soup are collected.
Phi Phi is only 90 minutes away from Phuket via a large air conditioned boat, and even faster (though more expensive) by speed boat. Tours and boats are available every day, subject to the weather.