Located a few kilometers east of Phuket Town is a quiet headland named Koh Sirey (Sirey Island). This little unique getaway, only 20 square kilometers in size, is connected to Phuket by a short bridge which crosses a channel, as you cross the bridge you will see a large number of fishing boats in the port to the right.
Koh Sirey is still pretty much free from construction compared to Phuket and driving around its simple coastal road takes about half an hour, and gives you the feeling you are traveling back in time to a place thousands of kilometers away from the main tourist areas of Phuket.
What I love about Koh Sirey is that there a number of places to visit, usually tourist free, which can take up a good part of the day to take in.
After you cross the bridge onto Koh Sirey, continue for about another 500 meters and you’ll arrive at the first sight seeing opportunity, the monkey view point. Many locals visit the wild macaque monkeys who live in the mangrove forest and there are a small number of street vendors selling peanuts, bananas and corn which you can throw food to the monkeys from a specially created feeding area complete with monkey carvings.
Continue on and you will arrive at another of Koh Sirey’s landmarks, the clock tower, and its here where you have a choice to take a left or right turn for your journey around the coastal road. I’m going to take you to the right as it’s the route I prefer to take and there are more sightseeing opportunities in a closer vicinity to the alternative route.
After a short distance you will see the entrance to Wat Sirey on your right hand side. The temple is situated high up on a hill, and along with the statue of the big lying Buddha positioned inside the temple, you also can enjoy great views over the town and the Phang Nga.
Follow the coastal road for about 5 minutes and you’ll come to one of the most important pieces of Koh Sirey’s cultural past and present, the sea gypsy’s village. Long ago Phuket was first inhabited by a sea faring people. These sea nomads arrived on the shores of Phuket and began dwelling on the beaches. Gradually they moved inland and fixed their homes on the Mainland of Thailand. Today the descendants of these peoples are known as the Sea Gypsies. Unfortunately this village has lost authenticity in recent years. However, a new cultural centre and live museum dedicated to preserving the island’s sea gypsy traditions is nearing completion and is set to open in the New Year.
If you come back out of the village and go back the way you came for about 1 km, there is a turning on your right which is signed for Nonthasak Marine Port. Follow this road for about 5 minutes and you will reach the fore mentioned port. This is a private departure port and a hub for people wanting to depart to other destinations such as Khai Island, Phi Phi Island, Phang Nga, Krabi etc.
If you continue past Nonthasak Marine Port for about 3 minutes you will arrive at my favourite place on the island. On the right hand side located down a small slope are a few seafront restaurants which provide not only offer great views but also great tasting and very inexpensive food. The beach on which they are located, I really cannot tell you the name of it, is a real unknown gem, the water is clean and is deep enough to take a dip should you get too hot. It is easily possible to spend an hour or two just walking along and relaxing on this beach, enjoying the scenery.