The island of Phuket is known as Thailand’s main tourist destination. Each and every month there are thousands upon thousands of tourist who come to spend their well earned holiday on the original Thai paradise island.
Its International Airport, Thailand’s second largest hub, second only to Bangkok, sees frequent domestic flights to/from Bangkok, as well as direct flights to many other countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and a growing number of European countries.
Many visitors are happy to spend their entire holiday taking in Phuket’s great scenery and relaxing on the soft sandy beaches. However, with it having its own airport and many outlying islands, Phuket is the ideal base for those who like a change of scenery and want to go island hopping.
When I say island hopping, I don’t just mean jumping on a speed boat and spending the day whizzing around the small island’s surrounding Phuket, I actually mean jumping on ferry and spending a few days away and staying on some of the nearby larger islands. There are a large number of ferries which can take you to these islands and get you back in time to get your flight from Phuket.
There are now several ferries operating from various departure points on the island that you can get you to and from the islands and below are some brief details on just a few of the islands, and details on exactly how you can get there..
Koh Phi Phi
Phi Phi Island is only a 90 minute ferry away and is probably the second most popular destination in South Thailand after Phuket. Its classic beaches, stunning rock formations, vivid turquoise waters and laid-back lifestyle are why it has become a favourite with travelers.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy during the day with including scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, sightseeing and fishing, which is of course in addition to sun bathing, reading, relaxing and eating.
Whatever your budget, Phi Phi’s wide choice of accommodations ensures you will find somewhere to stay. Phi Phi has everything from simple beach huts to top notch and drop-dead gorgeous hotel rooms.
High Speed Ferry – Phuket – Chalong Pier – Phi Phi – (Tonsai Pier) Dep. 08:00 – Arr. 09:00
Phuket – (Rassada Pier) – Phi Phi – (Tonsai Pier) Dep. 08:30 – Arr. 10:00
Phuket – (Sea Angel Pier) – Phi Phi – (Tonsai Pier) Dep. 08:30 – Arr. 10:00
Phuket – (Rassada Pier) – Phi Phi – (Tonsai Pier) Dep. 13:30 – Arr. 15:30
Phuket – (Rassada Pier) – Phi Phi – (Tonsai Pier) Dep. 14:30 – Arr. 16:00
Koh Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest being Koh Lanta Noi and Kho Lanta Yai. Koh Lanta Yai is where all the tourist action is.
The island is popular with those who seek to be away from the parties, with more walking on the beaches and watching the sunset than drinking and dancing. However, there are plenty of bars and you can find a party if you ask around.
Ko Lanta’s west coast beaches are lined with resorts and bungalows, however, the further down the island you venture, the less this there is. Even when the island is full, there will be a quiet place for you to relax – the beaches are never full.
High Speed Ferry Phuket – (Chalong Pier) – Lanta- (Saladan Pier) Dep. 08:00 – Arr. 10:00
Phuket – (Rassada Pier) – Lanta – (Saladan Pier) Dep. 08:30 – Arr. 12:30 *Change of ferry at PhiPhi (Tonsai Pier) (Short transfer time)
Phuket – (Rassada Pier) – Lanta – (Saladan Pier) Dep. 13:30 – Arr. 16:30 Change of ferry at Phi Phi (Tonsai Pier). (Short transfer time)
*Operational: Nov. – April (High Season Only)
Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is probably the most up-and-coming destination in southern Thailand and is described as being one of the last islands in the region to not be overly developed. The pace of life is slow and peaceful, and people smile and wave as you pass by. Koh Yao Noi features first class beaches, natural forests and beautiful scenery.
The nightlife is low key and although there are a couple of bars, they are not usually busy.
The island has limited accommodation options but there are some basic bungalows and some luxury resorts as well.
All ferry service listed below are by longtail boat and depart from Bang Rong Pier and arrive at Manoh Pier.
Dep. 08:30 – Arr. 09:30
Dep. 09:30 – Arr. 10.30
Dep. 10:30 – Arr. 11:30
Dep. 11:30 – Arr. 12:30
Dep. 12.30 – Arr. 13.30
Dep. 17:00 – Arr. 18:00
Main image courtesy of http://andamanadventures.com
Phi Phi image courtesy of http://maleischearchipel.blogspot.com