YOUR TRIP IN
PHUKET TO KOH ROI
Located in the narrow channels separating Phuket from the mainland, you’ll cruise east towards Phnag Nga Bay past fish farms; coconut, rubber and pineapple plantations too.
Take to a small tender or kayak and head to Koh Phanak for your first stop. Over the years the limestone has eroded leaving numerous caves on this island each with secret lagoons to discover only at low tide though. After lunch jump back aboard and head north to Khao Phing Kan – better known as ‘James Bond Isand’ – it is one of the best Bond locations to visit with a super yacht. End the day at private anchor off the island of Koh Roi. This little island has an easily accessed lagoon and a few small beaches.
KOH PAK BIA
This island is still largely undeveloped (compared to Phuket) but does hold a few lovely resorts. Why not treat yourself to a spa day, or lunch on the beach at the Paradise Koh Yao Noi Beach Resort & Spa or the Six Senses Yao Noi resort. After a relaxing day, head towards Pak Bia.
Among the mushroom – shaped rocks, you’ll find some perfect white sand beaches. Now that the day-tripper boats have gone, enjoy having sundowners on your own exclusive beach
RAILEH BEACH, KRABI
After breakfast sail south to Krabi. Ao Nang is a large touristy bay, so it’s probably worth sailing a little further to Rai Leh Beach. Here, there are a handful of high-end resorts sitting side-by-side with a few private residences scattered around.
The Krabi headland is a fabulous place to go climbing. Try out some low-level ‘bouldering’ right on the beach, or take on the roped-climbs up the limestone cliffs.
A hive of art culture, spend some time looking through the galleries and craft shops, and if you are there on a weekend visit the enormous market for fresh fruit and freshly cooked seafood.
PHI PHI DON VIA BAN PA KO DAM
Heading south you’ll see the nearby peaks of Ko Dam. Depending on the wind or tide, you can anchor either side of a wonderful white sandspit that joins the two islands. Take a stroll on shore or get the snorkelling gear out.
The water surrounding Ko Dam is unbelievably clear. Arriving in Phi Phi Don, Ton Sai bay is the place to go if you want to make the most of Phi Phi’s legendary and slightly wild nightlife, but it’s a busy noisy bay, with loud music, ferries, fishing boats, un-silenced longtail boats and revellers galore. Monkey Bay seems to belong on a different island altogether, with its soaring forested cliffs, perfect deserted sand and abundant wildlife.
KOH RACHA VIA PHI PHI LEH
Phi Phi Leh, by contrast is uninhabited except for National Park guards. If you can, get here early, in time for breakfast before the tourist boats arrive. The central bay is almost a closed lagoon – and you’ll recognize it as the location from the film The Beach. This is still a lovely spot, with a wide white sandy beach, towering cliffs, jungle and coral. Head southwest towards the islands of the Koh Racha group.
Koh Racha lies south of Phuket and is open to the Andaman Sea, so the water is very clear here. This is probably the best place for diving in the area and it should be on everyones diving bucket list. The reefs are in pretty good shape, and you have the chance of spotting larger pelagic species. Whales have been spotted in these waters as well as large sailfish.
NAI HARN BAY
It is time to return towards Phuket. Nai Harn Bay lies right on the southwest corner. There is an arc of golden sand, blue sea and some nice resort developments a shore.
The headland above the bay, with its elephant shrine, is a very popular place to watch the sunset into the Andaman Sea. At Christmas time and New Year the bay may be filled with up to a hundred sailing yachts.
This is a good place to enjoy a slice of beach life, relax on the sand and eat some fiery Thai food fresh from the local restaurants that are just set back from the beach among the casuarina trees.
NAI YANG VIA KATA
Take a slow cruise up Phuket’s west coast, with bay after bay rimmed with pale soft sand, some high end resorts, numerous villas, hotels, hostels and bars. The Bay at Kata is one of the nicest on the coast. In Nai Yang Bay you’ll find a couple of very good resorts, but the best food is to be had in the beach restaurants. You will sit on plastic chairs with your feet in the sand while the cooks rustle up a meal under little more than a tent.
However, you will get the freshest seafood, tastiest curries and cold beers served up with a smile. This is a nice authentic way to round off your trip. After darkness falls, take a dip and enjoy the explosion of green phosphorescence as the sea comes alive.