Located 867 kilometres south of Bangkok, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, shaped like an irregular pearl and measuring approximately 21 kilometres long. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, it has a coastline fringed with white sandy beaches and quiet coves, bathed by the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea and set against a backdrop of green hills, coconut groves and rubber plantations.
Blessed by nature and the smiling hospitality of its people, and supported by superb tourism facilities, Phuket is today one of the world’s premier tropical resorts. Palm-fringed beaches, an island-studded sea, superb accommodation, delicious seafood, numerous sporting and leisure opportunities and, of course, year-round sunshine, to conclude the perfect recipe for a truly memorable holiday.
Phuket has two main seasons: rainy from May through to October and hot from November to April. However, there are sunny days throughout the wet season, showers customarily lasting little more than 2-3 hours. The best months to visit are November to February. Average temperatures range between 22 and 34 degrees Celsius.
This National Marine Park, comprising five islands and covering more than 33,000 acres, is located north of the Similans. The islands are best reached from the Khura Buri Pier (125 km. north of Phang-nga town), and takes 4 hours. Again the main attractions are scuba-diving and snorkelling, as the coral formations are spectacular. However, the two largest islands, Ko Surin Nuea and Ko Surin Tai (North and South islands, respectively) have good potential for exploring on land, with several hiking trails and, on Ko Surin Tai, a Sea Gypsy village.
Phi Phi Islands
This island group is one of the loveliest to be found anywhere, and makes a fine day-trip destination out of Phuket. The beauty of the two Phi Phi Islands has made them world famous. But fame and easy access has its price: hundreds of visitors land on Phi Phi's shores every day, crowding this tiny island oasis. The upside of this is that the bulk of these visitors come at 10 a.m. and leave by 3 p.m. Staying the evening at one of the island's many bungalows is recommended, if you want to enjoy the tranquillity of the island in the early morning and evening.
Snorkelling around the archipelago's coral reefs or climbing to one of the many karst limestone lookouts is an unforgettable experience. Sheer cliffs stained with earth colours soar from calm, clear seas. Phi Phi Don, the larger island, has idyllic tropical beaches lining its southern and eastern shores. Phi Phi Le, to the south, is host to scores of daytrippers snorkelling and visiting the Viking Cave during the day, but offers no accommodation.
James Bond Island
This famous landmark first found its way onto the international map through its starring role in the James Bond movie "The Man With the Golden Gun". And this is where they seem to take all of the tourists - all at one time. The entire area surrounding this island with its signature rocky pinnacle is indeed spectacular, but most of the tours bus visitors up the main highway for an hour on the same well-worn itinerary. An integral part of that tour is lunch at Koh Pannyi.
This is an offshore isle about 3 km. from Hat Rawai and can be reached in 30 minutes by boat. There are sandy beaches and a captivating underwater scenery, as well as a replica of the Holy Footprint on the island.
Ko Si Re
The small island separated from the mainland only by the Tha Chin Canal, is located 4 km. northeast of the town. There is a sea gypsy village considered the largest in Phuket.