Phuket is on the south west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, the largest island in the country and roughly the same size as the country as Singapore. Home to 40 small islands, lagoons, and caves, a day trip kayaking around Phang Nga Bay is a must while in Phuket. The bay is protected from natural elements due to its location which makes it the perfect location to kayak around and explore.
PHANG NGA BAY – JAMES BOND ISLAND
A boat trip through the dramatic limestones cliffs jutting out of the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea is the best way to fully appreciate Phang Nga Bay. James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this bay, and it makes for a great day trip. Kayak through the geological formations and discover secret caves, forested wetlands, and mangroves. Stop off at the quieter beaches along the way.
Phang Nga Bay is known for boat tours that take you past the limestone rocks, looming vertically out of the water, letting you witness breathtaking views and amazing surrounding scenery. Tourists can take a tour to the much known James Bond Island or a full day tour to the fishing village of Koh Panyee and the floating Muslim Island where you can enjoy Thai lunch.
Krabi is known for its picturesque landscape and limestone cliffs, the surrounding islands with breathtaking beaches and explore-worthy sea caves. There is much more to do in Krabi than just lounging on the white beaches. It offers plentiful activities for every type of traveler. A must-do is visiting some of the beautiful islands around Krabi. Rent a long tail boat or book a tour and head out to Hong Island, Koh Phi Phi or Chicken Island. Relax at isolated bays, snorkel in the turquoise water and explore the scenery. The best beaches that are easy to reach around Krabi are Railay beach and the Phrang nang Cave Beach. If you are not staying at Railay, you can take a longtail boat that departs every couple of minutes from Ao Nang to this remarkable place.
Although Railay is attached to mainland Thailand in Krabi province, it is not connected by any roads due to the tall limestone cliffs which surround it. This gives Railay an island vibe and also ensures there are no cars on this isolated peninsula. The only way in and out of Railay is by boat. Your means of transportation here is by foot, which adds to Railay’s simplicity and serenity. Railay is a rock climber’s paradise there are some great beginner routes, even appropriate for those who are having their first ever climb.
PHRA NANG BEACH
This is located at the southern tip of Railay, a peninsula on the Andaman Coast. Framed by stunning limestone cliffs and blessed with clear, emerald waters and beautiful white sands, it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. It is also popular with climbers who enjoy scaling Railay’s massive limestone rocks. Travelers interested in learning how to scale these rocks will find a number of instructors in the area willing to literally show them the ropes. Phra Nang, which can be reached by long-tail boat from Ao Nang, is quite popular and so can be crowded at times.
KOH PHI PHI
Koh Phi Phi is one of the most popular islands to visit while traveling through Thailand. The small island became widely known after The Beach was filmed here thanks to Leonardo Di Caprio, the beautiful Koh Phi Phi Islands are no longer a secret. People from all over the world flock here to get their slice of paradise, longing for azure turquoise blue waters and palm fringed beaches. Instead, they arrive to a sea of drunken tourists and boats. While there is still loads to see and enjoy around the Phi Phi Islands, be warned that it is insanely touristy.
Nevertheless, Koh Phi Phi is still at the top of every Thailand bucket list due to its remote location, aqua blue waters, lush mountains, and party like atmosphere. After spending a couple of days in the Phi Phi Islands, here’s our top list of things to see and do.
Maya Bay shot to fame in ‘The Beach’ when the movie was filmed here in 1999 and it has not quietened down since. The beach has silky soft sand, underwater coral, crystal clear water and exotic fish, the word paradise simply does not do this beach justice. The bay is sheltered by cliffs on three sides. A word of warning the beach is staggeringly beautiful but the thousands of visitors every day are starting to leave their mark on the beach and it is not as idyllic as it once was. I’d recommend hiring a private long tail boat to Maya bay early morning to try beat the crowds and enjoy the beauty that it is without the hassle of being in a tour group with a crowd of people.
Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Island, Thailand is quite the little escape from the norm, the hidden cove of Ao Ling (Monkey Bay) is home to a colony of monkeys, not shy at all, who do not hesitate to climb onto the legs of their visitors in search of a banana. It must be said that several times a day, speed boats stop here, landed dozens of tourists who feed all the monkeys, then left immediately. The traffic never stops and the monkeys are waiting patiently. They are not afraid to move into the sea to get the precious bananas. Beware that these animals can be aggressive and hostile if approached. If the monkeys don’t interest you maybe the brilliant blue-green water or the white sandy beach will make you want to stick around for a few hours. Don’t forget the gorgeous landscape of gigantic sheer islands jutting out of the ocean, filled with the greenest trees.
Choosing where to stay can be a pretty though decision in Koh Samui, cause the options are endless. With so many little villages there are tons of budget options to choose from. If you are willing to spoil yourself and looking for luxury then this is your destination. Koh Samui is its dreamlike nature and long beaches. This is the place where you can find both many quiet and calm beaches and active, vibrant ones. Depending on what you are looking for a perfect rest you can decide where to stay. Travelers seeking for calmer beaches may prefer the Bophut or Maenam Beach. One can even find lonely beaches on Koh Samui such as the Bang Por Beach. As for nature, it’s tropical, wild and relaxing at the same time.
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
Ang Thong National Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands in the gulf of Thailand. The islands are the submerged peaks of a flooded range of limestone mountains, some of which soar above sea level. Even if you’ve spent time in other beautiful corners of Thailand this place has extra special all over. It’s remote, a few hours boat from Koh Samui. The trip’s highlights are the viewpoint on Ko Wua Ta Lap Island and Emerald Lake at Ang Thong which you’ll likely recognize from the movie The Beach.
Koh Tao has some spectacular beaches and bays. This beautiful destination is perfect for those who are looking for a break, a gorgeous beach, or adventure. It’s also close to the national park of Nang Yuan, the waters are even clearer and beaches are even whiter than on Koh Tao, there’s a hill you can climb to get a panoramic view of the island and Koh Tao.