While in Phuket, we took a day and rented a jet boat to take us snorkeling and sightseeing around Phang Na Bay. If years of unchecked development have spoiled parts of Phuket, remember that this slice of west coast is only a teeny weeny fraction of what lies beyond.
Phuket is just one of 39 main islands and a hundred or so smaller ones dotted about the region. If you’re prepared to stretch your horizons, you’ll unearth a raft of settings with such unspoilt natural beauty you really will begin to wonder what all the criticism was about.
We Stopped at about 5 locations (which you'll see in the pictures). This was the last leg of our trip before heading back to Bangkok for a few days.
1. Nineteen kilometres off the south coast of Phuket lies a beautiful island few bother to visit. Koh Racha is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and has two gorgeous Dulux-white beaches to boast about. At Siam Bay we found paradise in the shape of a rustic bamboo beach restaurant that served the best banana curry we’ve ever tasted. Have we sad how much we love lunch here?
2. And the Viking Caves: Viking Cave, or in Thai, Tham Phaya Nak, is a cave on the eastern
side of Phi Phi Ley, the smaller of the two major islands of the Phi Phi
archipelago. The cave's Thai name Tham Pya Nak was given by King Rama IX when he
visited Viking Cave in 1972. There is a particular boulder in the cave the
resembles the head of a great serpent in Buddhism, the naga, and he named the
cave after this peculiar shape.
3. We Visited Monkey Island and its macaques. I don't recommend going there with food - they are twitchy and aggressive and unpredictable and probably card carrying rabies hosts.
3. What needs to be said about Phi Phi that isn’t already known? Despite the crowds, Maya Bay – where ‘The Beach’ was shot – is as stunning a vista as ever but there are plenty of other coves within easy reach.
4 and 5. We took a dip at Pileh Lagoon, nature’s grandest swimming pool and snorkeled in waters so clear you can see further than 50 meters. And on our way back to the mainland, we pit stopped at a teeny tiny island called Koh Racha in the middle of nowhere for some free time.