Phuket is an island, and to it's south, east and west, is surrounded by a myriad of islands all easily accessible in a day. Spectacular white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, isolated or crowded, idyllic islands abound. Check with your local tour agent or at your hotel for details of island tours available.
The two most popular island day trips are Phi Phi Islands famous for the film location of The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio a group of 6 islands with the main island, Phi Phi Don, offering all manner of activities and accommodations. And Phang Nga Bay, a Marine National Park, and also designated a Marine World Heritage Site, comprising some of the most spectacular karst scenery in the world.
The bay is made up of numerous islands, many of which rise vertically out of the water and is popular for sea canoeing tours and came to fame after the filming of the James BondMovie The Man with the Golden Gun. Due to its popularity, this island is crowded in the day. However, there are many other beautiful islands, some even more so, that are waiting to be explored away from the crowds, and within easy distance of Phuket.
Phuket is famed for its spectacular beaches, beautiful sea and magnificent underwater life. It's a divers mecca, with the Similan Islands Marine National Park north of Phuket voted one of the top 10 diving sites in the world. There are many dive sites off Phuket with spectacular coral and marine life, including manta rays and whalesharks. Numerous companies on Phuket offer day trips, liveaboards and PADI dive training. If you arenot a diver, however, don't despair, as inshore snorkelling is equally spectacular, and many day trips to surrounding islands are available.
Looking for something a little more energetic? Try parasailing, water skiing, banana boat rides, wind surfing or sailing a beach catamaran. One popular water-based activity is sea canoeing in Phang Nga Bay. Numerous companies offer to take you into the caves and around the spectacular mountains in the bay.
However, if you are looking for something more relaxing, and want to explore without following a tour itinerary, charter a boat. There are a number of charter companies on Phuket offering crewed or bareboats for the day, or longer, with flexible itineraries. This is the best way to get to those idyllic out-of-the-way places.