Top 10 Tips to better plan your Island Hopping Tour in Phuket, Thailand

Main Island Clusters around Phuket :     1. Koh Phi Phi Islands :    It will not be an exaggeration if I say that Phi Phi is most popular island around Phuket and actually there are 2 islands which share Phi Phi :      Phi Phi Don  Phi Phi Leh     Above is not hard for Indians to remember - Don is very popular bollywood movie and Leh is a hot tourist destination in North India where many bollywood movies are shot.     Phi Phi Don is popular for it's all-night parties and beautiful beaches.    Phi Phi Lee has 100m-tall limestone cliffs on three sides hosts several tiny beaches which disappear during high tides.      Close by there is Pileh Lagoon which offers an unbeatable swimming experience in crystal clear waters with colourful fish below the water’s surface.

Recently we shared a post on how to decide Island Hopping Tour in Phuket and got a feedback that it's too long. So instead of long post and all the details, in this post we are trying to share basic tips which would be helpful for you to decide best tour for you at best price. Phuket itself is an island but much bigger and you don't feel like you are on an island. Some of the other islands around Phuket are very beautiful and colorful. This place brings those movie scene live in front of you. This post shares some of the interesting options to explore some of the islands around Phuket. 

Tips when you plan for Island Hopping around Phuket and Phi Phi -

Tips when you plan for Island Hopping around Phuket and Phi Phi -    1. Talk to multiple tour offering shops around your hotel and negotiate at around 50% of what is offered at the best.     2. This exercise will lead you to a nominal number where you would get a reasonable deal.

1. Talk to multiple tour offering shops around your hotel and negotiate at around 50% of what is offered at the best. This exercise will lead you to a nominal number where you would get a reasonable deal. When you have similar deals from different vendors, make sure you compare the tour companies coffered and location of the shop w.r.t. your hotel.

Without going into the details of each Island Cluster and boating options, let me share about what we chose -     1. Speedboat (with fixed itinerary)  2. Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh, Monkey Beach, Khai Nai Island & few more stops on our way.   3. Price - 1000 Baht per person (includes lunch and drinks/water of the boat) - Good negotiation skills help in Thailand & more tips on that in this post below.

2. Opt the close-by shop and tour company as per online reviews. Reason being that in unknown place you want to chose a place where you can reach confidently in case of unexpected situations. Phuket is big so it's not really recommended to get a deal from a dealer at long distance fro your hotel/resort. 


3. Island Hopping Tours :    Island hopping tours is popular option. It's relatively stress-free because you have pre-defined tour itineraries to chose from and price is also pretty low. This is most reasonable option especially when you not a huge group. With bigger group size, one ca rent a speedboat for a day and decide upon own itinerary.

3. When commuting on the speedboat, sit inside and avoid the front for a less bumpy ride. Since it's a long day island hopping tour, the sun would make you uncomfortable if you are the front or end of the boat, where you get exposed most to the sun. 

5. There are pretty good Island Hopping day tours for 1000 Bahts.     6. Don't carry lot of stuff with you when you are doing this tour.

4. There are pretty good Island Hopping day tours for 1000 Bahts, if you only want an experience and don't have specific choices like - want to do diving where professionals do or want to go to less explored islands etc. 

2. Speedboats and Longtail Boats for private hire :    Islands like Similan Island and Racha Island have fewer transportation options. So for these Islands, one needs to go for private charter option. Longtails and speedboats are readily available for hire from most beaches.     It is critical to agree on a exact route and corresponding price when you are bargaining.

5. Don't carry lot of stuff with you when you are doing this tour. Usually boat-seats get wet and there is not enough space to keep your bags and even if you keep them, they get wet. Especially avoid big bags, because they don't even go under the seats. 

7. If you are interested in Snorkeling and Diving, make sure you buy appropriate gears from night markets. If you forget, this stuff will be very expensive at the port from where you boat would start.     8. Must carry a waterproof phone cover to click good photographs confidently.

6. If you are interested in Snorkeling and Diving, make sure you buy appropriate gears from night markets. If you forget, this stuff will be very expensive at the port from where your boat would start. 

9. If you plan to do Snorkeling, make sure snorketing equipment is part of your tour. (Usually that's the case, but confirming is must as they may make good amount of money if you think about it later when you are about to board the boat.)    10. Be aware that many equipments related to Snorking and diving are offered by boat companies on rent, but if you plan to follow it later some of the basic ones can be bought at cheap price in night markets of Phuket.

7. Carry a waterproof phone cover to click good photographs confidently. There are covers with 5 layers of zip-locks which protect you phone even when you are in ocean and doing snorkeling. 

2. Similan Island :    The island for Diving enthusiasts. Similan Island is one of the hidden gems of the Andaman Sea and interestingly different from many other islands around Phuket.     Similan island has warm and unbelievably clear water. This island has great variety of rare and endangered marine life that hide beneath huge boulders that have fallen into the sea. Diving enthusiasts usually chose this place because it’s recognised as one of the world’s more exhilarating dive spots.

8. If you plan to do Snorkeling, make sure snorketing equipment is part of your tour. (Usually that's the case, but confirming is must as they may make good amount of money if you think about it later when you are about to board the boat.)


4. Coral Island     Coral Island is popular for its multi-coloured coral reefs that are home to exotic tropical fish. Every passionate marine explorer has good reasons to plan  a trip to experience the huge playground of wildlife and coral. There are water activities available if you are interested - banana boat rides, parasailing and sea-walking.    Long Beach and Banana Beach on Coral Island has white sand, which are good options for an afternoon of suntanning and relaxation.

9. Be aware that many equipments related to Snorking are given by boat company and that's part of the package. Make sure that you keep track because they want them back. Since there are many hops on the way, just ensure you carry them or hand-over to boat staff, because in our boat the staff was ok keeping them on boat when people were going out on beach. A few were misplaced and then they sort of harassed that person, which are very unprofessional. So keep a track of stuff you get from them.  

11. Rawai beach at Phuket’s far south has the cheapest options of renting a speedboat or longtail boat.     12. When commuting on the speedboat, sit inside and avoid the front for a less bumpy ride.

10. Rawai beach at Phuket’s far south has the cheapest options of renting a speedboat or longtail boat, if you are not planning to take boat tour wherein others share the boat with you.  

Main Island Clusters around Phuket :     1. Koh Phi Phi Islands :    It will not be an exaggeration if I say that Phi Phi is most popular island around Phuket and actually there are 2 islands which share Phi Phi :      Phi Phi Don  Phi Phi Leh     Above is not hard for Indians to remember - Don is very popular bollywood movie and Leh is a hot tourist destination in North India where many bollywood movies are shot.     Phi Phi Don is popular for it's all-night parties and beautiful beaches.    Phi Phi Lee has 100m-tall limestone cliffs on three sides hosts several tiny beaches which disappear during high tides.      Close by there is Pileh Lagoon which offers an unbeatable swimming experience in crystal clear waters with colourful fish below the water’s surface.

11. Usually these boats have ice-box so if you wish to carry your beers, that should be ok. 


3. King Cruiser Shipwreck, Shark Point & Koh Dok Mai    King Cruiser Shipwreck, Shark Point & Koh Dok Mai are also popular spots for diving around Phuket, although each of these is different from other on different factors.     The King Cruiser Shipwreck is one of the most easily accessible and much talked destination in Thailand. Shark Point is one of the prettiest dive sites featuring three underwater pinnacles that are completely covered in soft corals, anemones, barrel sponges and sea fans.    Koh Dok Mai is a big limestone rock that stands vertically out of the sea with diversified flora and fauna & great variety of marine life.


12. There are lot of opportunities to go in water, so dress up appropriately and ensure that you have your Swin-suits. You would regret if you don't prepare well for that.

Now that you know main Island clusters of Phuket, let's see what kind of Island Hopping tours are available and how to chose the most relevant for you -    1. Most preferred Adventure around Phi Phi & Khai island      Phi Phi islands should come on top of your list when you think of taking one day Island hopping tour during your visit to Thailand.

13. Suntan lotion is a must and I am sure that sounds obvious. 

Then the boat hovers around Viking Cave. There will be a quick stopover at Monkey Bay to take pictures and then a  short stopover at Phi Phi Don for lunch. The tour ends with snorkelling at Khai Nok island.    2. Sightseeing around Phang Nga Bay    The James Bond Speedboat Tour lets you sit back and explore James Bond Island and its surrounding islands.    Start off with Panak Island, an island known for its iconic caves and hidden enclaves. Look out for the Mangrove Cave.

14. Don't take a chance if you see a possibility of sea-sickness and take medicine before boarding the boat. 


Hong Island is up next. One can go for kayak for a closer look at James Bond Island and the incredible rock formations.  Lunch in this tour is provided at Koh Panyi, the little coastal village. The tour ends with some free and easy time at Naka Island.     3. King Cruiser, Shark Point & Koh Dok Mai for Diving Tour    For an effortless dive experience, it takes care of everything from hotel transfers to food onboard to insurance. Diving equipment is available for loan at an additional cost.    To participate, a diving qualification of at least Open Water Diver or equivalent is required. There is also a minimum requirement of 10 past dive experiences.

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.
2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 
3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 
4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 
5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

Comments

Trending Post Today !

Main places to visit around Dalhousie : One of the popular Hill Station in Himachal Pradesh (India)

How to reach Khajjiar and main things to do around Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh (India)

Weekend destinations around Delhi, India (2-3 Days Trip)