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Raya IslandFrom a few minutes by speedboat to a day's sailing away, Phuket is surrounded by so many tropical islands, of such outstanding natural beauty, that literally weeks can be spent exploring.

At the far north of Phuket's cruising grounds lie the nine islands of the Similans - noted for their magnificent dive sites - to the south, the brooding intensity of Taratao - a prison colony during World War II and now part of the fifty-one island Taratao National Park - and in between dozens of isles offering pristine beaches, spectacular scenery and a peace and serenity unique to the Andaman.
Ao Phang Nga National Park
Perhaps the most popular - and populace - of the islands off Phuket are the twins, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. The latter of these was the stage for the recent Hollywood movie - The Beach, while the former has become a busy tourist destination, offering a range of accommodation and watersport activities. 20km southeast of Phuket, the Phi Phi islands also afford visitors some excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities - the nearby islets of Bida Ley and Bida Nok of particular note.

The sheltered waters of Phangnga Bay have their own gifts of nature peculiar to this region alone. Scattered around the bay, craggy, hollow limestone escarpments thrust up from the sea like primordial fortresses. Caves, cut through the friable rock by salt water and usually only accessible at certain times of the tide, allow access to remarkable microcosms of nature. These lost worlds are havens for rare forms of flora and fauna and are also home to the swftlets whose nests are considered great delicacies by the Chinese.

Scuba divingIt was in this region that part of the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, was filmed, and the gravity defying Raya Ring Island is now one of the bay's busiest tourist sites.

Best explored by yacht, charters and day cruises around Phangnga Bay
are readily available from Phuket, while ferry services and dive trips run to Phi Phi daily. If time is of the essence, high speed motor launches can be hired from several locations around the island.

Islands around Phuket
Raya Yai
Phi Phi
Rang Yai
Other Islands        
Raya Noi
Naga Lon Kaew Tapao Yai