ISLAND HOPPING IN PHUKET

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Phuket is the dream destination everyone thinks about when they think “THAILAND”. There really is more to the south of Thailand than just Phuket and the best thing to do when you get to the island, is to start visiting the nearby islands.

Normally blogs tell you to not book your tours in advance and to wait until you arrive and book a tour off one of the stands on the streets. They say this is cheaper.

#MariTip: This is not always the case. We listened to others advice and we did not book a tour online. We arrived in Phuket (during OFF SEASON!) and all the tours off the streets were almost double the price of what was being offered online. Granted, you are welcome to bargain with the tour sellers but what’s the point if you can book online for half the price for the same tour?

We booked online the night before (around 9pm) and pick up was 7am. The credit card charge had gone through. We were partly expecting our booking to not go through and not be picked up because we booked so last minute…. But the driver showed up! Check out my instagram highlights to see how scared we were about it being a scam!

There are a variety of island tours that you can choose from. The most popular is the Phi Phi Island tour. We chose to do the James Bond Island (Phang Nga Bay) hopping tour. We booked off of TripGuru (never heard of this website before so I was already a little sketched out but it turned out to be great!)

The Phang Nga Bay tour off of Trip Guru costs $56USD / person. This fee includes roundtrip transport from your hotel, the speed boat to the islands, lunch and soft drinks. It was a speedboat that we shared with some other tourists.

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Here is the itinerary of our trip:

  1. Pick up from your hotel

  2. Driven to Ao Po Pier

  3. Speed boat ride to Ice Cream Cave

  4. Explore Ice Cream Cave

  5. Speed boat to James Bond Island (Phang Nga Bay).

  6. Sight see James Bond Island

  7. Lunch (included in fee)

  8. Speed boat to Hong Island

  9. Kayak through the mangroves at Hong Island

  10. Speed boat to Naka or Lawa island

  11. Beach time at the island

  12. Speed boat back to Ao Po Pier

  13. Drop off at your hotel

Our itinerary was done in a different order than the one online and that is because our guide would take us to locations right before it would get busy so we would have some time to ourselves. When more boats would dock and drop off tourists, we were ready to leave to our next island. It still lasted the 10 hours it says online!

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But that is what islands are for; they are places where different destinies can meet and intersect in the full isolation of time.
— Lawrence Durrell, Bitter Lemons of Cyprus