Full Day Island Hopping in Phuket, Thailand

When I was in Phuket, Thailand for my honeymoon last February, we stayed at one of the most beautiful resorts on that island. Although my husband and I would rather not leave our gorgeous room, I wanted to show my husband some of Phuket’s beautiful islands, especially since he has never been to Phuket before.

And what’s the best way to do so other than a full day island hopping in Phuket, Thailand?

Full Day Island Hopping In Phuket

Our tour operator for the full day island hopping in Phuket was Vitamin Sea Tour Phuket. The tour operator was suggested by the resort we stayed at.

Phuket is a popular tourist destination and there are hundreds of reliable tour operators on the island. Just make sure you do some research i.e. tour operator, type of boats, islands included in the package, etc (Google comes in handy) before you purchase your island hopping package.

We had the option between Phi Phi Islands Tour or James Bond Islands Tour. We decided on the James Bond Islands Tour.

James Bond Islands Tour with Vitamin Sea Tour

Vitamin Sea Tour Phuket

We woke up early for our full day island hopping in Phuket tour since we were told that the van transfer would arrive at our resort around 7.30am. The van then started picking up other island hoppers from other hotels before heading to Boat Lagoon Marina.

It took about 40 minutes drive to arrive at Boat Lagoon Marina after the van picked up the last couple from Patong Beach.

After arriving at Boat Lagoon Marina, we met with some of Vitamin Sea Tour’s staffs who then segregated us to the two different groups – those going for Phi Phi Islands Tour and James Bond Island Tour.

We had to wait for a while for other island hoppers to arrive before starting the tour. Luckily there was a lounge area to have some coffee or tea. Vitamin Sea Tour even provided nausea medication (in abundance!) so if you’re the type of person who are easily affected by the sea, you should take a pill at least 30minutes before setting off.

Note: Do not take more than one nausea medication or you’ll end up feeling sleepy during your tour.

Khal Island

The first island we headed to was Khal Island. It took about 30 minutes speedboat ride from the Boat Lagoon Marina. We were given 40 minutes to snorkel or swim in Khal Island before heading to our next destination.

I wasn’t very happy at Khal Island though since there were so many people; mostly the PRC. They were so loud and left so many rubbish behind as they leave.

At first, I found a quiet place for my husband and I near the rocks. We were just dipping in the water and my husband started snorkelling in less that 10 minutes when a large boat of PRCs arrived and throngs of them came and scattered around the area where I hid my bags that for a moment, I thought they were stolen.

Luckily, I managed to fish my bags from under one of the tourists’ towels.

Khal Island was very pretty though, the water very clear and there were many colourful fishes of different types to be found. It would’ve been very calming if there weren’t so many people.

Another thing that left me baffled was when a PRC couple and their young daughter catched a fish in her little pail and put it in a bottle. My husband was in the water when this happened and I went to the girl’s mother to tell her that she mustn’t do that to the fish but she just stared at me blankly, probably not understanding what I’m saying (I spoke in English).

I think something must be done by the government on Chinese (PRC) tourists to prevent such things (or worse) from happening!

James Bond Island

James Bond Island

James Bond Island‘s real name is Khao Phing Kan or sometimes called Ko Khao Phing Kan. The island is formed of limestone tower karsts and located in Phang Nga Bay, part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park.

In one of James Bond’s movie “James Bond: The Man With The Golden Gun”, you can find this island featured in parts of that movie. Since then, this island has been swarming with tourists, and the locals took up the opportunity to sell some local products at the stalls nearby.

The tour on James Bond Island itself was only for a short while where visitors are welcomed to take photos of the limestone island, shop at the stalls (we were advised by our guide not to purchase from them because they are very expensive and of low quality) or just walk about and take photos of the nearby cave.

Panyee Island

Panyi Island

Honestly this was the first time I ever heard of Panyee Island (local: Ko Panyi).

Since our next activity would be canoeing, we had to fuel our bellies first. The weather was quite humid that day and we were all looking forward to a good meal and cold drinks. It took about 30 minutes on speedboat from James Bond Island to Panyee Island.

Our guide told us that they will be bringing us to Panyee Island, a Muslim settlement, and we will be served Halal food for lunch. That was good news to most of us, considering there were four Muslim couples on board (including my husband and I). Panyee Island is a fishing village descended from two seafaring Muslim families from Java, Indonesia.

Panyee Island
One of the houses on Panyee Island
Panyee Island
The settlement here are built on stilts.

I was quite surprised to see the size of the settlement when we first arrived at the island. There are more than 1,500 people living on the island and they have their own Muslim schools and mosque. The restaurant where we had our lunch were also huge; able to house many groups of tourists from many different tour operators.

Our lunch was a very common Thai lunch with rice, seafood tom yum, vegetables, fruits like watermelon and pineapple and a choice of hot or cold drinks.

Since we were catching up with time, our lunch break was only for one hour before we head to our next destination of island hopping in Phuket: Hong Island.

Hong Island

Hong Island

Our fourth island hopping in Phuket destination was Hong Island where we were taken on a canoe ride by local canoe paddlers along the beautiful rocky outcrops of Hong Island.

Hong Island

Hong Island

I have to say, Hong Island is probably one of my favourites among the islands that we hopped to so far. It took only about 10-15 minutes on speed boat from Panyee Island and the view was gorgeous.

Imagine the sound of flapping water, birds flying the air, gibbons and a large lagoon for you to canoe in and out of.

The lagoon is best accessed at low tide by canoe, with a cliff passage on the way out that you should not miss taking photos of.

Hong Island

Hong Island

Hong Island

Hong Island
Photo opportunity! Or shall we paddle this canoe to our speedboat and leave the boy here?

The canoe ride that we took had it’s own paddler so it can only take another two person per canoe. Our paddler was a young boy of 13 years old and he told us that he’s doing this regularly after school to get some extra pocket money. The older paddlers would tease him but he was all smiles and spoke shyly to us in broken Bahasa Malaysia (since we told him we’re from Malaysia).

I wish the canoe ride would be longer though, although it did take about 30-40 minutes for us to go through the lagoon and then back out along the wall of Hong Island before we headed to the speedboat. Oh, and remember to tip your canoe paddler.

Panak Island

Panak Island

There was supposed to be another canoeing into Panak Island but sadly, by the time we arrived, the tide was already high that we could not see the entrance to the Panak Island cave anymore. Most of us were tired by then anyway, what with the heat and the bumpy ride on the speed boat so we didn’t mind not being able to go into Panak Island’s lagoon.

Panak Island is a pretty island, which also has it’s own cave and mangrove forests in the lagoon. There are many wildlife on the island too including walking fish, fiddler crabs and hornbills.

It’s a sad thing that we couldn’t see the “inner” beauty of Panak Island but the outside walls of the “Mud Cave” was a good enough view for us.

Island Hopping In Phuket, Full Day Ends

Our island hopping in Phuket tour ends around 4.15pm and by the time we arrived at the Boat Lagoon Marina, it was almost 5pm.

Vitamin Sea Tour prohibits pregnant women from joining the tour and does not recommend those with heart and spine conditions to join as well. I understand why, the speedboat ride was super jumpy most of the time and by the end of the tour I thought my bum would be bruised to blue already.

After we arrived at Boat Lagoon Marina, we went on the same van transfer that took us in the morning (with the same group of people in the morning too) so that we would be dropped off at our respective hotels.

The unique part about this island hopping in Phuket tour package was that all those who joined the tour were newlyweds.

If you’re looking for an island hopping in Phuket package, do check out Vitamin Sea Tour Phuket for interesting packages.

The James Bond Island Tour we took costs THB3,500 per adult (or THB2,000 per child) and they operate daily. I loved the guide who was with us that day – she was very feisty and fun. I wished the tide was friendlier with us so that we could explore more caves but all in all, it was a good island hopping package and we had lots of fun in the sun.

Written by 

LizzaBella is a part-time traveler, amateur photographer and videographer and writer. Connect with LizzaBella through her social medias today!

20 thoughts on “Full Day Island Hopping in Phuket, Thailand

  1. Wow! Best nyer, Bella.
    Tq so much for sharing. Phuket. Krabi. Places dlm waiting list. Island hopping. Mandi laut. Snorkeling.
    Was planning to bring along anak-anak bertiga tu. They love beach! Memang x la honeymoon sgt nanti ha ha ha honeykecoh!

  2. wow…so nice…beautiful! kita penah berangan nk ke sini dulu tapi tah bila boleh pegi.. tp xpelah masuk dlm wishlist dlu… mana tau ada rezeki pegi sini juga kan.. cantik2 pemandangan dia… kalau kt sini best lama2 ke sekejap?

  3. wow phuket.. baru k lily nak plan pi hujung tahun ni. so follow itinerary awak ni lah

  4. bestnya kalau dpt berehat2 berjalan macam ni ..Phuket mmg ada dlm wishlist..berharap sgt dpt pergi satu hari nanti..cantik semua gambar2 bella

  5. Such lovely travel itinerary for you love birds – and to hop on islands like you did, I wish I can do so in the near future. With someone special too

  6. Postingan ini mengingatkan saya saat berkunjung ke Phuket Thailand 2 tahun yang lalu. Indah sekali disana seperti yang terlihat pada gambar atau foto2 di post ini.

  7. best yer holiday ke phuket. Banyak pulau-pulau cantik kat sini. Boleh masuk dalam wishlist ni bawa anak-anak teroka phuket. Tq for sharing

  8. Rindu nya nak pi phuket lagi..walaupun da banyak kali pi…i suka island hoping sebab pulau2 dia cun sgt

  9. You really make me miss Phuket. I want revisit again for Vitamin Sea soon. I went there like 10 years ago…

  10. Bestnya island hoping. Next place yang akan kami pegi insyaALLAH. Tq share pic. Btw slmt hari raya maaf zahir batin bella 🙂

  11. Oh my… You make me feel wanna go visit all this islands now. I love sea and corals and views. Really breathtaking. Oh my…

  12. Wowwww! Bestnya! Tak sampai lagi Phuket kita ni. Bila nak sampai takntahu la tu. Moga one day,sampai jugak kita nnt. Air-air dia lawaaaaa.. crystal sea sangat.

  13. Bestnya dapat vitamin sea secara naturel. Tak pernah lagi sanpai di sini tapi tgk tempat mmg nampak cantik dan menarik

  14. Bestnya tengok…bila la kita dapat pergi Thailand. Takpela, mana tau suatu hari nanti rezeki dapat pergi. Tunggu anak besar, berhoneymoon semula..hehehe..Boleh masukkan dalam list ni tempat ni..cantik sangat

  15. OMG>..i want to spend days and nights at Khal Island…the water is super clear!!! That will be like heaven already for me.. <3

  16. Bestnya pi honeymoon ke Phuket. I pernah buat island hopping di Krabi je. Next time, kalau ada rezeki nak try island hopping di phuket pulak. Macam menarik ni. Thanks for sharing

  17. Memang best la pergi isaland hopping in Phuket, i did it once before when i was there and its more fun with many people go together. You got many nice photos.

  18. Looks so fun! I havent been to James Bond Island yet but I’d love to do kayaking there. I did go to Maya Bay though, it’s beautiful!

  19. These are the nice places to travel, I think there are a lot of places which so many peoples can visit. you are enjoying a lot in the pictures.

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