Many travelers visit Phuket and complain that the main beaches are overcrowded, too touristy and lacking that special something we all desire. The simple solution is to head to your own private island. Luckily for all of us, it is not as expensive or as difficult as you might think. Phuket has plenty of hidden germs just waiting to be discovered.
You’ll find one such gem about 15 minutes from Phuket’s east coast. A visit to Rang Yai Island is an affordable way to experience your own private, tropical resort. Located on just 275 rai of land, Rang Yai Island boasts white sands, inviting waters and a dense jungle.
Getting to Rang Yai Island is a piece of cake. You can take a speed boat from either Sapam Bay or Laem Hin. It is the ideal place to visit on a one-day excursion or for a unique camping opportunity as the island is full of things to do and points of interest. One of the best things about Rang Yai Island is the pearl farm, known as Phuket Pearl Farm.
When you arrive at Rang Yai Island, you will be greeted and presented with a fresh coconut before being taken to a live demonstration of how pearls are cultured and harvested at the farm. The step-by-step explanation of how the pearls are formed and then turned into the precious stones we know today is fascinating. You will learn all about oysters and the farm itself.
As you would expect, where there are pearls there is business and there is ample opportunity to buy pearls in their various guises at the island’s own pearl store. Phuket Pearl Farm’s treasures are also exported all over the world. There is no pressure to buy pearls, but if you are a pearl fan or after a suitable present for your mum, the convenience is there to be used.
The island is small enough to have its own trail around the perimeter. Bikes can be hired and the whole island can be circumnavigated in less than half an hour. If you want to make it last a bit longer, there are some tucked-away spots at which you could stop off and enjoy the views. The trail is easy-going without too many steep slopes.
With the island being owned by one company, Richy Island Phuket, there is only one resort and restaurant. Thankfully, the food is top notch, with a wide range of delicious dishes offering some of the best Thai food around. The seafood in particular is as good as anywhere on mainland Phuket. Fresh prawns, fried fish and other marine delights will satisfy your taste buds. Meals by the sea as the sun sets are particularly memorable.
The beach at Rang Yai is charming and clean and the water is warm and a joy to swim in. If watersports are your thing, there are kayaks available for people to paddle about in.
One of the focal points of the island is the number of recreational activities that have been made available without imposing on the natural charms of the island itself. Everything from darts and petanque, to volleyball and golf can be played at Rang Yai Island. The on-site putting course is a cute touch and great for whiling away an afternoon.
Rang Yai Island is not a hive of activity, but a place to go, relax and enjoy the scenery. It attracts many couples and there is even the option of getting married on the island. A number of lovers have chosen to say their vows on Rang Yai Island. What could be more romantic than saying “I do” in the seclusion of your own private paradise? The wedding team can cater to your every desire should you decide to take the plunge.
Most people visit Rang Yai Island on a day excursion and there are a number of packages available. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken from your doorstep to the island. The half-day excursion includes a live pearl demonstration and time at the beach, as well as snacks and refreshments.
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A full-day excursion includes the live pearl demonstration and an extended time to relax on the beach or get involved with activities such as snorkeling. Half-day excursions cost 1,200 baht for adults, 600 baht for children, while full-day excursions cost between 1,600 baht and 2,200 baht for adults, between 800 baht and 1,100 baht for children.
Rang Yai offers the perfect island getaway and the ideal retreat from mainland Phuket. A night in one of the bungalows will set you back 1,000 baht. For further information visit www.rangyaiisland-phuket.com