Photo Essay: Island-hopping on a longtail boat in Thailand

island hopping in thailand, longtail boat adventure thailand
My idea of a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Out on a longtail boat 🚤
Open ocean 🌊
Salty spray on our faces.
Breezy day.
White sandy beaches.
Making my daughter experience snorkeling for the first time.
Fresh food and cold beer 🍻
Scintillating conversation.

Doesn’t the above sound heavenly?! Trust me, it was.

We spent a long weekend with friends at the beautiful Naka Island Resort, just a 30-minute taxi ride from the Phuket coast. And while the resort with its beachfront setting and amenities is easy to spend time in, you can’t leave Thailand without a day out on the ocean.

And for me, the perfect day out was to hire a longtail boat – native to Southeast Asia – and get out on the open ocean with family and friends just with the skipper. So much better than taking any guided tour to islands that abound on the Andaman coastline of Thailand!

Hiring a longtail boat

You don’t need to carry much for the day! Just wear your beach clothes and carry water.

It is easy to hire a longtail boat from Phuket, just ask the locals near the beach. The Naka Island Resort had an arrangement with a local company for all water sports and excursions, and it was simple enough for us to hire a longtail boat from the resort itself.

We negotiated the price (we paid in cash) with the boat captain and also discussed the couple of islands to visit. You are spoilt for choice on which islands to go to in the Andaman seaside, but we were keen to not go to very far-off islands, considering we had young kids with us. The morning bright and sunny, and soon enough, we were out speeding on the open ocean.

You could be seated inside the cabin for some shade…
…or out in the open at the frontside enjoying the breeze.

If you are landing in Phuket via Singapore, check out this post on the Best attractions in Singapore for a family holiday.

And if it is via Hong Kong, do read this post on Hong Kong with kids.

Khai Nok island

Our first stop on this day out on a longtail boat was the tiny Khai Nok island.

About an hour away from our resort lay the Khai Nok island.

Our boat captain stopped right next to bright blue drums that were tied together to make a bridge. He handed over water bottles and we were free to spend some time on this tiny island.

What fun to run on this blue moving bridge!

But whatever fancy photos you may have seen of this island, the reality is a bit different. The island needs a good clean up as there’s a fair bit of rubbish around, the toilets are not free, the food is expensive, a bit of a tourist trap to be fair. It was probably lovely years ago but now just another stop-off. Our kids though had a different idea altogether! They had a blast playing with the soft white sand.

It got very hot during the day, and whatever sunscreen was slathered on, didn’t feel enough.

Hordes of boats stopped by when we were leaving. I can’t imagine how so many people would have jostled for space on that tiny island.

I was happy to be back on the boat with panoramic views.

Rang Yai island

Our next and last stop of the day was on the Rang Yai island. I can’t recommend this island enough.

Rang Yai makes for a quintessential local island experience.
There were lots of people on the island when we visited but the beach accommodated them easily.

Its western side has a 1-km-long beach that’s often busy with travelers on day trips to Phang Nga Bay. Swimmers might notice that the entire length of the beach has very warm waters – usually between 25°C to 35°C – perfect for splashing/swimming. Koh Rang Yai’s shady and tree-lined beach has several pathways for strolling and hiking.

Many people in the water, and some playing on the beach.
There were lots of deckchairs available freely for use.

We had a delicious lunch at a local shack, sitting under a tree, and washed it down with local beer. The kids again wanted to play on the beach and then splash about in the warm water.

It was early evening when the captain asked us to head back.

Can you think of a better way to spend a day?

I can, but that involved another ocean adventure, scuba diving off Malapascua in the Philippines.

Also, I learnt diving in the Andaman Sea, at a dive centre on Havelock.

Pin it for later!

Hiring a local longtail boat and being out on the open ocean, hopping from one island to another, having local food is a perfect day in Thailand. #thailand #khainokisland #phuket #longtail #rangyaiisland #islandhopping        Island Hopping Longtail Boat Thailand

Been to Thailand? Which island was fabulous for you?

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Author: Shweta Singhal

Hi! I am Shweta, the zest behind this blog . I play several roles – parent to a 6-year old, adventure enthusiast, travel blogger, generally open to trying out new things in life. Besides travel, I love books and theatre and art. I would love to hear from you; do drop a comment. Join me on Instagram / Twitter @zestinatote.

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