Out on a longtail boat 🚤
Open ocean 🌊
Salty spray on our faces.
White sandy beaches.
Making my daughter experience snorkeling for the first time.
Fresh food and cold beer 🍻
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
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.
Khai Nok island
Our first stop on this day out on a longtail boat was the tiny 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.
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.
Rang Yai island
Our next and last stop of the day was on the Rang Yai island. I can’t recommend this island enough.
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.
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.
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.
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Been to Thailand? Which island was fabulous for you?
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