Rang Yai Island is a small slice of paradise found 5 kilometres off the east coast of Phuket. This island has a 1 kilometre stretch of sandy beach with a great view of the mainland. This beach is mentioned in most tour packages and is one that’s always busy with travelers.
The Island is U-shaped with a shady white sandy beach which is lined with coconut trees and has a plethora of pathways. What makes this beach really special is the clear blue water that is as warm as a bathtub – normally sitting between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius!
At the north of Rang Yai Island beach, there are bamboo-thatched bungalows where one can stay. As you move further in towards the centre, you will find simpler bungalows for rent. For those on day tours, there are a couple of restaurants and bars near large trees on the beach in case you need a well-deserved recharging.
The fastest way to get to this island is by being a part of a day tour. There are several ways to do this. Firstly, you can book with a travel agent found on the more popular tourist streets. With your hotel concierge or hotel reception, or as part of a private charter phuket boat tour like the one offered by Simba Sea Trips. You could also use a kayak from Phuket if the weather allows it. There is also an option of taking a 20-minute ride on a long tail boat from Laem Hin Pier, north of Phuket town. These will cost you about 1000 baht but is quite crowded during peak tourist season.
On your way to Rangyai Island you will see a bigger island called Koh Maphrao which has lots of coconut trees. This coconut island has a fishing village and a resort called the Village. You will also see floating islands.
Remember the pathways I was talking about earlier? Visitors to Koh Rang Yai can take a stroll as well as hike. You can explore this gorgeous tropical island by walking to the end of the beach. Cyclists can also take advantage of these pathways and cycle. If you didn’t bring one, you don’t need to worry. You can rent one. There is also a football pitch, a mini golf course, an air gun shooting range as well as a volleyball net on the beach.
Other activities that most visitors enjoy are swimming in the warm, clear blue waters and sunbathing. Adventurous travelers can also undertake some kayaking on Rangyai Island as well as good Phuket snorkeling near the headland rocks.
Rang Yai Island is a very relaxing tropical island. The landing beach is the most inviting spot for relaxation and has beach chairs. You can easily spend your day chilling in one of the many beach loungers set under the trees, or tables of the exotic thatched-roof restaurant.
Koh Rang Yai is home to the Pearl farm and Pearl shop. This is actually the highlight of the visit to the island found at the center of the main beach. So if you want to visit here, one can book a tour. The Pearl shop receives visitors on a daily basis who are there to get souvenirs. You can also witness the various stages of pearl production. They have a variety of stuff to buy at very reasonable prices. As the name suggests, the shop has an extensive selection of pearls. The price is determined by the color and the quality of each pearl so there is something for everyone’s budget and taste in colour.
Speaking of restaurants on Rangyai Island, the restaurant here opens at 11 am. From the restaurant you can see Rang Noi Island and its private hotel. They also have very friendly and helpful staff. The menu is well illustrated so you can order a meal just by relying on the pictures on the menu if you find the descriptions a bit too confusing. The food is also very delicious.
This island is infamous for its pearl farm and has become a miniature activity center. Most visitors go for day trips. But if you want to stay over, you will get a few accommodation spots. There is also a campsite.
The thing is, the clear and invitingly warm water of Rang Yai Island, the green palm trees and the thatched roof of wooden restaurant are all you need for that perfect holiday atmosphere.