Phuket and Kata
A fast overview of Phuket and surroundings
Islands, beaches and jungle
All the different solutions of Phuket.
The Andaman Sea, separated from the Bay of Bengal by the Andaman-Nicobar Ridge, is part of the Indian Ocean. Thailand's Andaman coast extends for 870 kilometres from the Surin Islands on the northern border with Burma to Tarutao National Park on the southern border with Malaysia. Hundreds of islands are accessible to small craft from Phuket, many of them uninhabited, many of them forested and fringed with spectacular coral reefs. You often won't find a footprint on the beach.
Two distinctively different varieties of island are found in the Andaman Sea, each of them scenically striking in its own way. Low-relief granite intrusions, including the Surin and Similan islands, run in series roughly parallel to the more dramatic limestone islands. Island groups such as Koh Phi Phi have been shaped by a variety of forces from a massive limestone platform that was deposited 350 million to 450 million years ago. Phuket Island itself is mainly granite, with low forested mountains and a series of fine white-sand beaches, mostly on the west coast. Much of the forest has been cleared, first for rubber plantations and then for tourism development. The one remaining significant stand of virgin rainforest -- Khao Phra Thaeo Park -- is worth a visit.
Phang Nga and Krabi provinces, mainland and islands alike, display the same dramatic limestone ("karst") geography of the Phi Phi Islands. Khao Sok National Park, just to the north and east off Phuket, has large areas of tropical forest, some of it still remote enough to harbour wild tigers.
Kata Yai Beach
Kata Noi Beach