Inside the bay are several small white-
sand beaches, some only appearing at
low tide. Around the northern cliff
reef near the entrance of the bay, large
boulders have fallen down over the
years, creating a labyrinth of stunning
habitats from which schools of fish
emerge.
Day-Trip #4: Hidden Passages
Ao Phang Nga
is one of the most
spectacular locations in all of
Southeast Asia.A large portion of this
iridescent bay is national park. Spread
out over more than 150 miles of
turquoise sea and countless limestone
karst islands, it lies northeast of
Phuket. Formed in an array of shapes,
its islands were created millions of
years ago, and some peaks are as high
as 1,300 feet.
Koh Tapu
is the most well-known;
tapu
translates to nail or spike, which
reflects its curious shape. Now known
far and wide as James Bond Island, it
became famous internationally after
it was featured as a location in
The
Man With the Golden Gun.
Within many of the Phang Nga
islands are
hongs
, collapsed caves that
are best explored by canoe. Filled
with jungle flora and open to the
heavens, they host a unique ecosys-
tem. After the rains, the hongs often
take on an air of surreal, ethereal
beauty as cave interiors and stalactites
glisten. Negotiating these vaulted
chambers is best done with an expe-
rienced guide since access is often
dictated by the tides.
Day-Trip #5: Soothing the Soul
The island is famous throughout the
world for the single-minded pursuit
of relaxation. To that end, Phuket has
become a global leader in the business
of well-being, especially spa treat-
ments. One of the most popular, Thai
massage takes its cue from ancient
Indian Ayurvedic teachings that date
back to the time of Buddha and his
physician. In the southeast, about 6
miles from Phuket Town,
Sukko Spa
offers not only massage administered
by experts, but also an entire range of
cultural activities — Ashtanga yoga
from India, Muay Thai Chaiya (an
early form of Thai martial art), Thai
cooking classes, and traditional mysti-
cal tattooing,
sak yant
.
One of the nicest ways to finish
off your sightseeing is to take a sunset
cruise. You can travel in the direction
of Ao Phang Nga or Koh Phi Phi
either in a junk, a traditional Chinese
sailboat, or on a state-of-the-art
motorboat. Enjoy a snorkel followed
by cocktails, dinner, and a dramatic
view of the sky as the fiery orb falls
below the horizon.
Bangkok-based travel writer Dan White is the
author of
Frommer’s Cambodia & Laos
.
Take in one of Phuket Town’s
flamboyant cabaret shows, a
colorful extravaganza.
Sino-Portuguese-style villas
and shophouses line the
narrow streets in the old
section of Phuket Town.
RESORT DIRECTORY:
or page 314
CLIMATE:
Average high temperatures in the
summer hover around 88°F. The rainy season
lasts from May to October.
DON’T MISS:
Birding on the Similan Islands,
home to rare species such as the Nicobar
pigeon.
CURRENCY:
Thai baht
TIPPING:
Not expected, but rounding up the
bill is always appreciated.
INTERVAL TRAVEL:
CAR RENTAL:
Recommended
VISITOR INFORMATION:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
44 207 925 2511
fast
FACTS
age fotostock/SuperStock; Dan White; Dan White
IntervalWorld.com INTERVAL WORLD
Spring 2013
59
Travel Thai Style For Low Prices
when you book an exchange or purchase a Getaway to Phuket.
Go
nd:
for only
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.
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Getaway prices are valid from June through August 2013.
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