Island Hopping in Phuket

Bangkok’s cosmopolitan immersion and Chiang Rai’s jungle adventure set the perfect stage for some Thai island time. Onward to white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a beach umbrella to protect my sunburn prone skin. SPF infinity, please.

Day By Day in Phuket

Day 1 Afternoon arrival, Site inspection
Day 2 Relaxing on the Beach, Evening in Phuket Town (Old City)
Day 3 Island Hopping and Krabi
Day 4 Beach in the morning, afternoon flight

I can’t read. Take me to the pictures below. Jump to Gallery

Day 1: Welcome to Trisara

Trisara has been on my must-stay-at list for many years. The buzz and allure around the property through travel shows and my travel marketing had brought on continuous excitement. Now, the time had finally come. Upon arrival, Trisara had upgraded us to an Ocean View Pool Villa. Upgraded, phenomenal word right?

The villa was spectacular. The private infinity pool stared out over the ocean. In the evenings, we would watch the sun gracefully wave goodbye as it set over the horizon. Within 2-minutes of opening the villa door, champagne had been popped and we were in the water. The villa doors and windows opened wide. I loaded up a newly found Spotify playlist titled “Summer Chill” to the sound system – because Summer Chill is exactly what we were about to do, hard.



Day 2: Beach Bumming and Heading in Town

What is there to say about an entire day spent bumming in the sand and splashing around in the ocean? I barely even checked my work e-mail, barely. Though, unlike Kristen, I get fidgety after about 60 seconds of being motionless. I also don’t tan, not for lack of trying – sunburn champion over here. 

Snorkel gear, kayaks and hobie cats are all available at the beach. A wooden platform is set about 50 meters from shore. Around mid-day, and after a few mandatory pina-coladas, we strapped on flippers and snorkel-geared up. Everything about the water captivates me, especially what’s underneath. We closely followed the fish as we made our way further into the sea.


Phuket Town (Old City)

Like many travelers, we wanted to “live like a local.” Or, at least as local as someone can be that finds themselves in Thailand knowing zero Thai and born in America. Phuket Town was a 45-minute drive from Trisara, and seemed perfect.

The town was colorful, calm and easy to navigate. There was no touristy feel. Though, us being there made it more so. We sauntered around for a couple hours, peaking our heads in and out of buildings and shops. A few art pieces and knickknacks found their way into our possession. The city was not busy. The workday didn’t let out for another hour and the weekend happy hours we just about to kick off. I was very surprised by the amount of bars that seemed American in setup and design.


Aimlessly wandering around with a strong handicap in map reading built up an appetite. This local restaurant Raya had been recommended by many. It is no hidden gem, nor too hard to find. All the rave reviews placed it high up on our must eat at list.

The immediate awkwardness of walking into a local restaurant as a foreigner defined our entrance into Raya. We unexpectedly found ourselves in the midst of their dinner rush, and with no reservation. Families and couples from the neighborhood had filled the dining room. Conversation echoed through the hall as we made our way towards the bar and flagged down the head waitress. My flair for awkwardness brought upon a confusing conversation – but fortunately a table was open upstairs. Food and beer please!

The menu seemed inexpensive, leading me to believe the dishes were small. Rookie mistake. Noodles, spring rolls, and other Thai dishes kept coming and my Singah beer was flowing. All the food was delicious. Best dish, the Crab and Yellow Curry. Definitely grab dinner at Rayas when in Phuket Town. The food was delicious and the experience was fun and warm.

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Day 3: Island Hopping and Krabi

Everyone’s raves about the islands surrounding Phuket – pristine beaches, incredible snorkeling, shallow lagoons – and many other adjectives and island term combinations. I arranged a private day-trip to Krabi and  Phang Nga Bay through Trisara while on site. Coming to Phuket and not exploring the surrounding islands seemed like a travel crime.

Shortly into our expedition, I turned towards the captain inquiring about the boats max speed. Through my inaudible Thai speaking attempts and awkward hand gestures (you know, those literal sign language attempts we always add to compliment our slowed speech while abroad – that never work), we arrived at a max speed of 40knots.  Immediately our eyes locked. Our minds began speaking past language and possibly time itself. Horsepower and speed had entered this reality. He smirked. I nodded. We both knew what I was really asking. It was in this moment that his hand became heavier on the throttle, and my grip on the side rail tightened. Within minutes we were flat-out, soaring over the light chop of the Adaman Sea. And that’s the story of how my sunglasses flew off of my head and into the ocean, very early into a sunny day at sea.

The whole day was pulled out of a dream. The sun was showing off with barely a cloud in the sky. It was a private experience, giving us the freedom to choose where we wanted to go, which coves to check out, and how long to stay in any area. We spent some time splashing around in shallow coves, driving by the iconic James Bond island (which was packed with tourists), and ended on a little private beach with a picnic lunch.

The rock formations and mini-islands that rise up from the ocean blew me away. It was an entire day filled with moments that made me take a step back and say, “Wow, this place actually exists in real life.”


Wrap it Up

Phuket and the surrounding islands were gorgeous. Trisara is a phenomenal resort with incredible local food and a passion for building up the local community. After a full-on adventure through Thailand, I could not think of a better way to finish off.

Where I stayed: Trisara

My Favorite Meal: Crab and Yellow Curry at Rayas in Phuket Town.

My Favorite Moment: Easily the entire day island hopping. Specifically the private picnic on our own deserted island. We spent an hour enjoying local dishes and some nice wines before a little island exploring.

How I got there: Bangkok Airways – CEI – BKK – HKT

  • Chiang Rai to Bangkok – 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Bangkok to Chiang Rai – 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Phuket Airport to Trisara – 15 minutes

Planned by: Swain Destinations



Ian Swain 2

I work for Swain Destinations, a travel company that specializes in customized trips all over the world. I love to take pictures, am quite awkward, put myself in uncomfortable situations and will eat anything. The world is an incredible place. See and experience as much as you can.

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