Sirey Island is just minutes away from downtown Phuket, but it seems worlds apart. To get there, you need to cross a narrow mangrove swamp with an unlikely name: Ta Jin Channel. Although you can hire a boat to take you across for a more “rustic” experience, there’s also a pedestrian bridge that connects Phuket town with Sirey Island.
As soon as you reach the bridge, you’ll start seeing the fishing boats that give Sirey Island (or “Fisherman’s Island”) its very unique look. There are no fancy attractions or constructions on the island. Instead, you’ll get a chance to peek into the lives of the local fishermen and their families, who live in traditional floating houses and fish and barter for a living.
If you bring a bycicle or motorcycle with you, you can circle the whole island in about 30 minutes (more if you’re biking). On the way, you’ll see rubber plantations, lots of wild monkeys, a number of small fishing villages, and Chao Ley (sea gypsies) making homemade fishing nets and repairing their canoes.
Development is slowly moving into the island and you can now find a few seafood restaurants and stalls selling seashells right on the beach.