Koh Sirey (20 km-squared) is the second most populated island in Phuket province. On the other side of Phuket town and past Rassada pier, there is a small bridge over the mangroves swamps, takes you into the heart of Koh Sirey.

Sirey is probably more famous for its reclining Buddha than anything else, most people who come or even live on Phuket have almost certainly never even heard of this quaint little island paradise.

Koh Sirey Fishing
Koh Sirey

Koh Sirey up until recently, with regards to tourism, is a place that had been left behind in the times. However like so many beautiful little islands in the area, they are being taken over by developers. So before Koh Sirey is transformed into a golf club or a huge hotel and spa / resort, it might be just worth a visit.

Crossing over the bridge onto the island which, incidentally, does not look like an island at all; the monkeys start to appear. Totally unafraid of humans, monkeys have been a part of the wild life in these parts since before man ever even thought of living on or around Phuket.

There is a small fishing port on the island, and although not as busy as the Phuket fishing ports, you can still see the men at work throughout the day, loading and unloading the many boats that dock there.

Most of the Island is very hilly and covered in rubber trees; the rubber industry in southern Thailand, and has grown from strength to strength in recent years. Even today with all the development going on in and around Phuket, there are still vast sways of land that are still devoted to the rubber industry, farming is a way of life here.

The largest settlement of local sea gypsies live on Koh Sirey, they make their living from the sea, they are also starting to learn the ways of tourism too, selling small souvenirs to the tourists, like seashells also soft drinks and snacks.

The sea gypsies have a very old and strong tradition, if you would like to visit them they stay around the Laem Tukkae area of the island and are very welcoming.

Koh Sirey has some excellent views points from its many high peaks. It is still quite remote and very quiet, as you pass through the sea gypsy village, you will notice a small school for the local children and just passed the school is the reclining Buddha.

Passing through the entrance of the temple head up the stairway, the one being protected by the two dragons, and there you will find the reclining Buddha. Again as with all temples in Thailand, it is wise to be mindful of what you wear, keeping legs covered and any other bare flesh that may be deemed inappropriate covered too. There is a fantastic view of Phuket from up there.

Fishing
Fishing

There is one major resort on the island, The Westin Sirey Bay Resort, it is a classy resort with a very reasonable price range. It has all the amenities that you would expect from similar resorts on Phuket mainland. Just behind the resort, is a fantastic Seafood restaurant with an extensive menu and very reasonable prices, it has amazing views of the surrounding areas: well worth a visit.

Koh Sirey is a wonderful place to stop and well worth the trip out there, the locals say, it is what Phuket was like some thirty years ago. So it may be worth going now, otherwise Koh Sirey may just be like its big sister (Phuket) in a few years.

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