"James Bond " Island
We arrived at Phuket airport an opted out of doing anything there after reading and hearing about the over the top tourist BS, so we got a bus (after resisting a hoard of taxi drivers) and arrived in a non descrept town of Prang Nau in fantastic surroundings of tremendous limestone spires. We found a fantastic inn for 17$ and really like the totally local and friendly flavour.
And things got better. The boat tour out to Prang Nau Marine National Park was fantastic. It is an area of huge limestone mountains flooded by the sea in the last 12K years. And the best remaining mangrove forests in T. Caves and the shoreline drip with stalagmites (or is it stalactites?) One stop was "James Bond Island", so named because a Bond film used this location. Not surprising, the tiny island has been turned into tourist trap with stalls lining the only flat spot, and a mass of boats pulled up.