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Andaman coast visit - is Phuket worth visiting?

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my friend and I are going to Thailand for a couple of weeks in January. We are going first to Chiang Mai for a few days, and then we want to visit the south for the rest of our trip. The plan is to to go to Railey - Krabi, and then spend 3 nights in Phi Phi and 2 nights in Phuket. However, we are concerned that Phuket will be a tourist trap, too built-up, very crowded and with a crazy nightlife (not that we don't want to go out at night but a half way/not too crazy scene suits us better). However, I know that most tours along the coast depart from there and we are tempted to do a sail tour of the Phang nga bay.
Also, if we end up going to Phuket, where would you suggest staying at? We are looking for rather authentic places not 5 star luxury hotel chains, perhaps with thai decor, clean and with a friendly staff, not too expensive.
In other words should we skip Phuket, or, if it's worth going, where should we stay?
Thank you all.

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