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Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is known throughout the world for its vibrant nightlife, glorious beaches and breathtaking natural landscapes.
The Pearl of the Andaman is by far one of the country’s most famous resorts, favoured by honeymooners and holidaymakers looking for the quintessential exotic escape.
Whilst Phuket is known all over as Thailand’s party capital, this magnificent region offers so much more - it’s not all hedonistic full moon parties! Phuket’s main attractions include its many awe-inspiring Buddhist monuments, historic temples, exciting water parks and magnificent nature reserves.
Phuket holidays offer something for everyone, with world-class resorts that are tailormade to romantic getaways, including Phuket honeymoons, and family breaks.
The island is home to some of Thailand’s best beaches, from the immaculate white shores of Patong Beach to the golden shores of Karon Beach to the palm tree lined coastal stretches of Mai Khao Beach - Phuket’s longest beach.
Those looking to make the most of their holidays to Phuket at the beach will want to head to one of Phuket’s many diving centres. Boat tours and watersports are also very popular and can be found at most beach resorts around the island.
A visit to Karon Beach’s weekly market is highly recommended for those staying in the region. The market, which takes place in the grounds of the historic Wat Suwan Khiri Khet Buddhist temple, is the perfect place for souvenirs, local delights and Thai street food.
Among Phuket’s must visits is the spectacular Big Buddha monument that sits on the top of Nakkerd Hills in Ao Chalon overlooking the whole of Phuket.
For luxury holidays in Phuket, the most distinguished areas are those of Bang Tao and Laguna Phuket. Both destinations are perfect as a place to be pampered and unwind.
Of course, no holiday to Phuket is complete without a visit to the infamous town of Patong. The town is without a doubt one of Thailand’s main party capitals. Bars, night clubs, entertainment venues and glitzy neon discos are plentiful in this city.
Nightlife aside, it’s worth putting some time aside to explore Phuket’s magnificent natural landscapes. Most famous of these is the Ao Phang Nga National Park - a labyrinth of limestone caves, waterfalls and forests.
Phuket’s popularity has no sign of dwindling anytime soon, with numerous tourist attractions that can be enjoyed all over the island.
Bang Tao is a stunning horseshoe shaped beach in the Laguna area of Phuket. Shelving gently into the Andaman Sea, it is perfect for swimming and is surrounded by lagoons.
If you’re looking for a peaceful stretch of beach away from the crowds, Nai Thon Beach is the place for you. Predominantly a favourite with locals, the area surrounding this breathtaking beach is largely undeveloped, except for a handful of shops and restaurants.
Mai Khao Beach, on the north west coast of the island, is Phuket’s longest beach. Part of Sirinat National Park, this relatively deserted stretch of sand is perfect for anyone seeking heavenly hours of undisturbed relaxation. However, if you head to Kai Khao Beach to swim, it’s worth noting that there’s a sharp drop off a short distance into the water, making for dangerous conditions at certain times of the year.
Phuket is a great place to enjoy a boat trip, with many stunning islands to visit, including James Bond Island, the Surin Island, the Similan Islands and Koh Phi Phi Leh, the home of Maya Bay, made famous by the film The Beach.
You can also get up close to elephants. The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers an ethical wildlife experience where you can help bathe elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industry, and enjoy an unforgettable experience.
For those looking to enjoy a little pampering during their holiday, there are a host of excellent Thai massage parlours on offer all across Phuket.
On the other hand, any sports enthusiast visiting Phuket may want to take in a Thai boxing match, with Patong Boxing Stadium, on Sainamyen Road, a great place to experience Thailand’s national sport.
Phuket is no different to most other Thailand regions. Holidaymakers can expect all year round warm weather, with temperatures ranging between the mid twenties to mid thirties. Phuket’s has a tropical climate, meaning the island is subject to a monsoon season (September to October). However, sunshine is still to be expected around this time, with outbreaks of rain only lasting a short while. December to March is seen as the best time to visit, with temperatures remaining manageable. April and May is when the island experiences its hottest weather.
If water sports, elephant rides, ancient monuments and the glitzy gogo bars of Patong all feature on your Thailand to do list!
Dining out in Phuket is always a delight, with cuisine for every budget and taste. You can eat for as little as £2, whether that be picking up a bite to eat from a street food vendor or eating in at one of the many restaurants that offer a variety of cheap eats. If you fancy something a bit more sophisticated you will also find a number of high-end restaurants, perfect for a romantic dinner, or a memorable family evening out.
If you’re feeling thirsty during your meal, you’ll be glad to know that drinks are reasonably priced, with a beer costing around £1, while a spirit and a mixer will set you back around £2.
Tony is one of Destination2’s travel specialists and has been fortunate to visit Phuket on many occasions. Having an extensive knowledge of this captivating island means he is the perfect person to give advice to anyone thinking of jetting off on a holiday of a lifetime.
Luxury Phuket Holidays
Phuket boasts an array of 5-star hotels and resorts, but when it comes to extravagance and sophistication, Tony recommends Laguna Phuket.
“Laguna Phuket is perfect for families and couples,” says Tony. “It is an upmarket area full of superb hotels, including the Dusit Thani, Banyan Tree and Outrigger Beach Resort. There is also an abundance of sophisticated restaurants and bars, a twice-weekly market and, of course, Bang Tao Beach.”
Laguna Phuket is approximately a 20-minute transfer from Phuket International Airport.
Phuket holidays on a budget
For those looking to experience Phuket without breaking the bank, Tony suggests that the areas of Karon and Kata, are superb options.
“Karon or Kata are ideal for families and couples looking for a Thailand holiday that is a little easier on the pocket,” says Tony.
“Running into each other, these neighbouring destinations offer a number of affordable accommodation options, including The Old Phuket, the Andaman Seaview Hotel and the Centara Kata Resort. They also boast a variety of restaurants and bars, as well as shopping opportunities, with a number of night markets to explore.
“Both Karon and Kata also have stunning beaches, with the gorgeous stretch of white sand in Karon being one of the longest in Phuket. Kata beach is more of a horseshoe shape, but is equally as beautiful.”
Best nightlife in Phuket
If a lively beach break is your thing, Tony recommends a stay in the incredible resort of Patong.
“Patong is the main area for nightlife, with hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs to be found along the resort’s popular Bangla Road,” says Tony. “It is also a great place to sample the delights of Thai cuisine, whether from a street food vendor or one of the many tempting restaurants.
“Patong is also home to the Phuket Simon Cabaret Show, a spectacular ladyboy show full of bright lights, glamorous costumes and extravagant entertainment.”
Make time to visit…
Tony recommends that you definitely make time to visit the Similan Islands. He said: “A visit to the Similan Islands is a must. However, they are only open between November and April, being closed during the monsoon season. With pristine, white powdery beaches and crystal clear water you will feel like you’re in paradise. You can also spot turtles and dolphins in the seas surrounding the islands.”