Phuket, Southern Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Phuket

Phuket

Thailand's most popular island and holiday destination, Phuket has some of its finest beaches, notably Patong, Karon and Kata. The island itself offers just about every tourist attraction you could imagine, from fabulous beaches and scenery to a large selection of bars, restaurants and clubs that line the main resort areas.

When to go

Because Phuket enjoys a tropical climate like the rest of Thailand, the weather is either hot, warm, or rainy. With that being said, it’s never gets too cold. Most people find that the best time to go is between November and February when it’s mostly dry and not unbearably hot. April and May are much hotter, with monsoon season beginning in the middle of May and lasting until October.

Top Attractions

While (arguably) the most popular thing to do in Phuket is relax on the beach, there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing here, too.

Take a boat trip to Phand Nga Bay where you’ll be in awe of the towering limestone cliffs and perfectly green water. If you’re looking for a photo opportunity, this is it!

If you want to escape the buzzing centre, head out to Old Phuket Town. This sleepy town is filled with a delightful mix of European and Chinese architecture and plenty of funky shops for you to enjoy.

Beaches

There are more than 30 beaches to choose from in Phuket. Secluded caves and lively shores await, depending on your preference.

Some notable beaches include Patong, Karon and Kata.

If you’re looking for a place buzzing with people, shops and restaurants, head to Patong, the most famous beach resort on Phuket. If you’d rather dive than eat and drink, head to Karon Beach. While it is still busy, you can find less crowded spots on the southern end. Just a few minutes away you’ll find Kata Beach, with is especially popular with families and surfers because of the white sand and perfect waves.

Dining

Phuket has something for everyone. And we mean everyone. With so many options, you’ll be able to pick a restaurant based on any number of factors, including the cuisine, price, location, atmosphere, and service.

You’ll find cosmopolitan options all around the resort and, of course, plenty of street food wherever you look.

Entertainment

If you’re really looking to shock your senses, take a walk down Bangla Road. Here, you’ll see that Phuket’s reputation as a party hub is well-deserved. If you’d rather let loose on the beach, head for Patong which enjoys the most lively nightlife of all the beaches in Phuket.

If you’re seeking a more relaxing escape, you will enjoy the dazzling beaches of Karon and Kata instead. They’re both well-stocked with places to grab a drink without all the noise.

Culture

As the world’s most heavily Buddhist country, it’s no surprise that you’ll find traces of the religion (and lifestyle) everywhere.

Perhaps the most notable is Big Buddha, which is visible from most of the south of Phuket. Whether you’re going for a spiritual experience or just to check out the view from the top of the hill, Big Buddha doesn’t disappoint. Just make sure you dress appropriately by covering your shoulders.

Adventure and Sports

Excursions from Phuket are plentiful and easily accessible and include elephant trekking and white-water rafting. There’s also a number of opportunities to dive and snorkel.

If you have a day to adventure, you can’t miss a trip to the island of Koh Phi Phi and its famed bay from the movie 'The Beach'.

Getting around

There are a number of options in terms of transportation for those wanting to get out and explore. Local buses can take you to Phuket Old Town and the rest of the island’s main beach resorts. Locals will hop on and off songthaews and tuk-tuks, but there are also taxis available.

If you have your license, you can also rent a motorbike or scooter for a bit of independence while in Phuket.