PHUKET - THAILAND
A popular destination for honeymooners and families alike, Phuket in Thailand is popular for all kinds of tourists, honeymooners, families, partners, groups of friends and singles. From its amazing scenery with white sands and the crisp blue sea; to the forests and villages; nightlife to restaurants; shopping to golf; no matter where you go in Phuket or how long you stay, you are sure to find a superb combination of fun, relaxation and friendly locals.
Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is just 48 kilometres in length, 21 kilometres at its widest. But don’t let the size fool you. The region is flooded with places to go and with its tropical climate, the weather is generally warm all year round (with April and May, September and October being the hottest months).
Things to do and see
Patong Beach is the most popular tourist spot on the island and is great if you don’t mind crowds, enjoy shopping and an active nightlife. With a huge array of activities and popular night spots, Patong is the ideal place to visit in Phuket if you want to party and play. If you’re after an authentic Thai holiday, you’re not likely to find it here, but you will have a great time and find some of the “comforts” of home (including KFC and McDonalds).
Bang Thao has one of the Phuket’s longest beaches and was originally known for tin mining, however it has seen been developed into a luxury escape. The northern end of the beach is secluded and has so far been untouched by developers.
On the northwest coast, Mai Khao Beach is a little known area – so much so that you can take a walk along the beach and not see another person for kilometres. The 11 kilometre beach is part of the Sirinat National Park and it is the perfect getaway for anyone wanting a true escape from reality.
Karon Beach is a popular area for tourists, allowing you to experience Thai culture and a myriad of natural features. Karon is a quiet up-scale area with a number of resorts and restaurants located just across the road from the water. The sand is white, the water crisp blue with easy access to the coral reef at the southern end, while the northern end is undeveloped, with Nong Harn Lake the largest beach side park in Phuket.
At Kata Beach you will find palm tree lined beaches; beachside accommodation; white sands and clear waters. It is a popular area with surfers during May and October and with families and honeymooners all throughout the year.
SOUTH – WEST
In the island’s south west region, Chalong Bay acts as a harbour for outgoings boats to Phang Nga Bay (including the very famous island Phi Phi). It is a picturesque town and is the point of call for most boat tour and snorkel companies. The muddy shoreline means it’s not really suitable for swimming, but there are plenty of activities nearby to occupy all tastes. Cape Panwa is a great place to relax, while Khao Khat on the west coast of the Cape provides stunning scenery and luxury accommodation amongst fishing huts and mangroves.
Phuket Town is located in the centre of the island and as such is often overlooked by tourists. It is the administrative centre and there are plenty of markets, temples and bars. Further in the centre of the island there are forests, villages, plantations and farms; with the Khoa Phra Taew National Park proving particularly popular for its tropical evergreen forest, trails, waterfalls and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. You will also find an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, mouse deer, civets, lemurs, cobras and gibbons.
Coconut Island is located on the east coast and is a private island set amongst rich mangrove forests.
The Koh Yao Islands are an ideal place to escape and relax, consisting of two large islands – Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. These islands have retained their natural heritage and local culture. They are located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay and you can access the islands by long tail boat ferry from Bang Rong Pier.
Racha Island has great exploring and snorkelling opportunities with its clear waters and coral and is located directly south of Phuket.
Phang Nga Bay can be found between Phuket and Krabi, on the mainland, and is a protected ecological site and known for its limestone rock formations. Formed more than 136 million years ago, the Bay is shallow and has 42 islands, along with mangroves and coral reefs – a maze of pristine beaches and hidden caves. The most popular islands here include Koh Pannyi and James Bond Island.
The Similian Islands are popular for underwater exploring with caves amongst a myriad of fauna – including reef fish, turtles, manta rays and leopard sharks. There are nine islands with Koh Similian being the largest, while Koh Huyong has the longest and widest beach. The area is renowned for its scuba diving sites, with either coral reefs or underwater granite boulders to choose from.
The Phi Phi Islands are the most popular and include two main islands - Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lay, and four smaller islands. There is plenty of accommodation, restaurants, shopping and bars – and you can visit areas like Maya Bay (made famous in the movie “The Beach”); Viking Cave, where local families harvest bird’s nests; or Bamboo Island, with its clear water reefs and impressive beaches.
Don't Miss Experiences
Authentic Thai Food: No matter where you stay, you are bound to find street vendors and markets selling an array of tasty, and often strange, foods; and if you prefer to play it safe, the restaurants offer some of the best tasting food you will ever enjoy. One of the most popular Thai foods is Pad Thai, while another favourite is Thai Green Curry Chicken. And if you have a sweet tooth, Thailand has fantastic desserts characterised by sweet syrups, coconut cream, tropical fruits and sweet sticky rice.
Shopping: From shopping centres to markets, there are plenty of choices for an avid shopper. You’ll find everything from top brands to fake brands, electrical goods to fresh foods, tourist souvenirs to tailor made clothes; retail shops to small kiosks and stands.
Phuket FantaSea Show: located at Kamala Beach, the Phuket FantaSea Show is inspired by the country’s rich and exotic heritage, showcasing the beauty of Thailand with lighting and special effects, as well as performing elephants, monkeys and even chickens. It is a great show for all the family.
Muay Thai: A visit to Thailand would not be complete without the experience of sitting in a crowded hall in the heat, warm beer in hand, listening to (and joining in with) the cheers watching a Muay Thai kick-boxing fight. And if you’re really keen, you might even sign up to try a Muay Thai class yourself while you’re there.