Phuket is a provincial tropical paradise. From the beautiful lagoon where Leonardo Di Caprio starred in ‘The Beach’, to the striking sunsets, palm strewn beaches and extraordinarily clear waters, Phuket is an antithesis to Bangkok’s insanity: calm, eye-catching, and quite incredibly difficult to leave.
Turquoise water, cocktails and green curries in beachfront restaurants are all well and good, but head deep inland and Phuket offers plenty more: lush, near-untouched rainforests, aging rubber plantations and seafood festivals, yacht racing and rural Muslim temples. There are waterfalls to swim in, the mammoth Buddha statue that features on most of Phuket’s tourist literature to explore (invariably alongside a beach sunset), and the tiny river-side villages that make you feel like you’re the first foreign ever to stopover. Phuket is by far Thailand’s most pricey and least backpacker-focused travel destination, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of off-the-beaten-track escapes, which even incorporate some stunning volunteer travel experiences.
Back in the island’s towns, even Phuket’s tuk-tuks have gone up market, red and high-powered next the rest of the countries shambolic, paper-roofed version. Sometimes you’ll find yourself disappointed that such an idyllic destination has become home to such a spate of landscape-spoiling luxury, but then you’ll stare out to sea, enjoy a cocktail in your infinity pool, and wonder why the rest of the world can’t be like this.
If you’re here for the swanky resorts or to bum around on a white-sand beach slurping thrift store spirits, Phuket engraves itself on your soul. Don’t forget your goggles, as the underwater scenery’s every bit as spectacular as what you’ll find above the meniscus.
Patong, the largest town is also considered one of the sleaziest places in Thailand with its hundreds of massage parlors and tailors touts. To really enjoy Phuket, avoid Patong and the main beach at Patong.
Patong Beach is a little easy and caotic village on Phuket island's west coast. It is the main tourist resort in Phuket. It contains an important centre of Phuket's nightlife and is the centr…
Karon Beach is located south of Patong and North of Kata Beach on the West coast of Phuket.
It is more laid back than Patong, but not quiet. The beach is several km long and perfect for a…