Thailand’s largest island is a natural paradise, with long stretches of white sand beaches, warm turquoise water and untouched forests. You’ll also find luxury hotels, world-class restaurants, ramshackle markets and crowded dance clubs to explore. It’s a diverse culture where orange-robed monks cross the street beside well-heeled businessmen. The local saying “mai pen rai”, meaning “no worries”, sums up just about every facet of life.
Phuket, just 30 miles (48 kilometers) long and 13 miles (21 kilometers) wide, is nestled in the Andaman Sea off Thailand’s southern Indian Ocean coastline. The western shoreline is the island’s center of activity. Here you’ll find a variety of beaches and villages, from the neon lights and dance clubs of Patong Beach to the quieter, family-friendly Kamala Beach.
Active travelers can fill their days with water sports: swim, snorkel or dive;, jet-ski, parasail or surf. Hike along the coast, or explore deserted islands only accessible by boat or kayak. At Ao Phang Nga National Park, hire a private boat or join a paid tour to cruise around the stunning limestone formations rising from the water. The most famous of these cluster of islands is Ko Phing Kan, sometimes known as "James Bond Island" because it appeared in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun. The Phi Phi Islands were used as the set for the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sometimes the best thing to do in Phuket is to stretch out in a hammock and relax. Escape to hidden bays such as Laem Singh or Kata Noi for peace and quiet, or indulge in a waterside massage at shacks dotted along any one of the island’s beaches. Find tranquility beneath the Big Buddha, or at the Nai Harn Beach Samnak Song Buddhist monastery. In the late afternoon, head to Promthep Cape for an uninterrupted view of the setting sun.
Tuk-tuk, taxi or hired bicycle are the easiest ways to navigate the island. Drive a car and you will have to battle it out for limited parking spaces during the high tourist season.
Phuket is hot and humid year-round. The high season is during the cooler months, November though May. The wet season is May through October.
Beach, Shopping and Romantic
Head to this street when the sun goes down to experience the buzzing atmosphere created by busy bars, nightclubs with music pumping and crowds of people looking to party.
Experience Thai theater, enjoy a buffet dinner and see a colorful show featuring a magical elephant at this cultural theme park.
Enjoy stunning 360-degree views from where this massive statue sits, towering over the island from atop the Nakkerd Hills.
Phuket’s most southerly point is also one of its most popular attractions where hundreds of visitors flock each evening to catch a spectacular nightly sunset.
Offering a slower, family-friendly alternative to its party-loving neighbors, this beach is something of a hidden gem.
Find a stretch of peaceful paradise at this small, often overlooked beach.
This tour has only recently been designed and put on sale and is already getting fabulous feedback. It is actually an extended version of the Phuket Island Guided Tour, as this tour is including a stop at the Big Buddha (if chosen) and has a duration from 4 - 5 1/2 hours.
Discover the cultural landmarks and iconic beaches of stunning Phuket on this half-day introduction to the sights and sounds of Thailand's largest island. Get your bearing as you zip between sun-soaked beaches and striking temples, and keep your camera handy for visits to spectacular lookout points.
Enjoy an afternoon kayaking in sea caves in Phang Nga Bay with an experienced guide, including limestone caves and hidden lagoons discovered by John Gray in 1989. Eat a delicious seafood buffet and cap off the evening by floating a handmade flower Kratong in a natural light show.
Escape the crowds from Phuket and explore stunning snorkeling spots, lagoons and islets framed by tall limestone cliffs. The full-day tour is operated on a speed boat with up to 35 passengers and brings you to 6 unique islands including lunch and BBQ skewers at the pier in the evening.
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in the Phi Phi Islands, a hotspot in Southern Thailand made famous by the movie The Beach. Admire stunning views and the crystal-clear waters of the Maya Bay, enjoy lunch, spot limestone cliffs, and get a chance to go snorkeling.
Arrive at Phi Phi Island early and avoid the crowds. Start your day early, around 5:15am - 5:30am, you will be picked up from your hotel in Phuket and transfer to the Royal Phuket Marina (the nicest pier in Phuket).