Phuket, Thailand’s largest and best-known island, is a tropical dream destination for everyone to discover. It is, in fact, relatively small: 48 km north to south, 21 km west to east, but is blessed with more than 40 sandy beaches, tropical islands, majestic landscapes and fantastic Thai food.
Phuket 101 Blog
Our blog shares 27 years of passionate island exploration and photography. Discover with us the last hidden beaches and some amazing islands like Phi Phi island and the Similan. We help you plan your first or next trip with all the best things to do in Phuket, but also many hidden gems off the beaten track! Try the amazing local food in local Thai restaurants and even some street food. Explore the many night markets and Phuket legendary nightlife: beach clubs, rooftops and where to party in the famous Bangla Road in Patong Beach.
Phuket will reopen on July 1st to travellers who have been vaccinated or can provide a Covid-negative test result issued within the previous seven days. Now is be the best time to come as the beaches and other nearby islands are more beautiful than ever, but the most popular beaches such as Patong, Kata, Karon and Kamala look desolated. The vast majority of hotels are closed, shops, restaurant start falling apart. However, some other parts, such as Rawai and Bangtao beach, are doing better. The old town is very busy with locals and visitors from Bangkok.
Note that most pages on our blog describe the island as it was before COVID-19. We will update it once travel resumes and places start to reopen. A lot of businesses will never reopen, but we are confident that life will come back soon.
With more than 40 amazing beaches to enjoy, it is always surprising to hear people complaining that Phuket is crowded. Most beaches in the north are peaceful, and some hidden beaches are still secret. The most famous and busiest beaches are in the southwest of the island: Patong beach, Kata beach and Karon beach can be bustling during the high season. So take the time to drive around and discover the beauty of the remote Naithon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches near the International airport.
The island has many hotels and accommodation of all kinds; it can be challenging to pick the suitable beach, then the right hotel. Of course, everyone dreams of a hotel right on the beach, close to everything, but those always come with a high price tag, but thankfully, there are exceptions. We help you choose the best beach for your holiday: Patong beach is for the younger visitors; Kata, Karon and Kamala beaches are more addressing to families. Bangtao and Mai Khao beaches are a bit more upmarket, with many restaurants on the beach. Nai Yang and Naithon are for travellers who prefer to stay away from busy areas. Once you know where to stay, we share our experience about the hotels we tried and loved most.
The list of things to do in Phuket goes way beyond the beaches: Wat Chalong, the Big Buddha, Phang Nga Bay, James Bond island and the old streets of Phuket Town are just the most popular. The island is relatively small and easy to explore in a day or two, and most attractions are just a short tuk-tuk ride away. If this is not enough, speedboats and ferries will take you to the famous Koh Phi Phi, Coral island and the fantastic Similan archipelago.
The vast bay between Phuket and Krabi is home to hundreds of exotic islands. Phi Phi Island is, of course, the best known, but there are other gems such as Racha Island, Coral Island, Rang Yai and Koh Yao, to name a few. Island hopping is very easy to organise for an unforgettable day trip. On the west coast, the Similans are the most amazing islands you could dream of visiting.
If great food is essential to you when travelling, you certainly will have a blast here in Thailand. There is so much to enjoy everywhere you will go, from the cheapest street food to Michelin restaurants. You can enjoy a great Thai dish by the road for just 50 baht or have a fancy dinner with a sunset on a romantic terrace by the sea. Just remember that Thai food served in Patong is toned down compared to what Thai cuisine usually tastes, but we listed many great local restaurants on this blog.
The shopping scene is vast, cheap and surprisingly fun. With so many street stalls, night markets and bazaars, anyone can find something to take back home. Most markets still sell cheap copies of famous brands, but some new ones are now more creative and original. The Naka Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market are the most talked about, but there are at least six more open weekdays. Don’t forget to bargain hard! There are no less than three huge shopping malls to explore for a more sophisticated shopping experience: Jungceylon and Central in Patong Beach and Central Festival in Town.
Patong Beach nightlife has always been legendary, and indeed, it’s pretty unique and as fun and wild as you want it to be. However, while Patong and the famous Bangla Walking Street are still home to many beer bars and go-go bars, the island has a lot to offer to families and couples. There are many beach clubs, rooftop bars and international nightclubs for everyone to enjoy, from sunset until the morning.
This section shares helpful information to plan your trip: an extensive section dedicated to weather, what to expect and how to prepare for each month and each season. Read about what you should know before you visit, what to do and what not to do once here, and the classic first timers’ mistakes to avoid. Learn how to exchange your money at the best rates, how to go from the airport to your hotel, and the many ways to get around the island.