Phuket Island, Thailand

Phuket Travel Guide 2022

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 it offers more than 44 beaches, tropical islands, majestic landscapes and fantastic Thai food.

Phuket Travel Guide and blog shares 28 years of passionate island exploration and high-quality photography. We help you plan your first or next trip with the best things to do and many hidden gems off the beaten track! Discover the last secret beaches and amazing islands like Phi Phi and the Similan. Try the amazing local food in local Thai restaurants and even some street food. Explore the many night markets and Phuket’s legendary nightlife: beach clubs, rooftops, and parties in the famous Bangla Walking Street in Patong Beach.

What to Do in Phuket?

Phuket is relatively small and easy to explore in a few days only, and most attractions are just a short ride away. The list of things to do goes way beyond the beaches: Wat Chalong, the Big Buddha, Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island and the streets of the old town are just the most popular. If this is not enough, speedboats and ferries will take you to the famous Koh Phi Phi, Coral island, and the fantastic Similan Islands.


Must See in Phuket and Around

See all the things to do!

 


The Beaches of Phuket


Phuket Island counts more than 40 amazing beaches. The most famous and busiest beaches are in the island’s southwest: Patong beach, Kata beach and Karon beach can be bustling during the high season. North beaches are peaceful, and some hidden beaches are still secret! So take the time to drive around and discover the beauty of the remote beaches near the International airport.


The beaches in the south of Phuket are the most beautiful but also the busiest: Kata, Karon and Patong Beaches. The central part of the west coast is less busy: Kamala, Bangtao. The north is quiet and peaceful: Naithon, Nai Yang and Maikhao beaches. If you are not a fan of beaches (that happens), you can stay in Old Town, explore heritage streets, and try real southern food.

See all the beaches

 


Phuket Beaches Locator

Our map will help you locate the many beaches around Phuket and visualise our small island’s geography. Click on the beach names to get there!


Islands Nearby


The vast Phang Nga Bay on the island’s northeast is home to hundreds of exotic islands. Phi Phi Island is 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. The Similans are the most amazing islands you could dream of visiting.

Explore islands nearby!

 


Hotels in Phuket


There is a vast range of hotels and accommodations of all kinds, and for all budgets, it can be challenging to pick the right beach and the hotel that fits you best. Of course, everyone dreams of a hotel with direct beach access, close to everything, but those always come with a high price tag; thankfully, there are exceptions. Most hotels are on the main beaches of the island: Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Bangtao, Maikhao and Phuket Town.

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Where to Eat in Phuket?


You will have a blast if experiencing true local food is essential to your travel experience. There is much to enjoy everywhere, from the cheapest street food to Michelin restaurants and everything in between. You can find great Thai food by the roadside for just 50 baht or have a fancy dinner with a sunset on a romantic terrace by the sea. Remember that Thai food served in Patong is a lot toned down compared to what Thai cuisine usually tastes, so we listed a lot of great local restaurants on this blog.


What to Eat?


The choice of Thai food is staggering! You can start with the classic and well-known Thai dishes and the amazing seafood, try some excellent street food, and then experience real southern specialities! One thing no one should miss is the sweets, and while everyone loves mango with sticky rice and banana pancakes, there are many more delicious Thai sweets to treat yourself with.

Try the best local Thai food!

 


Nightlife


Patong Beach nightlife has always been legendary; indeed, it’s pretty unique and as fun and wild as you want it to be. However, while Patong is still home to many beer bars and go-go bars, the island now has many 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.

Read about Nightlife

 


Shopping


Phuket 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 Sunday Walking Street Market is the most talked about, but at least six more markets are open on weekdays. Don’t forget to bargain hard! For a more sophisticated shopping experience, there are huge shopping malls to explore: Jungceylon and Central Festival in Town.

Read about Shopping

 


Phuket for Couples, Families, and Budget Travellers


This section addresses travellers who need to plan around their specific travellers’ needs: Travelling with kids is challenging and can be stressful. Most importantly, children should have as much fun as their parents, if not more. Phuket is still a very romantic destination, with a vast choice of amazing pool villas and quiet, endless beaches away from the crowds. Phuket is more expensive than the rest of Thailand, but if you know how to make the best of your holiday, you can have great fun with a limited budget.


1st time in Phuket – a beginner’s guide

Most of you are probably visiting Phuket for the first time, and as always, when travelling, there are so many questions, so much planning to do, and so many worries! In this section, we try to answer as many questions as possible.


What is the best time to visit Phuket?


The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April when the weather conditions are at their best, the sky is blue, and the sea is crystal clear, quiet and blue. December and January are ideal because the weather is perfect, and the temperature is not yet hot. March and April are the hottest months.

The rainy season, or monsoon, is between May and October, but there are still many blue sky days, contrary to what most people think. The temperature is comfortable, the hotels are much cheaper, and the roads are not as busy. For many, this is the best way to travel on a small budget and see the island with a unique tropical atmosphere. Most importantly, no matter when you visit Phuket, Phuket will never be cold, and the sea is always as warm as a bath, so don’t overpack!


Information


This section shares useful information about the island to plan your trip: Where to exchange money at the best rates: there are many options for getting Thai Baht, but the best rate is in the street and at the many ATMs available around the island.


Getting around


How to go from the airport to your hotel: There are several options according to your budget. The smoother ride is to ride a private limousine available at the terminal or book a private van in advance, a great opportunity if you are more than two with luggage. Taxi meters are available too. If you travel on a budget, a shared minivan is the best option, but it takes longer as they need to stop at several hotels. The blue Smart Bus stops at each beach, but you will still need to walk from the bus stop to your hotel, which will probably be expensive but will take hours.

How to get around the island: The most popular and versatile way is to rent a motorbike, which comes with risks. Renting a car is safer but more expensive, and parking and occasional jams are sometimes frustrating. For occasional rides, tuk-tuks are everywhere, fast and fun, but the price of a ride can vary a lot. Renting a van with a knowledgeable driver is the best way to discover the island in a day.


In 2022, the beaches and nearby islands are more beautiful than ever, and popular beaches such as Patong, Kata, Karon and Kamala are finally returning to life! Many hotels, shops, restaurants and nightlife venues have started reopening. It’s not as busy as before COVID, but now is the best time to visit Phuket without crowds and traffic jams.


About Us

Phuket 101 is the passionate work of only two persons: Willy and Faa. In this Phuket Travel Guide, we share all our Phuket knowledge, experiences, secret places and photos for free. We are not sponsored and make no money from this blog. We take pride in our true opinions as we pay for all the hotels, restaurants and tours we review. We anonymously visit places without informing, so we can be like any visitor. Among the many places we experience, we only add the places we like to our travel guide!

FAQs about Phuket Island