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 offers more than 40 sandy beaches, tropical islands, majestic landscapes and fantastic Thai food. 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, restaurants 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.
Disclaimer: Phuket is trying to reopen to the world with the sandbox project, and a few people are starting to fly in. If you plan to visit now, please remember that you should mostly focus on nature, beaches, islands, temples and the old town.
Our blog still describes the island as it usually is because many places are only temporarily closed and are still planning to reopen as soon as the situation improves, but it starts to last a little too long. While Old Town, Rawai and part of Bangtao Beach are still lively, remember that Patong is very quiet and shops, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed. Kata, Karon and Kamala Beach are mostly empty.
The island counts more than 40 amazing beaches. Most beaches in the north are peaceful, and some hidden beaches are still secret. 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. 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 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. 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.
Phuket 101 blog shares 27 years of passionate island exploration and photography. Discover with us the last hidden beaches and some amazing islands like Phi Phi 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 parties in the famous Bangla Walking Street in Patong Beach.