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Phuket Travel Guide 🏝️ 2024

An Insider’s Travel Guide to Phuket Island

Our Phuket Travel Guide and personal blog share 30 years of passionate exploration and photography to help you plan your trip. We’ll help you prepare it, and decide where to stay to fit your holiday style, pick all the best things to do and even discover some hidden gems off the beaten track, secret beaches and amazing islands. Try with us some real local food in local restaurants, explore night markets, and discover the notorious nightlife and the famous Bangla Road in Patong Beach.

We found that there are usually 5 steps to plan a perfect trip to Phuket: When to go ► How long should you stay ► Where to stay ► Which Hotel ► What to do with your precious holiday time after you finally have dropped your suitcase in the perfect hotel! We help you with each of these steps… and more!

What to Do in Phuket in 2024?

Phuket is Thailand’s largest and best-known island, about 850 km southwest of Bangkok. The island is relatively small: 48 km north to south, and 21 km west to east which makes it easy to explore in a day or two. Beyond 40 superb beaches, our list of things to see and do during the day is vast: Phuket Big Buddha, the many beautiful temples and the streets of Old Phuket Town are just the most popular places we list on our blog.

63 Best Things to Do in Phuket in 2024

What are the best things to do in Phuket is one of the most important questions when planning a trip. We explored the island to bring you the best of Phuket: attractions, activities and tours, from fabulous beaches and natural wonders to glittering temples ... Read More
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We listed even more exploration to do just outside Phuket: Phang Nga Bay with James Bond Island and Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, plus dozens of tropical islands with stunning sceneries that are just a short boat ride away. There are activities for everyone: scuba diving, snorkelling, golf, ziplining and muay Thai for active travellers, cooking classes and spas if you prefer to take it easy. We did not forget families! kids can feed the elephants, learn to surf safely and play in water parks.

Phuket With KIDS! 🧸

Travelling to Phuket with kids is much easier and safer than most people think. We listed great hotels with swimming pools dedicated to children and kids’ clubs with fun teams to keep the young ones busy with plenty of fun activities. Keeping the kids happy is easy and fun with waterparks, many kids’ parks with various activities, fun attractions, and of course, all the vast white beaches of Phuket are freely accessible.

Phuket Map and Beaches Locator

Our map will help you locate the many beaches and visualise our small island’s geography.

Beach Map and Travel Guide

The Beaches of Phuket

We explored more than 40 amazing beaches to help you decide which beach you wish to stay on, and which beach you want to explore during your holiday. We also remind you that the situation is very different during the high season and the low season.

  1. Most of the sandy beaches are on the west coast.
  2. The most popular beaches are in the southwest, but they are also the busiest: Patong, Kata and Karon beaches can be bustling during the high season.
  3. The central west part of Phuket is getting trendy: Kamala and Bang Tao Beaches offer now a lot of fancy restaurants and beach clubs and a vast choice of 4 and 5-star resorts at affordable prices.
  4. The northwest beaches are peaceful with enough restaurants and great hotels for a great holiday, such as Naithon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches.
  5. There are still some hidden secret beaches!

Other Beaches of Phuket

Located on the west coast, roughly in the middle of the island, Patong is without a doubt the most popular beach resort in Phuket. The immense white sand beach is indeed one of the most beautiful, and with its huge amount of restaurants, bars and clubs, Patong has become a magnet for young travellers looking for fun and parties at night, then beach time during the day. Patong has become a very busy town and may not be to everyone’s taste during the high season, but we find it quite enjoyable during the rainy season.

Phuket Hotels and Accommodation

There is a vast range of hotels for all budgets, and it can be challenging to pick the right beach and the right hotel in Phuket. We found most hotels on the main beaches of the island, namely Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Bangtao, Maikhao and Old Town. Before diving into this section of our travel guide, it is good to consider what you want for your holiday.

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Are you planning to party at night and relax on the beach the next day, or are you looking for a quiet and remote location? Are you planning to spend a lot of time in your hotel to mainly relax or is it just a base to explore the island? What is your budget, when do you plan to visit? Is the weather important or can you take a bit of rain for better prices? In the past 30 years, we explored and reviewed hundreds of hotels on the island to share them on the blog, from luxury to budget, from beachfront resorts to private pool villas.


Where to Stay in Phuket in 2024?

Picking the right beach to book your hotel can and will significantly impact your holiday. There are 44 beaches in Phuket, and they can be divided into four categories, plus Phuket Town. The beaches where most people book their hotels are Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Bang Tao, and Kamala, but there are also great hotels on fantastic quiet ... Read More

Hotels by Locations

Phuket Video

Islands Nearby

As our plane approaches Phuket island, and if we are lucky enough to have a window seat, we are always amazed by how many islands we will fly over! In the northeast, the vast Phang Nga Bay on the island’s northeast is home to hundreds of those exotic islands, often consisting of tall limestone cliffs with a beautiful crescent of white sand that reminds of Robinson Crusoe.

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Cruising east and southeast, Phi Phi Islands are the best known, but there are other gems where we often go for a break, such as Racha Island, Coral Island, Rang Yai and our favourite hidden gem: Koh Yao Noi. Island hopping is very easy to organise for an unforgettable day trip and we never miss a chance! Similan Islands is another iconic gem open only during the high season (October to May) and located a bit far in the northwest area.

Phuket with Kids

Travelling to Phuket with kids offers a perfect blend of family fun and relaxation with the island’s beaches, attractions, and exciting adventures. Kids can enjoy building sandcastles on picturesque shores, exploring vibrant markets, and visiting attractions like the Aquarium and ethical elephant sanctuaries. Family-friendly accommodations with pools and childcare services make for a comfortable stay.

Where and What to Eat in Phuket?

Thai food is an endless discovery and if food is as important to you as it is to us, Phuket will surprise you! Experience true local food with us, as there is much to enjoy in south Thailand, from the cheapest street food to Michelin restaurants and everything in between.

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We enjoy 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. The choice of Thai food is staggering! We share new places as we discover them. 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.

Nightlife

Patong Beach nightlife has always been legendary; it’s pretty unique and as fun and wild as you want it to be Bangla Walking Street, also known as Bangla Road is where you will find clubs with famous international DJs, excellent live music bands that won’t cost you more than a drink to enjoy, dozens of easy-going beer bars, and, of course the go-go bars that always trigger curiosity. While Patong is the beating heart of the nightlife here, each beach resort has something to offer after dinner, from rooftops to beach clubs, all the way to simple bamboo bars on the sand, facing the ocean!

Shopping

Shopping in Phuket is cheap and surprisingly fun! With so many street stalls, night markets and bazaars, anyone can find something to take back home. The Sunday Walking Street Market is the most talked about, but there are more markets open on weekdays, including Chillva Market and Naka Market in Phuket Town and Malin Plaza in Patong Beach.

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Jungceylon in Patong is the most popular shopping mall in Phuket as it offers entertainment, spas and restaurants to keep you busy on a rainy day or in the evening. Just next to Jungceylon, Banzaan Fresh Market is a great opportunity to explore the vast range of tropical fruits, seafood, spices and ingredients used in Thai food. If you are in Phuket Town, Central Floresta is now the largest shopping mall on the island.

Useful Information

This section of our travel guide covers all the aspects and elements you need to plan your first or next trip, from the correct Phuket pronunciation to weather information, when is the best time to come, weather information month by month (even with a live webcam!), where to exchange money at the best rates as there are many options for getting Thai Baht, but the best rate is in the street and at the many ATMs around the island. We also share some driving, car rentals and scooter rental information, but keep in mind that driving here can be challenging for beginners!

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Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early until I settled in Phuket in 1994. For the past 30 years, my passion for photography and my curiosity have taken me to every corner of Phuket, Bangkok and everywhere I could go in Thailand. My goal is to share my discoveries, photos and tips to help travellers plan their holidays by making Phuket 101 as easy as possible to use for everyone!