Why is Phuket so popular?
Why is Phuket so popular? And what makes people come back to Phuket countless times? There are many good reasons to visit Phuket, and we picked the answers we thought were the most important.
Of course, there will always be some exceptions: some travellers didn’t like it, and some had unfortunate experiences. Some expats are grumpy because they forgot how lucky they are here and why they originally left. Of course, just like in any country, a few people are good, but the vast majority are, and hospitality and safety are higher than average here.
At the end of the day, why do people still come to Thailand? Because not many other countries in the world offer all the things listed below in one place!
Phuket is blessed with more than 40 fantastic beaches, more than one could visit in a single holiday. And that’s for Phuket only! Trying to count all the dream beaches around Thailand would be impossible. The beaches in the south can be quite busy, but those in the north are equally beautiful and still peaceful. White powder sand with turquoise blue waters lined by swaying palm trees don’t only belong to Instagram; there are real here!
Thailand is a photographer’s paradise with places like Krabi and Phang Nga Bay with jaw-dropping viewpoints for fantastic sunsets. You don’t have to be a good photographer here; everyone will go home with stunning photos.
There are countless islands accessible from Phuket. The closest islands are just a 10 minutes longtail boat ride away, and others are worth a day trip or even a couple of nights. You can also spend a day hopping from island to island on a private cruise around the bay east of Phuket.
4. Thai People
The first thing you notice in Thailand is how Thai people naturally smile at you for no particular reason. It’s surprising at first, but it seems to become quickly contagious. They are also surprisingly polite, prompt to share their food, and cheerful. After the tsunami, I was amazed by their resilience in the face of such unimaginable events. They are friendly, tolerant, respectful and easygoing. Isn’t it better to be in a country where people are healthy, smiling and friendly?
Thai food is famous around the world. From basic street food to sophisticated Michelin Restaurants, the variations and choices of delicious Thai food seem endless. Often using simple ingredients, spices and sauces, Thai food doesn’t even make you fat (and Thais love to nibble all day long). Of course, there is a limit on how much you should eat, but considering the fantastic choice, Thai people look pretty healthy!
The choice of tropical fruits you can taste in Phuket is like a dream come true. You can buy them at the market, on the street displays, or have them peeled and cut for you for a couple of baht from a street cart.
How about an entire year without ever feeling cold? Sure, you could argue that it can be too hot from April to June, but even during the monsoon, the weather and water at the beach remain delightfully warm.
Night markets are fun to spend some time in Phuket at the end of the day. A few are only open on weekends, such as the Sunday Walking Street Market in Phuket Town, and others are open on weekdays, such as the popular Chillva Night Market. Night markets are not about shopping as much as eating, drinking, listening to music and having fun browsing an incredible array of food, objects and cloth.
With such an easygoing lifestyle, it’s no surprise that the party is everywhere in Phuket. Is there a better way to end a day at the beach than in a beach club, on a rooftop bar or party until morning in a nightclub with international DJs after exploring the famous Bangla Road? There is no place like this in the world to offer all these things in a single day and in a single location, and it doesn’t even cost much!
You will be surprised to see how many Buddhist temples and Chinese shrines are on such a small island. From the famous Wat Chalong to the iconic Big Buddha, we counted more than 25 temples and dozens of shrines.
11. The cost of life
Considering what is on offer, Thailand is an incredible value for money for a holiday. You can travel on a small budget and have a fantastic time without breaking your piggy bank. Alternatively, if you have enough money, you can treat yourself to extravagant hotels, cruises and parties on a tropical beach. Yes, Phuket is more expensive than the rest of Thailand, but it is still an incredible value.
12. The easy-going lifestyle
Have you ever heard the words ‘Mai Pen Rai’? Mai Pen Rai has several meanings, but it means “Don’t worry” in most cases. It eases the little daily annoyances that we often take too seriously. No unnecessary stress, and if today weren’t all that good, tomorrow would surely be better. Thailand is a very tolerant country of religions, races, and behaviours. Thai people are not inclined to confrontation as long as they know the limit of this tolerance.
If you have travelled the world a fair bit and experienced hotels in other countries, you already know what we are talking about. Even the cheapest hostel in Phuket welcomes you like you were somebody special. Sometimes it’s not much, but you can instantly feel how welcome you are and how much attention is given to the little details that will make your stay unforgettable. There are no grumpy receptionists or greedy bellboys in Thailand (unless you are bad luck, it does happen!). The welcome does feel genuine in Phuket.
Thailand’s culture is visible everywhere, and Thai people are very respectful of traditions. Being predominantly Buddhist, superbly crafted temples and Chinese shrines highlight each town, from the stunning Wat Phra Keow in Bangkok to the most modest shrine. Early morning in many streets, you can witness the traditional almsgiving to monks. And there are amazingly colourful festivals! From the beautiful floating candles of Loy Krathong to the wild water parties of Songkran, without forgetting the hair-raising Vegetarian Festival.
15. Phuket is Safe
Phuket is safe, probably safer than most other countries. Of course, the experience might differ for each traveller, and occasional incidents can happen, but overall, if you follow the common-sense safety rules, you should never have to worry. Phuket’s two main safety issues would probably be swimming in the low season or driving a motorcycle. We give a few pieces of advice on this page, but again, remember that these safety tips use common sense.