Introduction to Phuket
Phuket is up there with the best of them. A hedonistic playground to rival that of Spain's Ibiza and America's Las Vegas. Like Bangkok on water, the bustling island is no stranger to a bit of chaos, crowds and wild nights. But for all its notorious legends, the island's biggest drawcard is of course its beaches, stretching along the western shoreline and bathed in balmy Andaman Sea beauty. Unsurprisingly its these sandy shores that keep tourists coming back for more and make Phuket not only the largest island but the wealthiest province in Thailand.
As an in-demand destination, the island and wider province continues to grow into its own. A cosmopolitan destination attracting everyone from partying heiresses to retirees who finally booked that holiday package. And while the crowd is diverse there's a combining commonality easily broken down to ‘swim, eat, drink and repeat.' A good time vibe wafts in the humid air amongst the smell of potent Thai spices. Tourists band together to exchange the best surf and snorkelling spots, while at night strangers become friends over a few tropical cocktails. Yes Phuket is up there with the best of them, made even better with its appealing price tag.
The beaches will no doubt be at the forefront of your mind when you land in Phuket. To find them you'll have to head to the western side of the island. Granted it's not hard to find a perfect stretch of sand to lay your towel down, some do boast better scenery than others. As a rule of thumb the harder it is to get to the beach, the better it is likely to be. Examples include Freedom Beach and Paradise Beach. An exception to the rule though would be Kata Beach. Despite being a popular tourist haunt, Kata's beauty is undeniable while its surrounding restaurants and breezy nightlife make it an ideal place to set up a beach umbrella and never leave.
Spend your entire Phuket holiday on a beach though and you'll be missing out on a lot. Like Phuket sailing tours around the Phi Phi Islands, elephant trekking in Phang Nga, day tours of Phang Nga Bay and the list goes on. But pace yourself. Phuket at night offers just as many options. Witness the dazzling Fantasea show, a popular cultural night that blends tradition with fantasy. Then there is the infamous nightlife, a smorgasbord of backpacker bars, nightclubs, live music venues, cabaret clubs — all found huddled along Patong's notorious nightlife strip Bangla Road. You'll find that the gender-bending ways of this legendary nightlife strip are indeed true. Just remember to play safe, be respectful and don't over indulge too much — a spectacular beach awaits you in the morning.
For more must-dos in Phuket, check out our things to do page and start planning your Phuket holiday.