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Phuket Travel Guide

Tourism has transformed Thailand’s largest island, but it’s lost none of its legendary charisma.

When the locals say “mai pen rai” – no worries – they really mean it! Phuket is truly a place where you can cast off the cares of the world and indulge your senses in a vivid feast of sights, sounds and smells.

This compact island in the Andaman Sea off the southern coast of Thailand measures just 48 by 21 kilometres, yet it offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences. World-class restaurants compete for diners with street markets, secluded coves overlook busy water sports playgrounds, and high-rollers share the beach with gap year hippies.

The heart of the action can be found along the western shoreline, from the pulsating nightlife of Patong Beach to the family-friendly Kamala Beach, one of the best spots on the island for safe, year-round swimming. Hire a snorkel to make the most of the crystal-clear, calm waters just off the coast, or ride the waves on a bodyboard or jet ski.

The cluster of six Phi Phi Islands provide spectacular natural sights, with towering cliffs, dense forest and deep turquoise sea. Rent a kayak to explore some of the more remote islands independently, or take a guided boat tour around Ao Phang Nga National Park to view the striking limestone formations of “James Bond Island”, where The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed.

Many of Phuket’s prettiest beaches have escaped development altogether, thanks to their remote locations off the tourist track. Laem Singh Beach has retained its unspoilt appearance despite being discovered by the international jet set; even the celebrity hangout Laem Singh Lounge Bar is built in the traditional style and carefully concealed behind the trees. For the ultimate in unwinding, it’s hard to imagine anywhere more perfect than Kata Noi Beach, which offers beachside massages and panoramic fine dining.

The sacred sites of the Big Buddha and the Samnak Song Monastery in the hills behind Nai Harn Beach offer a privileged glimpse into the spiritual side of island life. For local colour, you can’t beat the street markets, where you can pick up some beautiful traditional handicrafts.

The climate in Phuket is hot and humid, and the high season is in the cooler months from November to May. The best way to get around is by taxi or tuk-tuk, or hire a bicycle for maximum flexibility. Car parking spaces are limited, especially at peak times and popular sites.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,615 properties in Phuket
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa €64
Reviewed on 23 Aug 2019
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Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

88 Moo 7, Prunai, Ko Yao, Phang Nga
     
    4.5 of 5
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Huge rooms, great food, very affordable, place is a little far from Phuket, but we wanted that.

    Zenseana Resort & Spa €51
    Reviewed on 17 Aug 2019
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    Zenseana Resort & Spa

    Zenseana Resort & Spa

    147 Prabaramee Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Patong, Phuket
       
      4.8 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Love how modern the hotel looked, staffs were all so nice and helpful. They are always cheerful and welcoming, K was one of the staffs that helped us with accommodations and directions when needed.

      Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort €76
      Reviewed on 18 Aug 2019
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      Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort

      Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort

         
        4.6 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Hotel kids friendly with pool slide. Relaxing stay with options of Thai restaurants nearby the hotel.

        Amari Phuket €127
        Reviewed on 23 Aug 2019
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        Amari Phuket

        Amari Phuket

        2 Meun-ngern Road, Patong, Phuket
           
          4.6 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Comfortable beds with a pillow menu Delicious breakfast buffet with huge variety Staff helpful

          Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay €69
          Reviewed on 16 Aug 2019
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          Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay

          Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay

          8/18-19 Moo 6, Kamala, Phuket
             
            4.4 of 5
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            2nd time here and still loving everything about the hotel.

            Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket €78
            Reviewed on 20 Aug 2019
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            Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket

            Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket

            509 Patak Road, Karon Beach, Karon, Phuket
               
              4.3 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              A wonderful stay for 10 days with my husband and two toddlers in both a beachside double suite and a family garden villa. Would recommend the family garden villa hands down as the beachside suite is directly on the beach road. Great location for small toddlers to discover caterpillars, and lizards ...

              Katathani Phuket Beach Resort €114
              Reviewed on 22 Aug 2019
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              Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

              Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

              14 Kata Noi Road, Karon, Phuket
                 
                4.4 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Friendly staff, excellent beach, love the place coz it is good for relaxation!! Awesome sunset .... it so beautiful.

                Mandarava Resort and Spa Karon Beach €71
                Reviewed on 21 Aug 2019
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                Mandarava Resort and Spa Karon Beach

                Mandarava Resort and Spa Karon Beach

                14/2 Patak Road Soi 24, Karon Beach, Karon, Phuket
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  My room was spacious and well equipped. There are a lot of steps. So not appropriate for anyone with limited mobility. The resorts swimming pools are lovely. I treated myself to a three day spa and the staff were excellent and managed to cure my sore back. The food was good but for me not real Thai ...

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