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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

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Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay €134
Reviewed on 9 Jan 2020
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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

    I loved the infinity pool. It wasn't the biggest, but it was nice. The bar served watered down drinks. The staff was friendly. Close to a few excursions like the tigers and elephants. They do a great job with booking excursions. I appreciate the staff they have on hand with the excursions. They did ...

    Mandarava Resort and Spa Karon Beach €166
    Reviewed on 14 Jan 2020
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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

      Beautiful hotel with a very friendly staff. Staff was attentive and able to cater to our needs. The room was beautiful with floor to ceiling windows. The only complaint that I would have is that our bathroom smelt a little like sewage. The food in the hotel restaurant and well as room service was ...

      Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket €89
      Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020
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      Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket

      Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket

      12 Prabaramee Road, Patong Beach, Patong, Phuket
         
        4.0 of 5
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Ambience...staffs...overall an excellent experience

        Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa €172
        Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020
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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

          The most amazing view from our villa, the breakfast was amazing and everything about the resort is just amazing!

          Katathani Phuket Beach Resort €311
          Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020
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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

            Staff were very friendly and took pride in their work place. Grounds were beautiful.

            Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket €194
            Reviewed on 2 Jan 2020
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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

              My room was on the second floor and NO where was it mentioned that there were only stairs.

              Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort €165
              Reviewed on 30 Dec 2019
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              Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort

              Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort

              16/12 Moo 6, Kamala, Phuket
                 
                4.2 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Everything about the hotel is great except for the smell of damp in our room even though they changed our room for us, the smell is there in every room I think.

                DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort €108
                Reviewed on 9 Jan 2020
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                DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort

                DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort

                94 Thaveewong Rd, Patong, Phuket
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  The gym is small but nice. The staff are very polite and friendly. The hotel is very clean.

                  Top things to do in Phuket

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