Phuket is arguably one of the most popular and scenic places in Thailand, if not, South East Asia. It is an island surrounded by natural beauty; lush, green jungle afoot pristine blue waters and sandy beaches. It is also a place where cultures have fused together, namely ‘Sino-Portuguese’, or Chinese and Portuguese, over time to create a highly unique vibe.
However, it is commonly misunderstood for hecklers, petty crime and a generally dirty feel. As with any city, Phuket isn’t for everyone, but has something for everyone. What do I mean? Well, if you want to party, there are a plethora of bars and clubs to enjoy, if you want to avoid the party scene and enter a slice of paradise, you are spoilt for choice. Oh, and if you want to avoid the hecklers whilst shopping, there are spots for this too. Basically, whatever your budget, Phuket has you covered.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 reasons why Phuket should be your next destination!
Phuket is home to some of Thailand’s most exotic beaches. The sheer number of white sandy beaches with flawless turquoise waters, dotted along the lush green, jungle-lined coast means there is something for everyone. If you are the kind that enjoys the hustle and bustle, Patong Beach is your local hangout. Or, if you want peace and quiet, Surin Beach, or anywhere in the north of the island is waiting to be explored.
Nevertheless, basing yourself in Patong will allow you to discover every corner of the island while always coming back to the vibrant centre of the island in the evening to enjoy an authentic fusion of Thai and Sino-Portuguese culture.
A Fusion Of Cultures
Just a 30 minute drive away is the island’s cultural centre of Phuket Town. While the historical presence of the Sino-Portuguese culture is evident throughout the island, is it especially strong in the Town Centre. Wander down Thalang Road, then on to Dibuk Road and Krabi Road to really immerse yourself in this wonderful and vibrant heritage.
What is Sino-Portuguese? It is an architectural style which is also known as Chinese Baroque, and is basically an Asian hybrid design with a Portugese influence dating back to the 1500’s. The Sino-Portuguese influence brings a bright and colorful feel as well as buildings and houses that are rich in architectural grandeur.
Dora The Explorer
Surrounding Phuket are many islands that simply must be explored…any one of them could be the definition of paradise, but we’ll let you decide which one! Some are more well known than others, such as Phi Phi and the Similan Islands, or, if you are a movie buff, James Bond Island cannot be missed.
Whether you take a day trip or book a sailing trip for a few nights, there are plenty of options to suit your budget and travel plans. So don your explorer’s hat and head into the crystal clear waters around Phuket to decide for yourself which island is the real paradise.
Sun Drenched Year-Round
With year-round sunshine, Phuket is the perfect winter escape. Even if you do decide to save a few dollars and come in the rainy season, you will still be able to enjoy the warm sun throughout the day. As soon as you arrive, either via boat or plane, you will notice the vibrancy of the island is lifted by the sunshine. Even if you do encounter some rain, there is nothing more soothing than a summer storm. There really is no bad time to visit, so what are you waiting for!
There is perhaps no better place in the world to try your hand at watersports than Phuket. No matter if you are a novice or expert, there are plenty of fun water activities, both above and under the sea. World renowned snorkelling and diving in and around Phuket is a must, especially a day trip snorkelling to Coral Island. In saying that, there are quite literally hundreds of islands to snorkel so pick one, two or 10 and get diving!
If you prefer above water activities, Phuket certainly has no shortage of these. Smack bang on Patong Beach you can surf, kitesurf, jet ski and wakeboard! Wake up, stroll to the beach and take part in some thrill-seeking activities under the warm morning sun!
Fine Dining or Street Food?
Regardless of where you are in Thailand, the food is absolutely delicious, and Phuket is no exception. You will find many dining options throughout the island that are budget friendly as well as featuring cuisines from around the world. Let’s be honest, it’s not too often that you can be in such an exotic location with world class cuisine right at your fingertips, or should I say, tastebuds, at a very affordable price. From street food to high-end dining (without the price), you will never go hungry in Phuket!
Bang For Your Buck
It is no secret that the first thing travellers look for nowadays is value for money. Phuket offers a range of hostel and hotel options for every budget, and even the most luxurious holiday won’t break the bank. What’s more, is that you can even book a hostel in Patong Beach for a fraction of the price of a 5-star resort and still have the same experience!
From just under USD$30, you can book a room at Lub d Patong. As the premier beachside hostel in Patong, you are quite literally a few hundred metres from the beach, and have all the same amenities as a luxury resort, leaving you more room to spend on food and shopping. Did someone say ‘designer clothing’?
Nightlife For The Ages
Just like mouthwatering selection of yummy food, nightlife in Phuket is buzzing all year round. Head of Bangla Road, right in heart of Patong, for the most traditional nightlife in the area, with locally brewed, ice-cold beer served. You don’t even need to be in a bar to experience the organised chaos, you simply just need to be there!
However, if you do wish to escape the night time heat, try Saxophone Pub, Molly Malone’s. Or, if you are after a proper club you can’t go past the Famous Disco and the Banana Disco. If you are lucky enough to be in Phuket during a half moon, watch out! Things will get a little crazy…er than usual!
All in all, nightlife in Phuket can’t be justified in words. You just need to live it!
By no means is Phuket a flat island. Is this a good thing? The short answer is yes. This is because, thanks to the many hills, there are hundreds of magnificent viewpoints which allow you to take in the stunning panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and surrounding islands.
From almost any viewpoint you can see the exquisite role Mother Nature has played in shaping Phuket to the beauty you see before your eyes. Need we mention the sunset at Promthep Cape?
Shh…It’s A Secret!
Phuket is well-known for its hidden gems, and honestly, far too many people miss these spots while visiting the island. Well, we’re here to let you in on a few little secrets. The number one hidden spot has to be Banana Beach. While there is a restaurant here, most tourists simply miss the entrance point. Head to the airport and just before you get there, you will hit a T-junction, turn left and follow signs towards Naithon Beach and keep driving a few kilometres further.
Wassa Homemade Bar is the best viewpoint in Phuket, overlooking Patong and its accompanying bay. This is a spot that not many tourists know about so you can enjoy the view almost to yourself. How’s the serenity?!
Of course, there are many other hidden gems and we could be here for days talking about them, but what’s the fun in that? Get out there, explore and enjoy what Phuket has to offer!