Lively beach resorts, exhilarating water sports
and regional cuisine
There’s a reason why so many visitors to Phuket stay on as locals. Sweeping expanses of beach adorn the island’s entire west coast. You can find a shaded, serene spot or dive straight into jet skiing in upmarket beach resorts. And as one of Thailand’s most kid-friendly places, parents enjoy pulling up a sun lounger at a water park or pool, as their kids play close by.
While it’s tempting to stay on the beach, the array of activities available could keep you occupied indefinitely. Scuba divers plumb the depths over the King Cruiser ferry wreck. At Anemone Reef, you’ll spot something different on every dive, including leopard sharks and tuna. Snorkelling near beaches like Karon and Kata allows you to reconnect with the island’s unique natural environment.
Forest hikes to powerful waterfalls in the mountainous interior of Phuket provide a change of scenery. The views from the Big Buddha, with its 45-metre-tall statue, attract picnickers to feast on tropical fruits like mangosteen while appreciating the island’s finer features.
Alternatively, the cooler evening is the favoured time to wander the laid-back streets of Phuket Town, where European colonial houses, built with Chinese influences, attest to the island’s deep-seated multiculturalism. Stately Chinpracha House is a prime example, with an interior reflecting the lifestyle of a wealthy family from a century ago. In Patong, international cuisine is served at waterfront eateries, along with Thai seafood dishes and piquant curries like tom yum goong. After hours, diners gravitate to lively bars and clubs and stay until late.