Cast away your worries and indulge on the pure shores of Thailand’s largest island.
Nestled in the south-west of the country on Thailand’s Andaman Coast, Phuket draws tourists from around the globe. Famed for its hedonistic nightlife and its world-class tropical beaches, Phuket is a favourite among party-goers, honeymooners and families alike. There truly is something for everyone on the island of Phuket.
The island itself is only 48 kilometres long and 21 kilometres wide. Phuket’s south-west coast pulls in the biggest crowds. Numerous stretches of pristine sand nestled against crystal-clear waters compete for the title of Phuket’s most beautiful beach. Patong Beach has bright neon lights and all-night parties and Kamala Beach is a more tranquil spot, perfect for families.Most of the activities on offer in Phuket are based around water. Take a boat trip to James Bond Island. At Ao Phang Nga National Park, see the stunning limestone formations rising up from the waters from the comfort of a private charter boat or as part of a paid tour. The beautiful Phi Phi Islands were the chosen location for the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and have so much to offer beneath the surface, with premier snorkelling and diving.
When it all gets too much, there’s nothing better than stretching out in a hammock and having a nap or just watching the world go by. Escape to hidden bays such as Laem Singh or Kata Noi for total tranquillity, or treat yourself to a massage at one of the small shacks dotted the beaches. Sit and reflect beneath the Big Buddha, or spend some time at the Nai Harn Beach Samnak Song Buddhist monastery. Head to Promthep Cape early evening and watch the breath-taking spectacle of the sun going down.
The north of the island is typically very quiet. As an alternative to the numerous beach destinations Phuket has to offer, why not take a trip to the Khao Phra Thaew forest reserve to visit the idyllic Bang Pae waterfalls. While there a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre is a must for animal lovers, who can sip a cold drink in one of the shacks while listening to the gibbons sing to each other.
The high season runs from November to March, when temperatures are luxuriously warm and there is little rain to interrupt hours of lounging on the beach or in a hammock. This does mean larger crowds however, so those seeking a quieter experience may wish to consider travelling between April and October.