If Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is not on your bucket list of places to visit, then it most certainly should be. With scenery seemingly out of a colorful dream, Phuket has intoxicated visitors with it vibrance and charm for years, and has the power to win over even the most grizzled person.
Floating gracefully in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, Phuket is home to unbelievably luxurious and beautiful resorts, world-class restaurants, lush rainforests, and rocky beaches. With a wide variety of sights and adventures, there is no doubt that you will find your niche on this heavenly Asian island.
Where to Stay
The island of Phuket is not short on options for lodging. Many of the resorts have won numerous awards for their luxury, service, and amenities, and many consider the hotels and resorts of Phuket among the best in the world. With a lot of the resorts and hotels, you can expect plenty of luxury, amenities, and postcard views. Because of the popularity of Phuket and some of its hotels, book your stay several months in advance, especially if you are planning on visiting during the summer high season.
The views alone at the Aleenta Resort and Spa Phan-Nga will transport you to another place. Glass walls in some suites allow for maximum view appreciation. Some suites have their own private pools, there is a first-rate spa, and you can enjoy both breakfast and cocktails down at the beach.
If you are looking to escape, really escape, the J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa, located near Phuket Town, is the right place. Secluded, quiet, romantic, and blissful are just some of the words that describe this resort. It is located on a long and lonely stretch of picturesque beach, perfect for relaxing and unwinding. The spa is top notch, and the views from the grounds are even better.
Imagine having an entire island at your disposal. Imagine kayaking along the coastline, listening to breeze rattles the palm trees. Imagine watching the sun rise from the bed in your open-air bungalow. Sound ideal? Koyao Island Resort offers that, and so much more. Snorkel and dive around the islands, take tours of nearby fishing villages, and relax on the beach.
Where to Eat
In addition to the plethora of cafes and restaurants serving up traditional Thai cuisine on Phuket, there are plenty of international choices for visitors.
Foreigners from many different countries have settled on the island, opening dining establishments of their own, providing a great variety. But to visit Phuket and not indulge in the traditional fare would be crazy. Curries, noodle dishes, and soups served using fresh, local island ingredients are dominant on Thai menus there.
Baan Rim Pa is an experience that you won’t remember just for the excellent Thai cuisine. The thrilling view is worth a million. The dining area is perched upon the edge of a cliff, and if you can handle it, sitting along the edge of the terrace is unforgettable. The food is excellent, too, though the spice factor has been lowered to cater to western palates.
Specializing in Thai style seafood dishes, Cook Kai is an unassuming beach restaurant that impresses all of your senses. The menu is large and varied, and features local ingredients. If you like what you taste, then try taking one of their cooking classes so that you can amaze your friends back home.
If the locals are filling up the restaurant, then you know that the food must be good. This is exactly the case at Jai Restaurant. Located in Khao Lak, this traditional Thai restaurant is high on flavor and very low on price. Choose your freshly caught fish or seafood right from the boat and how you’d like it cooked, and enjoy the atmosphere.
What to Do
Phuket is an outdoor lovers paradise. The stunning views aside, there is surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, hiking, biking, and sailing to enjoy. If you visit during the rainy season, you will be able to witness the power of the largest waterfalls in Thailand.
For fun for the entire family, visit the Phuket Aquarium, Crocodile Farm, or visit the Fishing Park.
Visit the beautiful temples on Phuket, including Wat Chalong, the island’s largest Buddhist temple.
When to Visit
The weather on Phuket is tropical, meaning warm and humid almost year round. December through March presents the most pleasant weather conditions, with temperatures ranging from 75F – 89F. June – August are the least crowded, but prices are high during this time.