A tropical island in southwestern Thailand on the Andaman Sea, Phuket is prized for its clear beaches, jungle trekking and high-end resorts. It is well positioned as a gateway to smaller, surrounding islands, with ferries leaving daily to the Phi Phi Islands, Similians and James Bond Island.
Winter is the best time of year to visit to avoid monsoon season. The water is calmer and clearer between November to January.
If you want the freedom and mobility to explore the island on your own, scooter rentals are popular. We recommend only renting through your hotel, versus a local shop in town, to guarantee a fair price and to avoid thievery.
Tuk tuks are another popular way to get around. Be prepared to negotiate price up front and never accept the first offer.
Kata Beach One of the more popular beaches on the island, Kata is a great for restaurants and nightlife, and has a handful of spots right on the beach. It is more sophisticated than its seedier cousin, Patong Beach.
Mama Seafood Casual little restaurant serving up fresh seafood and overlooking sleepy Nai Harn beach.
Kata Beach As mentioned above, Kata has a good nightlife scene and beach bars.
Nai Harn Reggae Bar Chill, laid-back spot with live music.
Karon Beach One of the larger beaches on the island, it has a long strip of sand and is more commercialized than Kata Noi and Nai Harn.
Karon View Point South of Kata Noi beach, this view point has lovely vistas of the jungle, ocean and sunset.
Kata Noi Beach A smaller, quieter beach south of Karon.
Nai Harn Beach A quiet beach at the tip of the island that is a bit off the tourist track. Consistently ranked one of the prettiest beaches in Phuket.
Phuket Weekend Night Market The largest market on the island, it runs Friday through Sunday evenings.
Promthep Cape Watch the sunset and snap a few photos.
Walking Street Located in Phuket Town, this old Sino-Portuguese has interesting architecture and is a popular shopping area.
Most of the luxury resorts are on the northern part of the island. These are a good bet for relaxing away from the hustle and bustle. Angsana Laguna Phuket is well known for its long pool that snakes throughout the resort.
If you care less about staying in a five star resort, we recommend staying near Nai Harn beach. Check out the four star All Seasons, an Accor hotel.