Traveler's Guide to Phuket
Welcome to Phuket – The largest and the most popular island in Thailand. The island is so vast and diverse that it will take you almost two hours to cross it from north to south. The island is located in the southwest of Thailand, alongside the Andaman Sea, with the northern part of the island connected to the mainland by a 600-meter bridge, linking it to the Phang Nga region. From there, you can continue your journey to destinations like Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Sok, and many more surrounding the island.
Despite its size, getting around the island is quite easy and convenient. The infrastructure on the island is highly developed, and the roads are new and safe. The island boasts several major beaches, each with a bustling local center that caters to the average tourist’s every need.
Phuket’s airport, which handles both domestic and international flights, serves as the main gateway to the island and is the recommended way to reach it. Flights from various destinations in Thailand land at the airport every hour. Additionally, the airport serves as an international hub, receiving direct flights from many destinations worldwide.
Phuket has many option and attractions for everyone, catering to families, young travelers, and couples. Its geographical location provides it with a wide array of terrestrial and aquatic attractions that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. You can combine a vacation in Phuket with other interesting and captivating destinations and islands such as Naka Island, Yao Yai Island, Yao Noi Island, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, Koh Sok, Krabi, Railay, Koh Lanta, and many more.
To enjoy the island and see a significant part of what the island has to offer, it is recommended to stay on the island for at least a week. You can also divide the stay in 2 different beaches to experience other areas of the island. It’s important to know which beach to settle on and where to go, that’s exactly what we’re here for. Before we expand on the wonderful island, it is important for us to emphasize one thing, Phuket Thailand is the largest island in Thailand and has many beaches and centers, come with an open mind and remember: “Phuket is not only Patong Beach”, the island has many other beaches and other recommended areas, we will explain You everything.
Current Flight Information to Phuket
Phuket International Airport (HKT) is located in the north of the island. Domestic flights from all destinations in Thailand land at the airport and getting to the island from all destinations in Thailand is easy, convenient and relatively cheap. You can reach the island with all local airlines including: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, Air Asia, Lion Air, Nok Air and more.
Phuket's climate year-round
The weather on the island is tropical, the popular island is visited by tourists throughout the year. As already mentioned, it is possible and recommended to travel the island throughout the year. “Statistically” the rainiest month on the island is September, but even there you will enjoy many sunny days. For example, in the month of September 2021, the island had more sunny days than Koh Samui (Eastern Thailand). The other advantage of vacationing on the island in September is very attractive hotel prices as is customary for the “low season” period in Thailand.
On days when the sea is rough, you can visit the calm beaches all year round such as: “Paradise” beach, “Nai Yang” beach, “Rawai” beach, “Panwa” beach and more.
If you want to go “safe” then the months in which statistically the amount of precipitation is the lowest are the months of December-April. It is important to note, there is no guarantee that you will have only sunny days, Thailand is a tropical country and it is not possible to predict the weather there, not even at the level of two days ahead. It is possible and recommended to travel the island all year round.
Recommended beaches in Phuket
Thanks to the size of the island, you will find many beaches on both sides of the island. Along with touristy and popular beaches, you can also find calmer beaches suitable for a backpacking vacation. On almost every beach you will find an active and lively local center with local restaurants and bars.
Let’s start with the beach and the most visited area on the island – Patong. Not necessarily the most beautiful and exotic beach on the island, but the most visited and lively. Patong Beach is really not all that the island represents, but everyone will visit the Patong area at least once. The area is considered the center of the island’s nightlife and entertainment, the famous clubbing and nightlife promenade “Bangla Road” is located right in the heart of Patong Beach. In the beach area you will find many restaurants, bars, shopping centers, massage parlors and many hotels. The area has developed so much, and today it looks more like a real city than an authentic destination that characterizes the islands of Thailand.
Accommodation in the Patong area is more suitable for those looking for nightlife and action. Families with children or honeymoon couples looking for a more exotic area will choose to sleep in other areas of the island.
A long stretch of beach located south of Patong Beach. At the beach you can enjoy many restaurants and local markets. The southern part of the beach is considered the most beautiful with clear water. The beach is located a short drive from many interesting landmarks on the island.
We will continue south towards the beach of Kata which is considered one of the most beautiful on the island. A stunning promenade with real tropical views. Along the beach you will find lots of local vendors offering: fruits, local food, smoothies, cocktails and more. Kata beach is also considered the “surfers” beach of the island, where you will find many local surf instructors who will teach you to surf just like professionals.
Kata Noi beach
Little Kata Beach is a small stretch of beach south of Big Kata Beach. Along the beach is spread a hotel in the large Phuket Catatani that extends over the entire beach. The special beach is considered one of the most beautiful on the island and is highly recommended for a daily visit.
Nai Harn beach
Not many travelers know the southernmost beach on the island. which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island for sure. The beach and the area are more familiar to local foreigners living on the island, besides the white sands and the wide beach strip, you will find a lot of local vendors, restaurants, cafes and bars on the beach that will complete the perfect atmosphere on the beach. You can definitely spend a whole day at the beach. Lots of western families living on the island spend the weekends along the beach which is considered very child friendly as well.
The most tropical area of the island from where real exotic landscapes are observed. The beach and the Panwa area are located at one of the southern points on the island. There you will find some of the most famous luxury hotels on the island. The recommended stretch of beach for a daily visit is Ao Yun Beach, where you can spend a whole day and feel like you’re on a deserted island.
A small and magical beach as its name is – paradise. Located about 15 minutes drive south of Patong. A private beach that you will have to pay 100 baht to enter. On the beach you will find a small and special beach club and it is recommended to spend a fun day on the island.
Merlin Beach is a small strip of beach located next to the Marriot Marlin Resort Hotel, and technically the beach is considered a private beach of the hotel. If you want to enjoy a hotel with a “private” beach, then Marriott Merlin is your choice.
A magical and secret beach, where access to it is quite complicated and cumbersome. You will have to go down some makeshift stairs to the beach but it will definitely be worth it. The difficult approach is what makes the beach magical, after all, not many visit it and it manages to maintain its authenticity
A long and wild stretch of beach is located in the northern part of the island next to the lively lagoon area. Besides the tropical beach along the coast you will find lots of shopping malls, beachside cafes and the tropical atmosphere of a real island. Bang Tao beach is considered one of the lively centers on the island.
Rawai’s long stretch of beach is located in the south of the island. The Rawai area is considered the center of the locals and westerners living on the island. The area offers a tremendous abundance of healthy restaurants, organic cafes, saunas, sports and Thai boxing centers and basically everything you need to live a healthy and quality lifestyle.
One of the locals’ favorite beaches. A stretch of beach with no hotels adjacent to it. A perfect beach for daily entertainment.
From a place in the north of the island near the airport. One of the tropical beaches on the island. Suitable for those looking for a quiet, high-quality sunbathing vacation.
The northernmost beach on the island, an unspoiled wild beach with several luxury resorts spread out next to it.
Car rentals in Phuket
If you want to upgrade your stay on the island, renting a car on the island would be a great idea. The island is big and there is a lot to see. Getting around by car will definitely upgrade your stay and help you get to a lot of places that you probably wouldn’t have reached without a car attached. The roads on the island are safe and developed and the drive is quite easy. You get used to driving on the right side of the wheel within a few hours. You can rent a car at many local rental companies that will take care of bringing it to the hotel. Don’t think twice, and rent a car, of course make sure to get comprehensive insurance and only drive with an international driving license.
What to do in Phuket?
The big island in Thailand offers countless places and things to do. The truth is that even a one-month vacation will not be enough for you to enjoy everything that this wonderful island has to offer. Despite this, we will try to point out some things that you should not miss during your vacation on the island.
Perhaps the most recognizable symbol on the island, the Big Buddha sits on top of a high hill, from which a beautiful 360 view of the area emerged. Open all year round and admission is free. It is recommended to arrive in the morning or in the afternoon because it is usually very hot in the middle of the day.
Phuket Old Town
The “Old Town” area is located on the southeast side of the island. Old Phuket is a district that lies within the city and presents “Sino-Portuguese” style construction with a diverse combination of local and special restaurants, bars and cafes. It is recommended to visit in the late afternoon or evening, because then you can enjoy one of the special bars and connect with Thai residents of the island who come to spend time. Phuket Town is a must for visiting the island of Phuket and it will take you on a fascinating journey through the history of the island.
Located in the town area, it is the central market of the island with a special atmosphere that can only be found in Thailand, among the food and clothing stalls, you will also find massage shops and entertainment shows. The market is open every day in the evening except Sunday
For all the fans of shopping and air conditioning, you can find several malls of a very high standard on the island. In the city itself you will find the huge and prestigious Central Phuket, where you will find regular international brands, alongside luxury stores of Gucci and Louis Vuitton in Central Florista, which is connected to it by a bridge. Also, food chains, some international restaurants and some local and famous restaurants in Thailand. Recommended shopping experience.
Karon View Point
Another one of the impressive observation points on the island, allows you to notice the special bay structure of the island. The island is built in a sort of chain of bays and this is how the separation between the different beaches is created. Karon Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s a great place to stop and rest for a few minutes, breathe, and enjoy the atmosphere.
Mai Doo Bua Cafe
A cafe in the most rural, pastoral and special atmosphere on the island. Besides the excellent food and coffee, you can “walk” inside the lake on the lotus flowers.
Rawai Seafood Market
One of the southernmost points on the island and has unforgettable tropical views. There you will find one of the most authentic markets on the island. Along the market are excellent fish and seafood restaurants with fresh goods that have just arrived from the sea. In addition, next to the market, you will find a pier of about 500 meters that will take you to the heart of the sea, where you will meet local fishermen and you can enjoy spectacular views.
Cafe Del Mar beach club
We saved the best for last, the famous Cafe Del Mar beach club, which is considered the best beach club in Thailand, is a highly recommended entertainment experience. Located next to the impressive Kamala beach, where you will find good music, a pool with a fun vibe, fine cocktails, beautiful people and unforgettable sunsets. Everyone will find themselves there – families with children, couples and young people. This is a great recreation place where you can spend several days having fun. The beach club is located next to the Intercontinental Hotel, which is also considered one of the best in Thailand.
AKOYA | Star Lounge
A lounge bar with an amazing view, located on Panwa beach in the V Villas hotel, it is recommended to come at sunset and enjoy views like in the movies, you should make a reservation in advance.
Phuket recommended attractions
The new water park "Andamanda" Phuket
The newest, largest and most fun water park on the island, “Andamanda”, opened in May 2022, and makes the impression that it is going to be the best water park in Thailand! About 30 different facilities for all ages – a must-see attraction for travelers in Thailand!
Cooking class in Phuket
The best cooking course on the island, the attraction is highly praised, in the course you will learn to prepare real authentic Thai dishes. In addition, on Monday and Thursday afternoons you will take a guided tour of a local market where you will learn how to purchase the best ingredients and spices for the dishes you will prepare. Each day of the week there will be a different menu that you will learn to cook.
It is important to save room for dessert!
Phuket's elephants sanctury
A real elephant farm with an emphasis on the care and pampering of the elephants, the farm is located on an island in the heart of amazing nature. An activity with elephants is an excellent educational experience that brings the whole family together. In the complex you can bathe the elephants, feed them, play with them and even go on a short walk with them in the nature of the island.
Jet Ski Adventure Around Phuket
Go on a water adventure on jet skis through the rivers and islands around the eastern side of the island. An unforgettable and adrenaline-filled extreme trip of about 5 hours with professional guides and management.
James Bond 4 Islands Tour
The island’s well-known and famous 4-island trip to the Phang Nga area and James Bond Island. The trip includes a visit to Phang Nga Bay, a visit to Pank Island and an entrance to a stalactite cave, a visit to James Bond Island, the floating island of PANAYEE, a kayaking trip to Hong Island and a visit to Naka Island.
7 Island tour in Koh Phi Phi
A spectacular trip to the Koh Phi Phi area and the blue lagoon with clear water and a descent to amazing snorkeling. Visit to the Blue Lagoon, Caye Island, Maya Bay, Monkey Island.
An elaborate and spectacular aquarium complex with thousands of marine creatures. The water world on the island will take you on an unforgettable marine adventure. The aquarium is located in the prestigious shopping center “Central”.
Zipline in Phuket
A crazy extreme experience in the heart of the jungles of the island, you can choose omega routes of 32, 18 or 10 stations. Extreme experience for everyone. The recommended route is 18 stops!
Phuket with kids
Phuket is one of the most popular destinations among families in Thailand. The island is so big and offers countless hotels, beaches and attractions for families. You should enjoy your vacation with children. We recommend taking one of the huge resorts on Bang Tao Beach, which is popular for families, or go citrus and enjoy a resort on Kata Beach. Although the island’s recreation center is located on Patong Beach, it is less sympathetic and suitable for families with children.
Although Patong Beach has everything, it is not suitable for every family that comes to the island, certainly one that imagines Thailand with white sands and exotic landscapes. If you still want to stay at Patong Beach, we recommend going a little further and taking a hotel in the Merlin Beach area, the Marriot Merlin Hotel would be an excellent choice for families.
Even a week will not be enough for you, you should take part in all the attractions and activities that the island offers. Dozens of islands and spectacular nature walks, one of the best water parks in Thailand, and shows for the whole family are just a small part of what Phuket has to offer. Not for nothing was the island chosen as the best destination in Asia in 2019.
Markets in Phuket
Phuket Town Sunday Market
Along the main pedestrian street every Sunday the large and central market of the island unfolds. With a lot of performances, basses and a festival atmosphere. The atmosphere in the place combined with the surrounding construction creates a magical atmosphere.
Located in the town area, it is the central market of the island with a special atmosphere that can only be found in Thailand, among the food and clothing stalls, you will also find massage shops and entertainment shows. The market is open every day in the evening except Sunday.
Fascinating classic Thai night market, offers a large variety of shopping and food, the market is open on Saturday-Sunday only.
Bang Tao Night Market
A colorful and large night market that unfolds every Friday in the plaza of the Boat Avenue center in the lagoon area, definitely recommended for a visit.
Recommended restaurants in Phuket
Discover our recommended island restaurants below
Fresca Kitchens & Deli
An excellent restaurant with western food recommended for an evening out. An elaborate wine bar, located in the Rawai area in the Stay hotel
Green heart garden kata
Organic Thai with the most delicious Thai food you will ever taste combined with an amazing view of the Kata area.
Excellent Italian, located in the Amari Hotel with a view of the entire Patong area.
Blue Elephant Restaurant Phuket
One of the most prestigious restaurants on the island, a combination of luxury and royal Thai food.
One of the special restaurants on the island, luxury Thai food, is located in the north of the island.
For meat lovers, a place that emphasizes the quality of the meat being grilled.
One of the best known restaurants on the island for western food, drinks and a party atmosphere.
The Vegan Table
Excellent vegetarian, located in Old Town.
SUAY Porto De Phuket
Excellent western food, suitable for an excellent entertainment in the evening.
CUT Grill & Lounge
Recommended Italian restaurant in the heart of the lagoon area.
Phuket - FAQ
Phuket is a tourist destination all year round, if you want to come in the most recommended period in terms of weather, the months of December-April are considered the most convenient.
The truth is that even a month will not be enough for you to travel on the island, nevertheless the ideal time for a vacation on the island is a week.
The island has several centers, if you are looking for nightlife, the Patong area is the most recommended. If you want to enjoy an area more suitable for families, Kamala or Bang Tao areas will suit you.
Yes, the island is considered the best family destination in Thailand, a combination of many attractions such as the new water park and family-friendly hotels make Phuket a recommended destination for families.
Phuket in conclusion
Phuket is the largest and most popular island in Thailand, thanks to the re-opening of Thailand and the Sandbox program, tourist learned to travel on the island and leave the borders of Patong. Today it is considered the most popular island even among the traveler who continues to discover the beauty and advantages of the island of Phuket. We at the beach highly recommend that it be in Phuket, it is a must destination for a vacation in Thailand. Many attractions of all kinds, luxurious hotels, cheap flights and proximity to many nearby destinations that can easily be combined are a small part of what Phuket Island has to offer. We will emphasize this again, Phuket Island is not just Patong. The island has lots of beaches and areas and we are here to match you with the right beach.