Phuket has a fascinating mix of palm-lined beaches, daytime activities and a vibrant nightlife. From a speedboat trip to the surrounding islands or a cruise around Phang Nga Bay to its trademark nightlife in Patong Beach, Phuket offers plenty for every visitor.
Few islands can boast of such an abundance of sandy beaches and clear waters as Phuket. The winding roads along the west coast of this 540-square km island offer stunning views and easy access to some of the world's finest coastlines.
If you are looking for the solitude of nature, find it in Karon, just south of Patong. Apart from its beauty this 4km stretch of powdery white sand also offers a laid back nightlife, local and international cuisine and even a small community of local artists.
Just a short drive away from Karon is Kata, another offbeat destination, with white sand and clear waters. It is very popular with families and an all-round favourite due to its spectacular beaches, great restaurants and lively nightlife.
There is a variety of activities across Phuket, which includes family friendly theme parks, cultural expos and restaurants of all kinds, from fine dining to street side cuisine.
Visit the Siam Niramit Phuket, a special effects filled cultural showcase located on the outskirts of Phuket Town, featuring traditional song, dance and martial arts. Apart from the show itself there are other attractions to enjoy including open-air performances and a floating market.
The Phuket FantaSea theme park offers carnival-like games, lots of shopping opportunities, elephant shows, live music, adventure sports, and also hosts one of the biggest buffets in Asia.
Places to eat vary from roadside noodle stalls and air-conditioned restaurants to open-air restaurants with great views, or fast food outlets. You can also try cooking classes that reveal the simplicity behind the seemingly complicated Thai dishes.
Test your swing at the Dino Park, located between Karon and Kata beaches on the Beach Road. The 18-hole dinosaur-themed mini golf course has many large and life-like dinosaur statues, along with an erupting volcano and a Flintstones-themed restaurant.
Phuket is also home to world-class golf courses and is a favourite destination among golfing enthusiasts. One of the most popular is the award-winning Blue Canyon Country Club, which has played host to international tournaments and the world’s best golfers. The courses are known for their idyllic locations and high standard of upkeep. Other clubs include Mission Hills and the Phuket Country Club, considered by many as the island’s finest.
If you are looking for a lively beach town, then Patong is the place to go. With a bustling nightlife, including hundreds of restaurants, live music, bars and discos, the centre of all the activity is primarily Bangla Road. But there are other nighttime hot spots that can be found along Sukhumvit road, Rat-U-Thit road and Soi Dongtan to name a few. Patong is also the heart of live music on the island, from Rock and Pop to Jazz and Folk there are places that will satisfy just about any music lover.
Phuket is surrounded by other relatively unspoilt islands and destinations accessible by land and sea and getting to these places is part of the adventure.
The Phi Phi Islands are a popular retreat while Krabi Province destinations such as Koh Lanta and Railay Beach are a drive away. Head to the south to visit Trang Province and be awestruck by its entrancing sea caves.
Other places to visit include Koh Panyee, a village about 20 minutes by long-tail boat from Surakul Pier in Phang Nga Province. Khao Lak is located just north of Phuket Island, one of Thailand's most peaceful resort destinations. If you’re looking to connect with nature, then visit any of the three national parks on the surrounding hills.