Phuket island, which is also a province, is the biggest Island in all of Thailand. This perfect blend of city living and tropical indulgence is known affectionately as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea, and it’s easy to see why. Patong is both the largest city in Phuket, as well as its most popular tourist destination. If you’re looking for options as far as leisure and entertainment go, there are few places in the world that are more prepared than Patong. From postcard perfect beaches to lush inner city accommodation, and nightlife, it’s no wonder why people all over the world can’t wait to spend their holiday in Phuket.
Party in Patong
Patong’s international holiday fame comes from its massive variety of bars and restaurants to visit, and generally incredible atmosphere. After hours the beachside city awakens with colour as all manner of people take to the streets for an unforgettable night out in Thailand. Starting at one of literally hundreds of restaurants, and moving on to bar hopping and a fantastic club scene, Patong will keep you wide awake until the sun rises. The nightlife is centered around Bangla Road (bring your thick skin), but there are more relaxed options the further away you are from it. Taxis and tuk-tuks are readily available, but the area is entirely walkable if you know where you’re going.
Weekend Night Market
Phuket’s weekend night market, or Naka Market to the locals, is a collection of curious and delectable local Thailand food, and material items such curios, pirated goods, and secondhand trinkets. Situated on Chao Fa West Road a stones throw from Phuket Town and not far from Central Festival, the market is a must see on your holiday even if you don’t plan on spending much money. The sheer variety of wares on sale is worth the trip, and who knows what you might find if you spend the time.
Go See the Big Buddha
The Big Buddha represents an architectural and spiritual marvel, and is one of the most revered landmarks on the entire Island and Thailand. The immense 45m figure sits atop the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata, and cuts an imposing silhouette from afar. The viewing site offers a fantastic 360-degree view of Phuket, which adds an extra awe inspiring element to an already must see destination on your holiday which overlooks Phuket Town, Kata, Karon Beaches, and Chalong Bay among others.
Visit the Temples
Phuket is home to many magnificent temples, Wat Chalong (Chalong Temple) being the largest and most popular of all, making it a good reason to visit on your holiday. Locals and Thai tourists are drawn to the temple to pray and pay respects to the revered monks who founded? Wat Chalong, Thailand. A splinter of bone from Buddha is sheltered in the 60-meter-tall ‘Chedi’, which also holds an incredible look-out point over the temple grounds from the terrace at the top of its three floors. The interior walls and ceilings are adorned with painted illustrations of Buddha’s life, as well as plenty donated golden statues.
Go to Karon Viewpoint
Karon Viewpoint (formerly Kata Viewpoint) allows for spectacular views of the pristine Phuket coastline in Thailand, such as Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon beaches. Being one of Phuket’s most frequented viewpoints, it is busy almost all year round with holidaymakers, but for very good reason – it’s worth it.
Go swim at Kata Noi Beach
The beautiful and more secluded Kata Noi Beach is at the end of a beach cul-de-sac just a short drive over the hill from Kata Beach. Kata Noi’s appeal is in its natural wonder and detachment from the variety of Kata Beach, so kick up your holiday feet, walk along the beach, go for a swim, or snorkel in the clear Thailand waters.
Visit Phang Nga Bay
An absolute must see on your holiday in Thailand, Phang Nga Bay is home to 42 islands and islets. They are unique because of their variety of peculiar shapes, caves, and mangrove laden lagoons. If you didn’t have this on your to do list, Hello Islands recommend you change that.
The three official seasons in Thailand – hot, dry, and wet, are segments of a constant summer holiday. The hot season runs from March through to June, with April and May reaching the highest temperatures throughout the year. The monsoon (wet) season is accompanied by heavy rains and occasional rough seas and can vary from year to year. It can start as early as May on the Andaman sea (Phuket, Phi Phi, and Koh Lipe) although it starts officially in June and continues into November. This starts much later on the Gulf Coast (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao) in October or November, and typically runs into January. Most days it will rain for between one and two hours a day (sometimes only ten minutes) and dry up almost immediately, although in the heat it is often a welcome visitor that seldom overstays. It can, however, be torrential when the rains do appear. December through February is categorised as the dry months, although to tourists it will most likely still feel hotter than “home”. Travel tip: Whenever you decide to grace this summer paradise, be sure to pack light, breathable clothing and plenty of high SPF sunscreen, as you will underestimate the sun at your own expense. At least there is sunlight in abundance for everyone to enjoy.
In Thailand, it is often the most elusive and secluded places that offer the greatest reward, and such is the case with Freedom Beach. Accessible either by bushwhacking through a kilometre of thick jungle, or by boat, this precious Phuket secret is beset on each side by forested hills, and offers a hideaway that separates it from the more mainstream beach locales. Freedom beach is dear to the local people, and as such is very well maintained, with its natural beauty of paramount importance to all who reside there. The beach offers holiday loungers for rent under the shade of the coconut palms, as well as restaurants on the south side if you feel like grabbing a bite to eat.
This, the little brother beach to Kata, is a less developed and populous beach in Thailand, offering a more intimate atmosphere. A true gem along the south Phuket coast, Kata Noi’s soft golden beach slopes into an ocean ideal for swimming, with plenty of activities available for keeping everyone and anyone busy and smiling on their holiday. Its natural beauty is its showpiece, as one of the most scenic beaches on the Island.
Situated on the west coast between Kamala and Surin beaches, Laem Singh is another picturesque hideaway surrounded by dense Thailand jungle and is overlooked by the steep promontory to which the beaches name lends itself (‘Laem’ which is Thai for ‘cape’). At 300 meters, this beach is relatively small, which contributes to the atmosphere of seclusion – a theme of many of our top beaches – and allows for the full enjoyment of its soft, fair sand and clear blue waters. Laem Singh offers the amenities of a mainstream beach with added natural beauty to fulfil your aesthetic holiday needs.
Kata is the big show off of the Phuket coast, and for good reason. This beautiful Thailand beach is a popular tourist holiday hotspot which offers all manner of entertainment for beachgoers to enjoy. It’s long expanse is lined with Casuarina trees which offer a welcome respite from the intense Thai sun. This premier location is perfect for people looking to have a fun day out and embrace the Phuket summer.
Getting your mouth around some authentic Thai cuisine can be challenging in Phuket, with many restaurants aimed at taking advantage of deep tourist pockets instead of offering a true to Thailand culture culinary experience. Here are some of Hello Islands favourites – authentic enough without putting a dent in your holiday travel budget.