As anyone who’s even thought about going to South East Asia knows, Phuket is one of the region’s most popular destinations. Why? Read on to find out. But do be warned. You might find yourself booking an air ticket.
WHITE SANDY BEACHES
There are more than fifteen large beaches on Phuket, plus a sprinkling of tiny inlets and private coves. If you like your beaches busy, with a constant crowd, buzzing atmosphere and facilities on tap, Patong is the obvious choice. However, if you prefer a less frenetic environment, there’s Kamala, which is pretty quiet all year round. Or if an adventure is high on your itinerary, try investigating some of the island’s smaller, secret beaches, such as Banana Beach, only reachable on foot, or Siam ,accessible by a steep staircase. For the ultimate experience, you should definitely stay at one of the Phuket Beach Resorts, so you’ll have the water on your doorstep.
Whether you want to kick back in an intimate cocktail bar, with a well-mixed martini and a good friend, or dance all night long in a pumping nightclub, you can do it all in Phuket. The island might be known for its strip clubs and dancing girls, but that’s just one aspect of its nightlife. For a safe and fun party, head to the Hollywood Discotheque. If live music is more your thing, catch classic rock at the Hard Rock Cafe or jazz (with a view!) at the Boathouse, South Kata Beach. For cocktails and sophistication, the uber-cool Gossip Boutique Supperclub is recommended.
Given that Phuket is surrounded by water, a fresh seafood banquet should be factored into any visitor’s itinerary. What the fishermen catch in their longtail boats in the morning is served up on restaurant tables in the evening. With a dash of Thai-style herbs and spices, it’s transformed into a seriously delicious feast. If seafood doesn’t get your appetite going, there’s still plenty to choose from. Most Phuket menus offer a range of exotic vegetable dishes, from sweet green curries to peppery stir fries to Pad Thai.
SWIMMING UNDER WATERFALLS
Are you a Blue Lagoon fan? If so, you should visit Phuket if for no other reason other than to swim under one of its extraordinarily beautiful waterfalls. Even though most tourists spend the majority of their time hanging out at the beach, the island’s interior offers some invigorating adventures. There are loads of waterfalls dotted about the place, but three of the main ones are Bang Pae, Kathu and Ton Sai.
VISITING BUDDHIST TEMPLES
In addition to its natural assets, Phuket offers a good dose of manmade beauty. More than twenty exquisitely designed Buddhist temples are scattered over the island, some of which are more than five centuries old. One of the most popular is Wat Chalong, which you’ll find midway between Chalong Circle and Central Phuket Festival, on Chao Fa West Road. Visitors have been going there to worship and/or learn more about Buddhism for more than one hundred years.
Are you itching to fly to Thailand now? How I wish I could go back to Thailand soon and explore the country more.