Trips to town
The beach is a constant temptation during holidays to Phuket, but those of you fond of city trips will find elements that appeal to culture lovers and revellers who want to party. Either visit the colonial charms of Phuket City itself, with plenty of interesting bars, or experience the lively nightlife and after-dark allure of Patong.
To discover the beating heart of local culture you can visit Wat Chalong in Phuket City, a temple as colourful as it is steeped in stories of days gone by. If you’re lucky, your trip will coincide with a local fete where traditional food and drink is joined by music, dance and handmade crafts.
Life by the sea
Phi Phi Island is just off the coast of Phuket and is often one of the first places tourists visit. You’ve likely seen it on the silver screen on more than one occasion, but a trip to its golden shores and almost mythical rocky outcrops is far beyond whatever even the most talented cameramen can capture.
Phuket itself has more than a handful of sublime shorelines to savour as well, and they each give you a different way to enjoy your time in the sun. For example, on Kamala Beach, relaxation and seclusion are the order of the day. This sprawling beach is pale, flanked by tropical trees and caressed by gentle waves, yet it’s always a quiet retreat, even in the busiest tourism season.
Entertainment every which way
You might think that an evening in Phuket consists of either a lively trip to a nightclub or a stroll to a seaside bar to sip cocktails while moonlight dances on the waves. As viable as those options are, they’re actually only part of the tale. Night-time cabaret is one great example of how the Thai people love to keep you upbeat and amused, and you can expect song and dance numbers, magic shows and plenty more besides.
There are also some fantastic installations and art projects that keep everyone engaged, like the FantaSea Show, where lights, colour and sound see Thai myths merging with some outlandish modern twists. If a little more action is what appeals, fans of sport can watch some Muay Thai boxing matches play out from ringside seats.
The great outdoors
When you’re ready to get back to nature, adventure awaits around every corner. Rent a 4×4 and roar through the heartlands, head out in a boat to savour the sunlight, or strap on an oxygen tank and sink to meet the denizens of the deep.
The Khao Lak River, seen by kayak, is always a popular spot for those of you looking to savour the great outdoors, while Saphan Hin Park offers the finest blues and greens you’ve ever seen, thanks to its status as a popular seaside natural park. Bicycle or even elephant riding tours will often weave through the jungle to meet the majesty of Ton Sai Waterfall, among the largest in Asia, and the ideal gateway to the grand mountainous landscape beyond.
Whether you opt for a tour or strike out on your own, there are plenty of ways to take in the natural beauty that Phuket has in such abundance, and you owe it to yourself to make some magical memories.