When thinking of Phuket, most people picture a busy tourist destination with crowded beaches and a happening party and nightlife scene. Yes, Phuket certainly is one of Thailand’s biggest tourist destinations, and indeed, some towns on the island are a haven for the lovers of party beaches and discotheques. Yet there is so much more to this gorgeous island than that! In fact, Phuket has got something for everyone. This much-loved island, the biggest one in all of Thailand, is surrounded by beautiful beaches of which only some are crowded. There are waterfalls, temples, viewpoints and so much more things to see and do around the island. Here are 5 reasons why you should visit Phuket:
- The picture-perfect beaches
Whether you are looking for a lively beach with sun loungers, beach bars, cocktails and watersports or a quiet desolate beach to laze in a hammock and sip coconuts, Phuket has got both and you won’t have to travel too far away from Patong to find those Robin Crusoe beaches. The crescent pam-fringed bays around the island are idyllic and the sea is perfect for swimming and snorkelling, just what you need to unwind completely!
- The buzzing nightlife
So, for those travellers who came to Phuket to spend time with friends, drink and party, Patong is the place to be! This popular town in south Phuket is lively, buzzing and happening, day and night. There are plenty of bars and clubs to dance the night away. Ladyboy, cabaret and ping-pong shows are also part of daily life here, especially on the infamous Bangla Road, where neon lights and an all-round craziness rule upon nightfall. The best way to enjoy your stay and get the most out of the nightlife is by renting a villa in Patong. You and your friends can dress up in the villa with some drinks, snacks and good music on, go out to dive into and explore the nightlife and come home to the comfort of your own private home. You will wake up at your own time with the pool just steps away from your bed. Enjoy breakfast in the villa and just relax by the pool all day long before getting ready to party some more – perfect.
- The stunning views and temples
Lovers of nature and culture won’t be disappointed with a trip to Phuket either. Around the island, there are 29 gorgeous Buddhist temples to visit, dotted in red and golden ornaments and there are also many impressive Buddha sculptures to admire. From the famous Wat Chalong to the nearby Big White Buddha. These are highlights of Phuket that should not be missed! For those who want to get a good view of this stunning island and don’t mind a little hike up the hill, there are also plenty of great viewpoints around. The most famous one is Karon Viewpoint and also from the White Big Buddha, the island view is pretty amazing!
- The many islands
Phuket is an island but it is big. Around Phuket, there are little tropical islands found everywhere, making Phuket a great island-hopping destination. You can get on a boat to see the famous Phi Phi Islands or the gorgeous Similan islands that are perfect for diving but there are also many islands that take less than 30 minutes of your time to get there such as Coral Island, Koh Bon or Racha Island. It also makes a great day trip to go sea-kayaking around the rocky islands in Phang Nga Bay, home to the renowned James Bond Island.
- Colourful Night Markets
The best way to soak into the local lifestyle, get some souvenirs and try out the authentic and delicious Thai food, is at night markets. The best night markets are found in Phuket Town. The markets are lively, busy and colourful. You can find anything you are looking for, from cheap bags to sunglasses, DVDs, jewellery, clothes, gifts and they are the best places to practice your bargaining skills. My favourite part of the night market is definitely the food section. There are some many local delights and dishes to choose from, you will be eating all night long. From Pad Thai to fried snacks and local desserts. It is a food adventure! Be sure to check out the Phuket Weekend Market while you are staying on the island for the full-blown market experience.
Written by Stephanie Peeters of Villa-Finder