Thailand is home to over a thousand islands, but there’s one that stands palm trees above the rest. Known as the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea”, Phuket is home to soft sand beaches, luxury beachfront resorts, a thriving culinary scene, a charming Old Town, lots of shopping and nightlife options – a destination that truly has it all.
With over 40 beaches to choose from all around Phuket, there’s a stretch of sand for every type of traveller. If you’re keen to head to the water’s edge as soon as possible, check out Naithon, one of the closest beaches to Phuket Airport (just 15 minutes away, compared to some other beaches which take over an hour to get to).
Further south down the coastline, Karon is often considered the best Phuket beach for families. While not as well-known as neighbouring Patong, the vibe along the three kilometre-long beach is relaxed, and the calm waters this time of year is ideal for snorkelling and water sports, including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
For visitors seeking peace and quiet, the beaches on Cape Panwa provide the perfect balance of serenity and sea views.
While many rightfully head straight for the big blue, one of Phuket’s most interesting neighbourhoods is its historic quarters, home to atmospheric narrow lanes lined with Sino-Portuguese shophouses. For a taste of the island’s heritage, some of the best Phuket Old Town restaurants and cafes can be found on Thalang Road, where the weekly Sunday Walking Street Market also takes place. Running parallel to Thalang is Phang Nga Road, another historical street with notable landmarks and beautifully renovated century-old shophouses including the trendy Lady Coco restaurant and pasty shop.
While technically not “in” Phuket, yacht charters on Phuket provide a unique vantage point to admire the island’s beauty. Phuket island hopping packages offered by reputable companies include a choice of overnight, full, and half-day trips. Shorter trips include a three-hour experience to visit Koh Hey (Coral Island), Laem Krating (Krating Cape), and Promthep Cape, the famed Phuket sunset view point.
Luxury pool villas on Phuket offer the quintessential tropical escape in the lap of luxury. At Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach, guests can start their days with a floating breakfast in the comfort of their private pool villa overlooking the ocean. The beach is just a three-minute walk away, and the resort is also home to one of the best Italian restaurants in Phuket.
Another Phuket beachfront resort with private pool is Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, whose Pool Villa with Sea View offers 150 sq m of room to stretch out and dive in, day or night. Here, guests can even try their hand at sailing with the resort’s in-house coach.
Perched on a mountainside with uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea, Avista Grande Phuket Karon – MGallery blends modern comforts with the island’s Sino-Portuguese heritage.
Unique dining experiences including Sizzle on the Water, and the resort is also home to some of the most luxurious – and affordable – pool access rooms in Phuket.
Phuket is widely accepted as one of the best islands in Thailand, but visitors with more time on their itinerary may consider visiting a nearby beach destination. The transfer time from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak is just over one hour, making the beach destination on the mainland an attractive addition to a beach-centred holiday.
Wondering what to do in Khao Lak? Its beautiful coastline is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand, and its proximity to the Similan and and Surin Islands make Khao Lak a perfect starting point for diving and snorkelling adventures.
When it comes to privacy and beachfront allure, resorts on Khao Lak rival those on Phuket, including Pullman Khao Lak Resort which boasts a pristine beachfront location. Reminiscent of Thailand’s traditional riverside villages, Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak offers guests an unforgettable beachfront experience featuring a choice of accommodation, including pool access rooms with sunken seating on the terrace.
When it comes to privacy and beachfront allure, resorts on Khao Lak rival those on Phuket, including Pullman Khao Lak Resort which boasts a pristine beachfront location.
Reminiscent of Thailand’s traditional riverside villages, Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak offers guests an unforgettable beachfront experience featuring a choice of accommodation, including pool access rooms with sunken seating on the terrace.