With its stunning west coast beaches, lovely tropical hinterland and excellent tourist infrastructure, Phuket takes prime place in the guide books of Thailand. There are plenty of great natural and man-made attractions to see, both on the island and in the adjacent coastal area.
Phuket features a series of beach resort areas, each enjoying its own bay, as well as developed tourist centres and great holiday environs. The island is not too big, meaning it can be done on a day tour, yet is big enough to give everyone some space. Renting scooters and exploring the island’s natural sights and various bays is suggested, but some of the best sights to see are offshore, including Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay.
Phuket Sightseeing Highlights
The fine beaches and hospitality are Phuket’s main selling points, although it’s not all at the beach and there are many wonderful sights to check out around the island. Phuket has a character all of its own, which you will mostly find away from the resorts with a good guide and map.
Phuket highlights include it’s old centre, Phuket Town, where its traditional Thai character remains relatively untouched by tourism. Be fascinated by its old Sino-Portuguese mansions and quiet lanes where century-old Chinese herbalists shops reside. Up and down the coast are some fantastic viewpoints, too, including above Kata Bay and at Promthep cape.
The beaches are the big attraction, though, of which Patong is the winner in the nightlife stakes. Either side, and slightly quieter, are Karon (south) and Kamala (north), both offering something different. Surin Beach, meanwhile, is quiet and quaint, and Bang Tao, long and windswept, while Rawai and Nai Harn are more popular with the locals.
Beyond Phuket are many more sightseeing opportunities. You’ll not want to miss out on a trip to the famous Phi Phi Islands, southwest of Phuket, or the remarkable Phang Nga Bay, with its karst pillars. There are also several national parks and spending time at one of them to scape the beach is recommended.