Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local and health advisories for this destination before you book.


Phuket is the ultimate tropical paradise for a reason – it has the climate, it has the beaches, and it has the beauty.

Phuket might spell 'party' to many in the large crowd winging their way to its three good-time beaches of Kata, Karong and Patong. But Thailand’s biggest island has such a dizzying blend of exotic landscapes, stunning beaches and curious cultures that you can pretty much spell Phuket anyway you want.

But a gem is most certainly what Phuket is – though maybe emerald would be the stone of choice. This almost fifty-kilometre long island is surrounded by seas that shimmer between azure, turquoise and emerald-green, and is crowned by a verdant green canopy of forested mountains. The best place to start your Phuket experience is at one of its beautiful beaches – though surprisingly many are not as crowded as you might think.

Family-friendly is written in the sands of Kamala Beach, tucked behind a hill south of Surin, and which boasts a safe, clean and quiet beach. Just north of it is the little hide-away cove of Laem Singh Beach. Once a secret haven below the cliffs, it is now immensely popular, but still holds onto its jungle-clad beauty. Take a long drive south of Patong, and you'll find the low-profile, well-ordered paradise that is Kata Noi Beach. Sun-worshippers, thrill-seekers and taste-questers are served in equal measure by its beach, buzz and great restaurants.

Drive as far down as you can, and you'll reach the iconic beauty of Promthep Cape, a dramatic rock splinter at the very southern tip of Phuket. Here, even the local Thai people crowd on the cliff-top at sunset, to capture its wide open ocean views. One of the often-missed gems of Phuket's beach scene lies nearby – Nai Harn Beach. It's another peaceful stretch of white sand that begs to be snorkelled, surfed or maybe just admired. And looking over all these neglected south-side beaches is the towering white splendour of the Big Buddha. Only erected in the last few years, this massive 46-metre high statue stares meditatively from the heights of the Nakkerd hills.

But rather than its beaches, the island of Phuket is becoming better known for the myriad of island beauties scattered around its coast. The Ao Phang Nga National Park is a staggering collection of these limestone shards, thrusting out of a calm sea. Home to some amazing marine wildlife and astonishing sea-caves, it also hosts a celebrity island. Khao Phing Kan is better known as James Bond Island, thanks to its connection to the film The Man with the Golden Gun.

And talking of celebrities, the most famous of all Phuket's island treasures are the Phi Phi Islands, 32 kilometres west, whose superlative scenery earned them the starring role in The Beach. So Phuket does do 'party', and it does do 'fun' – but it also does 'spectacle' like few other places on Earth.

Phuket Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Phuket

Old Phuket Town

Old Phuket Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(12 area reviews)

Cafes, beaches and historical sites highlight some of the noteworthy features of Old Phuket Town. Make a stop by Phuket Sunday Night Market or Moh Seng Historic House Museum while you're exploring the neighbourhood.

Old Phuket Town

Top hotels in Phuket

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay
Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay
5 out of 5
8/18-19 Moo 6, Kamala, Phuket
The price is NZ$149 per night

This family-friendly Kamala hotel is located by the sea, within 3 mi (5 km) of Kalim Beach, Patong Beach and Kamala Beach. Bangla Road is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) ...

4.4/5Excellent! (967 reviews)

"Despite the Covid 19 challenge the staff and management made every effort to make our stay the best it could be. We thoroughly recommended the pool villas, which are fantastic."…"

Reviewed on 25 Mar. 2020

Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay
The SIS Kata Resort
The SIS Kata Resort
4.5 out of 5
255 Kok Tanode Road, Karon

Situated near the beach, this luxury resort is within a 10-minute walk of Kata Beach and Kata Noi Beach. Karon Beach and Big Buddha are also within 3 miles (5 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (244 reviews)

"I liked would return if budget available. Not the most kid friendly though, I mean OK but not a family style hotel."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jan. 2020

The SIS Kata Resort
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
88 Moo 7, Prunai, Ko Yao, Phang Nga
The price is NZ$95 per night

This Ko Yao resort is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Loh Paret Beach, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Klong Hia Pier and Phang Nga Bay. Ao Phang-nga National ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,220 reviews)

"Stayed here for two weeks during the virus crisis and it was a perfect place to be...very safe and secluded. I enjoyed the food, the staff was wonderful and my room was perfect. I am shocked that some people complained about the service, never once did I have an issue. Yes, the hill is an issue, ..."…"

Reviewed on 13 Apr. 2020

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

Reviews of Phuket


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 19.047619047619047%
4 - Good
4 - Good 66.66666666666667%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 9.523809523809524%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 4.761904761904762%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

24 Jan. 2020

Better than expected though Thailand not so cheap anymore

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Jan. 2020

Overall quite expensive compared to bali and not as nice. We found a local art gallery witth woodcuts we liked but he gave us different prices when we went back the second time and we felt most places just randomly give prices.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Nov. 2019

Very beautiful area of Thailand.

4/5 - Good


18 Jun. 2019

Great place to visit. The people are very friendly and the scenery is amazing

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

4 Jun. 2019

I don’t like Phuket so only stayed one night and traveled to Ko Lanta and Krabi...

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

17 Apr. 2019

Old town is a must if you love culture and food

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Phuket

Image for 24 hours of fun in Phuket

24 hours of fun in Phuket

Relishing a long layover on Thailand’s largest island
24 hours of fun in Phuket
Image for 4 ways to get to James Bond Island

4 ways to get to James Bond Island

Follow the lead of 007 and sail off to the islands surrounding Phuket
4 ways to get to James Bond Island

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