Destination Spotlight – Phuket, Thailand

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A Royal Holiday membership offers travelers the chance to book nights at destinations all around the world using membership credits. In Thailand, Royal Holiday members can stay at two resorts, including the Royal Lighthouse Villas at Boat Lagoon in Phuket.

An island located off the coast of Thailand, Phuket offers a range of attractions. Aficionados of natural beauty can take a visit to Phang Nga Bay, where boat tours guide tourists between striking limestone karsts that stick up from the water like jungle-covered teeth. Two of the islands in the bay are famous and tend to be clogged with visitors, but some tours go farther afield, which allows visitors to relax and stop occasionally on a quiet beach.

Travelers more interested in cultural attractions will find plenty to enchant them on Phuket. In the Chalong area, a 45-meter statue of the Buddha set on a hilltop provides a commanding view of several beaches and bays. The statue is a recent construction, but it offers a peaceful environment for contemplation of the island.

Chalong also serves up a more traditional temple environment. Over a hundred years old, the Wat Chalong temple complex welcomes tourists and locals alike. The wat, which means temple in Thai, contains several statues important to locals and a pagoda said to contain a splinter of bone from the Lord Buddha. Visitors to the complex should be sensitive to the religious norms of the place and wear clothes that cover the body from shoulders to feet.

At the other end of the spectrum culturally, visitors can take in the nightlife in the city of Patong. Renowned as a “sin city,” Patong features a colorful array of sights, from go-go girls and ladyboys to outdoor bars that fill the night with loud music and flashing neon. Though dominated by the loudness and chaos of Bangla Road, the bar scene in Patong also offers more unusual treats, like a traveling minibus with a bar popular among both locals and visitors.

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