Phuket, Thailand: more than beaches from paradise
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is 30-miles long, offering an incredible coastline that can’t be seen in a simple visit. The island also hosts more tourists than any other location in Thailand. One in three visitors heads to Phuket. In addition to spectacular beaches, you’ll find deep-sea diving, exclusive shops, sophisticated restaurants and lavish temples.
Here are the main attractions:
The beauty of Phuket’s beaches will leave you breathless with their brilliant white sands and turquoise waters. Some are more visited than others and some are more tranquil. We recommend Kata Noi and Kata Yai; Karon and Surin. All are perfect for relaxing, water sports and enjoying restaurants and bars.
- Old town
To get to know a bit of Phuket’s history, head to the island’s southeast region, away from the hotels on the beaches. In the center of the city you will discover Colonial streets and buildings of Portuguese and Chinese influence.
- The Giant Buddha
This is one of Phuket’s most impressive Buddhas, measuring 82 ft. wide by 147 ft. high and weighing 135 tons. The Buddha stands on top of a mountain and is easily visible from the road. Admire its peaceful presence and gaze. Admission is free.
If you are looking for a party, Patong is your spot. Its beach is not the prettiest and it’s full of people, but there are plenty of bars, from the quietest for sipping a beer to the most exotic.
- The Wat Chalong Temple
This is the most famous Buddhist temple in Phuket, surrounded by gardens and visited not only by tourists, but by monks who come here to pray. Its architecture, ornamentation and color are outstanding. If you like temples, Phuket offers 29 of them.
- Hidden Shrines
Head to the center of Phuket to admire a number of Chinese temples. The must-see is the Taoist Temple of Serene Light, restored at the end of the 19th century. We recommend visiting it at the end of September or in October when the Vegetarian Festival is held, one of the most important festivals in the city.
Phuket offers spectacular curry dishes (thanks to the Indian influence) and Thai food specialties. You can choose from the most traditional cuisine to the most innovative fusion food. Some restaurants are located in beautiful mansions dating back to the start of the last century to further enhance your dining experience. Stellar local dishes include: seafood, noodles with squid, pork with pepper and garlic, green papaya salad, and curried lamb.
And surprisingly, Phuket has a emerging coffee culture so the bean lovers can enjoy their favorite brew amidst Phuket’s charm.
When visiting the city center don’t miss the local markets. Nowhere else offers the pulse of the city, with the flavors, colors, ambience and richness the markets offer.