The one must-visit destination that should be on every girl’s travel list is Phuket, an exotic island in the south of Thailand that will leave you breathless and definitely wanting more of the same.
While it’s still an incredibly affordable vacation spot, Phuket can also be regarded as a luxury destination. Travelers have the choice between simple backpacker accommodations all the way through to luxury Phuket villa rentals. You can find humble hawker-style street stalls right next to exotic five star restaurants. You really get the feeling of being spoiled for choice, like no place else on Earth.
An Island of Thrilling Contrasts
Throbbing with energy and vitality, Patong is the powerhouse of Phuket. It’s party-central every night of the week, and by day you can choose between simply relaxing on the beach or action-packed adventures out on the ocean. By comparison, the Thalong district in the island’s north feels like a slow and gentle caress, the ultimate antidote to the frantic rhythm of Patong.
Meanwhile, in the south eastern corner of the island, you’ll find a more relaxed and traditional way of Phuket living. The beaches are quieter and less crowded here, but no less idyllic. The calmer atmosphere means it’s possible to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat, and the area is world-famous for possessing excellent diving and snorkeling sites. A visit to Old Phuket Town is essential if you want to feel the connection to Phuket’s rich and fascinating history.
Phuket as a beach vacation
If you love to hang with the crowd and feel like you’re right in the thick of the action, you need head no further than Patong Beach, where four out of five visitors to Phuket decide to establish themselves, often for the entire duration of their stay.
Just a short journey north of Patong will bring you to the quieter resort areas of Kamala and more upmarket Surin, where it’s less crowded. To really get away from it all, you can go all the way north to the distant beach at Mai Khao, which is where you’ll find super-luxury resorts and what are arguably the best scenic views in Thailand.
For surfing, head south to Kata Beach. It’s best to go during the off-season, when the surf will be more vigorous and plentiful. Otherwise Kata is lovely at any time of year, and there are beautiful views both above and below the water.
Finally the south-eastern beaches at Rawai and Chalong Bay provide fantastic diving, snorkeling, and the opportunity to see marine wildlife including dolphins, whales, turtles, and more.
Phuket for foodies
If you love food, Phuket is definitely a great place to be. There is such a huge variety to choose from. Food from every region of Thailand is represented here, and there are countless foreign-owned restaurants serving international cuisine as well.
Of course, as always, the best way to decide where to eat is to see what is popular with local people, if Thai food is what you’re craving. If you’re looking for other cuisines, always read the reviews first, and you’re sure to be rewarded for the effort you put in.
Phuket for nature-lovers
The district of Thalang occupies the northern end of Phuket island, and is where you’ll find some of the best natural attractions on offer. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is an unspoiled rain forest, something that’s rare to find on tourist-oriented islands these days.
Within the park are numerous hiking trails and waterfalls, but of course the star attraction is unquestionably the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, where volunteers help prepare rescued gibbons to be released back into the forest. From there, the Bang Pae waterfalls are just a short walk, and worth visiting for the lovely views and chance of a refreshing swim.
Phuket for Thrill-Seekers
There are plenty of ways to get your adrenaline pumping in Phuket. These range from standard vacation activities like jet-skiing, through to more extreme options like bungee jumping. For a uniquely special experience, you might want to give the Flying Hanuman zip line a try.
With this activity, you’ll be zipping along from point to point 40m (about 130ft) above the forest floor. It’s a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of local wildlife – if you can keep your eyes open, that is.
Phuket For Everyone
The simple fact is, Phuket really does have something for everyone. Whatever your interests may be, you’ll find more than enough ways to indulge yourself in Phuket.
Phuket is most likely to appeal to the first class traveler, yet on a global scale it can’t be considered to be too expensive. So even those traveling on a budget will not find it too much of a strain to make ends meet.
The size of the island means there are plenty of different environments you can explore, and you’re sure to find the one that feels like your own personal version of paradise.