Crystal clear waters, stunning secluded beaches, and breathtaking backdrops – here are nine places you must visit in Phuket, the ideal holiday destination.
Phuket Island and the surrounding region is the perfect place for a summer vacation, with something for everyone from colourful night life to the ultimate in relaxation.
As the largest Island in Thailand, Phuket is simply impossible to see and do all at once, but here are our top picks, including the best beaches, day trip activities, night life, night markets, cultural and religious enlightenment and some of the most delicious Thai food.
A picture says a thousand words – on top of the list is 9 Hornbills resort.
1. The most relaxing resort for adults only – 9 HORNBILLS
The backdrop of dreams at 9 Hornbills resort, it provides the ultimate relaxation destination.
9Hornbills is a hidden gem in Thailand it is an eco-friendly luxury safari glamping style tent with a private pool, it is up in the mountains of Koh Yao Noi Island an island halfway between Phuket and Krabi. 9 Hornbills tented villas give you a camping experience while remain in the lap of luxury it is the empotomy of a dream holiday.
9 Hornbills is an adult’s only resort dedicated to providing the upmost butler service.
The sister hotel Koyao Resort has a beautiful restaurant, I would recommend eating there as the island doesn’t have that many good restaurants to offer.
The resort also offers a variety of day trips, I would highly recommend doing James bond Island from this hotel rather than from Phuket as you spend less time travelling to the Island, and more time seeing the beautiful sites of the landscape.
There are seven safari-style tents, each with a private infinity pool, huge garden area, air condition king size bed, living space area, ensuite bathroom with a free standing bathtub and open air shower.
9 Hornbills is a part of the Koyao Island resort, but the tents sit up in the mountains allowing guests to enjoy the most epic panoramic ocean views of Phang Nga bay, it is serenity at its finest.
The common grounds area in Koyao Resort is tranquil and peaceful for any morning walks
Take a dip in the private pool experiencing luxury at its finest
2. A hidden heavenly tropical oasis at the Twinpalms Hotel Resort
Twinpalms Hotel is a hidden tropical oasis located in the North of Phuket, located in the charming area of Surin.
A stylish contemporary resort that boasts a large lagoon pool and idyllic tropical feel, Twinpalms has a great range of accommodation from suites to penthouses. It is a five minute drive from Bang Tao beach – an 8km stretch of white sand, clear waters and charming restaurants.
Twinpalms Phuket Resort offers the comfort of a luxury resort, combined with the relaxing tranquility of a secluded getaway.
It is a 20 minute drive to the busy crazy touristic street that is Patong. This is one of the perks it is far but still close proximity to the busy touristic area of Patong. Surin area is a nice classy sophisticated area to enjoy Phuket.
There are 97 luxurious and spacious residences, suites and rooms, each surrounded by palms, and featuring a private terrace facing the pool with garden view.
3. Keemala Resort infinity pools – luxury at its finest
Nestled in lush rainforest overlooking the village of Kamala on the west coast of the island, Keemala is a five minute drive (via complimentary shuttle service) to Kamala beach, and a ten-minute drive away from lively Patong.
Keemala exceeds every expectation for a 5 star hotel and it is by far one of the most beautiful resorts on Phuket Island.
Keemala is a beautiful hidden oasis where the grounds are designed to be an extension of the surrounding landscape, making use of natural features such as mature trees, streams and waterfalls and integrating these into the Keemala’s overall design and creating a wonderland for guests to enjoy.
Other services included upon request include excursions, in-villa dining, scuba diving, cooking classes, private chefs, yacht charters, personal trainers, destination dining, drivers, guides, massage therapists and event planners.
The best villa at the resort is the 8 BIRD’S NEST POOL VILLAS , master bedroom with one king size bed 30m2 private pool, 185m2 total area, spacious bathrooms including a tub and monsoon shower and sea views.
Inside the Bird Nest Villa is an architectural dream. Pisit Aongskultong from Pisud Design Company has designed the interiors and is managing the creative vision of the resort.
The resort provides an A class butler service and offers a variety of amenities and activities including meditation, holistic retreats and yoga.
4. Catch Beach Club
Catch Beach Club is an exquisite bar restaurant and lounge is a 7 minute drive from Twinpalms Hotel. It is the perfect place to dine for lunch or dinner and puts a whole new meaning to dining at the beach.
Catch Beach Club is the perfect place to unwind and have a long boozy lunch.
The quality in food, drinks and service is up there with the best and the views are very serene making for a very satisfying dining experience.
Catch Beach Club offers a-la-carte dining with succulent fresh Mediterranean dishes, delectable pizza, magnificent pasta & Asian favourites.
For those who have a wild side Catch Beach Club also turns into a club on some nights where it hosts international DJs.
5. The Big Buddha – a cultural awakening
The Big Buddha reaches a staggering 45 metres in height, 25 metre bass and weighs over 250 metric tons of glory.
Phuket’s Big Buddha is one of the most important and revered landmarks on the island. The whole body is layered with beautiful white Burmese marble that shines in the sun, making it a natural symbol of hope.
The Big Buddha sits grandly on Nakkered Hill near Chalong and has the most epic viewpoints of Phuket skyline with a dazzling sunset in the background.
Construction of the Big Buddha began in 2007 and is funded entirely by donations, in total around 100million baht.
The Big Buddha also known as Phuket Big Buddha, or The Great Buddha of Phuket, is a seated Maravija Buddha statue in Phuket, Thailand. The official name is Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri, shortened to Ming Mongkol Buddha.
Official address: ยอดเขานาคเกิด Tambon Karon, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83100, Thailand
6. Party in Patong
Patong is where the party is at, with hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs.
The place to party and play on Phuket Island is in Patong.
Every evening, roads close to traffic and switches into an incredibly busy walking street. On each side, a vast amount of entertainment battles to grab your attention and senses.
Although thousands flock to this area this is not my ideal destination area, but you must experience the strip first hand and if you are daring maybe a sex show.
The highlight for me in Patong was definitely the street food markets. They have an atmospheric vibe and buzz and the food is made fresh, with a selection that will have you there for hours deciding.
7. Culture in Phuket Old Town
It’s always good to balance a relaxing beach holiday with a little culture, and Phuket Old Town is the perfect place for it.
Old Town Phuket is influenced by Portuguese architecture making it for a different cultural experience on the island
It is also known as the Sino Portuguese Phuket Town, as many buildings are influenced by Portuguese architecture, and some have been converted into shops, café and restaurants.
The best day to visit Phuket Old Town is on Sunday as the main street Thalang road turns into a market fair where you can buy street food, clothes, accessories, bags, hats and all for a cheap price.
8. Phuket’s first Elephant Sanctuary
Help end elephant cruelty by visiting Phuket’s first ethical Elephant Jungle Sanctuary which aims to educate tourists.
Help end elephant cruelty by visiting Phuket’s first ethical Elephant Jungle Sanctuary which aims to educate tourists
It does not feel like an educational tour but it’s an opportunity to interact up close and personal with the magnificent animals in the safety and security of their natural home.
The sactuary takes care of seven rescued elephants that were slaves for many years in the tourist trade. They are now cared for 24/7 by their minders.
On this tour you can see them be bathed, fed and also even watch them play and interact with each other.
You can visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary at two different times during the day. The morning visit takes place from 6:30am to 12:30pm, and the afternoon visit takes place from 12:30 to 17:30 pm.
The package deal includes two traditional Thai buffet meals, pick up and drop off to your accommodation in Phuket, drinking water and even food for feeding the elephants.
9. No beaches like Maya Bay tour
This is the island made famous in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. It was recently closed to tourists to allow damaged coral in the bay a chance to recover.
Maya Beach, on the island of Koh Phi Phi Le in Thailand, is breathe taking tour of some of the most beautiful beaches and landscapes of Thailand.
Maya Bay is sheltered by 100–metre high cliffs on three sides and it is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the bay has been closed since June 2018 due to tourists destroying the natural environment.
The ecosystem and the beach physical structure needs to return to its full condition and until then the beach will remain officially closed.
However you can still do a day boat trip that stops and parks near the bay but the boats are not allowed to go in. But the tour does take you to neighbouring bays where you can snorkel and see amazing marine life.
The highlight of the tour was definitely going to Monkey Beach to interact up close and personal with the monkeys, but be sure to be careful when taking selfies because I saw a monkey jump on a woman because she got too close!
I would recommended taking some bananas so you can feed them, they absolutely loved that.
Highlight of the trip – a selfie with a monkey on Monkey Island