The tropical island paradise of Phuket is Thailand’s third largest island.
From the stunning tropical soft sandy beaches of Kata and Karon to the triple canopy rainforest covering the National Park area at Khao Phra Thaeo, exploring the surrounding islands by speedboat or enjoying the shopping and vibrant nightlife at Patong Beach, it’s all here.
The majority of the islands resorts line the miles of white sand along the west coast, in the centre of these is Patong Beach the main tourist destination. Patong sits in a bay on a 3 km long soft sandy beach with dozens of bars and restaurants along the beach road serving menu choices from all over the world and nightlife activities to rival that of any destination in Thailand. The usual water-sports and sun-lounger vendors line the beach during the daytime and it can become quite crowded but if people watching and highly charged holidays are your ‘thing’ then Patong is the place for you.
To the south of Patong are Kata and Karon Beaches, these are less crowded than Patong Beach and the towns are smaller and quieter. Fine restaurants and several bars are still on offer and Patong’s nightlife is only a twenty minute taxi ride away.
Bangtao Laguna to the north of Patong is a five star luxury beach-front complex where you will find several of Phuket’s finest hotels. The development is devoid of any high-rise buildings and the whole complex is carefully landscaped adding to the feel of this luxury community. Here too is one of Thailand’s best golf courses, formerly known as the Banyan Tree Golf Club and part of the Banyan Tree Hotel complex – Laguna Phuket Golf Club has recently undergone redesign, renovation and reconstruction of the greens, with dramatic results.
Mai Khao is the most northerly beach on the west coast. For those looking to escape the crowds then this may be the ideal location, largely undeveloped except for a handful of resorts such as the beautiful J.W. Marriott, Anantara and Sala Resorts this 7 km stretch of beach offers a perfect romantic getaway or a relaxing retreat for travellers just wishing to soak up the peace and serenity by themselves.
Phuket enjoys a tropical-monsoon climate with warm weather all year round. Rainy season is from late April to October with the heaviest rains generally falling in September and October. The best time to visit is usually from November to March when temperatures are most comfortable at around 24°C – 32°C with relatively low humidity.