Located in the sparkling waters of the Andaman sea, Phuket, the largest island of Thailand at 45km long, is a paradise of white sandy beaches and coconut trees. Its days as exclusively a backpacker's favourite are long gone and the south east island, connected to the mainland since 1967, is one of the most popular destinations of the Siamese kingdom for upmarket winter sun and spring holiday.
Phuket is the perfect destination for an exotic and relaxing 10 days to two weeks break for single travellers, couples and honeymooners. Phuket's top resorts include the luxurious Surin, Bang Tao beach which is close to great golf courses, and Phang Nga bay for its clear waters and pristine beaches.
Phuket is a short flight away from Bangkok and is served by Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Air Asia. From the UK, Thai Airways, Eva Air, BA and Qantas fly to Bangkok.
Any point in Phuket can be reached in less than an hour. The roads are generally in good condition and buses, rented motorbikes, tuk tuks (local taxis) are all suitable means of transportation.
Take an hydroplane to fly over the Phang Nga Bay and islands of the Andaman sea; spend some time snorkelling; visit the royal reserve of Khao Phra Thaew in the north and the Orchid Garden in the south; learn how to dive in Koh Racha; and explore the nearby islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
Phuket offers everything from local handicrafts to Western designers' fashion. For a varied experience, travellers can visit open-air village food markets, night markets and large shopping malls including Phuket Central Festival, Index Living Mall and Jungceylon Shopping Complex.
Thai cuisine is famous throughout the world for its delicate flavours and subtle spices. Most resorts feature a wide range of dining options; independent gourmet restaurants include Silk Restaurant & Bar on the top floor of the Plaza Surin, Lim’s above Kalim Bay and Ka Jok See located in a Sino-Portuguese house in Phuket Town. If travellers wish to venture outside of their resort’s bars, they will find themselves spoilt for choice on Patong Beach, famed for its vibrant nightlife. Particularly recommended is Nine Lounge & Bar in Kalim Bay, hailed as one of the coolest lounge bar in Phuket.
Excursions by seaplane shuttle enables to discover the Andaman Sea and island resorts including Phi Phi, Krabi, Trang, Khao Lak and Koh Lanta. To explore Phuket's past, Phuket Town and its remarkably preserved Sino-Portuguese mansions dating back to the 19th century are a must-see. Gorgeous species of fish and sharks can be seen at the Aquarium at Panwa Cape.
Single travellers looking for a spa, beach and watersport break with some great nightlife and couples wanting the same with romance on top will enjoy a long holiday in Phuket.
Phuket has a tropical climate with monsoons and average temperatures of 30-36° C.
Temperatures are mild and rainfalls rare from November to March with an average of 28° C which make it ideal to escape the cold European winters and the chilly springs. April to June are very hot months.
To combine complete luxury and first-class spa pampering, the Royal Phawadee Village; the secluded all-villa resorts of Vijitt and Anantara; Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket on Koh Naka Yai for a complete wellness experience and sister property Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi; Aman resort Amanpuri; Banyan Tree Phuket and The Sarojin, set on a seven-mile long beach on the Andaman Sea, are all ideal for a long stay or as part of a twin-centre holiday.