Sand, sea and fun for every persuasion
Phuket is Thailand’s premier leisure playground. Distinguished by lush, jungle-clad mountains, gorgeous beaches and turquoise waters, the island’s geographical wonders are backdrops to a highly evolved pleasure zone.
Most holidaymakers head to the west coast for the photogenic and well developed beaches of Patong, Surin, Kamala, Kata and Karong. Venture farther south to Cape Panwa and you’ll discover a more laid-back destination with local life, or head north to the Laguna Phuket complex, where the cluster of hotels, restaurants and leisure attractions make it ideal for families.
Old Phuket Town, with its beautiful heritage architecture, Thai-Chinese-Indian-Malay population and flourishing dining scene, is a pleasant cultural diversion from the sand and snorkelling. No trip to Phuket is complete without an excursion to the spectacular Phang Nga Bay - its dramatic limestone outcrops and aquamarine waters are more than Instagram-worthy.
Book a flight to Phuket
When to go
Thailand’s weather is often described as hot (November-February), hotter (March-April) and wet (May-October), and there are slight regional variations. Phuket is a year-round destination, although March-April is extremely hot with temperatures shooting up to 40°C, and the months of September and October are often subject to heavy rainfall. The cool season between November and February, with its blue skies and breeze is the most enjoyable – and most popular time to visit.
There are 18 public holidays a year in Thailand, during which most businesses close, but shops and restaurants in tourist areas stay open. Songkran – the Thai New Year and the biggest holiday – falls mid-April. Phuket is famed for its lavish celebrations of the Chinese Vegetarian Festival, which falls late September or early October.
Flying with Jetstar
Jetstar flies direct to Phuket from Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney, with connecting flights to many cities in South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Find cheap flights to Phuket
Flagging down taxis in Phuket is easy; fares start at THB50. Three-wheeled tuk tuks are everywhere in Patong and Phuket Town – negotiate the fare before you get on. Songthaews (converted pickup trucks that seat several passengers) run between the main resort areas and Phuket Town, and are a cheaper though slower option.
All the main car hire firms have stands at the airport and Phuket is relatively easy to navigate; many of the main roads have been upgraded in recent years. Motorbikes may be tempting, but there are 10,000 motorbike accidents in Phuket each year – check you’re covered by insurance before you hop on one.
Travel time 40-60 minutes
Taxi Approximately THB400-600
Airport bus runs every 90 minutes to Phuket Town. Fares range from THB30 to THB100.