Phuket is synonymous with “tropical vacation”, a coveted destination facing the Andaman Sea. Thailand’s “Pearl of the South” experiences no shortage of tourism thanks to the electrifying combination of chaotic cosmopolitan entertainments and plush seaside retreats. Add in the element of steady winds and tropical climate and you have yourself a natural holiday base.
Over 30 islands lay in close proximity, prompting leisure cruises and day-trips to secluded beaches. The potential of these islets ushered in filmmakers and Hollywood fame, classic movies such as The Beach (featuring Leonardo di Caprio) and Roger Moore’s James Bond iteration borrowing the Phi Phi Islands and Raya Ring Island as backdrop. It is along the west coast of Phuket however, that scuba diving companies plant themselves. The undeniable appeal of dive sites just offshore Patong Beach, Karon and Kata Beach lay in blooming corals and calm underwater terrain.
Beyond the natural attractions are architectural highlights and never-stop-eating attitude. Phuket city engages visitors with its Burmese-alabaster Big Buddha, riveting street markets and vibrant culture. Nighttime entertainment evolved past cheap bars and strobe lights to present a more fabulous 60-acre cultural theme park – Phuket FantaSea. The whirling performances wholly capture Thailand’s passionate nature and explosive character, a masterpiece that tells the story of its inhabitants and the animals that live alongside them.
Food is another Phuket Special, herb and spices garnishing noodles, seafood, curries and other local delicacies. Delicious and budget friendly, you can literally eat until you drop – or burn it off with another trip to the beach. Friendly locals will hook you in with loud banter, truly allowing an immersion into Phuket’s colorful culture.