The largest and probably the most famous island of Thailand, Phuket has been a sought-after holiday destination for several decades, although it was originally a busy maritime trading centre. The island, which has 36 breathtaking sandy beaches, is revered for its vibrant cuisine and contains an international airport offering regular flights to many major world cities.
There are plenty of superb beaches near Phuket hotels, although if you're looking for somewhere relatively quiet and secluded, consider pristine Kamala Beach. If you're interested in somewhere more lively, you can visit Patong Beach, which is surrounded by numerous bars and restaurants, and is a fantastic place to party after the sun sets. Other great choices include the vast white sands of Bangtao Beach, the breathtaking Banana Rock Beach, and the Mai Khao Beach, the last of which is the longest stretch of sand in Phuket.
Old Phuket Town
An exceptionally well-maintained historic district, Old Phuket Town was created with the wealth that traders acquired during the peak of the island's tin industry in the early 20th century. Here, you can visit some of Phuket's most prized attractions such as the enchanting Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion, the House of the Beautiful Images and the Phuket Provincial Hall.
Phang Nga Bay
No holiday in Phuket would be complete without witnessing the world-famous Phang Nga Bay, which is noted for its striking caves and cliffs. Here, the most recognisable landmark, or technically 'sea-mark', is Ko Tapu, a 20-metre rock that was featured in the James Bond film 'The Man with the Golden Gun' in 1974.
Nightlife hotspot: Bangla Road
After sunset, the street known as Bangla Road transforms into one of the most vibrant entertainment districts in Asia. Enjoy loud outdoor parties, live performances and excellent street food in a friendly, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and feel free to dance well into the early hours.
Places to stay in Phuket
If you're looking for a truly luxurious resort with deluxe amenities, consider booking a stay at the highly rated Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket hotel, or choose high-end Avista Hideaway Resort & Spa or the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket. For elegant, value for money accommodation, stay at the beautiful Angsana Laguna Phuket resort, or relax and unwind at the romantic Mandarava Resort and Spa.
Where to eat – suggestions
There are many hundreds of excellent restaurants to choose from, but if you're a lover of Italian and American-themed cuisine, head to Godfather Phuket, or perhaps you might want to dine at the Baan Noy Restaurant for some wonderful Thai, European and seafood dishes. For some fabulous steaks, go to the Siam Supper Club or EAT. Bar & Grill, or try the Restaurant Royale Nam Tok for some superb French cuisine.
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