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Phuket holidays

Pearl of the Andaman Sea

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Explore a treasure trove of tropical treats

Sun yourself on sugar-white sands lapped by turquoise waters. Snorkel on reefs visited by gentle, giant turtles and colour-changing octopuses or explore hidden bays by kayak. Trek through lush rainforests thought to be older than the Amazon or walk around an Old Town full of colonial architecture and museums. Hike up a hill to a giant Buddha statue and watch the sun go down or take a sunset sail and see tiny islands turn to silhouettes. Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island, offers only the most alluring options for passing the perfect day.

When the sun goes down, Phuket’s nightlife begins to call, and the island takes on its alter ego. Delight in eating your way round buzzing night markets or set yourself up with a cocktail at anything from a lively beach club, where you can break your best shapes to DJ sets, to a sleepy shack with nothing but the lapping waves for company.

Book your flights to Phuket today and start exploring.

Carefully selected Phuket hotels

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Best hotels in Phuket for all types of traveller


For flawless five-star stays, we recommend the spotless, award-winning Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket. Check out its pools, bars, lounges, and childcare. Bordered by the Andaman Sea, the Banyan Tree Phuket is a tropical paradise offering award-winning fine dining.

Take in panoramic ocean views from the ultra-luxurious Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach hotel. The Slate Phuket has a contemporary edge for its five-star appeal, with a nod to the island’s former tin industry in its decor.

Among the hillsides, Amari Phuket is on a secluded section of Patong Beach and offers a PADI dive centre and kids’ club. 



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Phuket holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Phuket holiday

From cooking classes to clubbing, paddleboarding to hiking – there’s plenty to do in Phuket. Whether you see live cabaret, dance until the sun rises, or discover its rich history and fabulously offbeat festivals, Phuket has adventure in store for you.

What are the best things to do in Phuket?

  1. The jury is out on whether it stretches for four or five miles long but either way, Bang Tao Beach is as long as it is picturesque. With soft white sands and crystal-clear waters, it constantly ranks highly for its chilled-out bars and restaurants.
  2. You can’t miss the Big Buddha. This 45-metre marble statue can be spotted from much of southern Phuket. If you have the puff, you can do the climb to it from Karon Beach, but it’s easier to get whipped up here by tuk-tuk. Don’t forget to enjoy the views of the Andaman Sea, Phuket Town, Kata, Karon, Chalong Bay and more.
  3. When you consider that the soft, white sands and turquoise waters of this beach can only be reached by hiking, swimming or longtail (boat) taxi – then you can understand what gives Freedom Beach its charm. Its secluded nature means you’ll dodge crowds, though bear in mind there’s no lifeguard.
  4. Head for clubs like glitzy Catch for dining and dancing. Carpe Diem and Xana in Bang Tao are also well-rated. Phuket also has its very own Cafe del Mar on Kamala Beach. The clubs at Patong beach tend to have a less savoury reputation. Phuket’s Old Town is worth exploring for its bright-coloured shophouses that sit alongside grand Portuguese mansions and Taoist temples. For an insight into history, check out Thai Hua Museum and explore the island’s history, including a tribute to the island’s Chinese influences.
  5. The Simon Cabaret Show in Phuket is one of Thailand’s most spectacular cabaret performances that gives Las Vegas a run for its money. It’s where some of the country’s ladyboys put on their glad rags and sing their hearts out while wearing some of the most ornate costumes you’ll ever see.
  6. Phuket, like Thailand, has lots of elephants and it’s a sad fact many are abused. If you want to see these majestic pachyderms in the flesh, head for ethical sanctuaries that offer a ‘hands off’ responsible approach where you can view them in a natural habitat from a distance. Less ethical animal sanctuaries feature elephants that are bathed on command, made to do tricks, are chained, or fed or ridden by visitors. 
  7. For eight days in October Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival blazes through. It’s a huge draw for visitors and locals alike and you can expect technicoloured shows of extreme body piercings, celebrations invoking gods and firewalking. Each year it gets more daring than the last. It usually takes place on the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

What are the best places to visit in Phuket


With its warm gleaming waters, dreamy Bang Thao beach is perfect for serenity. Step onto its white sands and do little else. If you’re after upmarket bars without the hedonism, then head to long stretches of the beaches around Bang Thao for decent Thai restaurants and the odd bamboo shack.

About halfway down the island, off the west coast, you’ll find sleepy Kamala. The perfect sunset escape, this beachside village is surrounded by tree-thick hills and calm waters. It offers cute beach bars and the chilled club, Cafe del Mar.

At the south west of the island, past busy Patong, you’ll find the laid-back beaches of Karon and Kata. Kata is the most family friendly and kids will love the wave pool at Surf House Phuket at Kata Beach. Also making a splash is the Andamanda Water Park, towards the south east of the island.

South of Kata, you can climb on the rocks above Kata Noi and sip a sundowner at one of the bars. If you fancy a stay in the hills, Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong - MGallery offers an outstanding view of two bays and is surrounded by lush jungle. 

For a slice of history in Phuket Old Town, visit the charming Soi Romanee. This small vibrant street sits among beautifully revived Sino-Portuguese architecture. It used to be crammed with brothels and opium dens but these days you’re unlikely to see anything riskier than a glowing Chinese lantern in a boutique cafe. Phuket Thai Hua Museum gives photos and videos dating from the Chinese migration, while Chinpracha House gives you a glimpse into what the island’s former tin-mining industry has funded. While you’re in town, you’ll find Naka weekend market or Talad Tairod night markets where you can even try deep-fried insects – incidentally they often taste like shrimp. For something stronger, take a tour around eco-minded Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. If you fancy an escape altogether, just a short journey by boat from around the town can get you to Barcelo Coconut Island

Heading to the island’s most southernly point you’ll get to Laem Phromthep – at this cape you’ll find a surreal crab-shaped lighthouse and the perfect spot for a sunset.


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Thailand is the place you have to visit to understand how fascinating it really is.

Amy Rosoman,  pour British Airways Holidays