long boat floating to islands
Boat Bay Island
Phuket

While it’s well known for beaches, longtail boat rides and nightlife, this island beauty still has plenty of nooks and crannies filled with fiery Thai feasts, luxurious resorts and unrivalled vistas that have remained refreshingly local. Plan the ultimate beach vacation with our Phuket travel guide.

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Places to stay

The sparkling white sands of Surin Beach and Bang Tao Beach are matched by glitzy high-end villas and new resorts - some of the area’s most magnetising are Amanpuri and Twinpalms.

Further north, you’ll find pockets of unfiltered paradise nestled under the lush green shade of Sirinat National Park. The less-developed but still stunning southern coastline is dotted with cliffside retreats and calm escapes - particularly perfect for a dose of tranquillity coupled with sweeping views.

If its jaw-dropping views you’re after, perch yourself in a private paradise along Cape Panwa - Sri Panwa is a must for those wanting a luxurious treat. Retreat further into Phuket’s mystical hinterland to find enchanting treehouses, tents and intriguing nest villas to stay in while you re-centre yourself with the areas holistic rituals.

With such a breadth of beachside abodes, there are endless options for you to steal away from the main tourist trappings or just embrace the fun-fuelled mayhem of these areas.

Things to do

Despite the glossy touristy depictions, the island is a dynamic and colourful blend of cultures and cuisines with secluded spots you can find sanctuary in. It’s never too early to get a taste for the real Phuket, and you’ll certainly find it at Boonrat Dim Sum where you can sample delicious steamed buns for breakfast.

Phuket Old Town offers streets lined with colourful Sino-Portuguese architecture nestled in with the island’s best coffee. To experience Thai culture, pay a visit to the impressive marble-covered Big Buddha, at the top of Mount Nagakerd and made even more impressive by the panoramic views surrounding it.

Be sure to visit Phuket’s many magnificent beaches to swim, snorkel or wind surf such as Rawai, Patong, Karon or Kamala. Admire the beautiful creatures at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary - the first ethical sanctuary for rehabilitated elephants on the island. After feeding these majestic animals, take yourself for a local seafood feast at floating restaurants Bang Mud Seafood or Kru Suwit’s. End your day atop of Baba Nest at Sri Panwa where delicious fruity cocktails are made all the more sweeter by the fairy floss sunsets that colour the sky.

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Insider Tips to Phuket

Beautiful beaches, dramatic landscapes, delicious food… the island of Phuket in Thailand has everything you need from a tropical escape. Here, Tim Laven from Cape Panwa Hotel lists the ultimate must-dos for anyone visiting this holiday hotspot.

Read more on Travel Insider

Where to go

Find street food in Phuket Thai street food curries and greens

Food and drink

Phuket’s local cuisine is a melting pot of Thai favourites, influence from the local Chinese community and fresh ingredients sourced straight from the sea. Try a traditional Thai breakfast, crab curry filled with noodles, spicy Southern food or head to Old Phuket Town for the popular Thai-Chinese rice noodles with gravy dish, Rad-Na.

Find street food in Phuket
Explore more beaches in Phuket White sand beach

Patong, Kata and Koron beaches

Patong beach has a lively vibe with a white-powdery beach and one of the most beautiful on the island. It offers a choice of fun water sports and restaurants plus lots of movement as hawkers and touts work the passing crowds.

Palm trees, gin-clear sea and balmy tropical breezes all conspire to create the welcome family friendly Kata Beach or try Karon that’s less crowded and free from hotels.

Explore more beaches in Phuket
Car hire information Tuk tuk in thailand

Getting around

From the airport: There are options to suit all budgets to get from the airport. Hotels may arrange a transfer, or there are buses, minivans and taxis, all clearly signposted in the arrivals hall.

In and around the city: There are shuttle buses around the island which are easy to get. If you’ve organised activities your tour guide will often arrange to collect you from your hotel or accommodation. After dark there’s no public transport so take a taxi or ride in a local tuk-tuk.

Car hire information

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Important information

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: ** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.

Disclaimer: ~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.