Phuket is the largest island in Thailand at nearly 25 miles long, which means seeing the coast will take more than a quick visit. Phuket is also the most popular place for tourists in the country, with one of every three tourists stopping there. In addition to spectacular beaches, deep sea diving, and exclusive shops, you’ll also find sophisticated restaurants and lavish temples.
Here’s our list of top attractions:
The beauty of Phuket’s beaches with their brilliant white sands and turquoise waters will leave you breathless. Some are more visited than others and some are quieter and a bit more tranquil. We recommend visiting Kata Noi, Kata Yai, Karon and Surin beaches. All are perfect for relaxing, water sports and enjoying the local restaurants and bars.
To get to know a bit of history, head to the southeast of the island, away from the hotels on the beaches. In the center of the city you’ll find streets and buildings of colonial style, with Portuguese and Chinese influences.
The Giant Buddha
This is one of Phuket’s most stellar Buddhas, standing 147 feet high and 85 feet wide. It weights 135 tons and sits at the top of a mountain and is easily visible from the road. There’s no admission or cost to admire it.
Party lovers won’t want to miss out on Patong. Its beach is not very pretty and is also full of people, but there are plenty of bars, from the quietest for sipping a beer to the most exotic.
The Wat Chalong Temple
This is the most famous Buddhist temple in Phuket, surrounded by gardens and visited not only by tourists, but by monks who come here to pray. Its architecture, ornamentation and color are outstanding. If you like temples, in Phuket you can find 29 of them.
In the center of Phuket there are a number of Chinese temples worth a visit. The must-see is the Taoist Temple of Serene Light, restored at the end of the 19th century. We recommend visiting it at the end of September or in October when the Vegetarian Festival is organized, one of the most important festivals in the city.
Phuket offers spectacular dishes prepared with curry (of course, after India) and Thai food specialties. Also, you’ll find traditional gastronomy to the most innovative fusion food. Some restaurants are located in beautiful mansions from the start of the last century whose ambience and luxury enhance the gastronomic experience. Dishes not to be missed include: seafood, noodles with squid, pork with pepper and garlic, and green papaya salad not to mention the curried lamb.
Surprisingly, Phuket has an emerging coffee culture so lovers of the roasted bean will find plenty of options for satisfying their java cravings.
When visiting the city center, do not forget to visit the local markets. They are an essential experience of the city’s pulse, flavors and day-to-day culture.
Make your visit to Phuket with your Royal Holiday membership! Stay at the Karma Royal Phuket hotel and enjoy an exclusive villa just minutes from the island’s enchanting beaches.