Thailand’s largest island, which has earned the nickname of the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’, is paradisiacal Phuket, and it has everything holiday makers are looking for and more. Lying just 7 degrees above the equator, it doesn’t get much more tropical than Phuket. Warm blue water laps gently on the endless sun-drenched beaches lined with palm trees up and down the coast of the 48km long island. The beaches are the island’s biggest draw-card, and with almost 40 to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits you. Kata Beach is popular amongst visitors, and offers you surf board rentals, massages, beach bars, amazing shopping and sand as soft as powder. If you’re looking for a bit more privacy, there’s Ao Sane; a hidden beach which is only accessible through a small tunnel beneath the local yacht club. The small sandy coves are dotted with bamboo beach bungalows and small cosy beach bars. Most beaches in Phuket spoil their visitors with pristine diving and snorkelling sites, so if shopping and tanning isn’t up your alley, have no fear.
Phuket is also famous for its lively nightlife. Bars, clubs, restaurants, shows and beach parties come alive when the sun goes down and often don’t stop until its back up again. If parting the night away isn’t your scene, you may prefer the nightlife of the island’s west coast, where stylish open air sunset bars serve drinks and snacks and offer you breath-taking views of your surroundings.
Phuket isn’t only a partying and beach-bumming destination though; it’s also a dreamy romantic getaway. Home to a collection of luxurious resorts, hotels and private villas, you can spoil yourselves with luxury and the ultimate in relaxation. Enjoy couples spa treatments, private lantern-lit dinners at the seaside and long walks on deserted stretches of beach. Take a long-tail boat trip to beautiful and remote islets or simply relax and rejuvenate at your private beach bungalow.
But what would a destination be without good food? While Thai food needs no introduction, you’ll find amazing dishes and flavour combinations here that you’ve never dreamed of. Best of all – you can find it just about anywhere. Phuket is littered with restaurants and street vendors, both serving up mouth-watering dishes and delicacies. The markets too, are lined with towers of spectacular exotic fruits that your trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling.
What adds to the innate feeling of tranquillity and bliss on this charming island are the people. One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive in Phuket is how everyone is naturally relaxed and smiling. Their friendliness and hospitality is delightfully contagious and you’ll feel welcome and at ease from the beginning.
Lastly, Phuket isn’t going to cost you a limb. Value for money on the island is incredible, and you can treat yourself to plush hotels, private boat trips, spa treatments and day trips galore without breaking your piggybank. So go ahead and spoil yourself.
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