Introducing Phuket Province
The island of Phuket has long been misunderstood. Firstly, the ‘h’ is silent. Ahem. And secondly, Phuket doesn’t feel like an island at all. It’s so huge (the biggest in Thailand) that you rarely get the sense that you’re surrounded by water, which is probably the reason why Ko (meaning ‘island’) was dropped from its name. Dubbed the ‘pearl of the Andaman’ by marketing execs, this is Thailand’s original flavour of tailor-made fun in the sun.
The island’s sin city of Patong is the biggest town and busiest beach. It’s the ultimate gong show where beachaholics sizzle off their hangovers and go-go girls play ping pong…without paddles. But ultimately the island’s affinity for luxury far outshines its other stereotypes. Jet-setters come through in droves, getting pummelled during swanky spa sessions and swigging sundowners at one of the many fashion-forward nightspots or on their rented yacht. And you don’t have to be an heiress to tap into Phuket’s trendy to-do list. With deep-sea diving, high-end dining, and white beaches all within reach, it really is hard to say farewell.
Beyond the plastic tables: top spots in Phuket for a smart meal
Thailand’s love affair with food is just as strong in the south, where local cuisine is dominated by seafood and spice, mixed with flavours from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and beyond...
Need to know
Long before tourist T-shirts or flip-flops, Phuket was an island of rubber trees, tin mines and cash-hungry merchants. Attracting entrepreneurs from as far away as the Arabian Peninsula, China, India and Portugal, Phuket Town was a colourful blend of cultural influences, cobbled together by tentative compromise and cooperation.
What does Thailand's political situation mean for travellers?
On 22 May 2014, Thailand’s military seized control of the government in a self-professed effort to 'reform the political structure, the economy and the society...
How to interact ethically with elephants in Thailand
For many people, riding on the back of an elephant in Thailand is the ultimate bucket list experience...