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 the ‘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 podgy beach-aholics 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. And you don’t have to be an heiress to tap into Phuket’s trendy to-do list. There’s deep-sea diving, high-end dining, and white beaches that beckon you and your book – whatever your heart desires.
Best places to stay in Phuket Province
The original island getaway, Phuket may be older, pricier and not quite as exotic these days, but it’s still got it. The white beaches, psychedelic sunsets and aquamarine sea, they’re all still here, and Phuket continues to party with the best of...
Is it safe to travel to Thailand right now?
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.' Coups are nothing new in Thailand – this is the 12th since 1932 – but the current situation has understandably left travellers with a few questions...
Need to know
Thailand - Phuket & the Andaman Coast (Chapter)
The Andaman is Thailand’s turquoise coast, that place on a ‘Travel to Paradise’ postcard that makes you want to leave your job and live in flip-flops…forever.
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.
Songkran: tips for enjoying Thailand's water festival
Songkran, Thailand. Image by Wyndham / CC BY 2.0 This is an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals...
Thailand - Understand Thailand & Survival Guide (Chapter)
All the info you need on everything from history, food and drink to flights, public transport, climate, money, the internet... you name it.
Phuket Half-Day Safari Tour
It's fun for the whole family on this half day combination tour on Phuket island. Admire the unspoiled scenery from the back of an elephant and canoe the calm surrounding waters. Ride a local farmer's cart and inhale fragrant aromas at a Thai cooking demonstration. There is an optional cruise on a junk and a lesson on how to pick coconuts from the trees.
Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr)
Clear blue waters, white sands, swaying palm trees and a bungalow on the beach… Thailand has the ideal ingredients for a holiday in paradise. Come and explore Thailand's beautiful southern islands, relax in the sun and try some of the special Thai food this region is famous for.
Phuket's Vegetarian Festival: a festival of contradictions
It may seem hard to maintain a ritual of cleansing in Phuket, Thailand’s centre of sin and decadence, but once a year it’s easy to join in with the Thais on this nine-day purge, which starts this year on 8 October...