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Dip your toes into the warm shallows of the Andaman Sea

Soak up that oh-so-lovely southwest sunshine as this is where fiction becomes reality on Thailand’s largest island, Phuket. On your Phuket holiday, discover why this island is one of Thailand's most popular holiday destinations. With beaches stretching as far as the eye can see and a vibrant diverse culture (not to mention the buzzing nightlife), it's easy to fall in love with this exciting destination on a trip to Phuket.

Essential information for Phuket

Local Time

Language

Flag of Thailand
Thai

Currency

Thai Baht
Official currency of Thailand

Flight Information

14h 10m
Phuket (HKT)
Indirect

Flight schedule

  • Direct flights to Bangkok depart daily with EVA Air or Thai Airways. Onward flights to regional airport are operated by Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways.

Do I need a VISA?

British citizens do not require a visa for stays less than 30 days.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Something different

During mid-Autumn candles, cakes and incense feature more frequently than usual to celebrate the Moon Festival whilst November promises Krathong where waterways become covered in decoratively adorned floats in respect of the water spirits.

Phuket holiday highlights – you’re never too old for a gap-year adventure in Thailand

Think holidays to Thailand and one destination immediately springs to mind – Phuket. Holidays to Phuket have been popular with backpackers and gap-year travellers for decades, but this most exotic of student destinations is now getting a bit of a reputation for delivering some seriously swanky all-inclusive and luxury getaways as well.

It’s a mad, mad mix of traditional Thai lifestyle and tourist-focused treats, smart hotels, clubs, pubs, restaurants and, if there’s anything left in your wallet, some top-drawer shopping experiences too. From trips into the jungle to navigating your way around the markets, lazing on sun-kissed beaches and partying until the sun rises, holidays to Phuket have to be on your bucket list at least once.

Yes, Phuket is a relatively small island, but it never feels crowded, and the beaches have more than enough space for everyone. And let’s be honest, the beaches are the main attraction on any Phuket holiday. Head to the west coast and you’ve got wide, sweeping sand and crystal-clear water, perfect for diving. If you’ve never flapped your flippers before then there are plenty of PADI-approved diving schools and instructors to help you find Nemo and Dory on an underwater adventure. Most of the hotels offering package holidays to Phuket have access to their own private beach, where you can try out water sports or just laze the day away on a sun lounger.

Freediving is hugely popular and Thailand has become the heart of the sport, with plenty of training on offer for anyone who wants to explore the underwater world unencumbered by a scuba tank. If you’ve never freedived before, look for schools offering lessons from AIDA-trained professionals.

Phuket holiday packages are the best way to make your holiday money go further. Packed full of great little extras like kids clubs, private beaches and wedding venues, these are our favourite hotels for you to check out:

  • Patong Merlin Hotel – if you’re looking for a package that’ll give you everything you want from your Phuket holidays but without busting the bank, the Patong Merlin Hotel is a good choice. It’s relaxed, and it’s just minutes from the markets and happy-go-lucky nightlife of Patong. Great for groups or couples alike.
  • Novotel Phuket Vintage Park – this resort has just about everything you could wish for, all wrapped up in a neat bundle. Its contemporary décor is smart and well executed, and no detail has been spared. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from the beach and close to all the main attractions. If you insist on keeping up with your workout on holiday, they’ve got one of the best hotel gyms on the island.
  • Six Senses Yao Noi – now we’re talking! This exclusive resort sits on its very own island retreat in the Phang Nga Bay. This is all-inclusive holidaying at its best. You’re surrounded by natural Thai jungle (although it’s been tamed a bit), and stay in super-contemporary and ultra-chic beachfront guest villas. The attention to detail is flawless. If you’re looking for premium Phuket all-inclusive holidays, this has to be your first choice.

There was a time when Phuket holidays were reserved for over-18s. It’s a long trip, and for years facilities were geared more towards adult visitors rather than children. However, that’s all changed now, and little adventurers are just as welcome to Phuket as the grown-ups. Hotels go out of their way to cater for the kids, with clubs, activities, and even kid-friendly menus in the restaurants.

  • Cape Panwa Hotel – Family holidays to Phuket should be about spending time with your loved ones and the Cape Panwa pulls out all the stops to make sure everyone’s happy. With a games room for teenagers, children’s pool for the little ones, and loads of water sports (as well as a private beach), it’s got everything you need. There’s a spa on tap too, so you can really de-stress.
  • Centara Kata Resort Phuket – If you’re looking for family holidays to Phuket on a budget, this is the one to pick. The Centara Kata Resort has a ton of family-friendly treats including aqua slides for the little ones to spend all day on and a swim-up bar for mum and dad, it’s a chilled-out, happy little spot that will leave you with plenty of spending money in your wallet.

Thai food has become one of the most popular cuisines in Europe over the last few years. There’s no place better to taste the real McCoy than in Phuket, which has a reputation for offering some great cooking schools so you can learn just how much lemongrass you really do need to spice up a green curry. 

If you’re a hopeless cook even with the help of an expert, leave the cooking to someone else and try some of the local delicacies. Phuket is famous for its fish dishes, and there are plenty of trendy restaurants in town where you can try anything from shrimp to snapper. Look out for noodle dishes, usually fried or boiled. They’re even eaten for breakfast – have a go at khanom jin, which is spicy and delicious, but maybe not quite what you’d want with your morning coffee. If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try some fried delicacies at the Phuket Weekend market? Mmmm, crunchy!

  • If you can tear yourself away from the beach, check out some of the island’s cultural attractions, such as the Golden Buddha at Wat Khao Rang, or the historic twisting streets of old Phuket town.
  • Explore the sea caves of Phang Nga Bay, including secret lagoons and unique caves. It’s a great tour for kids as well as adults, and lets you explore the natural beauty of the island.
  • Take the kids to Phuket Aquarium in Cape Panwa and get up close and personal with the local aquatic life.
  • Explore Phra Thaeo National Park, and learn more about the local flora and fauna.
  • The most popular thing to do in Phuket is to go island hopping. You can go on tours of James Bond Island (so named because of it was the location for several Bond films), and the pretty little islands of Phi-Phi or Racha, or the charming Coral Island.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to pack a woolly jumper, no matter when you take your holidays to Phuket. It’s hot all year round, with the average daily temperatures rarely falling below 31°C.

  • November – February – regarded by the locals as the ‘cool’ season, with average day temperatures of around 30°C and night-time temperatures of around 24°C. This is the ideal time to travel if you fancy a bit of winter sunshine.
  • March – July – consistently warm at around 32°C, with a higher chance of showers in the evening (although even the showers are warm).
  • August – October – not much change on the temperature front at around 31°C.
  • By Songthaew – pick up and drop off on these converted trucks is by request (there are no real ‘stops’ as such). It’s the most common method of transport in town, and used by locals and tourists alike. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful, and it totally makes you feel like a local.
  • By Tuk-tuk – don’t think you’re getting a super-fit local peddling you around – modern tuk-tuks are small minivans with four wheels (not three). The drivers have a ‘flexible’ approach to fares, so agree the cost before you get in.
  • By Taxi – metered taxis are plentiful and actually cheaper than tuk-tuks. It’s best to ask your hotel concierge to order one for you, and again, agree the price before you set off.

Are you ready for your Phuket adventure? Have we tickled your fancy with all this talk of gorgeous beaches, fabulous food, and Far-Eastern adventures? Take a look at our selection of Phuket hotels and book your dream holiday today.

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Your holiday may be affected by the government’s travel restrictions

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK have advised against all but essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist.

Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Your holiday will not be going ahead as planned

Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel. Therefore, with known airline cancellations, the following holidays will not go ahead as planned:

  • Any holidays departing before 27th April 2020.
  • Any Caribbean holidays departing before 1 May 2020.

We’re flexible with your holiday plans

We understand you may want to change your holiday plans. You can postpone your holiday to any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes.

For now, we do ask you not to contact us. As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have already been directly affected by cancellations. We will contact you as soon as we can, or if there are any further changes that could affect your holiday.

We know you’ll want to get this sorted as soon as possible, and we’re very grateful for your understanding.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming days and weeks with our latest advice. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

You’re good to go

In line with the advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK, and known airline cancellations, all trips booked from June onwards are currently going ahead as planned.

As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have been directly affected by cancellations.

So, for now, we ask you not to contact us. Rest assured we are contacting all of our customers by email in departure date order to support them with options, and we will absolutely let you know if your situation changes.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming weeks. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

Rebook your holiday


We are sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday. When you rebook, we’d like to gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles too.

There’s no rush. You can redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us any time before 31 July 2020.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Cancel your holiday


We're sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday.  

Rather than cancel, if you’d like to travel with us sometime in the future, we would still love to find a great holiday for you (and gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles as a thank you).

If you'd prefer to cancel completely, we understand. We will refund you in full. Refunds will be successfully returned in approximately 90 days.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Your holiday is in safe hands


No need to contact us. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

Change it up


You can postpone your holiday to travel any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes and our Service Team are there to help – just give us a call.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Your holiday is in safe hands


Your holiday is scheduled to depart as booked. Continue to pay off your holiday balance with the assurance that your money is fully protected through ATOL. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

The choice is yours


No problem! To amend your holiday dates, just give us a call. Any amendments to your booking can be made for £50pp, and our Service Team can help you decide on dates, or even a different destination.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Register yourself as away from home


If you’re abroad and your flight home has been cancelled please let us know, as relief flights will end soon.

Register as away from home

Alternatively, call our UK Duty Office on +44 0344 472 9646 (option 3) to discuss your options for getting home.

Book online


Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist

Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers

Help is at hand


Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types online and save your faves to your very own Wishlist

If you’re ready to book but can’t find the information you need on our website, just call our travel experts who will be happy to help.

To redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us, just give us a call and quote your old booking reference.

How would you like to talk to us?

Important information: We are working hard to help all of our customers, particularly those already on holiday or due to travel in the next 72 hours.