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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.