Whether you're after unrivalled diving and underwater adventures, sinking putts around the most luxurious golf courses imaginable or excursions in the forest that will delight your senses and broaden your horizons, Phuket has it all. Of course, the best solution is to combine the lot and try some of everything. With a Phuket holiday, you'll hardly be short of options.
Kamala - West Coast
This beach is less developed than others but offers plenty of peace and quiet. The village is home to the Phuket FantaSea theme park and you can visit the Kamala Temple.
Karon - West Coast
The long beach is fringed by a variety of restaurants and shops. The nightlife is fairly relaxed at Karon Beach.
Kata - West Coast
The most popular beach can be found on the bay of Kata, which is just south of Karon Beach. It is a great spot for families; conveniently situated close to a variety of budget and luxury accommodation, has some really good restaurants along the coastline and the nightlife is varied but not over the top.
Mai Khao Beach - West Coast
Pretty undeveloped, this large stretch of beach offers plenty of peace and quiet. It is part of Sirinath National Park.
Surin Beach - North-East
Known as 'Millionaires Row' due to the luxury hotels. The fine white sandy beach is popular with the locals as well as tourists and there is a good range of fine restaurants to be found.
Patong - West Coast
Here the nightlife is the liveliest on the island. You can party hard in Patong, with hundreds of bars, restaurants, neon lit clubs and cabaret shows to choose from. Good shopping opportunities and activities along the beach to enjoy.
Nai Yang Beach - North of Phuket Island
Sections of this beach are part of Sirinath National Park, and it features a reef at north end.
Nai Harn Beach - South Phuket
Tranquil beach on southern coast, this beautiful beach has a range of nice restaurants running along it.
Places to visit
Phang Nga Bay is part of the Phuket Province. This mystical area features distinctive limestone cliffs rising dramatically from the crystal emerald waters, creating the perfect backdrop to some of the most infamous areas in the world:
Koh Ta-pu - James Bond Island
The island of Koh Ta-pu emerged with a bang onto the international scene with a starring role in The Man With The Golden Gun. Henceforth, this particular slice of paradise is commonly referred to as James Bond Island. Its rocky pinnacle and cliffs make for an intriguing appearance that, on occasion, seems to defy the laws of physics.
Koh Panyee - Sea Gypsy Village
Continuing on the theme of remarkable the village of Koh Panyee quite simply has to be seen to be believed. The entire place is constructed on stilts and stands out over the water. The rear of the village is guarded by an enormous rock monolith and is a popular spot for the boating tours to stop for lunch.
One of Phang Nga's chief advantages is the fact that it is protected from both the north-east and south-west monsoon seasons, meaning the waters stay still and calm all year round. Understandably, this makes it a favoured spot for sailing, while the majestic scenery and fascinating wildlife also pull in a fair share of interested and admiring parties.
Old Phuket Town
Rich in both history and culture, a walk around this area will bring a very different element of fascination to your Phuket holiday. Both Buddhist and Chinese temples litter the landscape, as do picturesque cafes and enchanting shophouses. Strolls are best taken in the morning or evening to avoid the peak of the daily temperatures, though a number of restaurants are on hand to offer refreshing shelter. Staying with temples, in a town that offers so many you'd imagine any particular building would struggle to stand out against the crowd.
Stunningly decorated with hundreds of intricate glass pieces, Phuket's spiritual centre is a vital part of any Phuket holiday. This is the largest and most visited temple in Phuket.
From the historically-spiritual, to a rather more modern creation – the Big Buddha. Located in Chalong, this recent addition to the island's rich tapestry is visible from almost the entire south of Phuket. 45 metres tall, he sits proudly at the summit of the Nakkerd Hills, offering unrivalled views of this spectacular island.
For the sports fan, the electrifying entertainment of Thai Boxing scores in every possible category. The supremely fit competitors are as disciplined in spirit and mind as they are in body and the skill and dexterity of the techniques epitomise and embody the complex beauty of top level sport.
With so much to see on the island, it's easy to forget the sensational views that lie offshore. To do so, however, would be an enormous mistake. There are many spots that offer enchanting views of the sun both rising and setting. Promthep is one such immensely popular location. In fact, such is its status, going there could be seen as tired and cliché, were the sights not so spectacularly timeless.
From the quietly enchanting, to the overtly colourful and downright wacky; the Phuket FantaSea show is the biggest on the island. Following the exotic storyline should work up a healthy appetite, at which point you'll welcome the presence of one of the largest buffets in Asia before hitting the games and shops.