Throughout history, Phuket has been a target for conquest by many different civilizations, and not too long after arriving most travelers quickly discover why. If any island can stake a claim to being paradise, Phuket is certainly the one.
With beautiful beaches, lush forests, amazing wildlife, and an intense cultural spectrum, Phuket is hard to beat as an exotic destination. As it’s also such an affordable destination, you may want to consider channeling some of the savings you make into indulging yourself with a bit of extra luxury.
Phuket villa rentals are one way of experiencing the super-luxury lifestyle, and provided you have a large enough group to fill out the cost, the rates per person can be lower than the cost of staying in some hotels. The advantage a villa rental gives you over a hotel stay is privacy and exclusivity.
Why choose Phuket for your vacation?
Phuket is the largest of Thailand’s islands, which makes it very versatile in terms of the diversity of experiences on offer. You can hang out at the beach and party all night in the clubs if that’s your thing, or you can hike pristine forest trails and zipline through the tree-tops if you prefer. Plus, of course, there’s nothing to stop you combining all these activities (and so much more) into one vacation.
It’s basically a matter of geography. The bigger the island, the more different environs it can host. This means you get more choice about where to go and what to do. In the world of travel, choice equals freedom. Incidentally, Thai people love freedom, which is why they’re called Thais. The word actually means “freedom” in their own language.
This diversity is a great reason to visit, but if you need more, here are some other great things about Phuket:
Phuket is the place to go in Thailand for great food
The very high expat population and tourism-oriented culture has resulted in a large number of foreign-owned or operated restaurants. What this means for you is, once again, freedom of choice.
You should be able to find any kind of cuisine from Algerian to Zambian, although you may need to put in a bit of effort to find some of the more exotic ones. Plus of course Thai food is available in many different regional styles, abundantly throughout the island.
Prices can range from cheap 30 baht roadside meals to lavish feasts costing hundreds, but the important thing is that it’s entirely your choice. Price isn’t always a guide to quality either, as plenty of those street vendors selling meals for 30 baht are exceptionally talented. Suffice to say, whatever your taste and budget, you should easily find something to suit you.
Being an island, Phuket is surrounded by beaches, and picking a favorite may indeed be your hardest task. The beaches along the west coast are the most picturesque and popular. Mai Khao, in the north, offers the best scenery by far.
Meanwhile the beaches on the south east coast are less crowded and have their own charms. Featuring great diving sites, plus wildlife spotting opportunities (such as turtles, dolphins, and even whales), the southern beaches are a relaxing alternative to the more lively western beaches.
There’s always plenty to do in Phuket. Some of the highlights include the Flying Hanuman zipline, Splash Jungle Waterpark, and Dolphins Bay Nemo (a dolphin show that will easily exceed your expectations. Checking out any of these will convince you that Phuket is one of the most fun places on Earth, and that’s just a small sample from among the hundreds of activities on offer.
Beautiful parks and gardens
As you’d expect from a tropical island paradise, there is an abundance of natural beauty to behold. The National Park at Thalang can definitely be counted as a highlight to a Phuket vacation (remember to set aside time for a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project and for swimming at Bang Pae waterfalls).
There are also gardens just about everywhere you look, including of course the official Botanic Garden, and various monumental parks.
Excellent free attractions abound
As is often the case, you’ll find many of the free attractions may sometimes eclipse the ones you have to pay for. Most of the temples, for example, are not only exquisite examples of architecture, but they’re also built in locations that provide fantastic views over the island.
You’ll also find magnificent works of art on display in public places, and there are statues such as the Big Buddha and the dragon sculpture at Queen Sirikit Park.
The beauty isn’t confined only to what you can see on land, either. Below the surface of the sea, you will find numerous coral reefs teeming with life.