Phuket is famous for more than ping pong shows and cheap beer. It is actually one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Phuket has plenty to offer, from beautiful sandy beaches, lush green scenery and delicious food. But you may still be wondering if Phuket is worth visiting.
Phuket is worth visiting if you are looking for a stunning holiday destination with beautiful beaches, delicious food and cheap accommodation. There are also many things to do on the island, from snorkelling to elephant sanctuaries.
We have been lucky enough to visit Thailand several times and know plenty about Phuket and what there is to do and where it is best to stay.
So with that, we wanted to share our reasons for believing that Phuket is worth visiting and why we think you should see it.
Table of Contents
- Why Is Phuket Worth Visiting?
- Who Is Phuket Best For?
- Is Phuket Safe?
- How Long To Spend in Phuket
- Best Time To Visit
- Things To Do in Phuket
Why Is Phuket Worth Visiting?
Many factors play into Phuket being an ideal choice for your next beach vacation.
Phuket is worth visiting for anyone looking to sit back and relax, whether on one of the beautiful sandy beaches or by the pool. The city offers picturesque sceneries, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife at a lower price than some more popular travel destinations.
Phuket is a location that can accommodate almost any travel plan you come up with. Although the city itself is often bustling and famous for its exciting nightlife, there’s no shortage of private, secluded beaches for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Some excellent examples include Laem Singh Beach, Banana Beach, Ao Sane Beach, and Nui Beach.
The island comprises many locations, each offering something unique to its visitors. Therefore, no matter the type of vacation you’re planning, you’ll be able to find a region to provide you with the kind of atmosphere you’re looking for.
There is definitely something for everyone in Phuket, whether this is stunning beaches, historical towns or even just great nightlife.
The island’s breathtaking 44 beaches allow their visitors to enjoy a wide range of scenery so spectacular; it’s hard to get enough of.
The local restaurants offer some of the most exquisite Thai dishes you’ll ever have the opportunity to enjoy. So regardless of whether you choose to dine at a mobile street vendor or a Michelin starred restaurant, you’ll always be guaranteed a delicious, one-of-a-kind meal.
But Phuket offers much more than beautiful beaches and flavorful food, as its warm culture carried on through the welcoming locals will make your stay that much more enjoyable.
Therefore, no matter if you’re looking for a peaceful family holiday or want to explore the exciting nightlife with your friends, you’ll more than likely find what you’re looking for at a great value when visiting Phuket.
Who Is Phuket Best For?
When trying to describe the demographics of Phuket tourism, it’s hard to settle on a consistent group of characteristics that can accurately describe the majority of its visitors. Due to the island being so versatile, it attracts almost any type of traveller to its white, sandy beaches.
Phuket is best for all types of tourists. From families looking for a quiet vacation to those looking to find the most exciting nightlife, the island offers a wide range of attractions and activities for everyone depending on the region you choose to visit.
The island is divided into three administrative areas, which are further broken down into smaller subdivisions. Each location offers a unique atmosphere that can accommodate a particular type of tourist, meaning that by preemptively researching each region’s characteristics, you’ll be able to find a place that’ll provide you with the exact kind of vacation you’re looking for.
Patong is the area that is more commonly associated with wild nightlife, parties and a younger generation looking for a good time. However, it has plenty to offer, from great places to stay to various bars and clubs.
Alternatively, at Karon and Kamala Beach, you can expect to find a more relaxing vibe. Karon and Kamala Beach are more popular with those looking to relax and families with clean beaches, cute cafes and stunning resorts. Here you can also explore the popular family beach, Kata Beach.
Finally, one of our favourite parts of Phuket is Phuket Old Town, where you can see the historic, colourful Sino-Portuguese townhouses, explore exciting night markets and soak up the culture of Phuket.
Is Phuket Safe?
Phuket is generally a safe destination for tourists. However, a moderate crime rating and predisposal for natural disasters make taking a few safety precautions essential for all tourists, especially those travelling alone.
Despite its moderate criminality rate, the Thai island isn’t a hazardous environment for tourists. But there’s no better way to ensure safe navigation of the island than to hire a local to take you around all the attractions you’re interested in seeing.
If doing so isn’t an option or doesn’t interest you, I still highly recommend at least asking someone for a few pointers before going to the next location.
You’ll need to keep a few factors in mind to ensure you’ll have the safest experience possible.
Research Your Location
Although Phuket is generally considered a safe city, safety levels can shockingly vary from one part of the island to the other.
For this reason, it’s crucial to research the locations you’re planning to visit beforehand to ensure you won’t have to go or pass through any dangerous areas throughout your vacation.
Be Careful of Motorbike Riders
Motorbike riders are one of the most widespread issues pertaining to safety in Phuket. Many motorcyclists are known to target tourists wandering around alone, especially women, to grab their bags or valuables and ride off.
Additionally, motorcycles are also the leading cause of accidents in the area. You should be careful and aware of any type of vehicle as many tourists aren’t used to the local’s traffic rules and customs.
Be Cautious When on a Night Out
Nightclubs can always be a breeding ground for drunken fights, theft, and assault, and Phuket, renowned for its vibrant nightlife, is no exception.
You can still have a fantastic time out in the town, but remember always to keep your drink and other belongings within sight and keep the amount of alcohol you consume in check.
Stay Away From Isolated Areas
Although some areas may seem safe and harmless upon first research, wandering off to an isolated location in a foreign city is never a good idea. Instead, always try to stick to well-lit and fairly populated spaces.
Be Vigilant of Your Belongings in Overcrowded Spaces
As expected from most tourist destinations, pickpockets can be found anywhere, especially in overcrowded spaces. Therefore, whenever you find yourself in a big crowd, it’s crucial to stay alert and keep your belongings close to your body at all times.
Pickpocketing is especially rampant in public transport vehicles, so avoid them entirely or be extremely careful when using them.
Check Weather Predictions
Due to its climate, Phuket is especially susceptible to tsunamis and tropical storms. Therefore, to preemptively steer clear of any possible danger, I highly recommend researching the expected climate and checking the weather predictions for the dates you wish to travel.
How Long To Spend in Phuket
It’s recommended to spend as long as 1-2 weeks in Phuket to experience the full range of attractions the city has to offer. Any vacation lasting less than five days would be too short of making it worthwhile.
Although it’s possible to spend up to a month or two on the island without getting bored, for most, the 1-2 week range is the sweet spot that allows them to fully experience the city’s attractions without it getting repetitive or taking an extensive amount of their time.
Phuket’s Main Attractions
During this timeframe, tourists can visit most of the island’s must-see attractions. Of course, it’s still a small window to fit the full range of breathtaking sights Phuket has to offer, but experiencing even a small number of these locations will make your trip unforgettable.
This small, tranquil beach will stun you with crystal clear waters and warm white sand.
It’s one of the last beaches in the area that remain virtually untouched, allowing you to experience a form of natural beauty that’s hard to find elsewhere.
This picturesque lookout point is a must-visit anytime you’re in Phuket. Located south of the island, this cape provides one of the most stunning sea views in the world.
If you’re thinking about visiting this location, I highly recommend choosing a timeframe that’ll allow you to witness the breathtaking sunset.
Big Buddha of Phuket
The giant statue represents a sacred site for locals representing the island’s divine art and culture. Therefore, it’s one of the most important landmarks to see if you ever have the opportunity to visit the city.
The image of the seated Maravija Buddha is placed on top of the Nakkerd Hills, providing you with a stunning view and a cultural experience unique to Phuket.
Bang Pae Waterfall
Located in the northern part of the island, Bang Pae is a gorgeous multi-tiered waterfall found amid tropical greenery. Furthermore, it’s placed near a gibbon sanctuary, visiting an excellent opportunity for those also interested in the area’s wildlife.
The costs of visiting Phuket can widely vary depending on time spent there, number of visitors, type of accommodation, etc. Let’s take a vacation of 10 days as an example, as it falls right in the middle of the ideal time range we’ve discussed in one of the previous sections.
For a 10-day vacation, the cost of visiting Phuket can range anywhere from $900 to $2000 for a solo traveller. However, if you want to calculate the price of a group holiday, you’ll want to account for at least $1000 – $1500 per person.
The costs will quickly add up between accommodation, travel, entertainment, local transportation, and food. Although there are ways to make your trip more budget-friendly, these are the figures most tourists looking for a relaxing vacation need to consider.
Phuket is pricier than many other popular beach destinations, including Bali and Chiang Mai, which can be a better choice for those on a tighter budget. On the other hand, Phuket is less expensive than some of the most coveted locations, such as Maldives Bora Bora.
However, inside Thailand, Phuket is widely considered one of the most expensive cities in the country. Some visitors estimate it to be roughly 30% pricier than the rest of the country.
Thus, if your goal is to visit Thailand and not Phuket in particular, there are many more budget-friendly alternatives to choose from that offer a similar range of activities and scenery.
Your choice boils down to budget and personal preference, as each of these destinations offers a different range of attractions. Overall, vacationing in Phuket can get expensive, and choosing to visit the picturesque island requires a thorough cost analysis.
More often than not, the hefty investment feels worth it to most travel enthusiasts, as the city offers such a wide variety of stunning scenery and entertainment options it’s hard to feel disappointed after a visit.
There’s a reason why Phuket remains one of the most expensive attractions in Thailand: the high demand can support the island’s increasing prices. However, tourists seem to be so fond of the city’s unique experience that they don’t mind paying a premium to go through it.
Phuket and its picturesque scenery bring a fresh take on the traditional beach vacation that we’ve grown to love in the worldwide scene.
Although there’s no shortage of beautiful sea views around the world, the island offers them along with its one-of-a-kind culture, exciting entertainment, and mouthwatering cuisine in a package that’s hard to replicate or resist.
Therefore, even though Phuket is one of the pricier options for beach vacations, the investment is more often than not worth it, as it’s hard to find the same all-inclusive experience elsewhere.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Phuket falls between November and April, as the weather conditions are ideal for summer activities during this period.
Even though practically speaking, this timeframe is perfect for visiting the island, it may not be the best choice for those on a budget as the prices will be at an all-time high due to increased demand.
On the other hand, visiting between May and October (or the monsoon season), although significantly more affordable, can be very dangerous due to the unstable water conditions.
During this season, temperatures are still high enough for beach activities. However, it’s crucial to check weather predictions frequently since the island is significantly more prone to tropical storms and tsunamis.
Things To Do in Phuket
There’s something suitable for everyone when visiting Phuket. Here’s a list of the top 10 activities to do:
- Go for a night out at Bangla Road – for those looking for blasting music and a packed dance floor
- Go shopping at the Weekend Night Market – for those looking for a bargain
- Explore the Phang Nga Bay – for those looking to experience stunning scenery
- Visit the Chalong Temple – for those wanting to learn more about Phuket’s culture
- Look for secret beaches – for those looking for some peace and quiet
- Try Flying Hanuman – for those looking for a pump of adrenaline
- Go scuba diving – for those curious about deep-sea exploring
- Watch the Simon Cabaret Show – for those looking for entertainment
- Visit the Elephant Sanctuary – for all the nature and animal enthusiasts
- Visit the Trickeye Museum – for those wanting to experience something new
One of our personal favourite areas is Nai Yang beach and the Sirinat National Park. This area is peaceful, tranquil and isn’t overcrowded with tourists making it the best place to sit and listen to the waves crashing in.
Phuket offers a wide range of accommodation options catering to various budgets.
Compared to the rest of the country, Phuket provides some of the most luxurious and stylish accommodation you’ll be able to find. However, there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars to stay on the island, as lower-end options are also becoming more widely available.
Some of the most popular luxury resorts in the area range anywhere from $200 – $800 per night for a double room. Still, there’s no shortage of more affordable options varying anywhere from $35 – $100 a night depending on room conditions, facilities, and location.
Most tourists can find accommodation services to fit their needs and budget, especially considering the favourable conversion rates between most western currencies and the Thai baht.