FIVE questions
you should
ask ...
Speak to one of our travel
within 5 rings

Which of these is important to you?

  • Concierge style service. Your own dedicated travel manager who'll look after you until you travel.
  • Better value. Exclusive fares you won't find online to save you money.
  • 24 hour helpline. A worldwide team just a phone call away if you need help while you're overseas.
  • Top on Trustpilot. More highly rated than all our competitors with 98% saying they'd book again.
  • Risk free. Fully licensed with Client Trust Account to protect your money. ABTA, ATOL protected.

Your calls always answered within 5 rings.

You've read the reviews so why not call us NOW?
Tell us what you need. We'll find you a solution
Asia Reviews 12632
Asia Offers 34
Perfect Phuket

The many fabulous faces of Phuket

This island gem offers a huge choice of different holidays - let Jo Gardner guide you through the possibilities

When it comes to island paradises, Phuket is a winner. Located off the south west coast of Thailand, it has wide beaches, blissful temperatures and clear, inviting water with a distinctive blue-green hue.

You can spend your days lazing on the soft sand, hiking through rainforest, enjoying world-class spa treatments or snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing or Hobie Cat sailing.

Your evenings might well be taken up enjoying delicious food (the island will soon, for the first time, be included in the Michelin guide to Thailand). The cuisine on the island tends to be a wonderful blend of complementary styles - an alluring mix of Asian and western delicacies - and it's one of Phuket's major attractions.

Chefs here seem to know better than anywhere else in the world how to use delicate flavours and fragrant spices and the seafood is heavenly.

Spa treatments here take on a new concept as they are married with the ancient traditions of natural healing, including herbal baths and meditation. The levels of tranquility and relaxation that can be reached are remarkable.

For a change of pace, Phuket Town has temples, markets and cultural attractions. And the Old Town has street after street of colourful colonial-style mansions and townhouses now the home to shops and small restaurants.

Ko Kaeo Rawai, also known as Buddha Island, has many beautiful statues along its shoreline

Breathtaking views
And a simple but enthralling experience can be had by heading for one of the noted viewpoints, such as Kata, Rang Hill, Leam Singh or Promthep Cape - they give a magnificent vista of the entire island. One of the best views is from the site of The Big Buddha (the majority of Thais are practising Buddhists) - it's a 45-metre tall white marble statue that is worth a hot walk up to see close.

Phuket is one of those destinations that can be delightful at any time of year - it has such a wide range of attributes that it can come up with the goods for whatever type of holiday, active or otherwise, that is required.

November to April is generally cooler and drier - a great time to escape the British winter. Some of the more popular hotels and resorts book up quickly at this time.

It is often at its warmest in July and August, when temperatures can occasionally reach 40 degrees - and often accompanied by some intense downpours. But this is also when your hotel of choice may well be available at particularly good value.

Stunning pools and gardens at the contemporary designed Twinpalms Resort Phuket

If you’re looking to stay at a beach resort, you are spoilt for choice. There are many from which to choose and each has its own distinctive character and personality.

You’ll find upmarket resorts – with equally upmarket accommodation – on Surin and Ao Bang Thao, family-oriented spots on Rawai, a party atmosphere on Patong, culture in Phuket Town and wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the north.

There is accommodation of every conceivable type to suit every conceivable taste - from intimate boutique properties to expansive wellness retreats.

Longtail boats moored in Maya Bay lagoon on Ko Phi Phi Lee

Something for everyone
Patong and Mai Khao are both popular options for beach stays. For undeveloped beauty, Mai Khao is hard to beat - it has an 11km stretch of coarse white sand that has remained untouched thanks to its location inside Sirinat National Park.

Patong, on the other hand, is all about having fun, with lively nightlife, watersports and activities available during the day.

Many decide that they want to mix a stay in Phuket with a visit to other parts of Thailand. The multi-centre trip is becoming ever more popular.
The obvious partner for a Phuket beach stay is the buzzing capital city of Bangkok. A twin-centre holiday such as this delivers fabulous contrasts.

Or you could also have a different type of beach and city experience by combining a sandy sojourn in the Phi Phi Islands with an exploration of the towns and interior on Phuket. This can be very rewarding.

This combination of stays, for example, could see you based at Wanaburi, on the doorstep of the beautiful Kho Phra Teaw National Park.

Whatever face of Phuket you choose to focus on, you'll find yourself captivated by this deceptively diverse island. 

First published in the Mail Online - March 2019

More articles below...

For more inspiration, read what travel writers have to say...

Spa from the madding crowd

Naomi Leach finds spiritual bliss in Bali

Nature in Malaysia

Renowned British naturalist David Bellamy returns to a stunning old haunt

Vietnam's capital

John McEntee discovers a city of crazy extremes

Japan's Shrines

The spiritual Kansai region of holy sites is attracting attention

Cambodia's temples

How Mark Palmer was allowed an audience with the hidden Buddha

Converted to Bali

Fashion designer Julien Macdonald is stunned by the island's beauty

Paws for thought

Helen Nicholson encounters China's star bear

Partying in Phuket

Olivia Grant heads to Thailand with pure intentions

Beautiful Burma

A once closed country that is catching up with the modern world, says Tamara Cohen

Loving Langkawi

The Datai is heaven on Earth, says Max Hastings

A welcoming smile

The many faces of Vietnam

One night in Bangkok

Jonathan Neal spends 48 hours in the Thai capital

Thailand with a toddler

Julian Robinson and his wife enjoy an adventure holiday with their 20-month-old daughter

Langkawi in luxury

Harriet Walker is delighted by the wildlife and stunning scenery

Slick Singapore

Jeremy Clarke is amazed by the phenomenon that is Singapore

Raffles Returns

Mark Porter is delighted to report the re-opening of one of the most famous hotels in the world

Singapore fling

A city-state packed with excitement

Stopover in Kuala Lumpur

Fabulous street food and so much more

Pulsating Hong Kong

Twenty years on, Siobhan Warwicker discovers that life on this island remains electric

The luxury side of Thailand

Ashley Pearson reports on three of the country's most hedonistic hotels

Thailand's grown up

Family-friendly Thailand

A taste for Bangkok

More than just a stopover, as Isabelle King discovers on a culinary tour

Temptations of tasty Thailand

Five-star foodie treats

Thailand forecast

TV weather presenter Lucy Verasamy goes island-hopping and finds the warmest of welcomes

Pangkor Laut

My island of dreams says Helen Moss


In a land with a licence to thrill, Frank Barrett finds the inspiration for both James Bond and The Night Manager

Vivid Vietnam

From vibrant street markets to havens of tranquility, Harriet Mallinson loved the contrast

Beautiful Bali

This tropical island makes Alice Hart-Davis's spirits soar

Forever Hong Kong

China may be in charge but this city shines brightly, as Max Hastings discovers

Vibrant Vietnam

Simon Heptinstall loves the glamour, the traditional and the exotic

From war to perfect peace

A source of beauty and wonder

Our guide to the joys of Japan

Land of the rising sun

A foodie love affair

Chef Raymond Blanc loves the country that he says has some of the finest, and healthiest, food in the world

Something different

Japan is an enthralling mix of historic traditions and cultural quirks according to Ivo Dawnay

Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements