Thailand's most world-famous holiday island is also its biggest - 48 kilometers long and 21 km across - located in the south of the country's west Andaman Sea coast, suspended from the southern tip of Phang Nga Province by a couple of short though generous roadway spans. The most vibrant tourist zones of western Phuket consists of the beaches of Bang Thao, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Laem Sing, Mai Khao, Nai Thon and Nai Yang, Patong, and Surin.
There is a wide assortment of vacation spots, some relatively mellow, other packed by holidaymakers, and Patong in particular is also one of Asia's partying capitals. Southeastern Phuket is where you'll find the alluring, offbeat beaches of Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Nai Han, Rawai, and Ya Nui - definitely worth the trek; Chalong Bay is the biggest town here, with Phang Nga Bay used as a harbor for pleasure craft. Elsewhere, meanwhile, you'll find Phuket Town; the town of Bang Rong; the Thalang district; the smaller island of Koh Sire; and Phra Taew National Park, .
Phuket Big Buddha
Thailand is of course a Buddhist society, and this white-marble-covered statue of its central figure in classic lotus meditation pose is a relatively recent addition on Nakkerd Hill in the Chalong district, also home to 29 Buddhist temples (the statue's full name, by the way, is a mouthful: Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakakiri). It rises 45 meters, and there are thousands of messages written on the white-stone slabs around it.
If you like your cats big, check out this park in Kathu, south central Phuket, with tigers of different ages and sizes, as well as cheetahs. And you can get up close and personal with them - even feed and pet the younger cubs and take pictures with them. Quite cool!
A laid back getaway just 15 minutes north of Patong, this long, beautiful strand is popular with families and perfect if you're looking for relaxing sun, sand, and sea. Activities include snorkeling, parasailing, and jetskiing, and there are facilities at small beachfront hotels as well as street-food stands (some on the beach, some in the village behind it) and even some low-key nightlife.
One of the main non-sandy attractions of Kamala Beach is nighttime cultural theme park with shopping, dining (including a huge buffet) and most especially stage shows mixing culture and tradition, using folk tales, mythology, illusionists, special effects, live elephants, and other acts to tell the story of Thai culture.
Close to the town of Kata, Phuket's second largest beach - five km long and best visited from November through April when the sea is calm and temperatures are pleasant - is more deserted at its northern end, while along the more southerly stretches you'll find a raft of activities including sea kayaking, windsurfing (regular surfing not so much), banana boat rides, waterskiing, Jetskiing, and wakeboarding. There are also a good number of shops, eateries, and pubs (some open into the wee hours) on or right adjacent to the sand.
Laem Phrompthem Viewpoint
You know, those beautiful shorelines with the dark brown rocks and the beautiful blue seawater foaming around them that you see on wall-papers of people's computers? Is it your dream to visit a place like that? In Phuket, you actually can. The Laem Phrompthep viewpoint is one of those magical places that transport you into paradise right here on earth. The gurgling water is picturesquely set against a rocky landscape. The palm trees, the hills, and the stunning surroundings make Laem Phrompthem a popular tourist destination. There are restaurants where you can enjoy a good Thai meal overlooking a magical sight with trees birds and the sea.
Old Phuket Town
Known for its Sino-Buddhist Architecture, the Old Phuket town often gets ignored by the Phuket tourist. This is unfortunate as this area holds so much history, culture and beautiful architecture it seems wrong to go to Phuket and not visit it. A trip through the Phuket old town will show you a wonderful cultural melange. The typical Portuguese buildings fused with the red and gold of the Thai architecture gives the place a very eclectic feel. The buildings are unique and colorful and there are Buddhist as well as Chinese temples that you can visit. The pretty little galleries and the tiny roads make this place a fusion of cultures that are very specific to this region and you will rarely see anywhere else.
Khao Rang Hill
To the north of Phuket town lies the Khao Rang Hill. This place is a meeting place and a hangout spot for the locals but is also a great place for the tourists to get some amazing views in of the city and the area surrounding it. The walk up is slightly challenging but if you do endure it, you are rewarded with an amazing vantage point perched high on top of a hill overlooking an amazing valley.
One of the less crowded but more beautiful beaches in Phuket. This beach has everything. From snorkeling to shopping to spa treatments and a whole lot more. There is always a great time to be had here. You can choose to do one of the many water sports or alternatively just lounge about and calmly enjoy the beach atmosphere. It is up to you. You can even try your hand at kayaking or surfing if you like. There is also an elephant trekking place not far from the beach.
Kao Ping Kan (''James Bond'') Island
In case you are wondering why this place is named after the legendary British Secret agent, it is because parts of the film "The Man with the Golden" Gun was filmed here. This has made it an iconic and popular tourist destination. The water is greenish blue whereas the rocks are limestone and hence bright while in color making the place a real sight to be beheld. The place does get pretty crowded sometimes but an off-season trip is a great idea. It is also the perfect place to try kayaking, with its scenic rock faces.