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Children : (2 - 11 Ys.)
Babies under 2 usually free
Daily Budget:
Island Hop Honeymoons
Kayak Dive Thailand
Climb Deep H2O Solo
fish thailand
Fish Snorkel
Plus Trek, Elephant Trek, ATV, White Water & Bungee Jump
Travel Tips:
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  Driving safety
  Bar etiquette
  Getting to Thailand
  Domestic Flights
  Weather Charts
  When to Come
How Not To:
  How Not to Climb
  How Not to Fish
  How Not to Dive


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Things To Do
Dangers & Annoyances


Phuket, which has for a long time been Thailand’s premier beach destination, has now evolved into one of southeast Asia’s two most glamorous and jet-set islands (the other being Bali).

The many top-flight resorts vie with each other in opulence, often to exquisite effect: Thais tend to have a good sense of aesthetics, so the masterpieces far outnumber the monstrosities.

If you have money and like to spend it on stylish restaurants, spas and resorts, this is the place for you.

The better Phuket gets for the well-heeled, however, the worse it becomes for budget travellers, who have now been mostly banished to scruffy doss-houses in noisy, smelly back-streets.


Things To Do

Phuket is superbly equipped and placed for devotees of Thailand’s three main 5-star sports, sailing, big-game fishing and golf. Plus it is one of Thailand’s best dive bases, from where you can reach the magnificent Similan Islands, and many other top dive sites.

The best kayaking in Phang Nga bay is no longer that around James Bond Island and Koh Panek, as this area is now inundated with visitors in the high season - to get away from the crowds, kayak Koh Yao Noi instead. Koh Yao Noi provides further adventure, in the form of rock climbing and, the new adventure sports craze deep water soloing.


There follows a summary of pretty much all the worthwhile things to do on Phuket, click on an image for more info:

Dive with Elephants    

Khao Phra Thaeo

Kayak Koh Yao Noi        


Phuket has many superb spas and restaurants.



We reckon there's a hotel recommendation for every type of traveller here, but if you would like some advice, please contact us.


Taxis and Minivans - Prices and Times

Soft Adventures 12 Nights
Island Hop
5, 6 & 12 Nights
Kayak Thailand
3,4,5,6 & 12 Nights
Snorkel Thailand
6, 9 & 12 Nights
Dive Thailand
4, 6 & 11 Nights
Climb Thailand
12 Nights +/-
fish thailand Fish Thailand 4, 6, 12 Nights
Region's Resort Selection
  Silly Signs
  Extreme Body Piercing
  Language Funny
  Bangkok Clubbing
  Bike Accident
  Climbing with Ann
  Scorpion Sting
  Walking ATM
  Songkran Water Festival
  Thai Wedding
  Ao Nang Family Fishing
  Phang Nga Bay Sea Safari
  Base Jumping
  Birds' Nest Collectors
  Deep Water Solo
  Dive Similan
  Monster Fishing
  Dive with Elephants
  Shop with Sharks
  Extreme Sailing
  Typhoon Sailing

Hotel Name.  Location.  Metres from Beach. Price. Show only
Amanpuri Pansea Beach 1 $$$$$$ recommended
Paresa Kamala 1 $$$$$
Indigo Pearl Nai Yang 300 $$$$$
The Surin Pansea Beach 1 $$$$$
Trisara Northwest 1 $$$$$
Mom Tri's Villa Royale Kata Noi 1 $$$$$ recommended
La Flora Patong 1 $$$$$
Millenium Patong Patong 500 $$$$$
Anantara Mai Khao Beach 1 $$$$$
Duangjitt Patong Beach 100 $$$$
Outrigger Laguna Bang Tao 500 $$$$
Bundarika Layan Beach 1 $$$$
Imperial Adamas Nai Yang 1 $$$$
Twin Palms Surin 150 $$$$
Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa Kamala 300 $$$$
Diamond Cliff Resort Patong 10 $$$$
Dewa Nai Yang 400 $$$$
Andaman White Beach Nai Thon Noi 1 $$$$
Aspasia Kata Beach 200 $$$$ recommended
Malisa Kata 200 $$$$
Katathani Kata 1 $$$$
Sheraton Bangtao Beach 1 $$$$
Sala Mai Kao 1 $$$$
Amari Coral Patong 1 $$$ recommended
Renaissance Mai Khao 1 $$$$
Sawasdee Village Kata 200 $$$
CC Blooms Kata 1300 $$$
Kamala Beach Resort Kamala 1 $$$
Burasari Patong 200 $$$ recommended
Bangtao Beach Chalets Bangtao Beach 200 $$$ recommended
Avista Resort & Spa Kata 400 $$$
Holiday Inn Patong 20 $$$
Manathai Surin 150 $$$
Sunwing Resort Kamala 1 $$$ recommended
Benyada Lodge Surin 100 $$$
Boomerang Resort Kata 1000 $$$ recommended
The Kee Patong 100 $$$
Naithonburi Nai Thon 10 $$$
Royal Phawadee Patong 400 $$$ recommended
Print Resort Kamala Resort 200 $$$
Blue Ocean Hotel Patong 800 $$$
Patong Premier Patong 500 $$$ recommended
Patong Merlin Patong 20 $$$
Airport Resort Airport 100 $$
Manohra Cozy Place Kata 1000 $$
Sunhill Patong 700 $$
Bai Pho Lifestyle Patong 600 $$
Palm View Resort Patong 1300 $ recommended
Villa Atchara Patong 200 $
Bangtao Lagoon Bungalows Bangtao 1 $

This resort can lay claim to being the most opulent and elegant in Thailand.

Fans of good sunset views will love this beautiful, lavishly appointed hillside resort.

Displaying the most artistic contemporary architecture in the region, this resort's decor will wow most, but displease others.

Solid 5 star taste and luxury on a semi-private beach.

Privacy, great seaviews and space are the draws at this classy but pricey resort

Cramped resort right on the beach at Patong.

Comfortable if uninspiring luxury resort located near the shopping and nightlife.

Wonderfully romantic beachfront pool villa resort.

This is the best 4* choice for families who want to stay on Patong

Spacious but very uninspiring resort.

This tastefully finished luxury hideaway is perfect for honeymooners.

Spartan resort with a derelict shell of another resort next door. There are better choices.

More style than Paris fashion weeek.

A lovely hideaway resort far from the madding crowd.

This older hillside resort is nothing special

value for money near a quiet beach.

Excellent beachfront hideaway resort, highly recommended.

Interesting couples' resort in a quiet spot at the end of Kata beach

Huge, somewhat uninspiring beachfront resort

This resort offers boring if reliable Sheraton quality on an attractive stretch of uncrowded beach.

This scruffy grey resort has tried to look trendy and ended up looking drab

Great views across Patong bay give this comfortable resort an edge against the competition.

This 4 storey resort is a blot on the landscape that looks more like an apartment block than a beach resort

A stunning resort, elegant, grand and yet small and secret.

Poor value for money.

This beachfront resort offers good value for money.

Excellent value for money in this couples' resort in the heart of Patong

The cosy little bungalows are well appointed, but not big enough for an extra bed. This resort is close enough to the beach to walk there in 2 minutes.

An uninspiring squeeze job of a hotel with few redeeming features.

Central Patong at sub bank-breaking prices. Comfortable and kid friendly.

Stylish resort near desirable Surin beach

Execllent choice for families with small children.

Run-of-the-mill guest-house

This interesting hillside resort offers good value for money

Dreadfull place.

Reasonable for the tarriff charged.

This lovely little resort is a stylish hideaway near busy Patong beach - recommended

This mid-range resort is pricey but particularly suitable for children.

This new resort offers good value for money and is recommended.

While this is the best value mid-range resort for people who want to go shopping and out partying, it is rather a small place to spend the whole day.

Perfect for people who like to be accommodated like battery chickens.

Does what it says on the tin.

The best budget place we found on Phuket.

Currently being demolished.



Phuket is blessed with an abundance of gorgeous beaches, the finest of which lie along the west coast. The island has a lot going for it, unless your idea of bliss is an empty, spotless, soundless beach. Whilst strenuous efforts are made to clean the beaches, the visitor volumes mean that it is inevitable that some traces of the packaging industry’s products will usually be on display on those stretches of beach which are not controlled by a single resort.
Never mind, if you ever get fed up with the mess and the crowds, you can always cheer yourself up by going to an internet café, and checking out the weather back home.


Patong Beach

The best-known of these beaches is the infamous Patong, which used to attract hippy backpackers like filings to a magnet but now, since the one-hour hotels moved in, mostly draws in a different sort of tourist. Whilst Patong is now a den of dissolution, it is also paradoxically a place where families with young children can have a great time, provided they don’t return to their resort too late, due to the outstanding family facilities in many of the superb hotels located there.

The nightlife is as raucous as that in the other two of Thailand’s trio of pandemonium P’s (Pattaya and Bangkok’s infamously seedy Patpong being the other two). For families with teenage children who want to be out and about later at night than do families with younger children, the vulgarity of Patong’s sex tourists as they troop in and out of short-time hotels make Patong an unsuitable destination. High-rolling party people should stay at the Millenium, whilst those with shallower pockets are advised to head for the Patong Premier. The Royal Phawadee is a smaller resort with a great atmosphere and is centrally located, while the Burasari is also a good choice.

Kata & Karon Beaches

These two beaches are near to Patong and have a less seedy atmosphere, but are still places many familes and couples will dislike - there is not the same density of sleeze here as there is on Patong beach, but there are still large numbers of little bar girls leading their big, foul-mouthed customers around. The Sawasdee Village resort on Kata beach is wonderful.

Mai Khao Beach

Phuket’s longest beach, Mai Khao Beach is known for its coarse sand and dangerously sharp drop off into the Andaman Sea, which makes swimming treacherous from May through November. However, the serenity of the often deserted beach makes it well worth a visit. A walk along this beach, sens hakers and regimented rows of plastic loungers, is a considerably more pleasant experience than s one on one of the more popular beaches. Nature lovers can explore the wildlife that exists within Sirinath National Park, while vacationers looking to shop ‘til they drop may find the nearby Turtle Village a more exciting way to spend the day. Luxury villas are offered at an affordable price at the Marriott Phuket Beach Club, located less than 2 miles from Mai Khao Beach.

Kamala Beach

This is a more wholesome place, and is particularly popular with familes. It has a good range of mid-range hotels, of which we reccommend, for families, the bizarrely-named Print Resort.

Pansea Beach

This is Phuket's most exclusibe beach, and is effectively the private home to to the exclusive Surin and Amanpuri resorts, both of which go to lengths to protect their guests’ privacy.

Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn beach is still relatively pristine, thanks to its bodyguard, the Samnak Song monastery, which has repeatedly refused to sell out to developers. From the top of nearby Promthep Cape, the island’s most southerly point, the sunsets are often the fieriest imaginable, but make sure you arrive in plenty of time so that you can find a place to park, as you will be a long way from being the only one enjoying the sight.

Laem Singh Beach

Laem Sing beach is in a small, curving bay with rocky headlands at the foot of forest-fringed cliffs and is among Phuket's most beautiful spots. It's a bit of a hike down to reach it from the road, so is not recommended for small children or people with mobility problems. This difficulty of access has kept the beach quieter than other Phuket beaches, and a visit is highly recommended.

Bangtao Beach

Ao Bang Thao is a large open bay with one of Phuket's longest beaches. It was once used for tin mining, but has since been developed into a luxury resort complex. Most of it is occupied by the huge Laguna complex, which comprises a golf course and five luxury hotels, including the Sheraton Grande Laguna. Family facilities here are excellent, and some decent coral has somehow survived the multitude of visiting snorkellers’ fins.

Nai Yang Beach

The often nearly empty Nai Yang beach is fringed with casuarina trees, which provide shady spots on which to spread a beach mat and collapse. Off-shore is a large coral reef which serves as a habitat for several species of sea life; if you are lucky you may even see a turtle or two, particularly in April, when baby turtles are released by the Fisheries Department. If you have some time to kill before your flight from the nearby airport, here’s a good place to do it.

Layan Beach

This is Phuket's best romantic hideaway beach, and is home to the fab Bundarika Resort.


Your first impression of Phuket depends on where you have arrived from. If you have just stepped off a plane from a bleak European winter on your first visit to Thailand, you will no doubt shortly conclude that the only thing separating the place from paradise is the lack of contralto-singing women with large wings flying around in white robes.

If, on the other hand, you have just come from a pristine island like Koh Yao Noi, Koh Jum or Koh Lao Liang, you may find Phuket over-developed. Not that this matters if you have deep enough pockets to stay in one of the lovely luxury resorts, which zealously clean their beachfronts every morning before their guests arise.


Dangers & Annoyances

Particularly in the monsoon season, there are strong currents on many of the beaches and drownings are not uncommon, especially on Surin beach, due to its large waves, turbulent currents and steeply-sloping seabed. Because of the hilly island’s winding roads and poor visibility, Phuket gets more than its fair share of traffic accidents. Most days someone, often a foreigner, dies in a Phuket road accident, nine out of ten of which involves a motorbike.

Having your photo taken with a cute gibbon on one of the beaches is very dangerous, not to you but to the species. During Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival celebrants go into hypnotic trances and become mediums for spirits from beyond the grave, who instruct them to pierce their bodies with all manner of household objects, Kalashnikov rifle barrels, and very large knives. If you think that you too will feel no pain with a light-bulb sticking out of your tongue or a sword out of your cheek, then by all means join in, but maybe ask your insurance company for their approval first.



Andaman Sky, Co., Ltd, 454/2 Moo 1, Ao Nang, Thailand

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