Phuket Travel Guide

Rene Ehrhardt

Dating back to 1025 A.D., the island of Phuket just southwest of mainland Thailand has a long and complex history, mostly as a trading post for foreigners carrying and seeking valuable materials such as rubber, tin, pearls, timber, ivory, and gems. The glitter of these villains, traders and travelers still glows today in the spirit and the culture of the island.

Connected by two principal bridges to mainland Thailand, Phuket attracts millions of tourists each year with the hopes of experiencing the marvelous natural wonders, bizarre spectacles and fascinating history in the form of an exotic vacation. From Las-Vegas style shows highlighting, among other things, dancing elephants, to natural waterfalls and stunning views of the ocean, this tiny gem in the Andaman Sea is not to be underestimated.

At Patong Beach, catch the Simon Cabaret Show, likely the most exotic experience you'll find in a show-like atmosphere. Expect to glimpse a fair share of world-famous 'ladyboys', better known as transvestites, putting on a glistening performance marked by fantastic costumes and unbelievable bodies. Women and men will both agree, this show will leave you speechless. And if 'ladyboys' are up your street, then a late night stroll down Bangla Road might also find its way into your agenda, where you'll be amazed by the sheer quantity of flamboyant characters prancing around and beckoning your guilty senses.

Day breaks and you might seek some refreshment in the form of spiritual retreats or natural wonders. Both treats blanket the island of Phuket. Wat Chalong, for instance, is one of the island's most important temples, where you'll find intricate carvings and glass mosaics decorating several pagodas. This is Phuket's spiritual center, with a cultural importance that highlights the unique history of the island. On special holidays, you'll also find country style fairs where you can nibble on traditional Thai dishes while breathing in the aromas of the fragrant natural surroundings.

At 45 meters high, be sure not to miss the Big Buddha monument, a recent arrival in Phuket with a spectacular view of surrounding Chalong, Kata, and Rawai. Catch a traditional Thai Boxing match, plan an excursion to relaxing outdoor retreats surrounded by waterfalls, make a quick return visit to your favorite 'ladyboy' performers, or simply indulge in the exotic nature of this one-of a kind world destination. Whatever the case, Phuket offers diversity in spectacle and attractions that will leave you with plenty to talk about upon your departure.

Where to Go in Phuket

TOP PICKS BY OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

Andara Resort and Villas

expert pick

15 Moo 6, Layi Naka Road
Kamala sub-district

Luxury with a price tag to match.

Radsada Souvenir & Hand Made

expert pick

29 Ratsada Road
Talad Yai

High-quality souvenirs

Scruffy Murphy's

expert pick

Bangle Road

Great Irish pub that offers more than just drinks.

Viking Grill Garden

expert pick

64/12 Soi Bangla Road
Patong Beach

Scandinavian cuisine and great live music.

Phuket Blog Posts

UPDATES FROM OUR TRAVEL TEAM

Phuket’s Tourist Traps: What NOT To Do When You Visit
Phuket is full of wonderful places to see and explore. Despite being a very touristy destination, your money can go a long way here if you know where to spend it and how to avoid scams. Unfortunately, Phuket is also home to a number of tourist traps that you should avoid.  Read more

Day Trip: Sirey Island
Sirey Island is just minutes away from downtown Phuket, but it seems worlds apart. To get there, you need to  cross a narrow mangrove swamp with an unlikely name: Ta Jin Channel. Although you can hire a boat to take you across for a more “rustic” experience, there’s also a pedestrian bridge that... Read more

Wat Chalong: More Than Just a Temple
  Wat Chalong is one of Thailand’s most impressive temples and the biggest of the 29 temples that call Phuket home. The temple has a very interesting history behind it. The original Wat Chalong temple was built at the beginning of the 19th century  in a different area of Phuket, then moved... Read more


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