One of the most common misconceptions about travel in Southeast Asia is that Phuket is too developed and travelers need to look elsewhere for their beach vacations.
While parts of Phuket are overly developed – and to be frank, pretty gross – Phuket is a big island and there are still plenty of gorgeous beaches and clear waters to explore. Below are my 10 reasons why Phuket should still be on your travel bucket list.
- Quiet beaches – Not all of Phuket island is Patong beach. For a quieter beach experience, head to one of Phuket’s less developed beaches – Kata Noi, Karon, Bangtao.
- Top rated island by travelers – Phuket was just listed as #7 of the Top Ten Islands in Asia by Travel + Leisure. There are a lot of islands in Asia – there’s a reason why T+L voters named Phuket as their favorite – because travelers love their time in Phuket.
- Island hopping – Phuket is the best place to base yourself to explore some of the more remote islands and snorkel spots for the day, and come back to your hotel and have options for dining and nightlife.
- Ethical Elephant experiences – The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary recently opened on the island. A home for retired elephants, you can visit these incredible creatures in an ethical way, feeding and bathing them, with no riding offered at the park.
- Great value – You can stay at some of the best hotels in the world, for a much better value than a beach vacation elsewhere.
- Destination for active travelers – sea kayaking, hiking, yoga, stand up paddle boarding – Phuket is the place for those who want to do more than sit on a beach and tan.
- Thai food – Thai food + beach vacation = yes please! Most Southern cuisine is inspired by the fresh sea food ingredients readily available on the island.
- Thai massages – $10, one-hour massages on the beach. Need I say more?
- Easy flights – You can fly into and out of Phuket with just one stop from the states (same as if you were flying into and out of Bangkok)
- #1 reason – Phuket is picture perfect.