Tourists flock to Phuket on Thailand's south coast because of Phuket's white beaches, near hundreds of beach resort hotels from five star hotels to budget. There's cheap shopping and eye-opening night life. Phuket makes the list of the world's Best Beach Holidays compared to other destinations because of the good quality white beach sand near accommodation that varies from five star luxury to quality budget hotels.  The sand on Phuket's beaches is some of the whitest beach sand in Asia.

Phuket island is joined to the Thai mainland via the new Sarisan Bridge to Phang-Nga province but most holidaymakers fly in to Phuket's international airport located 35 kilometres north of the main tourist strip near Patong Beach.

photo of Patong Beach
Photo of Patong Beach Phuket

It's important to remember that Phuket offers much more than just bars and accommodation near Patong Beach, with beautiful resorts dotting beaches including Kata Beach, Karon to the south and five star resorts around the attractive lagoon at Bang Tao beach to the north, including the Sheraton Grande Laguna.

Patong Beach is known as the fun capital of Asia and is certainly entertaining during the day as you decide between lazing on the white beach with tropical palms, shopping at the many stalls for everything from cheap clothing to DVDs, or eating and drinking at the many Patong beachfront cafes and bars.

photo near patong beach

By night, Patong bar girls, pole dancing performances and sex shows, show a sleazier side that some find entertaining, but others find sad.  Transvestites come out of the shadows and many Thais try to entice you with glossy brochures of sex shows. Patong at night is also where many older Western men are seen with younger Thai girls, some of whom who have no other way of earning a living. It's not uncommon to hear Westerners abusing older men for their activities.

massage near phuket beach
Massage near Patong Beach, Phuket.

The explosion of cut price airlines flying to Phuket International Airport means that package holidays to Phuket are reasonably priced and can create the perfect holiday.  You can easily stay away from Patong Beach if you don't want crowds, and we highly recommend the picturesque resorts around the lagoon at "Bang Tao Beach" only 20 minutes north. Some of the resorts only 20 minutes south of Patong at "Karon Beach" are also perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.

Photo Nai Harn Beach Phuket
Photo of
Nai Harn Beach south Phuket.

Accommodation at Nai Thon beach is a little more expensive than accommodation near Nai Thon Beach, a few kilometres inland near the Phuket airport. Nai Thon Beach is one of the world's best beach holiday destinations. Naithonburi beach resort is one of the best 5 star resort hotel accommodation near one of the best Phuket surf beaches. Unfortunately @ 100b per hour free internet was not included.  Australian trained Phuket surf lifeguards frequently blow the whistle at the predominantly Russian tourists. Most of the hotel staff are from Myanmar.  Bigger surf is at Mai Khao beach near the Sarisan Bridge, north Phuket, where there is only luxury 5 star resort accommodation. Some are the best time-share private, secure, luxury pool villas in Phuket. There's also surf near Nai Harn Beach, Rawai near the southern tip of Phuket.

Accommodation Near Phuket Beaches

You'll find stylish five star hotels near the lagoon at Bang Tao Beach. This is a white sandy beach with crystal clear water that features resorts including the Sheraton Grande Laguna, the Banyan Tree and the Laguna Beach Resort. The resorts look over the beach one way and across the lagoon to other resorts on the other side.

Photo of Patong Beach Hotel
Photo of Patong Beach Hotel

The open-air Laguna village markets are a great way to experience local Thai traders selling fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and other cooked food as well as cheap clothes. You can also shop for antiques at Laguna's Canal Village and some of the shops just outside the Laguna entrance.

photo bangla road shops Phuket
Above photo of Bangala Road Patong Phuket. Below Google Street View of Patong Beach near Bangala Road Phuket.

The other stylish beach is Karon to the south of Patong where the Movenpick Resort and Spa is literally the pick of hotels here. The Marina Phuket Resort is good value at US $170 a night while you'll find great value at the popular Pacific Club Resort at US $90 a night.

The next beach south is Kata Beach, also famous for its white sand and blue water.
There are also many good restaurants and bars near beach resorts from Mom Tri's Villa Royale for US$245 a night and Katathani Beach Resort for US$240 a night, to the great value Boomerang Village Cottages in a pretty setting for only US$49 a night.

If you want to stay near the centre of Patong Beach
where the action is, the Patong Beach Hotel for US$134 a night is right across the road from the main Patong beach.  The location is perfect for what's a 3 to 4 star hotel Patong Beach.

Slightly inland,  Kelly's Hotel is ranked #1 in Patong on Tripdvisor website because of its value at US$74 a night and the personalised service from staff including Dan the manager. Kelly's Hotel has elevated views over the beach and the mountains.  Ask for the Topaz Suite.

At the other end of the scale, La Flora Hotel at US$300 a night is Patong's most stylish hotel.

List of 10 Best Things to do Phuket

  1. Things to do at Phuket beaches:

    1. Swimming

    2. Buy a ticket or charter a long tail boat from your beach to another Phuket beach or to a beach on an island near Phuket such as beautiful Rang Yai island.

    3. Kayaking from Phuket beaches or for one of the best tours of a life time: Go kayaking through caves under karsts in Phang Nga Bay near Phuket.

    4. Surfing or boggiboarding. Hire a board from beach vendors.

    5. Sailing. Hire a catamaran at Patong beach.

    6. Jetskiing. Make sure you photo graph and check the jet skii before you hire it.

    7. Parasailing behind a speed boat

    8. Water skiing.

    9. Snorkelling

  2. Get a cheap Thai massage. Great value price of Thai massages is 300 baht.

  3. Visit the night markets. The night market at Kata near the big "Hulk" statue is quite large with a good mix of food, gadgets and fashion for sale.

  4. Watch a cabarets show. Live entertainment with animals is at FantaSea.

  5. Go on a sightseeing tour including "Big Buddha" on top of the mountain. You can either hire a car or hire a motor bike or go on a guided tour. Every hotel in Phuket has a tour desk and there are more tour agents on the street than there are hookers.

  6. Play golf.

  7. Relax pool side

  8. Go night clubing / dancing.

  9. Pub crawl, bar crawl with friends.

  10. Enjoy a wide range of cuisines at Phuket restaurants. I recommend seafood. Squid is fresh, locally wild caught, not farmed, cheap and healthy. Try Thai squid salad.

Restaurants Near Phuket Beaches

Nicky's Handlebar at Patong Beach serves great Thai food at a reasonable price.  If you can handle a bar that features Harley Davidson motorbikes, you'll enjoy the delicious food and friendly atmosphere.

North of Patong Beach at the Laguna resorts near Bang Tao Beach, try Tik near the Laguna Beach Resort.  It's right on the beach and features beautiful Thai food including fish cakes at inexpensive prices, especially compared with the nearby resorts.  Also nearby is the Siam Supper Club, a funky café and bar with sublime food run by the affable Benedikt. Dishes include fresh threadfin salmon and many believe this to be the best food in Phuket.

South of Patong Beach at Kata Beach is the delightful Capannina restaurant, an Italian café with superb pasta, pizza and seafood.  Try the spaghetti seafood or fresh barbecued fish in the wood fired oven.  The Italian wine tops it off as a great night out.

Temperature Chart Phuket
temperature chart Phuket
Rainfall Chart Phuket
rainfall chart Phuket

Phuket Summary

Phuket Thailand is a best beach holiday because the beaches are white, the water is crystal clear in most parts and there's a lot to see and do. If you love resorts and tranquility, go to Bang Tao Beach north of Patong Beach or Karon Beach and Kata beach south of Patong Beach.  If you want cheap shopping and to watch your dollar go further, go to Patong Beach for an Asian beach holiday experience near white sandy beaches and palm trees.

Phuket is one of our best beach holidays for scenery and value, but do yourself a favour and stay away from Patong's Bangla Road at night.

Photos of Phuket Thailand.

See Thai beach holidays at Koh Samui near Phuket Island

YouTube Videos of Phuket

Best Phuket beach holiday Thai travel destinations are written by dedicated photo journalists, published and edited by the Best Beach Holidays Travel editor Ben Grummels who was extended kind hospitality byFranz Hofer of the Marriott Vacation Club. Contact Best Beach Holidays to submit your Phuket beach holiday articles.

Top Beach Holidays Phuket