Golden beaches, numerous offshore islands, upbeat markets, a high octane nightlife and thrilling watersports characterise Phuket in a nutshell. Beaches like Surin and Kata cater to families and those individuals with eccentric tastes. Patong beach, on the other hand, caters to all those who like it cheap, loud and crazy, even after the sun sets. Bangla road with its numerous bars, ping pong shows and street food vendors comes alive as the night grows older. Those who shy away from dizzy bright lights and alcohol will find themselves at the Cabaret shows or even at the ever-popular street markets. The Phuket Walking Street or Phuket Weekend markets are places where one can spend hours sifting through various clothes, souvenirs and novelty items. Serviced by the Phuket International Airport, the island sees no dearth of travellers during any time of the year.
Aside from all the glitz and swankiness, Phuket being the largest island in all of Thailand has a lot more to offer. Enjoying tropical weather all year round, the waters of Phuket come to life, brimming with marine habitants in the months of November to February. Activities like snorkelling and scuba diving can be done at popular and scenic locations such as Phi Phi Islands and Similan Islands, which make for day-trips by speedboat. Further up north, a more quiet and rustic experience can be had while visiting the Elephant Sanctuaries and national parks such as Sirinat National Park and Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. This is also true down south at beaches like Rawai beach and even on the west such as Karon beach which are generally less crowded and offer a more serene experience.
Hidden in plain sight is also an immersive experience of Thai culture. Phuket Town heavily retains it's Chinese influence and Sino-Portuguese history via its cuisine, cooking styles, architecture and historical museums and buildings. Chalong Wat, a Buddhist temple and Jui Tui Shrine, an important Chinese place of worship, stand as embodiments of how various religions and cultures coexist.
Phuket caters to all types of travellers - be it families, individuals, couples or groups, across all budgets. But among them, a certain section does particularly stand out. With a plethora of high-end resorts along most beaches, hotels, luxury shopping outlets and spas, Phuket is a haven for those looking to splurge big on their vacation and look good while doing it.
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