Thailand’s largest island, Phuket attracts over five million visitors each year and is the wealthiest province in the country. Known as ‘the pearl of the Andaman Sea’, Phuket may seem hectic and overwhelming at first, but venture off the tourist trail and you’ll be duly rewarded with little pieces of paradise.
When the crowds of the island’s busiest beaches and resorts get too much, take yourself off on a bike tour of rubber plantations, verdant forests and fields on Koh Yao Noi Island. Or why not head for Phang Nga Bay? Part of Ao Phang Nga National Park, there are over 40 small islands, caves and lagoons just waiting to be explored here, and the bay’s calm waters are ideal for kayaking.
Another great place to escape the tourist hordes is at Khao Phra Thaeo. This virtually untouched national park is ripe for exploring. Adventurous types can trek the 8 km trail from Bang Pae Waterfall to Tonsai. While the waterfalls at Tonsai also make for a pretty energetic hike, there are gentler nature trails to trek too.
Visit the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. With average temperatures of 29 degrees in March (Phuket’s hottest month), you’re going to need to cool off. What better way to do it than with a tour of the distillery to see local rum being made from Thai sugar cane? Your tour concludes with a refreshing Chalong Bay Mojito!
Another fantastic thing to do on your trip to Phuket is to support a worthwhile local cause. If you have time to check out the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, you’ll get the chance to help these beautiful creatures. With illegal hunters and urbanisation leading to increasing numbers of gibbons being killed each year, this charity helps care for them as they’re relocated to the wild and they’re always on the lookout for volunteers to help.
We love the contrasts of Phuket’s party hotspots and bustling towns with its isolated white sandy beaches and national parks. Remember to dress modestly near places of worship as 35% of the island’s population are Muslim (and there are said to be more mosques on Phuket than Buddhist temples)!
Plan your trip to Phuket today.