is the largest of Thailand's islands and the country's most popular
sand and sea destination, though much of it is tourism of the package
beaches are largely similar, mostly with soft sand, clear warm water enclosed
in pretty bays. Patong is the largest and busiest, attached to the lively but brash, noisy and unattractive town of Patong.
South of Patong are a handful of beaches that cater to up-market tourists while beaches in the north of Phuket become increasingly less crowded and offer less facilities the further away from Patong they get but are popular with seekers of quiet, good value beach holidays. Sand, however becomes coarser and waves more brutal.
Beware swimming when beaches have red flags flying which often happens in or near the rainy/summer season. Patong and Karon beaches are especially susceptible. There is a real danger of drowning from tide rips (strong currents), with an average of one tourist drowning a month in summertime.
Beach Pictures: South Phuket beaches | North Phuket beaches
Phuket weather | Thai Beaches Map | Phuket Beaches Map
There are still some glimpses of old Thailand out in the sticks of Phuket if you take a drive.
Phuket attractions: Comfortable, superb sand, easy to reach from Phuket international airport, plenty
of bike-rental trips and night action available, few noisy Longtails compared to the Phi Phi islands and Phang Nga Bay destinations.
Downsides: Chunky waves early in the season, some beaches colonised by package
people, little shade other than pay-parasols, towns becoming increasingly sleazy, overdeveloped and not so cheap.
Accommodation: Phuket is not a cheap island by Thai standards. Backpackers on a tight
budget or travellers seeking a quieter life would fare better on other
islands such as Ko Lanta or Ko Samet, but up-market travellers looking for a life of pampered luxury can't go wrong with 5 star hotels in Phuket where exotic style and delicacy are a national trait, servitude an honour and exquisite cuisine an everyday experience. I have a dream...
A small motorcycle is a great way to travel Phuket but beware gravel rash, it can seriously hamper your sea bathing (though it does help the healing process in small doses!).
Access to Phuket's beaches is easy and roads are excellent. Recent development has spoiled a lot of the sights and tranquility
of the island, but brought reliable power and water supplies, comfortable
hotels and good varied food to beach resorts, and lovers of solitude
can still find secluded spots, just.
Phuket town/port has no beaches or interesting night life, but good
local craft shops and a lively market. It's a useful transit point
for inter-island ferries to places such as Phi Phi Don, Ko Lanta or
The beaches worth occupying are mostly on Phuket's (pron. Poo-kett) west
coast, with the busiest being Patong in the south-centre. Phuket Beaches Map
Patong town, and other smaller tourist towns in Phuket are following suit. May I just say...Yuk? Patong pictures. Photo by Adrian.
That's no tsunami but it's got the power and can still knock you down!
December is the start of the best time on Thailand's beaches but weather can be erratic early in the season. It's not unusual to be cloudy and very hot (over 30C) with substantial waves (1m - 2m) hitting these shores at this time of year, making sea lazing hazardous for adults and dangerous
for small children. Unfortunately the waves tend to rise suddenly for a short
distance, so they're not wonderful for surfer dudes either.
One way to get around Phuket. Hang off a Songthaew. It's an adventure! Photo by Isa. Next, South Phuket Photos.
Average high temperatures and average lows vary little in Phuket with highs constantly around 31C (88F) and lows around 28C (82F). The big climatic condition to be aware of is rainfall, with a vast increase from May- October. The driest months by far, and therefore the best, are December (8 rainy days pm) to March (5 rainy days pm).
September, by contrast, suffers an average 23 rainy days per month, though some of that might be just at night or in short, heavy bursts.
However, the rainy season also means, waves, rip tides, poor sea visibility for diving and snorkeling, clouds, wind and seaweed on the beach, as well as reduced services and facilities on both land and sea.
Patong beach and town | South Phuket beaches | North Phuket beaches | Phuket Beaches Map
Beach Pictures: Krabi | Ko Lanta | Pattaya | Ko Samet
Travel | Beaches Guide | Beaches Map