Phuket is awash with beautiful beaches and most visitors will find plenty of activitis to fill their holiday. The attractions of nearby Krabi are also within easy reach of Phuket should you decide to venture further afield.
With its well deserved reputation for being a major party capital, coupled with a large beach, Patpong is the place for late night clubbing. Between Beach Road and Bangla Road, the area is made up of countless bars, discos, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. Definitely a destination for the pleasure seeker. The prices in Patpong tend to be high, even by Phuket standards.
Away from the nightlife, another of Patpongs attractions is shopping. Apart from the usual malls, there is a large market held every evening. The roads around the beach area are jammed full of stalls selling all manner of wares. Silk scarves, sarongs, leather goods, handicrafts, CD's, luggage and beach wear make up just a small selection of what's on offer. Beware of fakes and do barter as the opening gambit will be way too expensive.
Stretching some 4 kilometers long, Patpong Beach is the most popular beach on the island. All the expected beach activities are available. Whilst jets skiing, yachting, swimming, wind surfing, paragliding, fishing, and kite surfing may be popular with the more exertive, it is a great place just to sunbathe and people watch. The beach does get very crowded at busy times so arrive early to claim a good spot.
Not dissimilar to Patong but on a smaller scale and slightly less crowded Karon beach is another destination popular with tourists. Although being the second longest beach on the island, much of the area has escaped major development. Well known for its nightlife, Karan differs from its bigger neighbour being more laid back and more family friendly. Well worth a visit is the Wat Karon located only 500 metres from the beach. The main hall is beautifully ornate and surrounded by two Naga snake statues. The temple grounds play host to a bi-weekly market which although clearly targeted at the tourist, it is a great place to sample the local cuisine.
Phuket Town is the largest town in the province and is the economic centre of the island. Certainly not a tourist destination in its own right probably the most interesting attraction is Chinatown .Shopping is the only reason people visit the town. Apart from the numerous department stalls and malls there are opportunities for Thai style shopping at the towns' two markets. The largest is in Ranong Road, with a more touristy market at the weekend in Wirat Hong Yok Road.
This is the islands largest bay and main boat anchorage. It is an attractive bay but not really suitable for swimming. Chartered boats ferry people to the smaller islands to the south of Phuket such as Phi Phi, Koh Racha and Coral Island. On the road leading to the bay are numerous bars and restaurants. Being the islands principal harbour many diving companies have their headquarters here. Many tourists drive up to the famous Big Buddha with its panoramic views overlooking Phuket Town. Other activities include elephant rides, horse riding, go karting and paint balling
Kata Beach is located 2o kilometers outside Phuket Town. This family oriented beach is safe for children and non swimmers as there are no sudden drop offs and the water remains shallow. Kata still has a village feel to it despite the many shops selling tourist items. Restaurants offer good value and several bars are to be found on the road leading to the coast. On the right hand side of the beach is a coral reef. Just a further kilometer south is Kata Noi which is less developed and has a superb, but much smaller beach
Phuket has no less than eight world class courses all in stunning, picturesque settings and provide challenging play for both experienced and beginner golfers. The sport has become increasing popular in recent years and it's not hard to see why with the highly maintained courses and impressive clubhouses.
Made famous by the James Bond movie 'The Man With The Golden Gun' the entire area around the island is truly spectacular. The main features of this famous bay are the sheer limestone karsts that rise up out of the emerald green waters. Being a major tourist destination it does get very crowded in the high season with an armada of tourist boats all vying for the best viewpoints. Fortunately the bay is now a national park and boats are not allowed to land on the island. The island can also be viewed from the beach at nearby Koh Ping Ghan.
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