Phuket is Thailand’s Tropical beach playground, with many amazing places to explore. Below are my Top Six.
No. 6 - Cape Panwa
Cape Panwa juts out from the bottom south-east of Phuket island. There are many luxury hotels in the area, and much to do including visiting Panwa village, touring Coral Island, snorkelling, scuba diving or just walking along the beautiful tropical beaches.
No. 5 - Coral Island
Coral Island is a popular tourist destination, around 20 minutes south of Phuket Island by boat. Also known as Ko He, there are a number of ways to get there, including hiring your own boat or going on a snorkelling day tour from Cape Panwa or Chalong.
The island is beautiful, Banana Beach is a palm tree lined clean beach with crystal clear water. The snorkelling is great, but you need to get a little bit offshore so go on a specialised tour to see the best coral and fish.
Coral Island resort offers accommodation and great food if you have not booked an inclusive tour with a buffet. There are also a range of activities including parasailing, kayaking and even batik classes.
No. 4 - Karon Beach
Karon, Phuket’s third longest beach, has a lot to offer. It is much less hectic than Patong Beach to the north, and long enough that you can usually find your own quiet spot.
There is good snorkelling at the south end, as well as the usual beach activities. The south end also boasts a vibrant nightlife.
Karon centre is home to many resorts and hotels, as well as interesting restaurants and food stalls. There is also a buddhist temple near the beach which hosts a weekly market.
No 3 - Fantasea
Phuket Fantasea is described as a the ‘Ultimate nighttime cultural theme park’. Near Patong it boasts elephant shows, Las Vegas style performances, handicraft and shopping stalls, animal exhibits and one of the largest buffet restaurants in Asia.
Fantasea is Phukets most popular attraction. The Golden Kinnaree Buffet, with its massive 4,000 seat eating hall, is worth a visit by itself. The shows are entertaining and fun, and there is always a chance to run into an elephant just around the corner.
I found the cultural stalls interesting, there was a range of local goods and handicrafts available for sale or browsing.
Fantasea Market Stall
No. 2 - Monkey Beach
The area around the Phi Phi islands is glorious. Steep walls of rock plunge into crystal green and aqua seas, full of colourful fish and corals. The area is home to many interesting and famous places, including the filming location of the movie ‘The Beach’.
There are numerous tours and ways to get to the area. Our Phi Phi island tour included snorkelling off Monkey Beach, which we could reach by swimming there. Other tours go there specifically.
Our snorkelling group swam to shore, but when we got there the beach was completely empty. We looked around for a monkey but there were none.
One of our group ventured further in, when suddenly there was movement along the tree line.
As we watched, a dozen monkeys climbed down from the branches and walked steadily towards us.
Expecting a feed they had their hands outstretched, but as we came from the sea we had nothing to give them.
They responded to this by throwing sand at our leader, who was kind enough to distract them while we swam back to our boat.
No 1 - Phi Phi Islands
Anyone who visits Phuket should venture out to the Phi Phi islands. The area is tropical Thailand at its best, there is great swimming, snorkelling, sightseeing, scuba diving and any other beach activity you can imagine.
There are day tours that specialise in different aspects of the area, as well as ferry runs that will take you directly to Phi Phi, where there is plenty of accommodation and food options.
Snorkelling around Phi Phi Island
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