For the last couple of decades, Phuket has become the epicenter of tropical travel. It proudly boasts its designation as the Pearl of the Andaman. Phuket is tropical living at its best with picture-postcard turquoise waters and palm-fringed white sandy beaches, and almost year-round sunshine. Thailand’s largest island appears to have found a seamless balance between traditional and contemporary architecture, resulting in peaceful retreats or vibrantly chic hideaways with décor, fabrics, and furnishings that will impress.
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Nature is one of the biggest draws to Thailand, and Phuket has seemingly endless offerings. You can charter boats and explore the Andaman Sea, Phang Nga Bay and the famed James Bond Island and kayak through the mangroves to Koh Panyee. Further afield, there are waterfall-filled jungles and white-sandy beaches to explore.
Thailand is well-known for its spicy food offerings with specialties from around the country and further into Asia. The island has lots of dining choices, from bustling street markets and cool cafes to in-villa butler service and international hotel restaurants. Shore-side dining is hard to beat in Phuket; not only does the island boast some of the dreamiest tables in the country, but it also has a yummy array of gourmet restaurants that attracts foodies from around the world.
Phuket Old Town has a boutiquey feel with colorful Sino-Portuguese shophouses which accommodate art galleries and quaint Asian and vegan eateries. Every Sunday evening, the town hosts a bustling and musical street market. Patong offers a hedonistic nightlife with an eclectic range of bars and nightclubs. Laguna and Cherngtalay are grown-up with a chic collection of wine bars and bustling dining rooms. The coast is home to cool beach clubs dotted along the shores ot the Andaman Sea. Beautiful lady-boys frequent stages and provide some must-see entertainment unique to Thailand.
Phuket is renowned for its health and wellness facilities. Chivitr leads the way with state-of-the-art healthcare offerings; their specialists get to the root cause of the ailment, and they look to calm and strengthen the immune system allowing the body to protect and heal itself. Yoga retreats and schools also attract plenty of people striving to live a healthy and green life. Muay Thai is a combat sport and not for the faint-hearted; it's also known as the Thai 'art of eight limbs'.
Phuket is awash with beautiful accommodation ranging from plush beachside hotels, serviced apartments, traditional Thai-style cottages, or lavish Balinese-inspired villas complete with butler service. If you are planning to stay for a couple of months or more, it's wise to check in to a centralized hotel so that you can explore your surroundings, familiarise yourself with daily amenities, check out the local kid's clubs, daycare, schools, and clubs before committing.
Luxury Retreats has a range of villas to rent short or long-term in Phuket.
Each of the OneFineStay properties is hand-picked and undergoes an intensive vetting process. OneFineStay has a team of dedicated travel concierge professionals to help you book your stay.
Airbnb is probably the most recognized name in lodging and homestay rentals. Airbnb connects people looking for accommodation with people renting rooms, apartments, or villas in Phuket.
Tripping is a pioneer for long-term rentals and a one-stop-shop for holiday homes across the island.
The platform integrates various providers, including booking.com, Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia, and TripAdvisor. HomeToGo.com simplifies the time-consuming process of finding somewhere to stay by curating the best offers in one easy-to-use space.
FlipKey provides travelers with varied accommodation from low-cost to family-friendly accommodation in the various suburbs of Phuket.
The platform allows you to choose your accommodation type and to book entire properties for short and long-term rentals. Also, it gives you additional preference choices such as on the beach, pet friendly, and homes with free cancellations.
* Vrbo, https://www.vrbo.com/
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, the size of Singapore. Its unique blend of culture, modernity, serenity, and history makes it ideal for expatriates who want to enjoy a happy balance of Asian culture with western educational facilities.
Various supermarkets in Phuket offer quality local and imported items and daily groceries. The larger stores also offer an impressive range of consumer goods such as household products, clothing, and electrical appliances. Most national chains are represented in Phuket, including Tesco Lotus, Big C, Central Food Hall, Tops, Makro, and Villa Market. You can also explore Supercheap which was founded in Phuket and famously stocks just about anything you think of in a vast warehouse.
There is an impressive number of hospitals in Phuket, considering the size of the island. They range from local hospitals for cuts and grazes to high-end, trusted international brands like Bangkok Hospital. Although the cost of treatment is relatively low, make sure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage.
There is a rapidly growing number of family-friendly facilities that promote fun things to occupy your kids. Kid's clubs have a variety of offerings, including cooking classes, painting, dancing, and games. You can choose from international hotels or independent facilities to ensure that your children are entertained and learn through play.
Blue Tree Phuket, Cherngtalay
Blue Tree is in the peaceful neighborhood of Cherngtalay. It boasts an impressive 17,000 square meter lagoon which forms the epicenter of water-based activities, water slides, zip lines, aquatic sports, and paddleboarding. Blue Tree is perfect for family days out and is suitable for kids of all ages.
JW Marriott, Mai Khao
The JW Marriott is a sprawling beachfront resort on the northernmost coast of Phuket. It has a diving center, Sea Bees, that offers diving courses and experiences for children and adults and possesses an extensive range of sports and leisure activities for kids.
SAii Laguna Phuket
SAii Laguna Phuket resort sits peacefully on Bangtao Bay, a popular destination for residents and holidaymakers. The club has daily Thai-centric activities such as batik t-shirt making, painting, and traditional dancing. There is a dedicated kids pool and a larger pool with a 55-meter slide to keep little ones occupied.
Rawai Park Kids Club
Rawai Park Kids Club has an extensive indoor and outdoor play area with various playgrounds and a waterpark with slides. There are also manicured gardens with sandboxes in which the children can play. There are comfortable spaces for the kid's families to supervise and relax.
Travelling to Thailand During Covid 2022
The ‘no quarantine’ programs that Thailand offers are called the “Phuket Test and Go” and the “Phuket Sandbox.” The Thai government implemented a travel safe system in 2021 called the “Phuket Sandbox”, which allows travelers to enter Thailand without quarantine, given that they meet vaccination requirements. This scheme is similar to the VTL that Singapore offers.
The Sandbox program requires travelers to still take a Covid PCR test, and to stay a week in Phuket (but not confined to staying indoors the whole time) before they travel to other destinations. If you’re looking to temporarily relocate to Phuket, then the one-week period isn’t even relevant, as you’ll be finding a place to live in Phuket.