Thailand is lucky to boast some of the most beautiful islands in the world. However, there’s one name that always seems to stand out. Phuket! It’s also the largest island in the country so there are many options when it comes to beaches and accommodation. With a little help from my fellow travellers, I’ve put together this quick guide to help you choose where to stay in Phuket.
Located on the Andaman Sea near the south, Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is one of the world’s most popular destinations. It’s often in the top 10 of most visited places in the world is not difficult to see why. It has beautiful beaches and scenery like James Bond Island, amazing temples and architecture like the Big Buddha, great shopping and restaurants as well as a very famous, lively party scene.
Phuket’s size means there are many different areas on the island to stay on. This is one of the reasons why it is consistently one of the most visited destinations in the world. Phuket caters for backpackers, couples, families and basically anyone looking for a slice of paradise.
I’ve asked my fellow bloggers to help you guys out by giving their take on the where to stay on Phuket.
Where To Stay On Phuket
Recommended by Rachel from Everything French Alps.
Infamous for its rowdy bar scene surrounding Bangla Road, Patong is a place many people have fond memories of. And a few, have memories of things they may rather forget.
During the day Patong is a busy shopping spot with the usual tourist trinkets, day tour booking offices and a lush airconditioned shopping mall. If you are looking for western food and American chain eateries, Patong has it all. German beer gardens, American sports bars and the ubiquitous Irish pubs all compete for your attention in the afternoons for sundowners.
After dark, Patong really comes alive. You will hear the thumping music before you see the cheap buckets for sale on the side of the road. Patong is party central and has always attracted partygoers and those looking for some fun. Go-go bars, ping pong shows (and more if you want to look for it) all cram the streets and alleyways off Bangla road.
The beach is surprisingly clean, a local initiative that seems to be paying off. Beach boys roam the sand selling boat rides, hammocks and sunglasses.
If you stay at the hotels and resorts a hundred meters, either way, down the beach, you can be close enough to the action but still be able to have a decent sleep when you need it. Budget travellers – be aware! You have to search harder these days for a 500 THB room in Patong beach.
Recommended by Michelle from The Scrapbook of Life.
Any itinerary for 3 weeks in Thailand would not be complete without a compulsory visit to the southern island of Phuket. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more sedate than its rowdy neighbour Patong, Karon (sometimes also known as Karon Beach) might be for you. Situated on the west coast of Phuket, Karon is famous for its long-stretching white sandy beach which spans around 3km and meets the azure waters of the Andaman Sea.
A tropical paradise with a truly chilled vibe, Karon is suitable for the type of traveller who wants to be removed from the hustle and bustle of busier towns but remains central to Phuket and within easy reach of other things to do around the island. Families might enjoy this area due to the expansive beach and quieter nightlife, as may travellers who appreciate adding a pinch of slowness to their Thailand trip.
Although Karon itself is a small resort-style town, it has an abundance of boutique hotels, mouth-watering restaurants, and unique things to do. Alongside its beach, one of the best things to do in Karon is to visit Karon Temple Night Market which is held at Wat Suwan Khiri Khet on Tuesday and Friday evenings. And if you are looking for the perfect boutique hotel with Thai touches, large balconies and a quaint pool area for relaxation, then Kata Tranquil Villa comes highly recommended!
Recommended by Merry Allison from Virginia Vacation Guide.
Kata Beach is located on the west coast of Phuket, just south of Karon beach, and about 10 km south of Patong. Kata is considered one of the best and most picturesque beaches in Phuket. It is a quieter area and more off the beaten track compared to some other areas in Phuket like Patong.
Kata is an excellent location for families and anyone looking for a more peaceful and relaxing vacation. Its remote location, however, does make it more difficult to quickly and easily reach other major attractions in Phuket.
There are a number of lovely, sprawling resorts located right near the beach, such as the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, which features 6 outdoor pools, 2 tennis courts, 3 spas, and a free buffet breakfast right by the beach. The resort is also located at beautiful and secluded Kata Noi beach, which is just to the south of Kata beach. The resort is within walking distance to a number of excellent nearby restaurants, including Boathouse Wine & Grill.
Kata features a number of small shops and spas within easy walking distance. Nearby attractions include Karon Viewpoint, which features fabulous views of Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon beaches. Other attractions include Surf House Phuket, the Kata Night Market, and Wat Kitti Sangkharam (Kata Temple).
Recommended by Sharon from Dive Into Malaysia.
Kamala is a beach area on the east coast of Phuket about 15 minutes drive north of Patong. It’s my favourite area in Phuket as it has a great relaxed beach vibe. A big plus of this area is that the beach is not right next to a road so the restaurants line the beach and you can easily relax with your pad thai and a cocktail and enjoy the beach for as long as you wish.
While it’s a quieter beach area, it still has all the services and things that you need and it’s easy to go to other parts of the island if you wish. The beach is gorgeous and it’s easy to enjoy.
If you have a family, this is especially a great choice. Many of the restaurants on the beach have big toys to entertain your kids while you eat and there’s the huge Sunwing Kamala Resort which specifically focuses on providing great experiences for families. If you are a night owl, however, this is probably not the best area for you.
There are so many great hotel options in Kamala. Sunwing Kamala is a great choice for families with its 7 pools, a kids club, restaurants and more. If you don’t have kids, try the Sunprime Kamala Beach Resort next door. It’s adults-only and has tons of facilities.
Phuket Old Town
Recommended by Becki from Meet Me In Departures.
Phuket is an island with two sides. One side is the over-the-top side (mainly Patong) that attracts the backpack revellers, and the other side is a much more traditional and tranquil affair.
A short ride from the chaos of Patong, you’ll be greeted with the more sympathetic side of Phuket. One of these areas is Phuket Old Town.
The streets are lined with colourful Portuguese influenced wooden houses, with adorable verandas, and ornate decorations. You’ll also find an abundance of artsy flower-laden boutique shops as well as trendy hipster hangouts.
Another great draw to the area is the buzzing street art in Phuket with numerous walls adorned with gigantic, vibrant murals. There are walking trails all around the town which will take you to all of them. This is one of the top things to do here. There are also plenty of places to eat here. In particular, the nightly street market sells typical Thai dishes and drinks and attracts locals and tourists. There is often live entertainment with dancers and singers.
The old-world charm of this side of Phuket makes this a great place to stay in Phuket if you’re looking to avoid the drunken antics that happen in the Putang district. It would appeal to solo travellers, couples and families who are looking for a more cultural visit to the island.
One popular place to stay here is The Memory at On On Hotel, which was featured in the movie The Beach.
Where Will You Stay On Phuket?
I’ve only been to Phuket a couple of times but I already noticed how different it was on each visit. You can literally visit one year and have a completely different experience the next just by staying in a different area.
Whether you’re a backpacker on an island-hopping adventure around Thailand, a newlywed couple looking for a honeymoon destination or a family looking for a quiet place to relax but with plenty of activities to keep the little ones occupied. You’ll have no problems finding an area to suit your needs.
I’m already looking forward to exploring the other parts of the island!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on where to stay on Phuket. If you have any questions or suggestions then feel free to get in contact. Or just let me know in the comments below.