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Phuket is by far the largest island of Thailand offering a range of scenic, Instagram worthy destinations with a party vibe throughout the night. A clash of industrial and naturalistic presents you with a city that could be described as Bangkok on steroids.
Why Phuket?

Honestly, we had serious doubts about visiting Phuket. In terms of recommendations on places to visit in Thailand, Phuket may not even make the list. Although Mandy had a great time there were persisting negatives that surrounded the city. The main negative was the way the island was catered towards Russian tourists almost forgetting Thai authenticity altogether. It could be described more as a holiday resort for Russian and Chinese holiday goers rather than backpackers looking to dive into Thai culture.

What to do in Phuket

If you do visit Phuket, you must visit the Big Buddha! This visit made the Island, it was so impressive. We went just before sundown and the views couldn’t be better. Phuket is also home to the Kathu waterfalls and the Ton Sai waterfalls which were desirable. They are not the biggest waterfalls you can visit in Thailand but it’s a lovely day trip to include. Our main tip throughout Thailand would be to rent a scooter independently or with your partner and drive everywhere yourself. The sense of freedom you will achieve is second to none.

We would not recommend visiting Tiger Kingdom. It has become common knowledge that animals are mistreated and exploited for money throughout Asia. Firstly, posing with tiger cubs for a photo is not our idea of fun especially when you consider that some may be sedated. It is an expensive trip and not one we would ever include in our recommendations. If you want to see wildlife, consider a licensed sanctuary much like Bamboo Family Elephant Care in Chang Mai.

Phuket sunset


If you are looking for party, Bangla road is the place for you. The main party street in Phuket is comparable to Kao San Road in Bangkok, but on steroids. We enjoyed the live music in the bars but it soon became enough. I think the saying you will love it or hate it completely justifies Bangla Road. Phuket also offers lovely restaurants by the seaside to gaze over the sunset after a busy day.


Phuket acts as a transport hub through to Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay. There a huge number of day-trips to Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Islands but certainly recommend spending longer in both. If you don’t have the time to visit these destinations separately, a tour is nice, but please, you owe it to yourself to stay at least 3 days on Koh Phi Phi if you can, here’s why. Phuket has desirable beaches but is nothing compared to what Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay has to offer. If your budget isn’t so strapped and have a little more money to spend, you can take a tour to the Similan Islands which is a paradise for diving and snorkelling.

Phuket & Phang Nga Bay by boat

For more information about Phang Nga or Phang Nga Bay including the enticing James Bond Island, read our blogpost Phang Nga.

To conclude, Phuket offers a variety of activities some travellers would love, but for us we would prefer spending our time on other more beautiful islands. If time is of the essence, use Phuket as a layover to explore Phang Nga, Koh Phi Phi or surrounding islands.

Phuket in sunset

Mandy, Travelling Translated

Travelling Translated

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