Patong Bay in Phuket, Thailand (Corel)

Sunset over Phuket, Thailand (Corel)

Elephant fountains in Phuket, Thailand (Jennifer/Whetzel/Flickr)

Ko Tapu Island near Phuket, Thailand (iStockphoto)

Phuket, Thailand (iStockphoto)

Phuket, Thailand (iStockphoto)

Long tail boats in Phuket, Thailand (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Phuket

As one of the most popular and cosmopolitan Thai destinations outside of Bangkok, Phuket pretty much has it all—except peace and quiet. The west-side beaches around Patong are perpetually overwhelmed with tourists, as is Bangla Road, Phuket’s infamous Red Light District. Overall, the scenery in Phuket runs the gamut from downright seedy beer-bars to űber-posh. For a more wholesome and authentic taste of Phuket, visit the weekend market. It’s set apart from the main tourist drag, so you’ll have to hire a tuk-tuk or rent a motorbike to get there. It’s a great place to haggle over knock-off Versace handbags and pirated DVDs, but the real jewel is the street food, presenting a sizzling culinary fusion of Thai, Malay, Chinese, and Indian flavors.

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Traveler Reviews of Phuket


Joe rates Phuket
Phuket is a very interesting place to go that is a bit off the beaten path. We had an awesome time staying at Paresa in Kammala Beach. Patong Bay is the main tourist location with several cruise ships making stops each week. It is very busy and a big overwhelming, so if that doesn't sound like your scene, don't worry, there is still plenty to do and see that is more relaxed.
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Lacy rates Phuket
Phuket is an amazing place to visit -- but I would say that it is ideal for the younger crowd of travelers. There is always something going on, but the majority of the time that something is going on, it's a bit on the hedonistic side. There are bars and beer stands everywhere on Patong Beach, the most popular beach in town. This is a great place to hang out on the beach all day, buy cheap souvenirs, and to, well, get really drunk. I wouldn't recommend it for families. However, there are many other beaches in the area that are more family-friendly. I would recommend a stop in Phuket Town. One day trip should do it. This is where you'll get a glimpse of real Thailand.
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