Where to stay in Phuket?
Phuket Island offers so much and there certainly is something for any taste. No matter if you are looking for nightlife and party, amazing clubs, family holidays, super upscale properties offered at several thousand US$ per night, or just a secluded, calm and relaxing holiday. Everything is available.
So, how to define the different areas?
- Mai Khao Beach Area is blessed with some very nice hotels, mostly large scale, upmarket properties. The are is great for a relaxing beach holiday, however it is very far away from all must see attractions on Phuket Island. Also, if you would like to organize excursions, dive or snorkeling trips, it always takes minimum one hour to get to the pier. Everything is far away, however if you just plan to stay at the resort, it is a great option. As it is also close to the airport, the North is very suitable for short stays.
- Nai Yang, Naithon Beaches, very close to the airport, which is practical for very short visits. Similar to Mai Khao Beach, everything is far away, so these beaches are good for just staying there. Good quality hotels are available. Nai Yang Beach is also close to Sirinat National Park, which is beautiful, however it does suffer from the noise of the close airport.
- Bangtao Beach, a very long and beautiful beach has been populated with very large scale developments nowadays. It more or less lost the local character and a bit comparable with Balis Nusa Dua area, could be anywhere in the tropical World, like a self contained tourist town. There are great hotels for families with children however, so families might consider. It is also close to the “Millionaires Mile” in Phuket, with upscale restaurants and the hippest beach clubs.
- Surin Beach, Kamala Beach are further South of Bangtao, closer to Patong and it feels. High End Beach Clubs, like the famous Cafe del Mar are located here and many more. Private Villas worth multiple Million $$ gave these Beaches the nickname Millionaires Mile. Close to Patong Beach, it is easy to access the crazy nightlife there, however it is still quite a drive to get to Phuket Town or Chalong Pier for excursions. Both beaches are suitable for party people as well as for families.
- Patong Beach is the World famous tourist center of Phuket. It is crowded, messy, overly busy, with terrible traffic, bars, discotheques, shows, restaurants, markets, shopping etc. There is nothing visitors cannot find there, apart from peace. For locals, Patong Beach doesn’t really belong to Thailand and Thai people don’t behave like Thai people. Overtourism at its best. It also achieved to be questionable famous for overboarding prostitution, therefore not at all recommended for a family holiday. Patong might however be worth a visit in the evening or at night, for visitors who have not yet experienced the craziness of Thailand’s nightlife. Go with your partner and dive into another strange world of half naked ladyboys, have a drink and enjoy the szene. If you have seen it before, we recommend skipping the place entirely.
- Karon Beach and Kata Beach are beautiful beaches, suitable for families and couples. Plenty of new hotels have increased the choice, there are some old classics there as well because these beaches were amongst the first to be developed in Phuket. Access to most tourist attractions is much easier and quicker than from places further North. The famous yearly King’s Cup Regatta is usually held from Kata Beach with the boats delivering a beautiful backdrop for visitors of Kata Beach.
- Nai Harn, Yanui Beach, the South tip of Phuket is probably the most beautiful part of the Island. It is however a slightly longer drive from Phuket Airport, therefore is the better place for guests, staying a bit longer. Once guests are in the South, everything is close so it is well worth the longer one time airport transfer. The area is half residential, half touristic, so the local flair is well preserved. It is definitely the friendlier side of the Island and proximity to all major tourist spots is a huge advantage. Less people, less bars, less nightlife, more green, more peace, more space.
Most of Phuket’s “must see” attractions are right around the corner of the Mangosteen Resort!
Different from other tourism hotspots on the island, in the South, locals, expats and tourists mingle in a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. It is hence not a surprise that many of the frequent visitors to Phuket say that without any doubt, this is their preferred part of the island as it is only here that they can experience the real local Phuket.
The famous Big Buddha of Phuket, Chalong Temple, Chalong Pier, Seafood Market Rawai, Rawai Beach, Kata Beach, Nai Harn Beach, Promthep Cape Sunset Viewpoint, Kata Viewpoint, Elephant Trekking Camps, Muay Thai Boxing Center, Bars and Restaurants, all are in direct reach of the resort and easily accessible.
Nai-Harn Beach has been awarded one of the best beaches in Asia and it is indeed a very good location to enjoy. Located in a National Park and protected by a large temple right behind the beach, it is one of the few quiet and natural beaches which is not full of large hotels blocking access. Of course there also are the famous Kata and Kata Noi Beaches, both just a short drive away. Drive along the South part of the beach road, from Promthep Sunset Viewpoint all the way to Karon or Patong Beach to see the best views of the Island. Stop at the great viewpoints along the road and take beautiful pictures.
Rawai Beach offers some nice choices for Seafood Lovers, as well as a good walk on the pier or along the beach road with its restaurants and bars.
Phuket Town’s Night Markets and the Walking Street on Sundays, filling the historical old Phuket Town with thousands of visitors are not to be missed as well. Maybe combined a visit to the markets in town with the Big Buddha and Chalong Temple, both located on the way to town.
Phuket’s South is ideal if you like the “real Phuket experience” and can be described as “the opposite of Patong Beach”. Many of our guests have been in Patong but would never return (ask them why)…