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Stunning scenery - the Phuket coastline

Compare the best Phuket holidays

Phuket is the largest Thai island and sits in the balmy Andaman Sea off the mainland's west coast. Flying to the island is possible, with planes arriving at Phuket International Airport (HKT) after a change at Bangkok, and a new non-stop charter service launched in November 2013 from London.

Why go?

Beyond the airport arrival doors is a lush tropical paradise island, with miles of pristine shoreline waiting to be explored…

The west coast resorts of Patong, Karon Beach, Hat Surin, Bang Tao, Siray Bay, and Kata Noi attract the majority of guests to these shores and the accommodation on offer ranges from basic backpacker digs to five-star spa hotels where your every whim and desire is catered for.

The party town of Patong is the place to be for after-dark tunes, moves and drinks, while its quieter neighbours attract visitors looking for peace, quiet, and groovy, laidback bars in which to spend their evenings.

The food scene is simply delectable, and the Thai people put on a fine spread of local cuisine, as well as catering for an international palate.

Phuket is fantastic for watersports and there are plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkelling. Even the golf enthusiasts are looked after here. And if all that sounds a little too vigorous, there are fabulous spa hotels that can help to ease away the aches and pains of everyday life.

When to go?

Phuket can be enjoyed all year round, with plenty of sun to take advantage of, although the summer months are drier…

Expect heat and humidity throughout the year, with temperatures barely dropping below an average of 27°C. The humidity eases between December and April. Monsoon season falls between May and October, though the storms are usually short and help to clear away some of that humidity.

What's on?

You’ll be pushing it to stir from your sun lounger or get out of the warm waters. However, here are some events to consider attending…

Songkran; April: You'll undoubtedly have seen images of the festivities that surround Thai New Year - buckets of water are generally thrown about and water guns squirted. The sprinkling of water is meant to bring good luck, though the “sprinkling” has become more of a soaking in recent years. Leave your camera behind and join in the fun.

Vegetarian Festival; September/October: This colourful 10-day event observes the sacred rituals of Phuket's Chinese residents. The participants undertake a cleansing vegetarian diet, plus other acts such as walking over hot coals and climbing ladders made of blades.

King's Cup Regatta; December:
Held at Kata Beach, this yacht regatta is Asia's biggest and the races make for spectacular viewing from the shore.

What to do?

Phuket holidays can be packed with a busy timetable of day trips, if you can bring yourself to leave the water's edge…

The national parks of Khao Lak Lam Ru and Khao Phra Thaeo are worthy of exploration, while the Buddhist temple of Wat Phra Thong gives you an idea of the melting pot of nations and cultures that has found a home in Phuket.

Thalang National Museum is the place to delve into the history of the island, while the aquarium and the butterfly farm offer glimpses of the nation's wildlife. The natural world can also be seen in all its splendour on Phuket's beaches, when turtles swim ashore to lay their eggs in the soft sands.

On the southern tip of the island is Promthep Cape, where crowds gather to watch the sun setting over the watery horizon every evening. It's a magnificent show - and it's free!

Venturing off the island you'll find James Bond Island at Phang Nga Bay. It's had many names, but this picturesque stump of rock was renamed after finding global fame thanks to Roger Moore's Bond in 1974's 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.

Another great day trip is to visit the beautiful Phi Phi Islands by boat and to see Maya Bay which was made famous by the film adaptation of 'The Beach'.

Add all of this to the legendary Thai hospitality and the warmest of smiles upon arrival, and you've found a holiday paradise. Use the search tool on TravelSupermarket to find your own Thai smile as you bag your holiday bargain to Phuket.

Relaxing: Miles of palm-fringed white sands on Phuket give you the perfect setting for a relaxing day topping up your tan.

Active types: If lounging around on the beach isn't for you, there are plenty of activities to get your adrenaline pumping. Scuba diving, jet skiing and banana boats will keep you entertained, or for real dare-devils, take up the challenge of a jungle bungee jump.

Kids and teens: For a truly memorable day out with older children, why not go on an elephant trek in the jungle? Or prepare to be dazzled at Phuket FantaSea theme park where you can watch its exotic Las Vegas themed theatrical show, visit the Carnival village and enjoy Thai and international dishes in its 4,000-seat restaurant.