Where to stay in Phuket – Where the party is or calm and relaxed? The Best Places to Stay in Phuket!

I’m often asked about where to the best place to stay in Phuket is and what the different areas are like in Phuket, some people want party central and others want something more relaxed and calming with the option to go to those “party areas” or busy markets. Keep in mind there are plenty of other locations to stay in Phuket, however today I’m just touching on a few of my favourite (and not so favourite) locations.

You can also check our my article on “where to go shopping in Phuket” for the best shopping hot spots in Phuket. The Crazy Tourist has a great article about the Top 25 things to do in Phuket, check it out for some great ideas.

Quick note: Prices will obviously vary from high season to low season, in some cases by almost 50%! Low tourist season is from May to October and high tourist season is November to April. Personally I think Phuket is the best in October as it is the last month of the low season and there doesn’t seem to be much rain to ruin your holiday.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

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Party central/busy areas in Phucket

Patong:

Patong is the main tourist area in Phuket, the beach is often filled with hundreds of people on lounge chairs, jet ski’s and people selling everything from Ice cream to massages and “lucky Balloons” (aka lanterns). The streets are littered with bars, lady boys, tailors, ping pong shows and actual litter… The Patong aroma is one that burns your nostrils but don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it, luckily when it rains the smell goes away but beware the pong comes back with a vengeance!

Patong beach is thought to have some of the best shopping in Phuket, it has a great selection of markets that sell “designer” clothing, hang bags, watches, shoes and much much more as well as normal watches, wallets, clothing, shoes, hats etc . Most of the vendors all seem to sell the same thing for varying pricing, depending how you ask, what you say or what you look like. To get by unscathed, check out Our top 10 hot tips on how to barter your way to the best price in Thailand.

There are also a few stores that sell souvenirs you would usually find in a tourist area such as, postcards, little elephant statues, I Love Phuket T-shirts and so on.

I would characterize Patong as frantic or organised chaos and we were there in the low season, which was apprently pretty quiet! It would be nothing short of chaotic in high season, what an experience that would be!

Best Places to Stay in Patong

Budget: 

Poppa Palace Hotel Phuket

Patong Princess Hotel

Mid range:

Swiss Palm Beach

First resort albergo

Family:

Seaview Patong Hotel

Deevana Patong Resort & Spa 

Luxury:

Grand Mercure Phuket Patong

B-Lay Tong Phuket – MGallery Collection

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Karon

Karon is not as frantic as Patong but often referred to as “Patong’s Little Sister. In Karon you will find a range of hand made items, shops, a bar or 2 and good restaurants and cafes. Not as many lady boys or ping pong shows (unless you go down Bangla Plaza). Most of the bars are just off Patak Road and are similar to Patong in that they have a few “hostesses” that you can enjoy a few beers or games with, they are sure to keep you “company” for a fee………As for shopping you can head to

Karon Bazaar, here they sell every from dvds to clothing, suitcases and beachwear, oh and you wont be hassled by tailors. Alternatively you can head to the Karon Market on Tuesday and Saturday afternoon/evenings, they sell similar things to the Bazaar but you can also find food and fruit, many of which most westerns have never seen before. Its always interesting to wander round these markets, seeing and smelly new and wonderful things.

Best Places to Stay in Karon

Budget: 

Karon View Resort

Manohra Cozy Resort

Mid range:

Phuket Island View

Karona Resort & Spa

Family:

Andaman Seaview Hotel

Phuket Orchid Resort

Luxury:

Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Club Med Phuket

Kata

Kata is generally favoured by families, no matter what time of year with Its beautiful white sand, almost crystal clear waters and palm-lined beach. Kata has some really good restaurants and lively nightlife! It has plenty of shops from souvenir shop to clothing stores to 7-Elevens and local supermarkets.  As far as night life goes Kata is not as crazy as Patong and is a little smaller than Karon, you will find that the nightlife is fairly tame as it is aimed toward families and couples rather than single men (or men in general). If you do want some “girlie bars” then head to Kata Road as there aren’t any in other area. If you are a fan of great views head to the “3 capes” look out at Kata view point, where you can see Patong, Kata and Karon.

Best Places to Stay in Kata

Budget: 

The Color Kata

Maithai Hostel

Mid range:

Kata Country House

Phuket Chaba Hotel

Family:

Kata Palm Resort & Spa

Ibis Phuket Kata

Luxury:

The Shore at Katathani

Malisa Villa Suites

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Quiet more relaxed areas in Phuket

Rawai

Rawai is one of my favourite areas to stay while in Phuket, its approx. 45mins from Patong and short drive away from Chalong pier. Rawai is a place where you can relax by the beach, with very few people around and breathe in some fresh air, rather than smelly smog in Patong. Rawai beach is known as a working beach where you can easily hire a long boat to take you to neighbouring islands like Bon or Coral island for a day of snorkelling or relaxing. It’s more of a local area and only has a few hotels around the place. The locals often have “pop up” markets and easy to access 7/11 stores.

This is not an area to go shopping or party in, it’s an area to relax and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. We usually stay at Serenity Resort, this resort doesn’t have a very swimmable beach but they do have a great pool and a few rooms with private pools. They also offer a free shuttle to a local beach if you do want to spend the day under an umbrella with sand between your toes.

Rawai beach is close to the very popular Phromthep Cape look out, where people go to see beautiful sunsets each night. If you are in the area check it out!

Best Places to Stay in Rawai

Mid range:

Navatara Phuket Resort

Rawai Palm Beach Resort

Family:

Sunsuri Phuket

Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre

Luxury:

Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket

The Vijitt Resort Phuket

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Nai Yang

Nai Yang is my next favourite area to stay in. It’s only 5 mins from the airport and about an hour away from Patong. Here you will find a fine white sand beach with a few little stores, beach massage parlours, restaurants and an old abandoned hotel or two.  It’s a great beach to relax without being bothered by people trying to sell you something or by other guests or visitors. The water is warm and fairly clear, you can even go snorkelling at the reef at northern end of the beach, kite surfing is fairly popular in this area too if you want to try your hand at it. We usually stay at Indigo Pearl resort, it’s a huge yet beautiful resort but can be a little on the expensive side. Nai Yang has different ranges of accommodations for different budgets so its no excuse to miss this slice of paradise!  (Cliché, I know BUT this beach is beautiful and very relaxed!). This is also a beach known for beautiful sunsets, grab a cocktail and relax.

Best Places to Stay in Nai Yang

Budget: 

Nai Yang Beach Resort

Mid range:

L’esprit de Naiyang Resort

Family:

Dewa Phuket Resort Nai Yang Beach

Luxury (and family friendly):

Indigo Pearl Resort Phuket

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Where to stay in Phuket – Where the party is or calm and relaxed? The Best Places to Stay in Phuket!




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Travelling King is a blog all about travel, food, luxury, and lifestyle.
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164 Comments

  1. 6 October, 2013 / 4:13 am

    I’ve been spending a lot of time north of Patong lately and I’ve got to say, the whole Surin and Kamala area is really beginning to grow on me. It is a bit pricey compared to the far south, but it is a great change of pace.

    • 6 October, 2013 / 1:05 pm

      great thanks for the tip, will have to check them out. Always on the lookout for great places in Phuket, that arent tooo over crowded like Patong.

  2. 11 October, 2013 / 9:55 am

    Great round-up! I wish I read this before I went last year. When we got off the bus at midnight and told another traveler that we were heading to Patong, he frowned in disgust and said, “Why would you want to go to Patong?” We spent the night in Patong, but moved to Kata the next day!

    • 11 October, 2013 / 11:44 am

      hahaha! Yeah I am not a huge fan of Patong, it is an area you either love or hate. SOme people love it – we hate it..
      It is good for day trips or shopping but wouldnt want to stay there

    • Lesley
      31 December, 2013 / 12:19 pm

      Hi Deia,
      Where did you stay in Kata? Im probably going to be staying there for a few nights in April!

      • 1 January, 2014 / 2:31 pm

        Hi Lesley,
        depends what your budget is?

  3. Daniel
    1 November, 2013 / 6:59 pm

    Greatful I found your site! Never been to Thailand, but heading over for 16 nights in February.
    Will Patong be “hectic” during late Feb/March ?

    Also, how bad is the smell that you were referring to as we will be there for 8 nights!

    • 2 November, 2013 / 12:54 am

      Hey Daniel,
      Patong is always hectic 🙂
      the smell is pretty bad but the longer you are there, the easier it is to deal with 🙂
      its not all smelly, just some main areas

  4. Joanna
    5 November, 2013 / 6:40 am

    Great article! We’re heading to Thailand mid December and we plan on staying in Phuket for a few nights. It sounds like we need to avoid Patong. Between Kata/Karon and Surin, which one would you recommend if we want to relax, snorkel and maybe explore the nightlife for a night? We’re also thinking about doing a day trip to Phi Phi, with that in mind, would one of these places be better than the others? Any suggestions/tips would be great. Thanks! 🙂

    • 5 November, 2013 / 8:14 am

      Hi Joanna,
      I think Kata or Karon would be perfect they are quieter than Patong but you can still arrange tours to Phi phi – check out Phuket Sail tours or Simba tours

      • Joanna
        5 November, 2013 / 8:30 am

        Thank you!

  5. Irina
    9 December, 2013 / 6:29 am

    Hi guys,

    we are travelling to Thailand in Dec-Jan. And our last journey will be snorkeling tour on a liveboat around Similan Islands.
    Since the tour starts in the early morning next day as we arrive to Phuket, we have to spend one night somewhere.
    + we will be dropped off in Phuket 2 days before our departure to homeland.
    I don’t know yet but I assume that we will be picked up on the north west side of Phuket. (as the boat goes then to Khao Lak)
    Can you recommend any good area to stay for these 3 nights? We just wanted to spend this time relaxed.

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers,
    Irina

    • 9 December, 2013 / 1:59 pm

      Hey Irina, Do you have a budget in mind?
      Its difficult to say without knowing your budget as we tend to enjoy the more luxurious type hotels.

      • Jiltedgen
        2 March, 2014 / 3:26 am

        Which luxury hotels/resorts do you recommend in Kata or Rawai

        • 4 March, 2014 / 7:23 pm

          Hi!
          Thanks for taking the time to comment.
          We LOVE Serenity resort in Rawai – 5 star resort – beautiful room and great service

  6. Sat
    5 February, 2014 / 12:48 am

    Hi Guys!

    Thanks for a very informative article!

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Singapore and Phuket in mid-March this years, and we’re currently looking at the Vijitt Resort in Rawai to stay in. I was wondering if you’ve had any (or heard or any) experiences staying at the resort, and whether you know of any other resorts that we sould consider before booking.

    Also do u have any recommendation of how to get around whilst we’re there? is getting a taxi everywhere the easiest option?

    Thanks again!

    • 5 February, 2014 / 9:13 am

      Hi Sat,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂
      Vijitt has always been on my list to stay at, however we have never got around to it. The reviews seems to have a lot of good feedback which is always good. It depends what your plans are? Serenity around the corner from Vijitt Resort is quite nice and has a free shuttle to Festival Central shopping centre and Patong as well as a local beach otherwise my other favourite is the Indigo pearl which is near the airport, they also offer a shuttle to get around to the main areas but i think there might eb a charge for this.

      in regards to getting around, you can catch taxi’s or try to stay at a hotel that has a shuttle (very helpful) otherwise if you are wanting to tour around Phuket, we used Daj (if you go to the search bar on this website (either on the side bar >>> or at the bottom of the page vvvv) and search Phuket Tour, you can have a look at what we did with Daj on our tour, however he is very flexible and very well priced!

  7. 6 February, 2014 / 5:33 am

    I’m all for Kata or Rawai 🙂 Look lovely.

    • 6 February, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      Hey Erin,
      I agree – im all for a more relaxing environment

  8. Anthony
    12 February, 2014 / 3:37 am

    Hey!

    I’m planning a trip for me and my mom for June or July. We’re mainly going to Phuket for shopping and chilling? Can you recommend a central area where we can stay for our entire trip? We want to visit the bigger markets and have easy access to transport and beaches. I’ve been looking at B&B’s and guesthouses and seeing that we’re planning a 15 day stay, can you recommend places thats under 400thb perhaps?

    • 13 February, 2014 / 5:23 pm

      Hi Anthony
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      Most people will generally stay at Patong or Karon or Katat to be central – they have greta beaches and lots of places to shop! Patong can be a little CRAZY!
      400B is ery cheap I cantr really recommend anywhere sorry! BUt good idea for looking at B&B and guest houses – hotesl will likely be fairly expensive

  9. 22 February, 2014 / 10:38 pm

    Thanks for this very informative article. On our last trip around Thailand we skipped Phuket, but we might go there next time. I saved this piece for looking at it when we go to Thailand the next time.

    • 23 February, 2014 / 10:30 pm

      Hey Gabor!
      Phuket is great – a lot of bloggers and long term travellers avoid it thinking it is too touristy but i love it – there are several quieter less traveller places!

    • 24 February, 2014 / 5:18 pm

      Look forward to hearing about your tavels 🙂

  10. 25 February, 2014 / 5:51 pm

    I’m thinking of going to Phuket, but one of my friends used to live there and she always says it’s a bad place and doesn’t recommend it. I guess, I would need to see it for myself.

    • 27 February, 2014 / 3:58 pm

      Hey Jo

      I think it is a place you need to see for yourself, everyone has a different opinion, I think its important to listen to a friends advice or a fellow blogger or anything you read really but maybe not to take it as gospel. Everyone is slightly different, with different things they like and different tastes.

  11. Cuci
    4 March, 2014 / 2:58 am

    Hi ! Thanks for the very informative article. Visiting Phuket this May. What is Old town Phuket ? Is this anywhere near the beach ? Where are the weekend night markets located ? Are there any cooking schools in the patong area ?

    • 4 March, 2014 / 7:30 pm

      Hey Cuci,
      Thanks!
      Old Town is s the name suggests the old town in Phuket, i dont think it is near a beach it in “in the city”.
      The weekend night markets are located in Phuket town, a fairly cheap taxi ride from anywhere you are staying or check if your hotel goes to phuket town or Central festival, from there you can catch a taxi there (only a few mins).
      I cant comment on cooking schools as im not sure im sorry.

  12. Disa
    16 March, 2014 / 12:36 am

    Hi, I’m visiting Phuket this April and right now I’m confused to decide where to stay–Patong or Phuket town. I’m going there with a bunch of friends and we love the beach and also shopping. Any advice? Thanks!

    • 16 March, 2014 / 7:16 pm

      Hey Disa
      i would say Patong or Karon/Kata – close to the beach!

  13. Johnny
    18 March, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    Hi ! love the articles…
    I plan to visit Phuket in May with my wife and daughter, so I guess Patong is not suitable for us as it is to CRAZY.
    I’m thinking to stay at Karon beach area. which hotel would you recommend ? budget on around 100~200 USD/night. any night market around karon beach? or eating with beachfront view ? shopping area?
    If I would like to go daytrip to Phiphi island, is it convenient to go to the pier ? how long it takes to go to the pier? by taxi or tuktuk or other ? (I saw rassada pier in website)

    Lots of questions… Cheers!!

    • 18 March, 2014 / 11:06 pm

      Hey Johnny,
      its hard to recommend a hotel without knowing what you look out for – best to check out websites like wotif.com to get an idea of the hotels then contact them directly. Or try Agoda for cheap rooms.
      Night Markets at Karon Temple are on Tuesday and Saturday nights starting about 4pm.
      Plenty of beach front shopping and eating!

      Best to contact Phuket Sail Tour or Simba tours (a little more expensive but VERY safe) otherwise you can try asking your hotel to assist you or book at one of the street vendors, however keep in mind they dont usually have a good track record and might not take safety precautions as they should.

      Have fun!

  14. 30 March, 2014 / 8:26 pm

    Hi Guys,
    I’m going to Phuket with a friends in April. I’ve been to thailand before (Koh Samui/Phi Phi/Bangkok) Going on a training camp in Chalong for a week then had a 2 nights at the end of our trip. We wanted to stay somewhere that is away from families with a cool/trendy crowd. I’m thinking like potato head in Bali. Can you recommend a hotel? Budget would be approx $200AUD a night.
    And/or a good area away from the sleaze of phuket, families and trashiness but near the shops and bars……if this is possible….if fear i am asking too much 🙂
    I look forward to any suggestions.
    Cheers,
    jo

    • 3 April, 2014 / 9:41 pm

      Hey Jo!
      In Phuket i assume?
      I love the Indigo Pearl and Serenity but they arent really too lose to bars etc (well maybe indigo pearl) however im not 100% sure that it would fit your $200 per night.
      I can only really recommend places i have stayed.. 🙂 hope this helps

  15. David
    5 April, 2014 / 10:02 pm

    Going to Phuket last week in June for 6 days along with my 17 year old son. Can you tell me good hotel and area to stay in. Looking for good food, good swimming pool, relaxing time with a bit of evening entertainment.During the day want to visit Phi Phi island and take in all the sights , bit of shopping etc. Looking for hotel around €70 -€100 per night

    • 7 April, 2014 / 9:55 am

      Hey David.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      there is ALOT to choose from i would suggest looking at Agoda or similar websites, put in your budget and a hepa of hotels will come up. As mentioned in this article there are several different types of areas to stay in, do you want party central or relaxed and calm?

  16. Hussein
    10 April, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    i am going to phuket in mid june with my wife for a honeymon. mainly we are thinking about the coconut vllage resort. since it is my first time i don’t know if it is good. we need a clear water beach with many activity like jet ski and other water activities also some night activity so not to be bored for 10 days..is my choice good or need to change it. please help

    • 15 April, 2014 / 9:12 pm

      Hi Hussein,
      I have not heard of it before so i cant make a comment, i woudl suggest having a look at Tripadvisor.com to see the reviews 🙂

  17. Carol
    11 April, 2014 / 7:36 am

    Hi,

    Travelling to Phuket in July. We have 23 nights in South East Asia and intend to spend some of them in Bangkok and the on to Vietnam. How long should we spend in Phuket? I was thinking about 8 nights. We want to do some tours of islands, relax, eat traditional Thai food etc. Not into the idea of crazy nightlife but would still like somewhere with a bit of activity (restaurants/markets). Perhaps 4 nights in Karon or Kata? I really like the sound of the Serenity resort and I was thinking of spending 4 nights here. Is it easy to get around from here and is there anything located in the area? Will try to keep budget down the first 4 nights and then don’t mind splashing out a bit for last 4 nights.

    Also any tips on Bangkok? Looking for a good quality/value four or five star hotel.

    Thanks!

    • 15 April, 2014 / 9:18 pm

      Hi Carol.
      Thanks for stopping by
      8 nights in Phuket is good! 4 night sin Kata/Karon is a good idea, Serenity is lovely and they offer a shuttle (i think its still free) to take you to a few shopping areas as well as Patong if you want a night out, Chalong Pier is close by, i think they have shops there however im not 100% sure, we spent most of the time relaxing.

      In Regards to Bangkok, We stayed with the Shangri-la and Banyan tree, loved both and would recommend both but it depends what you want to be near, Banyan tree is in the financial district (or not much near it) and the Shangri-la is on the river which is really nice!

  18. Norma
    14 April, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    Hello.. Love the review.
    Need an advise for nice hotel in Kata or Karon. I’m going to Phuket on 25 – 30 May 2014, traveling with my 5 y.o. daughter and my sister. Budget about USD150 – 200.
    I checked Serenity in Rawai. Looks nice but it looks quiet.

    Thx in advance,
    Norma

    • 15 April, 2014 / 9:28 pm

      HI Norma
      I cant make any suggestions for Kata or Karon as we havent stayed there.
      Serenity is lovely (quiet is good :))

  19. 16 April, 2014 / 8:31 am

    Hi guys, great article! Just landed here by chance

    I’m travelling in early Nov with my wife and another couple (early 30s).
    I own a timeshare and Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club is available for our travel dates. However, I’ve read a lot that there aren’t many places nearby, and one of the things we would definetely want is to be near restaurants, shops, etc.

    We are going 5 full days, which 2 will be on tours (Phang Nga and Phi Phi). That leaves us with 3 days, in which I think we will spend only one full day at our resort and 2 in Patong/Karon/Kata…

    I would prefer to stay in Karon/Kata, but the thing is that the whole stay at Marriott´s Phuket Beach Club is worth about just one night in another hotel…

    Does this seem like a good idea?

    Thanks in advance,
    Gonzalo

    • 1 May, 2014 / 6:28 pm

      Hey Gonzalo,
      Sorry for the delay!
      I cant say much about the Marriott, i dont know much about it.
      make sure to spend some time relaxing, you are on holiday after all.
      taxis are cheap and hotels usually have free (or cheap) shuttles that you might be able to use.
      Not worth spending more money to stay somewhere else.

  20. Zahid
    9 May, 2014 / 3:10 am

    HEY!! Love this blog post, very informative and it seems like you’ve had an amazing time travelling to various parts of the world, I hope you do a lot more travelling and enjoy yourself along the way! 😀

    I just wanted a bit of information about staying in Phuket and different activities. I’m travelling with a group of 4 friends, all of us are 21/22 and we don’t party or drink but we’re really after an activity filled holiday.. Of course a day trip to Phi Phi islands is on but apart from that are there many more islands to make sure our days aren’t wasted. And what about beach activities like parasailing, jet skiing etc, I’ve just read from a few forums to stay well away.

    Finally, we’re considering booking a hotel on Karon beach which looks lively but not too much so like Patong. How quiet would you say Rawai beach and Nai Yang are in relation, are there many activities going on there because we may consider those beaches as well but don’t want to be stuck with nothing to do.

    Thanks for reading and any help you can provide!

    • 14 May, 2014 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks so much Zahid!
      sorry for the late response
      we will be doing lots more travel!! Keep your eyes open over the next few months

      I agree with the forums – stay away form jet skis – they are more trouble that they are worth – if you do want to goon them make sure to take photos of the whole thing. There is a heap of fun things to do on Coral island (and its not as crowded!)

      Rawai beach and Nai Yang are both very quiet, Karon is a little more lively and has a few more things to do.
      I would suggest Kata or Karon for beachy activities, Rawai beach isnt the best and Nai Yang beach has a bit of activity but not a lot.
      remember have fun and take lots of pictures!!

  21. Azu
    10 May, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    Hi there, nice review you have here!

    My mom and I are planning to have a vacation in Phuket and from what I’ve read Patong is quite the busty beach, so we’re considering between Kata or Karon. Any good hotel you’d recommend? Budget would be around 5,000-8,000 baht per night? If the hotel you’d recommend is beyond the budget, still please do tell.

    I’d also like to ask about transportation and language system. I’ve never been to Thailand so I’m not quite sure how things work there. Basically how to get to the hotel from the airport, from the hotel to nearby malls and from the hotel back to the airport.

    Will be waiting for your reply, thanks in advance!

    • 14 May, 2014 / 8:50 pm

      Hey Azu!
      thank for stopping by
      I would suggest having a look on Agoda.com – i cant personally recommend any hotels there as we dont usually stay there.

      Transport:lots of buses, taxis and tuk tuks – if you travel in a taxi, politly ask thy put the metre on. If you travel in a tuk tuk then make sure to agree on a reasonable price before getting in. find out rough prices form your hotel.

      Language: you shouldnt have an issue,, plenty of people in Thailand speak English or some form of English.

      How to get around: you hotel is likely to have a shuttle bus that might be free depending on the hotel and getting from the airport you can take a taxi or find out the cost of your hotel picking you up.

      Hope i got it all 🙂 if not please feel free to ask away

  22. Doris
    14 May, 2014 / 3:08 pm

    Hey guys,
    love your articles! My boyfriend and I will be in Phuket for a weekend in early June, we’re looking for a nice accomodation (2000-4000 THB p.n.) for relaxing at the beach and also that is a good starting point for maybe a motorcycle day-tour around the island. Also we’ve read that it can be quite rainy in June, is that true? Are there some rain activities you can recommend?
    As for the hotel, we were looking at the Nai Yang Beach Resort, but it would be great if you had some other tips for us, maybe on other locations as well!

    Thanks in advance, kind regards
    Doris

    • 14 May, 2014 / 8:59 pm

      Hey Doris!
      thank for stopping by
      I would suggest having a look on Agoda.com – its hard for me to recommend somewhere as we usually stay at Rawai or Nai Yang which are very peaceful. Kata and karon as nice as they are a little quiet – not as crazy as Patong.

      Please be careful on bikes – Thai people are crazy drivers! There are often accidents, if you are involved in one, its ALWAYS your fault – also make sure to have travel insurance just incase!

      We usually stay at Serenity in Rawai or Indigo Pearl in Nai Yang. BUt it depends what you want out of your location.

      Please let me know if i can help 🙂

      • 27 August, 2015 / 1:17 pm

        Thank you for that info! It is really helpful. How far of a drive is Rawai or Nai Yang from Patong and I have read several horror stories about Patong. Is it safe?

        Thanks!

  23. Jess
    25 May, 2014 / 7:43 pm

    Hello! I am going to Phuket in July. Would you recommend Dusit Thani Laguna or Impiana Private Villas? Thank you! 🙂

    • 26 May, 2014 / 5:11 pm

      Hey Jess!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      I have heard Dusit Thani Laguna has a good reputation and it looks great!

  24. 2 July, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    I’ve been to Phuket but only stayed in Patong for a couple of days. You make me want to go back for a longer time and explore the rest of the places.

  25. Dale
    9 July, 2014 / 2:07 am

    Greetings there!

    Appreciate the nice write up!

    Could you reccomend a place to stay in phuket with budget approx. 50USD for 6 nights.

    Would love a fair share of nightlife within reach and serenity all throughout.

    Thanks in advance mate!

    • 9 July, 2014 / 9:49 am

      Hey Dale
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I cant recommend a place as we uaually stay in places which close around $300+ per night 🙂
      However i would recommend Kata or Karon – or Patong is you want to be in party central.
      Kara and Karon are a little quieter but still have some areas of nightlife.

  26. Abhi
    15 July, 2014 / 10:56 am

    Hi! I jus simply loved this blog:) I am planning for a trip to Phuket in the month of September but coz of the weather reviews I have come across in other sites I am really in two minds. Can you please tell hows the weather generally in the month of September. I am certainly expecting rain but does it pour really bad and restricts your outdoor movement. Water sports are on during that time? Also, I am planning to book Sea View Hotel in Patong, any feedbacks? Look forward to your response.

    Cheers!!

    • 27 July, 2014 / 1:21 pm

      Hi Abhi,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      We usually head to Phuket in October – which is the monsoon season – however we have never had a day where we have been stuck inside because of the rain.
      It is usually sunny during the day and rainy at night however please remember it is “the weather” and it is not something that can be controlled.
      I think you will be fine, just make sure to take an umbrella – it will likely still be very hot so you dont need to take a jacket 🙂

      Have fun and enjoy yourself!

  27. 3 August, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    If you’re not into partying, there are nearby places that may be a lot nicer than Phuket; Try Koh Lanta for beaches or Krabi for authenticity. You may also visit Kho Lak National park for nature 🙂

    • 4 August, 2014 / 12:58 pm

      Hey Cindy,
      Not all of Phuket is about partying.
      I would say that Krabi is like Phuket but in a different area.

  28. Heather
    10 October, 2014 / 9:59 pm

    Thanks so much for such a wonderful list of the beach environments. We are traveling to Phuket for the first time in January as a family with a 3 year old. Thanks to your blog we are leaning towards staying on Kata Beach at Katathani Phuket Beach Resort. Looking forward to a relaxing vacation!!

  29. Pooja
    26 October, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    Hi..there.. I would like to visit Phuket in dec.. My only concern is the safety aspect as I would be travelling with my sister alone.. Is it safe for two women to travel alone. If yes, which area should we stay at. Also, we would like to dine at restaurants outside the hotel and go to phi phi island as well.. Is it safe?

    • 4 November, 2014 / 5:44 pm

      yes of course! Phuket is fairly safe – just use common sense.
      Kata and Karon are nicer and not as crowded as Patong

  30. 6 November, 2014 / 4:54 pm

    I stayed in Phuket in June and actually find that for anyone wanting a nice quiet and relaxed holiday then Karon is a great place. Well, when I say Karon, I actually mean the Centara Grand Beach Resort.
    We are a 40+ couple and found the hustle and bustle of Patong not to our taste and visited only a couple of time. Loved the Karon area though and it was an easy walk along the beach from our resort.
    Thats our pick and would definitely stay there again. If your’e young and a party animal, Patong is ideal though.
    Cheers
    Pete

  31. Nano
    28 December, 2014 / 7:06 am

    Hello, thanks for such great blog!

    I’m staying in Thailand islands for 10 full days and was wondering if you could give us (me+wife) your opinion on this itinerary. Also if you have some suggestions on what area to stay in this places we would be very thankful! Budget for hotel only $50-60 USD night.

    2 Nights Phuket
    3 Nights Phi-Phi
    2 Nights Krabi
    2 Nights Samui

    My question is, should we bother to go to Samui side or stay around Phuket/Krabi area with the amount of time we have? From Samui I’d go to Bangkok for another 3 nights and back to Los Angeles 🙂

    Best,
    nano

    • 30 December, 2014 / 11:32 am

      Hi Nano,
      I personally think this is very rushed, you will spend more time travelling than you will being able to relax and enjoy your surroundings.
      i woudl suggest picking a max of 2 places and spend more time there otherwiseyou will regret having to travel soo much and you will end up exhausted!!

      • Nano
        31 December, 2014 / 6:56 am

        Geez you’re so lovely for getting back to us!

        I think you’re right! So we are going to focus on Phi-Phi and Krabi. Any suggestions on best areas to stay on these two islands? We like going to bars and having fun but we are not in our 20’s anymore so a more peaceful place to rest with reasonable access to the party areas would be perfect!

        I also realize the $50-$60 budget is not quite enough for this time of the year, it looks more like $80-$100 for nicer hotels.

        Thanks!

        • 2 January, 2015 / 1:21 pm

          Hi nano

          Thanks for stopping by and its our pleasure to get back to you.
          good idea! thailand has some of the best beaches in the world!! you will have a good time no matter where you go.
          Phi Phi only has a few resorts so you wonthave much of a choice and Krabi i cant comment as we havent been there before sorry!
          However i would suggest checking out the Tripadvisor forums – plently of great advice there 🙂

  32. Jim
    31 December, 2014 / 11:41 pm

    Hello,

    What a wonderful blog! I am traveling to Thailand for 17 days in mid March. We fly from New York to Bangkok (and then fly home from Bangkok). I am traveling with a single friend of mine (we are both single & straight). Our current plans are: Bangkok for 3-4 nights …then phuket (possibly) for 9 nights, then Bangkok for 2 nights before we head back to NY. We are looking for : nice beaches, nice restaurants, some party (single people), some relaxation. Our budget for rooms is about $500-$1000 per night. We are thinking Phuket so we can do a couple day trips to phi phi etc …but are not sure. Not sure if we do Patong (Amari/La Flora/Diamond Cliff/BYD) … or any other area of Phuket …or Ko Samui …I am really confused haha ….and a bit anxious to reserve a room (with 2 rooms or two queen beds) ASAP….any help would be much appreciated !!! Thank you !! 😀

    • Jim
      1 January, 2015 / 1:56 am

      Hello again! I checked our Serenity in Rawai and it looks nice …but some of the trip advisor comments said ..it is not too close to anything (can’t walk to any clubs) and you can’t really swim in the water (beach)…they called it mud ….not sure if it was a rainy season etc …but I am looking for a part of phuket or samui (or anywhere) with nice water beaches, walking distance to clubs/restaurants (does this exist 😀 …… any help would be much appreciated! happy new year !!!

      • 2 January, 2015 / 1:51 pm

        Hi Jim
        Serenity is lovely however is about 30-40min drive from Patong – the main party beach/area, so you are correct in that you cannot really walk to clubs etc. I woudl say its more suited t a relax holiday.
        The beach isnt very nice to swim in and its not advertised this way however they do have a dialy shuttle to take you to a close by beach with is very nice.
        March should be fine though… i dont think its the rainy season, might just be hot.
        Patong is what you woudl be looking for or Kata or Karon which are close by.
        Personally i dont like Patong – there is too much going on.

    • 2 January, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      Hey Jim
      sounds like a nice trip planned!
      i think for the sake of not spending all of your time travelling – take a day trip to Phi Phi but maybe high a long boat or something more private and customized.
      Most of Thailand has amazing beaches so i dont think you will have trouble. And your budget for rooms will get you some really nice places..
      Patong is very busy and can be a little overwhelming… but it depends on what you are looking for …
      If you book thought the hotel direct you can always cancel – just pay attention to the cancellation policy

  33. Alexandra
    29 January, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    Hi,

    I’m planning a surprise 30th for my boyfriend and have booked flights to/from Phuket for 13nights.

    Still undecided as to whether to book a hotel for the full 2 weeks or try to travel around Phuket and stay in different places. Is the island easy enough to travel around for day trips if we were to stay in one hotel? – I have thought about hiring scooter/car.

    Just wanting to get the most out of the time we are there but not as manic an experience as back packing.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • 30 January, 2015 / 9:54 am

      HI Alexandra,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Your boyfriend is a very lucky guy!!!
      The island is fairly small and easy to organise day trips – please be careful with scooters and make sure you have travel insurace that will cover scooters.
      Maybe stay at one end of the island for a week and then the next end the other week? Or just relax for the full 2 weeks – hotels usually provide good deals for long stay guests.
      Have fun!

  34. Johanna
    8 February, 2015 / 2:31 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for such a great website. My husband and I (early 30’s) will be traveling to Phuket, arriving later at night to the airport and only staying 1 night as a place to hop off and visit other surrounding areas. What would you suggest for a location that is convenient for getting ferries/boats to other islands the next day and wouldn’t be too far from the airport. We would probably go out and get a drink and some food at night but don’t want to be near the Patong craziness.

    Thanks!

    Johanna

    • 18 February, 2015 / 11:09 am

      Hi Johanna,
      Sorry for the delay.
      Phuket is a fairly small island so getting ferries etc are fairly easy and a max of an hour away.
      Let me know where you are catching the ferries/boats from

      Thanks

  35. Sid
    7 March, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Hi, My wife and I are coming to Phuket in 2nd week of April for 2 nights-3days. Coming from Bangkok in a bus!! Our aim is to see PhangNga bay, Phi-Phi island, walk around Phuket town & Patong. Am not a great fan of beaches, but would like to see the town, temples, etc. Could you plz recommend a place to stay (our budget is around GBP-£20 per night. We want to rely upon on local buses for moving around, if possible.

  36. 1 April, 2015 / 10:30 am

    Do you have any recommendations regarding living in Phuket? I’m planning on living there for more than 6 months, and I’m looking for a decently sized city, with modern amenities, a nice beach close by and solid internet connection. What would that city be? 🙂

    Thanks!

  37. Rob
    9 August, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Great Insights! Thanks for sharing.
    Just need your help/advise on where to stay (beach/island and resort/hotel). We plan to stay in Phuket for 7 nights. Initially, my plan is:
    a. 2 nights in a cheap hotel/resort/dormitory (coming from airport 11pm hence don’t want to spend much)
    b. 2 nights in a luxury hotel/resort (thinking to stay in a quiet/relax place – Phi Phi Island??)
    c. 3 night in a mid range hotel/resort (Ideally, somewhere not too far the airport, near beach and lot to see/activities and buy stuff/present) – Patong beach??

    THANKS!!

    • 11 August, 2015 / 8:49 am

      Hi Rob!
      I can provide recommendations but at the end of the day it will come down to you.
      Unfortunately i cant provide much insight around a cheaper hotel/dorm as this is not my preferred style of travel.
      I would suggest the Indigo pearl as your luxury hotel it is at nai yang beach which is lovely. The reason im not a high fan of Phi Phi is that there are only a few limited places to stay and hence they will charge a lot of something i wouldn’t consider luxury. However i would recommend a day trip with Simba tours (they go in the afternoon when it is not as crowded with tourists.
      IN regards to the last 3 nights, really you can stay anywhere on the island – the bottom on the island is only about 45mins – 1 hour form the airport which is really nothing… I personally cant stand Patong, its smelly and a little gross (then again im a princess!) what i would recommend is having a quick look on trip advisor at Patong and pick a few of he top hotels and reading the reviews..
      I would actually recommend that you read reviews of hotels before booking – this will give you an idea of what kind of hotel it is – pay attention to the negative feedback but also keep in mind that some people might just like to have a whinge.
      Hope this helps x

  38. Laura
    13 August, 2015 / 1:27 am

    Hi!
    I’m going to Thailand in October/November for the first time and I’m glad I came across your blog. I’ll be in Phuket for 3 nights at the beginning of November. When I was looking at hotels, I came across Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central which didn’t seem like it was in the centre of all the action but close enough to be apart of it. Do you know if this is the case?
    Also, I’ll be coming across from Krabi – I don’t suppose you can advise the best way of getting from Krabi to Phuket?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Kind regards,
    Laura
    x

    • 17 August, 2015 / 8:14 pm

      Hey Laura!
      the Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central is in a good spot, not too far from the “action” but not right in the middle of it – perfect if this is what you’re looking for.

      You can get from Krabi to Phuket via car or ferry – the ferry will really depend on the weather. Or you can just arrange a car service, easy and comfortable. Would not costs anything more and AU$ 110 (approx), you may get for cheaper, but do use a correct licensed company.

      Hope this helps!
      X
      Sam

  39. 25 August, 2015 / 8:32 am

    Great post! I personally love Kata, I think it’s the perfect mix of action and relaxation. I also really loved Kamala; much more quiet and relaxed than Patong or Karon but just a short drive from the busier areas.

    • 27 August, 2015 / 1:13 pm

      Hi Karyn!

      My husband and I are visitng Phuket in a couple days. I’m having such trouble finding a nice clean hotel at a reasonable price any suggestions? Also, how far is Kamala or Kata from Patong?

      Thanks,

      • 27 August, 2015 / 1:59 pm

        Hey Monica,
        Not sure who Karyn is haha!
        I have provided a few options of some cheap and easy hotels in this article.

        the drive from Rawai to Patong is about half an hour and this is the same from Nai Yang.

        Patong is perfectly safe – just use some common sense.

  40. Jadenyc@aol.com
    9 October, 2015 / 11:47 pm

    Great post! I’ll be in Thailand for 16 days and planning to spend 6 nights in Phuket. I’m looking for a quiet beach front hotel that’s in walking distance to local restaurants and shops, away from party scene. I was considering Beyond Karon Resort. I was also considering staying 3 nights in Karon and 3 nights in Krabi (Railay) – as I heard the boat tours from Krabi is more reasonable then Phuket. Do you think that’s too short a trip to split into two islands?

  41. Kale
    25 October, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    I can totally recommend Rainy’s Tourist and Taxi services. We’ve been in Phuket Thailand many times and only used Rainy’s travel services, she speaks very good english and is friendly woman. Also this year we will definitely be using her services, which are very much cheaper than tourist offices provide. It’s so good to find someone you can trust.

    Contact info: Rainy mobile: +66843073993 or +66887541237
    email: rainyphuket@yahoo.com

  42. Zubair Raza
    29 October, 2015 / 4:50 am

    I am planning to stay in phuket for 7 nights and have chosen kata noi beach and the hotel which im planning to stay is katathani. Plz inform whether it will be alright or not. Going for my 2nd honeymoon. Planning for some day trips to phi phi amd other islands as well. Which will be the best resort/hotel to stay in kata beach which is right on the beach? How about le meridien phuket beach resort. Is it better than katathani? Would appreciate ur opinion.

  43. Marian
    17 December, 2015 / 11:33 pm

    Hi, we are a middle aged couple (58 & 66) travelling for the first time to Phuket in March 2016. Rawai or Nai Yang sound like our kind of place but are there shops and things to do apart from lying on the beach? Which do you think would be best to stay in and perhaps get on a couple of day tours around to some interesting places while we are there? And any suggestions of what there is to see would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • 18 December, 2015 / 10:25 am

      H Marian 🙂
      I think Nai Yang would be best – there are a few shops around there otherwise you can arange for a car/hotel bus to take you to Patong or Phuket town for shopping. There aren’t that many shops aroudn Rawai.
      Yes take some day tours around phuket, Phi Phi Island etc there are no shortage of day tours and 99% of them can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
      Hope this helps

  44. Islam
    11 January, 2016 / 12:59 am

    Hello , big thanks to you for these advices , I would like to ask you me and my friends going to Phuket in January 2016 our ages from 27 -30 we want good hotel and not much expensive we want see natural places island , trip with boat inside jungle and also parties and beaches , please advice us as it’s our first time and we will stay for 7 night , thanks

  45. dee
    11 January, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Hi Samantha,

    We would be coming to Phuket for 2 days as a part of our honeymoon and i really want to stay at a clean beach where I can easily swim in the water and relax at the beach. Which one would you suggest. we are only interested in beach fun and relaxation and no party places.

    • 13 January, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      Hey Dee

      Would highly recommend Nai Yang – i love it there – its peaceful, the beach is nice and its not a party scene 🙂
      Let me know how you go x

  46. Tom
    8 February, 2016 / 1:06 am

    I’m looking at going in June and
    Just wondering if anyone can give me any advice on where to stay, their is me and the girlfriend going and we want to be near a beach, do abit of exploring and not be that far out from the big local markets and nightlife

    Cheers Tom

  47. Brigitte R
    10 February, 2016 / 6:41 am

    Hello ,
    Thinking about going to Phuket in November , I want to be in a nice hotel on the beach , nice beach for 8 days
    Should I stay 8 days in the same hotel in Phuket ? In advance , thank you

    • Briigtte R
      10 February, 2016 / 6:44 am

      It’s Brigitte again
      You always ask about the budget
      $1500 per person max with breakfast buffet included ( hotel and air fare )

  48. Dani
    14 February, 2016 / 6:13 am

    Hello, I’m going to be in Phuket a couple days by myself before meeting up with my group back in Bangkok… I would love to shop and explore the markets in the late afternoons after my day trips, but I’m not big on the night life or club scene, esp. Being alone. So, I’d like to be in a mid-range hotel or leaning towards luxury in order to relax and enjoy the beach/ massage/ etc… Was considering doing a phi phi island tour or James Bond island tour one day, and elephant trekking/rafting tour another… But after those days I just want to wander, shop a little, & relax?! Any area suggestions for me?

    Dani

  49. 3 March, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Hi, Love your picture and thanks for the great info on Phuket. We have over a week there in Phuket and will arrive March 18th. We are spending 2 days on Koh Yao Yai at a 5 star beautiful resort. We need to spend one night at an inexpensive hotel on the 18th and get on a boat to KohYaoYai. Any ideas on where we get that boat? I would like to stay close to that area.
    We leave the island on the 21st to come back to Phuket. We want to do day tours for 3-4 days with action.. diving, boats, rafting, jungle,…etc. What town should we stay in to do the day tours and island trips to PhiPhi and James Bonds Island?

    • 7 March, 2016 / 9:34 am

      HI Brenda, thanks for the message – sorry im not very familar with Koh Yao Yai, so i dont want to point you in the wrong direction!
      Honestly you can do any of the tours no matter where you stay in in Phuket, the tour companies do a great job in organising hotel pick ups all over the island.
      Depending on your budget and what typeof area you want to stay in will depend on my recommendation.

      Thanks

  50. Emily
    1 April, 2016 / 7:28 am

    Hi Samantha, great thread!

    My bf and I are going to Thailand at the end of May. We are early 30’s, from LA, with a relatively large budget. We love parties as well as relaxing beaches and exploring cultures.

    After a few nights in Bangkok, we were thinking of staying 4 nights Phuket, then hopping over to Ko Lanta for one night, back to Ko Phi Phi for one night…. then back up north to Chaing Mai to finish our vacation.

    Question: does it make sense to experience a night in Phi Phi and Lanta to get the feel of their nightlife/ dining & cultures? Or do you recommend staying in Phuket and doing day trips to Phi Phi/ Lanta?

    Thanks!

    • 16 April, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Hey Emily
      So sorry for the delay!
      I can’t really comment on Ko Lanta as i haven’t been there myself but i don’t believe there is much nightlife on Phi Phi, i’d recommend just a day trip there 🙂
      Your trip sounds WONDERFUL!

  51. Chandru
    12 April, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    I am planning a vacation to Phuket towards end of May with family (wife and two kids – 11 and 12 years).

    1. Which is a good place to stay in? Would not like it to be too crowded. Would like it to be close to the beach, proximity to water sports and also need to visit Phuket Fantesea. Any recommendations?

    2. Would like to go on a day’s tour to some islands close by. Is Phi Phi Tour and Maya Bay good or anything better? Thanks.

    • 16 April, 2016 / 12:51 pm

      Hi Chandru
      Sorry for the delay 🙂
      Kata or Karon would be perfect for you i think.
      Those tours are fairly standard and good to go on, i would also recommend Coral island – its a little less crowded 🙂

      • Sanya
        20 May, 2016 / 9:53 pm

        Hi Samantha,

        Thank you for the very informative article and the information in the responses above. I am travelling with my family to Phuket for 5 days this June end. From your description it seems staying in Karon or Kata would be perfect for us.

        Could you please recommend a good hotel for us for around USD200/night. We are a family of 4. If you happen to know the best hotel in terms of location, service, and general rooms/decor/ambiance available within this budget it would be very helpful.

        Two main attractions we were planning to indulge in are a trip to phi phi island and a trip to the tiger kingdom. Could you please share your opinion on these? Could also please share if you think there any other attractions that we must not miss ( I have come across the mention of Phanta Sea show often)?.

        Thank you very much in advance!

        • 6 June, 2016 / 8:53 am

          hi!
          Sorry for the delay!
          The hotel price will depend on your dates, have you had a look at the recommend hotels on this page?
          Obviously the luxury hotels are going to provide better service and facilities and can be fairly cheap if you stay in their standard rooms.

          Would highly recommend Phi Phi (with Simba tours).
          I wouldnt recommend tiger kingdom as this is promoting animal cruety same with Phanta sea Show – you arent able to take your camera into this show thier.
          Take a tour of phuket island for the day and makes sure to do the james bond island tour as well 🙂

          Feel free to contact me directly if you have any question x

  52. fenia
    30 May, 2016 / 9:45 am

    Hi There, my friend and I are planning on travelling to phuket in november for a week and are looking for some places to visit/stay. maybe some good places to eat? Not necessarily a hard and fast budget as of yet but maybe around $500-800 total? Would also love some names of taxi or travel services that can get us to and from HKT? We are first time travelers there so any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

    • fenia
      30 May, 2016 / 10:02 am

      I also wanted to mention that the budget would be times 2 (since my friend are splitting costs for food/board/etc.) and were considering airbnb.

    • 6 June, 2016 / 8:46 am

      HI Fenia,
      Im not really a travel agent so i can help0 with bookings but if you have a look at this article we recommend a few different places and hotels to go along with different budgets.
      I would recommend if you stay with a hotel that you arrange hotel transfer rather than catching a taxi from the airport as they tend to over charge you

      • 15 June, 2016 / 10:52 am

        The metered taxi is actually much cheaper than hotel taxis which are the highest priced of all. Metered taxi is far right hand side of airport as you exit. You can also take the bus service offered at the left hand side as you exit the airport.

        Happy travels 🙂

        John

  53. Ranjit
    21 June, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    HI samantha … I was planning to visit phuket in the month of September,2016 . I have booked a tour of 6 days – 2 nights phuket (karon ); 2 nights pattaya ; 2 nights in bangkok ….. We are an Indian family of 3 (me , my wife and my daughter of 18 months ) . I just wanted to arrange a surprise (or say a date) for my wife . I would be in phuket , and my trip starts from here . I just wanted to look out for a place where i can spend some quality time with my family (2 days max) before the madness of the trip sets in . Hope you will be able to guide me .
    I WAS THINKING OF RAWAI OR NAI YANG .. I do not want to travel much for these 2 days .
    And just the boy in me was telling me to ask, whether it would be right / wrong to look out for snorkelling with a kid of 18 months at tow … Awaiting your reply

    • 23 June, 2016 / 9:05 am

      HI Ranjit,
      Thanks for your comment.
      That’s certainly a very quick trip to Thailand, you will find that most of your time will be spent on a plane and in transit.
      I think Nai Yang would be perfect to sit back and relax – i really liked the Indigo Pearl resort.
      With snorkelling are you looking to Snorkel off the beach or going on a tour? I guess thats a personal choice, you and your wife need to make, obviously an 18 month old child will not be able to snorkel so you will have to take turns with your wife, looking after the baby etc. Otherwise some hotels do have a kids club/babysitter who can look after your child for a few hours where you and your wife can enjoy some snorkelling together?

      • Ranjit
        23 June, 2016 / 7:19 pm

        I really thank you for your suggestions and i know you read my requirements and suuggested very well accordingly .
        Well you suggested Nai Yang : in that case . it is good as it is very nearby to phuket airport . But the hotel you suggested will supersede my budget .. Obviously it appears to be an excellent hotel ; but with no other eateries nearby ; it would be difficult to mangae in my budget ..

        Also would like to ask you whether you know something about kata ? It also seems to be a great place. and also has more options as compared to nai yang.
        Is rawai also not good as per my requirement

        Actually I really appreciate you as your suggestion has even taken care of my expectation of travelling less .

        Just give me one more alternative . to select i guess
        Thanks in advance, Samantha

        I have droppped the idea of snorkelling coz it is not a realistic thought afterall . The three of us would stick together.

        • 4 July, 2016 / 9:12 am

          Hi Ranjit,
          There are a few differnet hotels in Nai Yang that might suit your budget better. There are a few eateries along the beach 🙂
          I honestly dont know too much about Kata as i haven’t stayed there, it will likley be quieter than Patong and will have a alot more to do and eat :”)

          Pity, snoreklling in super fun !

  54. Daniel Brown
    12 July, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing, such a nice, informative blog. I have been Phuket this march for a gateway. I was going with my family for the very 1st time so I was confused about the accommodation because I wanted a place which should be safe as well comfortable and beautiful for my family. One of my brother’s friends lived in Phuket. He suggested us the Karma Royal Phuket. I must tell you the resort had everything that you desire in a beautiful and luxurious accommodation. The resort had pool club houses, games room for kids, Karma spa, baby sittings, library, private pools, etc. My two kids had a great time playing games and refreshing themselves at the pool house. So I would say I got everything in one place and thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Phuket.

  55. Lauren D
    25 July, 2016 / 10:51 am

    Hi there,
    Just wondering if you could recommend an area to stay in Phuket that would be central to doing day trips around the islands. We are looking for a quiet place that would have a bit of nightlife nothing too hectic. We are going in January for 13 nights. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Lauren D

    • 2 August, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      Hi lauren,
      Phuket is a fairly small island so everywhere is considered “central”. I would suggestion Kata or Karon, they have markets, restaurants and a few nightclubs but its no manic like patong 🙂
      Cheers

  56. sarah parker
    1 August, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Great info! We (husband and I in our late thirties) are planning a trip to Phuket for 9 nights at the end of November. Beautiful quiet beach, good pool, boutique accomodation are high on the list. we like to eat out of the hotel in smaller more authentic places so where would you recommend. we’d like to avoid the big busy resorts as much as possible but have considered the indigo pearl in the past….

    • sarah parker
      1 August, 2016 / 9:55 pm

      btw, budget would be around £1000 for accomodation for the two of us

  57. Shakira
    21 September, 2016 / 7:52 am

    Hi, I’m traveling to Thailand and I would love to go to Phuket and bankok. What hotels would you recommend? I’m looking for nice beaches and a lil nite life plus relaxation. I would like hotels that are classy and fun but not too expensive. What would u recommend?

    • 21 September, 2016 / 10:46 am

      hi there 🙂 if you check under Kata or Karon – i have a few suggestions there 🙂

  58. 23 September, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Hey,
    Came acroos your blog and it is indeed pretty helpful. Please take time to help me out a little. We are a group of 6 boys travelling to phuket for a friends bachelors trip. Where do you suggest we put up? we were looking at private villas all this while but they are pretty steep priced. What do you suggest we do? hotels, serviced apartments or villa? also which area would be the best for us to stay. Thanks alot.

      • 23 September, 2016 / 7:19 pm

        We will be in Phuket for 2 nights. 13-15th November 2016

      • 26 September, 2016 / 9:13 pm

        Hey, looking forward to your suggestions

        • 26 September, 2016 / 10:32 pm

          sorry for the delay
          how much are you looking to spend ? Same rooms or separate?

          • 27 September, 2016 / 2:58 am

            We were looking at villas mostly in the range of 10000-15000 THB per night. On twin sharing basis. Do u suggest staying there, how open are these villas for parties and stags??

  59. vinod
    15 October, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    Hi, we are planning family holiday from 31oct to 3nov in phuket.

    we are reaching there at 8am on 31st oct 2016. Do we need to book hotel for 30th oct? as i heard that check in time is 2pm.

    It is tight schedule to vist phi phi, jamesbond, Siam Niramit Dinner Show,Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park, tiger kingdom and scuba diving etc

    Can you suggest a location where to stay to visit all these places. around 3000 TBH per night.

    Is it possible to visit jamesbond island and attend Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park in one day.

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Vinod

    • 15 October, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      If you let the hotel know that you are arriving early you might be able to check in early – not sure i would (personally) pay for a night before. See if you can check in or leave you bags at the hotel.
      You can see all of these places form anywhere on the island – tour companies will arrange to pick you up.
      I don’t have a suggestion sorry – you are arriving the day before high season to rates will be high.
      James Bond island and Fantasia on the day same is possible – James bOnd in the morning and during the day then Fantsea at night 🙂

  60. Hunaid
    29 October, 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Hi Samantha,
    Great blog and by the looks of it you have been helping lots of travelers. I am coming with my wife in early December for 4 days. I wanted to book a hotel which would be luxury but not over the top. Actually something which has good spa locations close by , is central enough to walk to the markets and local restaurants and still has some amazing views. I know its asking a lot but me and wife have different ideas of vacation. I am the do everything and see everything kind and she just wants a massage and stretch out at the pool/beach with beautiful views.
    I looked at the list of hotels and have spent time on Agoda and booking. Not sure why i have only managed to Narrow down to the Amari resort in patong on the and Graceland. Any kata or Karon suggestions for beautiful views and beach vistas..

    • 4 November, 2016 / 2:35 pm

      Hi there
      sorry for the delay. Patong is nice but very touristy and very busy. Have you checked out my suggestions for Kata and karon?
      Keep in mind that December is in the middle of high season so hotel prices are going to be a little more expensive.

  61. 12 November, 2016 / 4:53 am

    Hi Samantha. Great info thank you. I will be staying in Kamala Beach in December. I would like to do a day trip from there to Phang Nga Bay/James Bond Island and the Floating Village – but on a big boat. Can you recommend a tour or tour company?
    Thank you

  62. Jason Holmes
    16 November, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Hello,

    I have been visiting Phuket since the mid 90’s and have watched it sadly evolve into a commercial tourist machine.

    Some beaches such as Nai Yang remained relatively unspoilt mainly because of proximity to the National Park.
    For a while Surin managed to be a wonderful secret little gem that was fun but remained tasteful rather than gaudy. However the tourist machine found it and slowly took over yet again.

    In the last year the Phuket government have visited all the beaches and literally flattened everything in site, structures, shacks, bars that were erected on the beaches and close by.
    My concern here is that they have maybe gone a step too far leaving carnage and an awful mess in their wake, check out Youtube Surin Cleanup… It seems this is has been one extreme to the other.

    My family have flight tickets booked to stay for most of December 2016 in Phuket, we would normally visit Surin, Nai Yang or Karon (although Karon has now become too busy) depending on prices normally splitting into two locations finishing at Nai Yang as it’s close to the airport. We always pay a little more to stay in nicer hotels but then make cost savings by eating locally in the bars and shacks that are noticeably cheaper and often have better food than the expensive Westernised hotel food.
    Wat’s Bar at Nai Yang was always a fave and we have spent many an evening chatting with or eating at the Octopus or any of the other restaurants local to the beach area.
    Does anyone know if anything is left? What places remain in Surin, Nai Yang etc?

    We are all in agreement that Phuket needed a serious shake up to bring back its natural beauty, removing the jet bikes and colonies of sun loungers and umbrellas, but is there not a controlled governed sweet spot that could deliver to the basic needs of travellers whilst still allowing the resplendent beauty of these tropical paradises? Maybe, just maybe a little give, a little control, a little policing?

    Our visit next month will sadly be a deciding factor, whether Phuket remains on our list of places to visit. If we cannot experience local life and more importantly enjoy the culinary delights of Thailand without planning a taxi ride then really what’s the point of visiting at all?

    • 24 November, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Hey Jason
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment and sorry for my delay, i have wanted to make some time to reply to you 🙂

      Unfortunately as travel becomes more and more popular beautiful designations like Phuket and Boracay (in the Philippines) are going to become more tourist focused and more commercialised, this also goes for the population of the world, the more people the more need there is for people to do things.

      I had not heard that the Phuket Government stopped businesses operating on the beach, that sucks! No more beach massages!

      Im not sure if you have yet but check out the Phuket forum on Tripadvisor, they will be able to give you the best up to date information from people who have recently visited or people who live there in regards to if Wat Bar is still around.

      Im sure they will bring it all back slowly and hopefully more regulated as i don’t think what you have suggested above will go down well with tourists.

      I honestly hope you have a lovely holiday and hey you can always ask the locals where to go for the best food, I’m sure you will have plenty of places close by! Have fun!!!

  63. Heather
    3 December, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Hi there,

    I am inquiring information for a male friend who is traveling from Melbourne, Australia to Thailand for the first time. He will be there over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, so roughly 2 weeks. He is a young professional, early 30s, enjoys night/bar life, good food, and definitely safety; preferably all within walking distance. I am seeking lodging suggestions in an area on a reasonable budget.

    I’m excited to hear from you!
    Best,
    HL

    • 4 December, 2016 / 4:13 pm

      HI Heather, thanks for the message.
      Im not really a travel agent so i cant provide exact details
      I would recommend Patong if he is looking to party – check out my recommendations on this article 🙂

      Cheers

  64. Jonathan Bryant
    19 December, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    We just returned yesterday from The Surin on Pansea Beach – absolute paradise. It shares a private beach with the Amanpuri. Serene and chic. Definitely a great hotel for discerning adults after some high quality peace and serenity

  65. Jeshy
    10 January, 2017 / 9:28 am

    We are a family of 4 & a couple in early 40’s , we like luxury, nightlife , markets, and nice beaches, would patong be ok in early July?
    We don’t want it to be mad busy, we have been looking at the lantern hotel,
    We are looking at 14 Nights ,

    Would you advise on your thoughts of this please.

    • 11 January, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Hi there – yes patong should be fine, you can find quieter areas in Patong and a lot of the hotels have their own “zones”.
      The Lantern hotel should be perfect
      Cheers

  66. Aravind
    21 February, 2017 / 9:06 am

    Hi Samantha.
    I’m planning a vacation to Phuket somewhere in May/June.
    Will this period is good for a vacation ?
    Which is the best place to stay,Phuket town/Patong/Kata/Karon ?
    Which one will you recommend if I want go for snorkelling,nightlife and beers.
    Appreciate if you suggest me one.
    Thanks Samantha. 🙂

  67. Rick Tomassi
    28 February, 2017 / 11:16 am

    Hi, me and a friend (in our 40’s, the new 30’s) are headed to Phuket in Aug for 10-14 days. We are leaving the wives at homes so it will just be the guys. We are fairly active and outgoing but also enjoy the easy life, relaxing. I want to stay somewhere where there are a bunch of choices nearby for restaurants, bars (but not necessarily clubs), and a little night life, mostly for viewing and a drink than actually partying.

    I know I don’t want to stay in Patong, but like the idea of being near so we are able to go at anytime. What would you suggest? I also prefer really nice pools over the beach but want some nice views and nice beaches either walking distance or at least a short ride away.

    Our budget for hotels is $200-$300/day per room. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  68. Jason
    28 February, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Not that this is my comment to make, but The Slate at Nai Yang (formerly Indigo Pearl). I was in Phuket for 3 weeks in December 16 and travelled the coastline. Since the Government cleanup many places have been decimated, wiping out all restaurants and eateries leaving very little behind.

    Nai Yang is on the edge of a National Park and so the surroundings are beautiful.

    • 28 February, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Hey Jason
      True true – the article needs to be updated and I’ll hopefully do it this weekend 🙂
      Nai yang isn’t as good as it once was but it’s still a nice peaceful place 🙂

  69. Sunil Chawla
    20 March, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    HIi…
    We are 10 Couples and planning for a 8 Nights trip to Bangkok – Pattaya – Phuket.
    We have 2 Nights and 1 Full day in Phuket
    Planning to visit ( Day Trip ) to Phi Phi Island too
    Please suggest which is the best area to stay for Phi Phi Island visit.
    If possible plesae recommend good tour operator of the same area
    Thanks
    Sunil Chawla

  70. Sunil Chawla
    20 March, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    We will be in Phuket on 14th & 15th June 2017
    Will reach 14th June evening 8.00 PM and will leave on 16th June morning 8.40 AM
    Sunil Chawla

  71. Menan
    21 March, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    Hey, its really helpful website. I’m planning for thailand in end of May with family but really dont have any idea where to stay and what should be the budget for hotel and family shopping + traveling. I was checking Qatar airway holiday packages which starts from 9,000 SAR – 18000 SAR including return flight + hotel. Secondly, If i would stay for 6 nights, would it be easy to visit two three cities? e.g. phuket to pattaya etc and what fun we have for kids? my kids are 4 years and 1 year.

    Would really appreciate if you could help me out and also let me know if you are in business of arranging holidays.

    I will be traveling from Saudi Arabia – Dammam.

    Thanks !

  72. lynsey mcdougall
    12 April, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    Hi , really enjoyed reading all your tips!!! thank you!

    I’m going to Phuket to get some dental work done, clinis is on patong beach, i’m going with my boyfriend, we are both adventurous, would like to go and do some snorkelling, trips to islands etc, i don’t mind traveling to patong when i need to (have about 3 visits)

    where would you recommend, as in what area?

    thanks in advance! 🙂