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The Best and Worst Places To Stay in Phuket

The Best and Worst Places To Stay in Phuket
13 December 2017

Phuket is not only the most beautiful and concurred island of Thailand, it is the most popular all over the Andaman Sea. This stunning island is the home to several breathtaking beaches considered among the finest in the entire world. Also known as The Pearl of the Andaman Sea, it is an idyllic spot which receives millions of travelers from almost everywhere.

Phuket is located in the south from Bangkok (850 km approx.) The island is connected to the peninsula by road and it has an airport that never stops receiving visitors every day. At first, it was famous for being a refugee place to sea travelers during the monsoon, and later renown for the development of the mining industry on the island. Nowadays, everything in this place is about beaches and having fun.

This authentic pearl has numerous attractions that totally justify why tourists cannot get enough of Phuket; in the external area, awe-inspiring beaches are ready to take your breath away with sheer blue water, the finest white sand, and high palm trees. In the inner Phuket, there is ancient architecture with Portuguese-Chinese influence that is full of colors, and interesting points to visit. Regardless of your budget; you will always find something to do in Phuket.

As a consequence of the multiple places and activities you are able to find in here, destinations are many and they vary a lot from one place to another. Features like location, commodities, and budget will depend on the area you choose to stay in.

However, something very unique happens in Phuket; neither locals nor travelers have succeeded when trying to qualify any place as a good or a bad one to stay in. Apparently, every area in this amazing city has its own charm, and what will define the perception a person may get from a place will depend on the likes and dislikes of each one. What a traveler could consider the coolest place to live the Phuket experience, some other may think is the worst zone in the world to spend a quiet night.

Based on this, here we will present to you both the highlights and the dark secrets of every important place in Phuket; then you can pick the option that fits better in your preferences' list.

Phuket Town

Main Phuket or central Phuket is often rejected by tourists who are seeking the sea and sand fun. However, the capital of Phuket is a very good spot to stay; budgets in here don’t need to be very high because the cost of living is relatively cheap.

This town artistically mixes ancient and recent, heritage and modernity, as well as simple and sophisticated. It has a notable legacy of Portuguese culture that is reflected in the architecture of the capital city in contrast with the eastern influence present in the temples of the island.

A good reason to stay here is the fact that you don’t need to spend lots of money in hotels, transportation, and food; crowds are rarely seen because tourists usually overlook this place when looking directly for amazing beaches. The city is very active so you will have various activities to do during the day, from monk rituals in the early morning, discovering the secrets in local markets, and even a vegetarian festival occurs here once a year.

Some reasons why people do not pick Phuket town as the perfect spot to stay is that this place may be considered as an area where only locals live and there’s no more. However, it is a calm and safe place where renting a car will solve your road to the beaches easily.

Patong Beach

Without any doubts, this is the most iconic beach area of Phuket; this bay is blessed with turquoise warm water and shiny golden beach, in addition to fresh markets and streets full of stores to do the shopping. The main attraction of Patong is, of course, the beach; it is a flawless spot to sunbath and enjoy your vacation. Aquatic sports like surf, windsurf, and diving are often practiced in this majestic bay.

Tons of activities are available in here, especially the nightlife. Wild Patong is the place for party souls, bars, nightclubs, and Go-Gos. Hotels and Resorts with gorgeous beachfront views are spread all over the zone; spas and restaurants are many here too. However, the budget has to be a little bit higher in here as a consequence of the development of the tourism industry.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking peace and relaxation while visiting Phuket, Patong beach is far away from being your perfect spot. Crowds are the daily thing in here, nights are noisy and wild which can bother your relaxing time. Also, travelers admit that this bay suffers from the worst pollution in the island. It is not like this all the time, yet after a strong rain, it may get so trashy.

A big percentage of the bad reputation of Patong beach is based on the Kathoeys or ladyboys, they can be the attraction on a nightclub or a really bad surprise if you go back to your hotel accompanied by one of them.

Patong Beach

Kata Beach

If you’re searching for something that has a similar beauty to Patong, however, you want to stay away from the crowds and noisy nights; Kata Beach is your best option. Located in the south of Patong Beach, approximately 20 minutes away, this paradise is way calmer than the famous Patong.

It has lately gained the attention of families and couples who love to stay in this area because of the tranquility you can feel in this zone. Serenity is spread all over the place, including a big cliff that makes the area more private; a coral reef does the same with the water. Children can splash on the beach without concerning their parents.

About staying in Kata Beach, amazing resorts and hotels are established in the area with prices that vary from affordable ones to higher budgets, it all depends on the features they offer in there. Moreover, relaxation and fun are both guaranteed no matter which one you pick. Among the bay, the calmed blue water is flawless to dive in.

Along the bay, surfers are frequently seen, as well as scuba divers who enjoy the coral reef in which rich sea life live, this gorgeous place is becoming a favorite spot to stay while visiting Phuket, you can actually have the best of both worlds: relax in Kata and partying in Patong through a 20 minutes ride.

Kata Noi Beach

Karon Beach

It is also known as the twin sister of Kata Beach. If you’re searching for more natural beauty and fewer people to share your space with; Karon is a very good option for you. This gorgeous beach is the third longest in the entire island, only after Patong and Kata.

In Karon area, cafés are very popular, they serve food with pretty good quality and not ridiculously expensive prices. Do not hesitate to ask for a beef steak in a café nearby, they have a really good fame on the island.

However, Karon beach can get a little bit crowded in Holidays season, in case you were looking for relaxation, keep this in mind before booking. When we say crowded, it is still way softer than other crowded places. However, it means more people than desired.

Resorts are also a good alternative in this area, the tourism industry took a very clever decision by setting up buildings on this zone, they combine the luxury and comfort very well with the natural environment; which means you get to have all the five-star hotel commodities without forgetting where you are. By the way, view fronts of the beach from these resorts are unbelievable.

Advantages of this beach include; hosting a great bay, good food options, and acceptable nightlife. On the other hand, in this long coast; one establishment can be apart from the other and walks can be long. In addition, waves can get a little bit tough from May to November, which makes diving there something risky.

Karon Beach

Rawai Beach

A stunning destination that remains untouched by the tourism industry. Despite the fact that this area in Phuket does not attract thousands of tourists, it does not mean it has nothing to offer.

Rawai Beach is located at the southern tip of the island, and it is a place full of charms. It is a little town by the sea, the environment here emanates truly peace; luxury is rarely found there, although commodities are present in this area. Restaurants and bars are also good in here.

Spectacular dinners are served by the sea, especially the extremely fresh seafood! Which you need to taste at least once.

Rawai is also the main departure point of boats to the nearby islands; classy Thai long tails depart from here too. Having a walk on the beautiful sidewalk, surrounded by trees is a must-do as well.

Sadly, this beach is not recommended for diving, it may be the main reason why tourists decide not to stay in Rawai Beachpoint. Nevertheless, a short ride can take you to another destination where swimming is allowed.

Rawai Beach

Bang Tao Beach

An amazing 6 km long bay in Phuket Island. The southern beaches are in definitive the ones with more popularity, yet, the northern area has hidden secrets that are totally worth to visit. Bang Tao is absolutely one of those secret gems; located in the north area of Phuket, 30 minutes away from Patong.

This bay is famous due to several facts; First of all, it is the home to many luxurious resorts and hotels that offer the whole tropical plan. On the other hand, the beach is a dream by itself; it has idyllic blue water and powdery golden sand, with private portions belonging to each resort which is giving the travelers extra privacy and tranquility. This place is all about luxury; golf camps, fancy spas, prestigious restaurants, and many more.

Also, in this area, there is a gigantic network of lakes connected to one another, and it is where the best resorts are located. The only drawback here is the high prices.

Nai Yang Beach

One of the most breathtaking places to stare at the sunsets while enjoying a cocktail; Nai Yang Beach is placed 18 km away from Phuket town and 5 minutes away from the airport. This paradise is characterized by the purest sand and clear crystal blue waters; most recommended time to dive is from October to April when this virgin beach reaches the highest point of perfection.

In the northern area of the beach, an amazing coral reef is located, creating a flawless spot to practice snorkeling. Also, Kitesurfing is rentable here too, if you dare to learn it, little local shops can rent you the needed equipment.

Far from being crowded, it is a very good area to relax in the sand without being bothered by ambulant vendors or other tourists; relaxing massages are offered by local women right on the beach. The exuberant beauty of this area goes beyond the sea and sand; high and lush trees and incredible lagoons are also part of the charm.

Restaurants are managed by locals, as well as little stores that are spread on the bay; even staying in one of the few old hotels there can be an adventurous and authentic thing to do.

Moreover, fancy resorts are also established in the area; The Slate is considered the most popular one. Different options are available for different budgets, you will not find something in the same price ranges like in Patong, yet some prices are affordable.

Kalim Beach

Also in the northern area of the bay, Kalim beach is located closer to Patong Beach; actually, a rocky headland is the only separation in between. Furthermore, this village remains very authentic.

This bay is not precisely a beach to swim, as it is very rocky. However, the rocky bottom makes it perfect for practicing several aquatic sports; surfing is just flawless in here especially during the monsoon season when the tide gets higher and make the waves more awesome.

During the high tide, the coral reef that rounds the beach makes the perfect zone for scuba diving and snorkeling, and you can find plenty of starfish, tiny fish, and seashells. Locals do their duty catching crabs and shrimps on the reef to sell them perfectly cooked in the many restaurants of the bay which you can walk over during the low tide. Keep in mind that wearing the right shoes is very important given the fact that the coral can be too sharp and any cut may get infected very easily.

When talking about accommodations; there is a good range in Kalim beach, from luxury hotels and resorts to family and couple friendly hotels. The bad thing about this zone is the fact that you need to go somewhere else to dive into the warm water.

Kamala Beach

This narrow bay is the most accurate definition of relaxation and serenity. With light blue water with almost no waves in high season, powdery white sand with the shape of a horseshoe, and surrounded by lush hills. Kamala Beach is considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in Phuket.

Kamala is often chosen by people who intend to spend a long time on the island; those who want villas and apartment rentals instead of luxury hotels. The niche of this place is more related to long-term stay given the fact that it is a great place to spend the days rounded by serenity and safety; in the same way, the location of Kamala makes it an excellent starting point to move to other destinations.

Activities in Kamala are not so varied as in bigger areas like Patong; street markets offer a wide variety of food and locals handcraft. When the sun goes down; some bars and restaurants offer good gastronomy and drinks to end the day in the right way.

Kamala Beach may seem a little bit boring to stay in, in case you’re into wild nights and extra fun.

Surin Beach

This awesome place is qualified on the top of the list of the most luxurious staying on the island. Actually, it is often compared with the “Millionaire-Row” of many cities. In this area, fancy houses that are worth more than 1 million$ are established on the hills with awe-inspiring views of the Andaman Sea.

In the same way, luxury houses are placed there. The hotel industry could not get behind, the area counts with numerous high-quality hotels and villas. All this development has brought the emergence of fancy restaurants and thematic bars like wine ones.

The natural beauty of this place has forced tourists and even Thais to adore it, fine sand and amazing turquoise water paint the perfect picture of an ideal dream beach.

Sadly, easy affordable is not a term that can be used in this place; planning your stay on Surin comes with high prices, however, it’s definitely worth it.

In conclusion, Phuket is an amazing place that must be visited, along with all its surroundings; it is so easy to fall for all the beautiful things and places you can see on this island. Here in Phuketferry, we want you to have the time of your life; so, be wise while picking the most suitable option for you.