Thailand's largest and most expensive island resort and second-richest province caters to a broad range of holiday-makers, with bars and beaches, diving and offshore islands, and a cultural diversity that includes large Chinese and Muslim populations.
Unsurprisingly, many people head straight for the beaches and give Phuket Town a miss. But it is worth at least a day trip for sights and shops, and a sprinkling of good bars and restaurants.
The beautiful west-coast bays are Phuket’s main claim to fame. A significant part of the northwest cape consists of Sirinat National Park. The west coast features beachesranging from popular with plenty of activities available to quiet havens. East coastattractions include the beach Laem Phan Wa, an aquarium and a pearl farm.
Khao Phra Taew National Park is the island's largest tract of virgin rainforest, while the waters off south Phuket are dotted with islands. Less than an hour by road from Phuket airport, the mainland town of Phang Nga has boats leaving for Thailand’s most striking islands of jungle-clad limestone rock, in the waters of Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park.