General Overview: Phuket is touted as a tourist destination with nice beaches and a relaxing time. Compared to other areas in Thailand I feel that Phuket is overhyped. Yes, Phuket is a tourist destination and going there you will see an array of people from different countries and also has nice beaches but being known as a tourist destination is Phuket's downfall as things are catered towards tourism and you don't get the feeling of still being in Thailand. The prices in Phuket are more expensive than other areas of Thailand, sometimes more expensive than even Bangkok, and the people aren't as friendly.
Hotels: There are many options avialable for hotels to price to cheap. You will be getting what you pay for so it is best to pick something mid range to be safe.
Activites: Phuket is mainly known for it's beaches and there is a long stretch of beach available, 5 beaches in total. Patong Beach is the main beach and the night life is catered around this area. Kata, Karon, Kamala, and Bang Tao beaches are the more quieter beaches. Note you will need transportation to get to the various beaches. If you are a couple or single the best mode of transporation would be renting a moped.
In Phuket there are numerous outdoor activies available such as ATV, Bungee Jumping, Elephant Trekking, Island tours such as to the James Bond Island or to were the movie the Beach was filmed, fishing, water skiing, snorkeling, parasailing, kite surfing, etc. Tours can be booked at the numerous tourist stalls that you see by just walking around, be sure to bargain on the price. If it is a known activity it is probably available at Phuket.
In Phuket there is also an array of nightlife available to bars, clubs and adult bars/clubs. Not for children. While walking around be ready to be hounded by sales people trying to get you to go to their club or to watch a show. Be mindful though as Thailand does have tourist scams. I would suggest taking a walk around as it is entertaining.
Transportation: Transportation is actually quite expensive. From the airport to the beaches is quite a trip and the cheapest method to travel would be to book a group van. A group van can also be booked to get back to the airport, but it is per person so you have to taken into account the size of your party. Once in town renting a moped or walking would be the best way to get around.
There are alot of food options available. Alot of the food centers around seafood and you will see resturants where seafood is out on display both live and frozen and you can pick the one you wish to have cooked.
Not really available. There is a mall in the center of Patong, that has massage, beauty, resturants and some shopping. For shopping it is best to do this in Bangkok, more options and better prices.
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Best Suited For: Couples
Best Time to Travel Here: Jun - Aug