When it comes to finding a place that best encompasses all the wonderful things Thailand has to offer, Phuket always proves a popular choice for holiday-makers, both local and international. With stunning white beaches, gorgeous turquoise vistas of the Andaman ocean, nearby islands, a vibrant nightlife – that is getting safer by the day – and plenty to do in the way of adventures and activities, it’s no wonder why Phuket has been dubbed the next regional hub of Southeast Asia.

Jetting off at Phuket International Airport. Photo by Anika Shahjadi

If the recently completed expansion of Phuket International Airport isn’t enough of a sign that all eyes are on Phuket, then the region’s young but vibrant yachting scene and thriving music scene might be. The world’s eyes are looking to Phuket for their next wedding, honeymoon, extended yacht holiday, beach party and home-away-from-home. We give you just 6 reasons why Phuket should be the next destination you fly, drive or sail to.

Hero and featured image: Credit Humphrey Muleba

#1 Progressive Music Scene

Die Empathie playing at Baba Beach Club

When it comes to the electronic music scene, Phuket is not far behind Bangkok in its growing number of visiting international headliners and in many ways, Phuket can offer even more. Think about it, would you rather listen to house music in a hot stuffy club, or by an infinity pool overlooking the Andaman ocean? It just so happens that a small slice of Ibiza arrived towards the end of last year in Phuket in the way of a luxury beach club and hotel, Baba Beach Club, which throws the best pool parties every Saturday with local and international talent flying in.

Baba Beach Club

Since opening, the club has been fitted out with Asia’s most powerful Funktion-One sound system – the best in audio surround sound – making it the go-to destination for music lovers heading to Phuket during high season. Think techno and tech house, with names such as Nicole Moudaber together with BE-AT.tv, Be Svendon, Maxxi Soundsystem, Shaded and Yokoo as well as collectives like Colours of Love, Bangkok’s very own Neverest, and Die Empathie.

Sri Panwa, Photo by David Hieb

It just so happens that Baba beach club was created by the owners of renowned luxury resort Sri panwa, one of our favourites when it comes to chilling by the pool or luxury rooftop restaurant and bar, Baba Nest. Sri panwa has also hosted talent like Avicii, Rita Ora, Sasha, Skrillex, Diplo, Snoop Dogg, Fatboy Slim, Soul Clap, Jamie Jones and Damian Lazarus.

#2 Yachting Lifestyle

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi, Photo by Humphrey Muleba

What’s so good about being on a yacht? Well, in a nutshell, a yacht is an island in itself that allows you to move and visit different environments and discover new worlds; if you stay in a hotel, you’re kind of just stuck in one spot. Famous for its many islands, Phuket’s stunning coastline is full of hidden beaches and gems perfect for those seeking the most exquisite of tropical paradises.

When it comes to Yachting in Thailand and Southeast Asia, Phuket is spearheading the way, fortifying Thailand’s path towards becoming a global player on the yachting scene. The world may be raising their eyebrows now, but soon they’ll see that Phuket has so much to offer when it comes to exclusive yachting experiences normally associated with the likes of Monaco, St Tropez and Cannes. With many world-class brands represented every year during the Thailand Yacht Show, there are many charter offices in Phuket to serve the ever-growing demand for unique experiences.

Interested in having a yacht as a hotel for 7 days, while at the same time visiting Phang-Nga bay, Phi Phi islands and the 104-island Langkawi archipelago? We recommend taking a look at Luxury Yachting Travel, a charter service based in Thailand with an extensive range of premium yachts that come in all different sizes, depending on your requirements.

#3 Next level luxury hotels and resorts

Ultimate luxury at Rosewood Phuket

Phuket is home to some of the grandest, newest and most luxury-driven hotels and resorts in Thailand, the kind that ensure you never want to leave your suite. That is, unless you’re rolling out right into your own private plunge-infinity-pool or of course, for a five-star breakfast spread). There’s plenty of beaches to choose from, but for us, location is key, as this determines privacy.

Emerald Bay

Soak up the waters of Emerald Bay at Rosewood Phuket, which offers a one-of-a-kind wellness concept. Our personal favourite has to be COMO Point Yamu, found at the tip of of Cape Yamu; we’re in love with the pool!

Other hotels and resorts: Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, The Slate Phuket, The Nai Harn Phuket, SALA Phuket Resort and Spa and the Anantara Layan Phuket Resort.

 

#4 Private Islands nearby

Ao Nang, Thailand. Photo by Shawn Ang

Sometimes in life, you just need a private island to get away from it all. A small luxury private island we adore in Phuket is Koh Rang Noi, which is Thai for small island nest. Far enough away from civilisation without being too remote, this island is especially ideal for yacht lovers, being located a mere 6 kilometres from Phuket’s renowned Royal Phuket Marina. The tropical paradise showcases the very best of what Phuket is known for: sweeping views of the turquoise ocean, exotic marine and wildlife and delightful Thai and international cuisine.

#5 Fine Food

Phuket, the foodie’s paradise, Photo by Alex Block

The amount of fine dining that happens on Phuket terrain is reaching dizzying heights, definitely on par with Bangkok’s growing foodie scene. One thing we will say though is that, due to it being a hotspot for international travelers, the food found in Phuket is definitely more acclimatized to the international palate and to sum up Thai cuisine here in one using few words: “less spicy”. With the luxury travel hotspot being home to some of the most vibrant and sensational restaurants in Thailand, spanning local and international cuisines, it’s no wonder why many never want to leave. With almost every restaurant found on a beachfront, there’s no end of romantic, cande-lit and by-the-sea fine dinners to be had.

Octopus at Acqua Restaurant Phuket

The city’s most recent restaurant opening is Prime @ Rock Salt, housed at The Nai Harn Phuket. The restaurant has been slated as raising the bar of Phuket’s gastronomic scene to the next level, being a new rooftop venue that promises delectable dining experiences with outstanding views of the beach and sea.

Other restaurants: PRU Restaurant, Acqua Restaurant Phuket and Breeze at Cape Yamu.

 

#6 Fabulous Fun

Fun in Phuket, Photo by Derek Owens

There’s no end to the fun that can be had in Phuket. From learning about and tasting rum at the Chalong Bay Distillery made using local sugarcane to frequenting beach clubs – Xana Beach Club, Café del Mar, Dream Beach Club and Catch Beach Club to name some – or even yacht parties on a luxurious 200-square-metre boat featuring an onboard DJ spinning beats at Hype Luxury Boat Club, you’re bound to end up enjoying yourself. Shopaholics should visit the relatively new Central Phuket, which, amongst luxury labels and stores, also features Thailand’s largest aquarium. And for high-wired zipline adventures that allow you to fly through tree canopies at up to 60km per hour, be sure not to miss out on Hanuman World, every adrenaline-junky’s favourite.

 

 

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.