What’s better than lounging on white sands before a blanket of sky-blue water? Nothing, really.

And if we’re talking about one of the best ways to do such a beach vacation in Thailand, Phuket most certainly falls amongst the top ten on our list.

Surrounded by the Andaman Sea, Phuket is Thailand’s largest southern island, and a popular holiday destination. But for globetrotters who have already cruised through every street in the main capital, Phuket City, it’s time you change things up a bit. It’s time explore Southeast Phuket.

Whether you’re looking for a good cafe, an ultra-local seafood market, a Buddhist temple, or a great stay, this part of the land is yet to be fully explored and recognised, and has just the thing to offer even if you have just a day or two. Read on for our insider guide to the southeast side of Phuket. 

Stay: Best Western Plus The Beachfront

There are a few hotels on this side of the island. But if what you’re after is a home-like, down-to-earth stay that boasts a sense of being at home as well as on a vacation, we suggest the Best Western Plus The Beachfront. Flanked between Chalong and Rawai beach on the southeast coast of Phuket, The Beachfront is a tropical retreat, featuring over 179 rooms and suites, all decked with a balcony and fully equipped kitchen. The swimming pool cuts through the two main buildings, giving the hotel that breezily vacation vibe. The best option is the Executive Pool Suite situated in its own separate building facing the Andaman Sea, which offers the best beachscape with a private plunge pool.

The Beachfront also boasted an in-house restaurant and bar, serving up Phuket food staples and sundowners, but if you prefer to explore and eat out, the hotel is only a few miles from the main attractions: 5 minutes to Rawai Seafood Village, and 15 minutes to Promthep Cape Sunset Viewpoint and Chalong Temple.

Chalong Temple
Image credit: Facebook/Chaithararam Temple Wat Chalong – Phuket

Pray: Wat Chalong (Chalong Temple)

When on the Southeast coast, Wat Chalong is a must-visit, both for the purpose of merit-making and capturing a photo of its stunning structure. Immerse yourself in the golden shine emitted from the main two temple halls and gold-clad Buddhist statues. Stop by here for some serenity before hopping off to a cafe or the seafood village nearby.

See: Nai Harn Beach & Promthep Cape Sunset Viewpoint

You haven’t made it to Phuket until you make a pit stop at Promthep Cape Sunset Viewpoint. Overlooking the blue sea and white-sand Nai Harn Beach, Promthep Cape welcomes hundreds of tourists daily to come bathe in the last sunlight of the day and to appreciate the picturesque Andaman Sea. The view will enchant the inner sea lover within you.

Eat: Rawai Seafood Market and Three Monkeys

Known as the best seafood shack on this side of town, Rawai Seafood Village and market is just the spot to gorge on the freshest seafood caught earlier in the day. The area is flecked with an array of restaurants and seafood stalls, showcasing squids, shrimps, mussels, lobsters, crabs, and long-listed types of fish you may have never seen before. Diners can opt for the stalls and pick whatever seafood their heart desires and have the restaurants nearby whip up a gourmet dish for you. Or saunter over to a restaurant of your choice and enjoy stellar dishes offered on the menu, often spanning prawns doused in pungent tom yum soup, stir-fried crab with curry powder, and the humble boiled crabs served with that scrumptious Thai seafood dip.

Finally, for something a little more Instagram-worthy, come this way. Arguably one of the most photographed restaurants in Phuket, Three Monkeys is a bungalow-themed eatery that is actually situated within the jungle, overlooking the cityscape on one side and a waterfall on the other. The restaurant serves local Phuket dishes along with central Thai cuisine and international fare. For those who are hankering for a cool spot to drink, the menu here will quench your thirst just right with cocktails, mocktails, and caffeinated drinks, too. The perfect all-in-one.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.