Compared to the buzzing metropolis that is Bangkok, the island paradise that is Krabi, or the heritage-rich province of Chiang Mai, Phuket has long been saddled with a pretty bad rep thanks to its crowded beaches, streets rife with tourist traps and taxi touts, and its infamous Bangla Road stretch filled with tacky go-go bars and seedy clubs.
But spend a little more time exploring the island and you’ll find that’s not all there is. Phuket is also home to stunning waterfalls, secret beaches and nature parks. It’s within close proximity to Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands too, where snorkelling opportunities abound. For urbanites, it has a bustling nightlife scene, with many live music venues and upscale bars. And here’s something that might please everyone heading to Phuket: The place also offers an abundance of excellent dining options ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. Whether you’re yearning for an extra spicy bowl of tom yum goong, or even a massive plate of spaghetti (just because), you can be assured of finding something that’ll hit the spot.
Scroll down for our guide to the best Phuket restaurants you ought to visit on your next trip. And no, you won’t get ripped off.