Are you planning a gap year or a round-the-world travel adventure? With so many places to see it can be difficult to know where to go. We think this large island off the coast of Thailand with its bright white beaches and fantastic nightlife should be on your list. Here are 10 reasons to visit Phuket.
10 Reasons to Visit Phuket on Your Gap Year
1. Phuket’s Islands
If you visit Phuket you are not just visiting one island, but potentially hundreds. Where else can you see so much and get away from it all so easily? Phuket’s islands are gorgeous and range in size from tiny and uninhabited to the home of large resorts. Phi Phi Island is a must-visit (site of The Beach), as is Coral Island and the Racha Islands. In fact there are so many possibilities you don’t actually need to stay on Phuket for very long. When you are on a budget you can cut the cost of visiting these islands by taking public ferries where they are available, or long tail boats. Don’t forget to take your snorkeling gear for the clear waters.
The buzzing center of Phuket, Patong Beach is wild, crazy, and totally suited to travelers on gap years and round-the-world trips. The beach is always buzzing with people and the nightlife is the liveliest in Phuket. You won’t need to go far to find a welcoming bar and a bunch of people to hang out with. Patong is the place to base yourself if you want to party and meet new friends.
3. Bangla Road Nightlife
In particular, Bangla Road in Patong is the place to see and be seen. The party atmosphere spills out into the streets and the whole place is alive with festivity and naughty behavior. Try the notorious “buckets” and you may not make it to the next stop on your RTW tour in time….
4. Sun, Sun, Sun
Come here on your gap year to chill out and soak up the sun – which always seems to shine. Even the rainstorms, when they come, don’t last for long. The sun is bright all year and the temperatures are high, making Phuket the ideal beach destination on a round-the-world ticket.
5. Yummy Thai Food
The food on Phuket is excellent – fresh local seafood and some great Thai delicacies. Plus, the best thing is you can eat very cheaply by buying your meals from stalls on the night market, or going to a cheap local restaurant. The quality is great and you’ll also enjoy an authentic atmosphere. If you want to splash out, there are many restaurant options that won’t break the bank. Learn more about Thai food!
6. Checking Out the Gorgeous Sunsets
Go to one of the best places in the world to watch the sun set – Promthep Cape on Phuket Island. This location is a prime spot to watch the gorgeous colors of the sunset over the ocean and the island. It’s a popular place but worth it to see what will be an unforgettable sight.
7. Watch a Fun Cabaret Show
You can’t miss the Simon Cabaret in Phuket. It is hard to believe these performers are not women – their looks and their skills are unmistakable! You won’t find anything like this anyplace else in the world.
8. Visit the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong
The Big Buddha is an impressive sight and while it may not be your first reason for choosing to visit Phuket, it is certainly one of the things you need to do once you are there. You can see the Big Buddha perched up in the hills from practically all over the south of the island and from the top you get great views over the bays. Wat Chalong is the most popular temple on the island but there are around 28 other temples that you can also visit.
9. Siam Niramit
Come to this popular attraction for the lengthy evening show as well as to look around the museum and dress up in Traditional Thai costume. You won’t forget the show – it’s completely over the top but very informative and entertaining.
10. Watersports and Activities
When you’ve had enough of the nightlife and you’re tired of lying on the beach, get active during the day by taking up an action sport. Diving and snorkeling are very popular for good reason – the water is warm and clear and in certain places full of amazing wildlife. Or try surfing or kite surfing. You can also go on elephant safaris, treks, and bike rides in the hills. Phuket is an ideal place for an active stop on your RTW trip.
Want some more information about Phuket? Check out the ideas on PhuketOn, your guide to Phuket, Bangkok, and Hua Hin. PhuketOn gives you hotel deals, attractions, and restaurant guides so you know how to spend your time in Thailand.