Pristine Phuket

Phuket beach, palm trees and turquoise water
 

Despite widespread development and an an increasingly sophisticated tourist infrastructure, Phuket is famous around the globe for its natural beauty – and with good reason. The island sits amid the stunning scenery of the Andaman Sea, where the water is indigo blue and waves gently roll onto beaches of fine white sand.

 "Phuket combines natural splendour with a range of tourism services"

Phuket is no longer an up and coming holiday destination, but rather a well established denizen of tourism that year after year rates as one of the Asia region’s most frequently visited holiday destinations. The following factors have made Phuket a popular spot with tourists form around the world:

   •     World class accommodation

   •     Exquisite restaurants

   •     Vibrant nightlife

   •     Adventure activities

   •     First class shopping

The coming years will no doubt see the numbers of tourist arrivals continue to increase. In fact a new airport will soon handle even more daily flights to and from hubs around the region. As visitor numbers rise, so does the number and quality of Phuket holiday villas available to rent close to the island’s beaches.

 

A colourful history

You have to go back pretty far to imagine Phuket before the advent of tourism. The island has been undeniably altered by the presence of international visitors as it was when saw large scale interest from outsiders occurred more than 100 years ago.

It was Chinese immigrants that arrived to work in the island's tin mines back then and  the influence of these early immigrants can still be felt today. A sizeable part of the island's permanent population is either entirely or part ethnic Chinese. In fact, Chinese architecture and temples can still be seen in various locations, especially in Phuket Town’s historical area, which is also home to several traditional festivals held through the year.

“A number of foreign influences have shaped Phuket into the island gem it is today.”

History aside, more recent visitors from North America, Europe, as well as other parts of Asia, have created demand for better infrastructure and for building standards to improve considerably. Foreign influence has also brought a large number of international brands in hospitality, fashion and cuisine to the island. In fact, it is safe to say that Phuket today offers some of the best dining and shopping anywhere in the region.

 

Island sights

An example of Sino-Portuguese architecture
 

The Sino-Portuguese architecture in Phuket Town makes it a popular choice for day trips. The island is small enough that guests can get around easily and a popular transport option is to rent a car or motorbike, although taxis and other local transportation options are also available. The latter can be quite expensive and difficult to navigate, however, especially compared to Bangkok, and many visitors therefore find it a more pleasurable experience (even though maybe not more economical) to not have to haggle.

 “Phuket is home to a range of natural and cultural attractions"

Transportation issues aside, the island offers a wealth of incredible sights and things to do and see. There are of course the famous beaches, but also attractions such as temples, museums, zoos and aquariums. Most agencies offer trips to take guests on jungle treks or offer snorkelling and diving excursions. A favourite activity for many villa guests on Phuket is to charter a boat and explore nearby islands like Koh Racha or the stunning Koh Phi Phi archipelago.

 

Accommodating your desires

Holiday Villa Phuket with traditional Thai features
 

Phuket holiday villas are unique and varied, so there's a considerable range in terms of nightly rates, depending on the property's style and size. Many visitors prefer something traditional, with at least a hint of Thai in the design, such as teakwood walls or floors, but more modern options are available as well. When it comes to size, some villas are very cosy, but many are truly enormous villas, with six, seven, even 10 bedrooms.

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