A Detailed Guide to the Best Areas to Stay in Phuket
Looking for the best areas to stay in Phuket? Whether you want to party all night, be close to the beach, shop till you drop, experience an authentic Phuket or escape the crowds, Phuket has a place for you.
Our comprehensive guide on the best areas to stay in Phuket will help you make the right choice based on your taste.
Best Area to Stay in Phuket for Couples and Families: North and South Patong
Patong is the most famous destination in Phuket and the most commercial area in Phuket. It’s a lively place with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants. With so many options, it’s a great place to stay for budget travelers.
The busiest area spans the centre of the 3km-long Patong Beach. If you want to escape the noise and crowds of the city centre but don’t want to sacrifice on the comfort, then the areas to the North and South of Patong beach are ideal. You will still have access to all the creature comforts and Patong beach will just be a pleasant stroll away.
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The lighter traffic in this part of Patong will appeal to families with toddlers as crossing the roads during peak hours at the city centre can be dangerous. And no matter which side of Patong beach you are, you can easily travel to more beautiful beaches like Karon and Kata in the south or Kamala and Laem Sing in the south.
Best Area to Stay in Phuket for Singles and Nightlife: Central Patong
Undoubtedly the heart of all nightlife action in Phuket, Central Patong is the noisiest and the most crowded part of Phuket. It’s exactly at the centre of Patong beach and is closest to Bangla road, which during the night becomes a carnival of neon-lit bars, deafening music and cheap alcohol.
The road is lined with beer bars, go- go bars, discos and restaurants. It’s your one stop party shop in Phuket. Although preferred by bachelors and budget travelers, it’s an area enjoyed by all including couples and family groups.
Don’t worry, there is a lot to do during the day too. You can laze around Patong beach or try out any water sport you fancy. The area has loads of shopping options right from stalls selling food and tourist merchandise to mega malls like Jungceylon. Jungceylon is a one stop entertainment centre in itself with local and international food courts, movie theatres (English and Thai) and several floors of shops selling everything from trending electronic products to genuine designer clothing.
Best Area to Stay in Phuket for Honeymooners: Karon and Kata
Karon is the second biggest beach town in Phuket spread out across the beautiful golden sand Karon beach. In Karon, you will find plush resorts, good cafes, restaurants and bars. The shopaholics can head to Karon Bazaar, which sells everything from beachwear to suitcases to DVDs. The nearby Karon market is another interesting place for street shopping and street food.
Kata is the next beach town further south from Karon and a bit smaller than Karon. It’s fringed by Kata beach – a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear waters and lined by tall palm trees. With its cozy resorts, beaches, plenty of shops, local supermarkets and dining options, it’s an ideal place for honeymooners. Kata has a chilled out night scene with beach bars where you can relax with a beer and gape at spectacular sunsets. For sweeping views of the ocean, you can hike up to Kata view point.
Both Karon and Kata areas are ideal for those who want a happening place minus the craziness of Patong. But if you ever want to spice things up a bit, Patong is just a short drive away.
Best Area to Stay in Phuket for Shopping and History Buffs: Phuket Old town
The capital of Phuket province, old town would appeal to history buffs and shopaholics. The architecture in old town is heavily European influenced with Sino-Portuguese buildings restored and converted into guest houses, cafes and boutique shops creating a charming ambience around the town. The best thing to do during the day is to just stroll around the town and soak in the old world ambience. You could also check out the parks and museums around the town.
Old town is quite famous for its large markets and a variety of shops. A weekly affair here is the Phuket Walking Street -It’s full of stalls which sell clothes, local artifacts, handicrafts and delicious street food. The market has quite a festive atmosphere with musicians, street performers and stage shows. The nightlife here is quite lively with cabarets, bars and some excellent restaurants spread around.
Best Areas to Stay in Phuket for a Luxurious Getaway: Bang Tao
Bang Tao is the perfect area for those looking to enjoy some luxury and escape the crowds of Phuket. It’s around 18 kms away from Patong, the main city area and so away from all the madness. The area is close to Bang Tao beach, one of the lesser known beaches, but incredibly beautiful with its 6 km long white sand stretch and crystal clear waters. It has a few sunbeds and umbrellas scattered around for the beach bums.
The area is home to many high end villas, most of them occupying a large part of the beach. These resorts will take care of your every need, so you don’t have to step out of your cozy home for anything. But if you still want to get out, Bang Tao is bordered by a small village with a couple of stores and dining options. Don’t go looking for party places though, as there aren’t any. This is the kind of place where you just lie down on a hammock and disconnect from the world.
Best Area to Stay in Phuket Near Airport: Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao beach is one of the less known beaches which has managed to escape commercialization. It’s very close to the airport and so ideal for those who want to avoid last minute hassles.
The Mai Khao beach is a part of the Sirinat national park and is usually deserted, so you can have the beach all to yourself. It’s a 11 km long beach perfect for long walks and magical sunsets.
There isn’t much to do around the area and there are just a few luxury hotels here with their own bars and restaurants. The area is far from the main city and if you intend to spend multiple nights in Phuket, then it’s better to stay elsewhere.