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9 Reasons Phuket is a Must-See Bucket List Destination

About Thailand

Welcome to Phuket. Welcome to paradise. Simply stated, but so true. Here are 9 great reasons to put this magical place on the southern coast of Thailand ─ nicknamed the Pearl of the Andamans ─ on your must-see travel bucket list.

1. Pretend You’re James Bond in Phang Nga Bay

With 42 rugged limestone islands rising sharply out of the calm emerald water, the bay has lagoons, caves and mangroves to die for…and kayaking and snorkeling to explore them. You can also visit Khao Phing Kan (known as James Bond Island, and his hideout in the 1974 classic “The Man with the Golden Gun”).

2. Climb Up to the Big Buddha

At the top of Nakkerd Hills sits the iconic 45-meter Big Buddha, made of white Burmese marble. Darma music and bells waft through the air, as you take in the panoramic view of the island. Also worth seeing are the less crowded sitting Buddha of Wat Kao Rang and the reclining Buddha of Wat Sri Sunthorn.

3. Bow Your Head at Wat Chalong

One of Thailand’s most important temples, Wat Chalong is said to house a bone splinter from Lord Buddha. Locals and visitors go there to pray and pay their respects. Beautiful paintings and golden statues tell the story of the Buddha.

4. Luxuriate at the hidden beaches

For the ultimate paradise retreat, visit one of Phuket’s hidden beaches, like Laem Singh Beach, Ao Yon Beach, Hua Beach, Haad Sai Kaew, or Banana Beach.

5. Frolic with elephants at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

No questionable elephant trekking here. You can play with the elephants, feed and bathe them, and learn about how magnificent they are. Imagine frolicking in a mud bath with elephants!

6. Discover Phuket Old Town

Journey back in time to culturally rich Phuket Old Town, with its 19th-century shophouses, temples, restaurants, and the old red-light district. Try some of the street food, like Khao Mk Gai and Pad Thai ─ it’s safe, the locals eat it.

7. Indulge at “Sin City” Patong

If you want to indulge in a night of debauchery and people-watching, Patong is the place to go. When the sun sets, Bangla Road is closed to traffic and it transforms into a party zone for adults, with unending bars, clubs, and cabaret shows. It’s a place where you can get whatever you want.

8. Visit a local floating fishing village

To really get a feel for local island life, visit Koh Panyee and have lunch there. It was originally established by nomadic Malay fishermen 200 years ago.

9. Bask at the Phi Phi Islands

Saving one of the best for last, the largely uninhabited Phi Phi islands are often the main reason why people go to Phuket. You can bask on the white sand beaches or try more adventuresome activities like rock climbing, cliff jumping and scuba diving.

The coastal paradise of Phuket has it all for a memorable vacation adventure. One way to get there is on a Star Clippers tall sailing ship. With sixteen sails billowing high above in the balmy wind, life onboard is blissfully relaxing and intimate, like a private yacht. There’s a 7-night roundtrip Phuket-Northern Thailand sailing on Nov. 2-9, 2019, at an amazing price starting from only $1,680 per person, available through Connection to Cruise (call 909-798-9133 or visit

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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