Phuket is Thailand’s tropical paradise. Dubbed “the Pearl of the Andaman,” it’s the largest and most well-known of the islands in the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s southern peninsula. It has a population of around a quarter of a million people. The island has a rich culture and history and was one of the major trading routes between India and China.
Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate with very little variation in temperatures. The natural beauty includes lush jungles, sugar-sand beaches fringed by swaying palms, spectacular atolls, and limestone cliffs. Phuket is my favorite island in Southeast Asia.
My friends say I’m an aquaholic. I will say this…there are plenty of opportunities for water adventures in and around Phuket…
I enjoy white river rafting to Chalong Bay. The rapids can be really wild, pumping my adrenaline as I fight to stay upright in my slippery raft. Staying dry is not an option.
Sea kayaking at Phang Nga Bay is a highlight of the area. Over 100 towering limestone “islands” rise precariously out of the shimmering emerald green water, creating a dramatic, otherworldly landscape. The craggy outcroppings provided the backdrop for the iconic James Bond film Man with the Golden Gun.
After we interact with wild monkeys at the edge of the sheer formations, we stop at a secluded island to take a dip in the warm waters of a deserted lagoon.
My guide helps to guide my kayak through the mysterious waters which are lined with hongs, or sea caves. We weave in and out of the caves and chambers – some of which can only be entered at low tide, and even then you’ll have to lie flat in your kayak to get through.
Taking a boat east across the Andaman Sea, I arrive at the island of Ko Phi Phi. This star of the Andaman is my happy place!
Read the rest of this article about Phuket, Thailand in International Living Magazine.
Another fun place to visit in Thailand is Pattaya. Here are the best things to do in Pattaya.
Click here for a 2-week itinerary in Thailand for first timers.