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Destinations / Thailand / Phuket

A holiday in Phuket is an experience at once unforgettable and unique. The largest of Thailand's islands, Phuket lies dreamily in the balmy waters of the Andaman Sea, on the western side of the mainland.

The resorts on the west coast of Phuket are internationally renowned holiday destinations. The main beach resort of Patong is the party hotbed of the island and a stroll up Soi Bangla (Bangla Street) after dark confirms Patong as a pretty happening place. Bars with go-go girls and dancing girls sit cheek by jowl and touts will lure you in with lewd comments and lurid images. Be warned, Patong is not for the faint hearted! Famous as Thailand's transgender centre, Phuket will astonish with its liberal shows and "katoey" or Ladyboy performances. The more laid back, family style resorts of Kata and Karon or Surin and Kamala Beach in the north are definitely less frenetic than Patong, but have their own attraction.

When I think of holidays in Phuket, the image of blindingly blue seas,  traditional fishing craft and outcrops of rock immediately spring to mind. The famous Phang Nga Bay is home to James Bond Island where scenes from "The Man With The Golden Gun" were shot. In addition, this is an area of immense natural beauty with dramatic limestone cliffs, eerie caves full of roosting bats and the clearest, cleanest water imaginable. Paddle a canoe through a narrow, meandering cave mouth, dip low to avoid the dripping stalactites and emerge into dazzling sunlight and a wondrous hidden lagoon encircled by high walls of dense foliage and deep greenery. This is a boat trip to take your breath away.

By day, holidays in Phuket are perfect for beach lovers. Long stretches of silver soft sand are lapped by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. Watersports activities are popular, or simply laze on a sun lounger and have a therapeutic massage. Hawkers and vendors parade the beaches to sell everything from refreshing mango or coconut to colourful sarongs or handmade beads.

Quaint tuk tuks are the main form of transport on the island and its a fun way to travel when temperatures are high! Go on an elephant trek, play some frisbee golf or enjoy a bout of Thai boxing. Kamala Beach is host to "Fantasea Phuket", a fabulous evening theme park and showcase of the island's heritage and culture which features a huge cast of actors, trapeze artists and performing animals in an absolute extravaganza and carnival village atmosphere.

Phuket holidays are exotic, exciting and entertaining. Enjoy a holiday experience on Thailand's largest island and you will have memories to last a lifetime.

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