Which Area Is Best to Stay In Phuket

In this article, we’ll explore which area is best to stay in Phuket, taking into account factors like accessibility, attractions, and accommodation options. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’re sure to find the information valuable.

So, if you’re planning a trip and wondering where to stay in Phuket, read on! I’m confident that by the end, you’ll have a clear idea of where to book your next stay.

Which Area Is Best To Stay In Phuket

1. Patong

Dotted with lively nightclubs, bustling markets, and luxury hotels, Patong serves as the heart of Phuket’s entertainment scene. It’s no stranger to the limelight – both for good and challenging reasons.

Which Area Is Best to Stay In Phuket
person holding coconut juice

Let me tell you what makes Patong one of the top areas to stay in Phuket.

Something that comes to everyone’s mind when talking about Patong is its legendary nightlife. Bangla Road, in particular, becomes a pedestrian haven after sunset; with countless bars, clubs, and restaurants that offer something for varying tastes. It’s indeed a paradise for party-goers.

During the day, the beautiful Patong Beach steals the show. The crescent-shaped beach is Phuket’s most visited, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and golden sands. You might feel the area a bit crowded, but there’s always room for water sports, sunbathing or simply strolling along the beachfront.

Accommodation options in Patong cater to different types of travelers. If you’re on a budget, you’ll find affordable guesthouses and mid-range hotels. For the more high-end traveler, luxury resorts offer top-notched amenities.

Your food experience in Patong is never dull. Streets stalls serve delicious local cuisine at an affordable price, while high-end restaurants offer gourmet dishes with breathtaking sea views.

Patong is also famous for its retail therapy. Jungceylon Shopping Center and Banana Walk, among others, house both international and local brands – a feast for avid shoppers.

Moving around isn’t a problem in Patong. Songtaews (local buses), motorbike taxis, and tuk-tuks are all available for convenient transportation.

To put it simply, Patong is filled to the brim with life, enticing you to explore. However, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer quiet surroundings, remember, Phuket has numerous quieter beaches and towns. The journey continues as we explore more in the upcoming sections.

2. Karon

Another significant destination within Phuket that deserves your attention is Karon. Even though it’s not nearly as bustling as Patong, Karon still has its unique charm and a steady pulse of activity.

In terms of beaches, Karon Beach spans over three kilometers and offers a more serene, less crowded experience compared to Patong Beach. This expansive white sand haven is perfect for lounging under the sun, beachside jogging, or even participating in various water sports.

What sets Karon apart, besides the laid-back beach scene, is its flourishing dining landscape. You’ll get to indulge in a variety of local and international culinary delights. Top-rated restaurants, cozy cafes, and street food stalls are scattered around town, ready to cater to your food cravings.

Nightlife in Karon is slightly different. It’s laid-back and diverse, but not an overwhelming sensory experience. There are plenty of spots to enjoy a relaxed evening – from modest local bars to rooftop lounges offering stunning views.

Shopping in Karon might not offer mega malls, but it does specialize in more unique retail experiences. Karon Bazaar is worth visiting for its assortment of local crafts, souvenirs, clothes, and beach essentials.

Another aspect to consider is Karon’s accommodation options. There is a rich variety of places to stay in Karon, catering to all types of budgets. Luxury resorts flaunt their glamorous facilities, while budget hotels provide a clean, comfortable haven for the economical traveler.

When it comes to transportation, Karon is well-connected to other parts of Phuket. It’s just a brief taxi or tuk-tuk ride away from Patong and other neighboring towns.

Opting for Karon ensures a balanced holiday in Phuket. It combines the peace and quiet of a beach retreat with captivating local experiences, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a different pace of life while still having amenities within reach. So next time you’re planning a trip, give Karon a thought.

Proceeding further in our list of areas in Phuket, let’s take a look at another beautiful destination – Rawai.

3. Kata

Let’s turn our attention to another fascinating spot in Phuket: Kata. Located on Phuket’s west coast, Kata is a beach village that offers a well-rounded holiday experience. Its charm lies in its ability to cater to various holiday expectations, perfect for those seeking tranquility and adventure alike.

Kata boasts of two stunning beaches, namely Kata Yai and Kata Noi. Kata Yai, the larger of the two, is a hub for water sports and beach activities. It’s where you’ll find surfers catching waves and families frolicking in the balmy water. On the other hand, Kata Noi bestows a more calming atmosphere. Its azure waters and chalky sand make it an idyllic spot for sunbathing and leisurely swims.

Foodies needn’t worry as Kata is a culinary hotspot. It’s teeming with eateries that serve a medley of succulent Thai food and international cuisine. Seafood is a noteworthy feature in Kata, with fresh catch transformed into delectable dishes in front of your eyes. Mom Tri’s Kitchen and The Boathouse are two restaurants that truly stand out, each providing exquisite gastronomic experiences.

Kata also takes pride in its vibrant nightlife. You’ve got options ranging from beach bars and pulsing nightclubs to chill out spots with live music. Local and international DJs often grace clubs like Club Med Phuket and RE KÁ TA Beach Club, drawing dynamic crowds and adding to the buzzing nightlife.

Which Area Is Best to Stay In Phuket
women on shore during daytime

A few retail outlets scattered around the city allow you to pick up essential beach gear and souvenirs. Kata Plaza acts as a central shopping hub, where you can find a wealth of Thai handicrafts and boutique items.

Accommodation wise, Kata is just as varied, catering to folks on any budget. Whether you’re looking for an affordable guesthouse like Sugar Palm Grand Hillside or a luxury hotel like The Shore at Katathani, Kata has you covered.

Kata’s location allows easy access to other regions of Phuket, so you’re never too far from the island’s key attractions. It offers a charismatic blend of contemporary amenities and the traditional, providing a unique and satisfying tropical escape.

4. Kamala

As we explore Phuket further, I’m eager to introduce Kamala, another spot to consider when choosing where to stay. Kamala holds its own charm and character, providing a quieter environment compared to the busier areas of Phuket.

Kamala Beach is the main highlight here, a beautiful and calm location popular with both tourists and locals. Unlike Patong and Karon, Kamala offers a more relaxed vibe. Here, you can lounge on the sandy beach, swim in the clear warm waters, or try out some water sports. These include kayaking, snorkeling, and jet-skiing.

Let’s move on to the food scene in Kamala. Just like other parts of Phuket, Kamala does not disappoint when it comes to offering tantalizing Thai and international cuisine. The local Rim Talay and Rockfish restaurants come highly recommended, known for their fresh seafood, succulent dishes, and pleasing ambiance.

Which Area Is Best to Stay In Phuket
a person swimming in the ocean near a coral reef

Kamala is not as hectic as Patong when it comes to nightlife, but there are still spots for night owls. The bars along the beach offer live music and a cozy atmosphere, where you can wind down the day while taking in the views. The Phuket FantaSea show, a Thai cultural theme park, is located in Kamala. It’s famed for its extravagant performances and is an experience not to be missed.

For accommodation, Kamala presents a variety of options to accommodate different budget levels. From budget-friendly guesthouses to premier resorts like The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket and Andara Resort Villas, you’re sure to find something that suits you.

Lastly, moving around from Kamala is quite convenient. It’s only about 10-15 minutes’ drive to more vibrant places like Patong. Kamala’s laid-back pace combined with its accessibility to other areas makes it a suitable choice for travelers who wish to experience the quieter side of Phuket while staying connected to the lively parts.

Let’s shift our focus to another enticing area called Surin.

5. Rawai

Rawai is the southernmost town of Phuket and it’s an enticing option for those looking for a more authentic Thai experience. This area exudes a peaceful, local vibe, making it a delightful retreat from more bustling parts of Phuket.

The gem of Rawai is Rawai Beach. It’s a serene spot that doesn’t attract throngs of tourists. The beach isn’t the best for swimming due to the boats and longtails moored there but it makes for idyllic long strolls, absorbing the local life.

In close proximity to the beach, Rawai provides access to several other attractions. My personal recommendations would be:

  • A boat ride to the nearby Coral Island or Koh Hae
  • A visit to the revered Promthep Cape, the southernmost point of Phuket, known for its unforgettable sunset views
  • An adventure on the Phranang Sang Bike Path which gives a glimpse of traditional Phuket

One can’t discuss Rawai without mentioning its fantastic food scene. There is a wealth of seafood restaurants along the beachfront, serving mouth-watering meals straight from the Andaman Sea. Sea Gypsy Village is my pick for fresh and inexpensively priced seafood.

For party-goers, Rawai’s nightlife may seem somewhat toned down compared to places like Patong. But the local bars here offer an inviting ambiance along with live music for a chill night out.

Accommodation in Rawai caters to various budgets too. Whether you’re looking for an affordable guesthouse or a luxurious villa, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste. Flipper House and Navatara Phuket Resort are among my recommendations.

Despite its tranquil demeanor, Rawai is just a short drive away from livelier areas, so getting around Phuket from here is a breeze. Ultimately, If you’re after an experience that blends relaxation with local culture, you won’t be disappointed with Rawai.

After exploring the many corners of Phuket, I’ve found Rawai to be a standout choice for any traveler. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the local culture, enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, and indulge in delectable seafood. With Rawai Beach as its crown jewel, it’s perfect for leisurely walks, even though swimming isn’t its strong suit.

You’re never far from an adventure in Rawai, whether it’s a boat ride to Coral Island, a visit to Promthep Cape, or a bike ride on the Phranang Sang Path. The nightlife might be low-key, but it’s brimming with charm and live music that’ll make your evenings memorable.

The accommodation options, such as Flipper House and Navatara Phuket Resort, cater to different budgets and preferences. Plus, Rawai’s location makes it a convenient base for exploring the rest of Phuket. So, if you’re looking for an authentic Thai experience, Rawai might just be the best place to stay in Phuket.

Lisa Boonmee
About the author
Lisa Boonmee
I am passionate about unveiling the hidden gems of Phuket, from its stunning beaches to its vibrant cultural scene. My extensive travels across the island have given me a deep appreciation for its unique beauty and rich history, which I love sharing with our readers.