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Known to returning tourists as ‘Jewel of the Andaman’, Phuket remains to be the most preferred leisure destination in Thailand. Best known for its magnificent beaches and near perfect bays, Phuket attracts about 8 million foreign tourists every year. Phuket’s best attraction is nature – which is best appreciated at the southern end of Kata Noi, where one can enjoy stunning views of Kata, Karon and Patong bays. Promthep Cape further down is a famous sunset viewing site. High end hotel chains and private boutiques villas mostly located in Patong complete the holiday package of Phuket visitors.
Other close-to-nature encounters include primate singing at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center within the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park where one can marvel at the spectacular Tong Sae and Bang Phe waterfalls. But nature is not all what Phuket has to offer. One can enjoy a unique Thai experience when you visit the Phuket Garden Thai Village, Phuket Shell Museum and Sea Gypsy Village near the Rawai Beach to the south. Head to Thalang road and you will see marks of Chinese influence through the Sino-Portuguese architecture of the traditional shop houses.
With millions of foreigners visiting Phuket, innumerable first class dining venues offer international and Thai cuisine with most of them offering beachfront views. Phuket’s nightlife is defined by girlie bars and discos in Patong, and karaoke bars in Phuket town. And like the other Thai cities, moving around Phuket is easily answered by affordable taxis and mini-buses, and the legendary tuk-tuk – a minivan with an open back.