Visitors to Thailand's southern island of Phuket will find pure white sands, turquoise waters, and limestone cliffs. This island, which is surrounded by the Andaman Sea and is about an hour by plane from Bangkok, is a tiny bit of heaven with reasonably priced hotels, spa treatments, and boat cruises. But, in addition to its tropical charm, Phuket entices visitors with its tasty cuisine (think lemongrass, lime leaves, and chillies) and rich culture, which is greatly inspired by the country's dominant religion: Buddhism.
Although the island's beaches and tourism operators have recovered from the 2004 tsunami, which wreaked havoc on the island's western coast and killed thousands of people, memorials and a stronger warning system are in place in case the area is threatened again.
Phuket is a very easy place to traverse as a travel destination. The entire island is accessible by road, and there are no admission fees at any of the beaches. It's even easier to get there: with 59 flights every day from Bangkok, visitors can arrive on the spur of the moment. Choose from scuba diving, nature treks, massages, or even a day trip to the nearby Phi Phi Islands, Similan Islands, or Phang Nga Bay's narrow sea caves.
Things to do in Phuket: