City Guide: Phuket
Whether you're a foodie, adventurerer, or just like to chill kind of traveler, Phuket should be at the top of your travel wishlist. Thailand's largest island (nicknamed the Pearl of the Andaman) is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches and amazing cuisine, with plenty of access to outdoor excursions like white water rafting and kayaking!
With the exception of Asian cities, there are no direct flights to Phuket. If you're coming from outside Asia, I recommend breaking up your trip by spending a day exploring your connecting city (ideally Hong Kong!) , before flying to Phuket.
While at the airport, try things you can't find anywhere else, like beauty products...
...or local snacks :p
Where to stay
On my last visit I stayed at the Aleenta Resort & Spa in Phang Nga. It was an incredible villa set up with private beach access, perfect for our girls trip but would be equally great for a romantic getaway.
What to eat
Thai cuisine is INCREDIBLE. While western options are available, I recommend sticking to traditional dishes like Mango Sticky Rice, pad thai, and curries. If you've never been to Asia, the kitchens may surprise you (people washing dishes outside etc) but there doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with people getting sick eating local food in Thailand (compared to places like India) and I recommend giving it a go!
Be sure to try the fruit, it's so much more flavorful in Asia than in the US!
Thailand is a beautiful country filled with incredible sunsets and the nicest people (there's a reason its known as the Land of Smiles!). From Phuket, you have the ability to do day trips to neighboring islands like Phi Phi and Khao Lak. It is fun to participate in these or there is plenty to do in Phuket. I highly suggest taking a thai cooking course while you're there as it is a fun way to remember your trip and share your experience with others when you return home. There are three things I would avoid on your tripL Ping Pong shows, riding Elephants, and attending the Full Moon Party. While a Ping Pong show might sound like an interesting and adventurous experience, they are actually incredibly exploitative and sad, you will regret going. Similar story for the Elephants, if you'd like to know more, read this. As for the Full Moon Party, this is essentially hundreds of backpackers doing drugs all night on a beach, I'd avoid it because 1) drug penalties in Thailand are severe 2) it's the equivalent of MTV Spring break in Cancun and 3) there are many more enjoyable and unique experiences to be add in Thailand.