ROL Cruise recommends…
Check out Phuket’s stunning beaches
Phuket is renowned for the amazing quality of its staggeringly beautiful beaches – of which there are no fewer than 30! Amongst these is the resort of Patong, where visitors firmly embrace the Thai ethos of ‘mai pen rai’, a phrase which translates to something similar to ‘no worries’. Along with its idyllic beach, Patong is home to a vibrant nightlife with a heady mix of bars, clubs and restaurants in the Soi Bangla area.
For snorkelling, head to the rocky Ao Sane Beach where you’ll find parrot and clown fish darting amongst the coral. Scuba diving is also a popular pastime in Phuket, with many choosing the island to obtain their Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ certificate.
Pay your respects to Buddha
At 45m high and 25m wide, you can’t really miss Phuket’s captivating Big Buddha on your travels around the island. Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha, to give this imposing white marble statue its official name, is a revered island landmark nestled atop the Nakkerd Hills. From here, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across Phuket Town, Chalong Bay and beyond.
Thailand’s devotion to Buddhism is also evidenced in the 29 temples dotted across the island of Phuket, with Wat Chalong being one of its finest. This nineteenth century place of worship is set across three ornately decorated floors - ladies, make sure to take your shoes off and cover your shoulders to visit here.
Immerse yourself in Thai culture
New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Phuket Town makes a good job of staying awake, too; you’ll soon see that there’s always something going on in this pulsating area. Every Sunday, thousands of visitors descend on the Walking Street market, with its flamboyant mix of Chinese, Thai and Indian treasures. Architecture lovers will be full of admiration for the ornate mansions and historic shop-houses built in a Sino-colonial style, a throwback to Phuket’s past as a major tin-producing centre.