A short flight to escape Asia's busy cities, Phuket is great for a semi-cosmopolitan beach break with a great variety of restaurants and bars, luxury resorts and sumptuous villas.
Phuket is a great jumping off point to cruising the James Bond islands, Phi Phi islands and other fantastic snorkelling spots in the aquamarine waters. Koh Yao Noi, a luxury cruise from Phuket, overlooks the James Bond islands and is a fantastic spot to wine (or wind) down at sunset with this spectacular vista from your private pool villa. Once a backpacker’s idyll, a handful for luxury boutique resorts are making their way on to Phi Phi island for those who wish to escape the sometimes overcrowded beaches of Phuket. South of Phuket, Racha Island is a quiet oasis once the sun sets and day trippers return back to the mainland.
An hour’s drive north of Phuket, low-key Khao Lak’s risen from the Boxing Day tsunami ashes with better infrastrucure and luxury resorts now opening their doors on to idyllic and pristine beaches. At the cross junctions of five national parks and divers’ haven Similan Island, there is a lot more to do here than just sunbathe.