Add This Thailand Itinerary to Your 2022 Travel Bucket List
Famed for its pristine palm-fringed white beaches and turquoise-hued seas, the pretty island of Phuket in Southern Thailand has entranced adventurers and artists since the late 1960s. Closed for more than a year to international travel, “The Pearl of the Andaman” is open and welcoming visitors back to explore and enjoy its many treasures—think glittering Buddhist temples, bustling morning markets and dreamy resorts and spas, plus a creative food and drink scene—all without the crowds.
Rise and Shine at Trisara
A hillside retreat with jaw-dropping views, Trisara lives up to its Sanskrit name, which means “Third Garden in Heaven.” Luxury also meets sustainability, thanks to the Michelin dining concept PRU and sister restaurant Hideaway by Jampa.
Hang Out With Elephants
Learn all about Thailand’s treasured national animal and meet a herd of retired and rescued female elephants who now get to roam, forage and bathe in the lush rainforested grounds of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.
Explore Old Town
Thanks to local boutiques, coffee shops and a darling ice cream parlor, Phuket Old Town is well worth exploring. The Sunday Walking Market and Sino-Portuguese architecture along the Soi Romanee side street are both major highlights.
Learn about the rum-making process with a private tour at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery before sitting down to a fun cocktail-making class at this Insta-worthy spot. Follow it with appetizers at Suay restaurant next door.
Next, stop by The Great Buddha of Phuket (whose name means “Happiness on top of Nakerd Mountain”) for Insta-gold photo ops and some of the best views on the island across Kata Beach and Chalong Bay.
Prepare for a wild ride at the eclectic Underwood Art Factory, whose bi-monthly Southeast Asian and western culture-inspired dinner cabaret features everything from a dominatrix dance routine to a musical riff on the movie “Titanic.”
Live your best “Below Deck” life on a day yacht cruise to hidden-gem spots like Banana Beach on Koh Hey island. The cruise also includes a sail-around Phuket’s famed sunset spot and southernmost point, Promthep Cape.
Stop by Phuket Town’s hippest cocktail spot, Dibuk House, where mixology gets molecular with creations like the Subterranean (inspired by the lifespan of a stag beetle), for a quick drink before the trip back up north.
An Enchanting Evening
Get spirited across a hidden lagoon on a hand-pulled raft to Black Ginger, the show-stopping signature restaurant inside The Slate hotel, where the sensational Phuketian-style dishes by Chef Piek are cooked to perfection.