Phuket, Thailand, is one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Plan your escape with our guide to the best honeymoons in Phuket.
Dubbed the “Pearl of the Andamans,” Phuket on Thailand’s west coast is unquestionably a romantic destination. Its world-renowned sandy beaches and azure waters combine to give a picture postcard-like appeal, with all the romance ingredients that a tropical island destination offers. A honeymoon in Phuket is the ideal choice for a couple’s escape after tying the knot. Our guide to the best honeymoons in Phuket will help you plan your perfect memory-filled tropical island honeymoon.
A Quick Overview
Phuket’s west coast is where you will find most of the action and an abundance of accommodation options. Kata and Karon Beaches are relaxed, family-friendly locations on the lower west coast. Patong, well-known for its lively resorts, is great for couples seeking vibrant beach activities, abundant watersports, and happening nightlife. Kamala’s long wide beach, gentle surf breaks, and upmarket resorts are inviting. While further north along the west coast Surin, Bang Tao, Nai Thon, and Nai Yang have excellent resorts and less crowded beaches. North of the international airport at the top of the island is Mai Khao beach, dotted with 5-star resorts with long stretches of open space.
Delving into Phuket’s Past
Phuket’s history stretches back to the spice trade days as a major port on the sea trade routes between Asia and Europe. Chinese migrant workers flocked to Phuket in the 19th century seeking their fortunes in tin mining. Rubber, coconut, pineapple, and palm oil are now actively cultivated.
Couples can explore the island’s history in Old Phuket Town. Grand historical buildings and museums offer insights. Wander the streets taking in the rows of gloriously restored pastel-shaded Sino-Portuguese buildings, now filled with attractive boutiques, cool cafes, and intimate bars. Return on Sundays to enjoy the liveliness of the “walking street” while you meander the streets in search of all those tasty Thai street food temptations.
Phuket boasts more than 40 beaches, many with rows of beach chairs and umbrellas, ideal for relaxing together. Most beachfront resorts also have their own beach bed offerings. For the more active, check out beaches like Kamala with its excellent swimming and gentle surf breaks or Patong for active water sports, including jet skis and parasailing. If you want beach time away from the crowds, then the northern region of Phuket’s west coast, like Bang Tao and Nai Yang is ideal.
Many beachfront hotels and resorts have beach clubs open to the public with a day-use fee. Or, as an alternative, independent Beach Clubs offer everything beach-wise, including some indulgences. You get comfortable lounges and umbrellas, usually with swimming pool access, plus restaurants, bars, and maybe water sports activities. Some happily encourage you to stay for sunset, partying to the DJ beats. M Beach Club at JW Marriott Mai Khao, Catch Beach Club at Bang Tao, and Kudo Beach Club in Patong are all options.
Island Day Trips
Sure, Thailand’s largest island Phuket has lots to offer; it is also surrounded by 32 smaller islands, some just 15 minutes away by boat. There are also the famous Phi Phi islands further south, and many tour operators and ferries are available to take visitors on the two-hour (4-hour return) trip. Though for more couple-friendly island opportunities, I recommend Phuket’s immediately neighboring islands, without the crowded throngs.
The Thai word for island is Koh, and Koh Racha Yai and Racha Noi (big and small islands) are popular destinations less than 13 miles south of Phuket. Then there is Koh Hea (Coral Island), just 3 miles to Phuket’s southeast, offering two idyllic beaches and a small resort providing refreshments and meals.
Other Transportation Options
You can take a longtail boat, speedboat, or catamaran tour for the day. These trips come complete with picture-perfect beaches, swimming, snorkeling, and other water fun. Phuket Snorkeling specializes in highly professional small group speedboat day tours to these islands. Their emphasis is on customer comfort and safety and avoiding crowds wherever possible. Ideal ingredients for honeymooners looking for a memorable day. Private charters are also a specialty.
Phang Nga Bay off Phuket’s northeast coast, with its limestone karst islands, including the famous James Bond Island, is another easily accessed and must-do day trip for Phuket visitors. Simba Sea Trips is a highly regarded tour operator specializing in small-group, away-from-the-crowds, personalized tours with snorkeling, sea kayaking, and small island visits on Phang Nga Bay. Their new Phuket Sunset tour is simply breathtaking, as the towering rock formations of the bay light up and forever change as the sun sets. A spectacular and romantic close to a day on the water.
For honeymooners into scuba diving, or those couples who want to get their PADI certificates, Phuket is an ideal location. It offers warm waters, mild currents, world-class reefs, sea life, and excellent visibility for most of the year. There are many dive sites easily accessed by day trips from Phuket, and Aussie Divers Phuket has an enviable reputation among the many dive operators in Phuket. For divers wanting to experience one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, the Similan Islands group is just a couple of hours’ travel north of Phuket. Liveaboard dive trips are the best way to enjoy the underwater world of the Similan Marine National Park, these trips are only open to visitors from October to May.
Heart Warming and Memory Making Activities
Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, have witnessed native animals like elephants or gibbons being “tamed” and used in tourism. These animals are also often sold illegally to overseas collectors. Today’s operators are consciously moving away from any of this activity. Here are two recommended rescue and rehabilitation projects. When you positively connect with the wildlife, your visit helps to fund their ongoing ‘freedom.’
Gibbons on Phuket were almost poached to extinction 40 years ago, and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project has successfully reintroduced 50 gibbons back to the same, now protected jungles. Visitors can spend a half-day as a ‘gibbon research assistant’ helping with food preparations and other tasks while learning about these primates. You do not get to be up close as the gibbons are being readied for release back into the wild. However, you will hear their stories and learn how to differentiate and understand their high-pitched calls and body language. Visits are by reservation only.
As one of the leaders in ethical care and treatment of Thailand’s revered pachyderms, a visit to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is highly recommended. Unlike other elephant camps on the island, there is no riding or bathing with the animals. However, you are still close enough to observe these rescued giants being themselves. Visitors can follow them from the sanctuary’s new 600-meter (almost 2000 feet) long and 6-meter (20 feet) tall canopy walkway and walk through the 30-acre sanctuary on guided tours.
Gourmet Feasting for Honeymoons in Phuket
Be sure to factor in food on your romantic holiday. This is Thailand, after all—home to one of the world’s most loved cuisines. Phuket was the first city in Thailand to receive the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy recognition. The island’s Baba cuisine comes from early descendants. These mainly Hokkien Chinese migrated and intermarried with locals melding cultural traditions and cuisines. The fiery Southern Thai cuisine is also well worth seeking out.
Phuket boasts an impressive range of restaurants, from authentic family-run Thai eateries to award-winning Michelin-recognized fine dining experiences. Thailand’s annual Michelin Guide is an excellent resource, with over 60 eateries and restaurants listed in the 2022 edition, including many street food outlets. Your taste buds and budget will be rewarded using the Michelin guide for your Phuket feasting.
The highly regarded Blue Elephant restaurant occupies a beautifully restored Sino-colonial building in Phuket Old Town. Featuring both local Baba-Peranakan dishes and classic examples of Royal Thai cuisine, this is a memorable Phuket dining experience. For honeymooners wanting a unique bonding experience, book a Thai cooking class with the Blue Elephants Cooking School. You sit together at the end of class to taste and compare your culinary creations.
Nightlife and After Dark
Phuket’s nightlife is quite diverse, from rustic reggae-style bars, rowdy nightclubs, rooftop venues, and beachside bars with sunset views. Some have international DJs or live bands. A few venues offer dinner and cabarets. There are flamboyant ladyboy shows, or you and your loved one can shimmy into a go-go bar.
Patong is the epicenter of nightlife in Phuket, especially Soi Bangla, the Walking Street. The action heats up from around 9 pm till the wee hours. Karon and Kata also offer a reasonably lively night scene. While Rawai in the south offers some laid-back bars and entertainment venues. Bang Tao Beach is home to a few more sophisticated night spots, but the northern area is generally quiet.
Day Spas & Thai Massage
A must-experience when visiting is a Thai massage; traditional treatment can be traced back to ancient times. Your hotel spas are a great place to start offering pampering, therapeutic, and couple-focused treatments. Many simple and clean local massage shops are on the streets and near most beaches. Hour-long massages are as little as $10. Let’s Relax and Oasis Spas are two independent up-market Day Spa operators. Each company has several venues across Phuket, these may be an excellent alternative to your hotel-based spas.
Other Things to Do for Honeymoons in Phuket
Phuket is more than beautiful beaches, stunning coastlines, and idyllic nearby islands. Discover other attractions like waterparks, ziplining, Kart racing, ATVing, mini golf, and the more challenging championship golf, or sacred Buddhist temples and shrines, shopping, local Thai markets, and much more. Couples may also enjoy visiting stunning viewpoints. Perhaps the most famous is Promthep Cape, which is fabulous for watching stunning sunsets over the Andaman sea.
Where to Stay for Honeymoons in Phuket
Phuket has thousands of accommodation options for all budgets. We love these four outstanding resorts for honeymooning couples seeking a little more space, we-time, and some of life’s finer things.
Rosewood Phuket sits on its own 600-meter white sandy beach, with the glistening waters of Patong Bay being your constant outlook. Seventy-one luxury pool pavilions and villas, all set in lush landscape, embody tranquillity, refinement, and timeless elegance.
The Slate Phuket
The Slate Phuket at Nai Yang Beach is nestled in 25 acres of tropical landscaped gardens and offers 185 spacious suites and private villas. Several dining options are available, plus the resort’s own cooking school. Recreational facilities include two adult-only swimming pools.
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
J W Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa on Mai Khao Beach offers an award-winning spa, three outdoor pools, and activities such as Thai cooking classes. Perhaps one of their rooms with a whirlpool tub will catch your fancy.
Paresa Resort, perched cliffside, surrounded by lush tropical forests between Patong and Kamala, offers breathtaking uninterrupted Andaman Sea views from wherever you are in the resort. This is a boutique luxury hideaway-style resort worth seeking out. Honeymooners love the space and total privacy of their Ocean Pool Suites.
Getting to Phuket and When to Visit
Direct flights from your home country to Phuket’s international airport mean getting there is a breeze. Connecting flights from the capital Bangkok and other Thai domestic destinations add to that ease of access.
Phuket is open to visitors year-round. Its tropical climate will never be cold, with temperatures between 77 – 93°F (25 – 34°C). June to October is the rainy season. December to the end of March is the optimum time to visit with clear skies, calm beaches, and ocean temperatures at their most inviting.
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The honeymoon you’ve been dreaming of awaits with incredible beaches, memory-making day trips, an abundance of on-island activities, unforgettable feasting, and resort accommodations to drool over. Phuket, the “Pearl of the Andamans,” is undoubtedly a romantic destination and ideal for that memorable honeymoon for you and your beloved. When planning honeymoons in Phuket, Hawaii, other tropical islands, or anywhere on the globe, let Wander with Wonder be your guide.