A Weekend in Phuket, Thailand

THE teardrop-shaped island of Phuket has long been known for its dazzling beaches and naughty night life. But for many, it was the catastrophic Asian tsunami in 2004 that finally placed Phuket on the map

The teardrop-shaped island of Phuket has long been known for its dazzling beaches and naughty night life. But for many, it was the catastrophic Asian tsunami in 2004 that finally placed Phuket on the map. Recovery has been swift, and in recent years the island has firmly reasserted itself as a premier beach resort in southern Thailand, with a growing crop of luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants and even a thriving art community.

Check the Phuket travel guide at NY Times. [via NYTimes; photos via NYTimes]

Bang Pae Safari offers elephant trekking excursions. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
Follow the locals to Phuket town and the night food market on Ong Sim Phai Road near the Robinson Department Store. A market by day, it’s a lively food court at night. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
For miles of untouched golden sand all to yourself, head to the blissfully deserted Mai Khao Beach, part of Sirinat National Park, along Phuket’s northwestern shore. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
Suwit Stadium is an authentic place to catch a muay Thai fight. Ceremonial prefight dances and traditional music are reminders that this is more than just violent entertainment. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
Seek nirvana at the top of Mount Nagakerd, where an enormous, white jade marble-covered Buddha is close to completion. The 147-foot-tall Big Buddha is officially known as Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
At Bang Pae Waterfall, teenagers take a refreshing dip in the pool below. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
The view from a private villa on Pansea Beach. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
If you’ve got baht to burn, the Amanpuri is the place to set it aflame. For more than 20 years, the Amanpuri has been one of the most exclusive spots on the island, with 70 pavilions and private villas. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
In recent years Phuket has firmly reasserted itself as a premier beach resort in southern Thailand, with a growing crop of luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants and even a thriving art community. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times
Beer-soaked Bangla Road in Patong is Phuket night life at its brashest and seediest — a heaving crush of hostess bars, go-go clubs and “ladyboy” cabaret. Photo: Justin Mott / The New York Times

[via NYTimes]

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