The pearly white, palm- and casuarina-fringed beaches that ring Phuket’s southern and western coasts are the island’s key bounty. Each beach is different, from the northwest’s upmarket Surin and Ao Bang Thao (with their luxe resorts and, in Bang Thao, glossy beach clubs) to mellow, jungled Rawai on far south Phuket, or the infamous west-coast sin city of Patong, home of hangovers and go-go bars.
Phuket has a tropical monsoonal climate. It’s warm all year round, but it is hottest from April to May and from September to October. The July – October period is also the wettest, because of the southwest monsoon.