If you’re picturing yourself on a white sand beach with a cocktail in your hand on your next vacation, then you need to find the perfect island paradise.

And one destination stands head and shoulders above the rest.

It has a well-deserved reputation for its breathtaking beaches, delicious food, outstanding beauty, and welcoming culture.

Bounce has unveiled its 2024 island index, and this incredible Asian paradise island has been officially named the best in the world.

Cultural Explorations 

Of course, I’m talking about Phuket.

Phuket topped the chart as the best island destination thanks to its incredible beaches, as well as an abundance of cultural attractions.

It is the largest Thai island and boasts around 90 kilometers of coastline, so it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the beaches here are incredible.

The size of the island means you’ll be surprised by how many things there are to see and do too.

Visit Thalang Road in the Old Town, which is lined with colorful 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings.

Learn more about the island’s culture and rich history in the Thai Hua Museum.

And, of course, you can’t visit Phuket without going to see the island’s famous Big Buddha.

Although a modern construction, this is one of the most significant landmarks on the island. It sits perched on a peak, offering incredible views of Phuket.

The Best Beaches In Phuket

One of the main reasons travelers choose to visit Phuket is its incredible and pristine beaches.

There are a whopping 40 accessible beaches on the island.

patong beach on phuket island in thailand

There are so many exceptional beaches to choose from, but according to Tripadvisor, the five best beaches on the island are Banana Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Nai Harn Beach, and Freedom Beach.

If you don’t have time to visit them all, Freedom Beach is the one that you really shouldn’t miss.

Thanks to its breathtaking bay of dazzling white sand, it is frequently chosen as one of the best beaches in the world.

Gorgeous Freedom Beach at morning Taken from high point, Phuket, Thailand

What makes Freedom Beach stand out from the crowd is the pride that local people take in keeping the beach clean and environmentally sustainable. They are dedicated to preserving this exceptional attraction for future generations.

Freedom Beach is a great spot for snorkeling and diving, and the gentle waves lend themselves perfectly to bodyboarding.

Get Close To Elephants 

You can find beaches everywhere, but what you can’t find on every island? Elephants!

Phuket boasts not one but nine elephant sanctuaries.

Many of these have excellent reputations for the care that they take over their animals and are incredible places to visit to get close to these magnificent beasts.

Elephant sanctuary in Phuket

The 4 sanctuaries that are considered to be the most ethical and reputable are the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, the Elephant Retirement Park, and the Phang Na Elephant Park.

If you’re struggling to choose just one, then it might help to know that the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the first ethical elephant sanctuary on the island and that it has been endorsed by both National Geographic and World Animal Protection.

Hustle And Bustle 

It’s worth stating that you shouldn’t consider visiting Phuket unless you like a little hustle and bustle.

It may be the most beautiful island destination but last year it was also given the title of world’s most crowded tourist destination.

a lively night market in Phuket thailand with street lights and many people

You can rub shoulders with other tourists as well as the locals in an abundance of vibrant markets. During peak season the island hosts around 118 tourists for every local resident.

That means that whether you visit the incredible beaches here during the daytime, to watch the sunset, or to party the night away, you’re unlikely to be alone.

An Affordable Travel Destination

Flight prices to Phuket from the U.S. can be a little pricey, but once you arrive on the island, you’ll find that it’s a relatively affordable travel destination.

Expect to pay an average of $184.58 per night for a 3-star hotel and $2.64 for a pint of beer.

two tourists hang their heads out of a red tuk tuk in Phuket Thailand

While Phuket should not be considered a budget vacation destination, if you’re a budget traveler and keen to visit, then there are often deals available during the low season.

A lot of what makes Phuket’s prices higher than you might expect is the island’s popularity. And this popularity, as well as its excellent reputation, is definitely well deserved.

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