Banyan Tree Phuket

Phuket is one of the most developed provinces in Thailand and has some of the best beaches in the country. Relax in style and base yourself at the iconic and luxurious Banyan Tree Phuket, where the central location means you can experience the best of both the bustling south and quieter north. With your own private luxury villa, authentic Thai café, fine-dining options and a world-class spa, you’ll find it hard to leave this beach haven. But villa host Sunisa Sawatdimongkol knows the best local spots on the island. Here she lets us into some of Phuket’s best-kept secrets…

Phuket is a popular destination. Where would you go to escape the tourists?

I love to jog along the seaside at Cape Yamu Village, located on the East Coast. There are breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay – they are best sunset.

Which is the best place to sample Thai cuisine outside of the hotel?

I had an amazing experience recently at the Baan Rim Pa restaurant in Patong. We had Chaw Muang and steamed dumplings with a fish-meat filling which was absolutely delicious.The food and décor are 10/10. Oh, and the view is unbelievable.

Where would you go in town?

The first thing on my mind when I am in Phuket Town is to watch a movie at the Central Festival Phuket. Quality cinema, great value for money and the best deals on Wednesdays.

What are some dishes that you can’t leave Thailand without trying?

Papaya Salad is a must especially with som tum poo pla ra.

What is the best way to spend the sunset?

I love sipping a piña colada on the beach, playing some music and watching the sunset.

What’s the best way to relax?

I would love to have a Thai massage on my shoulders and back at the Banyan Tree spa. It’s is how I relax after a long day.

Where would you suggest to go for dinner and what should you eat?

There are two restaurants which I frequently go to. For Thai food head to Cherngtalay Kitchen for really great local cuisine such as crab curry with coconut milk and seaweed salad. For Japanese head to Uetaru Suisan on Boat Avenue – it’s my favourite place for oysters and salmon sashimi.

What makes Phuket stand out from other beach resorts?

Phuket is one of the largest Thai islands and has miles and miles of beautiful beaches so you can enjoy quiet bays as well as lively sun spots all around the island. There’s also the hustle and bustle of town and so many restaurants and bars – you’re never at a loss for things to do.

Phuket has some of the world’s best diving, where would you recommend going?

I would recommend going diving at Racha islands. I mean I am not a diver but I have snorkelled in most of the islands in Andaman Sea. For deep-diving here, you will find large schools of barracuda, Leopard sharks, Manta Ray and Whale Sharks if you are lucky enough.

Where would you go if you wanted to dance?

I believe every Phuketian knows Timber Hut for dancing and live music. I would rank it as Phuket’s number one Thai live music pub. I love it when they sing all of the songs I request.

Where is the best place for drinks?

On the way to Kata viewpoint from Kata Noi Beach, you will find a reggae bar clinging onto the cliffside. It is one of my chill-out spots at sunset.

Is there anywhere that is good to shop?

I love hanging out at Naka Market or Weekend Market where you can find secondhand goods, jumble sale items and great local food.

What is the most romantic thing you can do in Phuket?

The view of the sunset from a cabana at Xana Beach Club is amazing. I go there with my partner, share a pizza and watch the sun go down. It’s very romantic.

What are some phrases which visitors should learn?

Sawasdee Krub: hello (male) Sawasdee Ka: hello (female)

This article was written in collaboration with Banyan Tree Hotels. For more information visit Banyan Tree Hotel Phuket. 

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