Updated: May 16

It would be impossible to scour the globe to find somewhere unaffected by covid right now. Phuket is a place that relied so heavily on tourism before all of this...which means it's been hit so hard. While It's a different place from what it was pre-pandemic, it hasn't dampened the spirits of the local people. They continue to make it an amazing place to visit! I've always found Thai people to be among the most welcoming and friendly people, and that if anything has only been heightened by the recent events. You can physically see their faces light up as you walk into their shop, bar, restaurant or hotel as they're incredibly eager to greet people back to this once so visited place.

Danielle and I had a great time in Phuket, we loved it. Here is an overview of our experience taking part in the sandbox programme.

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This stunning beach is located in the north of Phuket and is one of the longest beaches you'll find here. Being further up North it's much quieter than others in the more popular areas such as Patong. There are not a lot of bars and restaurants, but it's family-friendly, beautiful and great for relaxing in the sun. It's also great for a nice long walk.


A fantastic Beach which is easy to get to via Tuktuk or scooter if you rent one. It's 100THB per person to enter the beach, however, that covers the cost of a sunbed, umbrella and you get a fruit juice upon arrival. The beach is stunning, and there's a much quieter section just to the left which you can't miss! While the beach is amazing the ocean floor is rocky so bring some sea shoes if you have them!

This image shows a beautiful and what appears to empty beach on a glorious day. The eye is immediately drawn to a swing that hangs to the right side of the image and cascades all the way down from the very top to the seat which sits just a few inches above the white and golden sand at the very bottom of the picture. A third of the way down the swing you can see a white sign that reads paradise beach, with a palm tree that replaces the letter 'i'. The swing has definitely been sat there a while and looks used and worn by the salty ocean air, which only adds to its charm. The sand that covers the lower half of the image looks like white powder sand that is scattered with brown leaves and seashells. A rock sits just ahead with a slightly smaller rock just in front of it, but it is surrounded by an ocean of white sand. The sea looks calm and greeny blue as it slowly caresses the shore. Around the horizon you can see jungle terrain that overlooks the clear water and welcoming sands, and to the top of the image there is a small section of leaves showing a the leaves of the tree in which the swing hangs. It's clearly day time, and likely mid day as the sun bounces off everything it sees and the clear blue sky is dotted with the occasional white fluffy cloud.
Paradise Beach, Phuket - Somewhere that lives up to its name


This incredible island was originally called Khao Phing Kan, but the name was changed after it made an appearance in James Bond's "The Man With The Golden Gun" in 1974. It's a staple for most who visit Phuket, and you can still find trips or excursions that will visit this beautiful Island. Tours are less populated right now, which is great for exploration, however, it does make them a little more expensive. Finding a few like-minded explorers can help to negotiate the cost of the tour if you all group together.


A shortstop, but one you'll regret if you miss it. We got there in the middle of the day but it would make an amazing viewpoint for a sunrise or sunset. You can see most of Phuket from here, and it is a great tranquil spot to simply sit and be.

A man stands on a slightly raised platform with his back to the camera as he gazes out at the vast scenic view before him. He has dark brown hair, black sunglasses and you can see his bear stubble on the right side of his face. He is wearing a white vest, grey shorts and black flip flops as he stands admiring the view. In the foreground just in front of the man is a pathway which sits in front of a drop where trees are only just starting to appear in line with it. The green trees that stretch out are every kind of shade of green that you can possibly imagine showing the vast nature that lays ahead. The trees disappear as your eyes move up the image and they're replaced with the coastline of Phuket lined with buildings, hotels and beautiful blue waters. The water starts light greeny blue at the shore and turns to darker blue as it stretches out across to the horizon. The shoreline dips in and out and shows various jungle terrain and glorious beaches that pepper the shore. The image is taken in the day and the sky shows white cloud but the sun sstill manages to shine through and light all of Phuket, Thailand, that sits down below.
This viewpoint is a great place to admire all that Phuket has to offer


A different vibe to the beach lifestyle, but one not to be overlooked. There's a tonne of picturesque spots, great places to eat and interesting pieces of street art to see. Compared to many other places in Phuket right now there are a lot of places open, which was great to see. There are plenty of colourful streets and pieces of graffiti that will do wonders for your Instagram! We visited The Neighbours Cafe for some smoothie bowls and would recommend them in a heartbeat!

Danielle couldn't help but take a seat and admire this great work of art in Phuket Old Town, Thailand


An amazing beach that's tucked away and very private, but I must stress to approach with caution! Danielle and I pulled up on our scooter and noticed some other scooters parked near a cut-in to the jungle. We thought we'd arrived, but then noticed a sign that said "Freedom Beach 600m ->". Some locals were nearby and they advised the cut-in was the best way to get to the beach, because it "wasn't that far". Avoiding the official entrance meant we saved 100BHT, but we wish we'd paid it! What followed was a 500m+ trek down through steep jungle terrain. After a while, Danielle froze in terror as a snake slid across our path, but thankfully we kept going. The beach was spectacular! If you're squeamish maybe just pay the 100BHT each to avoid the jungle.

The 2 guys who'd given us the "tip" were shop workers who made our stay as comfortable as possible. They had mats, pillows, umbrellas and provided some great food and drink.

The image shows a beautiful section of beach with only a single man walking away from the camera in the centre of the shot. You can see his footsteps leading all the way back to the bottom centre of the image through the white powdered sands. The waves at the shore are breaking but they're very small and the ocean behind them looks calm and gentle. The beach stretches out until it turns into jungle with coconut trees lining the edge across the left and leading to a vast variety of greenery. The clear blue waters are falling against the shoreline on the right side of the image and the waters turn from pure white as they break all the way to darker blue to the end of the image on the right. as the jungle cuts the beach off ahead it ends as piles of rocks replace the sand and spread out into the ocean. The man is in a walking pose with his back to the camera and he has a bare torso which shows his brown tanned skin and he is wearing dark black shorts. He has short dark brown hair and his head is turned ever so slightly to the right as he gases out at the vast ocean
A walk along the remarkable shoreline was the best way to forget the difficulty it took to get here


It's not going to take over your day, but it's an incredible ride through the winding roads up the mountain. When you get to the site you will see the incredible feat that is The Big Buddha and some amazing views that accompany it. It's completely free to enter, but they greatly appreciate any donations. Remember to dress respectfully, which means covering your shoulders and knees.

This is a selfie of a young couple who look very happy as they smile and gaze directly into the camera together at close range. The woman on the left is wearing a white t-shirt that covers her shoulders out of respect for being in a Buddhist temple, and there are faint straps that show the top of a dress that sits over the t-shirt. She has a sun-kissed tanned face, fashionable tortoiseshell sunglasses and her blonde hair tied up behind her head. she has a huge smile which show her beautiful white teeth, The man sits beside her with his body turned slightly towards her and his arm disappears behind her. He is wearing a rucksack, but you can only see the blue straps that and sat on top of his shoulders. He is wearing a baby blue t-shirt, has black sunglasses on with short, dark brown hair and a small beard. He is smiling directly into the camera and looks very happy as he sits there with the young lady by his side. Behind the couple are white steps that lead up all the way behind them to a large white Buddha that sits looking over the pair. The buddhas head is placed directly in between the  couple as they appear to have taken a selfie with him as part of the group. As they are on a lower level and the camera looks up towards the large Buddha statue the blue sky can be seen overhead. The white couds that are scattered throughout the sky perfectly match the white steps and Buddha statue below. this image was taken at The Big Buddha site in Phuket, Thailand.
We just had to get a selfie with The Big Buddha


Almost any night of the week you're certain to find incredible food here. It's just up from Patong beach, and there are always plenty of people taking in the great eats. The Pad Thai stall is fantastic... just pick up your jaw when they tell you how cheap it is. Most stalls have vegan/vegetarian-friendly options available as well. If you want a bit of home comfort with a Thai twist then there's a great cheesy french fries stall.


An unfortunate victim of the current times. What would have once been the life of Phuket has been reduced to a stroll through a few empty bars. There are a few shops still open, and we ate at Eurasian Restaurant which was good. If you're a football (soccer) fan then they show it here too...


The best thing you can do is just explore! it's how we have always found the best places to eat, drink and see. Tuktuk's are easy enough if you're not confident on a scooter, and they're a reasonable price. Our feeling is that you get so much more freedom with a scooter, however. We love being left to our own devices, and while it might mean we don't always end up at the most popular and most visited can often lead to the best stories.

This image shows a woman sat on a swing as she takes in the spectacular sunset ahead. She is swinging on the set and her momentum is moving her forward as she sits with her hands holding the ropes on either side of her with her feet stretched out in front. The swing is places conveniently on the beach and the clean white sands below stretch out the calm shore that is slowly rolling in on the beach. The woman has her back to the camera and is wearing light blue denim shorts, a black top which shows her midriff and has thin straps over her shoulders. Her blonde hair is tied in a low bun on her head and her sunglasses are resting on the top of her head as she enjoys the breeze that comes with using the swing while taking in the sunset before her. There are other people standing along the shoreline in the image as they take in the beautiful sunset. A woman wearing a white dress stands right ahead and a couple seem to be playing by the shore just to the right of her. The sun is setting right on the water on the horizon to the left centre of the image and the clear skies show a glorious range of colour. The colours transition from blue at the top down to various shades of orange at the bottom and then white in the centre of the sunset. The sun is glistening of the small rolling waves all the way down to the glistening wet sand
There are many places to sit and admire the incredible sunsets Phuket has to offer, but this swing on Patong Beach was one of our favourites

Phuket is a great place, and somewhere that was an excellent start to our adventure! We can't wait to see what else Thailand has to offer.


If you're in Phuket looking at places you can eat then check out our food guide here. We also have tour guides for Koh Samui, Koh Pha-Ngan and Koh Tao for anyone extending their stay in Thailand.

Follow us on Instagram & TikTok as we tackle the what, where, why and how we’re doing this... as well as all the twists and turns along the way.

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