Jun 27, 2022
ASIA’S BEST AWARDS 2022:
BEST ISLANDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
It is no secret that Phuket has enjoyed the strongest reopening post-Covid, so little surprise that for 2022 the easy-to-access destination was crowned winner of the best islands category in the first ever Asia’s Best Awards. Since the most famous isle in the Andaman Sea hosted the region’s first Sandbox program, which allowed vaccinated visitors to enjoy a more relaxed version of quarantine, the destination off the southwest coast of Thailand was a viable getaway for months when other tropical getaways were closed to tourists or challenging to access.
In addition to the sandy stretches of postcards and the buzz of Patong, Phuket is home to a wide range of neighborhoods – do you want uber-luxury, beach club party vibe, local hipster, family friendly, or yoga and detox? There are plenty of unique accommodations, outdoor activities, and attractions to explore on Thailand’s largest island. And wow, is Phuket Town coming into its own; take a day’s break from the beach for photogenic Sino-Portuguese architecture and a thriving food and bev scene.
New hotel openings are compelling reasons to return to the island now, as are events like the impending international sailing regatta Phuket Raceweek June 29 to July 3 – and the fact that, minus the pre-Covid group tours that thronged the island, you can see the famed islands of Phang Nga Bay with fewer folks blocking your view… well, for now. Happily, direct flights make it a viable weekend trip from many cities in Asia and perhaps a slightly longer stint from elsewhere around the world. – Laurel Tuohy
Koh Phi Phi