Phuket one of the finest beach destinations and a panoramic island in Thailand. This is the biggest island of the country, also known as the pearl of Andaman. The size of the island is nearly the size of Singapore. Phuket city is surrounded by many colorful famous Beaches. Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, Rawai, Patong, Mai Khao beaches are round up this big island of Thai peninsular. Patong is the most familiar beach in the world. This island’s city is most noted for its plenty of Tin mines. Therefore the city indicates the former prosperity through its ancient constructions. Here special architectural designs “Sino-Portuguese” are seen. The term is derived from the mix of Chinese architecture with European style.
Phuket impressed every visitor with its beauty. Plenty of beaches, fantastic classical architecture will fascinate peoples when they visit the island. Elegant beach resorts and hotels are making the town one of the best travel hotspots. Water sports, Snorkeling, Diving on colorful beaches, sailing, massaging with a little spa indulgence, excellent restaurants Phuket has it all. Besides Beach, the statue of the big Buddha which is 45 m high, The Buddhist temple Wat Chalong, Nightlife, sunset in Laem Pheomthep turns it a piece of wonder. Millions of people enjoy their vacation and honeymoons every year. So you if you are looking for laid-back beach vacations then Phuket is highly recommended for you.
Locations and Map of Phuket:
Thailand‘s largest island Phuket lies in the Andaman sea and connected to the mainland by Sarasin Bridge. This commercial hub and major port located in the southern part of Thailand and the west coast of Peninsular. Phang Nga Province in the north. East across the Gulf of Phang Nga, the next nearest province is Krabi. About 576 km2 (222 sq mi) surface of the island mostly level land and dotted with some hills average height of 520 meters.
Best Time to Visit Phuket:
The weather in Phuket lies on tropical monsoon. As a result, it’s warm over the year. But from early November to the end of April, the weather remains comfortable and less warm. Phuket is best for beach activities like swimming, sailing, snorkeling, diving. So the best time to visit Phuket is between November and April. During this period the sea is in quiet condition, cloudless sky, less rainfall, transparent blue sky. Specifically, the peak time to visit Phuket is December to March. But it is overcrowded and costly during this time. To avoid traffic you may visit early November or the end of April to early May.
If you are thinking budget tour. Then the best time to visit June to September when rates of hotels and flights relatively low. But be aware of the seawater and calamities.
How to Go Phuket:
Phuket can be reached from Krabi and Bangkok. People who come to the capital city Bangkok often try to explore Phuket. Because of the availability of plenty of transportation between two destinations and easy access. Several routes to get in from Bangkok: Flights, Luxurious Express Buses, Combine journey of Train and Bus or Hire private vehicles.
The easiest and time-saving journey to land on Phuket is taking a flight from Bangkok. It takes less than one and half hours trip. Also, tickets are comparatively cheap and available. For a round trip, it cost starts only at $40. But book your tickets in advance if you are planning to visit at peak season. Nok Air, Thai Airways, Thai Lion Air and several airlines run flights between two cities.
By Express Buses:
For Budget traveler and who loves to a long journey or prefer to sleep in the trip, get into an express bus.
It takes little more than twelve (12) hours trips of 840km. The minimum cost will be $20. Bus journey saves money but relatively not so comfortable. For a relaxable journey reserve a bus from a private travel express. Their services are aristocrats and cool. So book a luxurious bus from their websites and fill their criteria form. Avoid buying tickets from brokers or strangers. It will be fraud and scam.
Combined Journey of Train and Bus:
There are no direct rails between Bangkok to Phuket. But you can reach through combining both train and bus journey. It takes about thirteen hours (eight hours on train and five hours by Bus). Although it takes time but comfortable and cheaper than flights. Also, you enjoy the panoramic scenery of Thai nature and culture along the way. This trip is divide into two sections. First, take a train from Hua Lamphong station to the town of Surat Thani. Then take a seat on a bus to Phuket. It cost overall $40 only.
Hiring Private Ride:
If you are not comfortable with other crowds. If your budget high or want a more relaxing journey. Clean, cool and solo trip. Then you can go through hiring private vehicles. It will cost around $350.
Best Things to do in Phuket:
Phuket is a masterpiece of tourist activities. The ancient city was settled in the 1st century BCE. It was incorporated by many historical dynasties. So historical architecture, heritage are found around the island. The island was influenced by the Chinese as half of the inhabitants are generated from China. In Malays, they are recognized as Ujong Salang or Cape Salang. As a result, visitors will discover here many Chinese shrines and Restaurants. Also the cultural activities and festivals like Chinese vegetable festival. So besides beach activities, Phuket has vast spaces of things to do for travelers.
Sunset at Laem Phromthep:
Locally called Laem Chao. The spot is mostly highlighted for its breathtaking view and wonderful sunset. The southernmost point of the island Laem Phromthep is one of the popular locations for photography. A slope of palm trees line from the edge of the cliff to the cape’s end will fascinate traveler’s eyes. Here you can see the Laem Phromthep Lighthouse. The historical lighthouse signifies the history of the fifty years occasion of King Rama IX’s accession to the throne and its construction. At the apex of the lighthouse, you can view the panoramic scenery of the surroundings.
Old Phuket Town:
Phuket is a town of diverse religions and ethnicities. Although majorities are Chinese there is quite a number of Indians, Europeans, Hindus, Muslims are reside here. So the city is a souvenir of multi history. Strolling through the Old city visitor will found a mix of Chinese and European construction. Sino-Portuguese buildings that were constructed in a row. Here visitors can visit the Phuket Thai Museum, Perankhan Nithat Museum to explore in past of the island residents. Meet with the lifestyle of locals and taste the mouth-watering street foods. Every Sunday a local fair “Lat Yai” held. Enjoy the fair and its food.
Ko Mai Thon:
A small island nearby Phuket, bucket with beautiful beaches. Extreme lovely nature of this small dot attracts many visitors. In a short time by a speedboat tourist can access there from the main island. A small hotel and just a few bungalows on the island which was the ultimate luxury in Phuket. In a short time, you can make a trip. Here you will get lunch, drinks even a famous Thai massage.
When one thinks to visit Thailand, he /she must include his one destination Hat Patong. It is an internationally famous beach. The tour hub is 15 km away from Phuket. The surroundings of Patong beach are quite developed. Luxurious resorts, restaurants, plenty of seafood, shopping stores, hospitals are available here. The white beautiful beach is perfect for any beach activities like Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, Swimming and other Marine Sports. If you are planning to stay in Phuket for few days, then it is highly recommended for you to book accommodations near Hat Patong.
You can also visit the world’s longest sea beach Cox’s Bazar. To know about Cox’s Bazar read our post about Cox’s Bazar Tour Pros & Cons.
Composed of twins island Ko Racha Noi and Ko Racha Yai. These islands are famous for crystal clear blue water. Ko Racha Noi is noted as a favorite diving spot among professional divers. Whether the clean and serene sandy Ko Racha Yai beach is best known as a paradise for every diver. Also, suitable for other beach activities like snorkeling, snuba, scuba etc. Ko Racha is located at the end of the south coast of Phuket.
Hat Nai Yang:
The white sandy beach dotted with pine gardens situated in Sirinath National Park. Here visitors will see the various marine life species, turtles and large coral reefs. The beach is suitable for swimming and snorkeling in high times. Hat Nai Yang is a complete package for a relaxing holiday and family picnic.
Laem Sing Beach:
Hat Laem Sing is a micro beach on the west coast of Phuket. The beautiful clean sandy beach is perfect for relaxing and swimming. As it is located at the west so visitors get an awesome sunset view from the beach. The beach has full of rental chairs for sunbath and relaxing. You can buy some food, drinks and souvenirs from here.
Wat Chalong Buddhist temple:
Phuket has many Buddhist temples. Wat Chalong officially called Wat Chaitararam is the most important historical temple among them. The holy temple is dedicated to two great monks Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. The beautiful landmark is located on Chao Fa West Road in the north part of Tambol Chalong. Locals believe that the temples have magical and healing powers. They come to pray almost every day. Near the ground of the temple, the extended Wat Chalong market is well known for pop music and Thai fighting advertisement.
The Big Buddha:
The Big Buddha is one of the significant and sacred landmarks on Phuket. The tallest statue is located in Mueang Phuket District. The statue was build in 2004 and it is known as the Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha among locals. It is 45 metres tall and 25.45 metres big landmark is made of Burmese white marble. Therefore it shines in sunlight gives a breathtaking view. The huge statue between Chalon and Kata can be seen from anywhere in Phuket and Karon Beach. Definitely must visit the amazing sacred place and make a wish. The peaceful environment and the tinkling rhythm of small bells with soft religious music solace the heart.
There are also several smaller statues of Buddha and of revered monks to see here. One of them is made of 20 tones of Brass which looks golden in color. As it’s a religious platform please keep respect for the place. Avoid beachwear when visiting the sacred place.
James Bond Island:
Ko Ta Pu and Khao Phing Kan islands were displayed in the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ in 1974. After that, they have been famous as James Bond Island. The vertical-shaped island is located in Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket. The exceptional shape of the island made it the second most desired destination in Phuket. It is made of limestone contains mangrove forest on its surface. The place is best for photoshoots. Make a short tour of half an hour and give your best “Bond” pose in front of James Bond Island. Get a huge response on social media.
Phi Phi Island:
The Muslim-influenced Phi Phi islands are one of the best attractions in Thailand. Also known as the gateway of Maya bay. It lies between the large island of Phuket and the Straits of Malacca. Its a group of the island including Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Le, Bida Nok, Bida Nai, and Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai). Among them, the most visited island is Ko Phi Phi Le. The island becomes more famous after appearing in the Hollywood movie ‘The Beach’. Visitors can reach the island by speedboats or by long-tail boats from both Phuket and Krabi town. The pristine island will give you a relaxing vacation. So never miss the travel paradise when visiting Thailand.
To explore the nightlife of Phuket there is no alternative to Bangla Road. In Thai, it’s knowns as Thanon Bangla or Bangla Walking Street. The dazzling street is full of beer bars, nightclubs, music bars and so on.
Here every activity is independent. But remember never to cross the manner limit. Beautiful cheer ladies are tempting to make a drink or nothing else. To convince the customer they wait in front of bars, offered menu of drinks. Some ladies dances for entertainment on the counter. It is notorious but lovely to visit Bangla Road. If you are single then enjoy the company of lovely women, chat with them.
Getting Around Phuket:
Exploring through Phuket is quite easy. Anywhere can move relatively easy because of the availability of transports. Both plenties of private and public transport options make relaxable getting around. In addition, most of the hotels and resorts, restaurants and shopping malls are build up close to the beach. So easily covered the area by a walk around. If you are staying a far distance from the beaches, tuk-tuks and taxis are the best options to get around. Local bus, Grab Service, rental Motorbikes can ba taken from plenty of places.
Popular Transport to Explore Phuket:
Tuk-Tuk: Tuk-tuks are small size motorized rickshaws. It is good for short distances. For solo explore it is the best option. However, it is a little bit expensive and uncomfortable for long rides. It may cost 100 baht for 5 minutes trip. Good bargaining can help you minimize your cost.
Metered Taxi: Like other places, ordinary metered taxis are often seen here. But it is quite difficult to find in Phuket. It needs a long time to get a taxi cab. Make sure meters are turned on before the trip. Some private taxis are finding not using meters. You may bargain with them on their demands. Sometimes the taxi drivers trying to scam of buying tour package or book other hotels. Be aware of this and confirm your destination directly.
Grab: Like Ubar in Phuket Grab service is available. Download a Grab app. The app helps you to choose a precise location and estimate the price. Very easy and quick service anywhere to get around Phuket. To feel comfortable and safe the right choice to take a Grab for getting in the city.
Local Bus and Airport Bus: Local Buses are available in Phuket all day from 7 am to 6 pm. They have no definite stoppage. So you can flag it anywhere from the roadside. These buses are easily identified by their bright blue color. The nameplate of destinations is painted in English. Relatively cheapest and easy service. Airport buses are the luxurious bus-maintained set routes and stoppage between Phuket City Bus Terminal 1 and Phuket International Airport.
Besides this one can get around by rental motorbikes. It is adventurous and more enjoyable but it is risky to ride in an unknown place. Keep international driving license for insurance coverage.
Where to stay in Phuket:
Plenty of luxurious, boutique, budget hotels and resorts are in Phuket. The majority of those are located near the main beaches. You will get special amenities and services from those accommodations. On your budget and ease, you can choose them. Here we listed the top 10 hotels and resorts on basis of the various sources.
Top 10 Hotels in Phuket:
- Iniala Beach House.
- Six Senses Yao Noi.
- .Sri Panwa Phuket.
- The Village Coconut Island.
- Sala Phuket.
- Rosewood Phuket.
- COMO Point Yamu.
- The Slate.
What to Eat in Phuket:
Phuket is a Chinese-influenced region. Almost half of its people are from China originated. So here get various Chinese dishes. Besides this, you will found many impromptu vendors of street foods. Usually at evening mobile markets of Thai cuisine. It is delicious and cheap to eat in Phuket street. Fried chicken, Moo ping and khao niao, Som tam (green papaya salad), Roti (Thai pancakes), Kanom jeen, Tom yum goong, Pad Thai, Kuay tiew (noodle soup), Som tam, Gai pad med ma muang (stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts), Geng kheaw wan gai (green curry chicken), Tom Kha gai, Kao Phad (fried rice), etc are the popular street foods in Phuket.
As a beach spot, Phuket is also rich in seafood. Marine life’s delicious recipes will amaze you. But be careful when you taking food from any café and restaurant. Because some dishes are made of pork and raw blood of others animal.
The 10 Best Restaurants In Phuket:
- Suay Restaurant.
- Three Monkeys Restaurant.
- Thong Dee – The Town Bistro.
- Amore Cafe & Bar.
- Surf and Turf by Soul Kitchen.
- Yakiniku Koku.
- O-OH Farm Suanluang.
- Pizzeria Agli Amici da Michele & Jimmy.
- Flavor Phuket.