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Phuket is the largest island in Thailand that offers innumerable attractions and draws large number of tourists around the globe. A single trip to Phuket will not be enough for travelers as there is so much to see and do in this beautiful island. There is something for everyone to explore in Phuket as you can spend your day in island hopping, shopping, deep sea diving, or simply relaxing on the clean and beautiful beaches.
Best Time To Visit Phuket:
You can visit Phuket any time of the year as the weather is warm all year round. The peak season for tourists is from the month of November to February as the climate is cooler in comparison to the other months of the year. The summer months from March to May are very hot in Phuket so travelers usually avoid visiting the city in these months. Rainy season begins from the month of June to October.
One of the main reasons for travelers to visit Phuket is because of its amazing beaches. There are several beaches that offer varied ambience, sand textures, and facilities. So, there is always going to be something new to explore while visiting a beach in Phuket. The top 3 Phuket beaches have been mentioned below to help you in planning your itinerary suitably:
- Kata Beach: Kata Beach comprises of soft clean sand, beautiful blue waters, wonderful palm trees, and plenty of budget restaurants, which makes it one of the most tourist-friendly beaches in Phuket. You can surf or snorkel depending on the season or simply spend a relaxing day on the beachside.
- Freedom Beach: If you are looking for an isolated beach then you should visit the Freedom Beach. As the name denotes, you will certainly get freedom from huge crowds and pestering vendors out here. However, to reach the beach, you need to hire a long tail boat or cross a steep footpath down a hill at the southern end of Patong Bay.
- Nai Harn Beach: The beach was once a secluded spot but has now grown popular among tourists. It is a 660 meter long beach that has soft clean sand and numerous lifeguards on station. So, it is a safe beach for traveling with kids. Moreover, there are numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops in close vicinity.
Most of the tourists in Phuket enjoy partying in the night after spending their day on the beaches. The nightlife in Phuket is attractive as well as entertaining. There are innumerable discotheques, go-go bars, live bands, clubs, and ladyboy cabaret shows, among others to make your night as enjoyable as the day.
Bangla Road in Patong Beach: It is the best place to visit for enjoying Phuket nightlife. Once the sun sets, the 400 meter road is closed for vehicles, so the entire area can be explored by foot. The main attraction of the place is cheap beer and snacks with loud music and amazing lights to create a wonderful ambience. You will even find several go-go bars, discotheques, and pubs in the entire street. Some of the famous ones are Shipwreck Bar, Kangaroo Bar, Moon Bar, Aussie Bar, and Sunset Bar. While you are here, you can even consider going for the Moulin Rose cabaret show.
Sunset Bars: You will find many Sunset Bars around the island that are filled with amazing people and inexpensive food, which equals to lots of fun. There are three bars above Kata Noi Island that you can visit for enjoying your night with wonderful food and great views. If you want to spend time with your partner in a not-so-crowded dining area then 360 Degrees Restaurant near Layan Beach would be a perfect choice. The spectacular backdrop, cute wick-burning lamps, and amazing meals would make your night a special one. Don’t forget to order smoked salmon roll, grilled prawns, and lamb shish kebab while you are here.
Go-Go Bars: Most of the famous go-go bars are located in Bangla Road, Patong. These bars are strictly for adults only, where they can have a drink and enjoy. The prices for drinks and entrance fees are different for all bars. Some of the bars do not charge entrance fees. You may be invited to have a look inside the bar before paying the entrance fees. Don’t hesitate to do that as it will help you in selecting the best bar to spend your night. Some of the popular go-go bars in Phuket are Devil’s Playground, Harem A Go-Go, Rock Hard A Go-Go, and Exotica, among others. Tipping the dancers in these bars is not required; however, if the girl is sitting with you then you should buy a drink for her too.
Things To Do In Phuket, Thailand:
Phi Phi Islands:
Phi Phi is a group of six beautiful islands that are 46kms away from Phuket. You can travel to the island by ferry or speedboat; however, traveling by speedboat is a quick and comfortable option. The schedule of the ferries and speedboats keep changing due to variations in weather conditions, so you need to inquire about them from a travel agent before planning for your trip. It rains in the month of June to October, so there will be fewer ferries and speedboats to take you to the island.
Among the six islands, Koh Phi Phi Don which is also referred as Koh Phi Phi, attracts innumerable tourists each year from all over the world. There are some travel agents that offer speedboat tour for Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Island, and few more areas together. It is better to opt for such tours as you will be able to explore several beautiful islands on the same day. The tour will provide a glimpse of areas near Maya Bay and Loh Samah Bay as the local government of Thailand has restricted tourists from visiting the bay directly. So, a speedboat is the best way to reach clean turquoise waters near Maya Bay for snorkeling and enjoying the marine life.
Moreover, you will even be able to explore wonderful areas like the Pileh Cove, Mosquito Island, and Monkey Island, Thailand. At Monkey Island, remember to keep a guard on all your belongings as the innumerable monkeys roaming around could snatch away your stuff. Ensure that you carry swimwear, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses during your speedboat tour. The idyllic landscapes of the islands and tropical reefs should not be missed at all during your trip to Phuket, so book for a tour right away.
James Bond Island:
If you want to kayak through wonderful lagoons, huge caves, and mangrove swamps then you should book a James Bond Island Tour. The popular James Bond Island, which is locally known as Khao Ping Khan got its name as the marvelous limestone cliffs that are protruding out vertically from the emerald-green waters had found their way in the famous James Bond movie.
The tour begins with pickup from your hotel to reach Royal Phuket Marina. There you will get into a speedboat to reach the picturesque Phang Nga Bay. Here, you can explore the beautiful furry inhabitants of Panak Island and spend time by swimming in a lagoon. Your next stoppage would be James Bond Island, where you can have a walk through the mangrove forests and explore the island completely.
You will then be taken to Panyee Island where lunch would be served. Next, you can go kayaking around Hong Island. The last stoppage to Naka Noi Island would be a relaxing one as you can view the beautiful sandy beach and wonderful landscape by lying down or go for a swim before heading back to your hotel.
Where To Stay In Phuket?
The Pavilions Phuket:
To have a lavish stay in Phuket, you should book a spacious private pool villa or a luxurious suite in The Pavilions Phuket. It is a 5-star resort that has been built on a hilltop in Cherngtalay. The resort offers 93 villas with stunning views, 3 restaurants, and 2 outdoor pools. In the restaurants and bars, you can relish international meals or authentic Thai cuisine. One of their restaurants is 360 Degrees Bar; the famous sunset hotspot.
There are five types of villas and each of them offer unique features; thus providing an ultimate experience of having a private swimming pool, in-villa spa treatments, as well as the option of dining in the comforts of your room. Some more facilities that you would get here are complimentary breakfast and high tea in the afternoons, welcome foot massage, Wi-Fi services, sunbeds and beach towels for those who have opted for a private swimming pool, and much more.
To make your stay comfortable, you will be provided with a mini bar, coffee/tea maker, bathrobes, air conditioning, deep soaking bathtub, and LCD TV, among others. So, you can be assured that your trip to Phuket would be a special one by booking a room in The Pavilions.
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly hotel that provides several facilities then EcoLoft Hotel would be the best choice to consider for your stay in Phuket. The hotel is about 5-minutes walking distance from Phuket Old Town; so innumerable restaurants, local shops, street food vendors, and bars are in close vicinity. You will be provided with amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, toiletries, and much more. The staff is extremely helpful and would guide you on how to reach several touristy areas in Phuket.
There is an outdoor swimming pool and plenty of free parking area in the premises. You can select rooms from the five options that they provide, depending on your preference and requirement. For instance, the Deluxe Triple Room has 3 single beds, the Deluxe Double Room has one extra large double bed, whereas the Twin Room with Balcony has 2 single beds, so you can decide accordingly. Whichever room you select, one thing is for sure that you will have a pleasant and comfortable stay in EcoLoft Hotel.
Ibis Phuket Kata:
The Ibis Phuket Kata is a 3-star hotel, which is about 1km away from Kata Beach; one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches. The hotel is perfect for families and backpackers as there are several restaurants and local shops nearby. Moreover, it can be accessed by people with reduced mobility. Some of the amenities that you will get are air conditioning, Wi-Fi services, outdoor pool, tennis court, and room service, among others. The hotel is pet-friendly so you can travel with your pet that weighs up to 10kg.
You can either book a Standard One Double Bed, 2 Single Beds, or a family room with one double bed and one bunk bed. In each room, you will be provided with comfortable beds, LCD TV, refrigerator, tea/coffee maker, and much more. The restaurant serves authentic meals on the terrace; thus, providing the perfect view to enjoy your food as well as the beauty of Phuket. So, to have a comfy and memorable stay in Phuket, you should consider booking a room in Ibis Phuket Kata.
Traveling Around Phuket:
Song-thaew: Song-thaew is a pickup truck that has been converted to carry passengers. An inexpensive way to travel around Phuket Old Town and several beaches is to use them. However, they do not link all parts of Phuket, so you need to inquire about their services and then plan your day. They can be referred as buses too and there are no designated stops for them, so you need to research on their route and wave for them to stop. They will drop you at any destination of your choice; however, it should be along their route.
Tuk Tuk: They look more like smaller version of Song-thaew, and are the most expensive forms of transportation as they do not run on meters. The drivers will always insist for a higher price, so you need to bargain with them to bring down the cost. Always decide on the price before beginning your journey otherwise you will have a nasty time dealing with them after reaching your destination.
Taxis: Taxis are much better and cheaper than hiring a tuk tuk as they run on meters. The fare is fixed at 50 Baht for the first two kilometers and for each additional kilometer you need to pay 7 Baht. There are some non-metered taxis too that charge flat rates, which can be hired for traveling to long distances. You can bargain with them for the cost and book one for an entire day to visit the nearby places of Phuket. You may even download the Grab Taxi App for booking taxis while you are traveling in Phuket.
Ferries And Boat Services: Being an island, you will notice several ferries, speedboats and long tail boats in Phuket. You can travel by them to various places like Krabi Town, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lipe, among others. The main pier in Phuket is the Rassada Pier, which is located near Phuket Town. There are innumerable speedboats and ferries that leave each day from Rassada dock for various destinations. You can contact any of the tour operators to know more about the speedboat and ferry expeditions.
Tips And Tricks For First-Time Travelers:
- The tours to various islands are not suitable for infants, pregnant women, or individuals suffering from any medical or physical disabilities, because when the waves are huge it will be a little suffer going to the islands.
- If you are planning to visit a go-go bar then keep in mind that photography of girls dancing or anything else is strictly prohibited so ensure that you stick to their rules.
- If you have come across a decent taxi with a polite driver, which runs on meter then you can save the driver’s phone number. This tip would make your journey easy as you can simply call the driver whenever you want to travel in Phuket.
- The Phuket markets are the favorite places for pickpockets so do not carry a lot of cash or jewelry and leave all important documents like passports in the hotel’s locker or safety vault.
- Phuket International Airport is the main port for arrival, which is located to the north of the island. You will find several badly dressed drivers at the airport who would try to scam you by saying that the hotel you booked is closed and they have a better option for you. Do not fall into their prey. Always make prior bookings for accommodation and ask the hotel to arrange for a driver for picking you up from the airport.
So, by being a bit vigilant, your trip to Phuket will surely be a wonderful and memorable one. Other than the innumerable beaches, nightlife, and exotic cuisines; you can even explore the various forests, museums, and monuments out here. The people of Phuket are extremely helpful and would ensure that you feel at home. This is just one of the reasons why travelers love to visit Phuket again and again. You can have a lavish stay as well as a reasonably priced dwell in the several hotels that are available at every nook and corner of Phuket. The island offers all-in-one package and you could have never asked for more! So, book your tickets to Phuket now!
Also do not miss a chance to read my article about our trip to Bangkok.