Phuket – About Phuket in Thailand
A popular destination
Phuket is a very popular island located in southern Thailand. There is a lot of interesting to learn about Phuket, and you can really prepare your trip by reading more. A trip to this island is both cultural and relaxing and that is why the destination is so well suited for different ages and backgrounds. It is important to choose accommodation according to the needs you have of experiencing nature in peace. Despite the fact that so many people go to this Thai popular island every year, there are beaches that are virtually untouched, which is a powerful experience. If you choose to go during the months when fewer tourists come to Thailand, you can really get the feeling that you are alone in paradise.
Phuket is a perfect destination for those who like the combination of paradise beaches and life and movement. Patong, Kamala, Karon and Kata are the most famous beaches, but there are many more beaches to discover, things to do and attractions to check out.
Thailand’s largest island has many faces. What may seem rather hectic at first glance is only a small part. Because here you will find fantastic beaches, fun shopping, high-class restaurants, culture and interesting excursion destinations. Of course, there is also a lot of traffic and in some places a lot of people gather and it can be crowded here and there. But the island is big and offers so much!
Something that is fantastic about Phuket is the range of top class food and drink. This applies both if you choose one of the more exclusive restaurants or stick to the street food that is served in market stalls for cheap money. The raw materials are often really fine, not least seafood which is always available from really good and tasty quality.
Nightlife is also not a problem to find on Phuket, and those who want a large selection of bars and nightclubs go to Bangla road in Patong.
If you get tired of the commerce of the tourist resorts, there is always the possibility to take a bus or taxi to Phuket city, which is definitely recommended. Here, the atmosphere and pace is completely different, and it is both relaxing and interesting to stroll around the city’s everyday life, visit markets and eat really good at one of the restaurants.
There is actually an airport on the island called Phuket International Airport. This is good considering it is more than 800 km to Bangkok. You can choose to fly from Bangkok Airport directly to the island, or to nearby airports and then travel the last bit by car or bus. Conversely, this also means that it is easy to include Phuket’s beaches as part of a trip where you visit several resorts and excursion destinations. For a cheap trip you can choose a bus and there are bus lines from all corners of Thailand. Some choose to rent their own car and if you do this, you must be carefully familiar with the rules that apply so that you drive safely.
Transfer from Phuket Airport to Thalang takes about 30 minutes and to Bangtao Beach, Kamala Beach and Surin Beach takes about 45 minutes. Transfer to Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach takes about 1-1.5 hours. Transfer to Nai Harn Beach takes about 2 hours.
Of course, it is Phuket’s beaches that are in focus for most people who choose to go here.
Fantastic long beaches with fine-grained light sand. Some beaches are shallow. Occasionally strong currents and differences between low tide and high tide.
Here are some of the most popular options and their special features:
Bang Tao Bay
For luxury accommodation, you should invest in Bang Tao Bay beach. Here, gigantic hotel areas have been built where everything you could possibly need is within walking distance. Some of the most popular resorts in this area are the Sheraton Grande and the Banyan Tree. Those who like golf can also enjoy special travel packages where Laguna Phuket Golf Club is included and offers as many games as you like. The beach is of course beautiful and very pleasant to stay at.
This is a large beach that does not attract the usual tourists. Instead, people who have retired and who want to live in Thailand in the autumn of age have come here. This makes the beach quite deserted and if it feels like an attractive prospect then this may be the best choice for you. The beach is incredibly beautiful and if you want to experience some nightlife, Patong is within 25 minutes by car so it is easily arranged.
Kata and Karon
If you want it a little calmer than on Patong beach, you can choose Kata or Karon which is about half an hour from the center of Patong. Here it is a bit more lonely but you can still engage in shopping and drink and eat well without leaving the resorts.
Kata Noi beach
“Little brother beach” to Kata beach. Kata Noi is located south of Kata and has managed to maintain a pleasant atmosphere. The water is clear and the beach is soft and nice. The beach feels very comfortable.
Located just a short walk from the main Kata beach. Sun loungers are available for rent.
Watching the sunset from here is great and highly recommended. There are several luxury hotels in the area and the positive thing about it is that you take care of the beach which is cleaned regularly, although it does not always help against all the litter that comes up from the sea.
For anyone who enjoys a slightly smaller beach but still wants a range of services around, Nai Harn is an excellent choice. Not as exploited as many other Phuket beaches. The sandy beach is very nice with a soft bottom. However, it is not so shallow, which can be good to know if you travel with small children. The beach is also known to be significantly cleaner than many others in Thailand. A tip like the one who seeks peace is to come here early in the morning, then you can really get some enjoyable hours before the sunbeds start to fill up with visitors who come from the larger tourist resorts and take a swimming trip here during the day.
Patong Beach is perhaps one of Thailand’s most famous beaches. Here it is entertainment of the highest class that applies. The nightlife is superb and there are plenty of restaurants offering food from all the cuisines of the world. The beach is quite short so you walk quickly from place to place. Some choose to visit for a night out while others do not get enough of Patong even after two weeks of partying at the beach.
The casuarina trees frame Rawai beach, which is nice but nowadays not a typical sun and bathing beach. Above all, this is the boat gate out to sea as Rawai is located at the bottom of Phuket’s southern tip. One reason to go here is if you want to go on an excursion, for example for snorkeling or a visit to one of the nearby islands. Or if you just want to experience a beach of a different nature than the large tourist beaches where the fishermen work with their fishing boats and the locals come by to take a dip later in the evening or just take it easy on the beach. There are nice restaurants and market stalls with street food along the beach which makes Rawai a comfortable place to spend some time. If you stay until the evening, you get the sunset as a bonus.
Things to do on the island
Phuket and its surroundings offer varied diving and have attracted divers from all over the world. Similan Islands is considered one of the world’s best dive sites.
There is so much to do on this island and it may be wise to choose a beach according to the interests you have so that you do not have to spend a lot of time on long trips. If you go with children, a safari can be a really good idea. You can spend the whole day doing this or let the morning hours be spent discovering unusual animals and then relaxing on the beach in the afternoon. There is a special safari day excursion where you can also go out on the track with elephants and try paddling. Visit a local travel agency to book the adventure that suits you best.
You can also go out on the water to dive, luxury boat, rent a longtail boat, or fish. If you would like to learn how to prepare the fish in an authentic Thai way, you can take a cooking course and learn the local tricks. There are also plenty of sports activities on land. You can ride, go karting or ATW, play golf and watch Thai boxing. If you get sore in the body just by looking at the boxing, you should quickly book a visit to a local Spa where you get massages and other comfortable body treatments.
The island also has plenty of temples that deserve a visit. The view from the golf courses is at least as inspiring and here you can actually count on top-class courses. Anyone who tells about Phuket after being there, has only a lot of exciting stories about sunshine and adventure to share!
The sunset is really nice to watch here on the southern tip of Phuket. Bring your own little picnic, why not with fresh fruit and refreshing drinks, and enjoy the spectacle over the sea. You will hardly be alone – the place is a popular tourist attraction, but in this case there is a worthwhile reason why it is so. Nature creates beautiful views that glow in the soft light when the sun begins to set. The surrounding area is large, and it is well maintained and there are both elephant statues, souvenir shops and restaurants. Tourist, yes. But if you are prepared for it and do not expect to be able to enjoy the sunset on your own, it is a pleasant experience.
Sunday walking street market
Every Sunday night, it vibrates on Thalang Road in Phuket Town. The market is well worth a visit, not least because it has a lot of other elements than the markets with pirated copies that are here and there in Thailand. Here you will find local crafts, a little different souvenir and above all fantastic food! Spicy marinated chicken skewers for a few kroner, fried seafood for a ten, ice cream, noodles, fresh fruit, grilled steak… Here you will find everything in small stalls that also give off a lovely aroma. The market is also suitable for families with children. The neighborhood where the market is located has beautiful houses, the architecture has Portuguese influences and is clearly different from many other buildings in Thailand.
The Great Buddha of Phuket
Well, it certainly belongs to visit one of Phuket’s most famous sights. Up on the mountain near the city of Chalong, this 45 meter high Buddha statue boasts white marble. A big bonus is the impressive views of Phuket, and the opportunity to see wild monkeys in the area. But beware – they can be thieves, especially if you have food with you. Many people choose to take a taxi or ride a moped up to the top, but it is also possible to walk. Another common way is to book a day trip through a travel agency or the hotel with several stops during a tour of Phuket, where the Big Buddha is usually included. Keep in mind that this is a sacred place for many and dress with respect for it. You should have covered shoulders and knees when visiting here.
This is considered to be the most important of the Buddhist temples in Phuket. It is dedicated to two highly regarded monks who lived in the 19th century. The Chalong Temple, Wat Chalong as it is called in Thai, consists of several buildings. Their decorations have a symbolic meaning and are about the life of the Buddha. It is important to understand that this is a very important place for many Buddhists. Dress respectfully and keep the conversation level low! Located near the Big Buddha, and these two attractions can therefore be combined for those who want a real Phuket excursion. Ask at the hotel for their best deals on tours, or ask at the nearest travel agency when you are on site.
Chinatown / Old Town
There is an interesting Chinese history in Phuket, and it is best experienced in Phuket’s ancient city. The neighborhood is sometimes popularly called Chinatown. Here are very nice Chinese temples and other buildings. It is picturesque and perfect for a few hours strolling. Over the years, a number of boutiques, nice restaurants and cafes have been added along the streets, so there are plenty of places to slip in to cool off for a while if the heat becomes too noticeable. Raya restaurant located in the old town is well known for its well-cooked Thai food. The café / restaurant Kopitiam by Wilai on Thalang Road also has fine Thai food and also nostalgia photos on the walls that represent Phuket 30 years ago.
Local buses, Tuk tuk taxi and moped taxi. Some hotels have their own bus service. Thailand has left-hand traffic.
Book the right accommodation
Accommodation on the island can vary depending on the beach you choose. It is important to keep in mind that places like Patong may have higher noise levels during the evenings and nights than those at more desolate beaches. If you go with family, you should also think about that with comfort. Whether you choose a luxury hotel or a regular resort, you can count on hospitality that feels right to the heart. The monsoon season runs between June and October, so if you find really good prices during this month, you know why. There is a lot to say about Phuket, but the best way to learn more about the magical island is of course to go there yourself.
Good to know
Air conditioning and deposit are included in most hotels. Any fee for deposit / air conditioning is paid directly to the hotel. Please also note that it is common for the hotel to charge a deposit for the minibar when you check in.