Travel Tips For Phuket Thailand

Karon Beach
Karon Beach | Source

Travelling to Phuket? Need some tips?

Phuket

While Phuket is a world famous tourist destination, many people have the wrong idea about Phuket. There is a common misconception that Phuket is full of nothing more than sex tourists and prostitutes. This might be an accurate description of Patong Beach, however nearby Kata - Karon, Nai Harn and Rawaii are beautiful beach resorts that cater to families and couples. Lets have a look at various things to do and places to stay and eat in the Island of Phuket.

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ACCOMMODATION
If you are looking for 3 star accommodation or better, you are better off booking your hotel online in advance. If you did not manage to book your hotel in advance you will probably get a much better deal going to a booking agent in a travel or internet shop, that you would by just walking in to a hotel. You can expect to pay approximately $30-50USD for a 3-4 star hotel with clean rooms, air conditioning, satellite television and a swimming pool. Basic accommodation is available for those people on a budget, a basic room with air conditioning in newish clean hotel can be as little as $15-25USD. Backpacker accommodations for less than $15USD are rare in Phuket. You can find hostels and Backpacker lodging in Phuket City ( away from the beaches ) and there is one small section of Kata - Karon that has several low cost rooms.


BEACHES


Laem Sing
- This is perhaps the most breath taking beach in Phuket. Laem Sing Beach is a private beach and the only access is two small footpaths down a steep mountainside. There are only a few restaurants with plastic chairs on the beach, and crystal clear light blue-green water and golden sand. This is a must see, if you visit Phuket!

Patong Beach - Patong is not the kind of place you want to go with your kids, that being said you will see plenty of European tourists marching down the road weaving through a mass of touts and prostitutes. The beach itself is actually quite dirty, and not very beautiful at all. Restaurants in Patong are normally offering low quality food at inflated prices, however there are a few exceptions. You can find decent Arabic food on Rat U Tit road near the O-Top Shopping bazzar. The reason people go to Patong Beach is undoubtedly for the nightlife! If you are on a budget, you will want to avoid Patong as it is grossly overpriced compared by Thailand standards.

Kata - Karon -
This area is popular with Scandinavian couples and families. The beaches of Kata and Karon are both very beautiful, however very crowded. Accommodations can be quite expensive in this area if you do not book in advance. There is no shortage of nightlife in Kata - Karon, there are many pubs and bars, girly bars, beer bars etc. The restaurants are also very expensive in Kata - Karon, but the Swedish tourists seem to fill them regardless!


Rawai - Nai Harn
- Nai Harn Beach is definitely one of Phuket's most beautiful beaches. Not nearly as crowded as Patong and Kata - Karon. The Rawai - Nai Harn area is suitable for families or couples that want to stay away from the sex trade workers and sex tourists. Rawai beach is full of outdoor restaurants that offer high quality Thai food at reasonable prices. These are popular with both locals and tourists. There are plenty of places to go for a drink in Rawai - Nai Harn for those people looking for some nightlife. However if you are looking for nightclubs and dancing, you will have to head to Patong.

Chalong Bay
- Chalong is an area mostly for locals and expats, and there are limited accommodations for tourists. If you are a backpacker on a budget, this is likely the best location for you. Most of the islands best restaurants are located in or near Chalong. Located just a 5 minute drive from Kata - Karon it is a convenient location. If you are looking for long term stay, there are several apartments and houses for a reasonable price in Chalong.

THINGS TO DO

Phuket Fantasea -
This is an amazing show, the number 1 attraction on the Island. I can honestly tell you that there is no way you would be disappointed. I have seen shows in Las Vegas and around the world, and this show is one of a kind. Highly recommended!

Prom Thep Cape - A beautiful view, especially at sunset. Very romantic with breathtaking scenery. Another must see while you visit Phuket.

Live Music - Rock City Nightclub in Patong beach has some of the best tribute bands performing live music from hard rock icons like AC/DC, Metallica and Guns N' Roses.

Phuket Cable Ski
- Wake boarding and water skiing at Phuket Cable Ski, an excellent way to spend a day. Affordable and a lot of laughs.

Big Game Fishing -
You can charter a boat and crew for the entire day, and if you can afford it you will certainly enjoy yourself.

Scuba Diving -
The Similan Islands are rated as one of the top 5 scuba diving locations in the world, day trips and liveaboards are available.

Spas and Therapeutic massage
- I take full advantage of the fact that I can get a full body massage for anywhere from $5-10USD per hr. You have to be careful about this, often there are more services available than just a massage. It can be very difficult to tell which places are offering a normal massage, or a "full service" massage. For the most part, you won't get a very good massage in a place where they are offering "full service".

Muay Thai - Phuket has become a prime location to train in Muay Thai and mixed martial arts, Tiger Muay Thai is a world famous training facility located in Phuket.



RESTAURANTS

Patong

- For Thai food in Patong I recommend Song Pee Nong located on Soi Kep Sap.
- For American or western food I recommend BBQ Hut on Rat U Tit road.
- For Arabic food I recommend any of the restaurants directly across from O-Top

Kata

- For Thai food in Kata I recommend Larp Classic on the main road to Chalong.
- For Scandinavian Food I recommend The Frog Club on the main road in Kata.
- For Italian Food I recommend Cappanina across from Kata Beach Resort.

Karon

- For Thai food in Karon I recommend any of the simple places on Karon beach.
- For Steaks and western food I recommend The Karon Cafe in central Karon.
- For Scandinavian food I recommend 2-Gether on the main road to Kata.

Chalong

- For perhaps the best restaurant on the island, I strongly recommend Fatty's
- For Middle Eastern food I recommend The Family on wichit road.
- For Indian Food I recommend Mr India on the Chalong Pier road.

Rawai

- For Thai food in Rawai I recommend any of the restaurants on Rawai beach.
- For western food I recommend Dons Cafe


SAFETY TIPS

In my experience in Thailand, I believe it is far less likely for you to be robbed or have your wallet stolen than it would be in your home country. For the most part, petty theft and robbery is rare. Your biggest concern is that somebody is going to try to con you, and it might happen several times per day. One common mistake that tourists make is trusting another foreigner who has been living in Thailand for a while. Sometimes the biggest con artists are expats that have been living in Thailand for years and they have no money, and will lie, cheat and steal in order to stay here. So be wary of expats you meet in bars, especially if they try to get you into any business investments or ask to borrow money.

Whatever you do, don't get involved in anything involving drugs in Thailand. This is a serious crime in this country, and even if it is only some grass, it could land you in prison. Stay away from any other people that are using drugs. Don't hang around in bars if you notice people are using drugs .

The most dangerous thing you can do in Phuket is drive a motorbike, hundreds of tourists die every year in motorbike crashes. So if you are going to drive, don't get drunk, and be careful. If you are in a traffic accident in Thailand, it will always be your fault. So if you are going to be driving a motorbike or a car, you better drive safely. Drinking and driving is not a good idea in any country, but it is is even more dangerous here! If you witness an accident, you must be careful not to get involved. If you are the first on the scene of an accident, it is common that you will end up being blamed for the accident even if you were not involved.

Thai people are usually very well tempered, they do not anger easily. If you manage to get in a situation with a Thai, you should try to resolve it quietly and quickly. You can not just have a punch up, a man to man fight and think it will be left at that . If there is any physical confrontation, it is likely that any nearby witnesses will join in, sometimes with glass bottles, knives or other weapons. If they see a fight with a foreigner and a Thai, they will always assume the foreigner is wrong. You need to avoid any conflicts, even if it means swallowing your pride. Phuket is safe if you don't go out looking for trouble, but if you go out and get drunk and behave carelessly, you might not live to tell the story!

Be careful when you are swimming on Phuket's beaches. In certain months of the year, there are dangerous currents that take people out to sea. The beaches have signs and warnings posted all over the place, and it doesn't stop people. Every year there are more people drowning on Phukets beaches.


LANGUAGE

Hello - sawadee krup ( the "r" is silent )
Thank you - ka poon krup
How Much - tao Rai
Where - tee nai
What - arai
Good - dee
Bad - mai dee
Yes - chai
No - mai chai
Sorry - kra tote
Man - poo chai
Woman - poo ying
1 - nung
2 - song
3 - sam
4 - see
5 - haa
6 - hok
7 - jet
8 - pet
9 - kao
10 - seep

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Tsunami Video From Kata Beach

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Comments 18 comments

KLeichester 5 years ago

Well said, thanks for sharing this hub.


simon64 profile image

simon64 5 years ago from UK

Great info. Totally agree about Phuket Fantasea, it is not to be missed.


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia Author

Thanks Simon,

You should check out my article on the Vinpearl Amusement park in Nha Trang, Vietnam. This is a fantastic place to visit if you are traveling through Vietnam!


Str8up Hookups profile image

Str8up Hookups 5 years ago

Awesome hub,great info!

Will be making this trip soon,we're hitting Bali also.

Thanks for the tips!


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia Author

Str8up,

You should try Nha Trang Beach in Vietnam, it is 1/3 the price for food and accommodation, but not as much in the way of nightlife. The beaches are at least as good, and the amusement park at Vinpearl Resort is the next best thing to Disneyland.


uner profile image

uner 5 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

i always love phuket, and you explained well about 'em. thanks!


Phuket Tours 5 years ago

Just wanted to add a couple of restaurants for the people visiting the Bangtao area:

Nok & Jo's - Great western and thai food with special BBQ's on Wednesdays and Sunday's

Toto Italian Restaurant - For pizza and pasta lovers alike, amazing Italian food can be had here.

Casuarina Beach - The local restaurant for the Dusit hotel, it caters for all food lovers with both local and international dishes


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia Author

Phuket Tours,

Thanks for the info, I am sure people will find that helpful.


Neale profile image

Neale 5 years ago

Great info for those arriving on the island.. I would also add emphasize the danger of the beaches at certain times of the year people dis weekly because they ignore the red flags


Ilja 5 years ago

There is one guy in Nai Har who renting his appartment, his name is Oliver and you can see his annonce everywhere near every 7Eleven. Well that guy took 150 eur in deposit from us and never return it back!

his number is 0805191969

// iljav77@gmail.com my adress


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia Author

Ilja,

Thank you for letting everyone know what kind of character Oliver is. You should post on Thai Visa as well. Lets hope he isn't able to steal from anyone else.


johncimble profile image

johncimble 5 years ago from Bangkok

Be careful of jet-ski scams!


Phuket Beaches 5 years ago

The island of Phuket has a lot of very beautiful beaches. I think the absolute best beaches are those located around Patong Beach, but not Patong Beach itself.


Coconut Paradise Holiday Villas 5 years ago

Great Article - will be sharing this.... but I think you need to brush up on your Thai... :)


william wong 5 years ago

Be careful in Phuket, there are many people trying to rip you off. Esp the Tutu taxi charging rediculous fees.

Prices are over inflated and most item esp clothing are of low quality. If you are thinking of shopping then Kuala Lumpur is a great place to shop. I belived Phuket is overprice. Many touts around hunting for tourist along the street to cheat them. The authority should take measures to protect tourist who goes there with their hard earn saving. The tourism industry in Phuket have somewhat lead to the devolopment of a "CON"NISIUM industry, thanks to the failure of the local government to implement the regulation or lack of it.


ysb888 profile image

ysb888 4 years ago

I really like Prom Thep Cape so much!


daviddench profile image

daviddench 4 years ago from Bangkok

Patong keeps changing at dramaticly rates. Ive been travelling there regularly since 1999 and it has changed (probably for the better) each time with the shopping center and hundred of new guesthouses that have popped up recently. I dont think Patong is going anywhere in a hurry but more development!


kalr 13 months ago

I can totally recommend Rainy's Tourist and Taxi services. We've been in Phuket Thailand many times and only used Rainy's travel services, she speaks very good english and is friendly woman. Also this year we will definitely be using her services, which are very much cheaper than tourist offices provide. It's so good to find someone you can trust.

Contact info: Rainy mobile: +66843073993 or +66887541237

email: rainyphuket@yahoo.com

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