Phuket, Thailand - Travel Guide and Information
Phuket - A bit of Heaven On Earth
One of the most popular places to visit year after year in Asia is Phuket, Thailand. This island has beautiful beaches with clear blue water that is a feast for the eyes. Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, located in the Andaman Sea off southern Thailand. Each year, over 6 million visitors arrive here to visit this beautiful island. What makes this such a great destination year after year is the great exchange
rate. You can get get a great vacation compared to other destinations.
Where is Phuket, Thailand?
The island's location on the main sea trade route between China and India. The south coast has the most popular beaches while the north coast is more tranquil. Photo by wikepedia.
Getting around in Phuket
It is recommended you don't rent a car in Phuket. The drivers are pretty wild, pretty much ignore all traffic rules, and the congestion makes the conditions even worse. You will also need to get accustomed to driving on the left side of the road. If you are still willing to give it a try, a rental car can cost about 800-1000 bahts per day.
You can also hail a good old yellow cab taxi to take you around town. As an alternative, you can also get a tuk tuk, which is like a small red minivan, but it differs from a taxi since it has no meter and you have to agree on a price beforehand.
There are also motorcycle taxis, which are a bit more dangerous and less comfortable for obvious reasons. This may be an option for you if you want to get around the city quicker.
Travel to Phuket with Couponloco
Many frequent flights to Phuket from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. You will arrive at the Phuket International Airport (IATA: HKT), which in in the northern end of the island. You can book your tickets online with services such as Expedia. If you plan on using Expedia make sure you use an Expedia coupon on couponloco.com for cheaper rates. Priceline is another online service provider that offers great rates with an priceline coupon code. You can even name your own price if you are lucky! Once you arrive you can catch a yellow taxi that will cost you 300+ bahts.
Beaches of Phuket
Ok, here are the listings of the beautiful beaches in Phuket:
1. Patong Beach
Excellent shopping with awesome and lively nightlife. Has restaurants, bars, discos, Thai boxing, and shopping all within a 10 minute walk. The fresh food is excellent and it comes directly from the Adriatic sea. As for shopping, at night there are tons of stores popping up on the streets where you can haggle for items you want. There is a place in Patong Beach called Jungceylon, which is a large shopping and entertainment center.
2. Kamala Beach
About a 10 minute ride north of Patong Beach is Kamala beach. It is much more quiet and serene, a good place for a romantic date. The main attraction at night is Phuket's famous FantaSea show.
Underdeveloped with some of the best resorts found here. It is very relaxing and picturesque here. It does not have the hustle and bustle of other beaches.
4. Bang Tao Beach
Contains a four mile stretch where luxurious resorts are lined up. Inside Bang Tao there is a Laguna Canal Village where you can experience the atmosphere of a Thai bazaar. You can find many antiques in its row of shops.
5. Karon Beach
A far different atmosphere than Patong, more relaxed. This does not mean you can't have fun here. The beach still has restaurants, bars, and lodging. It is lined with public roads to make it a great place to take a stroll. Karon is one of Phuket's longer beaches.
6. Kata Beach
A popular beach for families, it as great shopping, and delicious restaurants. It has beautiful white sand with palm trees to shade you. In May through October, surfers come to enjoy the waves on this beautiful beach. There are many stores where you can shop for souveniers and even mini marts like the omnipresent 7-11 (and you thought you could get away from it all, ha!).
The is a Dino Park in Kata Beach where kids can go and enjoy themselves and even play a round of miniature golf.
7. Nai Harn
Popular place for anchorage of yachts. Not as busy as the other beaches with few hotels lined up. Great place to swim from November through April. Shopping here is almost nonexistant.
8. Rawai Beach
Great place for photos, it has great seafood restaurants. Rawai is a working beach, a place where boats go to other islands.
9. Nai yang
Very budget friendly and close to the airport. Nice beach but not as many resources as the other beaches. Not a party-type beach, more like a get away from it all type of beach. It is less developed than the other beaches and you'll have to get some transportation if you want to travel all the way to the other beaches where the party hardy lifestyle may be found.
Phuket Travel Books
How much will it cost me?
Here is an example to give you a better idea. As of the time of writing this lens which is May 19, 2008 the exchange rate for dollars to baht which is the Thai currency is $1 = 32 baht. Now, let's see what we can get for this. I found a Phuket tour site that offers the following:
1. 4 days/3 night accommodations
2. Most meals provided (some buffets)
3. Elephant ride and tour and watch other animals such as monkeys trained to pick coconuts.
4. Famous theatrical show Phuket Fantasea
All this for about $300 per person. That's unbelievable for what you get.
Popular things to do in Phuket - Other than the beaches
Phuket is a place full of activities for the young and old alike. You can go kayaking, golfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, bar hopping, partying, rafting, sailing, speedboating or even going through the rainforests on an elephant ride!
1. Night life
There is no shortage of night life in Phuket. From gogo dancers, night clubs, and more. If this is your preference, Patong Beach is the best place to go.
Plenty of courses for the avid golfer.
3. Elephant Rides
Photo by: dmsk999
Experience an unforgettable Elephant ride through Phuket rainforests.
4. Phang nga bay
Pang Nga is a bay with 42 islands, the most famous is James Bond island. The bay is characterized by limestone rock formations an cliffs that jut out of the water. The overall scenery is breathtaking. It is named after James Bond, because of the movies filmed here. James Bond island is characterized by its rocky pinnacles. A tour through James Bond island will also end up going through Koh Panini island for lunch. This is a marvelous village place built on stilts. It will be open for tourists during lunch time and after lunch it will go back to its fishermen lifestyle. Most recommended by users A good provider of trips around Pha nga Bay is Simba trips
5. Phuket PhantaSea
A 140 acre theme complex, highlighting the beauty and culture of Thailand along with its rich tradition. It has a popular show highlighting costumes, animals and acrobats flying. It is a must see in Phuket. (Some of the show displayed on Video Below)
6. Phuket Town (Now called Phuket City)
Phuket Town is a place full of restaurants, jewelry stores, shops and great architecture. It is a great place to get a taste of Thai city life and to enjoy its delicious food. If you go there in October, you can join the celebration of their annual Vegetarian Festival. It takes place over 9 days, with tons of vegeterian dishes to sample and a procession that ends in Phuket towns shrines. If you are into museums, you can visit Phuket Culture Museum located at Rajbhat University. In the old town center there are very ornate houses and shops with distinct Sino Portuguese architecture. Some people consider this old town to be the best part about Phuket City. This architecture is reflective of European influence on the island.
7. Cooking classes
If you love cooking Thai food, then there are a couple of cooking classes where they will take you through a market tour and then cooking lessons! It's a great opportunity to learn to make this delicious food. The best recommmended classes are Pum's Cooking School and Phucket Thai cookery school
This is what you will look forward to in Phuket. Check out how this family feeds a banana to the elephant and how the elephant even gives massages!
Scuba Diving in Phuket
Diving is just one of the few adventures to be had in Phuket
Phuket's Famous Phantasea Show
Poll on Phuket
What do you think is the best part about Phuket?
- Greet others with a prayer like gesture called a wai. If someone wais you then you can return it, but no need to wai children back.
- The monarchy is considered the highest regard in the country so be sure to never disrespect it. Be wary of stepping on money or coins which has the image of the king in them.
- Never wear beach clothes to go to a temple.
- Remove your shoes before entering a temple or someone's home.
Thailand Scenery Video
Check out the beautiful beaches in this video
Top Recommended Hotels
Awesome hotels are very decently priced in Phuket. You can book through Hotels.com. With a hotels.com promo code you can save even more. The following is a list of hotels recommended by Yahoo's Phuket travel guide. Prices vary like all hotels do but I listed here the approximate prices in May to give you an idea.
JW Marriott Phuket Resort - approx. $155 (dollars)
Laguna Beach Resort - $150 (dollars)
Le Meridien Phuket Beach - $335 (dollars)
Banyan Tree Phuket
Mom Tri's Villa Royale
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket
Top Recommended Restaurants
Here is a list of the must visit restaurants around Phuket. You can get a great meal everywhere but these are the best.
Ka Jok See - One of Phuket's best. Main dishes cost 150-380 baht.
La Gaetana Restaurant
Sea Hag Restaurant
Baan Rim Pa