Phuket is Thailand\'s most popular holiday and beach destination, a destination of contrasts and Thailand\'s largest island. The busy streets and exhilarating nightlife of the capital, Patong, quickly give way to more relaxed resort areas, quiet, idyllic beach locations and some stunning scenery. Heavily developed in parts, Phuket still offers some of the finest resorts in Thailand, boasting many exclusive settings and beaches. The island is only 50 kilometres long from north to south. Phuket\'s most popular beaches are located on the western side of the island. These include Patong, Karon, Kata, Kata Noi, Nai Harn and Rawai on the southern tip of the island. The beaches north of Patong – Kamala, Surin and Bang Tao – are less developed and more secluded and are home to many of the islands more up-market resorts. Several coral islands lie just south of Phuket, with the Similan Islands on the northwest close to Khao Lak, and the Phi Phi Islands on the southeast set in the Andaman Sea midway between Phuket and Krabi. All are popular with snorkelers and scuba divers looking to catch a glimpse of Phuket\'s diverse marine life.
Places to Visit
- Phang Nga - Phang Nga Bay is unique. An unforgettable experience, with sheer limestone cliffs jutting vertically out of the emerald-green waters. The islands are home to sheltered fauna which you can see on certain tours. James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this bay.
- Phuket Town - Sino-Portuguese splendours and funky shops will surprise and delight in Phuket\'s sleepy provincial capital. Phuket town offers some excellent restaurants and local sights. The unique blend of colonial and Chinese architecturemakes for a fascinating and unforgettable afternoon spent sauntering around Phuket\'s Old Town.
- Wat Chalong - is one of Phuket\'s most important temples, visited by thousands each year. Beautifully decorated with reflections from hundreds of tiny glass pieces and several pagodas. Wat Chalong has an interesting history and is Phuket Island\'s spiritual centre.
- Muay Thai - Rapidly gaining popularity all over the world, Muay Thai or Thai Boxing, is a spectacle to behold. Visit Saphan Hin Stadium in Phuket City to see regular matches with well-trained martial arts experts. Or try Patong Beach, where you can also see these super-fit fighters. Tradition and courtesy are at the heart of this contact sport and a good Muay Thai participant is ultra-disciplined in spirit as well as body.
Getting to and Travelling around
Phuket International Airport is in the north of the island and is Thailand\'s second largest hub. There are very frequent flights to/from Bangkok as well as direct flights to many other airports in the region, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Buses to mainland destinations including Bangkok, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong, Satun, Sungai Kolok and Surat Thani.
Phuket is directly connected to the mainland by the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge.
Ferry services connect from Rassada Port in Phuket Town to Ko Phi Phi and on to Krabi on the mainland twice a day, taking 90 to 120 minutes. There are also speedboats from/to Ko Racha (45 minutes), Phi Phi (1 - 1.5 hours), the Similan Islands (about 3 hours) and other islands. Boats and yachts can be chartered all year from Phuket.
Ferry services connect from Rassada Port in Phuket Town to Ko Phi Phi and on to Krabi on the mainland twice a day, taking 90 to 120 minutes. There are also speedboats from/to Ko Racha (45 minutes), Phi Phi (1 - 1.5 hours), the Similan Islands (about 3 hours) and other islands. Boats and yachts can be chartered all year from Phuket at Chalong Bay, Rawai Beach, the Boot Lagoon, the Yacht Haven and Royal Phuket Marina.
By Songthaew or Bus
Public transport within Phuket is limited to a radial network connecting Phuket Town to the beach towns. There are a few full-size buses, but most lines are operated with songthaews. they pick up and drop off as requested.
Phuket has many small songthaew-style minivans called tuk-tuks, and a smaller number of conventional sedan-style taxis.
For a bit of island hopping the longtail boats are a great way to do so.
Best Time and Weather
Phuket has a tropical climate, more specifically a tropical monsoon climate, with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Average temperatures are consistent year-round. Average highs range from 29°C to 33°C; average lows range from 23°C to 26°C.