Phuket is undoubtedly a year-round Thai destination for travelers from different countries in the world. If you happen to visit Phuket during the rainy months, you can still enjoy a host of activities – from world class spa at premier accommodations, to surfing the challenging and sometimes dangerous waves of the Andaman Sea. But if you are looking for the best time to visit the island and get the most of the sea, the sand, and the sun – it has to be during the months of November to February. This the time of year when Phuket enjoys its dry season.
If you can, avoid coming to Phuket in September and October as you won’t be able to experience Phuket at its best. These are the rainy months in Phuket. To know more about Phuket weather, click here.
Getting to and from Phuket
As a popular destination for foreign travelers, Phuket offers an international airport located on the island, making every flight convenient for travelers. According to TripAdvisor’s data, Phuket currently has 65 operational outbound airlines. The Phuket International Airport offers nonstop flights to 49 cities around the world, making it easier for travelers to fly directly to the island without passing Bangkok.
The Phuket International Airport is a 50-minute drive to Patong and around 40-minutes away from Phuket Town.
Where to Stay in Phuket
If you are a first-time visitor to Phuket, you would want to know the ideal place where you can stay. Foremost to the different considerations in choosing your accommodations in Phuket are your personal preference and lifestyle. If you prefer a convenient beach holiday with a vibrant nightlife – Patong is highly recommended. On the other hand, if you prefer a secluded beach escapade with easy access to top-notch and high-end facilities, places you can consider are Surin or Bang Tao Beach. For a complete guide of where to stay in Phuket, click here.
Phuket’s Top Attractions
Phuket doesn’t only have the beach and the ocean to lure visitors in. This amazing island also boasts of numerous tourist attractions worth visiting.
Phuket Old Town
The charming Phuket Old Town offers culture-rich history to Phuket visitors where one can walk into the past through a cluster of old Sino-Portuguese buildings in the Old Quarter. There are numerous well-maintained museums, housed in an elegant Chinese-inspired building. You can sample an exquisite Thai royal cuisine at the Blue Elephant housed in Phra Pitak Chinpracha – a Chinese-colonial style mansion. You can read more details and watch a Phuket Old Town walking tour here.
Temples and Shrines
The Andaman’s island has been a melting pot for many indigenous people – from Thai, Chinese to Malay. Evidence showing the fusion of culture and tradition are found on the temples, mosques and shrines found on the island. The famous temple that you should not miss to visit in Phuket is Wat Chalong Temple. It houses one of the Buddha relics in one of the most artistic stupas in Thailand. You can learn more about the list of cultural places in Phuket here.
Cultural Shows and Cabaret Shows
Phuket has always been known for its vibrant nightlife. Phuket never disappoints visitors looking for genuine night entertainment. Phuket has numerous night shows and cultural shows depicting the traditional Thai way of life, traditions and beliefs complete with enticing lights and sounds. Some of these shows include the Phuket FantaSea Show and Siam Niramit.
While the transvestite cabaret shows are available in many places in Phuket, the most famous one remains to be the Simon Cabaret Show. Read more and watch the video of these cultural and cabaret shows here.
Popular Beaches in Phuket
Located on the west coast of the island,Patong Beach is the most famous and vibrant beach in Phuket. It is the capital of nightlife and shopping activities on the island. Patong Beach offers all types of accommodations, nightlife venues, restaurants and holiday facilities for visiting tourists.
The beach is 3-km long and boasts of its golden sand. There are hundreds of things you can do on the beach. Hence, if you prefer a quiet holiday, Patong Beach is most certainly not the place for you.
Kata and Kata Noi Beach
These two adjacent beaches located on the west coast of Phuket are about 20-minutes drive away from Patong. Kata Beach is just 1.5 km long but its beauty is unbeatable with its golden sand and wide beach area. Kata is also fully equipped with facilities and amenities needed by the tourists and holidaymakers, thus, making it a remarkably perfect spot for a beach fun time. Swimming is at its best from November to April with a crystal clear calm sea.
During the monsoon season, Kata Beach is the perfect spot for surfing – many surfers try to beat the challenging waves and enjoy the surfing accessories from the well-equipped surfing shops operating on the beach.
Karon Beach is the third famous beach in Phuket, after Patong and Kata beaches. Karon is 5-km long with fine white sand – perfect for a beach stroll. Located in the north of Kata Beach, Karon is not far from Patong – about 3 km away. The beach is bustling with numerous activities including water sports, massage on the beach and dining in nice restaurants.
Located on the west coast of Phuket, Kamala Beach is about 16 km away from Patong and just 6 km from Surin Beach. Kamala Beach offers a lovely fine sand, ideal for a beach stroll or a morning run. The beach has convenient facilities including high-end accommodations, restaurants and some shops for beachwear shopping.
Kamala is a Muslim area so nightlife is not an option available for visitors. The place can be quiet at night and is, therefore, good for those who seek relaxation. (attach a link of Kamala page once published)
Situated 15 km from Patong Beach, Surin Beach is known as a millionaire’s row mainly due to the numerous luxury accommodations in the area. The beach has beautiful crystal-clear water and fine white sand, perfect for a beach stroll. Surin is adjacent to one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket – Pansea Beach where two super luxury accommodations – Amanpuri and the Chedi are located.
Phuket has many beach activities tourists can enjoy. Ranging from the more traditional activities such as swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, to somewhat new ones such as surfing and kite-surfing – Phuket has everything covered. If you love speed, jet ski and banana boat are your available options offered by almost all the popular beach destinations in Phuket. However, caution must be exercised when renting either the jet ski or banana boat if you don’t want to be a victim of scammers.
If you are traveling with your family, the island offers several family-friendly attractions which everyone can enjoy such as a water park, aquarium or even a mini-golf course.
If you are an adventurous type, Phuket has several outdoor activities enough to push your adrenaline level high, such as the surf house, a wake park, and many more.
However, if all you want is to enjoy a quiet, serene vacation and honest-to-goodness relaxation, the luxury spas should be your option. If a retreat offering a holistic health program interests you, Phuket has a number of popular wellness resorts you can go to.
Viewpoints in Phuket
There are many spots offering a panoramic view of Andaman Sea in Phuket. Regardless if you’re seeing it from a public viewpoint or from a private villa deck, each of them gives a different and unique experience of the island.
If you are looking for the classic scenic point, head to the Promthep Cape Viewpoint in Rawai.
This spot is one of the most romantic places offering the most beautiful sunset view in Phuket. Big Buddha Phuket atop the Nakkerd Hill is another spot offering a stunning and scenic, panoramic view of the island with the gigantic white Buddha image providing a good contrast.
Nightlife in Phuket
Phuket prides itself with a copious options of nightlife activities, especially in Patong area. Bangla district, a 400-meter road that becomes vibrant and alive at night time, is the capital town of Patong’s nightlife. There are tons of nightclubs and go-go bars along the street offering cheap alcohol, loud music and sexy bar girls.
High-end clubs are plenty in Surin area, catering to visitors who prefer a more classy and restrained nightlife. Catch Club in Surin provide exclusive night activities in Phuket. Click here for 10 best beach clubs in Phuket.
Shopping in Phuket
Phuket is not all sand and water. It also offers many different kinds of shopping experience. There are commercial shops for affordable shopping and there are boutiques for designer brands. You can find everything from the movie theater, food court to brand name products at Jungceylon in Patong or at Central Festival Phuket on Vichitsongkram Road.
There are other community malls such as Boat Avenue which offers excellent dining options and decent bars. You can find out more about the various malls in Phuket here.
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