Phuket

admin, Jan 16, 2019

Phuket

Phuket BLOGS

Is Phuket an ideal destination for solo backpacking? Yes and no, depending on why you’re doing it. If you’re traveling alone so you could meet other like-minded souls, then yes, it could be a great place for you. If you’re embarking on a solitary journey to chase some peace and quiet, hmmm, not quite.

 

An island off the coast of Southern Thailand, Phuket is the richest province in the country and one of the most visited destinations in the Southeast Asian region. It’s a favorite weekend getaway for domestic tourists, a common stop for cruise ships, and a bridge for Bangkok-bound backpackers from Malaysia and Singapore.

 

Here are more facts about Phuket.

 

Language: Thai. Their language can be quite daunting to non-native speakers, especially its lengthy words and tongue-twisting pronunciations, but as with every other language, it only intimidates in the beginning. English isn’t widely spoken, but what the locals lack in English fluency, they make up for with their friendly attitude toward tourists.

Currency: Thai Baht (THB, ฿). THB100 is roughly USD3, EUR 2.6, PHP 163 (as of June 2018). Exchange rates at the airport are bad, so if you have a MasterCard/Visa/Cirrus ATM, just withdraw from one of the many machines inside the terminal. If you don’t have one, just exchange enough to get you to your hotel

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Modes of payment: Cash. Although some restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, smaller establishments prefer cash.

Safety: Phuket is generally safe and tourist-friendly. But scams run aplenty, so always be on guard and vigilant.

Electricity Info: 220V. Power sockets are types A, B, and C. Modern buildings use Type B, but old ones use Types A (two flat prongs) or Type C (two round prongs).

   

Best Time to Visit Phuket

December to April. These months are the driest. Not surprisingly, they also make up the biggest chunk of the island’s high season. January to February is the coolest period, perfect for sightseeing, but it’s also the most crowded

   

PHUKET AIRPORT TO PHUKET CITY

Phuket Town (aka เมืองภูเก็ต Mueang Phuket or Phuket City) is a popular base for travelers. You can reach it by bus, minibus, or taxi.   By Bus. Exit the terminal and turn left. You’ll find an AIRPORT BUS sign. Look for orange buses. There’s one bus every hour from 6:30am to 9:30pm. Fare is only ฿90. No need to reserve. Just buy your ticket from the driver. Travel time: 1.5 hours. By Minivan. This is a slightly faster option. Fare: ฿120. By Taxi. There are two types of taxis operating at the airport. The limousine taxi, which is pricey, and the regular metered taxi. The ones that aggressively look for passengers from their booths inside the terminal are limousine cabs, so just ignore them. To find a metered cab, exit the terminal and look for a booth with the sign “Taxi Meter.” Fare is between ฿650 and ฿1100. Travel time: 40 minutes

 

PHUKET AIRPORT TO PATONG, KATA, OR KARON BEACH

If you’re in a hotel or resort in Patong, Karon or Kata Beach, here’s how you can get there from the airport.

 

By Bus. Exit the terminal and turn left. You’ll find an AIRPORT BUS sign. Look for cream-colored buses, which stop at Patong, Kata, and Karon. The first bus leaves the airport at 7:30am. Fares are ฿150 for Patong Beach and ฿200 for Kata or Karon Beach. No need to reserve. Just buy your ticket from the driver. By Minivan. Fares are ฿180 to Patong Beach and ฿200 to Kata or Karon Beach. By Taxi. There are two types of taxis operating at the airport. The limousine taxi, which is pricey, and the regular metered taxi. The ones that aggressively look for passengers from their booths inside the terminal are limousine cabs, so just ignore them. To find a metered cab, exit the terminal and look for a booth with the sign “Taxi Meter.” Fares are usually ฿800-1400 for Patong Beach and ฿900-1600 for Karon or Kata Beach. Just split the cost amongst yourselves if you’re a group. Travel time: around 1 hour.

   

Things to Do in Phuket

Because Phuket is an archipelago, most of the activities that you can enjoy in Phuket are beach related: island hopping, snorkeling, diving, and watersports. Phuket is also a great jump off point for islands that belong to Krabi, a nearby province, which is also a burgeoning tourist destination. For example, Phi Phi Island (Ko Phi Phi Le) is actually within Krabi, but is easily accessible from Phuket.

 

Here are some things you can do in and around Phuket

 

PATONG BEACH

 

Patong is Phuket’s flagship beach. It is what Kuta Beach is to Bali, and White Beach to Boracay. It is the most popular, most developed, and not surprisingly, most crowded beach in the island. Aside from swimming, sun bathing, and just walking along the shore, you can enjoy other activities like:

 

Jet ski: ฿15000 per 30 minutes Water ski: ฿1200 per 15 minutes Wakeboard: ฿1200 per 15 minutes Parasailing: ฿1200 per person Banana Boat: ฿600 per person A vibrant nightlife also takes over the island, especially Patong Beach. Clubs and bars flank its streets. A visit can leave you culture shocked, if you know what I mean.

 

KHAI ISLANDS TOUR

 

The Khai Islands are composed of three islands: Khai Nai, Khai Nui, and Khai Nok. All three are laced with stunning white beaches and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Snorkeling is also a popular activity here. Located just 10km from the main island of Phuket, it can be reached after 20-30 minutes by speedboat.

 

Where to Stay

It doesn’t look like it on the map, but Phuket is a big island. Getting from one key attraction to another can take over an hour, so it’s important that you pick the right place to stay. For tourists, there are four major areas with plenty of lodging options: Patong Beach. The island’s most developed beach. It’s bursting with big resorts, inns, restaurants, bars, and other establishments. If crazy nightlife and watersports are what you’re after, stay here. Karon Beach. The cove to the immediate south of Patong Beach. It’s lined with resorts across the road, but it’s nowhere near as crazy as Patong. Kata Beach. Situated south of Karon. There are fewer big resorts here but it has lots of guesthouses. It’s much quieter than the other two. Phuket Town. The island’s economic center, located in the southeastern part of Phuket. Accommodations here are much cheaper than those along the beaches, which makes it a great option for budget travelers. If you’re after heritage and culture, stay here.

 

Nightlife in Phuket Bangla Road in Patong, Phuket, Thailand Phuket has beaches, views, and other attractions. What more could you want? Nightlife.

BANGLA ROAD

Hurtling down the centre of Patong, Bangla Road is where all the action takes place after the sun goes down in Phuket. Late-night bars pump out music from huge nightclubs such as Famous, Seduction, and The Factory. Bangla Road–and Beach Road nearby–is truly the beating heart of nightlife in Phuket. This area is always alive with music, girly bars, and clubbers, and while it is of course busy, it’s also a non-threatening place to party the night away.

 

Beach bars at Kata

 

For a (much) more relaxed vibe, head to Kata Hill overlooking Kata Noi Beach, where three little bars invite chilled out beach-bum types to sip cocktails while watching the sun go down. The bars here–After Beach, Small Viewpoint and Baan Chom–all play Bob Marley music on loop and have fantastic sunset views.

 

Simon Cabaret

 

Located near Patong Beach, the Simon Cabaret hosts the most respected lady boy shows in Phuket, and is an attraction in Phuket in its own right. The show features some impressive sets, even more dazzling costumes, and some of the most glamorous performers in the industry, so it’s not difficult to see why it’s become one of Phuket’s main attractions.

 

Phuket FantaSea

 

For a family night out, head to the Phuket FantaSea Show, which sits in its own theme park complex. This iconic nighttime attraction features exotic animals that help tell a traditional Thai story infused with modern technology. This large complex also houses carnival games, a shopping village, and a place to enjoy a buffet dinner.

 

Siam Niramit

  Located on the outskirts of Phuket Town, the Siam Niramit show is another family-friendly show that celebrates Thailand’s rich culture and history. With elaborate sets, astonishing special effects, and a talented cast, Siam Niramit is one of the most popular shows in Phuket.   Phuket Weekend Market  

The most famous market in town, the Phuket Weekend Market (known locally as Naka Market) sits on the fringes of Phuket Town along Chao Fa West Road. It’s a chaotic and atmospheric place, selling everything imaginable–from second-hand clothes to fake designer handbags, and it also has a thriving food section. Visiting the Phuket Weekend Market is an experience in itself, but there’s always something worth bartering for among its diverse and colourful stands.

 

Banzaan Market

 

While prices aren’t as reasonable here as they are at the Phuket Weekend Market, Patong’s Banzaan Market attracts visitors to its modern stalls on Sai Kor Road for its clean and pleasant environment, and huge choice of fresh food. The market is divided into different sections for meat, seafood, vegetables, exotic fruits, and Thai sweets, among other tasty treats.

 

Events and festivals in Phuket

Ultimate Guide to Phuket: Festivals

 

Festivals and events are always on the horizon: this island never stops.

 

Vegetarian Festival

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is held over a nine-day period, usually in October, and came about due to the Chinese community’s belief that a vegetarian diet during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar enables them to obtain good health and a sound mind.

 

It’s fair to say that the festival transcends most people’s perceptions of what it entails. Many picture passive scenes of vegetarian food stalls and perhaps some accompanying music. The truth is that it in fact involves some dangerous activities for its participants, including ladder climbing with rungs made of knives, barefoot walks across hot coals, and some extreme piercings with various hooks and skewers. This is all accompanied by rapid-fire explosions and dramatic puffs of smoke thanks to all the Chinese fire crackers.

 

Songkran

Celebrated countrywide, Songkran is the ultimate festival in Thailand–a time when people from every walk of life, from the young to the old, come out to participate in what is essentially one giant water fight! It takes place in April, which marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year, and Phuket is a great place to celebrate it as the whole island comes alive in celebration.

 

Loi Krathong

Loi Krathong is one of Thailand’s most significant festivals. Loi means to ‘float’ and ‘krathong’ is a small lotus shaped carving made (traditionally) from the trunk of a banana tree and decorated with folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense sticks. Held in November, thousands of these small candles are sent to float gently out to sea so that waters around the whole of Thailand become awash with light. If staying in Phuket or another coastal area, it’s possible to see these for miles out to sea, with reports of sightings close to the Similan Islands.

     

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