What comes into the mind of travellers when we talk about sea, sun and sand? Phuket must definitely be one of the answers. A number of exciting activities can be found on this island. In the early days of regional maritime trade, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to be the name of the main town to the north of the island. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China, and also Siam.
During the 16th century, the island was a popular trading port for tin. In 1785, Thalang town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united the local residents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory. As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, respectively.
They are still highly respected by Phuket residents even today. When the city was in a peaceful state, the development of mining was so unprecedented. Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving wealth. The island’s long history has shaped the Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. These attributes have made Phuket a complete tourist destination that offers a lot more beyond its natural heritage of sea, sand, forest, and world-renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walks of life.
Getting to Know: 1. Phuket is located approximately 862 kilometres south of Bangkok. 2. There are only two seasons in a year the green season (May to October) and the hot season (November to April). 3. Phuket is divided into 3 administrative districts: namely, Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Thalang and Amphoe Kathu. Key Tips The beaches of the south coast are typically crowded, while the north is far more tranquil. All the major beaches (such as Patong beach, Kata beach, Karon beach, Nai Han beach, Mai Khao beach , Nai Yang beach) offer instruction and equipment for diving, snorkling, wind surfing and sailing. Don’t forget to notice red flag! before swim.
Dino Park Mini Golf (Karon)
Dino Park is a mini-golf course and restaurant located right in between Karon and Kata beaches on the...
Kata Noi Beach (Karon)
This cosy little bay is found at the end of a beachside cul-de-sac, just a few minutes’ drive over the...
Kaungmudaw Pagoda is located about 10 km from Sagaing, Mandalay Division, which is not very far from...
Khao Rang Hill View Point
Khao Rang (Rang Hill) is one of Phuket’s most famous viewpoints. Located to the northwest of the city...
Old Phuket Town
A must-do in Phuket is a walk in the old part of Phuket City, around Thalang, Dibuk and Krabi roads....
There are plenty of really memorable things to do in Phuket. The island itself has a beautiful historical old town, great viewpoints and iconic cultural attractions. It’s also a good base for exploring the nearby islands and their must-see attractions. These include world-famous places like Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.
The following list is our pick of the things which are definitely worth a visit while you’re in Phuket. Being a place of great variety, there’s something among the best things to do in Phuket for virtually every kind of traveller. Take a look below and see what sparks your interest.
1/ Pha Ngang Bay
Phang Nga Bay’s distinctive feature is the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water. James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just 2 of the more famous spots in this bay. By far the best means of enjoying the spectacular scenery, with only brief encounters with the tourist crowds at James Bond and Koh Panyee, is by taking boat trips from the northern end of Phuket.
A leisurely day trip cruising through Phang Nga Bay’s dramatic limestone islands, occasionally stopping to enjoy quiet beaches, is far more rewarding than the standard bus-boat tour
2/ Phi Phi Island
The Phi Phi Islands are Thailand’s superstar archipelago, particularly famous for Maya Bay’s central role in the 2000 movie The Beach. It’s the topic of conversation for travellers all over Thailand. For some, it’s the only reason to touchdown in Phuket. Even with all the hype, it doesn’t disappoint.
Phi Phi’s beauty is a large chunk of the allure. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to a beach-fringed jungle. To most, it’s love at first sight.
3/ Similan Island
The Similan Islands is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea, largely because of the wonders that await beneath the clear-blue waters surrounding it. They’re around 84 km northwest of Phuket. This little archipelago is one of the most interesting diving areas in the world, as well as a favourite destination for yachties and boat tours.
The Similans aren’t as dramatically scenic as the limestone islands of Krabi or Phang Nga Bay, which many people have come to associate with the Andaman Sea. Instead, you find low-lying formations covered with thick forest.
Ironwood and gum trees are among the larger trees, while jackfruit, rattan and bamboo form part of the denser undergrowth. The islands are home to crab-eating monkeys, dusky langurs, squirrels, bats, lizards and a good variety of birds (though the monkeys are shy and rarely seen by the casual observer).
4/ Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are a pair of large islands in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, equidistant to Phuket and Krabi. While you’ll find several luxury resorts and tourist facilities on Koh Yao Noi, the islands remain a quiet refuge that feels far removed from the crowds of Phuket. Some of the best things you can do on the Koh Yao Islands include kayaking, hiking, snorkelling, and swimming.
While driving around Koh Yao Noi, you will discover a rather quiet place that has changed very little, aside from a few more motorbikes, resorts, and convenience stores. Wooden houses along the roads, buffalos taking mudbaths in rice paddies, shaded roads passing through rubber plantations, and mangroves are just a few of the natural charms of this simple island. A mostly paved concrete road circles the island of Koh Yao Noi, making it fairly easy for driving. The beaches are mainly on the east coast, while the west coast has miles of rice fields and mangroves.
5/ Koh Khai Island
Khai Islands – Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai – are 2 tiny islets situated to the east of Phuket, only a 20-minute ride by speedboat. The largest of them, Koh Khai Nok, is particularly busy in high season as it offers a pleasant getaway from Phuket for those who want to enjoy sunbathing and snorkelling without the hassle of a long trip at sea.
Both islands are uninhabited, and Khai Nok is the only one which can be visited. Featuring all the infrastructures necessary to spend a comfortable day on the beach – restaurants, bars, sun-loungers and umbrellas – the highlight of Koh Khai Nok is the multitude of tropical fish roaming around the shore, giving visitors the great experience of swimming in a natural ‘aquarium’.
6/ Koh Bon Island
Directly opposite Rawai Beach, off Phuket’s southeastern coast, Koh Bon is a small rocky island that features a long beach to its eastern side and a small sandy patch at its northwestern tip where the only restaurant of the island is situated.
Under British management, Koh Bon is a cool place to enjoy fresh seafood, as well as Thai and western delicacies. A perfect destination for a short break, it is a tranquil island offering good swimming and a great natural escape from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. On your way there, ask the driver of your longtail or speedboat to stop by the southwest corner of the island.
7/ Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island)
Koh Maphrao (or Coconut Island) is a small isle about 500 metres off Phuket’s east coast. Measuring just 2.5 x 1.5 km and facing Leam Hin, a popular seafood dining area just north of Phuket Town, Koh Maphrao is still rather undeveloped due to the fact that there’s no electricity on the island apart from private generators.
It takes only 5 minutes by long-tail boat to reach Koh Maphrao’s main pier, situated on the northern part of its west coast, facing Phuket. On the way, you’ll pass several famous floating restaurants between Laem Hin and Koh Maphrao’s jetty. The island is roughly rectangular, and a good quarter of its southwestern part is covered with mangrove forests, home to long-tailed macaques.
8/ Wat Chalong and Phuket Temple
Wat Chalong is one of Phuket’s most important temples and is visited by thousands each year. It’s beautifully decorated, with infinite reflections from hundreds of tiny glittering glass pieces on its many pagodas. It has an interesting history and is Phuket Island’s spiritual centre.
Wat Chalong isn’t the only remarkable temple in Phuket, however. There’s an impressive number of them dotted around the island, several of which are home to impressive Buddha statues. Each has its own particular charms and remarkable features, making them worth seeking out and exploring.
Normally, traveling to Phuket is a great choice for beach lovers. You can spend from 3 to 7 days the rest of your trip to laid-back on the beaches here. Besides, take part in many fun and adventure water activities such as Snorkeling, Diving, Kayaking, Surfing, etc…
The best food to eat in Phuket
1. Tom Yam Goong
Location: Bang Pae Seafood restaurant, PA Khlok, Thalang, Phuket, Thailand
Tom Yang Goong is basically known as the mixture of spicy prawn and sour soup which is one of the most favorite dishes of the Thai. Tom Yang Goong Mae Nam is the original version of all variations of Tom Yang which includes Tom Yam Talay (Seafood), Tom Yam Gai (Chicken), Tom Yam Kradook Moo (Pork ribs). The most important part of all Tom Yam is its soup made from coconut milk, red chili, mushroom, herbs and other spices.
2/ Mee Hokkien noodle
Location: Mee Ton Poe restaurant, Phuket rd, facing both the Metropole hotel and the Surin Clock Tower at the traffic circle
This simple dish of stir-fried noodle with prawn keeps noodle fans coming back over and over agan. The thick yellow fried noodles, prawns, pork, squids, egg and bean sprouts are all in a perfect combination that makes everything taste extra good. Noodle is served with sambal chili and a squeeze of lime juice.
3/ Massaman Curry
Location: N.C. restaurant 183/6 Phang-Nga, Talad Yai, Phuket, Thailand
It seems that Thai food is a hard treat for spicy haters. With Massaman curry, you shound’t worry about it anymore.
This curry is beloved by many people who are crazy in love with curry of all kinds. Its flavor is suprisingly good with the sweetness of coconut milk, a little sourness of lime juice, the flavorful aroma of lime leaves and basil, the thickness of peanuts and tomatoes. They are go perfectly together and make a toothsome dish in one bowl. Massaman curry has several versions depending on what the main ingredient is. It can be pork, beef or fish. As usual, a curry appears at its best with steamed rice or noodles.
4/ Dim Sum
Location: Boon Rad Dim Sum 1, 26/41 Thanon Bangkawk, Phuket Town, Phuket, Thailand
When it comes to Dim Sum, you will be totally shocked with a huge collection of this Chinese fusion food in Phuket. As there are several kinds of dim sum ready to be ordered, it’s smart to plot out which is highly recommended by the local. The best kind of dim sum is the one which is folded at least seven times with a glowing fluffy outlook. The fillings are diverse ranging from shrimp, pork, prawn or green beans. Dim sum is amazingly super smooth and super rich in flavor.
5/ Gaeng Keaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)
Location: Kaab Gluay restaurant, 58/3 Phrabaramee rd, Patong, Phuket, Thailand
Next up is GaengKeaw Wan Gai, another unique Thai curry that attracts foodies worldwide for its distinctive feature. The curry is made with chicken, cooked with two types of eggplants cut in quarters. Eggplants are used to lower the choleterol level. Even you don’t try this dish, oberving the smiling faces of those who indulged, the food must be delicious.
6/ Kanom Jeen Phuket
Location: Khanom Jeen Mae Ting Shop, 28 Satul rd, Muang Phuket, Thailand
Kanom Jeen is another well-liked soup using chicken, mushrooms, galangal, tomatoes and lemongrass cooked in coconut milk. Normally, the dish is added with some chili but it’s not that spicy, it’s sure flavorful. To make a mind blowing bowl of Kanom Jeen, you need to pick up some of the best ingredients of beef, chicken, fish, crab and vegetables.
7/ Por Pia
Location: Loktien restaurant, Thanon Dibuk, Phuket Old town, Thailand
It’s always a sneak peak of what to order for every trip to Phuket. If you are grabbing a belly satisfying food in Phuket, Por pia – a Thai spring roll is more than a good option.
In Phuket, spring roll is eaten both in sit-down restaurants and also on the street. The food is simply made by wrapping fillings of meat, prawns, vegetables, rice noodles and crunchy pastry into a roll. Then, the fresh spring roll will be deep fried. At the end, you are served with a crunchy, greasy and packed full of tastiness of spring roll.
With a tropical climate, the weather in Phuket broadly varies between warm, cool and rainy. It never really gets too cold. The high tourist season is from November to February when it’s cool and dry, after which it remains quite hot until May. Monsoon season begins mid-May and goes on till October. Here’s a monthly break up of Phuket’s climatic conditions so you can plan when to go:
November to February: This is the coolest season in Phuket after the rains are over. With the best weather, naturally, this is also the busiest time with most tourists planning their trips around this period. The temperature varies around 23°C and 30°C. While December is the coolest month in Phuket, February is the driest. This is the perfect time to spend the day relaxing on one of the gorgeous beaches in Phuket and enjoying water sports in the calm sea. You can then party it out till the wee hours of the morning at one of the many nightclubs.
March to mid-May: These are considered as the hottest months in Phuket just before monsoon hits the island. The temperatures vary in the mid-thirties, with humidity levels steadily on the rise. One of the good reasons to visit Phuket in April is to witness the Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, when people sprinkle water on each other!
Mid-May to October: Monsoon season in Phuket lasts from May to October. Average temperature during monsoons is 28 °C-29 °C. While the weather is at its humid best, the prices are at an all-time low, making this one of the cheapest seasons to plan a trip. Apart from being cost effective, it’s also a peaceful time to visit because it’s not as crowded as the high season. The wettest months are May, September and October, but it’s rare that the island would get continuous days of heavy rainfall.
By air: Flights depart from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport for Phuket International Airport several times a day and take only one hour. During a weekday, you can find very reasonably priced one-way flights from Bangkok to Phuket, but expect prices to be higher on weekends and during high season.
Bangkok’s domestic airport – Don Muang Airport – also offers flights to Phuket. All the low-cost airlines fly from here, and during special promotions, you might be able to find a flight for as little as 15 USD.
By train: Trains don’t go all the way from Bangkok to Phuket, but you can hop on one until you reach the town of Surat Thani and then switch to a bus for the rest of the journey. The train ride takes anywhere from 8.5 to 12 hours, depending on which train you choose. Most trains are sleepers with AC and you can choose between 1st and 2nd class tickets. Then bus ride from Surat Thani to Phuket is an extra four to five hours, but the buses are spacious and comfortable.
The Phantip Travel Company has modern buses that leave directly from the Surat Thani Railway Station towards Phuket, so you don’t have to worry about getting into town for a connection.
By bus: There are both day and overnight buses from Bangkok to Phuket—all of them offering AC, on-board snacks and drinks, and free movies. Overnight buses are more popular and fill up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance, especially during high season.
While there are no seat classes on the buses, you can pick between a 1st class bus (usually referred to as a VIP bus) and 2nd class buses. Besides price, the main difference is leg room and much more comfortable reclining seats in the VIP buses—an important consideration since the journey is at least 14 hours long if you don’t run into traffic jams. VIP buses also offer single-row seats, so no need to worry about a travel companion invading your personal space when you’re trying to sleep.
Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Phuket for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.