Planning a trip to Phuket in Thailand
Pronounced as Phu-get, Phuket is one of the most visited destinations in Thailand. Phuket is called the pearl of the east because of its beautiful island destinations, clear water and great ambience. Leonardo Di Caprio movie beach is shot on Phi Phi islands, that resembles a heavenly retreat and still offers an escape from hectic city lives. Many people travel from around the world to find a little piece of heaven in these interesting destinations.
What is the best time to visit Phuket?
December to March is the best time to travel to Phuket. January and February is the peak seasons with most number of tourist to the region. The accommodation is hard to find especially around new years eve with full moon party in full swing. Holidaymakers and fun lovers from around the world crowd to these beaches to party all night.
How do I get from Phuket airport to Patong?
Patong is approximately one hour drive from Phuket Aiport. There are several ways to travel in Phuket. Catching a taxi will save you one a lot of time as the traffic from Phuket airport to Patong area is quite busy.
A taxi from Phuket Airport to Patong costs 800BHAT. An alternative option is to catch a shared mini-bus which carries ten passengers and takes around 2 hours to reach Patong as there are several stopovers for drop-offs along the way. This is a comfortable and cheap option if you are not in a rush. The minibus costs around 180 BHAT.
Alternatively, you can rent a car for approximately 1500 BHAT a day. To check the best car rental rates Click Here.
To charter, a private car for day tours or longer period Click Here
Visiting Patong Beach Phuket
Patong is one of the most popular and crowded neighbourhoods in Phuket. The heart of nightlife is Phuket, Bangla road is located next to Patong beach and attracts large crowds from across the world during the peak holiday season (Dec-Feb).
Patong area has a lot to offer for families and single travellers. People travelling with families seeking quieter neighbourhoods should explore locations at outskirts of Patong or resorts near Karon Beach.
Patong has a good mix of cheap budget type hotels to high-end resorts, catering to all tastes. The rates for the room sky-rocket during peak season and it is advisable to book in advance. Agoda offers up to 40% discount on advance booking.
Where to eat in Patong?
Patong has plenty of restaurants catering to all tastes. Robinson Shopping Center near Bangla Road has plenty of international fast-food chains, bars and western eateries.
There is a live seafood market (Banzan Fresh Food Market) across the road from Shopping Center where you can buy your own seafood and get it cooked in your own style.
You can buy plenty of local produce, vegetable, fruit and cheap local food at lunch hour. The food court on the first floor is open till late.
Interesting Things to do at Patong Beach
Beach club at Patong Beach
Enjoy Banana Boats
Swimming at Patong Beach
Waterscooters at Patong Beach
Paragliding at Patong Beach
Paragliding at Patong Beach
Where to stay in Patong Beach Phuket
Interesting things to do in Patong Beach
Catching flight from Phuket to Bangkok is a day worth of effort as navigating through Bangkok traffic and then catching a local transport from Phuket airport to the hotel can take some time.
I suggest catching an early morning flight that will enable you to utilize your first day in Phuket and get some time to relax and rejuvenate.
Staying in a Hotel near Bangla Road
Bangla Road and Patong Beach are main attractions in Phuket as Bangla Road is the heart of night-life, clubbing and restaurants. The restaurants are catering to all tastes and you can find international chains as well as local restaurants.
The first day I walked up to Patong Beach which is famous for water sports including water scooters, wind-surfing, banana boats and boat tours etc.
Paragliding costs are 1500BHAT. Negotiate your prices with the local vendors on the beach and you can get a good deal. The ride will take you across the length of Patong beach and offers a great adrenalin rush if you are doing it for the first time. These activities continue on the beach all through the day.
If you are planning a relaxing day on the beach, just relax on the clear sandy beach sipping some nice coconut drinks and enjoying the festive crowd. The vibe on the beach is amazing.
Nightlife and clubbing
Later in the evening, you can visit Illuzion Night Club or Tiger Club to dance your night away to the music from best house DJs and international performers. The illusion is rated amongst the top 100 clubs in the world.
Bangla Road has plenty of bars which are open till 4 am in the morning. The fun and music continue all throughout the night. Bangla Road is definitely the right place for party-people and fun lovers.
Later in the evening step into one of many nice massage parlours to enjoy relaxing massage. (One-hour massage costs 250BHAT)
Day Tour of Phuket Island
The tour van will pick you up from your hotel. The transport is quite comfortable and a tour guide accompanies all tours as per government regulation. After collecting passengers from various hotels, the tour van will meander through twisting roads of Karon beaches reaching up to the Karon lookout. The locations command amazing views of the coastline of Phuket Island.
The next stop is the top of the Big Buddha located on top of the mountain. This amazing statue is a place of worship for Buddhist and popular tourist attractions. Take some memorable photographs with the statue.
The tour continues on to some beautiful local Buddhist Temples in the area. Other stopovers on the way include Honey Farm and Cashewnuts processing factory. These locations sell very exclusive local produce and products made from natural ingredients.
The next stop is a massive gem and jewellery store exhibiting great craftsmen of the local diamond jewellery makers.
The tour ends with a trip to Old Phuket Town. The decorated alleyways have a number of crafts shops and cafes.
Full-Day Island Hopping Tour
Travelling to some of the islands around Phuket is definitely one of the best experiences of travelling to Phuket. A three-engine speedboat tour is the best way to enjoy the tour. One speedboat carries around 40 passengers.
The tour vans pick-up the passengers from the hotels and bring them to the jetty area near Old Phuket town.
The passengers are briefed about the tour, warned about hazards on the beach and safety measures to be taken to enjoy the tour.
The tours take you to the coral island for snorkelling. Snorkelling equipment and jackets are provided by the boat operators and you are given 30 minutes to enjoy the locations.
The next trip is a bit longer to Phi Phi Don Island where lunch is served in a big shared hotel. The lunch is included in the package. You can explore the Island at your own pace.
The tour continues on to Monkey Island and the boat is stopped once again for another snorkelling session in deeper waters of the ocean. You will observe plenty of sea life in the ocean.
The boat takes are a 45-minute ride back to the Jetty and passengers are dropped at local hotels.
This tour is a must if you want to enjoy the visit to amazing locations in the area.
For a more relaxed tour, you can charter your own boat or travel using a large cruise.
Tours in Phuket
A trip to Phuket will be incomplete without taking some of the local tours. Some of the most popular tours are:
Phi Phi Island Tour
James Bond Island Tour
Similan Island Tour
Raya Island Tour
Coral Island Tour
These destinations can be visited individually by booking a charter boat. Alternatively, you can book one of many tours (7 Island Tour, 9 Island Tour etc) to visit multiple locations in one tour. The tours are conducted in 3-engine boats. The staff is highly trained and familiar with the best locations for snorkelling and diving.
Other most sought after activities include
Big Game Fishing
Phuket Fantasea Shoes