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Phuket

4.6 /5 40 votes

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Best Time: November to February end Read More

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Nearest Airport: Phuket Check Flights

Phuket Tourism

Pristine beaches, clean air, bounty of nature and cheap getaway do complete justice to the beautiful tourist spot in Thailand called Phuket. Add to it a lot of adventure, tranquility and heartfelt hospitality, the island located in southern Thailand is one of an ideal beach destination in Asia.

Phuket is treasure trove of nature's raw beauty, nestled on the west-facing coastline of Andaman Sea. Blessed with spectacular tropical setting of clear blue beaches, palm groves, and impressive coastline, Phuket serves as a perfect destination for long rejuvenating vacations. The place is packed with bounty of tourist attractions be it natural or man-made. From National Parks, monolithic limestone formations and marine life to museums and temples, the island has something for everyone. For adventure lovers, the place has thrilling water sport facilities and excursion of tropical forests. A stroll around streets of Phuket Old Town gives you an insightful look into city's rich culture and heritage with aromatic incense sticks burning at colourful temples and vibrant mosaic _tiles streets. Where it offers thrill and excitement, on the other hand it has a mystic and serene environment to calm one's senses.

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History of Phuket

Located on the strategic position between the trading routes of India and China, Phuket has served as a place to harbor ship proceeding to India that would wait for the northeast monsoon winds. The place has been under the foreign influence long before the other parts of the country. The island became the part of the Thai state during thirteenth century after the Sirivijaya Empire based in Sumatra lost it to Thai armies at Sukhothai. It was in sixteenth century that Phuket was first time mentioned as a key source of tin as it became a hub of revenue for Thai kingdom and significant trading center. It was also during the period when Europeans arrived at the island. One can still witness the structures in Sino-Portuguese style in the old-quarters of town. The untouched interior of the island was still covered with the old rainforest by the end of nineteenth century while making way for rubber plantations as the twentieth century arrived changing the landscape irreparably. Once named as Junk Ceylon on European maps, the place got its name Phuket later from Malay word meaning •hillê.

Nightlife in Phuket

Nightlife in Phuket is a busy affair with plenty of places to entertain. Only second to Pattaya in Thailand, the island stands up to the reputation of being a partying destination. The place is packed with bars, discos, ladyboy cabaret shows, nightclubs, go-go bars, live music and international DJs jamming a session. Where most of the small areas and towns offer small parties, Banga Road in Patong is the major as well as the busiest hub for party lovers featuring crazy neon lights, loud rocking pulsating music and huge crown to enjoy the scene. Some of the major places to check out in Patong are Soi Crocodile, Simon Cabaret, Soi Easy, Soi Gonzo, Presley Guesthouse and Elvis Bar, Soi Sea Dragon and many more.

Shopping in Phuket

Phuket offers a great deal for shopping lovers with products ranging from cheap clothes to handicrafts and jewelry. The place is a main source of cultured pearls, pewterware, ornaments and nielloware. There are two main shopping malls in Phuket: Central Festival, at the northwest edge of Phuket Town, and Jungceylon, in Patong. However, the open air markets, bustling street side shops, night, dazzling night markets, small food markets, are more popular among tourists. One can buy brands, copy of brands (sometimes it is difficult to distinguish), antiques, house wares, and much more. There are special shops where one can buy souvenirs located at Ratsada, Phang-nga, Montri, Yaowarat, and Tilok-U-thit roads, in Phuket Town, Thepkasattri Road and at the beach centers of Patong, Kata, Karon and Rawai.

Currency in Phuket

Most of the international credit cards are widely accepted in Phuket. ATM Machines are easily available for 24 hours all around the island and accept all major credits cards including Visa and MasterCard. Baht is the main currency that is used in Thailand. Make sure you carry cash while shopping at local street market and use your cards wisely to avoid any fraud.

Exchanging Money in Phuket

One can get the currency exchanged at either banks (major banks of Thailand being Bangkok Bank and Thai Farmers Bank), which are open from 9:00 to 15:30, Monday to Friday or there are numerous authorized currency exchanged counters dotted all across the tourist places. Most of the hotels will also exchange the currency but at poor exchange rate. One will find bank branches at most of the shopping centers opened from 10:00 until 20:00. ATM Machines are easily available for 24 hours all around the island and accept all major credits cards including Visa and MasterCard.

Daily Budget for Phuket

Phuket is a small island offering facilities for all kind of visitors. If you are planning a trip to this beach destination, below are the daily-basis expenses for different type of travelers. The cost mentioned here is approximate per day per head cost excluding the hotel charges (including food, water, local transport, entertainment, tips and handouts, local transportation, souvenirs and alcohol cost) Budget travel: THB 654 approximately Comfortable travel: THB 1325 approximately Luxury travel: THB 3150 approximately

Religion of Phuket

Major religion practiced in Phuket is Theravada Buddhism followed by Daoism, which is often practiced along with Buddhism. In addition, about 35% of population on the island is Muslims.

Phuket Customs

Phuket is a melting pot of people of various cultures including Thai, Chinese, Malays and sea gypsies. However, there is as such no restriction about what to wear and what not to wear. It is one of a major beach destination and thus one must carry short, t-shorts, swimsuits and lightweight clothes for summers. If you are planning to visit a Buddhist temple, dress conventionally and take off your shoes before entering the temple complex. Monks do not accept anything from a woman and they are not supposed to touch monks. The rear seats of the buses are usually reserved for monks and one has to vacate if needed. Do not say anything disrespectful for royal family as one could be subject to penalty. Tipping is usually mandatory in Phuket, however is appreciated especially in hospitality sector. A tip of TBH 20-50 is commonly paid to a porter and 5-10 per cent for other staff. A generous tip of TBH 100 is usually given massage ladies.

Language of Phuket

Central Thai is the official language of Phuket, which is commonly used in business and tourist areas. However, people usually converse in southern Thai dialect that sounds pithier and sounds faster than Central Thai. English is also widely spoken and understood, especially in the beach and other tourist areas. Some of the useful Thai words one should now while travelling to Thailand are (krub is used for males and kha is used for females): Sawatdee (krub/kha): Hello Sabai dee ru (krub/kha): How are you? Sabai dee (krub/kha): Fine Khob Khun (krub/kha): Thank you Chai: Yes Mai Chai: No Dai: (you/I) can Mai Dai: can not Nee Tao Rai: How much?

Restaurants and Local Food in Phuket

Phuket offers a variety of cuisines owing to the large number of foreign travelers visiting the island every year. Although foreign cuisines are widely available, Thai flavors are still available especially with a focus on seafood. One will find from high-end restaurants to small time street stalls selling delicious food. The place is a paradise for seafood lovers. Some of the local delicacies of Phuket are fried or boiled noodle dished eaten with either pork or chicken; Khanom Jin (another noodle dish eaten in breakfast and served with fresh vegetables and spicy curry); and Nam PhrikKung Siap (smoked shrimps and chili eaten with fresh vegetables).
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