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Phuket Travel Essentials

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Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: November to February Read More

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"Where Summer Beach Fashion Truly Comes Alive"

Phuket Tourism

The largest island in Thailand, Phuket has everything the country offers. It is located in southern Thailand, on the Andaman Sea coastline. Serviced by the Phuket International Airport, the island sees no shortage of travelers at any time of the year. Golden beaches, numerous offshore islands, upbeat markets, a high-octane nightlife, and thrilling watersports characterize Phuket. It is also one of the fastest-accessible beach destinations in Thailand.

Phuket has more than 40 stunning beaches. Beaches like Surin and Kata cater to families and individuals with eccentric tastes. Patong Beach caters to all those who like it cheap, loud, and crazy, even after the sun sets. Bangla Road, with its numerous bars and street food vendors, comes alive as the night ages. Those who shy away from dizzy bright lights and alcohol will find themselves at the Cabaret shows or even at the ever-popular street markets. The Phuket Walking Street or Phuket Weekend markets are places where one can spend hours sifting through various clothes, souvenirs, and novelty items.

Aside from all the glitz and swankiness, Phuket offers many traditional activites and experiences. Enjoying tropical weather all year round, the waters of Phuket come to life, brimming with marine habitats from November to February. Activities like snorkeling and scuba diving can be done at popular and scenic locations such as Phi Phi Islands and Similan Islands, which make for day trips by speedboat. Phuket is also the starting point for visiting many islands like James Bond Island.

Hidden in plain sight is also an immersive experience of Thai culture. Phuket Town heavily retains its Chinese influence and Sino-Portuguese history via its cuisine, cooking styles, architecture, and historical museums and buildings. Chalong Wat, a Buddhist temple, and Jui Tui Shrine, an important Chinese place of worship, embody how various religions and cultures coexist.

Phuket caters to all types of travelers - families, individuals, couples, or groups, across all budgets. With many high-end resorts along most beaches, hotels, luxury shopping outlets, and spas, Phuket is a haven for those looking to splurge big on their vacation and look good while doing it. One of the most visited islands in Thailand, it is relatively small and very easy to explore - most attractions in Phuket are just a tuk-tuk ride away.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Phuket

  • Sim: A booth or a kiosk at the Phuket airport baggage claim area gives out a free Thai sim card. You can also pre-purchase a Thai sim card online or at one of the local shops on the island.
  • Transport: The traffic and winding roads make getting around Phuket difficult. Hire a car or a motorbike only if you are confident about your driving skills. Tuk-tuks are not the safest and cheapest option, but most preferable for short distances.
  • Dress appropriately when visiting the Big Buddha. Cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Snorkeling: Avoid booking cheap tours from local agencies that take over 100 people in one speedboat and insist on knowing the exact number of guests on the boat. Private companies providing small group tours are few and can only be booked directly.
  • Booking Day Trips & Tours: Apart from online booking, you can easily book tours from one of the tour booths spread across Phuket. You can also book with your hotel. However, for a private cruise or catamaran, etc, it is best to book in advance.
  • Phuket Airport to your Hotel: Renting a private pickup van is the most comfortable and best option if you are more than 2 people. The local bus is the cheapest option but it may take a long time to reach your hotel. Uber does not exist in Phuket anymore, and Grab taxis will not pick you up from the airport. But you can find a meter taxi at Phuket airport, which is cheaper than the transfer provided by any of the hotels.
  • Scam: Some establishments in touristy areas have double menus - a normal and overpriced menu. If the price of something looks suspiciously high (like TBH 500-TBH 1000 for a cocktail), you are mostly overcharged. 
  • Avoid the club promoters in nightlife areas like Patong, who offer incredibly attractive drink offers. A decent amount of these is scams.
  • Beware of pickpockets when walking around tourist areas at night.
  • Stay Safe: The tourist police are better than the Thai police, who do not speak much English. Dial 1155 to contact the tourist police in case of any emergency.

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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 small areas and towns offer small parties, Bangla Road in Patong is the major and busiest hub for party lovers, featuring crazy neon lights, loud rocking pulsating music and a huge crowd to enjoy the scene. Some 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.

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Shopping in Phuket

Phuket offers a great deal for shopping lovers, with products ranging from cheap clothes to handicrafts and jewellery. 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, and small food markets are more popular among tourists. One can buy brands, copies of brands (sometimes it is difficult to distinguish), antiques, housewares, 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.

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Exchanging Money in Phuket

  • Currency can be exchanged at either bank (major banks of Thailand being Bangkok Bank and Thai Farmers Bank), which are open from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday to Friday, or at numerous authorized currency exchange counters dotted all across the tourist places.
  • Most hotels will also exchange the currency but at poor exchange rates.
  • Bank branches are located at most shopping centres and open from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM.
  • ATM Machines are easily available 24 hours around the island and accept all major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard.

Daily Budget for Phuket

Phuket is a small island offering facilities for all kinds of visitors. If you are planning a trip to this beach destination, below are the daily-basis expenses for different types of travellers. 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

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.

Best Time to Visit Phuket

Phuket Photos

Phuket, Thailand
Kata Beach - One of the Most Famous Beaches in Phuket
White Buddha Statue - One of the Landmarks in Phuket
Patong Beach - Sunset View

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FAQs on Phuket

What is the best time to visit Phuket?

The best time to visit Phuket is from November to February. The weather during this period is relatively cool and dry. Due to its tropical location, Phuket harbours a warm climate throughout the year. The average temperature in Phuket ranges from 23 degrees to 31 degrees. Weather conditions remain warm almost throughout the year, but there will be a notable difference in rainfall every month; however, April-May and September-October are the hottest. Owing to the southwestern monsoon September-October period is also the wettest. Swimming and diving activities can only take place in the non-monsoon seasons. Even during monsoon, the rainfall occurs intermittently in short bursts, so there will be plenty of sun in between.

The island of Phuket has two seasons namely wet season from May to October and the dry season from November to April with February being the driest month.
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What is the 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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How much does a package cost for Phuket?

The packages for Phuket start at INR 11076 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Phuket?

There are 2560 in Phuket which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Phuket are Candy House, East Brother Inn 普吉岛东哥客栈, Villa Beyond, Seductive Sunset Villa Patong A6, Baan Wanicha Bed and Breakfast Resort, Wings Villa (Hall 32). You can see all the hotels in Phuket here

What are the things to do in Phuket?

The top things to do in Phuket are Patong Beach, Bangla Road, Big Buddha, Kata Noi Beach, Phuket Weekend Night Market, Karon View Point. You can see all the places to visit in Phuket here

What are the places near Phuket?

The top places near to Phuket are Krabi which is 64 km from Phuket, Phi phi islands which is located 52 km from Phuket, Khao lak which is located 84 km from Phuket, Surat thani which is located 170 km from Phuket, Koh samui which is located 253 km from Phuket

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