What comes to your mind when you think about sea, sun and sand in Asia? Especially when you are thinking about the island which offers luxury accommodation, leisure activities and all the modern facilities. Most likely it will be the tropical island of Phuket, one of the most visited touristic destination and southern island of Thailand. Every year Phuket welcomes millions of tourists because of its diversifications and read on as I share my Top 10 Tips for enjoying everything this island has to offer.
Phuket offers economic to luxury accommodation for travelers and tourists alike. with a range of hotels and resorts, Guesthouse, Villas and Bungalows, you can be located in the heart of the action in a busy resort such as Patong or far away from the noise in a resort like our signature Thavorn Beach Village & Spa situated on the tranquil Nakalay Bay. Travelers have a choice of accommodation based on their preference, whether that be for families, honeymooners, Backpackers, relaxation and nature lovers and those who will spend all of their time beach side. Phuket town, Patong, Kamala, Karon, Surin and surrounding areas such as Krabi offer you various types of accommodations to suit all budgets and requirements.
Phuket Island has many stunning and romantic white sand beaches. There are over 20 beaches around the island some of them in the south are quite crowded like Patong and Kata while the north beaches of Mai Khao are virtually deserted and offer freedom and tranquility. There is lots of action to be enjoyed at Patong beach, Karon beach, Kata beach, Surin Beach and Kamala beach while lesser well known gems such as Freedom beach, Paradise Beach, Nakalay Bay and Laem Singh are beaches with a more relaxed vibe, but still have the modern amenities and places to buy delicious food and cold beers.
Thailand have tropical weather with a tropical Monsoon roughly divided into 2 seasons, the Dry Season Nov – April and the Wet Season May – October. The best time to visit is High Season from November to March, when weather is cooler, but still beautiful and hot. This is the perfect weather for snorkeling, diving, Jet ski and relaxing on the beach getting a sun tan with your favorite cocktails. Monsoon, doesn’t matter you can relax with the traditional massage or spas which can be found in hotel or in city centre. Don’t be put off by the name ‘Rainy Season’ as the weather can still be hot and sunny most days with a late afternoon downpour. You can also take advantage of discounted room rates during this season.
4. Adventurous Tours
A visit to Phi Phi Island, Phang Nga(Islands of jutting limestones), James Bond Island and jungle safari can be once in a life time experiences and a fantastic adventure.
It is a chance to see the hidden treasures of Phuket and its surrounding beauties. A One day tour is not enough to discover all these things. The More you stay here in Phuket, the more you can discover and make your holiday truly memorable.
5. Visit the Chinese Temples or get familiar with Thai food
Thailand is well known for its warm hospitality. Once you enter Thailand you will feel it is your second home. People are very welcoming here and with this you can get into Thai tradition and social life. Where you can learn how to cook Thai foods and learn some general words which might be useful during your trip in Thailand. Temples and monasteries are spread all over the island and a traveler can reach these with easy transportation such as taxi, motorbike or tuk-tuk. These temples will give you a fabulous insight into Thai culture and they are stunningly beautiful decorated in dazzling, rich colours.
6. Transportation / Getting Around
Taxis and Tuk Tuk are widespread all over the island. Travelers can get all this transport from the Phuket International Airport to the gate of their hotel. This airport receives domestic flights and international flights. Travelers can hire taxis or bikes to visit the desirable places around the island. Cars and tuk tuks can be used for getting around Phuket, but if you want to explore a lot more by yourself then hiring a motor bike will be cheaper a cheaper option and you can stop where ever you like.
7. Festivals and Special events
You will be able to experience and take part in some important festivals during your stay in Phuket. The Phuket Vegetarian festival (Sept-Oct), Loy kratong (Nov) which is based on the full moon Night when local people worship the god of water, The King’s birthday (Dec) the Queens’s birthday (Aug), Songkran, Thai New year which involves the world’s biggest water fight (April) and Chinese New Year (jan) are some events which are celebrated nationwide.
While talking about nightlife in Phuket, the lively beach resort of Patong springs to mind. It is Patong where you can find the world famous Bangla Road with beer bars, Nightclubs, pubs and massage centre where you can enjoy your time with friends and families. Street stalls are available to buy some souvenirs or can try the local food from the street vendors, which will cost you very little money. Internationals restaurants can be found offering top class thai and cuisines from around the world as well as the best locally caught seafood. With karaoke, cabaret, Vegas strip style shows and live band performances you will never be short of entertainment is this vibrant resort.
Are you thinking about shopping in Phuket? Phuket Town or Patong can be the first or primary choice with big shopping complexes like: Juncylon and Central Festival. Local Night Markets and small stores can be found in different corners of the island where you can buy souvenirs and some other desirable things. In Big markets like Juncylon and Central Festivals goods can be found with famous brands which you might be seeking for. Night Markets in Patong and Phuket Town, with 100 of small stalls offering you souvenirs, local Thai snacks and some other daily grocery.
10. Extra Activities
On your holiday in Phuket it is up to you how you want to entertain yourself. Simon Cabret, Fantasia, Phuket Zoo, Butterfly Park, Monkey school, Water Park and Elephant riding are just some of the activities to make your stay in Phuket enjoyable. Phuket has got many many other exciting activities for travelers, whether you are visiting with your family, with friends or as a couple such as fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling, island hopping, white water rapids or good old fashioned lounging on the beach or by the pool.
And do not forget your smile.
By Ranjan Khoteja, Intern, Thavorn Hotels and Resorts
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Have you been to Phuket? What other great tips would you recommend?
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