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Everything you should know about Thailand | Phuket

by CmanTang 23 days ago in travel lists

Travel Guide

Everything you should know about Thailand | Phuket
Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Located in southern Thailand, Phuket is Thailand's largest and most developed island. Phuket has a profound history and culture, more than 500 years ago was a tin mining base, Thailand's main tourist destination. The island's crystal clear blue waters and many beautiful beaches, mainly in the western waters, are rich in water activities, and diving enthusiasts cannot miss the beauty of the underwater scenery.

Recommended travel time

November-April is the best time to travel to Phuket.

November-April: It is the best time to visit Phuket with the best temperatures and not too much sun. The most beautiful Similan National Park near Phuket is also open during this time and the Songkran Festival (Water Festival), which Thailand celebrates from April 13-15, is not to be missed. The Songkran Festival is a must-see, but the hotel and itinerary rates go up by about 15% during this period.

May-October: Phuket's rainy season is also the slowest time to travel and locals rarely travel during this period, especially from June to August when it rains almost every day, and in September there is an ascetic "Vegetarian Festival" on Phuket for a tropical experience.

Getting there

Phuket International Airport (PIA): Located on Naiyang Beach in the north of Phuket, the airport is small, with fast-food restaurants, smoking rooms, and duty-free shops in the international departure waiting area, and no luxury brand boutiques. There are also regular flights to Phuket from Songkhla, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.

Attractions

Racha Yai Island

"Racha" means "Emperor" in the local language. Once the exclusive vacation island of the Thai royal family, Racha Racha Island offers a wide and expansive sea view, as well as majestic and rugged mountain scenery and small inland lakes, all of which remain unspoiled and beautiful.

There are five small beaches on the island: Ter Bay and Lha Bay in the east, Kon Kare Bay in the southeast, Patok Bay in the west, and Siam Bay in the north, where there is no need for the hustle and bustle of Phuket or the congestion of Bangkok.

Royal Island is a great place to snorkel, the water temperature is right, the waves are small, the beach line is long, and the fish you can snorkel vary from place to place on the island. After snorkeling, explore the island's natural tropical island scenery and then return to Phuket for the evening. If you go diving, you can avoid the rainy season and see a more beautiful underwater world. The island's best beach for snorkeling is Kon Kare Bay, and the view is better in the afternoon when the sun is shining.

Patong Beach

Patong Beach is one of the more famous and charming beaches in Phuket, which is located on the west coast of Phuket, about 15 kilometers from Phuket Town, horseshoe-shaped, soft sand, clear water, fine waves, and wind, are the island's more lively beaches.

Patong Beach, south and north of the seabed are coral reefs, colorful. Here you can see the sea, you can experience a variety of exciting water sports, you can eat the legendary seafood stalls.

In addition to this lively beach, the beach road in Patong is home to most of Phuket's hotels, resorts, shopping malls, restaurants, and a variety of entertainment and commercial facilities, all decorated in their distinctive style. Also, the streets along the beach are strolled with traditional Thai market stalls selling food, gadgets, and other items. All your food and drink needs are completely catered for.

If you can't get enough of the beach, head to the famous Bang La Road pedestrian street, and enjoy the colorful nightlife of the bars. Order a simple drink and enjoy a night out chatting with strangers, checking out the nightlife of foreigners, and enjoying the sea breeze.

Karon Beach

Karen Beach is located on Phuket's west coast, south of Patong Beach and north of Kata Beach. Compared to Patong Beach, the coastline here is longer and more open, the water is clearer and the sand is softer. Strolling along the nearly 4-kilometer-long coastline while enjoying the sea view is very relaxing.

Although there is a beautiful sea view, the sea is rough and the waves are only moderate from December to April, making it suitable for swimming. During the rainy season from May-October, however, you should be extra careful and avoid activities near the beach if red warning flags are placed on the area, indicating that there will be rough seas during this time.

There are not many water activities at Karen Beach and some people come to surf on the higher waves. However, visitors mostly play in the water, sunbathe, or just read or nap. In the evening, many tourists and locals come for a stroll along the beach, waiting for the sun to set.

Along the beach or in the surrounding public areas you can find many small restaurants, convenience stores, and in the evening there is a night market where you can eat local food and fresh seafood.

There is a small art community near the beach that is home to many studios and galleries built by Thai painters, so feel free to wander around and you might be pleasantly surprised. The heart of Karen's nightlife is on Luang Poh Chuan Road, where there are many bars and restaurants just a few minutes' walks from the south end of the beach.

Kata Beach

Located south of Patong and Karun, it has 2 beautiful bays in a W shape, nicknamed Big Kata and Little Kata by the locals. It attracts many tourists who like quiet with its calm and clear waters, suitable for relaxation and diving. It is a postcard view of Phuket and one of the famous spots to watch the sunset. From April to November each year, the surf conditions are perfect for surfing and many surfers can be seen here.

The Similan Islands

"Similan" means "nine" in Malay, and the Similan Archipelago refers to the nine islands that make Thailand's waters ideal for diving. The Similan Islands are also a national park and in 2014 the park was expanded to include Koh Bon and Koh Tachai, making the park 11 islands.

The islands are tranquil tropical archipelagos, all untouched and unspoiled, and present a breathtaking display of raw, unadulterated natural beauty. A wide variety of marine life can be found beneath the islands, making it one of the top ten diving destinations in the world for diving enthusiasts. The Similan Islands cater to all levels of divers, with depths ranging from 2 meters to 30 meters. There are three types of accommodation on the islands: tents, fan houses, and air-conditioned cabins. If you are not seasick, staying on a yacht is a great experience. The island is open from November to April every year, so be aware of the travel time and no shoes are allowed on the island.

Coral Island

Coral Island is located in the southeastern part of Phuket, 9 km from Phuket. The island is about 3 kilometers long from east to west but only about 800 meters wide from south to north. Coral Island is named for the rich coral ecology and is surrounded by a variety of colorful coral reefs.

It is a beautiful place to experience all kinds of water sports, with divers and parachutists everywhere, and many more sunbathers.

Apart from the fishing villages, much of the island is covered in jungle, which has remained unchanged for many years. Coral Island has two long white sandy beaches, one at Banana Beach and one at Long Beach, which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Also popular are rides such as elephant rides and underwater walks.

Phuket Town

Phuket Town is located in the southeast of Phuket Island and is the capital of Phuket Province. On both sides of the street, there are many gift shops, antique shops, galleries, bars, cafes, etc., strolling tired of can casually find a sit, a nap, quite the atmosphere, and mood. Sitting in the corner of the cafe, you can chat with friends, you can also laze around and enjoy the street scene, very comfortable. The town has many old buildings with Chinese and Portuguese characteristics, preserving the colonial atmosphere of the past when trade and commerce were flourishing.

Wat Chalong

Chalong Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Phuket, located in the central part of the island. It is a unique blend of various Thai architectural styles and houses two revered statues of holy monks.

Phuket Big Buddha

The Phuket Big Buddha is not far from Chalong Temple, located on a hilltop near Chalong Bay, about 10 km from Phuket Town. It is a seated Buddha statue made of Burmese white marble facing Phang Nga Bay to the east and the Andaman Sea at its back. As the Buddha sits atop the highest point in Phuket, the Southwest Peak, it can be seen from many parts of Phuket.

Entertainment

water sports

Apart from snorkeling and lying on the beach in the sun, there is a wide variety of water activities for most people on the island, including deep diving, underwater walking, parasailing, banana boating, and jet skiing. Phuket's major beaches generally have several locals offering water sports, with two of the more concentrated locations being Patong Beach and Coral Island.

Snorkeling/Diving

Snorkeling is the most popular of all kinds of island destinations, Phuket is no exception, and because the west side of Phuket directly facing the vast Indian Ocean, the water here is cleaner, more diverse fish, coral retention is also better, is the best destination for snorkeling in Thailand. In Phuket to participate in snorkeling, there are mainly Phi Phi Island, Emperor Island and Similan Islands three categories of day trips available, including the most popular Phi Phi Island, line variety; Emperor Island is the closest to Phuket, more convenient; Similan more remote, boat traffic, but the best protection, the most beautiful. Surrounded by the sea on all sides, Phuket's pristine beaches and turquoise waters make it one of the top ten diving destinations in the world, attracting many diving enthusiasts.

Curiosity about the underwater world, which covers 70% of the earth's surface, is attracting more and more people to dive. Phuket is one of the best diving destinations in Thailand, with many quality dive sites, a well-developed dive industry, affordable prices, and excellent service.

Sea Fishing

In the tropical seas, which are rich in produce, a boat trip to the sea is both ancient and modern, in addition to the more popular activities such as snorkeling, water sports, and diving, and that is sea fishing. Similar to the various activities of going out to sea, the dry season from November to April is more suitable for going out to sea, while May to October is more affected by the weather and sometimes you can't go out due to heavy rains and stormy seas. Professional fishing requires a certain level of physical fitness, but most people can participate in experiential fishing, but the boat ride is bumpier, so you can choose according to your physical condition.

Flying Hanuman

Flying Hanuman is Phuket's largest jungle leap zipline, wrapped around an entire mountain, in the rainforest. There are 28 stations throughout the journey, the highest of which overlooks the entire Kathu area. Imagine yourself leaping through the air like a monkey, surrounded by tropical rainforest.

Muay Thai

In Phuket, if you're tired of watching the singing and dancing, tired of the sun and sand, and looking for a little bit of tension and excitement, a blood-pumping Muay Thai fight is the best choice. Thai boxing is a combat sport that originated in Thailand and has been promoted around the world. It is known for its strength and agility, using the body's fists, legs, knees, elbows, and other eight limbs as eight weapons to attack. The Patong area of Phuket is home to two well known Muay Thai gyms and even has some international fighters who come to compete here, guaranteeing you a high standard of Muay Thai.

Nightlife

Phuket is probably the tropical island with the most colorful nightlife, and after participating in activities like snorkeling and jungle jumping during the day, you should take a rest and relax at night. There are plenty of options for nightlife in Phuket other than watching the famous mannequin show or a fierce Muay Thai boxing match. The Fantasy and Siam theatres are traditional Thai cabaret shows for all ages, especially for parents with young children; the Emperor's Show is a bit more indescribable and is for adults only, and bars dot the streets of Patong and Karon with a variety of styles to choose from, so you can sit back and have a drink anytime.

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