Phuket – About Phuket in Thailand

Ask an experienced traveler what the name Phuket means to them and you’ll hear comments like “fun in the sun” or “a big beautiful island with the best of everything Thailand has to offer.” Thailand’s largest island is also one of its best known and most popular tourist destinations. Sitting off the west coast of Southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Phuket has weather that is warm to hot all year round. Even Southeast Asia’s famous monsoon season, which lasts from summer to early fall in Phuket, need not disturb your vacation plans, as rains generally fall only in the evening, leaving the daytime hours sunny and clear. The landscape resembles a tropical paradise with lush thick greenery and tall trees flanking sandy beaches lapped by turquoise waves.

Phuket Phuket

A Relaxing Place by the Sea

Most visitors to this island love the water and plan to spend a good part of their day in, on or next to it. Patong Beach is one of the favorite spots, especially for young singles, with a 3000 meter beach (combined with a lively night life after the sun goes down). Families and couples may be happier with the quieter Karon Beach, which is also particularly beloved by Scandinavian tourists. Another relatively low key option is Kata Beach, just a few kilometers south of Karon, which has a lovely beach fringed with palm trees as well as a good selection of shops and mini markets. Kamala Beach, on Phuket’s west coast north of Patong, is a relaxed and relaxing seaside spot.

Swimming in the balmy Andaman Sea is delightful in and of itself, but why not add to your pleasure by donning snorkeling gear to explore some of Phuket’s amazing coral reefs? Free diving off the beach is another option. You may enjoy organized half or full day speed boat outings for snorkeling or free diving near the small islands off the coast of Phuket. Snuba diving is a new and easier version of scuba diving, enjoyable even for children. Equipment rental and professional instruction are available for any of these water sports at a reasonable cost. Boating fans may prefer to spend their time sailing, yachting or sea canoeing; be sure to visit Chalong Bay, which offers yacht mooring, sailing races and a wide assortment of day trips by boat.

So much good press has been given to the beach life on Phuket that you may be surprised to hear that there is a host of on land attractions awaiting as well. Explore the island’s verdant hills and tropical rain forest with a guided nature walk or jungle trek. For a truly exotic activity, plan to view the amazing scenery from the vantage point of an elephant’s back. Elephant treks are very popular and more comfortable than they might sound, as you will be sitting in a chair like contraption perched atop your pachyderm. Gorgeous waterfalls are a stunning sight on Phuket and good for a quick cooling splash in the middle of a tropical day. You’ll find various look out points where you can admire the striking views.

Phuket i Thailand Thailand,  Phuket

Unique Entertainment

For a change of pace, wander through the quaint byways of Old Phuket Town. It presents a charming blend of Chinese and colonial architecture. Buddhist temples, as everywhere in Thailand, provide a unique glimpse into the culture of this exotic country. (Please remember to dress modestly – no shorts for either gender! – and take off your shoes before entering one of these sacred sites.) Boat Plaza is a great place for family fun of all sorts. Try pedal boating on its manmade lake, water balling, riding in a horse drawn carriage or a water buffalo cart or art or yoga classes. Great for all ages. Shopping opportunities abound; you can purchase anything from pearls to bespoke suits to knick-knacks and souvenirs.

Gourmets and just plain hungry folks will have a great time food wise in Phuket. Of course Asian cuisine abounds –pad thai noodles, curry, stir fry, sticky rice – together with luscious tropical fruit, either raw or sautéed into fritters. But you will also have an abundant choice of Western style food, if you so desire. After dinner, sample some of Phuket’s famed night life. Bangla Road in Patong has the liveliest – and some say the most disreputable. Pick and choose to find the scene that suits you best. Another evening activity is the extravagant FantaSea show, a combination circus, stage show and cultural theme park, starring a team of trained elephants.

For accommodation, all the popular beaches offer an assortment of spots to lay your weary head. Hotels range from high class to low budget. Reserve in advance if you would like to stay in the more popular ones, especially if you will be traveling between November and May, the peak tourist season. If you are planning a long stay at minimal cost, small furnished houses can be rented quite cheaply. Those at the upper end of the economic scale can choose to rent a private villa. And should it turn out that you fall so in love with Phuket you want a permanent pied a terre on the island, there is a booming real estate business, marketing luxury properties.

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