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Flights to Phuket
Phuket International Airport is situated 32 kilometres from Phuket City on the northeast of the island between Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches. It has two terminals one for domestic and one for international flights. Despite being Thailand’s second busiest airport many long haul flights do not land direct and come via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. There are domestic connections to Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
Phuket Must See
Phuket has long been attracting tourists and is well versed in putting on a good show for all who visit. Her restaurants serve up exotic Thai delights alongside more familiar western dishes with Thai beer and whiskey not to be missed. What makes Phuket such a popular destination – beaches aside – is her variety of attractions and locations.
Patong is probably Phuket’s most notorious spot, famed for ladyboy cabaret shows, neon lit streets and fast-paced environment where fun is the main pre-occupation. Patong’s beach is tropical and thriving, sun-beds, watersports, volleyball nets, beach vendors and more line this sandy stretch. The best nightlife is also found here. Karon and Kata are her nearest neighbours offering a quieter slice of tropical live with equally impressive slightly quieter beaches, whilst upmarket Surin attracts a trendy young crowd.
In complete contrast, ancient Sino-Portuguese shop houses line the streets of Phuket old town in varying guises. Many have been completely restored to their former glory whilst others retain an authentic aged feel. It’s definitely worth a visit to learn more about the history of Phuket and to also meet the locals and soak up genuine Thai culture.
Day tours to offshore islands is a ‘must-do’ activity. The Phi Phi islands are a gorgeous, with their karst cliffs and spectacular beaches. Similar scenery is found at Krabi and Railay Beach in a nearby province, less than an hour away by speedboat. And then there is the remarkable Pha Nga bay, with the best examples of karst seascapes, including James Bond Island. Diviing is beat at the remote Similan Islands.
There are plenty of companies catering to adventure sports enthusiast including bungy jumping, go karting and white water rafting. Diving is definitely recommended for all levels and those looking for a special dive experience would be well advised to visit the Similan Islands which can be done as a day trip. Surfers are well catered for at Kata, Kamala and Kalim beaches with season starting in May. Off the water Thai Boxing can be watched as a spectator sport or you can join in and learn the moves at one of the many training camps.
Trekking with Elephants
More leisurely tourist attractions include Elephant trekking which is available across Phuket and participating in a Thai cooking class. The cooking classes usually include a visit to a local market to pick up the fresh ingredients first. Also not to be missed is the Big Buddha which stands at 45 metres high and is made from white Burmese marble. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Phuket making it a great place to visit a glittering temple such as Wat Chalong.
Phuket: Sensational November to March
A glorious technicolour sunset is never far away in Phuket with dry, hot weather guaranteed most of the year. The best time to visit is from November to March when temperatures range from 24-32C, April and May are the hottest months with rain arriving in September until October. Nevertheless the sun usually makes an appearance between any showers which is when you should head to one of Phuket’s waterfalls and catch them in full glory.
December High Season
Flight and hotel prices will rise during the high season especially in December which is the busiest month of the year. If you visit Phuket from May through to October you will be pleasantly surprised to discover off season rates when prices can drop by as much as 50%. Flight prices usually also fall considerably during this time.
During high season you might find Phuket a bit too crowded in the main tourist spots of Patong, Karon and Kata this makes it an ideal opportunity to take a drive over to Krabi or jump on a boat to one of the many neighbouring islands and really get away from it all. There are plenty of islands dotted in Phang Nga bay between Phuket and Krabi some of which are off limits during low season due to the sea being rougher at that time.
Phuket is home to some world-class marinas, four at the last count, where you can hire a yacht with or without skipper. Motor boats and sailing yachts are all available and best taken out during high season when the seas are flatter and therefore more enjoyable. Yachts can be booked by the day or longer and December sees the arrival of the Kings Cup Regatta race, an excellent time to be in Phuket and join in the daily sailing and nightly parties.
Another great time to be in Phuket is over Thai New Year also known as Songkran which takes place in April every year. Water is thrown in celebration as part of a cleansing ritual, during this time destinations such as Patong turn into one big water fight for a day or two. Alternatively visit in October when the rains bring cooler weather and the more interesting vegetarian festival to the Island.
Why Go to Phuket?
- Snorkelling and scuba diving
- Elephant tours
- Chilling on the beach
Today's currency rate
PHP 1.00 = THB 0.618
Temperature average in July
25.1 - 32°C
Rainfall average in July
Cheapest time to fly to Phuket (HKT)
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