Phuket, known as a pearl in the Andaman Sea, you’re sure to find some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. It has become the most popular island in Thailand, and is easily accessible to fly to directly form some countries, or a short domestic flight from the capital Bangkok.
The island is home to luxury resorts and hotels, and busy markets where you can find all your favourite fake brand goods, and plenty of nightclubs and bars with the cheapest beer and cocktails. The island is perfect for everyone from families, couples, friends, and those who are seeking a relaxing trip by the beach.
BEST TIME OF YEAR:
The best time to visit Phuket is in the dry season, from November to February to avoid the monsoon season where there is tropical storms and torrential rainfall. However if you are willing to risk your luck, and don’t care too much about the rainfall and cloudy days, then going between march and October will be a lot cheaper for you, and less crowded.
WHAT TO DO:
From laying by the beach, to visiting local markets, to island hopping and partying, the activities and things to do in Phuket are endless and you’re bound to be entertained all day long.
Soak up the culture and indulge in some of the most amazing Thai food i’ve ever eaten. It’s super cheap, traditional and simply delicious. From green curries, Pad Thai, and green papaya salad, you will definitely not go hungry here.
I highly recommend a day trip to Phi Phi island by speedboat if you don’t have enough time to stay on the island. This was one of my favourite day trips as we got to see some of the most beautiful, untouched landscapes in the world. Phi Phi island consists of two islands, Phi Phi Don, where all the accommodation and restaurants are, and Phi Phi Leh which is the most beautiful out of the two, and home to Maya beach, which became famous after the Leonardo DiCaprio Hollywood movie “The Beach”.
If you have an opportunity to hire a motorbike, definitely do a day trip to see the beaches like kata, Kamala and Karon. These beaches and towns are stunning, and is an amazing motor bike ride to get to. These small towns are slightly less busy from Patong, and is a great escape from all the crowds.
Freedom Beach is an exclusive hidden gem in Phuket. It’s a 300m white sand beach surrounded by hills and jungle. It is a bit of a struggle to get to, but once you’re there, it’s totally worth the trip and money. Spend the entire day here, bring food and snacks, sunscreen and you’re set for a day of sun-baking, snorkelling, beach volleyball and relaxation. The best and easiest way to get there is by longtail boat, leaving from the port in Phuket. If you negotiate with the captain you’ll be able to get a cheap deal like we did, around 1000 baht for 2 people, however they’ll try charge you 1,500 baht.
Bangla Road is a must see. You will be blown out of your mind what goes on in this street. I highly recommend walking down the street at night, as that’s when the street really comes alive. With neon lights, pingpong shows (you can search that one up yourself), bars and one of the most famous clubs in the world Illuzion, this street is insane. Walking down the street was enough for us, but if you’re into all that, then go for it!
Another fun thing to do is to visit some of the local markets for some great deals for souvenirs and local goods. You can get virtually anything from the markets, I bought some beautiful coconut bowls that I use for Açai bowls, buddha bowls and breakfast bowls, and I love them!
If you love sunsets, wait till you see the sunset over patong beach. It is so beautiful and sets directly on the beach! Watch the sunset with some drinks and a picnic one night, and you won’t regret it!
GETTING AROUND PHUKET:
I highly recommend hiring a motorbike or a scooter as it’s the cheapest and best way to travel around from place to place, and allow you to see so much more than if you were in a tuk tuk or taxi. We discovered so many amazing hidden places while riding around on them, and it was so much fun as well! They’re only about 300 – 400 baht for 24 hours, making them cheaper than 1 tuk tuk ride for 15 minutes. However, there are a few things you must be careful of when riding around on the motorbikes.
First of all, hire them from your resort or hotel, or ask your hotel where it’s safe to hire one from. There are lots of locals on the street, who ask you for your passport (they say copies aren’t allowed) and they hold onto it until you are finished. This is very unsafe and I don’t recommend anyone doing this.
Ensure you are a competent driver before you ride, as Thailand barely have any road rules and drivers can be unpredictable. I was lucky enough that my boyfriend has experience in riding motorbikes so we were fine, but I’ve heard stories of people having accidents, and their insurance hasn’t covered them with hospital fees.
ALWAYS wear a helmet, as my boyfriend and I got pulled over by the police (we were wearing helmets) but we looked around us, and all the others who had been pulled over were white foreigners. We were asked for our licence and luckily we had a sheet of paper from the place we hired the bike from. Always ask for a slip of paper of confirmation from the hiring place, as you will need to present to police if they ask. Fortunately, we were off the hook, however many white foreigners who had been pulled over were fined as didn’t have helmets, or not able to show evidence of a licence or paper like we had.
However, if you aren’t comfortable riding a motorbike, you’re better to be safer than sorry, and use tuk tuks. Tuk tuks are the local way of getting around, and are 3 wheeled vehicles where you pay 200 – 500 baht, depending on where you are going. They are cheaper than taxis, and are easy to find.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you love the action, and love a good nightlife, then Patong is for you. Located directly across from the beach, and full of atmosphere, this place really does not stop. Here you will find an array of shops and markets, restaurants and luxury resorts. Patong is most definitely going to keep you busy with all it has to offer, and you are guaranteed to be entertained. It is also home to the famous Bangla road, where all the action takes place after the sun sets in Phuket.
If you want a slightly less busy and full on experience, Kata, Karon, and Kamala are a lot more relaxing. With beautiful white sand beaches that run for miles, you can be sure to sit back and enjoy the incredible scenery. Despite being less busy than Patong, there is still plenty going on to keep you entertained, with a number of delicious restaurants and fun bars.
I hope this blog post has helped with planning your trip to Phuket, or inspired you to visit this fun island in Thailand!!