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Holidays in Phuket Information

   
General

Phuket is Thailands major Island. It is 48 km in length, 21 km at its widest, and is located 860 kilometers south of Bangkok.

Phuket is on the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coastline. Phuket's has become one of the The World’s Top Destinations, in January 2009 The New York Times voted Phuket "Luxury Destination of the Year".

Phuket Island is Thailand's wealthiest province with a huge economy revolving around Patong beach.

Phuket has had it's problems the biggest being the 2004 Tsunami, however in true Thai tradition Phuket has fully recovered from the destruction to it's west coast with now hardly any signs of natural destruction, of course for many the emotional effect of this catastrophe remains.

Phuket beaches are made up of it's poular visitor destinations along it's West Coast, Karon, Kata, Surin Kamala, Bang tao and of course Patong Beach and is surrounded by it's central administration and business focal point, Phuket Town, with it's International Airport located inside an hour of most destinations.

The majority of the Phuket Nightlife revolves around Patong Beach although other areas are plenty of "entertainment" with many open bars and "fun" to be had.

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Phuket Beaches

The major beaches from north to south are:

  • Mai Khao (Sai Kaeo) - This is the most northern of Phuket's beaches, just off the airport. You can locate the magnificently long and endless stretch of powder sandy beach. There are negligible tourist facilities, with the exception of the JW Marriott Resort and Sala Phuket.
  • Nai Thon and Nai Yang - A tranquil beach area that is very different from the other beaches, very famous among locals. Here the quite beach is backed by tall casuarinas trees and forest which is part of Sirinath National Park, and Olive Sea Turtle Sanctuary. With the very mild current and relaxing environments, this is an ideal place for a quiet peaceful rest under the sun or take in a swim or snorkle.
  • Bang Thao (Laguna Beach) - Bang Tao Beach is home to a number of luxurious resorts, villas, and The Laguna complex. This extensive white beach is situated just a few minutes away from the town of Cherng Talay, native popular spot. People still earn their living by fishing, farming and rubber tapping. The cool sea breeze makes Bang Tao Beach very fashionable for windsurfing, sailing and other water sport activities.
  • Surin and Pansea Beach - An up-and-coming upmarket destination
  • Laem Sing - The name means Lion Point in English in this case, Laem Sing
    This scenic Laem Sing Beach is a very tiny secluded beach located near Surin Beach with rock-strewn cape surrounded. To reach this beach, visitors can ask consent to cut through a private road, or take a diversion along the hillside to the shoreline.
  • Kamala Beach - It takes a 10-minute drive between Patong Beach to Kamala Beach in Phuket. One of the largely picturesque beach’s tucked in a valley and a well-enclosed bay with tropical rain forested views. Scenery is impressive, water is translucent and sand is white. Kamala is home of the prime night attraction, Phuket FantaSea entertainment complex on the northern end. This is where you can enjoy a delicious dinner and dazzling nightly stage performance. Kamala is pefect for a young family vacation.
  • Kalim Beach - A unimportant beach just to the north of Patong and birthplace to many of the surfing competitions now being staged on Phuket.
  • Patong Beach - The most poignant symbols of development and crowded beach in Phuket, a victim of it’s own success.. This is the busiest area of terrible concentration of nightlife activities, a tourist hub, hundreds of restaurant’s and shops. A public watching mecca the wicked beach of over 3 kms in length is a must visit. You always find something to talk about at Patong Beach. The deck chairs and umbrellas are presented almost all around the beaches, offering an ideal place to relax and soak up the sun with the pleasant cool sea breeze. In brief, there are a significant number of shops and nightlife hubs, as well as other entertainment and recreational activities. Without a doubt, if you are looking for a remote gateway, you won't find it in Patong.
  • Karon Beaches - Karon is a energetic beach town to the south of Patong Beach Phuket. With the long array of fine white sand and never feels overcrowded, many tourist's choose here instead of Phuket accommodation, economy guesthouses, and restaurants are adequate. Moreover, the beach is always fairly undisturbed comparing to Patong. Please take extra care when swimming here and do not swim when red flags are flying.
  • Kata Beach - A surfer's paradise on the stunning bay, lies on the southern part of the Karon Beach, Phuket. It offers clear sparkling waters, pure sands, beautiful scenery, and relaxed surroundings with both northern and southern ends with a few hotels and resorts. Kata is great ideal for family vacation’s or couple holiday’s. There are quite a number of shops, restaurants and pubs around Kata Centre. If you are planning a trip to Phuket - Thailand, Kata is perhaps the best compromise connecting charming nature and lovely lively surroundings.
    Note that don't miss the King's Cup Sailing Regatta if you are planning to visit Phuket in December.
  • Nai Han, Ya Nui and Ao Sen - Near Phuket's southernmost tip is picturesque and stunning Nai Harn Beach. Accommodation here is restricted but the beach is relaxed to get to from Kata and Karon. This fronts a lagoon that is either faced to the clear water or closed off by a sandy bunger, depending on the season. A small temple relatively keeps the Nai Harn undeveloped, while Le Meridien Phuket Yacht Club is set its striking location on the northern side. You can always find the upmarket housing development and a few resident cuisine and convenient stores, just 100 metres off the beach.
  • Rawai, Mittraphap and Laem Ka - Rawai Beach is located on the south-eastern side of Phuket. Although beach in not a satisfactory idea for swimming due to shallow water many long tail boats anchored off the shore, it is fashionable and a nice destination to picnic under the shade of big trees and a load of seafood restaurants can be found here. There is a sea-gypsy village located on the eastern edge of the beach which has a small fish market. Besides, you can find a long-tail boat service here to take you away to the smaller surrounding islands.
  • Cape Panwa - Ideal for visitors seeking to get away from it all, journey to peace and relaxation. Cape Panwa is located to the Phuket's southern tip where grassy hills and tropical gardens make sensational views of the Andaman Sea.
 

 

 

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Phuket Islands

There are dozens of small islands (ko) between Phuket and Krabi. The following have accommodation:

  • Ko Bon — 10 minutes from Rawai, an ideal island for a day of snorkeling and relaxing.
  • Ko Hae (Coral Island) — 15 minutes by speedboat from Chalong Bay, accessible all year.
  • Ko Kai
  • Ko Lon — quiet, mostly Muslim island with a few bungalows
  • Ko Mai Thon — gorgeous little island with only one (expensive) place to stay
  • Ko Maphrao (Coconut Island)
  • Ko Racha (Ko Raya) — consists of two islands (Yai and Noi), popular with scuba divers.
  • Ko Sire (Ko Si Le) — Sea Gypsy colony, connected to the mainland by a causeway
  • Ko Yao — two islands halfway to Krabi, with four upmarket resorts
 

 

 

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Festivals and Events

January through February
Apart from the famous New Year celebration held at key beaches around Phuket Island, Chinese New Year comes in Febuary or around the end of January, according to Chinese calender. Phuket Town puts on a sign of boisterous, firecrackers, colorful dragon parades, Chinese live music and your favorite Chinese food stalls.

April

The Songkran festival is the most chaotic festival in the Thailand, it is the start of Thai New Year and all-around general water splashing. The celebration lasts from the 13th to 15th April each year, longer in some provinces. Expect to get wet and lots of fun! From the sprinkling of water, water guns, buckets, hoses and everything else that can do water fighting onto someone, everybody gets soaking wet with the hottest climate of the year. This has to be one of the friendliest, though wet and refreshing, getting wet all over and a good way to make new friends.

Tip Keep cameras and other electronic devices protected if you participate in Songkran, no complaint for any compensation! It's not advisable to drive a motorcycle for the duration of this festival.

October
A colorful Vegetarian Festival event held over a nine day period in near the beginning October is celebrated in around Phuket Town only. For this week extensive celebration, Chinese Buddhists believe that abstinence from any meats and eat only vegetarian food will enhance them in first-class wellbeing and harmony of mind. They are faithfully on vegetarian diet, thinking and living clean with praying to the Nine Emperor Gods (Kiu Ong Lah) for a nine-day interval.

Some of the the most exciting parts of the Vegetarian Festival ceremonies and processions, which are both remarkable and shocking. Invoking the gods by self-mortification as mediums of the gods is accomplished. During these celebrations, participants parade through the streets in Phuket Town, stick in their cheeks and body with various items, such as bicycle wheels, knives, skewers, spears and the like. The belief is to eradicate evil spirits from the community. Besides, there are several activities performed, such as fire-walking, knife-bladed ladder climbing and hot-oil bathing. Check the local information at the moment for more information. Vegetarian foods sold nearby are well worth trying.

November
The romantic festival not to be missed. Thailand has many rivers around the nation, some of them are sensational, beautiful and magical. In November's full moon, the Loi Krathong Festival is objective to pay the respect to the goddess of rivers and waterways. Loy Krathong is celebrated all over the country, min-floats (kratong) are made from banana trunks, resembling with flowers, incense sticks and candles. This symbolizes the washing away of troubles, sins and a call for a good luck and fortunes. For Phuket Island, as the sun dips below and the moon rises instead in the evening, public converge around the beautiful beaches all over the island to let loose their kratongs.

 

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GETTING HERE    

By plane The compact Phuket International Airport (IATA:HKT) ICAO:VTSP) is located in the north of the island, and is Thailand's second largest hub, second only to Bangkok. There are very frequent flights to/from Bangkok as well as direct flights to many other airports in the region, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and direct charters to Europe>and Australia in the high season

By train
There are no direct train services to Phuket. Travellers by train must get off at Phun Phin railway station in Surat Thani and continue for another 5 hours by regular bus to Phuket. See Surat Thani or details.

By bus
Buses to mainland destinations including Bangkok, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong , Satun, Sungai Kolok and Surat Thani use the BKS terminal off Thanon Phang Nga in Phuket Town.

The most reliable buses from Bangkok are the public BKS buses from the Southern Bus Terminal to Phuket. The journey takes 13 hours. There are also 2 private bus companies, Phuket Travel Tour and Phuket Central Tour. Khao San Road operations have a bad reputation for theft, often turn out to include a "surprise" transfer to a minibus at Surat Thani, and are best avoided.

From Phuket bus terminal to your final destination, you can take a motorcycle taxi, tuk-tuk, meter-taxi, or bus. A motorcycle taxi into Phuket Town will be about 10-20 baht; to most beaches 100-200 baht (negotiable). Note negotiate fares before travelling and watch out for Taxi's that do not have either a meter or a green number plate.

By car
Phuket is directly connected to the mainland by the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge. From Bangkok, take Highway 4 through Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, thence through Ranong province’s Kra Buri and Kapoe districts, Phang-nga province’s Takua Pa and Thai Muang districts and onto Phuket island. The total distance is 862 kilometres.

By boat
Ferry services connect from Rassada Port in Phuket Town to Ko Phi Phi and on to Krabi on the mainland twice a day, taking 90 minutes and costing 350/650 baht one-way/return, for each leg. It's usually a pleasant ride, but can be rather bumpy when it's windy.

There are also speedboats to Ko Racha(2 hours), the Similan Islands (about 3 hours) and other islands in the high season only. Boats and yachts can be chartered at Chalong Bay, the Boot Lagoon, the Yacht Haven and Royal Phuket Marina.

 

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GETTING AROUND    
By Song Taew

The most popular form of transport for getting around Phuket are Song Taew or Tuk Tuk. For those who stay in Patong, Kata and Karon, a majority of hotels are located close proximity to the beach, outlets, entertainment, restaurants and shopping centres, which easily to reach on foot.

By Tuk Tuk

Tuk-Tuks, small red taxi-trucks with open sides, are a common mode of transport for any trips at any durations and times. It can be hailed anywhere along the streets or you can find them parked waiting for passengers. The price is always negotiable so please agree on destination and fare before you climb in. In some areas, particular in Patong, there are a number of Tuk Tuk driver's that are unpleasant, inadequate, overpriced and impolite. If you ask them for round trip transfers, you must pay them when you journey end's.

By Motorcycle

Motorcycle taxis are everywhere. They dress in a green, red or yellow numbered vests, and usually provide the short trip services. Again it is wise to ask the price before taking them. A journey anywhere within the areas of one town is 20-50 Baht, but can cost more, agree before you start.

However you get around you will find lots of transport information within Phuket Resorts.

 

 

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