As Thailand’s largest island, Phuket continues to charm its visitors with sparkling seas, fine white sands, diverse marine life, and a dynamic town. The island is divided into several regions, each with its own unique characteristic, mostly mountainous. Western Phuket is the most popular area of the island. It has a wide variety of beaches, most of them are packed with tourists. Southeastern Phuket has several quaint beaches and home to Chalong Bay; the biggest town that acts as the main harbor for outgoing boats to Phi Phi islands and other southern islands. There are also many small islands that surround Phuket. These islands are known for their turquoise water, coral forests, limestone cliffs, caves, stunning beaches, and national park. While most of Phuket is full of foreign tourists, the interior area of the island is not so well-known and this area consists of mangrove forests, fishing villages, and shrimp farms.
Phuket was found by colonists from India and its rich natural reserves attracted explorers and traders from all over the globe and it was also a tin mining center. The tourism industry on the island began in the late 1960s with the opening of Sarasin Bridge and the Tourism Authority of Thailand made a master plan to transform Phuket Island into the tourist’s haven it is today.
Phuket attracts tourist who wish to taste the tropical island experience and also to have a pleasant little adventure. The island has a large selection of things to do., relax on the islands many beaches, visit Patong beach for exciting nightlife, dive into the Andaman Sea, or unwind in Mai Khao Beach. Curious and animal lovers can tour the Ethical Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and see or interact with amazing elephants in the safety of their natural home. Those who want to get an adrenaline rush can opt for the Flying Hanuman Zip lines and soar through the jungle. Travelers can also take tours around town and join a Rum Masterclass in Chalong Bay.
Many travelers explore the surrounding islands on a full day tour or a 5-day tour. Travelers can discover the beauty of Phi Phi islands by speedboat and visit the main attractions such as Viking Caves, Maya Beach, and Monkey Beach. Phang Nga Bay is also an incredible place to visit. There’ll be a guide to take you to every beautiful part of the islands. Tours to the famous James Bond Island, an island that makes an appearance in the movie The Man with the Golden Gun, are also available. If you want to discover what is beneath the beautiful emerald water, take a diving, snorkeling, or sea kayaking tour. These day tours usually include lunch, light refreshments, snorkeling gear, and hotel transfers. The tour boats vary from small speedboats, catamaran, to luxury yachts. No matter what tour you decide to take, tours in Phuket definitely do not disappoint.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
- Do not forget to bring sun protection such as sunscreen, mosquitoes repellent, hat, and sunglasses.
- Always be cautious about heatstroke because the temperature can be really high.
- Travelers to Phuket do not generally need to get vaccinated. However, to always be safe, consult your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before your travel to discuss what vaccinations are suitable for you. Phuket International Hospital recommends vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, tetanus-diphtheria booster (if needed), measles booster (if needed), and polio.
- If you do have a health problem, make sure to discuss it with your doctor and keep a list of the name and dosage of your medication.
- Tap water in Phuket is not safe to drink and it may cause stomach problems. You should always drink from bottled waters.
- It is also important to know that swimming during low season (May to October) can be dangerous. Travelers may not swim in the sea if there are red warning flags on the beach. Always take warning signs seriously.
When to Get to Phuket
Phuket enjoys a tropical climate, which means the weather is generally warm, humid, and sunny all year round. April to May is the hottest months. The dry season starts from November to April with an average temperature of 30°C. It is usually sunny during this season and the sea is safe to swim in. The dry season is also the high season for tourism. The rainy season is from May to October and the average temperature is between 24 to 32°C. September to October usually see heavy rains and high temperature. It’s best to avoid the rainy season since the rain can cause minor disruption and it is not safe to do any activities in the sea.
How to Get There
The main gateway to the island is Phuket International Airport, located 32 kilometers from Phuket Town. The airport serves both domestic and international flights to and from major cities in Asia with seasonal flights to Europe. If you arrive in Bangkok, there are various local carriers that will take you to Phuket such as Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, and Thai Airways.
If you are already in Thailand, you can reach Phuket by the long distance bus services. Buses are comfortable and affordable. However, it could take around 12 hours to reach Phuket from Bangkok. The Phuket Bus terminal is in Phuket City. To get around the island you can opt for metered taxis or tuk-tuks.
Most Popular Tour
Explore Phang Nga Bay Sea Cave from Phuket
Surrounded by sparkling emerald sea and lined by limestone karsts and cave, you will visit stunning sea caves, secret lagoon, as well as several small islands. Explore the caves on kayaks while an expert guide will share informative commentary about the wildlife and geology of the region.
Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket
Discover the sun-soaked shores, sandy beaches, and dramatic sea cliffs of Phi Phi islands. Travelers can visit all six islands in just one day and snorkel at Khai Noi. You can visit Maya Bay, the famous filming location for ‘The Beach.’ After that, you can interact with monkeys in Monkey beach or swim at Bamboo and Yao Yai islands.