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Phuket

Where to stay in Phuket:

About Phuket:

Natural beauty and sympathetic development has made Phuket, Thailand, a favourite holiday destination on the emerging ASEAN tourist map. Situated just off Thailand’s west coast, Phuket is the country’s largest island and its wealthiest province, owing much of its star-quality to lush tropical rainforests, a hilly interior and unspoilt, bleached-white, satin beaches framing the crystal clear, turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. It also offers great diversity, whether you are looking to discover cultural enlightenment, exhilarating nightlife, to explore the local markets or state-of-the-art shopping malls, fantastic cuisine or you simply want to relax and unwind. The connection to the mainland via the Sarasin Bridge makes it easy to explore other parts of Southern Thailand by car or scooter….and they even drive on the left!

 

Getting to Phuket:

Just over an hour by plane from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Phuket has direct connections with 36 cities around the globe, including many destinations throughout Asia such as Hong Kong and China. Direct flights are available to destinations including Beijing, Doha, Dubai, Melbourne, Moscow, Sydney, Zurich and London. Many more flights connect through Bangkok; there are around 18 flights daily in each direction, and there are also plenty of domestic flights to other destinations in Thailand for those wanting to explore the diversity of the country

 

Best time to visit Phuket:

Temperatures in Phuket remain relatively constant throughout the year due to its proximity to the equator, but the main season runs from November to March. Rainfall typically increases between April and October. While the rain can be heavy at times, and there are sometimes periods of grey sky or more persistent rainfall, there are often sunny spells throughout the rainy season too. It is also worth noting that sea conditions are typically less calm and currents can be stronger at this time of year, so be sensible and heed any warning flags you see when entering the water.

 

 

Highlights:

Beautiful beaches, spectacular sunsets, warm clear water and so much besides. There are few places in the world that offer such a choice of pristine sandy bays and clear azure-blue waters, making Phuket the perfect location for relaxing on the beach, sailing across the waves or underwater exploration. Average surface water temperatures of 29°C create an ideal environment for countless species of colourful fish and breath-taking coral, ensuring the ultimate experience for snorkelling and diving. If you prefer to keep your head above the waves, there are lots of on-water activities available, from sailing, yacht charter, kayaking or parascending. Alternatively, find a haven on one of the many quiet beaches, where you can simply swim and float in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea.

If you decide to take time out from the beach, Phuket is bursting with things to do for couples, families, groups or lone travellers. Phuket is rightly proud of its controlled development and good infrastructure, and offers visitors a five-star way of life at international restaurants and extensive nightlife including the amazing Phuket Fantasea (great with kids!), Siam Niramit and the renowned Ladyboy show, Simon Cabaret. For more sedate entertainment, there are multiplex cinemas, supermarkets and department stores including Central Festival, Thailand’s largest shopping mall, as well as a myriad of incredible street markets to wander around. After the sun sets, the street stalls in Patong mixed with the sights and sounds of the ‘colourful’ Bangla Road make for a fun night out.

 

Culture:

Although there is evidence of a Neolithic presence dating back around 3000 years, the first settlements in Phuket are believed to date to around 100BC. Since then, it has been a well-frequented port of call for merchant vessels from India, China, Thailand and Europe and was well-known for trade in commodities such as timber, pearls, tin, ambergris, and birds’ nests.

Many of the beautiful buildings in Phuket Old Town date to the late 18th Century, when the town grew significantly due to tin mining, and strong Chinese and Portuguese influences prevailed in the architecture. There are, of course, many more traditional Thai buildings and structures too.  Ornate and beautiful temples such as Wat Chalong, the most visited Buddhist temple of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist monasteries, and the Giant Buddha, which are top of the list for anyone wishing to see some of the islands cultural sights.

Take a look at our Phuket photo gallery for a taste of what the island has to offer. 

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