Phuket Travel Guide shares 28 years of passionate island exploration and photography. We help you plan your first or next trip with the best things to do and many hidden gems off the beaten track! Discover the last secret beaches and amazing islands like Phi Phi and the Similan. Try the amazing local food in local Thai restaurants and even some street food. Explore the many night markets and Phuket’s legendary nightlife: beach clubs, rooftops, and parties in the famous Bangla Walking Street in Patong Beach.
Phuket Travel Guide
Phuket, Thailand’s largest and best-known island, is a tropical dream destination for everyone to discover. It is, in fact, relatively small: 48 km north to south, 21 km west to east, but it offers more than 44 beaches, tropical islands, majestic landscapes and fantastic Thai food.
1. What are the requirements to visit Phuket today?
Do I need to be vaccinated, do I need to do tests, do I need to quarantine, or do I need insurance?
The rules and regulations about COVID for travellers visiting Phuket keep changing. Thankfully, things are getting easier and easier so you finally can start planning your next visit without too much stress. > You can find the latest requirements on this page: https://tp.consular.go.th/en/plan
The island is relatively small and easy to explore in a day or two, and most attractions are just a short tuk-tuk ride away. The list of things to do goes way beyond the beaches: Wat Chalong, the Big Buddha, Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island and the streets of the old town are just the most popular. If this is not enough, speedboats and ferries will take you to the famous Koh Phi Phi, Coral island, and the fantastic Similan archipelago.
The island counts more than 40 amazing beaches. Most beaches in the north are peaceful, and some hidden beaches are still secret. The most famous and busiest beaches are in the island’s southwest: Patong beach, Kata beach and Karon beach can be bustling during the high season. So take the time to drive around and discover the beauty of the remote Naithon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches near the International airport.
Phuket Beaches Locator
The beaches in the south of Phuket are the most beautiful, but also the busiest: Kata, Karon and Patong Beaches. The central part of the west coast is less busy: Kamala, Bangtao. The north is quiet and peaceful: Naithon, Nai Yang and Maikhao beaches. If you are not a fan of beaches (that happens) then you can stay in Old Town and explore heritage streets and try real southern food.
This map will help you locate the many beaches of Phuket and visualise our small island’s geography. Click on the beach names to get there!
The vast Phang Nga Bay on the island’s northeast is home to hundreds of exotic islands. Phi Phi Island is the best known, but there are other gems such as Racha Island, Coral Island, Rang Yai and Koh Yao, to name a few. Island hopping is very easy to organise for an unforgettable day trip. The Similans are the most amazing islands you could dream of visiting.
Phuket has a vast range of hotels and accommodation of all kinds, and for all budgets, it can be challenging to pick the right beach and the right hotel. Of course, everyone dreams of a hotel with direct beach access, close to everything, but those always come with a high price tag; thankfully, there are exceptions. Most hotels are on the main beaches of the island: Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Bangtao, Maikhao and Phuket Town.
If experiencing true local food is essential to you when travelling, you certainly will have a blast here in Thailand. There is so much to enjoy everywhere you go, from the cheapest street food to Michelin restaurants. You can enjoy a great Thai dish by the road for just 50 baht or have a fancy dinner with a sunset on a romantic terrace by the sea. Remember that Thai food served in Patong is a lot toned down compared to what Thai cuisine usually tastes, so we listed a lot of great local restaurants on this blog. The choice of Thai food is staggering! you can start with the classic and well-known Thai dishes and the amazing seafood, try some excellent street food, and then experience real southern specialities! One thing no one should miss is the sweets, and while everyone loves mango with sticky rice and banana pancakes, there are a lot more delicious Thai sweets to treat yourself with.
Patong Beach nightlife has always been legendary, and indeed, it’s pretty unique and as fun and wild as you want it to be. However, while Patong is still home to many beer bars and go-go bars, the island now has many to offer to families and couples. There are many beach clubs, rooftop bars and international nightclubs for everyone to enjoy, from sunset until the morning.
The shopping scene is vast, cheap and surprisingly fun. With so many street stalls, night markets and bazaars, anyone can find something to take back home. Most markets still sell cheap copies of famous brands, but some new ones are now more creative and original. The Sunday Walking Street Market is the most talked about, but at least six more markets are open on weekdays. Don’t forget to bargain hard! For a more sophisticated shopping experience, there are huge shopping malls to explore: Jungceylon and Central Festival in Town.
10. Insider’s Tips
Phuket Travel Guide share some tips and useful information we gathered in the many years we have been exploring the island, including some hidden gems most people miss and some quiet beaches for those who want to stay away from crowds.
1st time in Phuket – a beginner’s guide
Most of you are probably visiting Phuket for the first time, and as always when travelling, there are so many questions, so much planning to do, and so many worries! In this section, we try to answer as many questions as possible.
The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April when the weather conditions are at their best, the sky is blue, and the sea is crystal clear, quiet and blue. December and January are ideal because the weather is perfect, and the temperature is not yet hot. March and April, are the hottest months.
The rainy season, or monsoon, is between May and October, but there are still many blue sky days, contrary to what most people think. The temperature is comfortable, the hotels are much cheaper, and the roads are not as busy. For many, this is the best way to travel on a small budget and see the island with a unique tropical atmosphere. Most importantly, no matter when you visit Phuket, Phuket will never be cold and the sea is always as warm as a bath, so don’t overpack!
This section shares useful information about the island to plan your trip: Where to exchange money at the best rates: there are many options for you to exchange money, but the best rate is in the street and at the many ATMs available around the island.
How to go from the airport to your hotel: There are several options according to your budget. The smoother ride is to ride a private limousine available at the terminal or book a private van in advance, a great option if you are more than two, with luggage. Taxi meters are available too. If you travel on a budget, a shared minivan is the best option but it takes longer as they need to stop at several hotels. The blue Smart Bus stops at each beach but you will still need to walk from the bus stop to your hotel, which will probably end up as expensive but will have taken hours.
How to get around the island: The most popular and versatile way is to rent a motorbike, but it comes with risks. renting a car is safer but more expensive and parking and occasional jams are sometimes frustrating. For occasional rides, tuk-tuks are everywhere, fast and fun, but the price of a ride can vary a lot. Renting a van with a knowledgeable driver is the best way to discover the island in a day.
How many days should you stay in Phuket? Here are some ideas to plan your perfect holiday, whether you plan to stay as short as two or three days or two weeks or even more. Our mix and match itineraries will allow you to plan your days and make the most of your holidays in Phuket.
Phuket for Instagrammers, families, couples and budget travellers
This section addresses travellers who need to plan around their specific travellers’ needs.
More and more visitors to Phuket are photographers and we know very well how important it is to get the background to get the right photo! In this section, we share some of the best spots around the island.
Travelling with kids is challenging and can be stressful. Most importantly, children should have as much fun as their parents, if not more. There are so many fun things to do around the island; the whole family can have fun every day without spending a fortune!
Phuket is still a very romantic destination, with a vast choice of amazing pool villas and quiet, endless beaches away from the crowds. To stay away from the busy beaches, you’ll have to stay in the island’s north and read the following pages to impress your loved one!
Phuket has the reputation for being more expensive than the rest of Thailand, and somehow it is true. But if you know how to make the best of your holiday, you can have great fun with a limited budget. It takes discipline, some research, and this section on our Phuket Travel Guide.
There is a surprisingly wide range of sports and activities to enjoy in Phuket if spending your day on the beach and exploring the islands are not enough for you. As Phuket is an island, you can expect to find a lot of water sports, but there are a lot of land activities too. Some are truly physical and others are easygoing and can be enjoyed with the family.
In 2022, the beaches and nearby islands are more beautiful than ever, and popular beaches such as Patong, Kata, Karon and Kamala are finally coming back to life! Many hotels, shops, restaurants and nightlife venues have started reopening. It’s not as busy as before COVID, but now is the best time to visit Phuket without crowds and traffic jams. Patong, Rawai and Bangtao Beach are doing great, and the old town is always busy!
Phuket 101 is the passionate work of only two persons: Willy and Faa. In this Phuket Travel Guide, we share all our Phuket knowledge, experiences, secret places and photos for free. We are not sponsored and make no money from this blog. We take pride in our true opinions as we personally pay for all the hotels, restaurants and tours we review. We anonymously visit places without informing you in advance so we can be like anyone of you. Among the many places we try, only the places we like will be added to this travel guide!
Search Phuket 101
- Phuket Travel Guide
- 1. What are the requirements to visit Phuket today?
- 2. What to Do in Phuket?
- 3. Must See in Phuket and Around
- 4. The Beaches of Phuket
- Phuket Beaches Locator
- 5. Islands Nearby
- 6. Hotels in Phuket
- 7. Where and What to Eat in Phuket?
- 8. Nightlife
- 9. Shopping
- 10. Insider’s Tips
- 1st time in Phuket – a beginner’s guide
- 1. What is the best time to visit Phuket?
- 2. Good to know before you go
- 3. Safety matters
- 4. Information
- 5. Getting around Phuket
- 6. Itineraries
- Phuket for Instagrammers, families, couples and budget travellers
- 1. Instagrammers
- 2. Phuket with Kids
- 3. Phuket for Couples
- 4. Travelling with a small budget
- 5. Active Holidays
- Phuket Directory
- About Us
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