Phuket is getting more and more famous everyday. That’s why it is crowded with tourists regardless of the season. Therefore it is better to make your plans and do some reservations before going to Phuket. Here I will give some tips for planning your days in Phuket but also I’ve made an interview with the manager of the hotel that we stayed because I believe it is better to take some advice from a resident. You can watch the interview video to get some idea for your Phuket trip.
The center of Phuket is Patong Beach and many people prefers to stay there. Also there are many hotels in Karon, Kata and Kamala beaches which are the neighbours of Patong. Honestly in the morning, there is nothing intersting in Patong and sea is not so clear. Therefore it is better to stay in another bay and come to Patong for the night life. We stayed 2 days in Kamala and 2 days in Karon. You can read related posts for more details but as a couple we were happy with our choice and I also suggest Karon and Kamala for the families. If you are a honeymoon couple and you are not interested in outdoor activities so much then maybe you need a more private space. So it is better for you to choose a hotel in a private bay (like we did in Kamala). Keep in mind that mostly these type of hotels are located in the north so you can search accordingly.
There is no regular public transportation in Phuket and you have to bargain all the time with the taxies and tuk tuks, which is exhausting. When we reached to the Phuket Pier there were just private taxies and a small truck waiting for customers. Uber is not working in Phuket, and their similar app Grab is expensive. So your only choice is to make a deal with the drivers waiting for you. It is better to meet with some people who will go to the same destination and bargain as a group. You have to be patient about bargaining, it takes time 🙂 Drivers first offer from Pier to Kamala was 1000 baht for 2 person but then we agreed 800 baht for 5 person. Phuket is not a small island and from pier to Kamala it takes about 45 min with car. If you will go to north it will be longer. So it is better not to use truck for that distance. I think trucks (songthaew) are ok shorter destinations. Here is what it looks like:
The center of nightlife is of course Patong with so many restaurants, bars, night clubs and pingpong clubs. Most of the good clubs are located on Bangla Road. Two of the best night clubs that I can suggest are illuzion phuket, and tiger club.
Bangla Road was so crowded even we went there in March. I can’t imagine how it is in the high season January and February. I’m leaving here a short video to give you an idea about nightlife in Patong.
When we reach Phuket we have been already travelling in Thailand for 3 weeks. We were a bit tired and looking for a relaxing days and different activities then temple tours or boat trips. This is why we spend most of our time in our resort and we attended activities like cooking class or spa session. However if your holiday is limitted with Phuket you should join some of the 1 day tours below.
- Phi Phi
We stayed Phi Phi before coming to Phuket so we haven’t bought a tour for Phi Phi. I reccomend to reach Phi Phi with ferry and stay there for some days. So that you can spend as much time as you want in this amazing island and also it will be better option for your budget since the boat trips are not so cheap. However if you are planning to do 1 day excursion there are also many tour options. Here is an example program with Highlights, which will cost you about 3000 bahts:
Depart from Phuket Marina –> MAYA BAY (where the famous movie “The Beach is filmed”) –> LOH SAMAH BAY–> PILEH COVE–> VIKING CAVE–> MONKEY BEACH–> SNORKELING –> BAMBOO ISLAND–> Return to Phuket Marina
- Phang Nga Bay (& James Bond Island)
- Koh Yao Yai – Noi
- Similan Islands
- Surin Islands
- Coral Island & Racha Island
There are so many temples and different tours in in Phuket but here is some of the famous ones among tourists.
- Dragon Cave Temple
- Wat Bang Riang Pagoda
- Wat Suwan Khuha
- Wat Chalong
Bonus Activity: Phuket FantaSea
Fantasea is the said to be the reflection of the Thai culture with magical illusions, acrobatics, special effects, elephant performances etc. FantaSea is located on Kamala Beach, just 9km away from Patong. Shows are usually in the evening. Since I am not interested in that kind of activity, we skipped it but if you want to learn more you can reach detailed info from here.
Let’s sum up! Phuket is a good choice for a tropical experience and both relaxing and fun holiday. If you will stay no longer than a week in Thailand, it is better your stay based in Phuket and you join daily tours couple of times. This way you can experience Thai culture, you can enjoy beautiful sea/islands, and you see some temples, enjoy nightlife in Patong and relax in your beach hotel. Phuket is a place that serves lots of options for your holiday and you can choose activities which suits your style 🙂 Enjoy!