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Phuket Overview : Travel informations

Discover Phuket

History

Phuket

In the early days of regional maritime trade, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to be the name of the main town to the north of the island. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China, and also Siam. During the 16th century, the island was a popular trading port for tin.

In 1785, Thalang town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united the local residents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory.

As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, respectively. They are still highly respected by Phuket residents even today.

When the city was in a peaceful state, the development of mining was so unprecedented. Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving wealth. The island's long history has shaped the Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. These attributes have made Phuket a complete tourist destination that offers a lot more beyond its natural heritage of sea, sand, forest, and world-renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walks of life.

Climate

There are only two seasons in a year the green season (May to October) and the hot season (November to April).

Getting to Phuket

By Air
Flying to Phuket is arguably the easiest way to get to the island. Most domestic airlines operate several flights daily between Phuket and Bangkok, Samui, and Chiang Mai. There are also numerous international airlines that fly directly to Phuket from various cities around Asia, including Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore.
By car
From Bangkok, take Highway No.4 (Petchakasem Road) through Petchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Phang Nga Provinces, then cross the Thep Krasattri Bridge or Sarasin Bridge to Phuket Island. The total distance is 862 kilometers and the travel time is approximately 12 hours.
By bus
Air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal for Phuket several times daily. Trips by air-conditioned bus, which normally leave in the evening, take about 13 hours. Visit www.transport.co.th for more information. There are also regular bus services (VIP, air-conditioned, and non-air-conditioned) between Phuket and neighboring provinces such as Krabi, Phang Nga, Chumphon, Koh Samui (bus/boat), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Surat Thani, Satun, Hat Yai, Takua-Pa, and Trang. Departures are from the Phuket Bus Terminal2.
By train
There is no direct train service to Phuket. Travelers arriving by train must get off at Phun Phin Railway Station in Surat Thani Province and continue by regular bus to Phuket. For more information, visit www.railway.co.th.

Highlight Attractions

Beaches & Islands

Phuket

Koh He ‘Coral Island’

Off the southern shore of Panwa Cape lies the beautiful island famous for its white powdery beach and unspoiled coral reefs, thus it’s also named Coral Island. Koh He is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving as well as choices of water sports all year round thanks to its location with least effect from monsoon. Located not far from the main island Koh He is a popular one-day tour from Phuket you can easily take a boat from Chalong Bay, which takes only half an hour. See package tour
Phuket

Koh Racha ‘Raya Island’

Koh Racha islands consists of two sister islands: Racha Yai and Racha Noi, located south of Phuket. The shores of Koh Racha Yai are blessed with white powdery beach and crystal clear water. Rise up to the peak of the hill at the center of the island and you’ll soak up the panoramic views of the entire island. Ao Siam, Ao Tue and Khon Kae beaches are favorite diving spots while beaches in the west promise the picturesque sunset scene. Koh Racha Noi, located just 10 kilometers south if Racha Yai, on the other hand, is the accumulation of coral stones featuring rocky coastlines. See package tour | See overnight package
Phuket

Hat Bang Tao

Bang Tao is one of Phuket’s longest beaches located in Cherng Talay neighborhood. It was formerly a large tin mining site, Phuket’s main industry in the old days, but now a location of the luxurious resorts and golf course of the Laguna complex.
Phuket

Hat Surin

This beach is situated 24 kilometres from town. Evergreen trees line this small, curving bay, beneath the foothills north of Kamala. It is now largely in disuse except as a park. The steep incline of the beach, turbulent water, and big waves make Hat Surin a dangerous place to swim.
Phuket

Hat Kamala

A peaceful, quiet beach located two kilometers north of Kalim and Patong beaches, Kamala is home to Phuket’s luxurious resorts and Phuket’s muslim community.
Phuket

Hat Kalim

A small beach located north of Patong Beach is home to a bunch of resorts and beach clubs. Dotted with rocks and coral reefs, Kalim is not ideal for swimming as much as its neighbor Patong Beach. A nearby attraction worth a stopover is the Freedom Beach, an unspoiled beach with white, powdery sand located just around the head of Laem Ka Sai Rot that is only accessible by a chartered long-tailed boat.
Phuket

Hat Patong

With half-moon shape of sloped, white-powdery beach considered the most beautiful on the island, Patong was the first beach in Phuket that was developed to serve local and international tourists. The three-kilometer beach is now Phuket’s tourist central with the most choices of accommodations, restaurants, spas, tourist-related services and shopping venues. The vibe here is dynamic so it lures in more of younger tourists who love to experience the fun and challenging water sports such as jet ski, wind surf and parasail. At the center of Patong finds Bang La, a nightlife central with selections of bars and clubs for every preference.
Phuket

Hat Karon

Karon is a four-kilometre long beach south of Patong, making it is one of the longest beaches in Phuket. Its character is quieter with fewer tourists than Patong, with a variety of accommodation and restaurant options, from upscale to affordable and from classic to cutting-edge.
Phuket

Hat Kata

Kata is a sister beach of Karon, located southward from Karon Beach. The golden sand beach is best known as a home to the world-famous, activity-focused resort of Club Med. South of Kata Beach, divided be a steep cliff, is a more private and compact beach of Kata Noi.
Phuket

Hat Nai Han

Located between Kata Beach and the sunset view point Phromthep Cape, approximately 18 kilometers from Phuket town, Hat Nai Han is blessed with powdery sand, clear water, lush rubber trees and beautiful lagoons. Swimming is not recommended during the monsoon season during May - October, though.
Phuket

Hat Rawai

Rawai was the fisherman village in the old days. It is now a popular place for longer-stay visitors with more choices of resorts, apartments and restaurants serving expat communities. A long-tail boat rental service is also available to nearby islands, too.

Temples / Historical Site / Museums

Phuket

Wat Chalong

Wat Chalong is the most famous and sacred temple in Phuket as it was the residence of a respected monk Luang Po Cham, who took part helping people during the Chinese Coolie Rebellion in 1876 during the reign of King Rama V. The statue of Luang Po Chaem is now enshrined at the main hall, together with statues of Luang Po Chuang and Luang Po Kluem, other revered monks who resided at the temple in later years. Locals and visitors usually visit the temple to vow their wishes from the statues, and will return to burn firecrackers when the wishes become true. See package tour
Phuket

Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple)

Enshrined in the top of Nak Kerd Hill is “Phra Phuttha Ming Mongkhon Ekkanak Khiri,” which is commonly known as Phra Yai (“The Big Buddha”) referring to the size of this Phuket’s largest statue of Lord Buddha. The 45-meter-tall Buddha statue was structured with reinforced concrete and then covered up the surface with white marbles so it sits sparkling underneath the sun. It is the newest religious landmark of Phuket revered by locals and visitors. Parts of the construction are still undergoing and donations are welcomed. See package tour
Phuket

Wat Phra Thong

The temple is a popular attraction for both local residents who come to pray and visitors who visit to see a large Buddha statue which only shows its upper half as if it emerges from the ground. There are several myths about the Buddha statue, been told in several styles, but all contains one main concept that no one could ever dig up this Buddha statue so people gave up, restored it as it is today, and named the statue Luang Po Phta Phut (“Buddha that emerges from the ground” in Thai).
Phuket

Phuket Old Town

Phuket was one of the major Peranakan Chinese cultural centrals, along with Singapore, Malacca and Penang, thanks to the dramatic growing of tin mining business in early 19th century, luring in a large number of Chinese merchants from the China mainland. It was led to the constructions of Sino-Portuguese mansions and shophouses in the Phuket town. Each shophouse look narrow from the front but its space spans as long as ten meters or more to the back, making there’s a vast space to accommodate a lot of people. Some of them are now open as a boutique hotel you can also try lodging. See package tour
Phuket

Phuket Thai Hua Museum

Phuket has a long history as a trading hub controlled by the local Peranakan Chinese community, a community is Straits Chinese found in Singapore, Penang and Malacca) and the best way to explore this rich history is at the Phuket Thaihua Museum, housed in a charming 1930s British-colonial-style mansion that was formerly the oldest Chinese-language school in Phuket. Spread over the two stories are 16 galleries portraying the island’s Chinese ancestry and Phuket Town’s growth to prosperity.
Phuket

Phuket Sea Shell Museum

Shell World Museum you will get to discover the private shell collection of the Patamakanthin family, who has been collecting rare and sought-after shells from around the world for more than 50 years. The highlights include the mountain of giant clams weighted 200-kilogram and is worth multi-million dollars.
Phuket

Talang national Musuem

Opened on 14 March 1989, Thalang National Museum was established to collect and store historic artifacts of the local area to portray the history of Phuket. The exhibitions are displayed in four different themes: 1: Phuket Island and Early inhabitant of the Andaman, 2: The Battle at Thalang, 3: The Chinese and Development of Phuket, and 4: Phuket People. The museum also tends to honor Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon, two sisters who played the big roles during the Battle of Thalang and helped save Phuket from invaders.
Phuket

Phuket Mining Museum

Phuket Mining Museum, located in Kathu on the road between Loch Palm Golf Club and British International School, is one of the island’s most interesting museums. It features displays ranging from tin mine models to a recreated scene in an opium den.

Recreational & Entertainment

Phuket

Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insect World

Founded in 1990, Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insect World is perhaps the only private-own butterfly and insect research center in Thailand. Presented here are different kinds of tropical insects and butterflies bred in-house from a long-run researches and studies and living in nature-like habitats, some of which are rare and hardly find elsewhere. ening hours: Daily from 09:00 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.
Phuket

Phuket Zoo

From crocodiles and elephants to tropical birds and monkeys, Phuket Zoo has everything to offer you a wonderful time with healthy animals. Monkey, crocodile and elephant shows are performed 3-4 times daily, and that’s your chance to take photographs with your favorite animals. Opening hours: Daily from 08.30 a.m. - 06.00 p.m.
Phuket

Phuket Aquarium

Phuket Aquarium is one of the units under the control of the Phuket Marine Biological Center, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The exhibition of underwater life is displayed in tanks which are as beautiful as the natural environment; including sandy beach, rocky shore, coral reef and mangrove habitats.
Phuket

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

The Tiger Kingdom is another great combination of tourism with wildlife preservation. The proceeds from tourist visits to the Tiger Kingdom are mainly directed to investments in captive breeding of tigers.
Phuket

Phuket Fantasea show

The first world-class, and perhaps the best, stage show in Phuket, the 4,000-seat theatre of Phuket FantaSea features extravagant, Hollywood-sized and Las Vegas-style entertainment showcase you’ll be blown away with its jaw-dropping acrobatics, state-of-the-art light and sound systems, impressive set designs and a host of giant animals in action - the real fantasy it is. Phuket FantaSea also houses a shopping village you can browse around souvenir collections and a restaurant offering one of the world’s largest buffet line.
Phuket

Phuket Simon Cabaret show

The beautiful crews of Phuket Silom Cabaret promise to blow you away with their splendid Broadway-standard stage shows featuring skillful dancers, stunning costumes and great music and light system they are second to any other shows in Thailand.
Phuket

The Siam Niramit (Phuket)

This must-see spectacular show features over 100 performers, lavish costumes and stunning set designs. Enhanced special effects and the world's most advanced technology are used to produce a very realistic, stimulating and inspiring experience.

Shopping Destination

Phuket

Central Festival Phuket

The Andaman's World-Class shopping destination, which is located in Phuket town.
Phuket

Jungceylon

International Shopping & Leisure Destination in Patong Beach.
Phuket

Weekend Market (Chao Fah Variety Market)

Probably Phuket's largest market, it sells a large variety of goods including fresh and cooked foods, clothes, accessories, pets, Thai crafts and much more. Many local Thai people still call it the Chatuchak or JJ market. At Virathongyok Road, off Chaofa West Road, close to Central Festival in Phuket. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 16:00 to 23:00. See package tour
Phuket

Premium Outlet Phuket

The first ever splendid western architecture design in Phuket, with the mixture of Modernity and Traditional Style. The greatest shopping center with 300 brandnames in 18,000 sq.m. retail spaces and has over 500 parking spaces. You will find the special price product up to 80% off everyday. Shoping Hour : Open Daily 10 am – 9 pm

Phuket Must-See Attractions and Places

 
PhuketSoi Bang La (Patong) Nightlife
 
Phuket

Top Best Phuket Local Restaurant

  • Lock Tien Restarant Popular menu: Po Pia (spring roll) and oh eaw (iced dessert)
  • Mee Ton Poh Popular menu: Hokkien Noodles and Satays
  • Phuket Floating Seafood Restaurant Popular menu: Seafood dishes and Thai Oysters
  • Mor Mudong Restaurant Popular menu: Steam Fish In Salt Crust
 

Phuket Festival

Phuket

Por Tor Festival (September-October)

Por Tor Festival is held from the first through the ninth nights of the ninth Chinese lunar month; that is, in September or October. It was first celebrated in 1825, when a troupe of actors enacted these rites toward off a plague. Vegetarian food is eaten by participants and white clothes worn during the period of the fest. Self utilization is practiced by those whose bodies become the temporary residence of powerful gods. Parades of worshippers brave fireworks while carrying images through the street; others walk on fire or climb bladed ladders. Participants number in the thousands. The whole forms one of the most bizarre festivals in Thailand.
Phuket

Songkran Festival (April)

The word "Songkran" is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "passing" or "moving", measuring the movement of the sun through the twelve astrological signs beginning with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces; each passing taking approximately 30 days through each sign. It takes a year for the sun to pass through all the signs. This calendar is in use in India and the Southeast Asian Nations that have been influenced by India-Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, etc. The 13th is Maha Songkran day, the first day of the new year celebrations, when the sun moves from Pisces into Aries, and when the lengths of the day and night are equal.
Phuket

Phuket Vegetarian Festival (September-October)

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the vegetarian festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. During this time, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known as "Ma Song".
Phuket

Loy Krathong Festival (November)

Loi Krathong is a tradition believed to have been influenced by the Indian Lantern or Diwali Festival, in which floats are made in worship of the three Brahmin Gods Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva. The belief was adapted to fit in with the Thai agrarian way of life, dependent upon the flow of water, changing it into a festival where one pay obeisance to Phra Mae Khongkha, the goddess of water. The practice became widespread nationally and internationally in due course, and has become synonymous with the Thai Culture. While each region will heave its own variations, the krathongs (floats) are normally shaped as a lotus from locally available materials.