Get to know the beautiful island of Phuket in Thailandby | October 23, 2023
Phuket island is one of Thailand’s main tourist attractions. It’s great for people of all ages looking to have some fun in the sun and then enjoy the unique nightlife. You won't need to worry about Thailand safety in Phuket: it's one of the best areas to visit in terms of security for tourists. However, you will need to apply for the Thailand visa.
Find out all the important information you need to start planning your trip to Phuket, Thailand. A destination you can’t miss when you travel to Thailand!
Where is Phuket, Thailand?
Phuket island is located to the south of Thailand. It’s an island (the biggest in the country) and also a province (the second smallest). It’s bathed by the Andaman sea.
How to get to Phuket, Thailand
If you plan to start your trip to Thailand in Phuket, then you will surely arrive at Phuket International Airport (HKT). From there, you will be able to use different forms of transportation to get to your lodging.
- Phuket Airport Bus: it can take you to the Old Town. You will find the complete route on the website. The bus stop is directly in the departure terminal.
- Phuket Smart Bus: it runs from the airport to Rawai Beach and it has 11 stops. The service at the airport begins at 9am and ends at 10:30pm. Each ticket costs 100 THB and it can only be paid at the bus.
- Taxi: you can catch taxis with fixed fares (“airport limos”) or metered at the airport. However, keep your eyes open: Phuket is famous for its taxi tourist scams.
- Rental car: you can rent directly at the airport. Although it’s not particularly cheap, it’s easier and comfortable and it will solve all your transportation needs while on Phuket.
- Private transfer: always an available choice, you can book it online or by asking your hotel to do it for you.
How to move around Phuket, Thailand
Phuket doesn’t have an established public transportation network, which makes moving around a little more complicated than usual. However, if you need to travel around the island, there are several ways to do it.
- Tuk-tuk: you will see them in every tourist hotspot and hotel. They are red or yellow mini trucks. They’re more expensive than in other parts of Thailand and they are seen as habitual scammers, just like taxi drivers. Make sure to establish a price before getting on and make it explicit to the driver that you’re just going to your destination with no stops in-between.
- Taxi: always try to ride in metered taxis, it’s less likely that you will run into a scam that way. However, they’re not common. As with tuk-tuks, try to establish a price and make sure the driver doesn’t make any additional stops to try to extort more money out of the passenger.
- Grab: to book a car online with a pre-established fee. They can be quite expensive.
- Songthaew: they are Phuket’s version of a bus network. Although they are cheap, they don’t follow a schedule and it doesn’t have many designated stops. You have to flag them down while on the street.
- Motorbike taxi: it’s a good option for short distances. Agree on the fare with the driver before starting the trip.
- Private/rental car: it’s not cheap, but it can be a good option if you’re part of a larger group. It can make traveling around easier, and also help you explore more remote areas of Phuket.
What’s the best time to visit Phuket, Thailand?
The best time to visit Phuket is from November to April. During those months, you will encounter little rainfall and calm seas. As usual, it’s also the high season for tourism, so you can expect Phuket's beaches and streets to be filled with people, especially in January and February. December and March will be your best options if you’re not into big crowds.
Phuket has a monsoon season and it spans from May to October, so you should try to avoid traveling in those months just in case.
Things to do in Phuket, Thailand
Enjoy the best of Phuket’s beaches
One of the best things to do in Thailand is enjoying some of the best beaches in the world. Phuket’s beaches support this common view.
While the southern coast has more foot traffic, the north side of the coast is less crowded.
Most Thailand beaches offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy water sports and diving or snorkeling.
A list of the most popular of Phuket’s beaches includes:
- Kata Yai
- Kata Noi. This is the closest beach to Karon viewpoint, which offers stellar views of the nearby beaches (like Karon and Kata Yai).
- Nai Han
- Mai Khao
- Nai Yang
The Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is a statue with a height of 45m, the third-tallest in Thailand. To reach it you have to walk a 6 km uphill road, so it would be a great time to rent a car.
Besides the statue in itself, the area has amazing views.
Rumor has it that this viewpoint has the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy them!
Explore nearby islands
Phuket’s beaches are stunning but, if you have more time to spare, there are other nearby islands in Thailand that are well worth the visit.
Here’s a list of the ones you shouldn’t miss:
- Phang Nga Bay
- Koh Ta Pu, also known as James Bond Island
- Koh Phi Phi
- Similan Islands (open to the public from October to May)
- Koh He
- Koh Racha Yai
Nighttime at Patong
Patong is a beach town in Phuket island. Although its beach is pretty, it gets very crowded, especially at sunset.
This place is known for being party central in the island, especially in Bangla Road (Soi Bangla). Visit its many bars, pubs and discos to get the fullest Thai experience (but it’s not recommended for anyone, it can get rowdy).
This is Phuket’s largest temple complex. It’s famous for its beauty and for having a bone fragment of Buddha.