Phuket Tourist Guide for the island which with its tropical climate, its magnificent landscapes, its paradisiacal beaches, all the activities proposed (diving, climbing, paragliding…) and its nightlife enjoys great popularity as a travel destination.
The population is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and sea gypsies, the Mokens.
The majority of the population in rural areas is Muslim.
The rural population speaks a southern dialect.
The island enjoys a delightful climate; it is hot and humid all year round.
The warm season is generally considered to run from March to early May, the rainy season from May to October.
When to go to Phuket
The inhabitants consider the period from November to February to be the “cool” season; it is the preferred tourist season, the high season.
- The island is located in the Andaman Sea in the west of the Malay Peninsula.
It has a mountain range aligned from north to south.
The highest peak rises to 529 m above sea level at Mai Tha Sip Song (which translates as the twelve canes).
70% of the island is still covered by forest, including a beautiful primary forest that is rarely visited by tourists.
The western side has several beautiful sandy beaches, while on the east coast they are muddy.
Laem Promthep is the southernmost point of the island; it is trendy for its sunsets.
- West Island
Bang Thao, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Laem Sing, Mai Khao, Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Patong, Surin.
This region is the most famous for the whole world.
There is a wide variety of beaches, some of which are full of visitors every year.
Patong is one of the most famous places to celebrate in Asia.
Southeast of the island
Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Nai Han, Rawai, Ya Nui
This part has some beaches that are worth a visit.
Chalong Bay is the largest city; it acts as a port for ships coming from Phang Nga Bay.
Bang Rong, Ko Sire, Phuket-Town, Khao Phra Taew National Park, Thalang).
In addition to the city of Phuket, the interior of the island is rarely visited by tourists.
This mountainous and fertile expanse is composed of mangrove forests, fishing villages, rubber tree plantations, pineapple plantations, small Muslim communities, and shrimp farms.
Phra Taew National Park is an excellent escape from the crowds of tourists.
To see and do in Phuket
Beaches, nightlife, and shopping
The island is mainly visited for its beaches and nightlife.
Patong Beach is the place where most of the nightlife is concentrated and is also the cheapest shopping center on the island.
Other popular beaches are Karon, Kata, Bang Tao and Nai Harn.
There are many activities to enjoy on the island:
Bungee jumping, karting, quad biking in the jungle, climbing, paramotor, paragliding, tree climbing (a popular activity that consists of moving around with cables, from tree to tree), pulling at the AK47, horse riding on the beach, golf and many others…
See our article :
What to do in Phuket, the 10 activities not to be missed
Impossible to be bored!
The vegetarian festival
This festival takes place every year during the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, usually at the end of September or beginning of October.
Participants consume strictly vegan food for ten days to purify themselves and participate in sacred parades and rituals where they walk on fire and pierce different parts of their bodies with various objects!
Gibbons Rehabilitation Centre
In Thailand, the wild Gibbon population has suffered terribly from baby poaching, the execution of mothers and domesticated Gibbons who are abandoned or killed because they become aggressive as adults.
The Gibbons project in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, near the Bang Phae waterfall, aims to save the Gibbons that have been abandoned by relearning them to live in a wild environment.
You can contribute to the success of this Rehabilitation Project by buying T-shirts or making donations.
You can also participate in the volunteer program.
To know more about it, see our article:
Refuse to have your picture taken with a Gibbon baby in your arms
Finding a hotel in Phuket
You will have no trouble finding hotel places, but if you come between November and February, the high season in Thailand, it is better to book in advance.
You will find the best quality/price ratio by comparing the offers of the largest platforms through our partner: Hotels in Phuket on Hotellook
Transport to Phuket
The island has an international airport and a bridge that connects it to the rest of the country, given the region’s success with tourists, there are plenty of ways to get there!
You can get an idea of the price of transport by boat, bus, train, plane or book your tickets with 12go.asia
Getting to or off the island
The international airport is located 30 km north of the city, Phuket-town.
You can find the lowest prices for long haul flights to Phuket by comparing by a period with Jetradar.
A Bangkok-Phuket flight lasts less than 1h30 and costs 600 to 4000 baht (600 with low-cost airlines in low season).
The Bangkok-Phuket bus journey takes about 14 hours.
From Bangkok, buses to the island depart from the Sai Tai Taling Chan bus station (Southern Bus Terminal).
You will also find Bangkok-Phuket buses at the Mo Chit bus station (Northern Bus Terminal).
Most buses to the island will drop you off at the Phuket-town bus station, from there you can find buses or taxis to reach the island’s various beaches.
From Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, you will need to take a train to Surathani, the southernmost station in the country, from there you can then find buses to reach the island.
Traveling to Phuket
It is a quick and economical way to get around the island; if you have a large backpack, you can ask the driver to take it between his legs.
Songtaew means two benches (song = two; taew = bench); they are equipped pick-ups. An economical way to travel between the different squares of the island
Taxis and tuk-tuk
Taxis are no longer allowed to take customers away from the airport; the tuk-tuk mafia controls the market.
Tuk-tuks do not have a good reputation on the island, inflated prices, scams, they are the subject of many complaints.
Unfortunately after 5 pm, they are often the only alternative to travel in tourist areas.
Renting a car or motorcycle
You should check the condition of the car or motorbike before renting; if there are already scratches, you can take pictures of them to avoid any scams.
Daily car rental costs between 1000 and 2000 baht.
You will find scooters for rent by the day for 150 baht in low season and up to 400 baht in high season.
The history of the island
The island was known to Europeans from the 16th and 19th centuries as Djonkseylon; its Siamese name was Koh Thalang (Thalang Island).
The island, known for its wealth of pewter, attracted the lusts of foreigners. In 1685, the French succeeded in obtaining a monopoly on the tin, but in 1688, they were forced to leave Siam.
In 1785, navigator Sir Francis Light passed by the island and warned the local administration that the Burmese army was preparing for an attack.
Kunying Jan, the wife of the governor of the island who had just passed away, and his sister Mook decided to react and gathered all the forces on the island.
The two sisters and their armies bravely resisted the Burmese who, after a one-month siege, were forced to retreat on March 13, 1785.
Since then, the two women have become local heroines, receiving from King Rama I the honorary names of Thao Thep Kasatri and Thao Sri Sunthon.
In the 1820s, the exploitation of the precious tin was finally entrusted to Chinese traders.
During the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the island was the administrative center of tin production.
In 1933 the island became a province.
On December 26, 2004, the west coast of the island was hit by a terrible Tsunami caused by an earthquake in Indonesia, in memory of this tragedy, a memorial was built on Patong Beach.
The provincial seal shows the two heroines of the province, Thao Thep Kasattri, and Thao Sri Sunthon.
The provincial tree is Burmese rosewood (Pterocarpus indicus), and its flower is pepper flower (Bougainvillea sp.).
Photos of Phuket
Attractions and things to do in the island:
Single map of the island
You can find more maps here:
Maps of Phuket Island
Source: wikipedia.org/; wikitravel.org; Photos: Kamala Beach: Gossipguy, West Coast of the island: Oberpepepe; Festival Végétarien: Joseph Ferris III; Laem Promthep: Edwin; plage de Patong: jbremer57