If you are going to Thailand, a trip to Phuket is most probably on the cards and, with something to offer everyone, this incredible island will not fail to steal your heart. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, lying 535 miles South of Bangkok. At 30 miles long and 13 miles wide, a short drive will take you away from the madding crowd, where you will discover the Thai idyll of mile upon mile of white sand beaches, azure seas and lashings of Thai food and markets.
More adventurous tourists shouldn’t be dissuaded by the Island’s popularity. It is true that Phuket is, in some areas, built up, and that it is a favoured location for package tourists and hedonistic party animals. However, if you know where to look, a trip to Phuket offers all-comers a world-class tropical island holiday, complete with isolated beaches, delicious food, stunning culture, vibrant nightlife, and more.
Due to its size and popularity, Phuket has its own international airport. Direct flights to Phuket bring you to Phuket International Airport (HKT).
Phuket’s busiest season is November-February, when the weather is dry and slightly less hot. However, if you are willing to brave the sizzling heat of March- May, or the rainy season in June – August, it will be marginally less crowded and you are likely to find cheap flights to Phuket. In fact, some visitors in monsoon season appreciate the torrential tropical downfalls, which offer an exhilarating relief from the heat.
When you are planning your trip to Phuket, a day at Phang Nga bay is a must. Situated in the marine national park, the bay is also known as “James Bond Island”, after it featured in “The Man With the Golden Gun”. The magnificent limestone cliffs towering over the water are simply awe-inspiring and give the sea an incredible, emerald hue. Tourists tend to mass towards Phang Nga Bay, to experience the life-affirming majesty of the natural surroundings, take a trip to the floating village of Koh Panyee, and to explore the caves and mangrove swamps. To get the most out of your trip, it is worth looking at the tours available: look for a small tour that takes a limited number of people so that you can make the most of a leisurely sail around Phang Nga bay and experience everything that the magical location has to offer. If you have a hire car, drive to Surakul Pier in Phang Nga, from whence you can rent a longtail boat to take you direct to Koh Panyee. If you leave early, you will beat the rush of visitors and will have the village almost to yourself for a few, blissful hours.
For days on idyllic tropical beaches, it may be tempting to follow the usual trail of sun-seekers to the better-known beaches, such as Kata, Patong or Karon. However, with a willingness to go off the beaten track and a little local research, you will be able to find the secret beaches of Phuket. The well-known beaches are beautiful but the “secret” beaches will instantly transport you to a tranquil world of blue skies, azure water, white sand and, of course, peace.
If you are in Phuket for a couple of weeks, it is a great base for island hopping. Choose from chartered longboats or an organised tour and explore well-known tourist spots such as Koh Phi Phi, or take day trips to smaller islands, such as Koh Yao Noi or Koh Kai Noi.
For a hint of glamour while you dine, visit Surin Beach. Also known as Millionaire’s Row, Surin Beach is a classic Thai paradise beach, frequented by tourists and locals alike. However, it is also a fantastic location to see the range of food and drink on offer. Surin’s boardwalk is lined with high-end restaurants, clubs and houses, but there is a broad choice of street vendors and beachside shacks, which serve authentic Thai food for the more conservative wallet. Here, you can dine, soak up the sun and people-watch until your heart’s content.
Phuket’s island status means that the seafood is some of the best in the world. As fresh as can be, your meal will pretty much come from the sea to your plate. Make sure that you treat yourself to a seafood curry at one of the many seafront restaurants. There are so many eateries to choose from, but we love Ang Seafood in Phuket Town. Always full of locals and packed with fresh seafood, here you will get an irresistibly authentic experience.
It seems almost sacrilege to pass a street vendor without buying a little something to drink or eat: an ice-cold coconut juice, delicious noodles or some mango rice. As you meander around Phuket’s exquisite old town, stop by at one (or more!) of the many hipster cafes for coffee and maybe a slice of cake. There is so much to choose from, so go on, try a little of everything: you know you’ll regret it if you don’t!
Shopping, adventure, rainforests, nightlife and beaches of which you have only dreamt. For a relatively small island, Phuket really does have something to offer all tastes and budgets. The incredible thing about this island is that just a couple of miles’ distance makes a world of difference in its vibe. All you have to do is explore a little and you will discover your Phuket: your heaven on earth.
If you are planning the trip of a lifetime, Travangelo can help you to find cheap flights to Phuket that will make your tropical dreams come true.