SWADIKAA!It is a way to greet people in Thailand (like namaste in India). Phuket which was earlier know as Thalang has all kind of experiences to offer, a rocking beach life to a metro city’s shopping experience.
Phuket Island is Thailand’s largest island with 32 smaller islands nearby. You can enjoy water activities, natural beauty, shopping experiences, adventures, and good food! Well, it is difficult to cover the entire island in one short trip but one can obviously enjoy the best that the city has to offer. Here is a list for you to refer:
Weather(The Best Time to Visit Phuket) and Time in Phuket
Where to go from Phuket
Best areas to stay in Phuket
– Pa Tong
Patong is on the west side of the Phuket island. It is essentially the heart of Phuket, it is perfect area to enjoy clubs at Bangla Road, water activities at Patong Beach and shopping at Jungceylon Mall.
It is full of life and there is hardly anything which you will not find in Patong. You will find plenty of tuk-tuks, massage parlors, scooter rentals, bars and currency exchange and much more.
Attractions in Phuket
Thailand is famous for a rocking night life and places like Bangla Road are the main reason behind it. This road is just close to Patong beach, full of clubs, go go bars, and amazing crowd who is high on life. Whether you go for any tour or not, don’t miss this experience.
There are many clubs on this road, Illusion is one of the most famous out of the all as it is ranked #33 all across the world!, and number #1 in Thailand.
Note: Maya Bay is closed till further notice. Prefer James Bond Island tour till the time Maya Bay is closed.
You must visit this island. My Phuket trip became memorable partially due to this tour. There are 2 means of transport through which one can reach Phi-Phi islands:
Speedboat: It takes only 50 mins to reach Phi-Phi islands.
Big boat: This boat is by “Sea Angel Beyond”, it takes 2 hours to reach Phi-Phi Don but you can roam around the entire ship, enjoy the sea, take a lot of pictures plus you can access the top deck which provides a 360 degrees view of the sea in front of you.
It is all sea till the sight goes, looking at the water waves acted as a good source of alpha waves to me. Do not take any such tours during monsoon season because the boat rolls a lot and can be a source of nausea for you. You will not be able to enjoy snorkelling or even sea.
Sea Angel Beyond allows you to cherish different seating classes. I will strongly recommend you to choose the gold class for an extra 700 Baht. It gives you access to a massage chair, unlimited drinks, food and a wonderful view with access to open deck (top floor).
This is the Gold class with fewer seats and bigger windows.
This is the silver class with many seats and smaller windows.
Access to top deck is most important, I feel this because it gives access to a mesmerizing view. One the boat reaches Phi-Phi Don, people who want snorkel are transferred to another boat and they snorkel for 1 hour and the rest of the passengers are dropped at the beach to relax.
BOTTOM LINE: Choose gold class offered by the big boat.
For snorkeling, you pay an extra 400 baht. Don’t forget to carry extra clothes, a towel, sunglasses and a lot of sunscreen.
Snorkeling is floating on water with your face downwards to look at the sea life. You get to see amazing fishes like Nemo. It is an amazing experience, it is not a problem if you don’t know how to swim.
Phang Nga Bay (James bond island)
It is a similar trip to Phi-Phi islands, It takes 8 hrs to complete this trip.
This tour will also be eye candy. If you are a beach enthusiast then you must visit both the islands (Phi-Phi and James Bond). This island became famous after featuring into James Bond movies.
This place is 50 mins away from Patong. You will find a big Buddha statue here surrounded by some souvenir shops, food stalls, and great view.
This place allows you to look at 3 beaches at once, nice isn’t it? If you have some extra time you can visit this place.
Malls and Markets in Phuket
(must visit, if shopping is your thing)
It is near Patong and the Bangla road, you will find many food joints like pizza hut, Swensen’s (yum!) here along with budget and luxury brands.
There is a supermarket called BIG C here, you can find all kind of things inside, from dog food to cosmetics to trolley bags and more.
There is a fountain show that takes place in the evening in the center of the mall, it is similar to the Wings of time show (Singapore), but a shorter version.
There are 2 street markets nearby this mall, Chillva and Banzaan market. Chillva market is better. A lot of Indian and other cuisine restaurants are also available within and nearby the mall. Finding Tuk-tuks is also very easy near the mall.
If you are looking for brands like H n M, Mac, Mango etc. you will find it in this mall and not in the above-mentioned one.
You will also find techy stuff here. If you want to look at different kind of technologies available in Thailand, go for it.
Here is a Chocolate stall as well, I forgot the name but I’ll find out soon. It offered a teddy bear shaped chocolate and it was yum! It is on the 2nd floor nearby currency exchange shops. I do have a photograph for you!
Yes, the Second floor offers 3 to 4 different bank options to exchange currency.
This mall also has Movenpick stall, so does the above-mentioned mall, I love this company’s ice-cream. If you want to have ice-cream, you can buy it either from Movenpick or Swensen’s (chewy chocolate flavor). (this brand is not available in India.)
This mall runs different offers from time to time so do check it out from the information desk, you might fetch some extra discounts. Tourist definitely gets an extra discount on showing their passports, after shopping above the specified amount, usually, it is 2000 Baht.
There are no luxury brands in this mall. Finding Tuk-tuk back to your hotel is difficult from here, you will have to book a cab, which is available outside the mall every time. They will charge approx 350 Baht to Bangla road.
Both images are of Chillva market, here you can find many accessories, clothes, and food. Do visit, it is a lively place with some cute and funky things.
Brands to look for in Phuket:
– Charles n Keith (Central festival and Jungceylon mall)
– Mango (Central festival mall)
– MAC (Central festival mall)
– COACH (Jungceylon)
– Moshi Moshi (Jungceylon)
(all the brands mentioned above costs better here as compared to many states )
You will find a lot of useful and quality products at nominal prices in Moshi Moshi, it is equivalent to Mini so, Beijing (now also in Delhi). It is a huge store and you should visit it.
– HnM is costly in Phuket
Don’t forget to take FORM PP10 from shops after shopping, to get a VAT refund at the airport. Usually, shops have set a minimum amount that one must spend to get a VAT refund.
You will need your passport number to complete the above-mentioned form. So carry the passport or its copy along with you.
Best place to exchange currency
Currency exchange near Jungceylon mall, almost opposite the big gate of Patong beach and BI SOUVENIR shop. I don’t remember the name of the shop.
Hotels in Phuket
I stayed at “Sea Sun Sand Resort & Spa” in Patong. I booked a pool access room. I was happy with the hotel and the room. Just the service was a little slow but I loved the room and the private pool.
Temples in Phuket
In Thailand, people call it WAT and they place their respective temples outside their houses like in this image.
I went to one of the famous temples in Phuket, this image is of Pagoda, a place with a hall full of Buddha statues.
Visitors can visit this place and click as many pictures as they want, a temple for localities to worship is just near Pagoda. Both the places are separated to avoid any interruptions during prayers.
One month before and after the dry season is less crowded and comparatively dry. So if you don’t like much crowd then prefer November or April or May for your trip. This will the best time for your Phuket trip.
Phuket is GMT+7, that means Phuket is 1:30 hrs ahead of India(GMT+5.5).
Places to go from Phuket
There are many places to choose in Thailand for your trip and as I always say visit atleast two cities on a trip. You can check the following posts before you make your decision.