Beautiful beaches, thrilling water sports, rollicking night life, frenzied shopping, endless amusement... Phuket island in Thailand is a place which can make dream holidays reality. One of the most visited beach destinations of Asia, Phuket island has earned the epithet 'Pearl of the South'. A visit to Phuket island is joy, joy and more joy.
» One of the most popular island tourist destinations in Asia
» Most popular beach resort in Thailand
» Rendezvous of sports, adventure, shopping and night life
The first thing which comes to one's mind with Phuket island tour is it's beaches. Beaches are Phuket's biggest asset and foremost attractions of the island travel. Concise information about these beaches is given below:
The most popular Patong beach in the island is long white sandy stretch. Also providing fun-filled nightlife, hair-raising adventures and fast-paced shopping. A visit to Phuket is incomplete without going to Patong.
Karon beach tour is for those who want to avail full range of facilities, dining and activities, but are not too fond of crowds. Featuring a long stretch of squeaky white sand, Karon beach has plethora of budget guest house, restaurants and bars. Worth seeing is a hub of small art community, where some artists have built a complex of huts and galleries.
Karon Beach also hosts a football stadium, which hosts both national and international events. Number of spa resorts and handicrafts shops are also in the area. Karon's nightlife can be spotted on Patak East Road, which has an array of late-night bars and restaurants.
Just south of Karon Beach is the bay of Kata, with it's lovely milky sands and turquoise waters. Southern end of Kata beach is most popular, particularly among the surfers. In the month of December, beautiful yachts from all over the region arrive in Kata to take part in King's Cup Regatta, Asia's premier sailing event. Several dive shops and tour operators are ever ready to lend a helping hand to the tourists desiring to explore beyond the beach.
One can find plenty of shops is Kata village, showcasing a gamut of articles including souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets. There is no dearth of restaurants, hotels, bungalows and resorts in Kata.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket, Kamala Beach offers panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Ringed by forested hills, this calm and pleasant beach with pretty white sands. If one seeks more than sunbathing, facilities like boats are available.
Kamala beach is recommended to those who desire to get a feel of old Phuket. Local friendly people and village markets have their own charm. Small hotels and apartments are nestled around the fishing village. Although nightlife is subdued, the main evening attraction is Phuket FantaSea Entertainment Complex. The Complex is known for sparkling dances, leg-shaking music, and themed dining. If one desires more, Patong is just at 10 minutes drive.
A fantastic unspoilt casuarina-lined beach, Surin beach tour is for those wanting to relish delicious seafood and sunbath in peaceful, pleasant atmosphere. Absence of jet-skiis and speedboats means that the atmosphere is calm, tranquil and refreshing. However, Surin beach is nice for activities like snorkelling, kayaking, boogie boarding and surfing.
As for the facilities some shops, bars, cafes and small hotels cater to the needs of the visitors. If one wants more, Kamala Beach is just at 5-minutes drive to the south.
Bang Tao Beach
This 8 kilometer stretch of milky white beach is rapidly growing in popularity. Equipped with luxurious resorts and villas, Bang Tao beach provides a gamut of activities including golfing, horse riding, windsurfing, elephant riding, kids sports, rock climbing and ropes course. If one desires to get first-hand experience of a typical Thai traditional market, open-air village markets in close vicinity of the beach can be visited.
Laem Sing Beach
A reclusive beach, Laem Sing beach has luminous white beach at the center and rocky outcroppings at both ends. Sandwiched between Patong and Surin, Laem Sing is liked by snorkellers and sunbathers alike. Laem Sing beach has some locally run restaurants and bars, although there are no accommodation facilities, However, one can use the facilities in Patong and Surin, which are hardly at 15 minutes drive from here.
Although unsuitable for swimming due to it's muddy coastline, Chalong Bay tour is known for boating activities. Chalong is equipped with 720-meter long, 7-meter wide jetty. The jetty has necessary tourist facilities like parking, restaurants, information kiosks and shops.
Located at a short distance from Phuket town, Panwa Beach is a tranquil region where one can soak in the panoramic views undisturbed. Phuket Aquarium at the Phuket Marine Biological Center is the foremost attraction of this beach. Various water sports are organised regularly in and around this beach.
As for the accommodation, some beautiful resorts and bungalows are available. Outside the resorts, dining is limited to Thai and seafood restaurants.
Nai Ham Beach
Counted among the most beautiful places on the island, Nai Ham Beach is the beach for a relatively quite vacation. One can lie on the white sand, soak in the panoramic view and go for a relaxing swim.
Cheek-by-jowl from the beach is the eponymous village, having several small restaurants and bars. Tourist spots like Ya Nui and Ao Sane are in close vicinity of the Beach. These are good for activities like diving and snorkelling.
Nai Thon Beach
The beach is exclusively made for the tourists wanting to enjoy breathtaking views in solitude. Journey to the beach, which takes one through the virgin forests, is as picturesque as the beach. Few restaurants, dive centers and shops are available along the beach.
Nai Yang Beach
This beach, with the backdrop of casuarina trees, is a part of the Sirinath National Park. Combined with Mai Khao beach, it makes the longest stretch of sandy beach on the island. The beach has number of restaurants, which serve fresh seafood. As for the accommodation, hotels are available. The adjacent Park also has government bungalows. The beach is known for giant turtles which come to lay eggs at the shore every year.
Mai Khao Beach
If one wants to just lie idle in the sands and watch the waves of the sea in total peace, this is the place. That it is close to the airport and the mainland province of Phang Nga makes it even more 'useful'. As for accommodation, only few bungalows and a resort is available.
Rawai is used for launching excursions to nearby islands and fishing/snorkelling trips. Some restaurants are available, but they are opposite the roads that runs along the beach. There are few accommodation options too.
Phuket island has always been the darling of water sports lovers. Think of any possible water-sport and it would be available in Phuket. Several dive shops and tour operators operating in sports activities like golfing, fishing, diving, kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, rafting, scuba diving etc, are in Phuket island, which would assist the tourists in every way possible.
No Phuket tour can be complete without spa massage. Several resorts and spa therapy centers available all over the island including the town, can make you feel refreshed, after a day of sightseeing and adventure sports.
Here is brief information about neighboring tourist attractions of Phuket island and town:
Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands are known for lovely beaches, fascinating coral reefs and thrilling adventure. Featuring one of the most soothing landscapes of Asia, they are among the most visited tourist destinations in Thailand.
Phang Nga Bay
Fame of Phang Nga bay rests on it's unusual but beautiful natural formations. Limestone cliffs protruding out of green water, mysterious caves studded with stalagmites and stalactites and captivating beaches are some more known features of Phang Nga Bay.
Koh Samui island has all the ingredients of an ideal vacation destination. The bewitching island, offering hair-splitting adventure, delicious seafood and fun-filled nightlife, seems to be the destination of every tourist.
Visting Phuket when festivities are on can be an unforgettable experience. Two most prominent Phuket festivals are mentioned below:
Well-known vegetarian festival, celebrated in September or October, is celebrated with fanfare for ten days, specially in Phuket city. Processions, accompanied by fireworks, are taken throughout the city in morning and evening.
One can watch the devouts climbing ladders of upturned swords barefoot or walking on burning charcoal, both amazing feats.
Patong Carnival is celebrated with great fervor by the Patong locals. Usually celebrated at the start of November, the carnival involves a gamut of activities like sports events, stage shows, beauty ontests, and parades. Street stalls are set up and participants eat and drink a lot. Tourists can also take part in the carnival festivities and enjoy their Patong tour to the maximum.
Phuket tour can be turned into an eating extravaganza effortlessly. Every type of cuisine Thai, International or Seafood is available on the island. Restaurants and eating joints are scattered all over the island, specially at the beaches. Street food never ceases tempting the tourists.
Open-air restaurants on the beaches, providing fresh scrumptious seafood are great Phuket dining experience.
Phuket island has tropical monsoon climate, which means that it is warm all year round. Periods of April-May and September-October are the hottest. Best time to visit Phuket town is November to March.
Means of reaching Phuket island are mentioned below:
Phuket town has an international airport. However, international tourists tend to arrive via Bangkok.
One can take train to reach Surat Thani. Then local bus can be taken for Phuket city.
Buses ply between Phuket and Bangkok. One can also hire a car for the journey.
Cruise ships arrive regularly at Phuket island. Journey through a cruise can be a memorable one.
You can use public or private transport means to travel around Phuket island in Thailand. Songtaew and Tuk Tuk are two most common public transport vehicles. Songataews are small pick-ups fitted with benches, while Tuk Tuks are four-wheeled micro vans. Taxis are available, but mostly at the airport. For a comfortable tour of Phuket, it is better to hire motorbikes and cars, both easily available.
Every type of accommodation is easily available all over Phuket island. Resorts, cottages, bungalows, apartments, hotels, guesthouses, villas the choice is overwhelming.
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