Crystal clear waters and pristine white sands – these are just some of the many things that await you in fantastic Phuket. As the largest island in Thailand, this southern atoll opens to the amazing views of the Andaman Sea.
Although Phuket is widely known for its beaches, the 576-square-kilometer island is predominantly mountainous. Highlands dominate from north to south, with the latter being flanked by the beautiful island mountain range.
Because of its advantageous location and picturesque geography, the islet – then known as the Junksellon – served as a trading post for the French, Dutch and the English. These visitors mainly exported the island’s tin and rubber – which became the province’s source of wealth. Although it remains as Thailand’s main rubber provider, tourism nowadays is the city’s bread and butter.
With that being said, Phuket tourism has doubled in the past few years, welcoming an average of 2.2 million foreign visitors annually. The Chinese and the Russians remain to be the top tourists – with visiting rates increasing by more than 100% per country. This boost in rate, in fact, has spiked Phuket Thailand revenues to as much as 110 million baht.
Aside from its beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, another thing that draws these visitors to the island is the lovely Phuket weather. With its tropical monsoon climate, tourists can expect comfortable temperatures ranging from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. But since the monsoon season keeps the island wet from April to November, the dry season (December to April) proves to be the best months to enjoy Phuket attractions.
Despite the new infrastructures and modern Phuket hotels that have taken the island by storm, the island remains true to its heritage. In fact, its’ legacy can be seen on its seal – which bears the images of Thao Thep Kasatri and Thao Sri Sunthon. The locals owe their freedom to these two heroines, who helped protect the island from Burmese invaders.
With its impressive geography – coupled by colorful culture and hospitable citizens – this beach paradise proves to be one of the best destinations in Asia. If you are looking for a surprisingly affordable good time, then make sure to include this Thai gem in your bucket list.Phuket Attractions
As Asia’s most famous beach destination, a trip to the atoll is deemed incomplete if you do not take a dip in any of its beautiful beaches. As such, make sure to visit Hat Patong, a 3-kilometer long strip of fine sands and pure beach waters. Here, you can enjoy a variety of water sports – and endless partying at sun-down.
If you want a Phuket beach that is less travelled (therefore, less crowded,) then set your sights on Hat Karon. With an undeveloped coastline, it is a great place to swim and relax in peace.
Although the island is largely known for its stunning beaches, there’s more to the island than just its waters. There are numerous Phuket tours offered, the most famous of which is the Two Heroines Monument. Showcasing the statues of Thao Thep Kasatri and Thao Sri Sunthon, this shrine is particularly spectacular at night.
Just a few steps from this monument one of the city’s best destinations: the Thalang National Museum. With its diverse collection, it is the best place to learn more about the intriguing history of the island.Travel & Transportation
Because of the island’s sheer popularity, tourists from different regions of the globe can easily visit the Thai beach capital. After all, it has its own international airport – located north of the island.
Once you have arrived at the airport, you have several options to reach any of the Phuket hotels. You can hire a taxi, or book private transfers. But if you are looking for a more cost-effective alternative, hop on the Airport Bus.
Once you are in the city center, you can easily move in between attractions because most are located near each other. But if walking is too taxing for you – you can always take a tuk-tuk. Perfect for a short Phuket travel, a tuk-tuk ride can take you as far back a few hundred Baht. If you like an air-conditioned trip, take a metered taxi. You can easily get one near popular Phuket resorts.
If you plan on roaming around Thailand’s largest island, hop on board the blue open-aired buses, which service the city from 7 am to 6 pm. Trips to Patong, Kamala or Surin cost about 90 Baht per way.