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Home | Thailand | Regions in Thailand | South Thailand | Phuket
Phuket

Phuket is Thailand 's largest island, approximately the size of Singapore. Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand 's Indian Ocean coastline 862 kilometres south of Bangkok.

Phuket formerly derives its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colourful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign trader's ship logs.

The Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traded with Phuket. Other visitors were less friendly. Phuket's most famous monument is the memorial statue of the heroines Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sisunthon, who rallied islanders in 1785 to repel Burmese invaders.

Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, powdery, palm-fringed white beaches, sparkling island-dotted seas, sincerely hospitable people, superb accommodations and seafood, delightful turn-of-the-century Sino-Portuguese architecture; numerous sporting and leisure opportunities; a lush tropical landscape - all of which combine to create a delightful ambience for truly memorable holidays.

Climate

Phuket has two major seasons: the Rains Season from May through October, and the Hot Season from November through April. There are many sunny days throughout the Rains Season: showers customarily last little more than 2 or 3 hours. September is the wettest month. The best months are November through February. Average temperatures range between 22 and 34 degrees Celsius.

Attractions

Phuket and nearby islands have superb scuba diving grounds. A number of dive shops offer modern equipment rentals and internationally certified lessons for beginners. One-day dives cost as little as 3,000 Baht, but the more popular trips are five-day liveaboard diving excursions to the outer islands, like the Similan Islands of Phangnga Province, home of the most beautiful and colourful soft corals in the world. Visibility is often more than 100 feet and the water temperature doesn't really require a wetsuit.

Phuket is best known for its beautiful beaches. During the peak season of November-January, European visitors migrate to these sandy shores to bath in the sun and play in the surf. Most are situated on the western side of the island and are great for swimming and windsurfing. Patong is the most popular beach, teeming with all kinds of accommodations and activity, day and night. Its southern neighbor is Karon, a long, quiet beach lined with palms and evergreens, and the white sandy beaches of Kata, a stark contrast to Patong. The east has small islets ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.

Wat Chai Tararam, or Wat Chalong, is the most popular temple in Phuket. Built in 1837, a recent additon to the temple is a 61.4-meter high chedi containing the Phra Borom Sareerikatat relic, a piece of Buddha's bones brought over from Sri Lanka. Combining the architectural styles from the Southern, Central and Northeastern Thailand, the chedi is the first in this region to house this holy relic.

The Phuket Fantasea is a cultural theme park, the first kind ever, providing an immersion into Thai culture with fulfilled, elaborate magical and illusion shows. They also offer a dinner buffet in a cavernous dining hall. It is located on Kamala Beach. 

Game fishing trips are organized year-round with abundant tunas, barracudas, merlins, sailfish, and even sharks inhabiting the waters off Phuket. A favorite destination for most anglers is the nearby Racha Island where every trip is bound to reel in a big catch.

See turtles laying eggs and watch baby turtles being released back into the sea during the Songkran Festivals (April 13-15) at Nai Yang Beach, an area filled with government regulated bungalows.
Catch the most breath-taking sunsets at Phromthep Cape, Phuket's southernmost point. Be sure to get there early or else fight your way through throngs of tourists that converge at the cape daily.

Be enchanted by the mystery surrounding the solid gold Buddha statue half buried in the grounds of Wat Phra Thong. Legend has it that in the 18 th century, an invading Burmese army tried unsuccessfully to unearth it and was driven away by a swarm of hornets. The revered statue has remained so ever since.
View the spacious colonial-style residences built in the late 19 th century by tin and rubber barons and distinctive shophouses with shaded walkways in the heart of Phuket Town. The town was founded by Chinese and Malaysian merchants and the Sino-Portuguese architecture still retain influences from both cultures, as evident by the Government House, Phuket's oldest public structure.

Various forest mammals, reptiles and over 100 bird species live harmoniously together at the Khao Phra Thaew Forest Park near Thalong District, significant for preserving the last of Phuket's primary rainforest. Within the park are 2 spectacular waterfalls, Ton Sai and Bang Pae. See gibbons swinging in trees, the result of The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center in reintroducing domesticated gibbons into the forest to fend for them. 

City Attractions

Phuket town serves mainly as a dormitory and shopping centre. Splendid colonial style residences built by late 19th-century tin and rubber barons, and shophouses from the same period, provide distinctive character.

Khao Rang , a small hill northeast of the town, provides a pleasant view of town while dining, and has a Fitness Park, and a series of hillside sculptural tableaux which enhance calisthenics.

Phuket Aquarium is located at Cape Phanwa, on the island's extreme southeast. The aquarium displays hundreds of exotic, grotesque and flamboyantly colourful marine species found in Phuket 's teeming waters. Open daily from 8.30 in the morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon. A local bus can be taken from the town's fresh produce market. Called 0-7639-1126 for more information.

Phuket Butterfly Farm and Aquarium is only 3 kilometres from town via Yaowarat Road and the Sam Kong intersection. It has a fascinating collection of such tropical creatures as butterflies, insects, marine life all arranged in natural surroundings. It is open daily from 9 p.m.-5 p.m. Tel: 0-7621-5616, 0-7621-0861
Thai Village and Orchid Farm , on Thepkasattri Road about 3 kilometres from town, serves daily a typical southern Thai lunch that is followed by a spectacular cultural show including Thai dances, sword-fighting, Thai boxing, southern customs and elephants. Handicrafts are also on display. Call 0-7621-4860, 0- 7623-7400 for details.

Phuket Zoo ,located on the way to Chalong Bay, contains a collection of Asian and African mammals and birds. Elephant and crocodile shows are performed every day. Call 0-7638-1337, 0- 7638-1227 for details.

Saphan Hin   is a public park near the sea at the end of Phuket Road. In the circle is the Tin Mining Monument, shaped like a large drill bit, dedicated to the memory of Captain Edward Thomas Miles, the Australian who brought the first dredge to Phuket in 1909.

Phuket Sea Shell Museum is located near Rawai Beach on the island's southwestern shores. The emphasis is on shells from Thai waters, which are among the most sought-after by collectors, however shells from every part of the world are featured. There are numerous rarities and freaks including the world's largest golden pearl (140 karats), large sections of sedimentary rock containing shell fossils, and a shell that weighs 250 kilograms. The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m. Tel: 0-7638-1266 or 0- 7638-1274 

Ko Si-re , a twenty-square kilometre island, separated from the main island only by the small Thachin canal, is some 4 kilometres northeast of the town and hosts the biggest Sea Gypsy village in Phuket.
Ao Chalong, Phuket's principal boat anchorage and the island's larest bay, is 11 kilometres south of the town. It is very picturesque but not suitable for swimming. Boats can be chartered to go to some small islands south of Phuket. A number of restaurants are on the road leading to the bay.

A few kilometres from the bay is Wat Chalong   where statues of Luang Po Chaem and Luang Po Chuang, Phuket 's most revered monks, are enshrined.

Laem Ka , at the extreme southwest of Chalong Bay, is suitable for swimming.
To the south, the palm-fringed Rawai Beach   about 17 kilometres from town hosts Phuket 's Chao Le people (sea gypsies). Several offshore islands have gleaming white beaches and dazzling underwater scenery which attract fishing enthusiasts and scuba-divers.

The nearby Laem Phromthep or Phromthep Cape   forms Phuket 's southern most point and is the perfect place from which to enjoy spectacular sunsets and the sea.

Ko Kaeo   is an offshore isle about 3 kilometres out from Rawai beach and can be reached in 30 minutes by boat. It offers picturesque beaches and underwater scenery. There is also a replica of the Holy Footprint on the island.

Hat Nai Han   is located next to Phromthep Cape about 18 kilometres from town. Although not so long, the beach has white, clean sand. Beyond the beach is a swamp called Nong Han. Not recommended for swimming during May-October because of the Monsoon season.

A small bay next to Nai Han past the Phuket Yacht Club is Ao Sen or Sen Bay , peaceful and picturesque with white, clean sand.

The View Point is located mid-point between Nai Han and Kata beaches. The scenic Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches, and Ko Pu Island can be viewed from this point.

20 kilometres and 17 kilometres respectively from town are Hat Karon and Hat Kata. Both beaches are long and peaceful and eminently suitable for swimming and sunbathing. 

Krathu 

Hat Patong Phuket's most developed beach offers numerous leisure, sporting, shopping and recreational options along its 3-kilometre-long cresent bay. Windsurfing, snorkelling, sailing, swimming and sunbathing number among popular daytime activities. Patong is equally well known for its vibrant nightlife, among which seafood restaurants prominently feature. The following places offer enjoyable activities:
Phuket Water Ski Cableways, Tel: 0-7620-2525-7
Simon Cabaret, Tel: 0-7634-2011-5
Tarzan's Jungle Bungy Jump, Tel: 0-7632-1351
Tazan's Catapult Bungy, Tel: 0-1464-1581
Patong Go-kart Speedway, Tel: 0-7632-1949
Phuket Joyland, Tel: 0-7620-3005
Horror House, Tel: 0-7629-3123
Once in Patong, turn right to Hat Kalim which is a small beach with large rocks and coral reef. Accommodation is available.
Hat Kamala is a 2-kilometre-long beach north of Patong. The beach is beautiful and quiet. Accommodation and seafood restaurants are available.

Thalang

Ao Bang Thao is a large open bay with one of Phuket's longest beaches. It was once used for tin mining, but has since been developed into a luxury resort. Most of it is occupied by the Laguna complex, a massive five-hotel development with golf course. There are, however, accommodations available outside Laguna at the bay's south end which can be reached by taking the road north from Surin beach.

Thalang National Museum is located near the Two Heroines Monument. The museum contains a permanent exhibition of life in old Phuket, ancient artefacts and remains discovered on the coast and, materials used during war with Burma (Myanmar). It is open daily except national holidays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information call 0-7631-1426, 0-7631-1025.

About 20 kilometres from town is Wat Phranang Sang , located on the Thepkasattri Road at Thalang district. An old and historical landmark of Phuket, the temple was once a fort resisting Burmese invasion around 1785. Inside the old Ubosot are enshrined the three oldest and largest Buddha statues made of tin. Called the Three Kings, they are positioned in the midsections of another three large statues.

Wat Phra Thong is where only the upper half of a large Buddha statue emerges from the ground. Legend has it that during the invasion of Thalang town in 2328 B.E. (circa 1785), the Burmese tried in vain to excavate the statue to take to back. Each time they dug into the ground, swarms of hornets would swoop on them and they had to give up. Later, the visible part of the statue was covered with gold by the villagers and has remained as such until today. It is located about 20 kilometres from Phuket town past the Thalang district office.

The Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary   is located in Thalang district about 20 kilometres from Phuket town. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in July of 1969, it has 13,925 rai (5,570 acres) of rich and fertile land and is the habitat to several types of wild animals. Major attractions include:

Namtok Ton Sai, 22 kilometres from town on the Thepkasattri Road past the Thalang district intersection, then turn right and proceed on for another 3 kilometres to the fall. Although small in size, it nevertheless provides a cool, shady area for relaxation and the flow during the rainy season is quite strong. 

Another waterfall in the sanctuary is Namtok Bang Pae which is located at Tambon Pa Khlok past the Two Heroines Monument. There is an arboretum and a nursery to rehabilitate captured gibbons before returning them to the wild.

For nature enthusiasts, the sanctuary has mapped out some walking trails. Further information may be obtained from the Nature Study Centre.

About 24 kilometres from town is Hat Surin, which can be reached on Route No. 402. After reaching the Heroines Monument, turn left and proceed on for 12 kilometres. The beach borders on a hillside. To the north are groves of large pine trees and a golf course. Surin beach is not recommended for swimming because of its steepness and heavy seas and winds during the Monsoon season.

About one kilometre from Surin beach is Laem Sing which offers a small but white sandy beach; to the left is a scenic rocky cape. Sirinat National Park is about 30 kilometres from town. Proceed on the Thepkasattri Road past the Thalang intersection. Take a left turn at Km.21-22 or go straight on to turn left for 2 kilometres at the road to the airport. The park occupies a total area of 90 square kilometres, and has an uninterrupted 13-kilometre-long stretch of beaches:

Hat Nai Thon nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of sand. This quiet bay is suitable for swimming.

Hat Nai Yang is where the park headquarters are located. The beach is blessed with shady pine trees providing excellent opportunity for swimming and relaxation. Off-shore is a large coral reef which serves as habitat for several species of sea life, particularly the sea turtles.

Hat Mai Khao, also known as the Airport Beach (Hat Sanambin), can be reached by taking the Thepkasattri Road on to the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge, then take a left turn at the direction sign pointing to Mai Khao Beach. It is the habitat of the sea cicadas and turtles.

Hat Sai Kaeo, which is just the northern portion of Mai Khao beach, is a long white sandy beach with groves of pines along the shore.

Mangrove Forest , situated on the island's northern tip, cover a large area of 320 acres. A nature trail has been cleared for the convenience of visitors with signs indicating and explaining the various species. 

Off - shore trips

Phuket is well-equipped to provide off-shore trips making it a centre of tourism in the Andaman sea. Trips can be arranged to see forests and mountains, rocky formations, beaches, coral reefs and fishing.
Most of Phuket 's 39 satellite islands are located to the east and the south. Islands of special interest include:

Ko Racha Yai or Raya Yai with its gleaming beaches can be reached by chartered boat from Ao Chalong. Travelling time is about 2-3 hours during off-Monsoon season (December-April). Sightseeing services are available from tour operators in town. Accommodation is available. A hilltop viewpoint on the bay's south offers a magnificent view of the whole island.

Ko Rang Yai , lying off Phuket's east coast, has been developed for the out-of-doors minded tourist. Among various activities are sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting a pearl farm. Package tours are available.

Noted for its exotic corals is Ko Mai Thon which is also suitable for scuba diving and fishing. Travel and accommodation arrangements can be made at the Mai Thon Resort. Those not wishing to stay overnight may take a daytime excursion. Call 0-76 21-4954-7 for more information.

Ko Nakha Noi , just off Ao Po on the northeastern shore, is popular for its pearl farm. There are fine sandy beaches suitable for swimming and a seafood restaurant. Tourists can charter a boat at Ao Po or contact tour agencies for a tour package (generally including lunch). 

Ko Taphao Yai 10 minutes by ferry from Ao Makham on Phuket's southeast coast. The island is home to the Bucerotes hornbill. Accommodation is available.

The terrain of Ko Lon is mountainous with level land along the shore. The mainly Muslim inhabitants engage in fishing, rubber and coconut planting. Ferry services from Ao Chalong are operated only in the early morning.

Ko He or Coral Island , just off Phuket's south coast, is known for its two beautiful beaches and coral reef. The island is part of a marine preserve. Accommodation, restaurants, various water sports and diving facilities are available. Boats leave Rawai Beach or Chalong Bay. Package tours are also available. Phuket is the ideal place from where to visit popular attractions in neighbouring provinces, either on day tours or as overnight excursions. Principal destination include:

Phang-nga Bay , located northeast of Phuket, contains scores of limestone islands, some riddled with aquatic grottoes. This picturesque bay is an enduringly popular excursion. Tours are offered by hotels and tour companies throughout Phuket.

Phi Phi Islands , in Krabi province, is about 40 kilometres from Phuket. They are made up of the Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le about 2.2 kilometres apart offering picturesque land and underwater scenarios.
Similan Islands are situated in Phangnga province. Phuket dive shops operate daily excursions to the Similan islands during the high season of November-May when underwater visibility is at its best. 

Activities

Scuba Diving - Expeditions regularly leave Phuket for dives around neighbouring islands, and further afield, most particularly around the enduringly popular Phi Phi Islands in neighbouring Krabi province, some 2 hours east of Phuket, and the Similan Islands, in Phangnga province, some 110 kilometres northwest of Phuket, and the Raya Islands, 1-3 hours due south of Phuket, depending on the type of boat. Several dive shops concentrated in the Patong, Kata and Chalong areas have Asian and European expatriate(s) speaking English and several other languages), and bilingual Thai dive instructors who offer inexpensive beginner's courses. All diving equipment is available for hire.

Diving Companies :
- Aqualand 135/23 Patong Beach, Tel: 0-7634-0666 ext. 2475, Fax: 0-7634-1868, 0-7634-0565
- Calypso Divers   109/17 Kata Beach Tel: 0-7633-0869
- Fantasia Divers 219 Rat-uthit Song Roi Pi Road, P.O.Box 20, Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0088, Fax: 0-7634-0309
- Holiday Diving Club 124/11 Patong Beach Hotel Tel: 0-7634- 1235, 0-7634-4243, Fax: 0-7634-0998
- Kon-Tiki Diving School Green Valley, Karon Beach Tel: 0-7639- 6312, Fax: 0-7639-6313
- Marina Cottage International 120/2 Marina Cottage, Kata-Karon Beach Tel: 0-7633-0272, 0-7633-0625, Fax: 0-7633-0516
- Poseidon Diving Club Phuket Island Resort, Wiset Road Tel: 0- 7638-1010-7 ext. 494, Fax: 0-7638-1018
- P.I.D.C. Diver 1/10 Wiset Road, Chalong Bay Tel: 0-7628-0644-5 Fax: 0-7638-1219
- Phuket Divers 31/1 Phun Phon Road Tel: 0-7621-5738, 0-7621-4649- Phuket Aquatic Safari 12/157 Thinnawut Village, 2 Chao Fa Road, Tel: 0-7621-6562, Fax: 0-7621-4507
- Santana 22 Thawiwong, P.O.Box 79 Patong Beach Tel: 0-7629- 4200, Fax: 0-7634-0360 / 121/10 Mu 4 Patak Road, Kata Beach Tel: 0-7633-0598, Fax: 0-7633-0598
- Scuba Cat Patong Resort, 89/71 Thawiwong Road, Patong, Tel: 0-1956-4373, Fax: 0-7621-9647
- Sea Bees Diving 1/3 Wiset Road, Chalong Bay Tel: 0-7638- 1765, Fax: 0-7638-1765
- Sea Hawk Diver 92/21 Sawatdirak Road, Patong Beach Tel: 0- 7634-1179, 0-7634-1151, Fax: 0-7634-4151
- Siam Diving Center 121/9 Patak Road, Kata-Karon Beach Tel: 0-7633-0936, Fax: 0-7633-0680
- Similan Scuba Sport 1 Soi Prayun, Yaowarat Road, Amphoe Muang Phuket Tel: 0-7621-9467- Southeast Asia Diver P.O.Box. 15 Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634- 0406, Fax: 0-7634-0586
- Wedgewood Agquatics 114/ 38 Patak Road, Kata Beach Tel: 0-7633-0802, Fax: 0-7633-0803

Snorkelling - This can be enjoyed in sheltered bays all around Phuket. It is particularly enjoyable at easily accessible reefs at Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. Fins, mask and snorkel can be rented on a daily basis from shops all over the island. 

Swimming - This can be enjoyed throughout the year, and is mostly safe. However, during the rainy season' storms this can be very dangerous. Look for posted signs and flags indicating conditions for safe swimming; if the red flag is flying, do not go swimming in the ocean!

Wind Surfing - Boards may be rented by the hour, half day, full day, or week at most major beaches. Tuition is available free.

Sailing - Enjoy mostly at Nai Han, Patong and Kata beaches. Most classes of boat- - from dinghies to yachts are available for rent.

For yacths & cruises:
-Thai Marine Leisure, Tel: 0-7623-9111   
-Sunsail Charters, Tel: 0-7623-9057   
-Phuket Island Discovery, Tel: 0-7623-9031   
-Phuket Marina Services, Tel: 0-7623-8943-3   
-House Boats Ahoy, Tel: 0-7626-0494

Yacth Services - Yachtsmen visiting Phuket can enjoy a full range of services, including dry dock facilities and boat repairs, and safe and secure moorings. Yachts of ever shape and size can be chartered, either as bareboats or with full crew. Please check with the Phuket Port Control (Tel & Fax: 0-7638-1614) for details regarding bringing in a yacht, or leaving by yacht. Facilities and services for yachts are available at
-Phuket Boat Lagoon, Tel: 0-7623-8948   
-Yacht Haven Phuket, Tel: 0-7620-6704-5   
-Phuket Yacht Club, Tel: 0-7621-1470   
-Ban Nit Marina, Tel: 0-7620-0409

Deep Sea Fishing - Daily tours are available, making early morning departures and late afternoon returns, mostly to lesser islands to fish for Red Snappers, Rainbow Runners and other game fish.

Fishing :
- Game Fishing 6/16 Chalong Bay, Muang District
- Phuket Sport Fishing Centre Patong Beach Tel: 0-7621-4713, 0-1464-1338, Fax: 0-7633-0680
- Suk Chai Fishing Chalong Bay Tel: 0-7622-2173

Sea Canoeing - This form of eco-tourism is available in several forms, as popular one-day tours, or more extended tours involving overnight camping on island beaches, and occurs principally in the neighbouring Phangnga Bay and Krabi porvince, where mangrove swamps and island grottoes are accessible only by canoe.

Canoeing :
-A&K License P.O. Box. 199 Phuket Tel: 0-7623-5098, 0-7623- 5353, Fax: 0-7623-5353
-Sea Canoe 367/4 Yaowarat Road, Muang District, P.O. Box 276 Phuket Tel./Fax: 0-7621-2172, 0-7621-2252

Golf - There are 4 challenging, 18 hole golf courses in Phuket, including:

Golf Courses:
- Banyan Tree Golf Courses   393 Mu 1 Sisunthon Road, Tambon Choeng Thale, Thalang District, Phuket 83110 Tel: 0-7632 4350-1, 0-7632-4358, Fax: 0-7632-4351
- Blue Canyon Country Club 165 Mu 1 Thepkasattri Road, Tambon Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83140 Tel: 0-7632- 7440-7, Fax: 0-7632-7449
- Phuket Century Club 38 Mu 5 Wichit Songkhram, Krathu District, Phuket 83120 Tel: 0-7632-1929, 0-7632-1933-4, Fax: 0- 7632-1928
- Phuket Country Club 80/1Wichit Songkhram, Kathu District, Phuket 83120 Tel: 0-7632-1025-41, Fax: 0-7632-1721

Miniature Golf
- Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf at Patong, Tel: 0-7634- 2951
- Dino Park Mini Golf at Karon Beach, Tel: 0-7633-0625

Horse Riding Guided tours on horseback are another way to relax while sightseeing.
- Crazy Horse Club Soi Ruam Na Na Chat, Nai Han Beach
- Phuket Laguna Riding Club 394 Mu 1 Bang Thao Beach Tel: 0- 7632-4199, 0-7632-4099
- Phuket Riding Club 95 Soi Wiset, Ao Chalong-Rawai Road.

Mountain Biking It's easier than it looks. Most any person can enjoy themselves on a mountain bike, which has gearing sufficient to take the mightiest incline. Contact Andaman Trails, Tel: 0-7623-5353

Boat Services :
- Fast Ferry Siam 5/7 Chao Fa Road Tel: 0-7621-0769
- Friendship Travel 38 Phuket Road Tel: 0-7621-7317
- Lovely Travel&Tour 20/13 Mae Luan Road Tel: 0-7621-3622, Fax: 0-7622-1126
- Phi Phi Cruiser 35/29 Wichit Songkhram Tel: 0-7621-1253, Fax: 0-7621-8456
- Phi Phi Marine Travel 74/38 Phun Phon Road Tel: 0-7621-4941, 0-7622-3532, Fax: 0-7621-4942
- Sea Tran Travel 6 Phangnga Road Tel: 0-7621-3510, Fax: 0- 7622-3922
- Silver Queen Tel: 0-7621-4056, Fax: 0-7621-5455
- Singha Phuket 74/175 Phun Phon Night Bazaar, Phun Phon Road Tel/Fax: 0-7622-0873, 0-7622-5585
- Songserm Travel Centre 53 Satun Road Tel: 0-7622-3636-40

Boating :
- Asia Vovages 60/6-7 Paradise Complex, Patong Beach, Rat-uthit Road Tel: 0-7634-0912, 0-7634-1987, Fax: 0-7634-1188
- Cobra Windsurf-Sea Sport 1/11-12 Wiset Road, Chalong Bay Tel: 0-7638-1065
- Phuket Boat Lagoon 22/1 Thepkasattri Road Tel: 0-7623- 9055, Fax: 0-7623-9056
- Phuket Yacht Service   59/33 Bangkok Road, Muang District Tel: 0-7622-4999, 0-7621-0789 Fax: 0-7622-0915
- Southeast Asia Yacht Charter P.O.Box. 15 Patong Beach, Krathu Tel: 0-7634-0406, Fax: 0-7634-0586
- Sunsail Yacht Charter 22/1 Thepkasattri Tel: 0-7623-9057, Fax: 0-7623-8940
- Thai Marine Leisure 70/176 Paradise Complex, Rat-uthit Road
- Thai Yachting 94/97-98 Thawiwong Road, Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0541
- Yacht Charter Travel Service 5/3 Chaofa Road, Muang District Tel: 0-7621-0350-2, 0-7621-6423, Fax: 0-7621-6556

Tours available at travel agencies: City Tour (Phuket Sightseeing Tour)/ Phangnga Bay Tour/ Phi Phi Island Tour/ Similan Island Tour/ Raya Island Tour/ Coral Island Tour/ Kai Island Tour/ Rang Yai Island Tour/ Maiton Island Tour/ Naka Island Tour/ Sea Canoeing Tour/ Eco & Adventure Tour. 

Other Sports :
- Go Karts 1 kilometre from Police Station, Kathu District Tel: 0- 7632-1979
- Tarzan Jungle Bungy Jump Tel: 0-7632-1351
- Top Gun Paintball Tel: 0-7638-1667

DINING / NIGHTLIFE
Standard western fare is found in all major hotels. Thai, Chinese and Islamic foods are available island-wide. Phuket 's seafood, probably Thailand 's most delicious, is prepared in variety of succulent styles. Southern dishes can be spicy hot but are well worth sampling. Tropical fruits abound, particularly local pineapples and coconuts.

Phuket 's nightlife is comparatively sedate and is concentrated in the town centre and Patong offering restaurants, bars, traditional massage, nightclubs and discos. 

Festival

Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sisunthon Fair is held on March 13 every year to commemorate the two great heroines who rallied the Thalang people to repel Burmese invaders. Many activities and celebrations are organised.

Seafood Festival, held around Ma y yearly, is designed to publicise the delicious seafood of Phuket and attract visitors during the rainy season. Activities include a Marine Tourism Resources Parade, seafood stalls, demonstrations of regional cuisines and cultural shows.

Vegetarian Festival is held on the first day of the 9 th lunar month (usually Octobe r). Phuket islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet, a form of purification believed to help make the forthcoming year "trouble-free". The festival is marked by several ascetic displays, including fire-walking and ascending sharp-bladed ladders.

Phuket Travel Fair, held on November 1, was first initiated in 1985 at Patong to welcome in the tourist season and designed to foster co-operation among tourism-related operators in both the private and public sectors. Many colourful and interesting activities are organised, such as merit-making in the morning, water sports contests, a Miss Visitor Contest, among others.

Phuket King 's Cup Regatta is held in December. The Phuket Yacht Club hosts international yachtsmen, largely from neighbouring countries who compete in the Nai Han Beach area for royal trophies.

Laguna Phuket Triathlon is held in each December. The triathlon (a 1,000-metre swim, a 5-kilometre bike race and a 12-kilometre run) attracts world-class athletes from all over the world.

Tourist Season Opening Festival , starting from November 1, is usually called the Patong Carnival, from the place where celebrations occur. Colourful parades, sports events, and a beauty competition for foreign tourists are major activities.

Turtle Release Fair is held on Songkran, the nationwide Thai water festival, on April 13 which is also National Fisherman's Day. Baby turtles are released into the sea at various locations.

Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival falls during the middle of the sixth and eleventh lunar months yearly. The sea gypsy villages at Rawai and Sapam hold their ceremonies on the 13 th ; Ko Si-re celebrates on the 14 th ; and Laem La (east of the bridge on Phuket's northerntip) on the 15 th.

Ceremonies, which centre on the setting adrift of small boats similar to the Thai festival of Loi Krathong, are held at night and their purpose is to drive away evil and bring good luck. 

Hotels and accommodation 

  • 888 Inn : 70/23 Soi 6 Paradise Complex, Patong Beach [0 7634 1306] : 250-500 baht
  • 999 : 54/2-3 Kra Road, Amphoe Muang Phuket [0 7621 1969] : 150-350 baht
  • Alamanda Phuket : 29 Mu 4 Sisunthon Road, Bang Thao Beach [0 7632 4359, Bangkok Tel: 0 2285 0746-7, Fax: 0 2235 0748] : 5,900-11,000 baht
  • Allamanda Laguna Phuket : 29 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road,Cherngtalay, Talang [(66 76) 324-359]
  • Amanpuri Hotel, Phuket : Pansea Beach [(66 76) 324-333]
  • Amanpuri Resort : 118 Mu 3 Cheongthale Road, Phansi Beach [0 7632 4333-8, Fax: 0 7632 4100, 0 7632 4200, Bangkok Tel: 0 2636 0633] : 18,000-40,000 baht
  • Amari Coral Beach Resort : 2 Meun-Ngern Road, Patong Beach, Kra Too [(66 76) 340-106-14]
  • Amari Coral Beach Resort : 2 Mun-Ngoen Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0106-14, Fax: 0 7634 0115, Bangkok Tel: 0 2255 3960, 0 2255 4588] : 4,387-7,412 baht
  • Andaman Beach Suite : 60/12 Rat-Uthit Road, Amphoe Muang Phuket [0 7634 1879-83, Fax: 0 7634 0893, Bangkok Tel: 0 2693 3245-7] : 1,650-2,700 baht
  • Andaman Beach Suites, The : 60/12 Rad Utid Song Roi Pee Rd, Patong Beach [(66 76) 341-879-83]
  • Andaman Cannasia Resort : 113/16,18 Moo 4, Patuk Road., Karon, Muang [(66 76) 284-211-4]
  • Andaman Orchid : 32 Ruamchai Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0902-3, Fax: 0 7634 0620] : 2,106-2,925 baht
  • Andaman Resotel : 65/21-25 Soi Saen Sabai, Anuson Son Roi Pi Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 1516-7, Fax: 0 7634 1712] : 1,200 baht
  • Andatel Patong Phuket : Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Rd, Patong Beach, Kathu [076 290480]
  • Ao Chalong Bungalow : 9/1 Mu 9 Ao Chalong [0 7628 2175, 0 7638 1190] : 150-250 baht
  • Ao Sen Bungalow : 11/12 Mu 1, Sen Bay [0 7628 8306] : 100-300 baht
  • Asia Guest House : 141/37-8 Rat-Uthit Road, Patong beach [0 7634 0962-3] : 250-500 baht
  • Atlast Resort : 14 Wiset Road, Mittraphap Beach [0 7638 1279, 0 7638 1286, 0 7638 1643, Fax: 0 7638 1279] : 300-900 baht
  • Baan Mai Cottages & Restaurant : 35/1 Moo 3, Koh Lone [(66 76) 223-095] 
  • Baan Sukhothai Hotel : 70 Bangla Road, Patong Beach [(66 76) 341-394-7]
  • Ban Mon Inn : 58 Pisitkorani Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 2463] : 300-400 baht
  • Ban Raya : 7/26 Ratsadanuson Road, Racha Yai Island [0 7635 4682, Fax: 0 7622 4439] : 1,200-1,900 baht
  • Ban Sukhothai : 70 Soi Bang La, Rat-Uthit Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 1394-8, 0 7634 0195-6, Fax: 0 7634 0197, Bangkok Tel: 0 2245 5815-9] : 2,662-6,534 baht
  • Ban Thai Beach : 94 Thawiwong Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0328-9, Fax: 0 7634 0330, Bangkok Tel: 0 2247 1320, 0 2247 1348] : 2,354-2,943 Baht
  • Bang Thao Lagoon Bungalow : 72/3 Mu 3 Bang Thao Beach [0 7632 4260, 0 7632 4483, Fax: 0 7632 4168] : 250-1,600 baht
  • Bangtao Beach Cottage : 63/4 Moo3, Tambol Chengtalay, Amphoe Thalang [(66 76) 325-418]
  • Banthai Beach Resort : 94 Thaveewong Road, Patong Beach [(66 76) 340-850-4]
  • Banyan Tree Phuket : 33 Moo 4 Srisoonthorn Road,Cherngtalay, Amphur Talang [(66 76) 324-374]
  • Banyan Tree Phuket : 33 Mu 4 Sisunthon Road, Bang Thao Beach [0 7632 4374, 0 7632 4460-8, Fax: 0 7632 4375, Bangkok Tel: 0 2285 0080, ext. 531-536, Fax: 0 76285 0748] : 14,000-46,400 baht
  • Bay Hotel, The : 31/11 Moo8, sakdidej Road, Cape Panwa, Muang [(66 76) 391-514]
  • Beach Resotel : 96 Thawiwong Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0544, 0 7634 1217, Fax: 0 7634 0848] : 1,800-2,300 baht
  • Beau Rivage : 77/15-17 Rat-Uthit Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0725, Fax: 0 7634 0785] : 500 baht
  • Best Guest House : 70/164-5 Paradise Complex, Ratuthit Road, Patong Beach [0 7634 0958, Fax: 0 7634 0857] : 250-300 baht
  • Bird Beach Bungalow : 73/3 Kamala Beach : 500-1,000 baht
  • Boat House Inn : 2/2 Patak Road, Kata Beach [0 7633 0015-7, Fax: 0 7633 0561, Bangkok Tel: 0 2653 8725] : 4,400-8,500 baht
  • Boat Lagoon Resort : 22/1 M.2 Thepkasattri Rd., T.Koh-Kaew, A.Muang, [076-238-533-40] 

Restaurants

  • Le Jadin Patong Hill : Soi Na Nai Tel: 0-7634-0391
  • La Spaghettiria : 70/68 Rat-uthit Road, Paradise Complex Tel: 0-7634-0967 (Italian)
  • La Mousson : 89/3 Sawatdirak (French)
  • Lai Mai : 68 Thawiwong Road Tel: 0-7634-0460 (European, Thai)
  • The Islander : 94/27 Soi Patong Resort Tel: 0-7634-2685 (Thai, Western)
  • Hungry Tiger : 93/35 Rat uthit Tel: 0-7634-0275 (Thai, Western)
  • Hideaway : 47/4 Na Nai Tel: 0-7634-0591 (Thai, Western)
  • Grillhuntte : 83/54 Thawiwong Road Tel: 0-7634-1456 (Austrarian, German)
  • Ban Rim Pha : 100/7 Kalim Beach Tel: 0-7634-1768 (Thai)
  • Baitong : Patong Beach Hotel 124 Thawiwong Road Tel: 0-7634-0301-2 (Seafood)
  • Buffalo Steak House : 94/25-26 Soi Baitong Resort (Western)
  • Casanova : 97/32 Thawiwong Road, Patong Resort Arcade Tel: 0-7634-0417 (Italian)
  • Charlis : 65/20 Soi Saen Sabai Tel: 0-7634-1216 (Swedish)
  • Chat House : Phuket Cabana Hotel Tel : 0-7634-0138-9 (Thai, Chinese, Western, Seafood)
  • Da Maurizio : 100/9 Hat Kalim Road Tel: 0-7634-4079 (Italian)
  • Malee Seafood : Thawiwong Road Tel: 0-7634-1193, 0-7634- 0205
  • Nakahe : 97/9 Thawiwong Road, Patong Resort Arcade Tel: 0-7634-1094 (Japanese)
  • New Delhi : 89/114 Soi Pheomphong 3 Tel: 0-7634-1267 (Indian)
  • Noen Thong Terrace : 64/5 Kalim Beach Tel: 0-7634-0571-2 (Thai)
  • Patong Seaside : 89/79 Thawiwong Road Tel: 0-7634-1547
  • Roma Da Maoro E Franco : 89/15 Soi Praisani Tel: 0-7634-2192 (Italian) Thung Kha Café :: Khao Rang Tel: 0-7621-1500
  • Thai Nan : 16 Wichit Songkhram Road Tel: 0-7622-6164-7 (Thai -Chinese -Japanese)
  • Phuket Sea Food : 66/2 Phuket Road Tel: 0-7621-2245
  • New Lucky : 74/162 Phun Phon Night Plaza, Phun Phon Road Tel: 0-7622-1522
  • Metropole Café : Soi Surin, Montri Road Tel: 0-7621-5050 (Thai, Chinese, Western)
  • Mae Phon : Phangnga Road Tel: 0-7621-2106 (Thai, Chinese, Western)
  • Laem Thong : 31-39 Opposite Thawon Grand Plaza Tel: 0- 7621-1269, 0-7621-0609 (Chinese, Seafood)
  • Lai An Lao : 58 Ratsada Road Tel: 0-7621-1245, 0-7622- 2203 (Thai, Chinese, Western)
  • Forturna Pavilion : Montri Road Tel:0-7621-5050 (Chinese)
  • Euro Food : 15-7 Thalang Road Tel:0-7621-2611 (Western)
  • Seven Sea Seafood : 28/8 Chao Fa Road Tel: 0-7621 -5980
  • Phromthep : Laem Phromthep 94/6 Mu 6, Tambon Rawai Tel: 0-7621-8579 (Thai)
  • Le Croissant : 18/136-140 Chao Fa Nok Road Tel: 0-7621- 7329 (Bakery)
  • Kan Eng 2 : 9/ 3 Chao Fa Road Tel: 0-7638-1323 (Seafood)
  • Kan Eng 1 : Chalong Junction, Wiset Road Tel: 0-7638- 1661 (Seafood)
  • Chom View : Siam Phuket Resort 24/24 Rawai Plaza Tel: 0-7638-1346-7 (Thai) Phuket Town 

How to get there

* By car
From Bangkok, take Highway 4 through Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, thence through Ranong province's Kra Buri and Kaper districts, Phangnga province's Takua Pa and Takua Thung districts and onto Phuket island across the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge. The total distance is 862 kilometres. 

* By bus
Air-conditioned coaches, varying in 3 types, depart from Bangkok 's Southern Bus Terminal to Phuket every day. Departure times are as follows:
VIP Bus : 5.30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
Standard 1 Bus : 5.30 p.m., 5.45 p.m., 6 p.m., 6.30 p.m., 6.40 p.m., 7 p.m., 7.10 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Standard 2 Bus : 7 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Travelling time is about 13 hours. For further details, please call 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 1200. 

* By train 
There are no direct train services to Phuket. Travellers by train must get off at Phun Phin railway station in Surat Thani and continue by regular buses to Phuket. Please call 1690, 66 2223-7010, 66 2223 7020 for more information. 

* By plane
From October 23,2003, Phuket Air offers daily flights to Phuket and the journey takes only 1.20 hours. Flight time is available at 10.30 hrs. from Bangkok and 18.30 hrs. from Phuket. For more information, call Bangkok Office 66 2679 8999 or Phuket Office 66 7522 0184-6 or view www.phuketairlines.com

Bangkok Airways has daily flights connecting Phuket with Pattaya and Samui. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel. 66 2265 5678 Reservation tel. 66 2265 5555 or view their website at www.bangkokair.com

Thai Airways has numerous daily flights servicing the Bangkok-Phuket route. In additon, they have regular flights connecting Phuket with Hat Yai, Surat Thani, and Narathiwat. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel. 66 2628 2000 or view their website at www.thaiairways.com.

  • Chumphon is a sea coast city parallel to the Gulf of Thailand. It is the gateway to other southern provinces. Along more than 200 kilometres of...
  • This coastal province covers an area of 4,709 square kilometers and is located 814 kilometres south of Bangkok. Krabi 's major attractions are located...
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  • Pattani is an east-coast province in the south, adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand, with an area of approximately 1,940 square kilometres. There are two major...
  • Phang-nga, a seaside province by the Andaman Sea with scenic views of forests and islands. The province offers superb natural beauty both onshore and...
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  • Phuket is Thailand 's largest island, approximately the size of Singapore. Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand 's Indian Ocean...
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  • Satun is a small province in the south of Thailand that borders Malaysia, facing the Andaman Sea. The province possesses renowned picturesque islands with...
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