A Quick Guide to Phuket

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Phuket might as well be dubbed the tourism capital of Thailand thanks to its expansive coastline, crystal blue waters, colourful sunsets, and resorts galore. But there’s much more to Phuket beyond the westernised shopping malls and busy streets like Bangla Road… here’s our quick guide to Phuket to help you get to know the area beyond the hotspots and find hidden gems along the way.

bali or phuket

Population: 378, 364+
Known as: The City of Happiness (Phuket Town)
Climate: Tropical Monsoonal (avoid September-October)

A Guide to Phuket Thailand

Prior to Arrival

Many nationalities are exempt from visa requirements for stays of up to 30 days (Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore) are all exempt any many more – see here for a full list.

On Arrival

The easiest way to make your way from the airport to your hotel/resort/bungalow is via taxi or pre-arranged private driver (slightly more expensive of course!) However if you are on a budget, there is a new shuttle bus that takes travellers directly from the airport to Patong beach.

Getting Around

You just can’t come to Phuket without at least one ride in a Tuk-Tuk!!!

If you’re staying in Patong, the best way to get around the area is to walk. Elsewhere in Phuket (Karong, Kata, Kata Noi, Rawai, Nai Harn), the best way to get around is by taxi or to rent a motorcycle for your stay. While many people won’t feel comfortable renting a bike, I have personally not had any difficulty driving them around Phuket and find them my preferred way to get around. Depends on the person! The best part is that it is a cheap and easy way to get around.

Getting By

If this is your first visit to a Southeast Asian country, be prepared for a culture shock! Nearly everything will be different and exciting – including the culture, food, language, customs and more. Thai is the official language and locals speak general but limited English. To show your respect (and get a smile from a local), try memorising the following phrases:

Hello: Sa-wa-deee

Excuse Me, Sorry: Kha-Toor

Thank You: Ka-cup-kun

Bye: Bye

What to See

Big Buddha – As it sounds, the big white buddha on the hill is an impressive sight to see up close.

Chalong Temple – An ancient temple that was home the Phuket’s monks who assisted the people in the Chinese rebellion.

Phuket FantaSea – A nightly show + theme park and a great choice if you are travelling with kids!

Waterfalls – Hire a private driver for the day (Cheaper than it sounds – around $50 for a full day) and go see some of Thailand’s waterfalls. A great option is to combine this with seeing the Big Buddha and Chalong Temple.

What to Eat & Drink

Thai food is perhaps my all-time favourite cuisine, so there has never been any holding back when I’m in Phuket! Be sure to try Pad Thai, Green Thai Curry, and basically any of the meals on offer (it is hard to be disappointed).

Some great restaurants include Mom Tri’s Kitchen (Kata Noi), Pad Thai Shop (Phuket Old Town), Green Tamarind Kitchen (Rawai), and Baan Noy Restaurant (Chalong).

Also be sure to drink out of a pineapple and a coconut! The perfect way to rehydrate in the tropical temperatures.

Get Out

There are a number of great one-day tours to the outlying islands such as Phi Phi islands, James Bond Island, and Phang Nga Sea Kayaking.

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    March 11, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Never been to Thailand or South East Asia. But all this posts about Thailand and the fact that my BF is going in October, had me itching to visit! Looks so beautiful and relaxing.

    Gaby Risanto
    March 1, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Next time you go to Thailand, a visit to Khon Kaen must be on your bucket list. It’s just too beautiful…Love your blog 🙂

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    February 25, 2016 at 12:57 am

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    February 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Amazing guide! The information is so helpful and the photos are just brilliant. Great post!

    October 22, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Lovely guide to Phuket – there are so many wonderful beaches to discover outside of Patong. I hope you write more about Kata, Kamala and Surin.

    Kerjan | Backpack Babe
    October 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    EEEEK! Can’t wait to be here in just a few days! Thanks for all these tips 🙂 The sunsets there look absolutely breathtaking

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    September 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    There are many things to explore around indeed… I loved my stay there!

    Mama Munchkin
    September 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Love these tips. We have been debating Thailand for a 2016 trip with our munchkins. This makes me want to book like NOW!!! The food… and the pics. Sounds and looks like its too good to miss 😉

    September 15, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Love Thailand! Haven’t been for many years but I’m hoping to make it back sometime in the not too distant future!

    We’re having a huge 30% off sale on our womenswear collection today. Use the code “30sale” at checkout to apply the discount. Happy shopping!

    September 15, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Phuket was absolutely amazing to me. I would go back in an instant and would love to dive into those amazing turquoise waters again…

    Saakshi Kumar
    September 13, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Phuket seems like a great place to visit. Cannot wait to head there soon. 🙂

    The oracle
    September 12, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Great article very informative! I’m looking to go to Phuket sometime too. I love your pictures too, it looks like you had a lot of fun.

    September 12, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Your post is good timing for me as I’ll be in Phuket next month. Taking a taxi to see the waterfalls sounds great. Thanks for the tips!

    Leonie Parker
    September 11, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I cant wait to go here next year

    Leonie ♥

    September 11, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Looks stunning! I would love to visit Phuket one day!

    September 11, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Ok, ok your post and beautiful photos have just convinced me that I really, really, really need to visit Thailand. My bank account has just screamed loudly….all your fault 😉

    September 11, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I looooveee Thailand. It is my favourite country by far.

    But I hate Phuket. Just had the worst experience there and compared with my favourite place in the whole world of Ko Lanta it is so scummy.

    But maybe I just didn’t see the right part of it!

      September 24, 2015 at 1:19 am

      I had the same experience. I absolutely loved Thailand but liked Phuket the least. There are other less touristy / more beautiful islands in the area. Although Phuket is really beautiful though so don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I’m a really big foodie and the food in Phuket was terrible compared to the rest of Thailand.

      On that note, I will say Phuket is total eye candy. gorgeous blue seas.

    September 11, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Phuket looks so beautiful! Can’t wait to go

    Jacqui |

    September 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I’ve been to bangkok several times, but have never gone to phuket! I definitely want to go there some day! Pictures of phuket looks so nice, plus people generally have such nice things to say and memories of their trips there!

    x Carina

    Jessica @ The Belle Voyage
    September 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I adored Phuket! We stayed at the Sri Panwa which i couldn’t recommend enough! If you’re looking for luxury away from Phuket’s crowds, and the coolest bar I’ve ever been to – it’s your place. I keep daydreaming about going back…..

    September 11, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I’ve heard so many great things about this area. It looks so beautiful there – I’d love to go one day.


    September 11, 2015 at 9:07 am



    such a great post btw