Phuket – Overview
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is the size of Singapore, 48 km long and 21 km at the widest part. Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coast located 867 kilometers south of Bangkok. Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, palm-filled, white beaches, small surrounding islands, hospitable people and great seafood. Also delightful Chinese-Portuguese architecture, numerous sporting and leisure opportunities, a lush tropical landscape – which helps to create a nice atmosphere for a truly memorable Thailand trip. The most famous beaches are Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala and Nai Harn Beach. Phuket islands are ideal for sailing, diving, snorkeling, golfing and all kinds of sports and entertainment you could wish for. You can also take a trip with a submarine to discover the colorful marine life below the surface. There are plenty of accommodations, ranging from standard bungalows to 5-star hotels.
Phuket’s former wealth derived from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. The island was one of the main trade routes between India and China, and is frequently mentioned in foreign ship company logos. It is a very attractive island for sightseeing, with beautiful beaches and wooded hillsides. Its population of 1.6 million people ranks on place 6 among all provinces. Approximately 2.8 million square feet of the area is forest. The main industry today is rice cultivation. The average income per head is 14,343 Baht.
But in recent times, Phuket’s main income was tourism, which has transformed the island into Thailand’s wealthiest province. One might expect that the prices are a bit higher than on the mainland. Western Phuket was hit hard by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, but there is almost no evidence left on the damage.
Phuket is very popular as a tourist destination and most of the beaches on the west coast of Phuket town in the southeast and the airport in the north.
Phuket – Getting there
Although Phuket is an island that is very easy to get to during your Thailand trip. Most tourists come to Phuket International Airport. But you can also come to Phuket via road and of course to the sea if you go with a cruise or a private yacht.
Driving to Phuket
Phuket is located approximately 867 km from Bangkok, with a journey time of approximately 10 hours. There are many car rentals in Bangkok, both international companies such as Avis and Budget to local businesses. Driving in Thailand is quite nice outside town.
Trains to Phuket
There are no trains to Phuket which is unfortunate because the trains in Thailand are both a cheap and convenient way to travel. But you can take a train from Hualamphong in Bangkok to Phun Phin near Surat Thani, where you can take a bus to Phuket.
Bus to Phuket
Going to Phuket by bus from Bangkok takes about 14 hours. You can find a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) in Thonburi. There are several types of buses. With a few hundred baht more you can buy better place.
Flights to Phuket
Going to Phuket by air could not be easier. Phuket has an international airport with a number of routes and charter flights from Europe and throughout Asia. But most of the visitors would still fly to Bangkok first, where there are more than a dozen domestic flights to Phuket daily.
Getting around the island is not as convenient or cheap as you might think. Unless you live in a crowded area like Patong or Karon, it will not always be possible to catch a tuk-tuk. Buses run only a few times a day and usually not to the main beaches. Taxis are provided by your hotel and are probably the easiest solution, followed by renting a car or motorcycle.
Phuket – Weather
Phuket is hot and humid all year round. The hot season is considered to be from March to early May. During the summer monsoon season from May to October, mornings and afternoons are still sunny and clear, but it tends to rain in the evening and the water clarity is lost. Locals believe that November to February is the “cold” season, and the weather can tolerate. It is comparable to Florida’s summer weather in temperature and intense rain storms: about 25-33 degrees with flying clouds, short and thunderous rain in the afternoons and evenings. Surfing during your Thailand trip is possible on western shores.
From June to August are underwater currents in some areas, making it unsafe for swimming or snorkeling. A red flag on the beach means that it is not safe for swimming, so then you just have to use the hotel pool instead.
Phuket – Beaches
Location: Amphoe Muang
This beach can only be reached by a 10 minute ride on a “long tail” boat around the southern end of Patong. It is one of the most beautiful beaches with fine white sand. There is a private beach, but as long as you do not come on a jet ski, you have access to the owner. There is a coral reef that is perfect for snorkeling and a restaurant with a few sunbeds. To get there you have to hire a longtail boat at Patong.
Karon Beach Location: Amphoe Muang
This is the second largest of Phuket’s principal tourist beaches. Large resorts behind a path that runs along the beach, the beach is 3 km long and wide and have no buildings. The sand is very white, and squeaks when walked on. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Poo Island. Restaurants, bars, travel agencies and other non-hotel businesses are at the northern end near the roundabout. On the narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses and Dino Park Mini Golf facility. Karon is the most luxurious of Phuket’s beaches. On the day, there is a regular bus service to and from Phuket Town. In the monsoon season, it can be dangerous to swim here because of currents, so keep an eye on the red flag that is set up when it is too dangerous.
Location: Amphoe Muang
This is the smallest of Phuket’s three main tourist beaches. Kata is different in appearance and style compared to Karon and Patong. The beach is wide and curved. The water is perfect for swimming and at the north end is a coral reef with a variety of corals and fishes that extends out from Poo Island, about ½ mile from the coast. Facilities for every price range include hotels, bungalows, restaurants, bars and clubs. There is a regular bus service to and from Phuket town during daytime.
Kata Noi beach
Location: Amphoe Muang
South of Kata is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with only a few hotels and little other development. The beach is excellent and many fish live among rocks and corals along the sea coast which extends southward. To get there, take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata.
Nai Harn Beach
Location: Amphoe Muang
A popular beach and boat anchoring in the dry season. The beach is good but big waves hit during the rainy season, making swimming dangerous. Regular bus service to and from Phuket town during the daytime. Nai Harn is located just south of Kata Noi and north of Popular Cape. It is not Phuket’s longest beach, but it has the most beautiful lagoon on the island. The middle of the beach is dominated by Samnak Song Nai He monasteries that have prevented excessive development and is the reason that the beach is generally less crowded than other places in the southern part of the island. A variety of water sports can be done, but swimmers should be aware of the red flags that warn of dangerous currents during the monsoon season from May to October. You can go to the nearby popular Cape to see sunsets, often very spectacular.
Location: Amphoe Muang
The southernmost tip of the peninsula is home to a marine biology research center and Phuket Aquarium where visitors may inspect several hundred exotic, grotesque and gaudy colorful marine species found in the teeming waters of Phuket and elsewhere.
Phrom Thep Cape
Location: Amphoe Muang
“Phrom” is Thai for Hindu “Brahma” meaning purity and “Thep” means ‘God.’ Phromthep is a peninsula that extends out into the sea and forming the extreme south end of Phuket. From Rawai Beach turn right and go 2 km. Cape has high cliffs to the south and was formerly called by local villagers “Leam Jao” (gods Cape). From the cliffs down to the rocks by the sea is a line of palm trees. Emerald green currents swirl in the deep water to Rocky Point: Who has one of Phuket’s most inspiring views. From popular Cape, which is the most beautiful place to catch Phuket’s famous sunset, a road leads northwest to Nai He Beach.
Location: Amphoe Muang
A small cove with rocks and corals. Snorkeling and diving are possible. For sunbather’s offer this secluded, curving beach north of Nai Harn little privacy and a small outdoor restaurant with food and drink. To get there you go through the parking lot to Phuket Yacht Club Hotel and follow the road to Ao Sehn, about ½ km.
Location: Amphoe Muang
This remote beach in the northwestern part of Nai Harn Beach and a little secret in Phuket, because it is not so easy to find. The beach is small, clean and has a lot of stone. It is a perfect place for a picnic. To get there you have to cross the gate of Le Royal Meridien Yacht Club, driving through the parking lot to the left and follow the road through the Hotel Complex until you reach a small road, and from about 1 km northwest.
Location: Amphoe Muang
This little beach is one of the best kept secrets in Phuket and offers beautiful rock formations and great snorkeling on the reef at the beach. To get there, follow the path from Popular Cape to the West. When wind turbines look for a small restaurant with a small parking lot. A few meters behind the restaurant, you can see the beach.
Location: Amphoe Muang
This wonderful little cove is part of Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort and not freely available. It is located between Patong and Karon beach.
Bang Tao Beach
Location: Amphoe Talang
Bang Tao Beach is a large open bay with one of Phuket’s longest beaches. It was once the place for tin mining, but has since developed into a luxury resort beach. Most of the area is occupied by the Laguna Beach Resort a massive five-star hotel in development with golf course. Housing, however you can find somewhere other than Laguna, off the southern end. In the dry season is excellent swimming and Gulf North End is a small cove at the mouth has some fine coral. There are lots of places to eat, companies, tour operators and other tourism facilities either at Laguna or in the nearby town of Choeng Thale. The beach is located in Sri Sunthon Rd., In Choeng Thale. Regarding access to the Laguna and the southern part of the bay is reached by taking the road north of Surin Beach. To go to Laguna, but not go completely into the village, continue towards the town Bandon, where there is an intersection and then take the road that leads west towards the sea. This path also leads to Nai Thon Bay and is a very pleasant trip. Along the way are some small bays with good swimming and no development.
Location: Amphoe Thalang
This beach is located in the north end of Bang Tao Beach, where the beach meets a river and a lagoon. The area is home to many birds and other animals, here can you enjoy the tranquility of the lagoon. The many small tracks which cover the mountain side of the beach are well known by climbers and bird watchers. You can reach the beach by walking past the Laguna Phuket Resort or follow the highway and turn on Nai Thon Beach at the sign. Layan Beach Resort & Spa Village is the only resort on this beach.
Mai Khao Beach
Location: Amphoe Talang
A 9 km deserted beach characterizes Mai Khao and there are a few small tourist shops. The beach is part of Sirinat National Park and protected. The water is good for swimming during the dry season and the rainy season gives big waves and strong currents that are dangerous. The beach is an area where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. It is also home to what the Thais call a sea cicada, which is a form of marine life. To get there, go to the northern tip of Phuket, the beach is located along the road.
Nai Thon Beach
Location: Amphoe Talang
This quiet cove at the foot of high mountains and has a 900 meter long strip of fine sand. There are a few guesthouses, but almost no other business areas. The beach is great for swimming outside the monsoon season and has a coral reef at the southern end which offers good snorkelling. Its located between Bang Thao Bay and Nai Yang Beach. Nai Thon Beach is reached by taking Thep Krasatri Rd. Turn at the first traffic light north of Thalang Town to Nai Yang Rd. Look for signs at the entrance to Nai Ton.
Nai Yang Beach
Location: Amphoe Talang
This is where the park office is located. The beach itself is a long bay lined with evergreens that provide shade to picnicks. The large coral reef is home to many different species of fish, and Nai Yang is well known as a place where sea turtles come to lay their eggs from November to February, but the number has decreased a lot. First class accommodations are available and small food stores cater to the many day trips. To get there you take Nai Yang Rd. And look for signs to the park entrance.
Location: Amphoe Thalang
This is a small exclusive bay surrounded by cliffs and home to two locations: The luxurious Amanpuri and the Chedi. The resorts blocking the entrance to the beach, but you can enter by going through the Chedi. Like all beaches in Thailand are public.
Sai Kaew Beach
Location: Amphoe Talang
This strip of sand is located on the northern portion of Mai Khao Beach and has much of the same character. It is located west of the bridge over the channel between Phuket and Phang-ngaprovinces.
Location: Amphoe Talang
Surin Beach has evergreen trees that follow this little cove north of Kamala. Surin is home to Phuket’s first golf course, which was a nine-hole course built for more than 60 years ago during the reign of King Rama VII. It is no longer in use and the area is used as a park. The steep beach with turbulent water and big waves make Surin a dangerous place to swim on your Thailand trip is during the rainy season. The beach is mostly full of Thais and locals on the weekends and in the south you can find some small snacks and souvenir shops. The beach has chairs and umbrellas for rent. Surin is best known for its breathtaking sunsets. Located at the end of Sri Sunthon Rd., Running west from the Two Heroines Monument, 24 km from Phuket Town. Accommodations and restaurants are nearby.
Location: Amphoe street
This beach is really a continuation of Patong Beach to the north, as they are only separated by a few rocks. It has not yet been developed, so they provide some privacy. The beach is a mixture of sand and small stones. On the back of the beach, there are accommodations. The water contains extensive coral reefs which you can reach by foot at low tide (you must wear shoes, because some of the rocks are very sharp) The northern monsoon winds from June to September can give you some good waves for surfing.
Location: Amphoe street
Kamala Beach is named after the Muslim fishing village north of Patong. Development of tourism on the beach, which is largely covered by a Muslim graveyard and a police record, has been for a long time. Buffalo’s still down to the beach to cool off in the afternoon. The beach is beautiful and about 2 km long. There is accommodation from guesthouses to international hotels and a number of small Thai restaurants specializing in seafood to tourists. Kamala is the perfect place to get away from it all and has very little to offer in terms of entertainment. There are no palm trees that shade is just using a few umbrellas available for rent. Phuket FantaSea Theme Park is located here and offers daily evening shows. On the day, there is a regular bus service to and from Phuket Town, tuk-tuk service is available to Patong.
Location: Amphoe street
This is Phuket’s central tourist and night time entertainment district. Over the years, Patong has grown from being a fishing village to one of the island’s two cities. The beach is known as a center of entertainment with restaurants and catering to every nationality. Live music can be found in most pubs and bars. Accommodation ranges from budget to five stars. Shopping possibilities seem endless. Many types of water sports offered here and the beach is great for swimming but you have to be careful during the monsoon season. There are also many travel companies that are waiting to help visitors plan their vacations.
Patong Beach Location: Amphoe street
Nakalay is about 5 minutes from Patong and the only solution to the housing in the area – The Thavorn Beach Bungalow. It is suitable for people who like to keep it quiet but still want to be close to the entertainment area of Patong, during his Thailand trip.
Phuket – Things to Do
Phuket offers a wide range of attractions for its guests during their Thailand trip:
– Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World
– Phuket Aquarium: Located on Cape Panwa, this tropical aquarium offers a variety of fish and coral.
– Crocodile Farm: See the staff at Chana Charoen Road tame crocodiles and alligators in front of you.
– Phuket FantaSea: This is called the Disneyland of Southeast Asia. It is the ultimate in night entertainment in Phuket.
– Chalong Temple: Visit the ancient temple in Phuket monk who helped people during the Chinese uprising.
– Waterfalls: Discover the largest waterfall in Thailand, especially during the rainy season. The largest measures 10 meters and is located just 22 kilometers off Phuket.
– AC’s Phuket Fishing Park: A large, freshwater fishing experience. There are many species from three different continents, Arapaimas, red tailed catfish, alligator beak, Siamese giant carp, piranhas, sharks, Siamese and many more. Equipment and local guide included.
– Prom Thep Cape: literally translated to “God’s Cape”. Prom Thep Cape is one of the island’s most spectacular natural landmarks and far to the south about 2 kilometers from Rawai Beach, with high cliffs and stunning views, Prom Thep Cape is best known for its dramatic sunsets, which regularly attracts audiences. Near Cape top you will find a small and interesting shrine, which contains a number of wooden elephants.
– Orchid Farm and Thai villages: The place is situated about 3 km from Phuket Town and is a place for culture lovers. The village has a breathtaking classical Thai dance performances, sword-fighting, Thai boxing and shows elephants. Handicrafts and traditional mining methods are also presented. Orchid farm outside is also worth visiting.
– Phuket’s viewpoint: here you can see the bays Kata Noi, Kata and Karon, and also Poo Island. It is one of the islands with the best view. For visitors, there is a large public sala, or shelter and sale of food, drinks and souvenirs in the area when the weather is good.
Phuket – Shopping
Phuket has shopping opportunities for everyone. In addition to squares and markets, there are lots of malls and department stores, as well as a good selection of shops and specialty stores around the island.
On roads with markets, there are also an increasing number of department stores and shopping malls. These markets a wide range of products from international and local names, including clothing, jewelry, fashion accessories, electronics, household appliances, toys, baby equipment, sporting goods and books. A lot of bargains can be found, especially if it is a sell. The major shopping centers have also been supermarkets, cinemas and lots of restaurants and eateries.
Markets are what shopping in Thailand is about. Street Markets in beach areas are selling all kinds of clothing, such as “brands”, T-shirts, DVDs, watches, including gifts and souvenirs. Remember to compare prices and negotiate hard, but with a smile. Angry negotiations, you often get nothing for anywhere in Thailand.
The markets sell fresh products such as fruits and vegetables. Although they may not have too many points on a tourist’s shopping list so take a look anyway. Markets with fresh produce can be a fun way to mingle with the locals and enjoy the colors and scents. If you have a keen interest in Thai food and how it is produced, a visit to a market with fresh products a chance to see all of the ingredients used in Thai cooking before being served, even try some delicious snacks.
Patong Beach Road
This is the main shopping street for tourists. All the way along the beach south of Soi Bangla and down to a couple of small alleys are stalls and shops selling cheap designer, beachwear, watches, some electrical products and souvenirs. A lot of stalls and shops are open during the day, but the street is really more alive at night.
Bangla Road (Patong)
Basically a continuation of stalls and shops along the beach, packed with beer bars. As with the bars so is shopping in the evening, during your Thailand trip.
Central Festival and Jungceylon is the largest shopping centers on the island and has shopping and entertainment in Phuket to a whole new level. The shopping complex has a variety of shops, restaurants, cinemas and other entertainment. On a smaller scale, you theOcean Department Store and Robinsons. These are definitely worth checking out, especially if you are looking for clothes during your Thailand trip.
Tesco Lotus and Big C in Phuket City and Carrefour (part of Jungceylon) in Patong is Phuket’s department store. Apart from the usual things you’d expect to find in a supermarket, such as food, fresh produce, food and toiletries, these have everything you can imagine including cheap clothes, furniture, furnishings, electronics, and all at very reasonable prices.
After Phuket town, Patong, so the next best place to do your shopping on Phuket.
There are shops, tailors, and of course, road base.
Patong Department stores & shopping centers
The main shopping center is the big Jungceylon which is located on Rat-U-Thit Road in central Patong. There are department stores, supermarkets, restaurants and lots of shops selling branded goods, fashion products, electronics, souvenirs and sports equipment. The large three-story building also includes a four-star hotel, nightclub and cinema.
Phuket – Restaurants
If you love food, you will love Phuket. There are restaurants to suit all tastes, serving a wide selection of Western and Asian food. The variety of dishes and experiences in the dining room is one of the main attractions on the island. You can have breakfast at your hotel, lunch at a local Ramen Shops along the road, and dinner with fine wines in a sophisticated air-conditioned restaurant.
Would you eat a snack in between? One of the wonderful characteristics of Thailand, is the love of food and eating so you can eat almost any time of day. Tropical fruit, bananas, fried chicken and sticky rice?
While Thai food is renowned worldwide for its wonderful flavors and fresh ingredients, and Phuket is especially famous for its seafood and you do not drain your bank account to enjoy the most sumptuous dishes.
The ecological meets Phuket kitchen. There are red curry with crab, lots of vegetarian options, homemade yogurt and fruit smoothies with organic honey. There is also a gallery in the textile, woodworking and clothing from Burma and Laos.
On an island filled with fish-to-get-grilled directly, this is the best. Their huge ice carts filled with lobster, shrimp, sea bass, red snapper, sole, trevally and barracuda. They also have live lobster. They have a menu and four dining rooms – two of them outdoors on the beach. The portions are always large and the prices are quite reasonable.
M & M’s Pizzeria
In short, it is easily the best pizza on the island. The slightly sour crust is thin, but with ample filling and their pasta dishes and salads are tasty.
An elegant whitewashed shabby-chic pearl set in a 80-year-old Sino-Portuguese relic and specializes in Thai food with a twist. There is a fiery fried tuna right, minced chicken, beef or pork salad mixed with chilli, mint and coriander, minced and spiced pork satay, fried on boiled lemongrass, grilled duck breast sliced and cooked in amassaman curry and some Phuket dishes, including Gaeng Poo that is sweet and spicy crab meat in curry. Siam Indigo has style, soul (see local artists’ work on the walls) and crazy food, making it one of the best restaurants on the island, if not the best. Be sure not to miss it during your Thailand trip.
Som Tum Lanna
This place has three dishes that are worth mentioning: salted grilled Red Snapper, grilled chicken and spicy inches (green papaya salad). The fish is very good but you can find one similar at Hat Rawai. Chicken and other … it is good, listen to the words of a client’s mouth: “This is a damn good chicken!” And in terms of inches? Do not be a hero. Order it mild. It will still provide a severe heat.
This is home to a “Globetrotter kitchen” as owner and manager Harold Schwarz develops by taking fresh local produce and combines them with the European. That is tapas-style selection including creative vegetarian and seafood dishes and delicacies as Peking duck pizza. There is also a selection of tasting menus (750B per person, minimum two people), which allows you to try a little of everything.
Bang Rong Seafood
This fish-farm-restaurant is located on a floating dock in the middle of lush mangroves. They serve red and white snapper, crab and mussels. They pick your catch when you order so you know it’s fresh. You can get it steamed, fried or grilled but it is a Muslim organization so you cannot get a beer. Come at sunset when the fishermen talking on the quay and the light reflected on the water. It’s a particular scene that you have to experience on your Thailand trip.
Pad Thai Shop
On the main road behind Karon just north of Ping Pong Bar is this lofty local food booth stand out from the owners’ homes. Here you will find rich and spicy chicken noodle casserole, beef boon soup, spicy basil wok and the best Pad Tai on this planet. Warm and sweet, filled with shrimp, tofu, eggs and peanuts and wrapped in a fresh banana leaf so you can take it and go. You will be grateful.
The Ninth floor
Come up to 9 floor of Sky Inn Condotel building where you can see the sea light that spreads smoothly through floor to ceiling. This is the highest terrace of the island, with perfectly prepared steaks and chops, very popular place in Patong.
Located across the river overlooking the beach with bay and mountains, it is one of Kamala’s best restaurants. They serve dishes like braised duck breast with kale and prosciutto-wrapped scallops.
Chicken Rice Briley
The only place in Patong Food Park which can provide you nutrients when the sun shines. Steamed chicken breast served on a bed of rice with a bowl of chicken soup with pieces of meat, bones and roast pork. Dip into the amazing chili sauce. There is a reason that makes it is always packed with locals.
Bo and Dylan (Bo.lan, a pun that also means “old”), former chefs at London’s Michelin star Nahm Bangkok and has given a compelling reason to reconsider luxurious Thai dishes. Couple’s scientific approach to Thai cooking has resulted in different menus, they offer dishes like green peberkorns and grilled banana flower salad.
This beautiful beach garden restaurant is located at the south end of Hat Nai Yang. There are tables under thatched pavilions are surrounded by orchids. Batik Seafood specializes in fresh grilled fish of your choice from the fish market, which is held just north of the restaurant every afternoon.
Soi Polo Fried Chicken
Your nose will lead you to what many argue is the best thâwt kai (fried chicken) in the city which certainly beats KFC. They are golden and crispy on the outside with lots of fried garlic bits. A half order will generously feed two people. If you want to eat like the locals you should buy sticky rice and try the spicy dippsåserna.
Good rule of thumb: If a roadside cafe is filled with Thais, you can be sure the food will rock. Their green curry (warning: runny nose) and glass noodle dishes are fantastic. It is located near the road from the bar ahem, “Pussy Bar”.
Sabai Beach Restaurant
If you prefer to eat fresh grilled seafood you will be served on the beach. With a little subdued light and lots of smiles and flavor, try this family-owned restaurant terrace. They have a wide range of fresh snapper, mackerel, shrimp, squid and crab. It is for a beautiful stretch of Patong Beach overlooking the turquoise bay.
Kachang Floating Restaurant
Go to Ao Phuket and rickety Kachang just minutes east of Phuket town, far from the tourist tracks. You may ride free long tail boats to the floating restaurant which is surrounded by cannabis shoals. Enjoy a soft-shell crab at dusk when the sun goes down behind the mountains.
Lim is 500 meters north (uphill) from the coastal road to Kamala. It is a modern, concrete-cast room where they are served luxurious Thai dishes. When celebrities come to Phuket, they spend at least one night here.
Phuket – Nearby
Koh Bon is located southeast of Phuket, about 1.5 km from Rawai Beach. The 1 km-long island is rocky and has only one beach that is occupied by the Evason Resort. At the northern tip is a small restaurant that cooks the day’s tourists who visit the island.
Coral Island or Hae Island
This island of Phuket’s south coast is so well known for its coral reef that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. In addition to the beautiful coral reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west side. Coral Island is part of a reserved lake, but accommodations, restaurants, water sports and diving are all available here for your Thailand trip. Boats leave from Rawai and Chalong.
A nice beach, nature, and coral are on this little island, 3km from Rawai south of Phrom Thep. There is also a giant Buddha statue. The island is 15 minutes by chartered boat from Rawai.
This large and mountainous island is only 20 minutes away by passenger boat from Chalong Bay in southern Phuket. The Muslim inhabitants live from fishing, rubber and coconut plantation. There is a long stretch of beach on the northeast coast.
Mai Thon Island
This small island on Phuket’s southeast coast is highly prized for its still perfect natural environment, including fine white beaches and crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming, diving or fishing. The only business of any kind is Maiton Island Resort. Those who do not want to stay overnight may take a day trip here from Ao Makham Deep Sea Port, during his Thailand trip.
Taphao Yai Island
Is located 10 minutes from Phuket by ferry from Ao Makam on Phuket’s southeast coast. The island is home to Bucerotes hornbills. You find restaurants and accommodation on the island.
Phuket – Articles
Agritourism – Kayaking in the mangroves at Bang Rong
Published: 29 July 2011 Author: Know Phuket
Everyone knows that Phuket has good beaches and rugged forested hills. It would be hard for any visitor to miss these obvious geographical sides of the island. What most visitors do not see or know is that the east coast of Phuket still has large areas of dense mangrove forest. It is not surprising that tourists prefer beaches rather than mangroves. Mangrove forest is not very hospitable environment for people. But it is an important habitat for many species of animals and plants. It also provides important coastal erosion and tidal waves.
There are large areas of mangroves but it must be recognized that there is a reduction taking place in Phuket. Developers and land buyers are buying up slowly mangroves and create hotel and residential projects and facilities. Since it seems to be the case that the interest of making money is more important than protecting the environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-conscious people in Phuket who want to protect these unique and important habitats and working hard to achieve this goal.
The idea is simple, take tourists kayaking around the mangroves. Phuket has no rivers that are large enough to call them a river. But the mangrove is available at Bang Rong and are fortunate to be several miles from the sea that winds through them. It is a perfect place for tourism.
Bang Rong is a community of about 1,000 people on the east coast of Phuket. It has a predominantly Muslim population that always striven to maintain their cultural heritage and try to meet tourists’ needs without compromising their own way of living. They are a self-supporting community and is very aware of the importance of mangroves. Mangrove protected them from the 2004 tsunami. They are a source of food and other products. They provide protection and is the basis of the local pier. Eighty percent of the population is dependent on mangroves in one form or another.
Agritourism Project Bang Rong Pier is a good example of such work. It helps the locals ate together on a project to create a tourist attraction, make money for the local population and protect the environment. This is truly a win-win and we fully support the project.
So to protect this valuable resource was local people together and created Agritourism project. They built a restaurant and a base at Bang Rong Pier. It is a simple wooden structure built on stilts over the water. You can rent a kayak and get a guide to paddle you around for only 200 baht for an hour. If you’re more independent, you can rent a kayak and paddle yourself for 150 baht for an hour.
When you paddle away from the restaurant, you pass a few small farms. The river is wide and there are mangroves on both sides. Within minutes, the buildings are out of sight and you only see the mangroves. Waterway divide and you have the choice to paddle left or around a large island if you choose left, you can paddle a few miles until the river is slowly reduced to a small stream. You may want to keep you at the tree line when you paddle to avoid the full glow of the sun.
This is the area where guides can really come into its own, by the observation of small camouflaged animals tree crabs. It’s the small black crabs that Thais like to munch on. Often seen small rings of fish jump up over the surface.
Mangrove is a harsh environment and salinity is often greater than seawater. Very few large mammals live in these areas because the protruding roots are both difficult and painful to walk on. You can find trees like monkeys residents in some mangrove areas. People are really not suited for living in mangrove forests, but there are some other species that are specially adapted to these areas. Some shellfish using roots as anchors, while shrimp and lobster inhabits on muddy bottom.
When you paddle along the main waterways, you can see some small streams running into the woods. You can paddle with one of them. You can then turn around and paddle back along the opposite bank. Paddle around the island before going back to base. One hour is enough, but you can use more time if you really want to delve into every nook and cranny.
When you come back to the restaurant, why not take the opportunity to try some of the fresh and local seafood.
Locals hope that this project could be a sustainable use of mangroves to make money to society without harming the environment. They also hope that it will actually help to protect the environment in which both guides and tourists will continue to monitor the forest and will detect any violations.
This project will create real jobs for local people. They hope it will help some of the local youngsters to be in the area and continue on their way of life for future generations.
There is a bit of a long journey to reach the Bang Rong for just an hour kayak, but there are other attractions in the area. One of the best things about the East Coast is that it is protected from rain period waves so it is a “year round” attraction. If you come during the rainy season, you can combine your trip with a visit to the Bang Pae Waterfall.
Alternatively, you can hire a long-tail boat at the pier and visit Naka Island or maybe take the ferry to Koh Yao Noi.
Published: 14 May 2011 Author: Vet Phuket
There are some fantastic golf courses around Phuket and playing them is a pleasure for any golfer. But first we have to say about playing golf in Phuket is that it is not cheap. Every golfer who comes to Phuket and expects to negotiate their green fee will be sorely disappointed. The tracks and the facilities are top class and the fee reflects this. If you like to play golf on a good quality track and do not mind paying for the privilege, so Phuket is a great place for a golf vacation. If you are looking for a green fee that can be negotiated, there are many other places around Thailand such as Pattaya suits you better.
There are currently seven golf clubs in Phuket who rejoice with a total of nine courses. Each track has its own character and challenges. They should provide enough to fill almost everyone’s golfing holiday.
The courses in Phuket are taking advantage of the natural geography they are in and be able to create some truly spectacular holes. Many of the trails are built on land from the old tin mining industry. The old flooded mine produced expansive lakes, so there is plenty of water in the games. The steep hills are a common feature in Phuket, forming a spectacular backdrop for many of the trails.
Only one of Phuket’s courses is by the sea. Mission Hills is a small part of the courses on the coast overlooking the beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Sea land is very expensive, so the trails are mostly inland.
Play golf in Thailand can be a hot job. The most popular start times are from 14:00 onwards, so that you can complete your round at the cooler in the afternoon. If you do not mind playing in the heat so it is quiet on the trails around noon. There are refreshments in the form of bars around the trails to help golfers maintain their energy.
Many Thais like to play a round of golf. Their golf game may seem a little strange to foreign visitors. They often play for money and some of the richer Thais playing for large sums at each hole, so they take their time with each species.
It is mandatory to have a caddy on most golf courses in Phuket (and Thailand). User fee to pay your caddy (usually young women) and your green fees but it will of course also be charged a caddy fee. Caddy fee is 200 to 300 baht, but you still have to pay Caddy at the end of the round. The normal amount is 200 baht for 9-holes or 300-400 baht for 18-holes.
Caddies carry your bags, repair holes in the grass and mark the pitch and lead you around the track.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Published: 21 August 2011 Author: Know Phuket
Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most extraordinary religious festivals in the world. It has also become a major tourist attraction with thousands of people coming from all over the world to visit this. They also join different rituals and ceremonies. So let us try to tell you everything you need to know.
The event always takes place over nine days beginning on the first evening of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. This means that the event always takes place in September or October.
2012 will take place from 15 to 23 October.
There are now several imitations of the festival in other parts of Thailand but Phuket is still the original and leading the event location.
The general idea behind the vegetarian festival and all associated rituals is to give pleasure to the participants and the community. The festival is a spectacular, unusual and sometimes a really bizarre sight. It is also a very big festival. Fireworks and drums are a constant part of the business, especially in processions and rituals. The sounds are meant to scare away evil spirits.
The festival is based around the Chinese shrines and temples in Phuket town and also some other Chinese temples around Phuket. The streets are decorated with yellow flags bearing the Chinese symbols. They perform many rituals and ceremonies at Chinese temples. In the last seven days of the festival, the participants marched through the streets and beat their fists on drums and banging fireworks. The festival is best known for mah song (media or shamans) marching in a trance and sticks distorted objects through their cheeks.
There are 10 rules those participants in the vegetarian festival to follow.
First Eat only vegetarian food (there will be plenty of food stalls selling delicious vegetarian food).
2nd Use only white clothing during the festival (there will be many stores around town that sell white robes, some with embroidered Chinese dragons on).
3rd Maintain the body’s purity during the festival.
4th Use clean utensils and keep them away from people who do not join the festival.
5th Maintaining good physical and mental behavior.
6th No sex (sorry).
7th No alcohol (sorry again).
Eighth People in mourning should not participate in the festival.
9th Pregnant women should not take part in the festival.
10th Women with menstrual should not participate in the festival.
You do not need follow all the rules to enjoy the festival. The rules are only for the participants, and participation is not mandatory, you can still watch. But people in categories 8, 9 and 10 show respect for the festival and cannot enter the temple.
Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country and Phuket also has a significant Muslim population, but the origin of the vegetarian festival is actually Chinese. A significant part of Phuket’s population is of Chinese descent from the Chinese migrant workers who came to work in the island’s tin mining in the 1700s and beyond. There are several Chinese temples and shrines in Phuket town and they are the foundation of the festival.
There are some conflicting stories about exactly how the festival started, it goes back to the Chinese immigrants who worked in the tin mines in the early 1900’s.
The most common story is that a traveling troupe of Chinese entertainers came to Phuket to entertain the miners. Phuket was still a jungle covered island and diseases were spread. To heal themselves, they went on a strict vegetarian diet and had abstinence from sex and alcohol. To the amazement of the locals so it worked. This remarkable recovery fascinated locals and from this point repeated the festival every year. Since then the festival has grown and grown to the great event that it is today, and draws visitors from all over the world.
The main players are Mah Song. Mah Song is generally ordinary Phuket men and women who become shamans or mediums throughout the festival. There are either people who have felt the impending doom and want avert their misfortune or they are people who are chosen by the gods for their moral qualities. The gods are in their bodies during the festival. These people go into a trans-like state and reveals supernatural powers. They feel no pain and take to torture them self in order to bring happiness to their communities.
Hundreds of these Mah Song participate in the festival. The march and perform rituals in temples. They generally have a group of supporters to help them through their trans-like state.
Self-torture include distorting their cheeks with all sorts of items like spears and swords. It seems that every year they try to adjust to even stranger things. Bikes, guns and fruit have been among the items that sets spiked by Mah Song cheeks recent festivals. They also perform rituals in temples such as walking over hot coals. They must do all this without the aid of anesthesia.
It’s not a completely unserious exercise. Mah Song monitored by the organizers and physicians to ensure that it does not occur any serious injuries or infections. It was a fun story about a Mah Song, who lost his nerve at a recent party. He tries to pierce his tongue with a spear, but could not withstand the pain, so he bought a pig’s tongue and put it on the hook. He marched through the parade with his pig tongue between the teeth. His deception was discovered when the organizers asked to examine wounds and found that he miraculously did not have any.
You can sometimes recognize a mah song when they walk around in their normal life the rest of the year with the scars they have on the cheeks.
Festival activities are centered on the Chinese shrines and temples.
Jui Tui Shrine – This is the most important Chinese shrine in the vegetarian festival. It is located on Ranong Road in Phuket’s old town. The entire route will be filled with stalls selling vegetarian food.
Bang neow Shrine – Another Chinese shrine in Phuket town with plenty of festival activities. It is located on Phuket Road.
KIW Tien Keng Shrine – This small shrine is at the end of Saphan Hin in Phuket Town. It is the site of the final ceremony on the last night of the festival, when the gods are invited to step back into the sky.
Phorm Phra Thada Shrine – A Chinese shrine on a side street on Phattana Road.
Sam Kong Shrine – a temple in the northern outskirts of Phuket Town. It is located on Yaowarat Road, not far from Tesco Lotus.
Sapam Shrine – This temple is located outside on the edge of town on Thepkrassatri Road (Airport Road).
Tha Rua Shrine – This is one of the three temples outside Phuket town that actively celebrate the festival. They make a procession all the way to Phuket town and back again. It is located on Thepkrassatri Road, just south of the heroine’s monuments.
Kathu Shrine – Lots of festival events is here. Kathu was the original site of the festival. They also have a procession all the way to Phuket town and back again. This beautiful temple is in Kathu village on the road 4020th.
Many of the rituals that take place around the festival are to invoke the gods, calling them down from the sky and then send them back.
On the afternoon before the festival begins, they travel a great post called Go Teng at each temple. At midnight, the nine lanterns on the rod that signals the opening of the festival. This is an invitation for the nine Chinese gods to go down and take part in the festival.
There are several other rituals surrounding temples during the festival. Many of them involve Mah Songs measures of pain, such as walk on hot coals.
The final ritual of the festival takes place the last night of KIW Tien Keng Shrine at Saphan Hin, where they invite the gods to get back to heaven.
You will see dozens upon dozens of Mah Song marching with their companions. They will be adorned their cheeks and other body parts with objects as decorative spears, swords and even foreign objects. The march through the city is in the trans shakes his head from side to side and mumbling incantations. When they go, they will stop to bestow blessings to the people on the roads, and many of them have set up a table with offers.
During the procession hears lots of noise from the drums and fireworks that explode to scare away evil spirits. Besides Mah Song and their entourages to March, there are also other groups social groups, entertainers and schools participating in the march to add variety to the show.
Since the last march on the last night of the festival. It is a staggering sight, and one of the absolute highlights of the festival. Fireworks start at the beginning of the evening and do not stop until the procession is finished around midnight.
One of the highlights of the festival is the procession. They take place on each of the last seven days of the festival. Each day, to change the temple made a procession from their temples around Phuket Town and back again. The images from these parades are broadcast throughout the world.
Processions are large and may take an hour or more to pass. They generally begin early in the morning and ends before noon, but some temples may have spontaneous parade around town at other times.
The procession starts at around. 19:00 and continues through the evening. As they marched through the crowd, there will an extraordinary bombardment from the crowd. They throw fireworks around the spirit marches feet and even their heads. The onslaught is so intense that a haze of acrid smoke fills the air. The parade starts to spread in the bombing and becomes more of a duty than a march. It is a great sight to see the all of life while fireworks flashing around them. It is something that looks more like a war zone than a religious festival.
Around pm. 23:00 starts the procession to the sanctuary in Saphan Hin for the final ritual to send the gods back to the sky in a year. When done, slide the exhausted party prizes slowly away, or perhaps, use the opportunity to find a few beers.