Phuket Travel Guide

Author: Crystal
Author: Crystal

“The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself.” - Wallace Stevens

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Travel Guide for your next Phuket vacation...

Thailand sea beach view round with steep limestone hills with many traditional longtail boats parking at Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Leh island, part of Krabi, Andaman Sea

Phuket, Thailand’s gem of an island, offers a myriad of captivating attractions for travellers seeking a delightful mix of cultural exploration, seaside bliss, vibrant markets, and lively entertainment venues. With a week to spare, visitors can embark on an unforgettable journey across Phuket’s stunning landscapes and immerse themselves in its rich heritage.

Begin your adventure by marveling at Phuket’s iconic landmarks. The awe-inspiring Big Buddha, perched atop Nakkerd Hill, invites visitors to witness breathtaking panoramic views while basking in the serenity of this spiritual haven. The magnificent Wat Chalong, Phuket’s largest Buddhist temple, beckons with its intricate architecture and a profound sense of tranquillity. To delve deeper into Phuket’s past, wander through the charming streets of Old Phuket Town, adorned with enchanting Sino-Portuguese buildings and vibrant street art, evoking a bygone era.

Phuket’s diverse offerings captivate the senses and create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re exploring ancient landmarks, sinking your toes into the sand of pristine beaches, strolling through vibrant markets, or immersing yourself in the island’s lively entertainment scene, Phuket promises an extraordinary adventure that will leave you enchanted and yearning for more. Get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the heart and soul of this tropical paradise.

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Plane shadow

Getting There:

Landing in Phuket International Airport you will find a number of options available to help you get to your accommodation. The cheapest way is to go with Airport Bus Phuket, which will cost around $3 AUD. The bus leaves every hour between 6:30am to 8:45pm

How to get around Phuket and How much it might cost?

You can drive easily in Phuket (one of Asia’s less stressful places to take to the road) with car hire at the airport or from the hotels. If you plan to pick up a car from the airport, we advise you to book ahead.

The average price for rental car hire in Thailand varies depending on the vehicle type, duration of rental, and location. On average, daily rates can range from 800 to 2,500 Thai Baht (approximately $25 to $80).

Taxis are a common mode of transport in Thailand, providing a quick and comfortable way to navigate through cities. Metered taxis are widely available, ensuring fair pricing for passengers. Taxis are easily hailed on the streets or can be booked through mobile apps.

Taxis in Thailand typically operate on a metered system. The starting fare is around 35 to 50 Thai Baht (approximately $1 to $1.50), with an additional charge per kilometre. For short distances within cities, fares generally range from 60 to 150 Thai Baht (approximately $2 to $5).

Thailand’s extensive bus network connects major cities and towns, making it an affordable and efficient mode of transport. Both government-operated buses and private companies offer various routes, allowing travellers to easily explore different regions of the country.

Bus fares in Thailand are relatively affordable. Local city buses usually charge a flat rate of 8 to 20 Thai Baht (approximately $0.25 to $0.60) per ride. Longer intercity bus trips can range from 150 to 500 Thai Baht (approximately $5 to $16), depending on the distance travelled.

Tuk-tuks are iconic three-wheeled vehicles that are synonymous with Thai culture. They are a popular choice for short-distance travel within urban areas. Negotiating fares in advance is common, and taking a tuk-tuk ride offers a unique and exciting experience.

Tuk-tuk fares in Thailand are typically negotiated with the driver before the ride. Prices vary based on distance, location, and bargaining skills. For short trips within city centres, fares usually range from 50 to 200 Thai Baht (approximately $1.50 to $6).

Scooters are a popular choice for exploring Thailand’s cities and scenic areas. They provide agility and the freedom to navigate through traffic easily. Scooter rentals are widely available, but it’s important to wear helmets, follow traffic rules, and ensure proper licensing and insurance before riding.

Scooter rental prices vary depending on the location, duration of rental, and the condition of the scooter. On average, daily scooter rental rates range from 200 to 400 Thai Baht (approximately $6 to $13). Longer-term rentals may offer discounted rates, such as weekly or monthly packages. It’s important to note that fuel costs are additional.

Markets Phuket

Shopping:

Phuket offers a diverse and vibrant shopping scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Modern shopping centers and malls like Central Festival Phuket and Jungceylon Shopping Mall house international and local brands, providing a comfortable and air-conditioned shopping experience. These malls also offer entertainment facilities and a variety of dining options.

For a more authentic shopping experience, Phuket’s bustling markets are a must-visit. The Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market) in Phuket Town is a popular destination, offering a wide range of stalls selling clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and local street food. The Banzaan Fresh Market in Patong is renowned for its fresh produce, seafood, spices, and local snacks. Bargaining is common in these markets, allowing visitors to haggle for the best prices and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Places to Shop in Phuket

Phuket’s streets are adorned with street vendors and boutique shops, particularly in tourist areas like Patong and Kata. Here, you can find an array of products such as clothing, beachwear, accessories, artwork, and handicrafts. 

Best Beaches:

Phuket boasts a large range of beaches, parks and forests to explore with a rich history and culture to discover.

Phi Phi Island is world famous. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like fortresses. It takes about 90 minutes on an express boat and costs around $30-$50 AUD with meals, snorkeling and activities.

Phuket Beaches that we recommend...

>> Go to our list of 21 Beaches To Visit In Phuket
Elephants in a forest at sanctuary in Thailand.

The Highlights

If you love Elephants like we do Phuket has many Elephant sanctuaries like Phang Nga Elephant Park where you can take your family and enjoy hanging out with the Elephants for the day.

For the more adventurous you can swing through the trees at Phuket Tree Adventures and Flying Hunuman and for those that prefer a more slow pace head to the museum, Aquarium or indulge in a spa treatment.

Things to do

Hanuman World Phuket $$+

Hanuman World Phuket is an adventure park located in Kathu, Phuket, known for its thrilling zipline and treetop experiences. It offers a range of exciting activities that allow visitors to explore the beautiful jungle surroundings while enjoying a dose of adrenaline.

Prices typically range from 1,800 to 3,500 Thai Baht (approximately $58 to $112) per person, depending on the package and any promotional offers available.

Thailand sea beach view round with steep limestone hills with many traditional longtail boats parking at Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Leh island, part of Krabi, Andaman Sea

Phi Phi Islands, Island Tours - $$

Embark on a boat tour to the stunning Phi Phi Islands, known for their turquoise waters, dramatic cliffs, and breathtaking beaches, including Maya Bay.

On average, a full-day boat tour to Phi Phi Islands, including transportation, snorkeling, and lunch, can range from 1,500 to 2,500 Thai Baht (approximately $48 to $80) per person.

Big Buddha - Entry FREE/Donations

The Big Buddha is an Iconic landmark in Phuket. You can visit by going on a tour or head there alone or with your family.

There is no entrance fee to visit the Big Buddha. However, donations are welcomed to support the maintenance and development of the site. Budgeting around 100 to 200 Thai Baht (approximately $3 to $6) for donations or purchases would be suitable.

Simon cabaret Phuket logo

Simon Cabaret

Be dazzled by the glamorous performances of the world-renowned Simon Cabaret show, featuring stunning ladyboy performers in extravagant costumes

On average, the ticket prices range from 800 to 1,500 Thai Baht (approximately $26 to $48) per person.

Elephants in a forest at sanctuary in Thailand.

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

They support ethical elephant tourism by visiting the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, where you can observe and interact with rescued elephants in a natural environment.

The average prices can range from 2,500 to 4,500 Thai Baht (approximately $80 to $144) per person.

Blue Tree Phuket

Blue Tree Water Park Phuket

Blue Tree Water Park Phuket is a water adventure park. Whether you're seeking thrilling slides, relaxing waves, or playful water activities, this water park provides a refreshing escape from the tropical heat and ensures a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Entry fee for tourists is 600 THB for children and 1,100 THB for adults. It's important to note that prices can change, and it's advisable to check with Blue Tree Water Park directly for accurate and up-to-date pricing information.

food thailand

Dining:

You may not find as many fine-dining choices in Phuket town as you would in nearby Patong Beach, but you will still have an extensive choice of great food, with friendly service, at a reasonable price.

Some stand-out restaurants include Siang Khae which serves some of the best north-eastern Thai on the island, Khon 101 with its delicious local cuisine and Ka Jok See which has a great wine list and delicious cocktails.

Restaurants to try when visiting Phuket

Patong Beach Phuket, Thailand

Weather:

The best time to travel to Thailand is between November and February due to lower rainfall and cooler weather.

If you plan to focus on the northern provinces the hot season (March to May) and early rainy season (June to July) are not bad either, as temperatures are moderate at higher elevations.

In Northeastern and Central Thailand From March to May, temperatures may climb over 40°C.

Weather Season Thailand:

The cool season in Phuket brings milder temperatures and lower humidity. During this time, the weather is generally pleasant and comfortable, making it a popular time for tourists to visit. Daytime temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), and evenings may be slightly cooler.

The hot season in Phuket is characterized by high temperatures and increased humidity. Temperatures can soar above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), particularly in April. It’s important to stay hydrated, seek shade, and take necessary precautions against the heat.

The rainy season, also known as the monsoon season, brings frequent rainfall to Phuket. Showers can be intense but are often short-lived. Rainfall is more prevalent during this season, and the humidity remains high. It’s advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat and be prepared for occasional heavy downpours.

Local customs:

In Phuket, it’s not customary to greet people with a handshake or a hug, when it comes to greetings, you can greet the locals with the wai (or bow) gesture.

When visiting temples, maintain a respectful and quiet demeanour. Avoid loud conversations, follow any instructions or signs, and never point your feet towards Buddha images or sacred objects.

Dressing modestly will go a long way in this country and it’s best to do so when visiting religious sites or cultural landmarks, also be sure to always ask for permission before taking photos of local people.

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Thailand Tourist & Visa Information

  1. Australian tourists can get a visa exemption for:

    • up to 30 days, if you arrive through one of the international airports
    • up to 15 days, if you enter through a land border (restricted to 2 entries per calendar year)

    For longer stays, or if you’re travelling for reasons other than tourism, you’ll need to apply for a visa before you travel.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or consulate of Thailand, the Royal Thai Embassy Canberra or Royal Thai Consulate-General Sydney. See the official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the latest details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

  • If you’re visiting Thailand and then travelling to a country that requires COVID-19 testing (RAT or PCR test) for entry, you’ll need to purchase medical insurance prior to your arrival in Thailand. The insurance will need to provide cover for COVID-19 treatment.
  • Travellers have been arrested for carrying medicine they bought at a Thai pharmacy without a prescription. Get medical advice before buying medicine.
  • Insect-borne diseases include malaria, Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and filariasis. Use insect repellent. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof as possible. 
  • Animals in parts of Thailand can carry rabies. Don’t ever feed, pat or tease monkeys. If you’re bitten or scratched by a dog, monkey or other animal, get treatment immediately.
  • Thailand has high levels of air pollution. Air pollution can make bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions worse. Check air quality levels on the World Air Quality Index.
  • Medical tourism is common. Avoid discount and uncertified medical establishments. Their standards can be poor. Research medical service providers and choose with care.

Source: SmartTraveller.gov.au

Other important information:

While Phuket is generally safe for tourists, it’s still important to take precautions to avoid theft and stay safe. Be sure to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid walking alone at night, especially in less touristy areas. It’s also a good idea to carry cash in case credit cards aren’t accepted or there are issues with the card machines.

Thailand sea beach view round with steep limestone hills with many traditional longtail boats parking at Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Leh island, part of Krabi, Andaman Sea

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