I am almost certain that Phuket is more famous in Germany or Europe than the country Thailand itself. Everyone has heard of Phuket and many have been there. Although I am definitely a frequent traveller, I had never been there until last year in December. Neither in Phuket, nor in Thailand. To be honest, I didn’t have any idea about what to expect.
Usually you don’t hear many positive things about Phuket, because the beautiful island is labelled as a party paradise that has nothing else to offer. Since I rarely trust what other people say, I also added a trip to Phuket to my Thailand round trip to give you my opinion and tips for the island today. Thank you, Lotus Travel Service for the great organisation and recommendation!
Advertisement: Your trust is very important to me: This article was created in cooperation with Lotus Travel Service. However, any recommendation is still 100% my honest opinion.
Phuket? No! Or maybe yes?
I am sure that the decisions on whether to include Phuket on the top travel list will vary widely here. Personally, I discovered a side of the island that I would not ever have expected: beautiful, barely crowded beaches, gorgeous weather, great food and, of course, the universally known Thai party road. Phuket is all that and so much more! In this post, I’ll show you everything you can experience on the island Phuket.
The most important Phuket travel tips at a glance
1. How to get there: Are there direct flights to Phuket?
Yes, there are! There are direct flights to Phuket from Germany and any mayor European city, but you can also fly from Chiang Mai or Bangkok if you can find cheaper tickets there. The journey from Germany to Phuket takes about 11 hours on a direct flight.
You can compare the cheapest flights via Skyscanner, a flight search engine I always use.
2. What are the transport options on Phuket?
Moving from place to place in Phuket is not difficult, but definitely more expensive than in Bangkok. There are few tuk-tuks and taxis are mostly private and not organised by the government. Therefore, the prices are 4x the prices we were used to in Bangkok. It is very important to negotiate the price before you start your journey or insist on the taximeter, otherwise you will quickly be ripped off.
If you want to explore a large part of the island, I recommend renting a car or scooter. I have heard from many people that the traffic in Thailand is absolutely crazy, but in Phuket it is quite okay, and you can easily venture out on the road. You can rent a car for as little as €30-35 per day, although long-term rentals can be cheaper. Scooters are much cheaper at about €5 per day, although more dangerous. Always carefully check both rental cars and scooters for roadworthiness – because unfortunately this is often not guaranteed.
3. Accommodation in Phuket
Phuket offers every sort of accommodation you can think of: Cute little B&Bs, mid-range hotels to the absolute nicest villas and flats.
We stayed at Paresa Resort, which was located about an hour south of the airport and half an hour’s drive from Phuket Town. I have become a bit picky about upscale and luxury hotels, but the service and the hotel itself was beyond everything, from the welcome to the farewell, all was perfect.
Paresa Resort Phuket has beautiful suites and rooms, all with private pools. The terrace offers a view over the sea and is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset from your room. The beds are not too soft and not too hard, the bathroom is integrated into a walk-in wardrobe and a second shower is separately located outside so you can watch the sunset while showering.
The restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is also semi-open, so that you can also eat outside, depending on the temperature. Breakfast at the Paresa Resort is buffet style, but you can also order your favourite dish a la carte.
Besides the private pools in the rooms of the hotel, there is also an infinity pool that can be enjoyed by every guest. However, I hardly saw anyone here and we therefore had the large pool almost always to ourselves. The loungers which stand half in the water are particularly charming – this was really a pure luxury holiday!
Unfortunately, the resort does not have its own beach, but offers a free shuttle service to the nearest beach, which is equally beautiful.
Many thanks again to the hotel manager, who took such great care of us and made our days at Paresa Resort truly unforgettable.
Psst: as special surprise, you will receive organic Black Rice from Thailand at the end of your stay, for you to take home as a gift.
What to do in Phuket?
As I mentioned above, Phuket offers so much more than I expected, so I’ll give you my personal highlights that I think you shouldn’t miss during your trip to Phuket.
1. Phuket Beaches
Who would have thought of it? The beaches in Phuket are of course beautiful and the water is crystal clear! the beaches were really clean, and you can also see from the pictures that the beaches were truly well kept!
We spent most of our time at Kamala beach (when not enjoying the beautiful pool on our terrace at Paresa Resort), as it was super close to our hotel and also not very crowded. Only in the early evening, when it was about sunset, the beach filled up a little.
Other beaches worth visiting are Paradise Beach, Kata Noi Beach and Banana Beach.
2. Phuket Town
If you’re in Phuket, don’t miss a stop in Phuket Town, where every Sunday evening a beautiful street market takes place. Yes, it’s a bit more touristy here, but none of the crowded and unpleasant experiences often associated with tourism.The town is well kept and there are colourful houses lit up everywhere, surrounding the main street. The market goes on until around 10pm and offers a combination of street food and beachwear. We actually found what we were looking for and bought a dress each!
The food on the street is really great in terms of quality and price – in fact, you often eat better on the street than in the restaurants. I will soon write a separate article about street food in Thailand.
3. Beach Club – Cafe del Mar
The beach club Cafe del Mar is located on Kamala beach, the beach I described above! During the day it is very relaxed, chilled house music is played, few of the cabanas are occupied and accordingly few people are there. I always find it super relaxing to spend a day in a beach club where you are just completely taken care of. Drinks cost around €15 and main courses start at €20.
Towards the evening, it gets a bit more crowded and depending on the day, there are events or private parties. Definitely the perfect treat after a relaxing day!
The beach club Cafe del Mar is located on Kamala Beach, which is just as famous as the island itself for its parties on Patong Beach, the party beach. Even though this kind of party is not part of mine at all, we threw ourselves into the crowd one evening and got to know the party street. Here you can start the evening in nice bars and get into a crazy ping pong show at a late hour. If you eventually want to dance, I also recommend the Illusion Club. After exploring all of these, you can return to your hotel room for a few more drinks and a game of cards or Jenga (you may wish to look at some fun ways on how to play drunk jenga) with your friends. Don’t forget that you are in a foreign country and boozing should be done in hotel rooms to ensure safety, especially late at night.
5. Street Food
Street food is definitely part of Thai culture and a must on every Phuket trip. For very little money, you can sample all the delicious dishes and nibble on the varied finger food. Thai curry is certainly more appealing than grilled insects – but the nice thing is that there is something for every taste.
Street food, as the name suggests, is available on almost every corner. At the markets, the selection is usually even larger and more varied. For example, you can enjoy the culinary delights at the popular Phuket Walking Street weekend market, Malin Plaza or the fairly new Chillva market.
Yes, Thailand is definitely a shopper’s paradise besides delicious food and gorgeous beaches! The two largest shopping centers in Phuket are Jungceylon Mall and Central Festival. Here you will find many well-known and lesser-known shops, as well as cinemas, spa facilities and entertainment programs. However, you will not find the typical low “Thailand prices” here. The smaller shopping centers, such as Villa Market, Ocean Plaza or Expo Market, offer better value for money.
As you can see, a holiday in Phuket is much more than just a party paradise! If you just let yourself wander through the towns and streets, you’ll be rewarded with authentic food, melodious markets and solitary beaches, I promise!
More tips about Thailand?
- Here is an article about another beautiful island KOH YAO NOI: AUTENTIC THAILAND
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