Phuket is a large island in the South of Thailand that has become known for the wild times in Patong but also has secluded beaches and resorts, areas ideal for families and those seeking a quieter life and high class resorts.
Phuket provides easy access to Andaman Sea islands such as Phi Phi and the Similian Islands. There are wild nights, calm days, temples and national parks. Phuket offers something for everyone.
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December to February is peak season in Phuket as the area basks in long sunny days, low humidity and average temperatures in the high 20’s/83-84°F. Rainfall is low with few wet days but like much of Southern Thailand when rain comes it tends to be in short, sharp bursts
The hot season is March to May with high temperatures into the mid to high 30’s/99-101°F with increasing levels of humidity making it feel even more uncomfortable. Rainfall increases as well with May having some of the highest levels of rainfall.
June to October are peak monsoon months although only a few days may be affected apart from in September and October when rainy days and total rainfall are at their highest. Temperatures remain in the low 30’s/87-89°F.
Phuket is well served by Phuket International Airport which has excellent connections from Bangkok and a host of other hubs. Direct flights from the UK are operated by Tui although departures are limited so you may need to compromise on dates and duration.
The airport lies directly behind Mai Khao beach which allows for some spectacular pictures as plane land and take off.
There are plenty of options for transport from the airport with Taxis and buses available for those who have not pre-booked transport – be aware that the airport can get very busy so you may end up in a queue for a taxi. Transfer time depends where on Phuket Island you are heading to as well as the time of the day.
There are bus services from throughout Thailand but be aware that they can take the best part of a day from Bangkok, they are much cheaper than flying though.
Ferry services arrive in Phuket from Phi Phi daily from where you can connect to Krabi and beyond.
Tuk-Tuk – uncomfortable, sometimes scary, expensive but you need to take a ride in these quirky three-wheeled rickshaws at least once. Stick to short trips and make sure you agree a price in advance.
Taxi – There are increasing numbers of metered taxis which ensure consistent prices, if they have a meter ensure they use it. Otherwise it’s back to negotiating a price. Grab is the Thai Uber and can make ordering a cab easier although you will need a data connection on your phone.
Songthaews – generally bigger than the small pick up trucks elsewhere, these are the local bus service and you can usually hail one as it passes so do not need a bus stop. They tend to run along the main routes so don’t expect to find one if you are in a less travelled location.
Motorcycle taxis are excellent for short distances and are available all over Phuket and will be waiting for fares in the busier areas. Negotiate a price in advance and use the helmet they should provide.
Car and motorcycle rental is available throughout the island but the roads are much busier here than Krabi or Khao Lak so can be more challenging and dangerous. Make sure you have the correct licence, insurance and wear seat belts or helmets at all times. Remember that road traffic laws, right of way and regulations are likely to be different and road conditions can change quickly during rain storms.
Find out about the different areas in Phuket. Make sure you know what to expect before you book as different areas vary enormously on the island.
There is an incredible amount to do on Phuket. Our guide picks our favourite 26 things to do, it could have been a much bigger list.
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