As a major tourist destination of the Andaman Sea, Phuket offers everything you may wish for. On this 48km-long island, Thai and western cultures co-exist providing a large array of choices from quiet beach to beach parties, through local Thai restaurants and western fast food chains.
As of one of Thailand’s best destination of diving, Phuket is the place to discover scuba diving or sail away on a dive safari around the Similian islands.
How to get to Phuket
Most tourists arrive directly at Phuket International Airport, most likely from a stopover in one of Asia’s airports (Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Singapore to name a few).
Local low-cost airlines such as Air Asia and Nok Air offer cheap domestic flights from Bangkok to Phuket. Flight tickets to Phuket may cost between 1000THB and 2000THB.
From Bangkok, you may take a 13-hour night bus all the way to Phuket. Bus tickets may cost between 700THB and 1000THB. If opting for the train instead (about 700THB one-way), be aware that you will need to stop in Surat Thani and hop onto a minivan for 6-hour ride to Phuket.
Phuket Dive sites
As the center of diving in Thailand, Phuket is a diving vacation destination. You can access a number of dive sites from Phuket. Most dive sites in Phuket are suitable for divers of all levels.
Rocky reefs and forest of corals make Racha Yai a colorful and lively dive site to explore. For wreck diving in Phuket, head to Ter Bay dive site which is home to a 25-meter deep shipwreck. Most experienced divers will visit Racha Noi for deep diving in Phuket. With its strong currents, it is also a perfect spot to experience drift diving in Phuket.
From Phuket, you also can gain access to further dive sites near Koh Phi Phi archipelago or diving day-trip to the Similian Islands.
Phuket Diving schools
As a major diving destination, there are a large selection of diving schools in Phuket. From small backpacker-oriented dive centers to luxury dive schools, through to family-oriented dive centers, you will find one that caters to your needs.
Most offer PADI diving certification or similar diving organisation. From the first level Open Water Diver to professional training (Divemaster and Instructor), through dive safaris in the Similian Island, there are many options to choose from. If you are new to scuba diving, the warm waters of Phuket are an excellent spot to try an introductory dive in Thailand.
Accommodation in Phuket
Price and quality of accommodation vary greatly depending on the district you wish to reside in. Hotels in Phuket Town offer the cheapest rates, but are not directly on the beach. Hotels on Patong beach tend to cater most to the backpackers tribe, with room rate starting from 400THB (10 Euors) and up.
Most guesthouses and budget hotels elsewhere in Phuket start at 800THB (15 Euros) and up. Proper hotels and resorts usually start around 3000THB (80 Euros).
If you are planning on staying over a week, it may be interesting to rent a villa in Phuket.
In all cases, you will obtain better rates when booking during the low-season.
Find the best offers here!
Cost of living in Phuket
Most things will be a bit more pricey than on the mainland. A cheap meal costs around 40THB-100THB. Mid-range restaurants serving western food will generally charge 200-300THB for a meal. Local beers (Chang, Singha ..) usually cost about 50THB a bottle.
Songthaew minibuses are usually the cheapest way to get around Phuket, with a fixed rate of 30THB to head to the beach. Motorbike taxis are faster and cost 50THB in town, but up to 150THB in the beach areas. Tuk-tuk are the most expensive, and the price depends on your bargaining skills. Expect to pay about 300THB for a ride to the beach.
Others activities in Phuket
Activities in Phuket revolve around the sea : from scubadiving to kite-surfing, through jet-skiing. You may rent a jet-ski from vendors directly on the beach. Or, hop on a boat for a day-trip snorkelling in the Andaman Sea.
However, if sunbathing sipping on cheap cocktails is not your thing, you may try bike riding through the island. Or explore the Thai culture trying out Muay Thai, the national martial art.