Situated in the Andaman Sea off Thailand’s west coast, Phuket (also called the Pearl of the Andaman) is Thailand’s largest island. From the powder soft sand which covers its beautiful beaches to the excitement of its vibrant nightlife, Phuket abounds with delights to make anyone’s holiday a time to remember. And all the time, whether staying in a first class hotel or rental villa, you will feel that wonderful welcome of the Thai people.
Many visitors to Phuket are so enchanted by the stunning sandy beaches that they find it hard to leave the comfort of their holiday home and seashore. Beautiful sun and the welcoming gentle warm waters of the Andaman Sea conspire to create the perfect atmosphere for total relaxation. But the effort to leave the beach and explore Phuket’s other attractions will be well rewarded.
If you can’t break away from the allure of the sea, why not hire a kayak and explore the coast with a snorkel? Phuket is famed for its crystal clear waters so it is easy to see the wonderful life that is just below the surface. Phuket is a scuba diving paradise and there are several operators to take you to a whole new world beneath the sea. And if you prefer to stay on the surface, maybe deep-sea fishing is for you. All year round, the ocean’s great game fish like sailfish and marlin can be caught while tuna, reef sharks and dorado add to the variety of fish you might land. Of course, you can pick up some aromatic herbs and spices at the market on the way back to your holiday accommodation and savour the day’s catch.
For those whole like land-based adventure, overnight island tours will bring out the explorer in everyone. Eco-tours by elephant will take you to unspoilt parts of the island while white water rafting and kayaking will add to the thrill. The nature enthusiast must visit the virgin forest and animals of Khao Pra Thaeo Wildlife Park. The stunning tropical surroundings are also home to Phuket’s seven European-tour standard golf courses and golfers will enjoy the company and banter of the compulsory lady caddies.
Phuket after dark is party time. The crowds at Patong Beach are the biggest and there is nightly music and dancing. But all over the island, there are bars and clubs to suit all tastes and restaurants to entice you with their irresistible aromas. If you like to play hard but sleep well, make sure your holiday rental is off the main drag.
Average temperatures in Phuket vary very little year round. The nights in the winter average about 31?C while those in summer average around 33?C. It is advisable to check that your holiday accommodation has air conditioning.
The most comfortable time of the year is the “dry” season months of January and February. The rainy season kicks in during April. Heavy tropical showers can strike at any time but are usually short-lived – and the rain is very warm!
Phuket is best reached by air. For international travellers, there are direct flights from Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which are all easily reached from most countries. Many travellers prefer to travel to Bangkok first and then take a domestic flight to Phuket. From the airport it’s an easy transfer to your holiday home by bus, taxi or rental car.