Phuket is the largest tropical island in Thailand. Baths in the stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue seas, the spectacular scenery of this East Asian tourist destination awaits the world to give lots of fun. Phuket has an unbeatable combination of perfect silky soft beaches clubbed with superb hospitality and great value accommodation. It’s up to you whether you want to enjoy diving in the Andaman Sea or try your hand in golf at championship courses in Phuket. Again, it’s the choice of the visitors whether they want to go out for a dazzling nightlife or to opt for a speedboat trip to surrounding islands. One can also make a serene cruise around mystical Phang Nga Bay of Phuket. The natural calamity of the tsunami that hit Phuket in December 2004 makes the island more interesting for tourists to visit.
SHOPPING IN PHUKET
One is to be a good bargainer in order to have a good shopping in Phuket. You may find prices of some items much higher than you expect. It is because of the high import duties on luxury items. However, IT products are cheap in Phuket. Thailand government is trying to promote these items. Clothing, art and handicrafts are the items one may find in reasonable prices.
Phuket City Shopping
If shopping is in your top agenda, Phuket City is the right place in Thailand. Many of the items that are sold in other parts of Thailand are costlier than Phuket city. Montri, Phang Nga, Rassada and Yaowarat Road are famous for handicraft, souvenir and antiques. On Ranong Road, you can experience the sights and sounds of Thai fresh vegetable market, which is next to the beach-bus station of Phuket City. Apart from fruits, vegetables and meats, some basic clothing items are on sale here. Weekend markets are other places that clothes, shoes, jewelry, household items, plants and pets are sold in cheap rates. Bypass Road Central Festival, Big C, Tesco Lotus, Index Living Mall, Robinson and Ocean Shopping Mall are the areas one can shop in Phuket.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Phuket can boast for having some of the best beaches in the world. Tourists mainly come here only for its sultry beaches. It is up to tourists whether they want the frenetic pace of Patong or find solitude on a remote stretch of sand in the north Phuket beaches. Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Kata Noi, Kamala Bay, Laem Singh, Surin, Pansea, Bang Tao, Thon, Nai Yang, Mai Khao, Nai Harn, Rawai, Chalong Bay and Cape Panwa are the important beaches in Phuket.
There are lots of spa treatment centres in and around Phuket. Some of the centres often provide a blend of Asian and Western massage to give a feel-good impression. Natural health care products made from local herbs, fruits and oils are the best to opt for this massage. These can also be used in various treatments like aromatherapy massages, body scrubs and facials. Many of the centres also come up with beauty salons that offer traditional services of hair styling, manicures and pedicures. A wide range of soothing and healing therapies can be chosen from their long menus.
Thalang National Museum is for history buffs, it is the best place to visit in Phuket. One can gain knowledge on the history of this island from the museum. One can gather other knowledge like archaeology, ethnology and art as well from here. Phuket Sea Shell Museum is the museum that displays a large variety of sea shells and fossils.
Parks and Waterfalls
Phuket is famous for beaches. But it is not only the beaches that attract tourists but also by its number of forest reserves and parks. There are also some pretty waterfalls. Important places of interest are Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, Bang Pae Waterfall, Ton Sai Waterfall, Sirinat Marine National Park, Mangrove Forest and Kathu Waterfall.
The best time to visit Phuket is November to March. The weather is not so humid during these months, and cool breeze keeps the environment calm. The average temperature is around 24ºC to 32ºC. As climate in Phuket is tropical monsoon, it is warm all the year round; April-May and September-October are the hottest months, when mercury touches 27ºC to 36ºC. The September-October period is the wettest.
Phuket is 862 km away from Bangkok taking about 13 hours by road. Daily coach service between Bangkok and Phuket is available. Flights are also available from Bankok. However, there is no rail link.