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Phuket Information

   
     
Phuket Holidays General Overview.

Phuket is situated in the south of Thailand and is Thailand's largest and main Island. 48 km in length, 21 km at its widest, and is located 860 kilometers south of Bangkok and is roughly an hours flight, from the Thai capital, almost the same from Singapore and Kuala Lumper. Phuket is on the Andaman Sea on Thailand's Indian Ocean coastline. Phuket's has become one of the The World's Top Destinations, in January 2009 The New York Times voted Phuket "Luxury Destination of the Year". Phuket Island is Thailand's wealthiest province. Phuket, it's Hotels and it's surrounding Island's have had it's problems the biggest being the 2004 Tsunami, however in true Thai tradition, 'Hotels' Phuket has fully recovered from the destruction to it's west coast with now hardly at all signs of natural destruction, of course for many the emotional effect of this tragedy remains. Phuket Island and it's Hotels are made up of it's popular tourist destination along it's West Coast, Patong being the biggest and is surrounded by it's central administration and business focal point, Phuket Town, with it's International Airport located inside an hour of most destination.

  • Phuket Town - The administrative center of the province, and the island's main source of Phuket information, the population center, China Town and history abound. Has the cheapest accommodation, but no beaches.
  • Chalong Bay - On the South East coast, home to Phuket's most popular yacht anchorage and the primary gateway to the islands off Phuket.
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Weather, Festival, Destination

Weather and Climate

Phuket has a moist, tropical climate with three seasons - warm, rainy, and hot. Weather here is warm all year round but the most popular time to travel is from November through March due to cool NE monsoon season with the average temperature of 70F to 90F (25C to 31C). This period also the best time for scuba diving and water activities. The rainy season starts from July through October, with the plenty of showers usually in October.

Even at this time, heavy showers is normally disrupted by moments or days of sunshine. Hottest periods, dry weather occurs between March and April with the temperature of 79F to 98F (28C to 35C). Thai new year schedule on 13 of April as you will be sprinkled by Thais and tourists, No Choice! In brief, Phuket is an island for all seasons, always offers something to the visitor on each period of year.

January through February
Apart from the famous New Year celebration held at key beaches around Phuket Island, Chinese New Year comes in Febuary or around the end of January, according to Chinese calender. Phuket Town puts on a sign of boisterous, firecrackers, colorful dragon parades, Chinese live music and your favorite Chinese food stalls.

April
The Songkran festival is the most chaotic festival in the Thailand, it is the beginning of Thai New Year and all-around general water splashing. The celebration lasts from the 13th to 15th April each year, longer in some provinces. Expect to get wet and lots of fun! From the sprinkling of water, water guns, buckets, hoses and everything else that can do water fighting onto someone, everybody gets soaking wet with the hottest climate of the year. This has to be one of the friendliest, though wet and refreshing, getting wet all over and a good way to make new friends.

Tip Keep cameras and other electronic devices protected if you participate in Songkran, no complaint for any reimbursement!! It’s not advisable to drive a motorbike during this festival.

October
A colorful Vegetarian Festivalevent held over a nine day period in near the beginning October is celebrated in around Phuket Town only. For this week extensive celebration, Chinese Buddhists believe that abstinence from any meats and eat only vegetarian food will enhance them in first-class wellbeing and harmony of mind. They are faithfully on vegetarian diet, thinking and living clean with praying to the Nine Emperor Gods (Kiu Ong Lah) for a nine-day interval.

Some of the the most exciting parts of the Vegetarian Festival ceremonies and processions, which are both remarkable and shocking. Invoking the gods by self-mortification as mediums of the gods is accomplished. During these celebrations, participants parade through the streets in Phuket Town, pierce their cheeks and body with various items, such as bicycle wheels, knives, skewers, spears and the like. The belief is to eradicate evil spirits from the community. Besides, there are several activities performed, such as fire-walking, knife-bladed ladder climbing and hot-oil bathing. Check the local information at the moment for more information. Vegetarian foods sold nearby are well worth trying.

November
The romantic festival not to be missed. Thailand has many rivers around the nation, some of them are sensational, beautiful and magical. In November's full moon, the Loi Krathong Festival is purpose to pay the respect to the goddess of rivers and waterways. Loy Krathong is celebrated all over the country, min-floats (kratong) are made from banana trunks, resembling with flowers, incense sticks and candles. This symbolizes the washing away of troubles, sins and a call for a good luck and fortunes. For Phuket Island, as the sun dips below and the moon rises instead in the evening, relations converge around the beautiful beaches all over the island to let loose their kratongs.

 

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How to get to Phuket
   
 

By plane
The compact Phuket International Airport (IATA:HKT) ICAO:VTSP) is located in the north of the island, and is Thailand's second largest hub, second only to Bangkok. There are very frequent flights to/from Bangkok as well as direct flights to many other airports in the region, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and direct charters to Europe and Australia in the high season

By train
There are no direct train services to Phuket. Travellers by train must get off at Phun Phin railway station in Surat Thani and continue for another 5 hours by regular bus to Phuket. See Surat Thani or details.

By bus
Buses to mainland destinations including Bangkok, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong , Satun, Sungai Kolok and Surat Thani use the BKS terminal off Thanon Phang Nga in Phuket Town.

The most reliable buses from Bangkok are the public BKS buses from the Southern Bus Terminal to Phuket. The journey takes 13 hours. There are also 2 private bus companies, Phuket Travel Tour and Phuket Central Tour. Khao San Road operations have a bad reputation for theft, often turn out to include a "surprise" transfer to a minibus at Surat Thani, and are best avoided.
From Phuket bus terminal to your final destination, you can take a motorcycle taxi, tuk-tuk, meter-taxi, or bus. A motorcycle taxi into Phuket Town will be about 10-20 baht; to most beaches 100-200 baht (negotiable).

By car
Phuket is directly connected to the mainland by the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge. From Bangkok, take Highway 4 through Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, thence through Ranong province’s Kra Buri and Kapoe districts, Phang-nga province’s Takua Pa and Thai Muang districts and onto Phuket island. The total distance is 862 kilometres.

By boat
Ferry services connect from Rassada Port in Phuket Town to Ko Phi Phi and on to Krabi on the mainland twice a day, taking 90 minutes and costing 350/650 baht one-way/return, for each leg. It's usually a pleasant ride, but can be rather bumpy when it's windy.

There are also speedboats to Ko Racha(2 hours), the Similan Islands (about 3 hours) and other islands in the high season only. Boats and yachts can be chartered at Chalong Bay, the Boot Lagoon, the Yacht Haven and Royal Phuket Marina.

 

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Local Phuket Transport    
 
By Song Taew

The most popular form of transport for getting around Phuket are Song Taew or Tuk Tuk. For those who stay in Patong, Kata and Karon, a majority of hotels are located close proximity to the beach, outlets, entertainment, restaurants and shopping centres, which easily to reach on foot.

By Tuk Tuk

Tuk-Tuks, small red taxi-trucks with open sides, are a common mode of transport for any trips at any durations and times. It can be hailed anywhere along the streets or you can find them parked waiting for passengers. The price is always negotiable so please agree on destination and fare before you climb in. In some areas, particular in Patong, there are a number of Tuk Tuk driver's that are unpleasant, inadequate, overpriced and impolite. If you ask them for round trip transfers, you must pay them when you journey end's.

By Motorcycle

Motorcycle taxis are everywhere. They dress in a green, red or yellow numbered vests, and usually provide the short trip services. Again it is wise to ask the price before taking them. A journey anywhere within the areas of one town is 20-50 Baht, but can cost more, agree before you start.

Final Warnings.

Crime as of late has definitely increased in the Phuket area among Farangs (tourists) and you should keep this is mind and be vigilant of anyone who wants to befriend you or trick you into gambling (which is illegal) and anything else you consider out of the ordinary. Katoeys (Ladyboys) are notorious for pick pocketing as you walk around the tourist areas at night. Also muggings do take place on regular occurrences. Avoid walking down unlit streets, stick to the main roads.

If something looks/sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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