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Phuket is the original Thai paradise island with some beautiful beaches – Part 3




Phuket is the original Thai paradise island with some beautiful beaches.
• Phuket is Thailand’s largest island.
• It is 48 km in length, 21 km at its widest.
• It is in Southern Thailand, on the west-facing Andaman Sea coastline.
• It is suspended from the southern tip of Phang Nga Province by a pair of short but substantial road bridges.
• Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coastline.
• This is 862 kilometers south of Bangkok.

Activities in Phuket

1. Diving
• Phuket has some decent dive sites and is the center of diving in Thailand.
• Most dive sites are off nearby islands.
• Distances are fairly short and there are dozens of dive shops and boats to cater to your needs which are mostly based near Chalong Bay.
• The reefs around the area are in a healthy condition with both solid hard corals and colorfully soft corals.
• There is also an abundance of marine life.
• Most of the dive locations are suitable for all levels of divers but there are also some that are quite deep.
• The most well-known dive site in the Phuket area is Racha Yai.
• It has sloping rocky reefs and its plenitude of solid coral forests.
• It is home to Ter Bay where there is an exciting wreck in the depths of 25-35 meters.
• The island south of Racha Yai, Racha Noi, is a haven for experienced divers.
• Here, the depths are greater and the currents are stronger.
• The overall topography is strikingly different from Racha Yai with huge granite boulders.
• The diving in Racha Noi compared to Racha Yai is definitely more challenging but the rewards are far greater.
• Just off Phuket, is the limestone island of Ko Doc Mai that soars vertically from the sea-bed.
• It is home to a diversity of fish and offers the opportunity to view leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles.
• Phuket can also function as a base for dives further afield, such as Ko Phi Phi.
• Diving in Phuket’s warm clear blue waters is best from mid-October to May.
• This is the time when the calm seas and rain free days making Phuket diving a truly unique experience.

2. Snuba Diving
• It is the safest and easiest way to try diving on holiday in Phuket.
• Popular in Hawaii, the Carribbean, Mexico, and Japan, Snuba gives an introduction into the world of diving.
• Essentials: No certification required, children 8+, just like scuba diving except it is easier.
• SNUBA trips go to most Phuket dive sites.
• No heavy equipment to wear.
• No long classes.
• Maximum depth of 7 meters.
• Professional dive guides accompany each group.

3. Sailing and Yachting
• Phuket has become the sailing and yachting center of Thailand and adjacent countries.
• It’s the home of Six the Senses.
– Phuket Raceweek
– King’s Cup Regatta
– Phang Nga Bay Regatta
– The Phuket International Boat Show (PIMEX)
– Four marinas
– Two yacht clubs – Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) and Phuket Yacht Club (PYC)
• The marinas are all located at the eastern side of the island which makes them an ideal starting point to explore the nature wonders of the Phang Nga Bay.
• An entire fleet of traditional junk rigged boats is located there, offering day trips.
• Phuket has sailing yachts of virtually every size and for all budgets.
• This is to explore the surrounding beautiful islands on a yacht charter.
• Sailing Thailand Island Cruises operates a wide array of sailing catamarans from budget to luxury.
• Most of them located in Chalong Bay.
• Sweet Dreamers also many different sailing tours from Chalong Bay in Southeastern Phuket.
• Small sailing craft like Hobie Cats and Lasers are available at most of the tourist hot spots on the west side, e.g. Patong and Kata.

4. Phuket Island
• Phuket Island has some decent dive sites and the largest diving center in Thailand.
• The reefs around the area are in a healthy condition with both solid and colourfully soft corals.
• There is also an abundance of marine life.
• Most of the dive locations are suitable for all abilities of divers.
• The most well-known dive site in the Phuket area is Racha Yai.
• It has sloping rocky reefs and its plentiful solid coral forests.
• There is also Ter Bay where there is an exciting wreck in the depths of 15–25 meters.
• Just off Phuket, is the limestone island of Koh Doc Mai which soars vertically from the sea-bed.
• It is home to a diversity of fish and offers the opportunity to view leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles.

5. Phang Nga Bay National Park
• Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km² bay in the Andaman Sea between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand.
• Phang Nga Bay National Park is one of the most beautiful in the world for lovers of water and islands.
• This is a karst area and marine gastropods Stark.
• Stark is the column is dyed to grow from the soil and water.
• There are caves, traditional villages and lots of green.
• It is located 100 km from the city of Phuket.
• Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay National Park is particularly good.

Flora and Fauna in Phang Nga Bay National Park
Vegetations
• 12 types such as Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Xylocarpus granatum, etc.
• 7 important types of plants such as Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Xylocarpus granatum, etc.
• The 5 types of important plants here are Rhizophora apiculata, Sonneratia ovata, Aegialites rotundifolia, Xylocarpus granatum and Melaleuca leucadendron.
• Mammal animals, from survey could be found upto 27 types such as Macaca irus, Semnopithecus obscurus, Hylobates lar, etc.
• The important aquatic mammal animals such as Infonesian white dolphin, Malayan dolphin, Finless porpoise.
• Birds have been found totally 120 types, the important ones are Little heron, Pacific reef-egret, Little egret, etc.
• Reptiles have been found totally 26 types such as Siamese box terrapin, Pseudoxenodon macrops (Blyth), etc.
• Amphibians have been found 4 types such as Rana cancrivora, R. limnocharis, Rhaco phorusleucomystax, etc.
• Fishes consists of squat-headed hammer head shark sphyrna tudes, freshwater ater stingray dasyatis bleekeri, Moray eel, Puffer fish.
• Many kinds of fish which live in the coral such as Butterfly fish and the economical valued fishes such as short-bodied mackerel.

Marine Life
• Marine life totals over 80 species.
• 24 species of fish, 14 species of shrimp, 15 species of crabs and another 16 species of manta-rays, sharks, and game fish.
• In the bay, you will find blue crabs, swimming crabs, mud-skippers, humpback shrimp, mud-lobsters, pomfrets, jewfish, sole, anchovies, scad, rock cod, as well as rainbow cuttlefish, soft cuttlefish, musk crab, mackerels, spinefoots, groupers, black sea cucumbers, brain coral, staghorn coral and lastly flowerlike soft coral.

Events in Phuket

September : Phuket Vegetarian Festival
• This ten day Chinese festival in Phuket has become world-famous for the gory pictures of people impaling their faces and bodies with everything from swords, spears and even fish
December : Birthday of His Majesty the King – Nationwide
December : Phuket King’s Cup Regatta
• Southeast Asia’s leading regatta, held in the waters off the island of Phuket.
• It starts on the first Saturday of the month.

Best time to visit / climate

Phuket is hot and humid throughout the year.
– The hot season is generally considered to be from March to early May.
– During the summer monsoon season from May to October, mornings and afternoons are still sunny and clear.
– It tends to rain in the evenings and water clarity goes down.
– Locals consider November to February the “cool” season.
– The weather is quite tolerable.
– It’s comparable to Florida’s summer weather in temperature and intensity of rain storms.
– 25-33 deg C, flying clouds, short and thunderous rainfalls in the afternoons and evenings.
– Surfing is possible off the western beaches.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
https://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=Phuket&hl=en&hnear=Phuket,+Thailand&gl=in&t=m&z=10

How to get there?

1. By plane
• Phuket International Airport is in the north of the island.
• It 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.
• This includes Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and direct charters to Europe and Australia in the high season.

International flights
– Australia: V Australia, Air Asia via Kuala Lumpur; Jetstar (direct or via Singapore with sister airline Jetstar Asia) with flights from/to major cities in Australia.
– Germany: Air Berlin has non-stop flights to Munich.
– Hong Kong: Thai Airways , Dragonair and Air Asia have non-stop direct flights from Hong Kong to Phuket. Hong Kong can connect you to the rest of the world via Cathay Pacific or other major airlines.
– Indonesia: AirAsia flies from/to Jakarta and Denpasar Bali, and often this is the cheapest connection between Thailand and Java and more eastern parts of Indonesia (promotional fares are often $30-50 for a 3 hr flight). They had flights to Medan in Sumatra as well, but they have been discontinued due to low demand.
– Korea: Asiana Airlines and Korean Air non-stop services from Seoul with connections from Japan and North America.
– Malaysia: AirAsia flies to Kuala Lumpur (LCCT), FireFly flies to Penang, using small ATR-Turboprop aircraft, and Malaysia Airlines has flights from/to Kuala Lumpur. Qatar Airways also offer daily flights from Kuala Lumpur.
– Qatar: Qatar Airways operates direct daily flights from/to Doha, which connect in Kuala Lumpur.
– Singapore: SilkAir has 32 flights a week. Low cost alternatives are Thai AirAsia and Tiger Airways . In addition, Jetstar flies there too.
– Taipei, Taiwan: China Airlines, Non-stop direct flights from Taipei to Phuket. Taipei has easy connections to Japan, Korea, and the Americas.
Other low cost direct connections include India, Macau, Seoul, and Busan.

Charter flights
– There are some charter flights in high season from European and Asian countries such as Sweden, Taiwan, Japan, etc.
– The airlines charge a very cheap fare.

Domestic flights
– Several domestic airlines fly here, including Nok Air , Air Asia , Orient Thai . Tickets from Bangkok can cost around 1,300 baht one-way if booked well in advance, or around 2,000-2,500 baht (including taxes) if bought on the day or the flight.
– Thai Airways flies from Bangkoks Suvarnabhumi airport several times every day, as well as once daily from Chiang Mai.
– Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on direct flights between Phuket and U-Tapao (Pattaya / Sattahip)and Ko Samui. They also have 6 daily flights from Bangkok.
– Fares are usually the same as Thai Airways, but sometimes they have very inexpensive promotional fares as low as 1,390 baht incl. taxes when purchased on the airline’s website.
– Bangkok Airways flights are usually less crowded and the entire journey is more relaxed.
– You can use their lounges for free even as an economy-passenger.

2. By train
• There are no direct rail services to Phuket.
• But many trains leave from Bangkok’s central station going south all the way to Singapore.
• The most comfortable are the sleeper trains (~685 baht for a berth in a 2nd class A/C car.
• Travelers by train must get off at Phun Phin railway station near Surat Thani and continue for another 5 hours by regular bus to Phuket.
• Do not buy the bus ticket until you actually see the bus and can make sure it is not standing room only as it picks up passengers at the popular Ko Samui ferry.

3. 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 and costs between 650-950 baht.
• There are also some private bus companies, Phuket Travel Tour, Phuket Central Tour and Phuket Travel Service.
• 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.
• Richly Travel Center offers a bus leaving at 19:00 from near the HuaLampong Train Station inside Bangkok for 900 baht.
• The TAT next door offers the same for around 1,100 baht.
• From Phuket bus terminal to your final destination, you can take a motorcycle taxi, tuk-tuk, metre-taxi, or bus.
• A motorcycle taxi into Phuket Town will be about 10-20 baht; to most beaches 100-200 baht (negotiable).

4. 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 km.
• Cars can be rented easily in Phuket.

5. 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 to 120 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.
• Prices for speedboat charters to/from Phuket range from 3,000 baht to 60,000 baht+ depending on distance / size of boat.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at phuket.com
Hotels at agoda.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Phuket

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at travbuddy.com
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Phuket

Images at google.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at phuket101.net
Images at phuket-photos.com

Videos of Thailand – Phuket






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