Phuket Thailand is an amazing place. It is important to keep in mind, that Phuket city is just the main city on the Islands. The city itself is not to touristic, and for sure not the nicest place to stay. However, around the city of Phuket there are gorgeous places and hotels.
Our first visit during 2012 in Thailand. During our stay in Phuket we stayed in three different locations as we don’t like to stay too long in the same location. Overall Phuket is a nice Island, which offers a lot. Beside the Touristic Patong beach, we also went a few times to the more local Phuket town.
What we liked a lot in Phuket are the massage parlors. If you are looking for a decent, normal Thai massage than defiantly Phuket Town is the place. For prices of under 10€ for an hour of massage. We more or less went every single day. The Spa`s in Phuket Town look professional and the massage is in general good.
Things to keep in mind
- Phuket Town is not the place for nightlife. There are a few bars and restaurants but after dark it gets pretty quit. It even can get difficult to find a taxi later at night.
- The boat trip to the surrounding islands with as highlight Phi Phi Island and the “James Bond” Island are amazing. The nature and the turquoise blue waters are stunning and this is defiantly something you have to do when you are in Phuket.
- Beside these more famous Islands, there are plenty of other beautiful Island, and as we really enjoyed our first trip, we made a 2nd one.
- One of the other attractions in Phuket Thailand is the night market. It is nice to see, but not really our thing. Quality of stuff you buy over there is poor, but it is what you can expect for the price you pay.
Our first hotel where we stayed during our vacation in Phuket Thailand was the Westin Siray Bay. A nice 5 star hotel, just a little bit isolated. You need a taxi or use the hotel shuttle (for a charge) too go anywhere, and to Patong Beach it will take you 45 minutes and will set you back 500 Baht one way. It seems that there is kind of a Taxi maffia in Phuket Thailand, with prices double or three times the price elsewhere in Thailand.
From the Westin we moved to the Naka Island, A Luxury collection.
This is a hotel set-up as a resort, located on a small Island just of the coast of Phuket.
It is the only hotel on the Island and beside the hotel there is a small local village.
The hotel exists of Villa`s, which gives you a lot of privacy. Every room has his own swimming pool and a nice outdoor space.
We loved to order room service and have a nice dinner on our terrace. We stayed in the Tropical Pool Villa, which is very spacious. The only downside is that the water in the private pool is cold. This is something you will almost have always with a private pool.
You can take a walk to the local village. Although there is not much to see and there are no restaurants or bars, it is a nice thing to do. However, walking there is through kind of a jungle, so don`t forget your mosquito spray. Also make sure you are back before dark, as there is no light on the path.
In terms of food and drinks you are bounded to the hotel. The food is great and although prices are obviously higher than in Phuket, it is still reasonable.
If you enjoy a massage, it is better to do this in Phuket town, as prices are very high compared to the city.
We would not spent our whole vacation here as it is really quiet, but it is ideal to combine with a stay in the buzzing Phuket Thailand. The way the hotel set-up is our preference throughout the year. Instead of a high rise building were you only have a small balcony, it is so much nicer to have a bigger outside private space.
The private pool is nice to have, but is not our priority as the chance that the water is to cold to really enjoy is quite high. But an ouside terrace where you can enjoy a cocktail or dinner is high on our priority list.
Our last stop was the JW Marriot Phuket. It is in the Mai Khao area. This is a bit of a new tourist are, and therefore there is not much to do in the surroundings of the hotel. To go to either Patong or Phuket Town is quite a drive, and can take you an hour. On the other hand it is ideally located towards the airport. However it seems that quite some new hotels are opened in the meantime and things could have changed in the meantime.
The hotel is nice, as it is not one of the high rise buildings it gives you a nice relaxation feeling. They have a nice big swimming pool, but when we stayed there it was quite crowed and was difficult to find a good spot on the swimming pool. The sea is pretty rough in this area and is not really good for swimming. They have a good restaurant with a good variation in food.
Although for this hotel, we would not spend our whole vacation here, as you are far from a lot of places, and in the night your options are limited to go out for dinner or cocktails.
We believe with the 3 hotels we made a good choice, as the Westin was good to see Phuket Town and as we don`t felt the need to go every evening to Patong it was ok for us. The Naka Island was the extreme relaxation location and the JW Marriott was also a nice hotel to stay for a couple of nights.
Phuket seems a safe area. You must be aware of normal the small criminality like pickpocketing which you will almost in all tourist areas. Exceptions on this we saw during our Singapore Holidays or during our UAE visit.
Another thing to be aware of is the time share scam. Make sure that you don`t let yourself getting carried away with this. They can make a good story which make you doubt to do it. Just keep in mind that every day there is a special offer if you decide directly.
How the safety is if you get engaged in the darker side Phuket, meaning drugs and prostitution is, we don`t know. But we are sure this is a different story.
Direct flights from Europe are quite limited. There are some direct flights from Germany to Phuket, but not too many.
You have the option to take a connecting flight from Bangkok which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes flight. You can also for example take a connecting flight from Dubai.
This will save you travel time. On top we like when must connect flights, to have it somewhere in the middle, to break the flight times. Dubai is for us kind of in the middle, so it is a good place to make your stopover. And Dubai or Abu Dhabi are always interesting to spend a few days.
Also Singapore may be an interesting option to connect your flight to Phuket. Singapore holidays is an interesting option to combine with a beach vacation in Phuket.
We stayed during May, a bit at the end of the high season and just before the rainy season starts. You already saw the rainy season coming in Phuket Thailand as we had quite some showers during the day. However, we really loved this stay.
The rainy season is from June - October. With the rain we already saw in May, we would avoid this period. The best period to go to Phuket is from November - March. April and May are considered transition months from the dry season towards the rainy season. It is a bit a upredictable season in terms of rain.
About temperatures you don`t have to worry. It is all year around warm.
Hotel prices are in the main season from November - March considerable higher than other period. However, it is a risk you take. The weather is more unpredictable.
Culture and people
As you can also read of our other visit reports about amazing Thailand or Thailand Koh Samui, we like the Thai people.
They always stay polite and are very friendly. They want to please people, which means they will almost never say no or be rude into you in your face.
Sometimes people have the idea that all Asian people are the same. However, we saw quite some differences between for example Thai and Chinese people.
Overall we enjoyed our vacation in Phuket Thailand. You can do many things and combine it with some lazy days. The nature you will see during a boat trip is just amazing. Read more on the Real Travel blog about other desintations in amazing Thailand.
Overall we like more to go to Asia than for example countries like the Domanican Republic island or our Jamaica holidays. Just because there is way more to see and do. In the Caribbean you are more bounded tto your hotel and the beach.