An Insider’s Guide To Phuket |MF Travels
With its wide, sugary sand beaches strung between jutting peninsulas and craggy rock fountains, friendly locals and lots of sun, it’s not surprising that Phuket is known as the Pearl of the Andaman. Throw in the fresh seafood and options for travellers on every budget, and you’ve got the ultimate holiday destination.
Best time to travel
As with any tropical destination, this one can get extremely hot and humid. So avoid the wet, summer season and aim to travel through November to February.
I actually found the local bus to be the easiest way to get around. There are two types of buses here – the Songtaew – blue open-air buses that run between Phuket Town and the main resorts, and air-conditioned “micro” buses that service the Phuket Town area. For short distances tuk tuks are fine. However, their small size makes them uncomfortable for anything longer than about 30 minutes. For sightseeing, your best bet here would be to hire a driver for the day to take you around the island. The other alternative is to download GrabTaxi, a transportation app which is similar to Uber.
Where to stay
Accommodations range from cheap hostels to plush five-star properties. However what’s of essence here is which area of the island you choose as each of them have a distinct character. Once you decide on that, selecting the accommodation bit is a breeze. Budget-conscious travellers who love to party should zero on a hotel in Patong Beach which will allow you to experience Phuket’s most exciting nightlife.
Suited for back-packers, people interested in history and culture and local food-lovers is Phuket Town, the largest urban area of the island. It is just the right place to get the “real Thailand” experience on the island and a good bet for people who like market-shopping.For luxury travellers and honeymooners there is the Mai Khao beach which is perfect for a “far from it all” type of holiday.
Things to do
From partying till dawn to learning how to dive, Phuket is sure to spoil you for choice. The island is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Then of course, there are these vibrant beach-clubs for you to party the night away. An exhilarating speedboat trip to the famous Phi Phi Islands hasto be on the top of your list. For a quieter experience, you can enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay.
For those who love jungle experiences, I would recommend you to head north to the Khao Sok National Park to hang out with monkeys and elephants, lounge by lazy rivers and get close to nature with tree-house lodgings. Phuket is also a paradise for divers. The pristine islands of Similan and Surin are perfect for divers who want to swim with leopard sharks, octopus and a concerto of colourful fish by day and camp on empty islands by moonlit night.
What to eat
There’s an endless choice of fresh and cheap food options around the island. Don’t miss out on delish crabmeat with curry and coconut milk served with small bundles of rice vermicelli. Tucked inside a Sino-Portuguese home in Phuket Town is Raya which just perfect pick for home-style seafood fare. To feast on a ravishing seafood dinner by the water, there is Kan Eang @Pier where you’ll be able to devour flavourful, fresh dishes and tiger prawns which are the size of your hand! Vegetarians can nosh on the delightful curries and scrumptious rice selections and you won’t be complaining.
I don’t think it’s possible to do justice to the beauty, diversity and hospitality of Phuket in words and so I suggest you hop on a plane and head over to this beach destination as soon as possible!