About the Place
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is considered the most economically progressive province of the Kingdom. It is located in the southern part of the country and is closer to Malaysia than Bangkok – the country’s capital. The main source of economic activity in Phuket are tourism and mining.
How to Get to Phuket
Cebu Pacific flies non-stop from Manila to Phuket. Phuket can be reached by air from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Air Asia flies to Phuket from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Suggested Phuket Itinerary
If time is of the essence, here is my suggested 4 Days 3 Nights Phuket Itinerary:
Since Cebu Pacific flight arrives almost midnight, there is not much to do except partying at Bangla Road in Patong Beach. And Partying here is, modesty aside, makes Phuket famous. Fucking famous.
From the airport, take a mini bus (that is how they call a 12-seater Toyota Van). If you are headed to Patong Beach, rate is 180 Baht per person. If you are booked somewhere else, mini buses may not be available, hence take a taxi. Taxi rate varies from 700-1500 Baht per way. Expensive.
If you don’t have Baht, there are ATM machines and Foreign Currency Exchange counters at the airport. Normally, 100USD is equivalent to 3000Baht. Lousy exchange rate. Worst if you have Philippine Peso. 1000 Peso is only 500Baht. Imagine that!
At any rate, exchange only an amount for your mini bus fare. You’ll get better rates in Patong.
And don’t forget to get free maps at the airport!
Beach and lots of beaches!
Did you know that there are 32 beaches and coves in Phuket that offer white sand and blue waters? Did you know too that these beaches can be accessed freely by the public?
Having that much beaches to see, the best option is to rent a motor bike. Motorbike rental is 200Baht per 24 hours excluding gasoline and you can get one to rent almost virtually anywhere. By the way, don’t worry if you do not have any kind of driver’s license, they allow tourists to drive without any license. You only need to know how to drive and follow road signs. That being said, be careful!
So from Patong, head towards north and follow the road to see:
Then turn right to go back via Phuket Town. Don’t take the same route, else you’ll get bored. Lol.
From Phuket Town (take by-pass road), head towards south to see:
Nai Harn Beach
Kata Noi Beach
Mata Main Beach
Karon Noi Beach
And you are now back in Patong Beach.
Road network in Phuket is good. However, I suggest to get yourself a map and a GPS when doing this solo. On GPS, buy a local sim card in any 7-11 Store, I suggest you get DTAC, top-up and register for a mobile connection. Sim card costs less than a 100Baht and 1 day mobile internet is 49Baht.
Tired? Get a massage in the evening. I wont talk anything about massage. Ahaha.
You can’t do this solo. You need to buy it from the swarm of travel agencies in the streets. Rate ranges from 1,800Baht to 2500Baht depending on your negotiation skills. The rate includes return hotel pick up transfers, buffet lunch and the sigh-seeing tour. This tour starts 9AM and ends at 3PM.
At night, I suggest you try Simon Cabaret Show or Siam Niramit. Both are spectacular shows and are, so they say, must-see!
Phi Phi Island and Maya Beach!
Save by the fact that Cebu Pacific’s return flight from Phuket to Manila is 12 midnight, your last day can still be maximized to a full day tour.
One of the many reason’s why tourists flock Phuket is because of Phi Phi Island. Note however that Phi Phi is no longer part of Phuket Province. Phi Phi is part of Phang-nga Province, north of Phuket.
Like James Bond island tour, Phi Phi Island tour can be experienced by the help of the many travel agencies operating daily tours to Phi Phi. Rate normally starts from 2200Baht to 2800Baht depending on how you haggle it. Rate includes return hotel pick up, buffet lunch, unlimited water and soft drinks and afternoon fresh fruit snacks.
Phi Phi island tour normally starts 7AM and ends 5PM. That being said, you have to check out already and leave your luggage at your hotel’s concierge before leaving for the tour.
Note that the last scheduled mini bus trip to the airport is 6PM. After that, no more mini buses. Your option is to take a taxi. Rate normally is 1500-2000Baht.
Granting say for instance that you have more than 4 Days of vacation, you may do the following:
Whole Day – Shopping and dinning tour
Whole Day – Inland tours visiting Shrines, Waterfalls, Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries
Whole Day – Extreme adventure/sports
Where to Stay in Phuket
There are thousands of hotels, hostels, dorms and Guest Houses in Phuket. Here are my suggestions:
Hotels in Patong Beach
Baan Laimai is few steps away from Patong Beach – stay here if you have 8,000.00 per night to spend.
Millennium Resort Phuket is within Jungceylon Mall Complex and is few minutes to the beach – stay here if you have 10,000.00 per night to shell-out.
Tune Hotel is about 10 minutes walk to the beach – stay here for 3,000.00 per room per night
Beehive Hostel is 20 minutes walk to the beach – stay here for 300.00 per night in their air-conditioned dormitory
Sea Blue Guest House is 10 minutes to the beach – stay here for 500.00 per night in their air-conditioned dormitory.
You may also opt to stay in Phuket Town, Karon Beach and Kata Beach. Hotels are cheaper in these areas.
Where to Eat in Phuket
Try the Seafoods market infront of Bangla Boxing Stadium
And don’t forget to try Jeffer’s Steak in Jungceylon Mall.
How Much It Cost for a Phuket Trip
If you are lucky to get a promo fare, you will save a lot. Return promo ticket normally costs 5,000.00 while regular return ticket costs 10,000.00. Note that Cebu Pacific is the only airline that flies to Phuket from Manila. For accommodation, meals and sight-seeing tour, it now depends entirely on what do you want to see, to eat and stay. At an average, if you are on a budget, 15,000.00 will be more than enough.
Things to Remember When in Phuket
1. It’s touristy and I mean, it’s TOURISTY!
2. Locals speak good English
3. Rent a motor bike. It’s a lot cheaper than anything else, walking included.
4. Bring USD not PHP
5. Just be in your beach attire, all day
6. Food is good and cheap. Try the ala dampa-style infront Bangla Boxing Stadium
7. Shopping is fun and cheap here. There is a Premium Outlet in Phuket Town (along the by-pass road)
8. Anytime of the year is perfect to visit Phuket. October to January are the busiest months.
9. Visit Bangla Road for a taste of Phuket
10. ATM, Convenience Stores and Foreign Currency Exchange are everywhere