Global Mark : 11.78
Ratings by criteria :
Ratings by backpackers :
Description : The largest and most
touristic island of Thailand, connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Coming or going to other
islands, backpackers can easily skip over-developed and expensive Phuket
beaches without loosing any sleep. However, Phuket Town is pleasant enough and reasonably priced (B100-150
for a basic room) so it could be worth stopping here and eventually explore some
of the beaches and luxury Resorts from there.
What to do ? Get a free copy of
"What's on Phuket" magazine / Visit the tourist office on
Thanon Phuket for a map of the attractions / Spot Sino-Portuguese architecture /
Wander around the market / Walk the beach and visit luxury resorts / Meet tourists on holidays / Splash at waterfalls /
Develop your general culture in
girlie bars (develop something else if money and condom) /
What you may not like ? The expensive
& over-developed beaches / All the tourists rip-off scams, with taxi
drivers, guides, gems sellers, girls,... You name it, they got it ! / The lack of songthaew in the evening / The jet ski and
other noisy activities on some beach / The size of the island / The continual
offer of services / The sins maybe ? /
How long ?
A few days maybe to explore.
One night on transit otherwise.
When to visit ?
The low, cheaper, season last from May to October. Unfortunately, the monsoon
occurs from June to September. But things never come to an halt on Phuket...
<< Get precise info, book online and save money ! >> Hostels
The beaches ?
- Ao Patong : the most developed, crowded and
sexually oriented scene of the island. Count on B300 minimum.
- Ao Karon & Kata : more relaxing but busy
as well. This is where you will find the Club Med and other luxury resorts.
A few basic places at around B150-200
- Ao Kamala, just north of Patong, was
recommended as the place to go to meet the islanders. This quiet beach
however has no
- Hat Nai Yang, more in the north, was described
as a very beautiful beach where sea anemones and turtles could be spotted.
Camping is possible for B10 and you can rent a tent for B60.
- A lot of other beaches to discover
Discover a good reason to skip Phuket
Backpacker's Tips : Kelley Turner, USA (April
« After arriving by boat from Koh Phi Phi we went into Phuket town
and arranged for a songthaew to take us to Mai Kao beach on the NW corner.
People told us there was a bus that went that way though we never found the bus
station. Our songthaew was 200THB, but our driver tried to take us to a closer
beach and charge us more money! We insisted on Mai Kao and he dropped us off of
Hwy 402 at a sign for the Phuket Campground and from there we walked in ~30 mins
to the campground. Run by a fabulous family, the little campground provides a
tent (300THB) with bamboo mat, blankets, pillows, hammocks, a restaurant on site
and a beach with literally only a few people visible in either direction! When
ready to leave the owners gave us a ride out to the highway and flagged down a
bus for us! »
Backpacker's Tips : Steve Kyne, Australia (Dec 04)
« It has to be said that Phuket
is a big island and has many faces - but Ao Patong isn't one of the faces that
you'd want to see. It's crowded, smelly
and very expensive. Even the tuk-tuk drivers seem to have formed cartels to
discourage bargaining with them. Phuket Town is, although not pretty,
certainly a much more human and "Thai" place that the tourist beaches.
Thankfully from Phuket there are plenty of options for exploring smaller islands
and mainland beaches. »
Backpacker's Tips : Margita, Sweden (June 02)
« Phuket too expensive...Not at all.....
I stayed at Bazoom at Karon Beach for 140bath/night. Run my a lovely young family she from Sweden and he from Karon and Alexandra the charming
daughter and Lee a wonderful Thai staff. Visited also Suan Mokkh temple for a
retreat (near Suratani) which made me a new person. A stay at Bazoom before and after my heavenly stay in Thailand this
Local transport ?
Songthaew run to most of the beaches from near the
market on Thanon Ranong. Cost vary according to the distance from B15 to B35.
Ask the tourist office for the price list. Problem with songthaew is that they
may not operate in the evening and may takes time to fill up. Hitching your way
around is always an option but renting a motorbike (B200) and exploring freely
may be the best bet if you have limited time.
Next destinations : Khao Sok National Park
/ Phang Nga / Krabi