Phuket is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in Thailand with its range of beautiful beach experiences, a wealth of dining and nightlife options and activities galore. There is plenty to see and do which makes it one of the top destinations for solo travelers, couples and families in Thailand.
Phuket's new International Airport Terminal officially opened in September 2016 providing international passengers with a state of the art terminal facilities incorporated into two distinct buildings - Terminal 1 is utilized for international flights and Terminal 2 services the domestic market.
Currently the following 48 airlines service international and domestic travelers with some airlines providing seasonal or charter services during the peak travel season.
Check Skyscanner for the best prices and flight times to and from Phuket Airport.
1 AEROFLOT (SU)
2 AIRASIA (AK)
3 AIR BERLIN (AB)
4 AIR CHINA (CA)
5 ARKEFLY (OR)
6 ASIANA AIRLINES (OZ)
7 BANGKOK AIRWAYS (PG)
8 BLUE PANORAMA AIRLINES (BV)
9 BUSINESS AIR (8B)
10 CEBU PACIFIC AIR (5J)
11 CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES (MU)
12 CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES (CZ)
13 CONDOR FLUGDIENST GMBH FRANKFURT (DE)
14 DRAGONAIR (KA)
15 EASTAR JET (ZE)
16 EDELWEISS AIR (WK)
17 EMIRATES (EK)
18 ENTER AIR (OF)
19 FINNAIR (AY)
20 FIREFLY (FY)
21 HAINAN AIRLINES (HU)
22 HONG KONG EXPRESS (UO)
23 I FLY (H5)
24 INDONESIA AIR ASIA (QZ)
25 JET ASIA AIRWAYS (JF)
26 JETSTAR AIRWAYS (JQ)
27 JETSTAR ASIA AIRWAYS (3K)
28 JUNEYAO AIRLINES (HO)
29 KOREAN AIR (KE)
30 MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MH)
31 NOK AIR (DD)
32 NOV AIR (1L)
33 ORIENT THAI AIRLINES (OX)
34 QATAR AIRWAYS (QR)
35 SHANGHAI AIRLINES (FM)
36 SIBERIA AIRLINES (S7)
37 SICHUAN AIRLINES (3U)
38 SILKAIR (MI)
39 SPRING AIRLINES (9C)
40 THAI AIR ASIA (FD)
41 THAI AIRWAYS INTERNATIONAL (TG)
42 THAI SMILE AIR (TG)
43 THOMAS COOK AIRLINES SCANDINAVIA (DK)
44 THOMSON AIRWAYS (BY)
45 TIGER AIR (TR)
46 TRANSAERO AIRLINES (UN)
47 TUIFLY NORDIC (6B)
48 VIRGIN AUSTRALIA AIRLINES (VA)
Phuket International Airport is approximately 45 minutes by road to most destinations around the island and a range of transportation options are available to and from the airport including hotel transfers, taxis and shuttle buses. If you are looking for other modes of transport to get in and around the island, check out 12Go where you can book buses, ferries and rail journeys throughout south east Asia safely and securely online.
Buses From Bangkok
Public and private bus transportation is readily available between the capital Bangkok and Phuket with departures scheduled several times a day. The journey can take up to 14 hours and fares start from around 700 Baht per person. Once again, check out 12Go to see the travel options and their respective costs.
Phuket's Main Areas
Phuket Town is located on the south eastern part of the island and is the capital and commercial hub of the island. Generally speaking, there is not to much appeal in the town for visitors to the island, however a number of shopping malls and government administration buildings are to be found in the town.
Patong Beach is famous around the world, and provides an eclectic mix combining the area's natural beauty with high density development. The area is generally crowded both day and night as it's renowned for being the party precinct on the island. Patong beach is filled with a variety of restaurants, clubs and bars.
Situated north of Patong Beach, Kamala Beach an upmarket area which is in total contrast to its neighbor Patong Beach, and is known to be relatively quiet location which is popular with families, and those who have retired from working life.
South of the Patong Beach area, Karon Beach sits in between the atmosphere of Patong and Kamala Beaches. Beach side it's relatively uncrowded and there are is a fabulous variety of bars and restaurants to be found throughout the area.
South of Karon is where Kata Beach lies. Kata Beach is a popular destination for solo travelers and families which offers visitors a pristine beach environment with light surf conditions and a great variety of restaurants and bars along the beach.
Kata Beach, Phuket
Kathu is located inland from Patong and is a quiet, relaxing area loved by expats. The area boasts a number of golf courses and tourist type attractions including the Kathu Waterfall, Phuket Wake Park and the Kathu Shrine.
Surin Beach, north of Kamala is a high end luxury destination popular with wealthy expats and some of Thailand's most recognizable celebrities. There are a number of 5 star hotels and exclusive beach clubs patronized by those with a thick wallet.
Chalong Bay is where most of the boats in the area are moored and is a departure point for a number of island hopping ferries and dive boats due to its deep water harbor.
Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Beach is a quiet beach located on the south coast of Phuket and is a popular area for Thai's. When weather conditions are right - usually during the wet season when strong winds are whipped up during the storms, Nai Harn Beach can be filled with surfers and their boards.
Located on the southern part of the island of Phuket is Rawai, a location popular with locals, tourists and expats alike due to it's relaxed vibe and variety of local and international cuisine.
Things To Do And See On Phuket Island
Phuket’s numerous hills are great for enjoying a view of the island. A number of places where visitors can stop and appreciate the island’s natural beauty include the Kata-Karon Viewpoint, Phromthep Cape and Radar Hill Viewpoint, near Patong.
Located on a large hill between Chalong and Kata Beach Big is the 45 meter tall Big Buddha. The location provides a great place to appreciate the views of the island’s western coastline. The Big Buddha is easily accessed by road, making it a great place to get a good birds eye view of the island.
From surf beaches to relaxing expanses of sandy spots ideal for families, Phuket is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand. Kata and Karon offer a great mix between civilization and relaxation, while Nai Harn is considered to be the best beach for surfers.
Numerous small islands and reefs area dotted all around Phuket are great places to snorkel and experience the Andaman Sea’s diverse sea life. Many tour operators offer snorkeling tours in and around the main island.
Wining And Dining
One of Phuket’s best seafood restaurants and located next to the Chalong Pier, Kan Eang @ Pier has been operating for many years and is considered to be a must visit for most due to its seaside location, atmospheric grounds and varied seafood menu.
Phuket is famous for its seafood and Tisara is one of the best restaurants on the island to eat fresh seafood including lobster. The restaurant is located inside the exclusive Trisara Resort.
Siam Supper Club
Siam Supper Club is a steakhouse located near to the entrance to Laguna Phuket. Great steaks are on offer together with seafood dishes and cocktails which make it a good choice for a romantic night out.
Sam's Steaks And Grill
Sam’s is one of the most reliable restaurants for those looking for unpretentious quality dining in Patong. Located in Patong’s Holiday Inn Hotel, the restaurant delivers the goods in style, decor and refined ambiance and consistently delivering delicious cuisine and impeccable service.
Taste Surin Beach
Located close to upmarket Surin Beach, Taste Surin Beach serves great burgers, salads and a selection of other contemporary dishes. A great choice if you’re in need of a break from Thai food.
Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale
Located close to Kata Beach, Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale offers a selection of excellent Thai and international dishes with one of the best ocean views in Phuket.
Raya Restaurant is a Thai restaurant in Phuket Town. Set in a renovated Sino-Thai mansion originally built at the beginning of the 20th century, the restaurant decor literally transports its patrons back in time and serves delicious authentic local cuisine that movie stars, prime ministers and even royalty frequently visit when in Phuket.
Blue Horizon serves tasty, inexpensive Thai food from its location close to Patong Tower. An excellent choice if you are staying near Patong Beach and are in need of an affordable Thai meal.
Accommodation On Phuket Island
The Top 3 Luxury Hotels
The following luxury hotels represent a short list of the finest hotels on Phuket Island. These resorts attract exclusive guests with prices quite modest considering their size.
Many include a private pool for each villa and some even provide 24 hour private butler service ensuring your every wish is catered for, day or night. Phuket Island has over 65 '5 or 6 star' rated hotels including a number which have been recognized as some of the best resorts in the world.
1. Trisara Hotel
This property is 12 minutes walk from the beach and set on a private bay, the resort boasts a luxurious spa and free airport transfers. Its spacious rooms feature private pools and sweeping views of the sea.
The elegant rooms at Trisara come with modern décor including a separate living area and outdoor deck. Each room is fitted with a flat-screen TV and DVD player.
2. Sri Panwa Phuket
Perched atop Cape Panwa the Sri Panwa Phuket spreads over 40 acres of tropical rainforest. With views of the Andaman Sea, it offers spacious modern villas with a private infinity pool and free minibar.
Sri Panwa Phuket
Guests can enjoy a free kayak and snorkeling in front of the hotel beach. There is a free steam and sauna available for guests. The stylish and spacious air-conditioned villas enjoy beautiful ocean views from the outdoor sun deck and through the large glass walls. An espresso machine, flat-screen TV and iPod with music are included.
3. Katathani Phuket Beach Resort
A restful beach holiday awaits at the Katathani Phuket with 6 pools and 6 dining options and located across from Kata Beach, the resort features a spa and tennis courts.
Private balconies overlook landscaped grounds and Katathani’s spacious rooms are fitted with Thai style furnishings and wooden flooring. Each room comes with cable TV and a glass-walled bathroom.
The Top 3 Mid-Range Hotels
The quality of mid-range accommodation on the island is such that many of them would be considered first-rate elsewhere. Though each has its own unique strong points - such as magnificent facilities, spectacular sea views or first-class kitchens - they share a few things in common, including modern comfort and lovely service in the 3 star range.
1. Baba House Hotel
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Baba House Hotel is situated in Phuket Town approximately 3.7 km from Chinpracha House. Every room includes a flat-screen TV. Guests can enjoy a cup of tea while looking out at the mountain or pool. All rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a shower. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property.
2. Kata Tranquil Villa
Kata Tranquil Villa is a 5-minute drive from Karon and Kata Beaches. Offering comfortable accommodation, it is equipped with an outdoor pool and on-site parking facilities.
Kata Tranqui Villa
Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Each well-decorated 2-storey unit comes with an air conditioning, a flat-screen cable TV and a refrigerator. There is a kitchenette and a modern style living room for guest comfort on the ground floor. The private shower room is adjacent to the house and separated for men and women.
3. Idol Boutique Resort And Villa
A 5-minute drive from Naiharn Beach, The Idol Boutique Resort and Villa offers spacious studios with a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, bar and free WiFi. Studios at The Idol come with modern décor and a private balcony that overlooks the pool. All well-appointed studios are fitted with a flat-screen TV, seating area and ensuite bathroom with a bathtub.
The Top 5 Budget Hotels
1. Tree Hug Home
Located close to Jungceylon Mall in Patong, Tree Hug Home is conveniently located clean and simple two-star hotel. Double and twin rooms are available at reasonable prices, making Tree Hug Home a good choice for budget travelers that want to be close to the action in Patong.
2. Kata Beach Homestay and Backpacker
Kata Beach Homestay and Backpacker offers clean and simple backpacker accommodation just a short walk from Kata Beach. Accommodation ranges from beds in shared dormitories to double and twin private rooms.
3. The Green House Phuket
The Green House Phuket offers spacious and tastefully decorated rooms close to Karon Beach. Although the hotel itself has minimal facilities, its location close to Karon Beach makes it a great choice for budget travelers seeking sun and fun.
The Green House, Phuket
If you'd like to find an available Phuket hotel search Booking.com where in some instances you can reserve a room with no upfront payment, and only pay when you check out. Free cancellations too are also available at some hotels.
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If you'd like to know about the dark side of Phuket, head over and read my article on Travel Crime And Scams In Phuket.