The First-Timers Travel Guide to Phuket – It’s so much more than the beaches

Beaches are the first things that travellers remember when referring to Phuket. But it’s a holiday destination with so much more!

Image via Anantara Layan Phuket Resort

Timing

The best advice is to avoid the rainy season. So, it’d be best to schedule your tour from the end of November to April. The seas will also be so calm during this period.

Getting around

Phuket has an international airport. So, once you get there, travelling to your hotel and then travelling around is not a big deal. Many travel modes including the Smart Bus, minivan, and taxi are available for you.

Accommodation

You may stay at any of the Phuket luxury villas the likes of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort during your vacation. All beaches and other attractions are located within easy reach.

Experiences

Head to Kata Beach, and do nothing. This will grant you all the relaxation you’ve been longing for a long time. Do not miss out on exploring the Big Buddha, Phuket Old Town, Wat Chalong Temple, and the night markets in the area.

Island Hopping

If you are planning to spend a longer vacation in Phuket, you may also go island hopping. James Bond Island, Koh Phi Phi, and Similan Islands are worth exploring.

An Expert Travel Guide to Phuket – What to look forward to

Phuket is an island that is part of Thailand and indeed is one of the most exciting destinations for those seeking an adventurous escape into bliss. Here are a few things to know about this absolutely beautiful island.

A beach paradise

If you love the beach, then you’ve certainly selected the right holiday spot for you. There’s plenty of sun, gorgeous beige sands and blue, blue waters lapping against the shores. Not to mention, there are plenty of beachside restaurants serving up great seafood and chilled beverages.

Visit the elephants

The gentle giants of the jungle are treated with great care in Thailand and this is evident at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. The elephants are cared for here and guests are even allowed to observe them up close and interact with these wonderful creatures.

Image via pxfuel

Party, party, party

Are you a party animal? Well, Phuket’s got some good news for you! There are plenty of beachside clubs with popular DJs playing in the evenings. Dance to those beats by the ocean in the warm breeze with a cooler in hand.

Stay

Since Phuket is quite a popular destination among travellers, a Phuket resort isn’t difficult to come by! Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and other hotels on the island offer a memorable, luxurious experience for your stay.

Phang Nga Bay Island Cruise

The spectacular Phang Nga Bay has an exquisite element that makes its appeal increase as a tourist destination; the magnificent limestone karsts that are jutting out over the turquoise waters would surely make your jaw drop due to its unbelievable splendour.

Cruising the Bay

Phang Nga Bay is a perfect destination to go on a boating trip. It offers many safe places to anchor while you admire its scenic views.

James Bond Island

A landmark in the region, James Bond Island gained its popularity due to its starring role in The Man with the Golden Gun, a famous James Bond movie. When you cruise around the island, you will be mesmerised by the sheer number of majestic limestone karsts that are peppered around the region.

James_Bond_Island
© Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com/Ko Tapu (James Bond) Island in Phang Nga Bay, ThailandCC BY 4.0

Koh Panyee Island

Another famous spot of the Phang Nga Bay, Koh Panyee Island is a great place to enjoy the breathtaking scenery on the bay, as you’d only have brief encounters with tourists. You can arrange a cruise around this picturesque bay during your stay at a pool villa in Phuket offered by popular chains such as Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

Located just a 30-minute drive away from Phuket, Samet Nangshe Viewpoint offers the most bewitching views of the limestones of the Phang Nga Bay. This location has got extraordinary photographic potential that would absolutely delight your senses.

Explore Many Options at the Phuket Night Markets

While Phuket is renowned for its natural beauty – most notably its famous white sand beaches – there is still more to this Thai island! In fact, one of its most fascinating attractions can be found inland, amidst the bustle of the cities – Phuket’s night markets!

Chillva Market

If you’re looking for the hippest night market in town, the Chillva Market is the place to be. Located by Yaowarat Road, you’ll find everything from snacks to souvenirs and high fashion here. If you do work up a real appetite while here, don’t worry – you won’t have trouble finding a great Thai restaurant in Phuket. For example, Dee Plee Restaurant is less than thirty minutes away!

The Weekend Market

Held – as the name suggests – on the weekend, this is the largest night market you’ll find in Phuket! The stalls are a chaotic yet charming blend of food trucks, pawn shops, curios, and antique vendors and a whole lot more. This market can get quite crowded, but you’re likely to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs or a dish that packs some inimitable flavours if you’re persistent.

Christophe95Phuket Weekend MarketCC BY-SA 4.0

Indy Night Market

The Indy market is all about supporting small independent traders and giving them a platform to showcase and sell their wares. Compared to some of the larger markets, the Indy Night Market is generally quiet and very rarely attracts large crowds. Still, despite its small size, this market has plenty of unique goods to offer and is well worth a visit.

Walking Street

This perhaps the most scenic night market you’ll find in Phuket – so much so, that it is considered to be a cultural landmark! The Walking Street is lit up in the night by various lights that emit vibrant colours, inducing an ambience that is somewhat magical and mystical. Aside from your usual stalls, you’ll find various street performers and artists here – from mimes to fire-breathers!

 

Fun Adventure Sports in Phuket

If you are looking for a holiday that’s thrilling and full of adventure, then Phuket has plenty to offer! Here are some of the best activities that you can try.

Kayaking & Stand-up Paddleboarding

An activity that is perfect for exploration, kayaking & stand-up paddleboarding provide a great cardio workout too! In Phuket, real estate, hotel and resort options can be found beside the coast where you can enjoy these family-friendly water sports amidst stunning natural beauty.

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Scuba Diving

A water sport that takes you to magical underwater worlds, scuba diving in Phuket offers an unforgettable escapade in the Andaman Sea. Be you staying at beachside resorts or residing in private villas such as those at Layan Residences by Anantara, you can easily plan diving excursions; destinations like Phi Phi Island and Anemone Reef are rich in coral and marine life worth witnessing.

Image by Laura B from Pixabay

Bungy Jumping

Bungy jumping is an adventure sport that will give you plenty to scream about! Jungle Bungy Jump close to Patong is where you can try this activity and enjoy the thrill of leaping off a platform 50 metres in the air. Those afraid to do it solo can always choose the tandem bungy jump option.

Ziplining

Here’s your chance to soar through the trees and experience that Tarzan-like feeling! Ziplining in Phuket can be tried by the whole family and lets you speedily zip through lush forests or jungles. Be it at Flying Hanuman or Cable Jungle Adventure, ziplining offers a unique perspective of the island’s natural scenery too.

Image by AaronHM from Pixabay

 

Best Diving Spots in Phuket

Phuket is a particularly renowned place in Thailand when it comes to aquatic wonders. There are many beautiful islands around her waters, and magical realms beneath them.

Koh Dok Mai

This refers to a small island that is covered in thick jungle to be found just a short distance away from Phuket. This island is actually composed of a massive limestone rock that steeply rises out of the sea. The island’s walls contain an abundance of marine life beneath the surface of the water.

King Cruiser

This was a notable car ferry that strayed way off course during a routine trip between Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands and ended up striking a reef. Luckily, all of the passengers and crew were rescued, and the wreck is now one of the region’s most famous dive sites.

File:Phi Phi Island Tour (4297215540).jpg
Michael_Spencer from Perth, WA, Australia, Phi Phi Island Tour (4297215540)CC BY 2.0

Anemone Reef

If you visit the wreck of the King Cruiser, it’s probably worth exploring the reef that resulted in its sinking. It’s slightly closer to Phuket city than the King Cruiser, and if you’re staying at a Phuket resort along the likes of Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, you can reach the dive site within 90 minutes.

Shark Point

This is the most popular of local dive sites and is part of a marine sanctuary. In addition to notable quantities of sharks, you can also find many different species of tropical fish.

File:Thailand-Shark Point Sunset.jpg
jon hanson on flickr., Thailand-Shark Point SunsetCC BY-SA 2.0

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Koh Tao Diving

The Thai islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao are undoubtedly amazing attractions for the visitor. If you are interested in accommodation choices like a luxury villa Koh Samui offers make sure to consider the informative Anantara Vacation Club Bophut Koh Samui reviews. This would be a discerning accommodation choice with many advantages offering a satisfying stay.

The beautifully picturesque island of Koh Tao is greatly recognized for its abundant diving opportunities. Offering engrossing attractions for experienced divers as well as guidance and instruction for novices, Koh Tao will appeal to diving aficionados of all experience levels and preferences. Divers from across Southeast Asia and beyond congregate at this alluring island to indulge in this popular pursuit.

As you might expect, divers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a dive site in Koh Tao. One of the most popular and well-reputed sites is the Southwest Pinnacle, which offers fine visibility and a host of intriguing marine creatures. You will have the opportunity to observe resting leopard sharks as well as fantail rays, groupers, scorpion fish, pink anemone fish, snappers and barracuda.

Another well esteemed dive site is Sail Rock, a prominent pinnacle that is located in the seas off Koh Tao. This remarkable diving location is renowned for its aquatic denizens, including various morays, king mackerel, tuna, octopus and different kinds of colourful corals. On the other hand for experienced divers desiring a genuinely challenging dive, the site of choice will be the Chumporn Pinnacle. This alluring location is considered to be the best site in the area to see the enormous whale sharks, as well as a myriad of pelagic fish.

Another fascinating diving spot would be Green Rock, which is an intriguing maze of caves and canyons that divers can swim across. This locality is home to marine creatures such as reef sharks, whiptail rays, cobia fish and triggerfish as well as sea snakes, moray eels, squid and different kinds of sea turtles. With so much to see and experience, diving at Koh Tao will always be memorable.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

Google+

Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park

 

Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km bay in the Strait of Malacca between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. Since 1981, an extensive section of the bay has been protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park. Ao Phang-nga or Phang-nga Bay is one of the most frequently visited national marine parks in Thailand. The best place to stay, while visiting Thailand is the Point Yamu by COMO Phuket, which is a Phuket Luxury Accommodation. This unique hotel is located the tip of the Cape Yamu overlooking the Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestone’s of Phang Nga Bay. The rooms and suites at the hotel is elegant, exotic and contemporary, as the entire hotel has been designed by an Italian interior designer. The hotel also features two world-class dining restaurants.

The 42 limestone monoliths punctuating the bay’s shallow turbid waters not only act as a natural base to a rich variety of documented flora and fauna, including over 28 species of mangrove, 88 birds, 82 fish, 18 reptiles, 3 amphibians and 17 mammals, they also provide secure overnight anchorage and offer exhilarating adventures of discovery for their visitors. , private sailing yacht charters with experienced and knowledgeable crew can be booked on Phuket. If guests wish to learn sailing, there are several schools on Phuket that schedule internationally recognized tuition around the bay. Many of the islands, islets and rocky knolls harbor collapsed sea caves or, as they are called locally, ‘Hongs’ of varying sizes and – although too small for yachts to access – are ideally suited for canoe, kayak or dinghy. The Hongs can be obscured from view so take time to scan the craggy surfaces on the waterline, paying particular attention to anything that resembles an opening. Once inside, you may well find all manner of wildlife either on the limestone walls or in the elevated jungle above, winding caverns to explore, some even with secluded beaches and sheltered lagoons – ideal for a private picnic and a spot of swimming or snorkeling.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.

Google+

Rock climbing in Phuket: Explore the Limestone Trail

Thailand’s island retreat of Phuket is renowned for its pristine beaches and majestic rock formations. With most parts of the island being covered by mountainous terrains spanning from the island’s north to its south, it is not surprising that the name ‘Phuket’ derives from Thai word for mountain. The island’s towering mountain range offers breathtaking views of Phuket’s coastline and is popular among rock climbing enthusiasts who can also enjoy Phuket Luxury Accommodation among other lodging options.

Phuket’s mountains and cliffs have much to offer both amateur and experienced rock climbers. The best example of the diversity that Phuket offers rock climbers is found at Tonsai in Railay Beach, where its high limestone cliffs is a world renown rock climbing destination with a host of trails that cater to beginners and experienced climbers. To the north of Phuket lies Phang Nga Bay which hosts impressive limestone mountains that offer climbers a more peaceful and yet equally memorable rock climbing experience. Here, both the mainland and the beach of Koh Yao Noi offer several routes that cater to the adventurous rock climber. The Phang Nga Bay, located near Point Yamu by COMO Phuket is frequented by tourists who visit the beach to marvel at the forty limestone islands that rise 300-400 meters above the sea. Indeed the coastal belt ranging from Phuket’s Phra Nang Cave Beach to Railay East beach remain popular among rock climbers who find their efforts rewarded by the commanding views of Phukhet’s shores.

One of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches is found in the Hat Tham Phra Nang area which is encircled by a high limestone cliff that contains the legendary Tham Phra Nang Nok (Outer Princess Cave) that is believe to be home to the mythical Sea princess. Rock climbing is necessary to visit this site which also contains a hidden ‘ Holy Princess Pool’ found on the side of the mountain while also offering panoramic views of the surrounding beaches and rocky islands from the mountain’s summit.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

Google+

Jungle Tales

Phra Taew is a forested mountain range in the north of Phuket with a central peak rising 450 meters, the highest point on the island. Still in pristine condition, it is an excellent example of a rain forest in South East Asia. The forest is both a recreation area and a class room that can impart knowledge on the fragile eco system and how best to preserve it. The fauna here include a herd of barking deer, bands of monkeys and gibbons released into the wild from the nearby Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, wild boar, small mammals such as the Malayan Black Giant Squirrel, amphibians, reptiles and many species of migratory and native birds. The flora comprises of tropical evergreen trees, bamboo, palms and ferns. Bang Pae waterfall is its most prominent water feature. The pools it forms are popular with hikers seeking to cool off. Hikes to Khao Phra Taew Wildlife Park can be planned from Anantara Phuket Villas, a popular Phuket beach resort.

The wildlife park has a 600 meter and a two km easy to follow hiking trails from Bang Pae waterfall to Ton Sai waterfall. Visitors keen on a wildlife experience can hire a guide at the information centre near the Bang Pae waterfall or set off on their own. Although the trail is not arduous some scrambling over fallen trees and rocks are involved. As the trail goes up the mountain visitor will observe a change in the flora. The Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand or WARF also offers several hiking options. These treks include the services of ecology lecturers and trackers and offer the best ways to see its fauna and understand its flora. The hikes are categorized as a Soft Jungle Experience which is a half day hike, Nocturnal Life a night trip, gibbon trekking day trips and overnight camping trips. Having the services of a tracker is the best way to see wildlife during daytime. Night trips offer opportunities to see a range of amphibians, reptiles and several small nocturnal creatures.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

Google+