Phuket, a large island in the Andaman Sea, is the only island to have provincial status. ‘The Pearl of the Andaman Sea’ is world renowned for its acres of white sandy beaches which sprawl along the foot of a range of hills covered in jungle, rubber plantations, coconut groves and picturesque villages. Off the shoreline magnificent coral enthralls enthusiastic divers that come from all over the world to enjoy the pleasant waters teeming with marine life.
The history and wealth of Phuket came from its profitable involvement in tin production which dates back over 500 years. Early Chinese immigrants migrated to the area to work in the mines and brought with them their own culture and traditions. The annual ten-day ‘Vegetarian Festival’ during Sept-Oct, originated with the influx of Chinese immigrant workers in the 19th century. The Sino-Portuguese style shop houses that line many streets in Phuket Town centre also reflect the island’s past setting as an international trading arena.
At one point the island nearly became an outpost for the British, when in 1786, Captain Francis Light of the East India Trading Company tried to secure Phuket for British interests. However Thailand’s claim of suzerainty and the British government’s decision to find a more strategic position to protect its interests in the Malay peninsula changed Light’s plans.
Today visitors come to Phuket primarily for its wealth of beaches, most of which are located on the western shores of the island. The eastern side consists mainly of rocky shoals, with some smaller islands close to the shore. Small islands off the south eastern shoreline are great for their coral, offering spectacular dives for diving enthusiasts.
The island’s diving shops also operate many trips to other diving sites in the area. Most beach resorts have facilities available for a complete range of watersports; from windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, sailing, sea-canoeing, jet-skiing and boogie boards. Not forgetting snorkeling and scuba diving. And for those wanting to pit their strength at gamefishing, the clear blue waters of the Andaman abound with marlin, tuna, sailfish and dorado.
Fun and adventure are not limited to the beaches. For those that might want to escape the beach and explore the hinterland, they should head for the Khao Phra Thaeo Park. The last remains of virgin rainforest on the island, the park has a marked hiking route for visitors to follow.
Climate In Phuket
Phuket is located in an area of tropical climate and due to this warm all year. But at the same time it offers a breeze from the ocean to cool down some. The monsoon winds their direction depending on the season.
There is two main seasons in Phuket from April to May the average temperature will range from 27 degrees Celsius to 36 degrees Celsius. There will be very few thunderstorms that cool down the air and give a relief from the heat.In may the rainfalls in average about 25 days. Making this month the wettest month per year.
The chart shows the middle temperature per day, based on information from the Airport authority of Phuket measurements.
In September- October it will be very hot too , but during this month it rains frequently that relive from the heat. Most of the rain this time of the year comes during the night and offers nice weather daytime.
Visiting Phuket during the monsoon is not unpleasent, most of the days are rain free except for the showers in the afternoon. Phuket gets an average of 2540 mm of rain per year.
Places to Visit
Phuket Orchid Garden and Thai Village
Located on Thepkasattri Road (3 km from Phuket Town), the village hosts many cultural performances depicting the Thai way of life. Including folk dances, Thai boxing and other aspects of life in Phuket and the south. There is also a handicraft centre, orchid farm and an elephant show.
Phuket Butterfly Garden and Aquarium
Located at Mu Ban Sam Kong about 3km from town. The butterfly garden plays home to a great range of pretty, colourful butterflies. Information on their metamorphosis into beautiful insects and a tour around the breeding rooms are available. The fascinating underwater world of corals is on display in the aquarium, along with marine life from the northern Mekong River and from around the island
Chana Charoen Farm
Situated on Chana Charoen Rd. The farm contains an aquarium, estuarine crocodiles, alligators and has an elephant show.
Sixty Year Pillar Monument
Located at Saphan Hin, the stone bridge where Phuket road ends. It was constructed in 1969 and stands as a memorial to Mr. Miles, who devised the use of a dredger in mining operations in 1909.
Marine Biological Research Centre
The research centre is situated on the end of Laem Phanwa, which is about 9km from the centre of town. A sea aquarium displays fish of many varieties, marine animals and shells. This is Thailand’s major research centre for the study of tropical reef ecosystems, commercial fishing and the protection of marine wildlife.
Though many of Phuketís beaches offer spectacular sunset views, the view from Prongthep Cape is truly magnificent. In high season there are numerous tourist buses, so many that policeman are present to control parking. Nevertheless, wander away from the crowd, or get there early and grab one of the better seats at the Prongthep Restaurant and you will be enchanted by the sunís vivid palette as she drops slowly into the Andaman Sea.
Phuket Island is surrounded with beaches, all of them with their own character. We have put together a list of 24 beaches that you can visit on your trip to Phuket. To find the beach that suits you the most browse our listings Take a look at the pictures and panoramas from every beach in Phuket!
In Phuket you can find all kinds of beaches from the smallest to the biggest, or the most popular to the least popular. Phuket offers something for every taste, from the quick swim to the advanced diver, fisherman, surfer or sailor. There’s a beach for every one.
Remember that all the beaches are in Thailand and do please follow the local culture and rules. You should never sunbath or swim with out your bra in Thailand. This is offesive in the Thai culture. Never play with the wild animals on the beaches. This is a tropical country and many of the animals are dangerous. Do not play with the cats or dogs, they can have rabies. If you should be bitten or just come in contact with any sick animal visit a hospital directly to get advice on treatment and vaccinations.
NOTE: The sun is much stronger than you might think, use sun block higher than 20 the first days. If you get burned go to a Thai pharmacy and get the local treatment. It is cheap and works great!
22 kms (14 mi) northwest of Phuket Town, Bang Tao was once the site of a tin mine. Chemical seepage from the mine greatly degraded the whole area and the site was an ecological nghtmare until one Thai developer bought up the land and reclaimed itís natural beauty while creating the fabulous Laguna resort complex.
Definitely in the upper price bracket, each of the hotels in the Laguna Resort area are luxurious, elegant and exclusive. Golf courses, horse-riding, water sports, squash and tennis are all available as well as designer shopping and excellent dining. Donít forget your Gold Card.
Location of the fabulous Amanpuri and Chedi luxury resorts, Pansea beach offers seclusion, excellent accommodation, fine dining and exclusivity. Another choice in the higher price range.
An escape from the more populated beaches, Surinís strong currents discourage too many tourists from staying at Surin, although some accommodation is available at the back of the beach, off the main road. The beach has a wilder feel than many of the others, with crashing waves and little in the way of development.
There are a few open Thai restaurants, which stretch down onto the sand, offering sunbeds for a small fee and refreshment throughout the day. One of these was actually used as a location for one of the scenes for the new di Capprio movie, The Beach.
A tiny village offering some budget accommodation, a resort hotel, several restaurants and a small coconut fringed beach. If you visit Kamala, you will find if you walk to the left side of town, a school and playing field. You may be lucky enough to catch the kids during a break when the boys play an enthusiastic game of soccer and the girls practise their traditional Thai dance steps.
Patong is the most developed beach in Phuket. In the early 70’s Patong was little more than a small fishing village. Now however, the place has grown into a full town with hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping arcades and entertainment centres.
Patong offers the best range of water sports available on the island. The shops also offer diving trips in the bay or to the Similan Islands off to the west, considered one of the best diving areas in Asia
Just south of Patong, Karon is actually divided into two areas. Karon Yai which offers excellent surfing and snorkelling, a range of hotels and guesthouses, shops and restaurants and Karon Noi which is dominated by the massive Le Meridien Hotel complex.
Further south along the western coast and around the headland, Kata is also divided into two; Ao Kata Yai and Ao Kata Noi. Kata Yai is the site of a Club Mediterranee. This area is famed for spectacular sunsets..
South again, from Kata, Nai Harn beach cuts into the headland and makes a popular anchorage for local yachtsman. In fact, the north side of this beach is home to the Phuket Yacht Club. One of Phuket’s most picturesque bays, Nai Harn boasts lovely sunsets and excellent swimming in the dry season, (caution is advised in the monsoon season ñ May to October because of strong currents and a steep drop off.)
Rawai is one the first coastal areas to be developed on the island, but lacks the splendid golden sands of Phuketís other beaches. It is howeve, home to Chao Le, a small sea gypsy village, whose inhabitants are descended from Phuketís original inhabitants.
Today most of the visitors are divers who want to be located close to the boating facilities and visit the offshore islands on diving trips.
Continue exploring Phuket beaches: