The Top 8 Things You Need To Know About Phuket
For a lot of people who have never visiting the island before or for those who don’t know a lot about Thailand’s culture, hearing your friends of family say something about Phuket it normally brings up images of lush green palm trees and long white sandy beaches with crystal clear water that makes it feel like a magical place for an island holiday.
While this post isn’t designed to be a definitive guide to Phuket, it will give you a good overview of the most interesting facts about the popular tourist destination that can spur your imagination and list of things to do when you visit. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
It’s the largest island in Thailand and almost the same size as Singapore, the province of Phuket is hidden in the south west area of the country, surrounded by the Andaman Sea. The main currency is Thai Baht and most of the locals are Buddhist in faith. The international airport provides easy access for the thousands of tourists who visit the island every year.
A brief bit of history
Before Phuket became one of the worlds top locations for an island holiday the island used mining as a main source of income. You can visit a museum in Kathu which was built and continues to run in order to preserve some of the local history. Other sources of revenue include latex, pineapples and seafood.
Phuket province is quite large in comparison to some of the other ‘island holiday’ destinations around the world. In total there are 36 beaches for you to visit and relax on the soft white sand. The most popular ones are Patong, Karon and Kata beaches.
If you are looking for a more secluded environment then heading to the north west of the island will land you at Naithon, Maikhao and Haad Sai Gaew beaches which are the lesser known and more quite waterfront areas on the island. Most of the north east coast is a little rocky and some areas are covered with mangrove, but you can still get some great views of the nearby islands like Phi Phi for your photo collections.
When the sun goes down
Other than seeing the gorgeous tropical islands and eating the super fresh foods, many tourists visit Phuket for its famous nightlife and party atmosphere that comes to life each night. The most popular hub for letting loose is on Soi Bangla in Patong, where you can visit Go Go bars, various clubs and see all sorts of fun and exciting things that makes it a unique place to visit.
Festivals To Attend
There’s nothing more a photographer enjoys than events which bring out the color or the local people and the environment. Thailand in general has a lot of festivals, in fact there is one every few months that offers a great cultural experience and provide a great opportunity to shoot some really nice photos of everyone enjoying the events.
The main festivals we would suggest trying to attend are:
This event runs from the 1st to the 9th moon, according to the Chinese lunar calendar in October each year. Wearing white is the main thing you will notice if you visit Phuket during this festival. There is some amazing foods to eat as well.
Perhaps the most enjoyable and fun festival of the year. This event is all based around water and its cleaning properties to wash away any bad vibes for the coming year. If you attend be prepared to get wet. There are no exemptions for anyone walking the streets and you will get covered with buckets of cold water.
This is held on the full moon of the 12 month in the traditional Thai calendar. Normally the event is early to mid-November for those travelling from overseas. You will see many locals releasing small handmade floating boats into the water.
The best landmarks to visit
Visiting the top of Radar Hill offers some good aerial shots of the island if you don’t have a drone. On a clear day you can see everything around Patong beach and Chalong as well. It’s a complete 360 view of the island.
There are also areas in Phuket Town like Kao Rang Hill that have been built on the mountain top for tourists to see the city and surrounding islands.
Be prepared for the heat
If you are coming from a cooler climate the island will feel quite warm for you no matter which time of year you arrive. The hottest times to visit are between March and May. These periods are full of sunny days that are perfect for getting great quality photos anywhere you go.
The most popular time for travelers to visit is between November and February. This aligns well with New Year’s Eve and other holiday events, as well as being the cooler months on the island where there is no rain each day.
Try all the foods you can
There is a huge amount of different things to eat. Thailand is known for having some of the most tasty and freshest foods in the world. The southern areas of the country are generally a little spicier than other provinces. Phuket is famous for its Tom Yum Goog (spicy and sour prawn soup) and Som Tam (Papaya salad).
If you’re not a fan of eating spicy food, just say “mai ped” when ordering and the staff will know you mean not spicy please.