Phuket is located on the south west side of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket measures 21.3km as its widest point and 48.7 km at its longest. It is Thailand's largest island.
Phuket has a tropical climate with the temperature not differing much throughout the year. It averages round 24 to 32 degrees celsius. The seasons can be best broken down as follows;
November to February - This is the high season on Phuket. There is lots of sunshine, very little rainfall and the humidity is lower than the rest of the year.
March to April - This is the hottest part of the year in Phuket. Sunshine still dominates the day with little rain fall and the humidity rises.
May to October - The most rain falls during this period with the peaks normally being in May, September and October. The rain generally falls in short bursts and is followed by sunshine.
Note: The monsoon winds bring large waves and strong undercurrants to the Phuket beaches which during this period means the beaches often have a red flag on them. This is to indicate dangerous conditions which make it unsafe to swim.
See Phuket weather for further details.
Note: Climate changes vary between Phuket and Koh Samui as Phuket is located in/at the Andaman Sea and Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand.
Getting to Phuket
The majority of people arrive through Phuket International Airport with a number of scheduled and charter flights from Europe and Asia. However most visitors still fly to Bangkok first and then get a domestic flight to Phuket. You can also get to Phuket by road, rail and of course by sea if you have your own boat.
Getting Around Phuket
There are numerous ways of getting around Phuket. These include motorbikes, car/jeep hire, motorbike taxi, Tuk-Tuk Taxi or a Songthaew, which is a bus style taxi. You could also hire a 'Longtail' boat which are available on most beaches and although by no means fast is a great way to see parts of the island.
Note: If you plan to rent a motorbike or car you will need to acquire an international driver's license in your country before you arrive in Thailand.
What to do in Phuket
Visit the beaches
- Few places can offer such an abundance of beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters as Phuket can. Whether you want to sample the bustling beaches such as Patong in the south of the island or discover the remote stretches of sand in the North, there really is something for everyone.
The winding coastal roads along the west coast offer superb views and access to the some of the world's finest beaches.
Wat Chalong - Wat Chalong is one of Phuket's most important temples and is the islands spiritual centre. The temple is decorated with infinite reflections from hundreds of tiny glass pieces and several pagondas.
Note: If visiting temples in Phuket, you must dress neatly. Men and women should not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts.
Phuket Waterfalls - There are two major falls in Phuket, Tona Sai and Bang Pae. Both are located in the Khao Pra Thaeo National Park, 22km north of Phuket Town. It is a great place for those seeking a cool place for a swim and a picnic. The surrounding area is also great for trekking.
Island Boat Tours - Phuket is the gateway to the islands in the Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay. Picture postcard islands such as Phi Phi, Tapu and Pingkan Island are just a short boat ride away. You can take a speed boat to the island or even charter a boat with captain and crew that includes food/drink. Activities such as sea canoeing and white water rafting can be done in places such as Phang Nga.
Elephant Trek - Great for children and a must when you are in Thailand.
Can be combined with a jungle trek.
Animal Attractions - There are numerous animal attractions around the island which you can visit including the Phuket Aquarium, the butterfly garden and Phuket Zoo.
Watersports - Phuket ranks as one of the world's top ten dive destinations and once you have been diving you will know why. The water is warm and teeming with marine life and there are hundreds of reefs to be explored off Phuket, providing a range of diving options. Diving is best from November through to May when the water is at its clearest. Snorkelling, water-skiing and windsurfing are also popular activites in Phuket and from May through to October it is even possible to go surfing.
Golf - Phuket is a fantastic destination for a golfing holiday. The island has 6 championship standard golf courses and all are set amidst idyllic surroundings with great practice facilities.
Shopping - Phuket can boast some fantastic shopping opportunities, from the roadside stalls/markets to boutique and speciality shops. The widest range of goods can be found in Patong or Phuket City.
The main area of nightlife on Phuket can be found in and around Patong or Karon where there are plentiful bars and nightclubs.