Doing Your First Phuket Holiday Right: 5 Things to Know Before You Go

Thailand has many tourist destinations that attract hundreds of thousands of travelers each year. One of these destinations is Phuket, known for its beautiful beaches and crystal blue waters. Foreign or local, tourists flock in droves each year to Thailand’s largest island to see its beauty first hand.

If it’s your first time traveling to this island paradise, you might want to check out Traveloka’s tour packages to Phuket. It’s a good way to save some money and time since you’ll book your flight tickets and hotel room in one go. For other travel tips, check out our list below about some of the things you need to know before going on your first holiday to Phuket.

Kamala Beach Is Popular, but More Congenial Than Other Well-Known Beaches

Phuket is a beach bum’s wonderland, with long stretches of white sand beaches, sandbars, and surrounding gorgeous islands. The most popular of these beaches are Patong, Kata, Karon, and Kamala, and as such, you’ll find some of the best hotels, restaurants, and bars in these tourist-favorite locations. For a quieter, more family-friendly setting, however, consider going to the last of these—Kamala Beach. It usually doesn’t get as crowded as the other three, which is perfect if you have children who want to run around or who get antsy with big crowds. The clubs are also far enough away from the beach and most hotels, so you’ll have plenty of peace and quiet.

Kamala beach in Phuket (หาดกมลา), by Tuderna, wikimedia commons

Kamala beach in Phuket (หาดกมลา), panoramino by Tuderna, wikimedia commons

The Island Isn’t All About Beaches

Phuket is definitely a haven for beachgoers, but it isn’t just about the sand and sea. The island is also teeming with cultural, natural, and historical charms. For one, you can visit the sparkling white, 45-meter-tall statue of Buddha sitting on top of Nakkerd Hills. Seeing the towering Buddha statue is an experience in and of itself, and it also comes with the bonus of having a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Phuket is also known for Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. Here, you can see elephants roaming around freely, interacting with their fellow gentle giants. If you visit during mealtimes, you may even be invited to help prepare the elephants’ food. There’s also an observation deck where you can watch the animals take a bath in the lagoon.

Thailand Phuket Elephants_panoramio, by Scorewith German, wikimedia commons

Thailand Phuket Elephants_panoramio, by Scorewith German, wikimedia commons

For those who want to explore Phuket itself, you may want to walk around Phuket Town. The charming neighborhood has plenty of preserved heritage buildings, which bore witness to Phuket’s heydays as a tin mining town. Over the years, artists have also filled Phuket Town’s walls with murals and artworks. You can see some of them on Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Krabi Road.

It’s a Great Place to Disconnect

Internet connection isn’t too much of an issue in Phuket. You can find plenty of restaurants and cafés that offer free Wi-Fi, and your hotel will most likely have a Wi-Fi network as well. However, the speeds tend to be slower when compared to other city centers. It’s as if the island is telling you to turn off your devices for a bit and do something else than looking at a screen. Indeed, Phuket is a great place for you to disconnect, relax, and just appreciate the beauty of nature.

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket, Southern Thailand, taken by Wolfgang Holzem, wikimedia commons

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket, Southern Thailand, taken by Wolfgang Holzem, wikimedia commons

It Has Awesome Spas

Phuket isn’t really a shopping destination. There are street and night markets, of course, but you won’t really be able to shop till you drop here. Better leave that for when you visit Chatuchak and Siam Paragon in Bangkok. However, what’s great about Phuket is that it has a lot of great spas so you can relax even more. From a simple foot massage to a luxurious full-body Thai massage, from aromatherapy to hot stone massage, you’ll surely be utterly pampered. Body scrubs, hand treatments, manicures, and pedicures are also popular services in Phuket spas.

It’s a Foodie Destination

Thailand as a whole is a foodie destination, and Phuket is no different. It’s just that the beautiful beaches and islands often overshadow other aspects of this paradise. With that being said, Phuket is a veritable foodie haven. Not only will you find places that serve traditional Thai dishes and Phuket specialties like por pia and mee Hokkien, there are also a lot of international restaurants on the island. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and even Turkish restaurants dot the streets and beaches of Phuket. If you’re also interested in preparing your own Thai food, you can even find cooking classes in Phuket. These usually come with market tours so you’ll know how to pick the freshest ingredients.

Phuket is one of those destinations that will make you come back again and again. There’s something that will appeal to any kind of traveler, and you’ll see it for yourself once you finally visit. Book that trip today, and experience the paradise that is Phuket!




Slow Life on Koh Phayam

How about a quiet day on Koh Phayam? I’d like to take you on a photographic journey to this island in the Andaman Sea. Koh Phayam is off the coast to Rayong Province in the East of Thailand near to the Gulf of Thailand. The island is about 30 km from Ranong.

Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam amazing seascape (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)

Koh Phayam’s amazing seascape (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)

Koh Phayam has two major beaches which are called Ao Yai (Great Bay) and Ao Kao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). As the name suggests, Ao Yai is the largest beach which is located on the west coast. In point of fact, this bay has beige-grey sand and is 300m wide and 3km long.

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam*

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam*

You can head to the isle via ferry. Actually, on the island, the main means of transportation are motorbikes since there are no roads where cars can drive.

Heading to the island via ferry, Ao Yai*

Heading to the island via ferry, Ao Yai near the Andaman Sea*

Koh Phayam is thought to be one of the most beautiful Thai islands. Thus, the isle has many amazing and also pristine beaches. In fact, it’s a nice place to chill in a hammock or lounge chair enjoying a refreshing drink like coconut water 🙂

Fresh coconuts at Koh Phayam, Ao Kao Kwai*

Fresh coconuts at Koh Phayam, Ao Kao Kwai*

Chill in a hammock on one of the most beautiful Thai islands*

Chill in a hammock on one of the most beautiful Thai islands*

Indeed, this island has been a favourite destination for hippies and globetrotters, thus some of the beaches are not so tranquil and clean anymore. However, in the northwest there is a more natural and untouched beach called Ao Kao Kwai. In fact, this beach is quite clear and not so much polluted.

Pristine seascape at Buffalo Bay, Ao Kao Kwai*

Pristine seascape at Buffalo Bay, Ao Kao Kwai*

There are not so many people either, hence this beach seems to be cosy, secluded and private. Nonetheless, Buffalo Bay is not lonely since you may encounter one of the furry inhabitants like this dog 🙂

A dog on the island*

A dog on the island*

You may also spot an amazing landscape like this rockformation or a storm approaching. There are also such stunning things like a floating pagoda at the pier.

Land- and seacape, rockformation on the island near Ranong*

Land- and seacape, rockformation on the island near Ranong*

Is there a storm appraoching? Andaman Sea, Koh Phayam*

Is there a storm appraoching? Blue sky and beach at the Andaman Sea*

A floating pagoda at a pier in Koh Phayam*

A floating pagoda at a pier in Koh Phayam*

Finally, I hope you enjoyed my little photographic trip to Koh Phayam. If you have the chance, make the island you next destination… 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(all photos in this post, credit to Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)