Mon, June 7th, 2010 - By

Spotlight on Phuket, Thailand


Phuket is the largest island in southern Thailand, and it’s a popular stop for visitors to the country.  It’s connected to the mainland by a road bridge, and it even has its own airport.  With tons of beaches and villages, there are lots of experiences that suit everyone, whether you’re solo, a couple or a family.  Here are a few of the top things to do while hanging out and soaking up the sunshine and enjoying life in Phuket.

Lying on The Beach


If you’re in Phuket, you’re likely there to do nothing.  And that’s ok – that is part of the charm of this warm and sunny spot in the Andaman sea.  There are quite a few beaches though, so if this is what you want to do, it’s wise to research your options before you book your accommodation.  A few top beaches:
Ko Chang:  this used to be a backpacker secret, but now the tourists have found out.  It’s still somewhat off the beaten track, but well worth it.
Maya Bay:  this is widely claimed as the most beautiful beach in Phuket.  Once you see it, you’ll probably agree.
Laem Sing:  this is a quiet place, with no resorts on the bay.  Grab a beer, lay down and relax.
Having said all that, you can easily get from your resort to other beaches via tuk-tuk or taxi; be sure to negotiate the price in advance!

Watersports


Once you’ve got your relaxation time in (and possibly a sunburn), then why get your adrenaline in gear with some watersports fun?  Every beach has at least a few operators offering you fun on dry land and out at sea.  Scuba diving and snorkelling is probably the most popular option and you’ll find loads of choice of tours on Chalong Pier.  I’d suggest you catch a tour that will take you out to one of the smaller nearby islands for the best experience.
Chalong Bay also has lots of yachting options if you want to do something different.  Lying in the sun on the boat, slipping out into the sea for a dip, enjoying a picnic in the breeze.  You don’t need to have a massive budget to enjoy the fun – there are options for all budgets!

Party in Patong


Patong Beach is Phuket’s loudest and most developed beach.  It’s also infamous for the nightlife.  It’s got it all:  loud neon, drinks in oversized containers, massage parlours, and all the boisterousness you’d expect.    Start out the night with a good meal:  the range of choice is surprising, and if you’ve had too much pad Thai you’re in luck, as every country cuisine you can think of is represented.  Scandinavian?  Yup.  Russian?  Yup.  Arabic?  Yup.   Then hit the town; Rock City is a fun place if you like music; if you’re pining for your pub back home, then check out Molly Malone’s or the Manchester Arms.  Otherwise, start from Thanon Bang La and see where your feet take you – the choice feels limitless.

Souvenir Shopping


Shopping might seem like the last thing on your mind, but in fact there is lots of choice for souvenirs to take home – maybe something for you as well as a friend?  Some of the more authentic and quality things you might want to check out:
Pearls:  these were the gems the Japanese came after over 20 years ago – Phuket is known for their quality.
Silk:  Thai silk is sold all over the world, but you can get some great products and great prices here in Phuket.
Ceramics:  This is the most classic souvenir, and for good reason – the ceramics are beautiful, and in some markets you can buy straight from the artisan.

Photo Credits: Eustaquio Santimano, SteelCityHobbies and GianCayetano.

Andy HayesWelcome to Andy, the third of our guest bloggers who’ll be helping us out while Sue is on Maternity Leave.

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not criss-crossing the world to have his next travel adventures, he is spending time hanging out on his own website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 12:31
Category : Spotlight
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