Holidays in Phuket 2013/2014:
Dip your toe into the warm shallows of the Andaman Sea and soak up that oh-so-lovely southwest sunshine as this is where fiction becomes reality on Thailand’s largest island, Phuket. As there are only a couple of bridges connecting Phuket to the mainland you might think it a tad tricky to enter this exotic paradise however, thanks to a convenient international airport, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you arrive you’ll be greeted by a succession of enviable choices and from beach side resorts, such as our featured Platinum Collection hotel JW Marriott Resort and Spa or our Virgin Holidays Favourite hotel, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, to temple tours and colonial heritage, prepare to be amazed. As you’d expect from such a popular area of Thailand, there are plenty of things to do both during the day and after dark so pack everything from swimming goggles to glow-sticks as there really is never a dull moment. This is a great chance to have a totally tropical adventure whilst being spoilt rotten amongst the spas, restaurants and shimmering sand of Thailand’s most alluring coastline. Whatever you’re here for: the water sports, the local culture or the delicious seafood, Phuket will live up to all of your expectations and then some.
Things to do/Attractions
It goes without saying that Phuket boasts such a sublime choice of snow white beaches that it’s often hard to tear yourself from your hammock. But, if you do manage to consider some more active alternatives, there are loads to choose from including: elephant experience, boat rides, snorkelling, diving and craft markets within the old town. Cultural enlightenment comes in the guise of Thai temples and the Thalang National Museum and a trip to the Big Buddha will no doubt present a few more spiritual moments. All of our hotels and resorts offer an incredible range of facilities and luxurious comforts and you won’t have to go very far to discover the best of both worlds.
Now, noodles with curry sauce (Khanom chin) may not be everybody’s idea of breakfast and yet, when you’re in Phuket, it just seems to work. Trying new and exciting dishes is a great way to find out more about the local culture and many resorts, the Centara Grand Beach Resort in particular, offer Thai cooking classes for you to do just that. Seafood is a must with the Andaman Sea being renowed for its prawns and lobster and if you’re into beach barbecues then grab your tongs because lunch doesn’t get any better. Local cuisine often goes by the mantra of simple is best and you’ll discover some incredible dishes featuring: smoked shrimps, fresh vegetables, crispy pork and oodles and oodles of noodles.
How hot are you willing to take it because Patong in Phuket has some of the most hedonistic nightlife this side of Bangkok and from beach parties to sunrise discos, if you’re looking for action after dark then you won’t be disappointed. Whatever you’re into: live music, beach cafes, cultural cabarets or traditional displays of martial arts, there are plenty of excuses to stay up late and enjoy yourself exactly the way that you want to. Our hotels offer a wide range of evening options and cocktail bars, fine-dining restaurants and local musicians will all ensure you get the most from Phuket long after the sun sets on yet another perfect day.
Not to be missed
There are a whole host of fabulous attractions in Phuket but, as you’d expect, beach life inevitably takes centre stage. Bases such as the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Centara Grand Beach Resort will place you directly onto the peaceful sands of Karon Beach whilst the resorts of Banthai and the Novotel Phuket Vintage Park are situated right in the heart of Patong with the beach just a stone's through away. Aside from getting sand between your toes you simply must check out some of the statues, such as the Heroines’ Monument, that are dotted around the island and the views from the Big Buddha are well worth the trek. Meanwhile, back at the beach, snorkelling with tropical fish or diving down to vibrant coral reefs are both awesome ways to spend at least a couple of hours.
Best for families
If you’re travelling with the young ‘uns then there are loads of things to do on a family holiday to Phuket and most hotels including: the Mercure Phuket Deevana and the Merlin Beach Resort, offer kids’ clubs to keep everyone happy. Once you’ve managed to prise them away from the swimming pools and play areas there are loads of local activities to keep them busy including: an aquarium and butterfly farm, the Splash Jungle water park and the ever-popular elephant experience and eco-tour. Water sports, mountain-biking and mini-golf are all good fun too.
Best for couples
Yep, couples will be in their absolute element and if you’re into cocktails at sun set or candle-lit suppers accompanied by the sound of lapping waves then welcome to paradise. Of course, what’s romantic for some may not exactly be the same for others and, thankfully, alternatives to gazing wistfully into each other’s eyes from adjoining sun-loungers are plentiful. Mountain trekking, sea kayaking, temple tours and boat trips to neighbouring islands present plenty of ideas for active couples. However, if you really have to get all warm and mushy then envelope yourselves in a sensuous spa and you’ll be putty in each other’s hands before you know it.
Phuket is an absolutely darling place to tie the knot and luxury resorts such as the Hilton Phuket Arcadia on Karon Beach Resort present an irresistibly unique experience that you’ll remember forever. Imagine sensuous massages and tingling spas against a backdrop of tropical gardens and palm-fringed beaches; now you’re getting there. How about Thai-style ceremonies and delicious banquets which present a feast for the eyes as well as the tum? This is your chance to say ‘I do’ as you wriggle your pedicured toes in the warm white sand and wonder how it ever got to be this good.
From Chinese New Year to the festival of the Hungry Ghost, Phuket’s calendar is full to bursting with exciting, and often mystifying, events and festivals. As this is the year of the snake you can expect to find more than a fair share of serpents hanging about in 2013 and Phuket Town will be bedecked in all sorts of regalia during February. The island’s very own international blues festival takes place on Bangtao Beach, also in February, whilst the glitz and glamour of the boat show comes to Kho Keaw during mid-March. One of the island’s major festivals is the Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn which takes place by the Heroines’ Monument and involves loads of different events to celebrate athletic and cultural achievements. What with water, bikes, gay pride and vegetarianism all celebrated at some point or other it’s a wonder that anything gets done at all.
Weather/Best time to go
With temperatures barely dipping under the 30C mark and rainfall often offering a delicious respite on a mountain trek, it’s no wonder that Phuket is regarded as an excellent option no matter what the time of year. If you must get all statistical you can expect to find more precipitation during the months of May and September but even then you’ll still expect to find sunshine for at least 5 hours per day so it’s all relative really. If you’re looking for winter warmth then this is where Phuket really comes into its own and with over 8 hours sun practically guaranteed from December to April what better place to escape our wintery climes.
If you’re looking for thrills and adventure whilst on holiday in Phuket then you won’t be disappointed as from mainland treks to underwater safaris, there’s much more to this place than palm trees and piña coladas. About an hour’s drive away is the region of Khao Lak which has an abundance of rafting and trekking options to help you feel like you’re really getting off the beaten track. Bamboo rafting, jungle trekking and elephant interaction experiences all help to indulge your adventurous spirit and after a few days in the rainforests you’ll be crying out for the sanctity of your resort spa. If you’re more inclined to take the adventurous plunge in the literal sense then the coral reefs and vibrant marine ecology of the Andaman Sea are well-worth donning a mask and flippers for and, if you’re feeling really brave, PADI dive courses are available throughout the island.
*Please note: To marry here you will need to spend 5 night in Bangkok first, where the legal ceremony will take place, then combine with a week or two at Phuket where you have your blessing ceremony.
So, if a holiday in Phuket, Thailand sounds like a perfect beach break getaway, take a look at our fantastic Phuket hotels and package holidays!
- Beautiful Beaches
- Phang Nga Bay by Boat
- Elephant Hill Trek
- Great Nightlife
- Great Arts and Craft Shopping
- Thai Temples
- Colonial Heritage
Feb - Chinese New Year
Mar - Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival
Apr - 13/14/15th Songkran – Traditional Thai New Year, generally celebrated as a water festival. Celebrated on the 13th when the streets downtown are full of revellers, prepare to get wet.
May – 1st Labour Day (National Holiday), 5th Coronation day celebrating the day in 1949 when the current king was crowned. 24th Visakha Bucha Day which is the holiest Buddha day and celebrates the birth, enlightenment and entry into Nirvana of the Buddha.
Jul – 22nd Asanha Bucha Day, 23rd Khao Phansa, this day marks the beginning of the Buddhist ‘lent’ period.
Sep - Por Tor Festival
Oct - Phuket Vegetarian Festival. 23rd Chulalongkorn Day (One of Thailands most revered Kings). This is a Public Holiday. 14th Ork Phansa marks the end of Buddhist Lent.
Nov - Loy Kratong Festival (Not a National holiday) but an evening when Thais pay respect to the goddess of the waters by floating candlelit offerings on any of the waterways around the Kingdom.
Dec - 5th The King's Birthday
Please note: all events listed are for helpful information only and many are subject to entrance fees and/or prior reservation, and may be cancelled at any time. Please check with the relevant tourist office if you need further information on these or any of the other events in this region.