The island of Phuket, the largest in the country, is so extensive that you rarely feel like being surrounded by water. This is perhaps why the prefix “ko” (“island” in Thai) was abandoned. Nicknamed the “Pearl of Andaman” by tour operators, Phuket Thailand is the destination for holidays in the sun.
Patong, “Sin City”, is the main town of Phuket and the beach is the most popular. Luxury is everywhere, go-go bars are part of the landscape at night, and after a drunken night, vacationers bask pills all day on the beach.
But Phuket is a luxury destination very fashionable, jet set, more present than ever, gathers for Thai massage sessions luxury before drinking aperitifs at great expense during evenings fashion. However, no need to be heir to come to Phuket diving offshore, quality restaurants and sandy beaches are likely to satisfy everyone.
Phuket enjoys an enviable central location for diving. The Similan Islands, very popular, are located in the north, while dozens of dive sites await you in the south, around Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta. Naturally, you’ll pay a little more expensive route Phuket to these impressive sites, more distant. Dive centers in Phuket divers usually take you to the sites around the island such as Ko Raya Noi (or Ko Rucha Nin) and Ko Raya Yai (Yai or Ko Hacha) south, but they are less striking. The reef off the southern tip of Raya Noi is particularly suitable for experienced divers. On this site deep corals cling to the rocks evolve while pelagic fish. Marble and manta rays are also common in these areas. With a little luck, we may even see a whale shark.
The “dive centers” are legion in L’ile over a hundred, but most are simple central reservation. The most serious have their own boats.
A day of diving costs about 3500 baht for 2 dives and equipment. You can join an expedition at a lower price if you do not dive or snorkel. Read over for the PADI Open water cost about 15,000 baht 3 days with the equipment.
The west coast of Phuket, especially between rocky headlands beaches, best suited to snorke ¬ ling. You can rent mask, snorkel and fins for 250 B per day. As for scuba diving, the surrounding small islands such as Ko Ko Raya Raya and offer a better visibility and more varied fauna.
With its shops and beaches, Kata attracts a lively crowd. Unlike Patong, the sex industry is absent. You will not find deserted beach, but no shortage of activities and the atmosphere is friendly.
We can go surfing during the season and off season. There is an excellent spa and good food. A rocky promontory divides the beach into two parts: Hat Kata Yai north and Hat Kata Noi, less crowded south. The road between the two hosts ultra-luxurious residences. These two sandy beaches attract a crowd bohemian.
The main shopping street, Th Thai Na is perpendicular to the shore and you can find most of the restaurants and shops, as well as cheap hotels.
To see and do
You can reach the small island of Ko Pu to swim (if you are a good swimmer) and see some coral reefs. Beware of underwater currents. Be alert to red flags and do not exceed the breaking waves. The dive center Dive Asia is recommended. It has another branch near Karon Beach.
Hat Yai Hat Kata Kata Noi are places of surfing from April to December. The rental cost of a board B 100-150 / B 300-600 hour / day
If you want to escape the jet-set of Kata Beach south, turn left (west) on the main road before the climb to Karon. Once past the series of Thai restaurants, you will find a secluded beach (Hat Kata Yai), while in the north, in the rocks, which are moored long-silent boats. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, as well as masks and fins, and buy drinks.
As in Patong, it is difficult to find accommodation for less than 1000 B season, but prices fall sharply season. The most economical accommodations located on Kata Th.
It is a place where life is good. This is also the reason why the south coast of Phuket, growing, teeming with retirees, Thai and expatriate entrepreneurs and a tertiary sector, mainly, was relocated here.
The region is not just its beaches. Its lush hills that plunge straight into the Andaman Sea Laem Promthep form, the southern tip of Phuket. These hills are home to some hamlets blind alleys connected by few roads. Despite the development, nature is still omnipresent, especially on the beaches.
Nestled between the casuarinas, Hat Nai Han, all white sand, with its yachts docked and Wat Nai Han is the most beautiful beach in the area. Its surf break is impressive during the monsoon, but other beaches are smaller and isolated, are equally beautiful. This is not the case of Hat Rawai. It is a rocky harbor for long-tail boats and outboard. By cons, it is the ideal place to enjoy grilled seafood in one of the many delicious restaurants and the harbor.
Of long-tail boats and outboards are available at Hat Rawai. They serve the following destinations (6 passengers max): the quiet island of Ko Bon practice where snorke ¬ ling (long toril boat / outboard 800/2 000 B), Coral Island (1200/3000 B) and KB Kai (4000/8000 B).
All accommodation in Hat Nai Han can be reached by a narrow paved road from the parking of the Phuket Yacht Club (yes, you can pass the guard) and long-tail boat from Rawai to 500 B.
Karon is a mixture of Patong and Kata A.The time relaxed, glamorous and a little
kitsch, with some disreputable corners. There are 2 huge complex and package tourists are numerous, but despite everything, the beaches are less crowded than Patong or Kata. As you go north, the beach becomes more beautiful and chic. In the far north, reached by a bumpy track beyond the market and food stalls, the water is turquoise.
In the streets and squares of the city, you will find a mixture of good local food and go-go bars felted. You can not ignore sellers T-shirts or the multitude of panels Scandinavia. Finally, the beautiful park Karon features an artificial lake with a mountain backdrop. A lovely beach bordering the joyful mess.
Some restaurants seafood and Thai cheap are installed after the roundabout north of Hat Kata (several eateries under one roof, by the sea, 100 m away) and others on the main street to the south end of Hat Karon.
This city concrete, and promiscuous sex undetermined, is a happy mess. Everything has a price: whether a Starbucks or a night in the arms of a stranger. This is not the only city of its kind, but unlike others, it does not hide its true nature: it assumes.
You may not like it so far, but seeing the long white sandy beach on this beautiful half-moon bay, you will understand where it comes from. Today, she is the real capital of Phuket, and Phuket town either. You will be in the heart of the action.
You’ll struggle to find a room in less than 1 000 Patong B between November and April, but prices fell by 40-60% the rest of the year.
Mix between casual Hat Karon and Hat Surin, both quiet but entertaining, Kamala attracts visitors from long-term, less likely to party, Scandinavian families and young couples. The bay is beautiful and serene turquoise. The waves lull you in your sleep. North of the island, palm and pine trees grow among the rocks. The water is emerald and the snorkeling is nice. South, new complexes are emerging on the headlands before the long-tail boats. The beach is backed all the way by green hills, and for the moment intact. This is the only island of Phuket where you will find a footpath lined with many restaurants, hotels and shops. Forget your bike: Kamala, we walk.
All the experts will tell you that Laem Singh, north of Kamala, is the fairest cape of the island. Surrounded by cliffs, it offers no road access. Please park on the headland and follow a narrow path, or hire a long-tail boat (1000 B) from Hat Kamala. Busy.
Hat Surin is a real invitation to travel. With its wide expanses of golden sand lined with turquoise blue gradient at the horizon and two rocky headlands, Surin is absolute perfection. In addition to being beautiful, she will captivate you with its art galleries, spas and delicious 5-star beach restaurants. Once you have swam, tanned, enjoyed grilled fish and sipped cocktails at the Beach Club, Surin will be delighted with your heart and you will be traveling madly in love.
Where to Stay
Hat Surin on, you will find accommodations more upscale of Phuket, but budget travelers will find all the same housing. For the ultimate in luxury, go to Amanpurl Resort, one of the most exclusive hotels in Phuket (and a hotbed of celebrities).
Bang Tao beach
Almost as big and even more beautiful than Patong Bay, with its 8 km of white sandy beaches, Ao Bang Thao is far from homogeneous. The southern part of the bay is dotted with bungalows 3 stars. Inland, you will find an old fishing village traveled channels and several subdivisions under construction. Do not be surprised to see a herd of buffalo grazing near a huge construction site.
In the center of the bay is a behemoth: the Laguna Phuket. This mega complex ¬ 5 hotels in 4 and 5 star and an aging mall is connected by an artificial lake where boats commute and a paved trail. But further north, nature is still intact. A strip of white sand bordered by turquoise water extends beyond the center concrete. It is this sandy stretch and peaceful that you imagined when booking your stay.