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Plan Your Trip to Phuket: Best of Phuket Tourism

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Phuket

You can really do it all in Phuket: Party ‘til dawn, kick back on a sandy shore, discover hidden temples, stroll through local markets. Yes, the beaches are next level (and definitely worth a stop), but head further inland to the old quarter for a peek into Phuket’s past, and eateries serving up chili and blue ginger-spiced dishes. Whether you want to relax or take things up a notch there’s no wrong way to do it—and we’ve got more ideas below.

Travel Advice

Essential Phuket

How to do Phuket in 3 days

Island-hopping, elephants, and authentic Thai food
Read on

My favorite outdoor bars in Phuket

You won’t have a problem staying hydrated in Phuket. Though this Thai isle didn’t invent the sky bar, it’s sure taken the concept of rooftop bars to new heights. Between sweeping vistas and sunset spots to chill beachfront restaurants and swanky open-air lounges, Phuket has something for everyone. Here are my go-to outdoor bars in Phuket.
Fiona Harper travel writer, Cairns, Australia
  • Baba Nest
    64
    Don’t wait to make a reservation at Baba Nest. It’s arguably Phuket’s sexiest rooftop bar, featuring 360-degree island views that make an Insta-worthy photo. A wraparound infinity pool is the centerpiece—it reflects the sunset over the Andaman Sea. A floating floor (imagine almost a yoga deck) ties into the optical illusion, with massive cushions and pillows, so you can curl up with your partner. As for the food: The Mexican tacos are a must.
  • Malika Sky Bar By Kalima Resort
    690
    Clubby and cool is the vibe at Malika Sky Bar. Though you might initially go for the panorama—high on a hilltop overlooking Patong Bay and the Andaman Sea—you’ll stay for the poolside daybeds, moody music, and sophisticated cocktails with a tropical twist. Coconut mojito laced with spearmint? Don’t mind if I do. The seafood-focused menu is a nice perk, too. I love the grilled salmon with curry.
  • Pine Beach Bar
    592
    Shady groves on Kamala Beach, elegant sun loungers, an infinity pool… what’s not to love? This breezy barefoot bar is a dreamy spot to while away the day. Linger after dark and dance with your toes in the sand or hang out with your friends on the grass beneath pine trees and market umbrellas. But, whatever you do, don’t miss the coconut gelato and sizzling pizza. I’d argue that it’s the best slice in Phuket.
  • The Cove Phuket
    641
    On the south coast near Cape Panwa, The Cove is the perfect place for a romantic date night or anniversary. The indoor-outdoor space has a warm teak wood dining area, with retractable walls that lead straight to the water. In the evening, intimate tables are scattered around the sand, or for a more social environment among friends, there are low-slung counters and bean bags on the beach. Trust me, you won’t want to leave.
  • Kee Sky Lounge
    449
    Kee Sky looks like the top deck of a cruise ship. A glass elevator whisks you up, opening to an electric blue circle bar. Want to get higher? Climb the staircase to a smaller second level with striped sofas, stadium seating, and a hidden hot tub. This nautical theme is a nod to the sweeping views across Patong Bay. Tip: Come between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for bottomless cocktails.
  • Vanilla Sky Bar & Gastro Pub
    261
    Perched on the third floor of Cape Sienna resort, this rooftop lounge feels more like a park than a bar. Artificial grass and plump bean bag chairs lend a laid-back ambience, but stay after sunset when Vanilla Sky really ramps up. Cocktails such as the Mandarin Lemongrass Mojito and Grand Sienna Salad Martini (with Thai sweet basil rum, vodka, rosemary, ginger, cucumber, and fresh lime juice) are a few favorites.
  • Rim Talay
    902
    Set within the elegant Amari Phuket resort, Rim Talay is a family-friendly choice. First off: The service is attentive and warm. The atmosphere is relaxed, with tables organized around a waterfront lawn. When hunger strikes, you can choose a buffet (for breakfast and dinner) or à la carte plates. I always crave the authentic Thai dishes and shellfish specials. Try the platter piled with calamari, prawns, and lobsters.

Phuket Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips or experiencing Phuket

Hybrid34

Taxis and Tuk Tuks are usually a fixed price. Wherever you go they will try to get every penny out of you. After a little bit of haggling, you’ll get say 50 - 100BHT or so off the fixed price.

Marco

Do not be afraid to eat street food, is it abundant and cheap. You can get skewers with shrimps, mussels, crab and even crocodile meat for as low as 30 Thb per piece.

fiddledude

Walk the beach, check out Bangla road, get a massage, have a banana (or mango) shake, and keep in mind if you see something for sale at an unbelievable price, it's probably a copy.

Kirsty S

Phuket is a large island – so much so that it doesn’t really feel much like an island at all! Its size means there is always plenty to see and do and as such it’s a popular destination for all types of holidaymakers, from families and couples to groups of friends.

Mika T

Phuket is a beautiful mountainous island with so much do and see. From mouth-watering food to animals and rainforests, and pristine beaches to upscale spas and resorts, Phuket has something for everyone.

TravellingMitch

Phuket has lots of lovely beaches, fabulous food, lots of temples, plus some churches and mosques.

What is the best way to get there?

airport

Phuket only has one airport, the Phuket International Airport. International and Domestic terminals are separate.

Here is some information on the best airport transfer options available.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Phuket from overseas, find out if you need a visa here.

Visa on arrival is also available, you can find out how other travelers did it here.

When is the best time to visit?

November to February: The weather in Thailand varies between hot, and really, really hot. The hottest season runs from March through to June, with April and May as the hottest months of the year.

The cool season normally runs from November through February and will still feel hot to most visitors. Temperatures during this time typically range from 73 Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) to 86 Fahrenheit (30 Celsius).

Get around

walk

Most of the resort areas are small enough to walk around, with popular resorts and hotels located close to the beach, restaurants and shopping areas.

tuk-tuk

If your hotel isn't on one of the main beaches, tuk-tuks are some of the best ways to get around. The small vehicles can weave through the tiny streets with ease and are worth the ride alone.

drive

If you prefer exploring Phuket on your own, there are plenty of places to hire cars or motorcycles. However, if you’re looking to drive around Phuket, remember that they drive on the left.

bus

Songtaew refers to blue open-air buses that run between Phuket Town and the main resorts, while air-conditioned mini buses service the Phuket Town area.

Check out more tips on getting around Phuket here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Indochina Time (ICT)

What are the voltage/plug types?

220 Volts / 50 Hz. In Thailand, they typically use Type A and Type C plugs

What is the currency?

Thai Baht (THB)

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes.

How much do I tip?

Tipping is not customary in Thailand, there is absolutely no mandatory requirement to tip anyone, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated.

Get more tipping tips here.

Are there local customs I should know?

The King

The king is very highly regarded in Thailand, as evidenced by the pictures displayed everywhere. Do not say or do anything disrespectful of the king or the royal family, even to the extent of stomping on a Thai coin or banknote which has been dropped and is rolling/blowing away. (It bears an image of the King's head, and is highly insulting to be touched by your feet.)

Bangkok Taxies

When hailing taxis, it is common to keep your hand horizontal, fingers facing down. Holding your hand with fingers up is considered rude.

Temples and Monks

When visiting temples, dress conservatively. Women particularly should wear long skirts or trousers and cover their shoulders and knees. Many temples state as you enter that photography is not permitted. Even if there is no sign, please be respectful and consider whether it is appropriate to be taking flash photographs in a place of worship. Even more so if monks are present worshipping!

Shoes

Always remove your shoes when entering temples (the same rule applies when entering a person's home), and do not sit with your feet towards the Buddha. Sit either cross-legged or with your feet tucked behind you. In many Asian cultures, the feet are considered the lowest, dirtiest part of the body, and the head the highest. So do not point to things with your feet, hold doors open with your feet, point your feet to the Buddha images, or point at or touch peoples' heads. Under no circumstances should a woman ever touch a monk.

Here’s a great overview of customs and etiquette in Thailand generally.

Frequently Asked Questions about Phuket



Phuket is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Phuket between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between March and May.