Historically, Thailand’s largest island, Phuket grew to prominence because of its strategic location along the major trading route between India and China. Rich in tin, the European super-powers of England, France and the Netherlands regularly competed against each other for the opportunity to establish a monopolistic trade arrangement with Phuket. Today however, foreign powers continue to visit the peninsula but this time purely in peace to enjoy the beautiful waters and brilliant sun shine; the only contemporary competition lying with the luxury resorts as to which can offer the best service and most comfortable holiday experience for appreciative visitors.
Phuket boasts a tropical climate fluctuating between a wet and dry season. The best time to visit is between November and April, when the days are dry and the temperature rises to around 23 degrees. The rainy season lasts from May to October.
The island itself is 48km is length and 21km at the widest point and is linked to the mainland by a pair of adjoining road bridges. Transport around the island is best organised through your hotel or resort, whether it be a private bus to Phuket town or taxi to a chosen beach. The island hosts several festivals including the Vegetarian Festival where locals with Chinese ancestry undertake a nine-day vegetarian diet and the Chao le Boat Floating Festival.
There are no direct flights from Australia to the island. Airlines that fly from Australia to an airline hub such as Bangkok or Singapore and onto Phuket include:
A stop-over is required in Singapore, Malaysia, China or Dubai.
Flights from Australia to Asia generally take around nine hours, with the onward flight taking one to two hours. Overall travel time can increase if the connection between flights isn’t smooth.
All Inclusive Resorts
Phuket’s high-end luxury hotels and resorts offer tranquil serenity generally away from the hustle of the island’s commercial districts. Most resorts are situated on the beach and offer exquisite views from the rooms. They boast perfectly manicured gardens and extravagant pools. View Resort options
The warm, generous nature of the locals, a beautiful lush Thai island and your own private beach combine to make a memorable honeymoon. Relax in your five star resort, venture around the island, laze on a beach and most of all spend quality time with your loved one. View Honeymoon options
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
What you see and do on Phuket very much depends on the style of holiday you’d most appreciate. You may choose to laze around your luxury resort, basking by the pool, strolling over to lunch and enjoying cocktails at dusk before preparing for an intimate dinner with your loved one. Alternatively, your idea of a great holiday may be getting out there and snorkelling, diving and sailing on the magnificent waters surrounding the island. The most well-known dive site is at Racha Yai with its spectacular coral displays.
For a hedonistic approach to night time entertainment, head to Patong, a locale which holds the dubious title as the party capital of Asia. Enjoy a therapeutic Thai massage before heading to the clubs, where the beats will have you bopping all night. Also check out the internationally-renowned cabaret shows, which clearly demonstrate that you can never have enough sequins.
Other sites around the peninsula include the Phuket Aquarium, the Butterfly Farm, the Crocodile Farm and the Chalong Temple, to justify the cultural component of your trip. For a completely unique fantasy experience, check out FantaSea, described as the Disneyland of South East Asia. After a sumptuous buffet dinner enjoy the mesmerising show with performing elephants and trapeze artists before wandering through the carnival attractions and the tiger jungle adventure.
Don't leave home without...
Sunscreen and insect repellent are essential. While you can purchase these on the island, they will be pricier than bringing them from home.
Wai is a traditional Thai greeting that involves holding your palms together in a prayer and bow towards one another. The wai is also used when saying sorry or saying goodbye.
Family and respect are of the utmost most importance to Thai society and way of life. Thais avoid confrontation and criticism at all costs, believing that hostility attracts the wrath of spirits and may result in violence and tragedy.
Things to be careful of…
The Thai King is held in high esteem, so always show respect towards His Highness.
Thai people are generally quiet and consider loudness to be impolite. Don’t raise your voice or laugh loudly unless in a bar or tourist resort.
Touching a Thai person on the head is perceived as an insult and should be avoided. Also remember to remove your shoes before entering a temple.
Stick to bottled water, as the tap water isn’t drinkable. Avoid drinks with ice, as the ice may be made from tap water.