Phuket has been described as the “Pearl of South East Asia” and for good reason. It lies in the Andaman Sea off the country’s south western coast. It’s tropical pristine beaches and well developed infrastructure, combined with the easygoing and friendly attitude of the local people make Phuket a top destination.
Phuket is approximately 60 Km long by 20 Km wide. The character of the island changes from region to region depending upon the geography.
Weather / Seasons
The temperature in Phuket varies between 26-35 degrees Celsius all year round and the seasons are divided into two; dry and rainy. The rainy season starts from around May and runs to October. During this period the seas on the west coast can at times be rough. There is still plenty of sun interspersed with heavy tropical showers – in fact many locals prefer this season! The dry season is for the remainder of the year and between November and April the seas become calm and clear. Although Phuket has two different seasons it is definitely an all year round destination.
Whilst Phuket maintains its friendly island character, there is significant infrastructure available to the visitor or resident. This allows for relaxed tropical living whilst knowing that all the essentials are on your doorstep should you need them.
There are many advanced and internationally acclaimed hospitals in Phuket. The major hospitals can be found in Phuket town. They offer the full spectrum of services, are generally inexpensive and cater for private health insurance such as BUPA.
A typical tourist visa is for 30 days in Thailand and is for most nationalities acquired automatically upon arrival at the airport. Longer visas can be obtained from the Thai Embassies or consulates around the world.
The majority of Thai banks in Phuket have ATM machines which recognize most international
debit and credit cards.
The trick to enjoying yourself in Phuket is finding enough time to fit everything in! The island is geared to entertain the visitor, whether that is just lying on a tranquil beach to playing a few holes of golf on one of the many picturesque courses!
The mainland is a maximum of 1 hours drive from anywhere on the island. It is possible to drive over the bridge and explore the diverse coastline and National Parks leading up to the Thai border with Myanmar.
There are a number of shopping malls that offer high end goods at low prices, with perhaps the biggest being Central Festival on the edge of Phuket town and Jung Ceylon in Patong.
These are complimented by a myriad of local shops and stalls. Remember though – don’t bring too many clothes with you as you can definitely shop till you drop!
Golf is extremely good value on Phuket and there are six golf courses dotted around the island. They cater for the novice up to the professional. Phuket is renowned for its several world class championship courses. The exceptionally picturesque Blue Canyon Country Club has been home to several Johnny Walker Classic tournaments whilst the newly completed Jack Nicklaus designed Mission Hills Golf Resort will surely test even the most proficient golfer.
The clear blue tropical waters of the Andaman Sea offer unparallel snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities to explore the unspoiled coral reefs surrounding the island. The water visibility in the dry season is usually up to 12 meters and the temperature averages 27 degrees! Other locations such as Phi Phi and the Similan Islands are accessible via short boat rides.The Similan islands are recognized as being one of the top dive destinations in the world. Water skiing and jet skiing are available in certain areas as is big game fishing, dinghy sailing, surfing and kite surfing to name but a few…