Come and dive in amazing Phuket, Thailand!
Here is some info about Phuket including how to get here. We are more than happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Phuket has become a popular travel destination in recent year and it is easy to see why – it is not called Amazing Thailand for nothing! Many visitors fall in love with the friendly people, fantastic food, warm climate, beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. Phuket is a large island and contains many different areas, each with their own unique atmosphere, so you can be sure to find your own paradise here.
Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate and the temperature remains around 28 C throughout the year. The two periods of April - May and September - October are the hottest and the September – October period is also the wettest as this is when the monsoon hits.
The best time to visit Phuket is from December through to March as this is when the humidity and temperature is the lowest.
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. For the most up to date exchange rate visit www.xe.com. Exchanging currency in Thailand is easy at one of the many exchange offices and banks and you will usually get a better exchange rate here than in your home country.
ATM’s are very prevalent and easy to find, almost every 7Eleven has one out the front. The ATM’s charge a fee of THB 200 for every transaction and you may also be charged a fee from your own bank. Credit cards can be used for payment in most places except small local shops and markets but will usually incur a 3% surcharge.
You can check the current exchange rate at www.xe.com.
Patong Beach is located in the west coast of Phuket and is the biggest tourist area on the island. Here you will find many lively and very noisy bars that are very busy in the high season. To the south of Patong are the beaches of Karon and Kata which offer a more relaxing experience and are ideal for families or those looking for peace and quiet.
To the south west of the island are the suburbs of Nai Harn and Chalong which have been growing in popularity with tourists in recent years. In these areas you will find a lot of long-term visitors however there is an abundance of hotels and restaurants for tourists and you will find a more laid back scene here than the west coast.
Citizens of most western countries do not need to apply for a visa prior to visiting Thailand and will be issued a 30 day visa on arrival. These can be extended in country for a further 30 day by visiting the Phuket Town Immigration Office and paying the THB 1900 fee. If you wish to stay longer than this you can apply for a 90 day tourist visa in your home country before you visit.
For up to date visa requirements for your nationality please visit www.thaiembassy.org
Getting to Phuket
Direct flights from Helsinki to Phuket take about 11 hours and operate from November to April. At other times of the year you will have to travel via Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur. Many other countries also offer direct flights to Phuket.
Transfers from the airport to your accommodation can usually be arranged through your hotel or there are taxi’s at the airport that will take you anywhere on the island. First Buddy can also organise transportation to your accommodation if you require it.
Getting around Phuket
Traffic on the island is brisk and certain areas are commonly congested. Local busses run throughout the island and operate during the day until 6.00 pm. They do not have a fixed timetable but will pick you up on any main street. Tuk tuks and moped taxis can also be found throughout Phuket and will take you anywhere on the island, simply wave them down on the street.
If you would like to drive yourself around Phuket, First Buddy can arrange moped or car hire for the duration of your stay and we can also arrange ferry trips to Phi Phi, Krabi and Koh Lanta.
In addition to the warm climate Thailand’s biggest attraction as a tourist destination is the amazingly irresistible cuisine. The colourful and fiery curries, succulent seafood and delicious rice dishes are a highlight and all of these are available for very reasonable prices. Thai food is always full of flavour and dishes can be ordered as either spicy or mild. An alternative to the many restaurants are the street kitchen stalls. These can be found almost everywhere and offer a wide variety of food at very cheap prices.
Thailand operates on a 3G network although the coverage is not yet nationwide. Pre-paid mobile SIM cards can be purchased easily and cheaply for local calls and internet connection. Most accommodation and restaurants have free WIFI available to customers. In the evening the internet connection can slow down but it still works reasonably well.
Phuket’s major department stores are Central Festival Phuket Town and Jungceylon in Patong. These are large, Western style shopping centres and there are new centres planned for 2016.
For a more Thai shopping experience you can enjoy the stalls and market atmosphere of the local markets which can be found in Kata, Karon and Patong. There is also a large weekend market in Phuket Town. All local markets offer large selections of clothing and electronics as well as exceptional quality, freshly prepared foods, all at very good prices.