Location: A southern island off of the mainland peninsula on the Andaman Sea in Thailand
Getting there: Fly to Bankok Airport and then connecting flight to Phuket.
Weather: Visit during the dry season from November through to February/March each year.
Useful Info: www.phuketemagazine.com/download_en.shtml
Arrival at Phuket:
* Phuket's coastline is over-saturated with tourists and resort towns. The costs of the hotels/restaurants are one of the most expensive in all of Thailand and not much of bargains can be found since the invasion of multi-national corporate chains. But despite it all, the natural beauty of the water, beaches and near-by natural wonders are simply breathtaking and makes it all worth while visit.
* The beaches are on the west coast, stretching some 45km from Mai Khao beach in the north to Rawai in the South.
* Recommend the following beaches & its near-by accommodations for those seeking to escape the crowds for a relaxing and quiet holiday.
Nai Yang Beach
Just south of Phuket Airport, Nai Yang beach has a few nice resorts and part of the beach is a national park. Some beachfront restaurants are close to the Nai Yang Beach Resort.
1. Nai Yang Beach Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/nai_yang_beach_resort.html
2. Dewa Phuket: http://www.dewaphuket.com/
3. Indigo Pearl Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/indigo_pearl_hotel.html
4. Airport Resort & Spa: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/airport_resort_spa.html
5. Airport Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/airport_resort.html6. Tanamas Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/tanamas_house_hotel.html
7. Pen Siri House: www.pensirihouse.com8. Golddigger's Resort: www.golddigger-resort.com
9. Wonglee House & Bungalows:
10. Sirinath National Park lodging: http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=90&lg=2
11. Kasalong Phuket Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/kasalong_phuket_resort.html
12. Phuket Airport Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/phuket_airport_hotel.html
If you prefer to stay in a developed district with a small town charm, then I recommend Kamala which is in a largely Muslim community. There are a few big resort hotels and a smattering of small resorts and guesthouses. The North end of the beach is very quiet.
1. Kamala Beachfront Apartment: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/kamala_beachfront_apartment.html
2. Kamala Beach Resort:
3. Kamala Dreams Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/kamala_dreams_hotel.html
4. Sunwing Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/sunwing_resort.html
5. The Club Residence: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/the_club_residence.html
6. Print Kamala Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/print_kamala_resort.html
7. Papa Crab Boutique Guesthouse: http://www.phuketpapacrab.com/
8. Cape Sienna Villa: http://www.latestays.com/cape-sienna-villa/
9. Ayara Kamala Resort: http://www.latestays.com/ayara-kamala-resort-&-spa/
10. Clear House Phuket: http://www.latestays.com/clear-house-phuket/
11. The Trees Club Resort: http://www.latestays.com/the-trees-club-resort/
12. Twin Guesthouse:
13. Chez Sabina Guesthouse: http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/thailand/southern_thailand/phuket/kamala_beach/all/232
14. Deng's Guesthouse: http://www.dengsphuket.com/
15. Maphrao Resort: http://www.maphraobeach.com/home.php
16. Kamala Coco Hut: http://phuketdir.com/kamalacocohut/
17. Lalalina Hotel: Couples boutique hotel. http://www.layalinahotel.com/
18. Kamala Bay Terrace Resort: http://www.asia-discovery.com/phuket/kamala-terrace/
19. Kamala Beach Estate: http://www.phuket.com/kamalabeachestate/
20. Aquamarine Resort and Villa: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/aquamarine_resort_villa.html
21. Taro Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/taro_hotel.html
Ao Sane Beach
Ao Sane is home to some bungalows and the Baan Krating Jungle Resort. To get there, you first come to Naiharn beach and then drive through Meridien Yacht Club. A quiet spot with a nice view across Naiharn bay.
1. Baan Krating Jungle Resort: http://www.sawadee.com/hotel/phuket/baankrating/
2. A dozen or so bungalows scattered along the beach:
Laem Ka Beach
One of Phuket’s quietest beaches. It's located just before Rawai on the road from Chalong. No hotels or restaurants except a little food stall, sand, rocks and a great view can be found here.
Naithon BeachNaithon Beach is located in between Nai Yang and Bang Tao beaches. Although it's not easy to get to, it's well worth the effort.
1. Naithorn Bungalows:
2. Pearl of Naithon Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/pearl_of_naithon_resort.html
3. Naithon Beach Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/naithon_beach_resort.html
4. Sunshine Guesthouse: http://www.aqua-divers.net/accomodation/sunshine-guesthouse.html
5. Naithon Sea View Hotel: http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/thailand/southern_thailand/phuket/naithon_to_mai_
6. Naithonburi Beach Resort Phuket: www.naithonburi.com
7. Sunshine Villa: Accommodates up to 6 persons. ( Car and moped rental )
Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi stretches along and ends at a cul du sac. Just a few minutes drive south from Kata Beach. (Note: Kata Beach is very popular with the younger crowds and has a spring-break vibe with a plenty of cheap to moderately priced hotels/bungalows).
1. Katathani Phuket Beach Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/katathani_phuket_beach_resort.html
2. Katanoi Club: http://www.katanoiclub.com/index.php
3. The Shore at Katathani: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/the_shore_at_katathani_resort.html
4. Mom's Tri Villa Royale Hotel:
5. Kata Noi Riviera Bungalow:
6. Kata Noi Bay Inn: http://www.katanoibayinn.com/
Layan BeachLayan is nice quiet beach which is a part of a national park and on the far north end of Bang Tao Beach. There are a couple of resorts here, but they are built off the beach and do not detract from the scenic view.
1. Bundarika Villa: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/bundarika_villa.html
2. Layan Beach Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/layan_beach_resort_and_spa_village.html
3. The Pavilions: http://www.hotelthailand.com/phuket/phuketpavilions/
4. Dusti Thani Laguna Phuket: http://www.hotelthailand.com/phuket/dusit-thani-laguna/
5. Oriental Style Layan Beach: http://www.hotelthailand.com/phuket/oriental-style-layan-beach/
6. Trisara Hotel: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/trisara_hotel.html
7. Andaman White Beach Resort: http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/phuket/andaman_white_beach_resort.html
* Hotels 6 & 7 are located in between Naithon and Layan Beaches in a separate secluded beach area.
Must do's and activities:
* Personal concierge service for your day excursions, contact: http://www.easydaythailand.com/contact-jamies-phuket.php
1. Boat tours: Sightseeing longtail boats operate day trips in the bay. Although organized tours are convenient, it's far more interesting to hire your own boat driver and create your own customized itinerary. Avoid feeling like a herded cattle by touring at your own pace. Ask your hotel concierge about the details. Make sure to stop at Koh Panyee. More info guide
2. Kayaking or canoeing: A fantastic way to explore the hidden caves. Half or full day trips and overnight stay tours available. Following are eco-friendly & activist tour guides:
3. If your preference is to join a tour, then I recommend the traditional Chinese Junk Boat Tours:
* http://www.phuket-travel.com/cruises/junebahtra-island-adventure.htm ( Eco tour )
* Avoid the cruises and other large boat day tours.
Phuket's markets: To soak in some culture, mingle with the locals and eat some of the best cheap grubs, always head out to a market. Best time to visit is in the afternoon to early evening when the temperature cools down or go check out the night market.
Bang Pae Waterfalls: The largest waterfalls in Phuket. Popular with the locals. More info & direction:
http://www.asiaexplorers.com/thailand/bangpae_waterfall.htm. Close by is Gibbon Rehabilitation Center.
Phuket Big Buddah: A giant marble statue which stands 45 meters high and sits over 400 m above sea level on Nakkerd hilltop in the south of Phuket Island and an easy drive from Karon or Kata beach. Quite an impressive site to see. Further info: http://www.phuket.com/magazine/big-buddha-today.htm
Phuket's Heiritage Trail Tour in old town: What a fantastic way to experience and explore the island's history. The morning Phuket Town Tour price is 1,950 Baht/person (including Breakfast & Lunch). Booking info: firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.facebook.com/Phuketheritage
* 99 Oldtown Boutique Guesthouse: Facebook
Diving: Similan Islands offer the best, off-the-chart diving sites. It is comprised of 9 inhabited islands and located 40 miles west of Khao Lak or 60 miles NW of Phuket. Other diving trips also available.
Local's insight on Similan Island: http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com/2008/09/similan-islands.html.
Booking info: http://www.sunrise-divers.com/similan_island.php & http://www.aqua-divers.net/
Thai cooking classes:
http://www.blueelephant.com/school/index.html ( Royal Thai Cuisine )
http://www.phuket.com/thai-cooking/index.htm ( Home cooking at the host's residence )
Elephant trekking tours:
Please read this article before deciding to experience an elephant trekking tour: