Five Travel Tips for Phuket, Thailand

Kata Noi Beach, photos by Rachel Sterling & Jeremy Sharff

Did reading about Rachel and Jeremy’s vacation in Phuket, Thailand, have you ready to pack your bags? As you fantasize about beaches, sunshine and elephant rides, here are Rachel’s five essential travel tips to make your dream vacation a reality.

Book Your Excursions in Advance
Book your day trips in advance of your arrival. Because Phuket is such a popular tourist destination, the more popular trips can get booked up weeks in advance. I had heard rave reviews of John Gray Sea Canoe‘s nighttime tour where you canoe through the seaside caves and see phosphorescent sealife. But alas, they didn’t have any spots left when I tried to book the same week I was there.

phuket seafoodDon’t Waste Your Time Shopping: For the most part, all we saw were counterfeit Ed Hardy and Louis Vuitton items. It seemed like every shop stocks the same thing. You may find a shop or two that sell thai silk scarves, but Phuket is not a shopping destination. Save your baht for Bangkok!

Wear Sunblock: The first day we arrived, we only spent 1.5 hours outside sitting under a beach umbrella. We never emerged from under the umbrella, yet we both got burned to a crisp. And we don’t even typically get sunburns! If possible, bring sunblock from home — the sunblock on the island is crazy expensive.

night in patongFinding Great Food Is Easy The reality on Phuket is you can eat anywhere — even the cheapest, grossest-looking place — and the Thai food is still going to be spectacular. We recommend eating primarily seafood-based dishes, like squid, lobster etc. Most of the Thai fisherman fish off Phuket and the seafood is ridiculously fresh.

The Party is in Patong One night, our hotel in Kata Noi arranged a bus for us to the town of Patong. You can walk the streets and see prostitutes, lady boys, sex shows, crazy bars and clubs. It wasn’t our scene at all! We preferred the beach bars by our hotel.

What are your travel tips for Phuket?

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