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Visiting phuket

by Travelbug88 Online Now Feb 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

I'm visiting Phuket for the first time. Actually this is my first visit to Thailand. Wish I had time to go to bangkok too but i decided on a relaxing, scenic visit on beaches and islands. Where area do you suggest staying at? Ay good resort, hotels to suggest? Price range is no more than125-$150 USD. How many days should I plan for and what activities do you suggest ? There will be No kids, just a girls getaway vacation. We enjoy shopping, eating and relaxing. Would also like to do some sight seeing and perhaps ride an elephant :) thanks

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16 Answers
  • SirHalberd's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by SirHalberd Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    When will you be in Thailand? Some times of the year are better than other times of the year for weather. During high season you have better weather but more tourists too.

    Even a hotel at half your budget price will still have private toilet, air conditioning, maid service, TV, etc. If you are coming from long distance, such as Europe or Canada you should stay at least 2 weeks. In Bangkok in some places even a US20 a night hotel will have A/C and private toilet. Thailand is a cheap destination for backpackers and thrift travelers from distant locations.

    Phuket is very popular with women. If your time is around 2 weeks, since your budget is high for Thailand, flying to Bangkok is not that expensive. And even Bangkok and Chiang Mai also have warm summertime type weather.

    Weather:
    guidetothailand.com/thailand...

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Adaptor-Plug's suggestion of Le Meridien is good, but if you want to be within walking distance of the night life of Patong then look at the following
    Holiday Inn
    Patong Merlin
    Patong Bay Garden Resort.

    Please see my Phuket pages for more info.

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  • PhuketRichard's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by PhuketRichard Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Hi TravelBug
    The best of the shopping can be found in Patong if you are interested in knock off brand name stuff. Thai handicrafts & cloating at Prom Thep Cape being much cheaper then the touristy Patong. Try the Saturday & Sunday afternnon markets outside of Phuket Town. For eating it depends on if you want the tame version of Thai food & then you should stay in Patong with the main tourist crouds. For the real deal come down South to Nai Harn , Rawai and maybe even go to the Thai cooking school. Sight seeing is nicer and more relaxed in the South and elephants are no big deal to us who live here and I am visiting with them several times per week. Hope this helps with your advance holiday planning & regards from Phuket

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  • Re: Visiting phuket

    by Travelbug88 Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Hi all - thanks for all your suggestions so far. I plan to visit Phuket at the end of April. Is this a low season? Heard there could be some rain during this time of year? I am traveling from the US to Singapore for business and decided to extend my stay in Asia so Most likely I will not have time for Bangkok. I would like to try as much as possible tomstay away from the touristy places and as for food, I like the local stuff. Do people in Phuket generally speak English? I guess riding an elephant is a touristy thing? :) haha - I've seen it on pictures.

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    English is the second language in Thailand and in the tourist areas you should be ok without being able to speak Thai. However speaking basic phrases like Hello and Thankyou in Thai is good to do. Be prepared for some misunderstandings and try lot to loose your temper if they occur.

    My personal view is that the riding of elephants is a something that does no good for the elephant and is not something I would not do or advise anybody else to do.

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    Just a further point on the elephants dailymail.co.uk/news/article...

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  • PhuketRichard's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by PhuketRichard Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Hello Adapterplug

    Sorry to slag your sugestion but the horible trekking place on the top of the hill going into Patong but it is exactly the kind of place that Johnaalex is referring to. If you get a chance to stop by and see this large filthy barn where you can buy and drink alcohol some time take a close look at the ellies. You will see that an average of 30 % of them have large purple blotches painted on them. This medication is a form of all-weather iodine and it is a clear sign of abbuse.

    The place that I visit takes such good care of their animals they actualy have 2 female mahouts and I know of no other in Phuket. It,s interesting that many people slag elephant trekking while selling you a ticket for the Phuket Fantasea Show and you should see what they do to their animals to get them to do all the tricks the tourists like to see.

    Just like anything else there are good places and bad places and one should spend some time checking things out before saying that they are all bad.

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  • drandy's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by drandy Online Now Feb 11, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Pukhet exists just because of tourists, it is the most expensive place in Thailand all because of high-value tourist's currency.
    It is not a relaxing place, I personally don't like this place, people go there more for the night life and its associated erotic activities. If you want to see the wonderful scenery of Thailand and experience the charm of the Thai people, other places like Chiangmai and Bangkok far out rate this place, if you like beach , go somewhere else, here in Pathong, the beach is so crowded you cannot even sit down, the sun chairs put up by touts totally conquered the whole beach, you have to pay to even sit on the beach!
    Pathong Merlin is too packed and expensive, resulting in poor service, beware of this place if you are using your credit cards, they will not charge the transaction amount in Thai Baht, but instead, will convert the amount into your home currency straight away, at the hotel's prevailing exchange rate(which can be 10% higher than bank's rate) and on top of that, will charge you another 3% service charge.

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  • Re: Visiting phuket

    by Travelbug88 Online Now Feb 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Thanks for your feedback. I want a relaxing place vs. busy city life so people suggested Phuket. If Patong is crowded, what other area do you suggest in Phuket? Thanks.

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Travelbug88 wrote: Thanks for your feedback. I want a relaxing place vs. busy city life so people suggested Phuket. If Patong is crowded, what other area do you suggest in Phuket? Thanks.
     Check out either Kata or Rawai

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  • mim95's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by mim95 Online Now Feb 24, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Also check out Kamala beach, it's just a short ride from the busy Patong beach, but it's much quieter. You can get something really nice at US$100 a day.

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  • AmyG35's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by AmyG35 Online Now Mar 3, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Yeah, you're going to have an amazing time! Thailand, the south especial, is just the perfect place for a girls trip...actually any trip!
    I don't mind Phuket, but don't spend too long there. Get up toward Krabi and check out Railay Beach. Very chilled, but still a party around if you want it. Koh Phi Phi is beautiful and just a short 1 hour ferry away from Phuket/Railay.
    For things to do, get on www.adventurehoney.com. THis is a website that connects you direct to local tour operators. It's an Australian based company, which is reassuring. But even better is that all the money is going to local operators and therefore helping the local people. Very cool experiences on that site.
    There's stuff like elephant rides, snorkelling tours, cruises, kayaking, mountain biking and loads of other stuff.
    Have a great holiday!

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Mar 3, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    AmyG35 wrote:

    THis is a website that connects you direct to local tour operators. It's an Australian based company, which is reassuring. But even better is that all the money is going to local operators and therefore helping the local people. Very cool experiences on that site. There's stuff like elephant rides, snorkelling tours, cruises, kayaking, mountain biking and loads of other stuff. Have a great holiday!


     So the Australians are making no money from their website? You do not need web sites to book trips, just do it when you get to Phuket and then you know your money goes to the locals.

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  • AmyG35's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by AmyG35 Online Now Mar 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    johnaalex wrote:

     So the Australians are making no money from their website? You do not need web sites to book trips, just do it when you get to Phuket and then you know your money goes to the locals.


    No, they do make a small commision, but they are supporting local operators. I think this is a good thing. Having worked in tourism, I know that a lot of the money from these things is repatriated back to 1st world economies where big wholesalers and agencies are based.

    And I agree, for some stuff it might be better to just book when you get there. This AdventureHoney site however is for finding the really awesome, unique, adventurous experiences that are really hard to find in amongst all the lame touristy stuff you find when you get there. Also, they often book out. A tool like this website is a safe, convenient way for finding those really cool experiences, the stuff that you don't want to miss. I think it can really help you get the most out of the limited amount of travel. But that's just me...different strokes for differnet folks I guess :)

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Visiting phuket

    by johnaalex Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    So I would say look at the website for ideas and then book them when you get to Phuket so that the money does go to the locals ;-)

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  • drandy's Profile Photo

    by drandy Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    go for the other beaches, definitely not Patong.
    Krabi is a good choice.
    And if you are thinking of coming to Malaysia, Penang is a better choice, it has everything: beaches, glorious food, multi-racial culture (MalAySIA) is truly ASIA!
    and here, almost everybody speaks English! Better, the prices in Penang is actually cheaper than Patong!

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