In general: On high season(November-April) you will be tendered to Patong beach(main tourist area) and on Monsoon season(May-October) you will be docked at Phuket Deep Sea Port at Ao Makarm. Overnight stops sometimes do both: tender you first to Patong and then reposition to the dock later. The dock only has one berth, so the use of tenders is more likely. The tender ride is about 1.5km.
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Phuket. It is a 20-minute drive to Phuket Town. Taxis or bemos (typical local transport) are usually available at the pier. Rates are relatively expensive and should be negotiated. It is suggested writing down the agreed price to avoid any dispute. There is not much around except for a temporary market set up by local people. Taxis to Patong Bay, a 45 minute drive will cost about $50 round trip. A taxi to nearby beaches will be around $10.
If tendered to Patong, it will be to the jetty opposite The Bliss South Beach Patong Hotel. There will be taxis waiting offering tours and sightseeing. If sea conditions require so, at times you will be tendered to another location. This is important if you have booked a local tour, so have a cell phone with you.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
Thailand's only island province is connected to the mainland by the Thep Krasettree Causeway. Known as the "Pearl of Thailand," Phuket offers pristine beaches, lush vegetation, traditional villages and seascapes of huge limestone pillars that rise above the turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay. With a land area of 215 square miles, Phuket Island is Thailand's largest island and about the same size as Singapore.
Arab and Indian navigators have called here since the end of the
9th century, while the first Europeans arrived in the 16th century.
Apart from tourism, much of the province's wealth derives from tin
production, which started back in the 1500s. In fact, this industry
generated much wealth enabling Phuket Town to have the first paved
roads and cars in all of Thailand. Even today, Phuket remains the
center of tin production in the country, with rubber, coconut and
seafood adding to the island's prosperity. Much of the revenue is
reinvested to further develop Phuket.
With a culture all its own, Phuket combines Chinese and Portuguese influences with that of the indigenous ocean-going people.
Phuket Town is the island's capital located in the southeast. It
was built in the mid-1800s to replace the earlier capital of Thalang,
which was destroyed by the Burmese in 1800. The architecture features
the attractive Sino-Portuguese style, which is reflected in the spacious
residences built by wealthy Chinese tin barons as testimony to their
The majority of visitors come here because of the glorious beaches, especially those on the west coast. Patong Beach is about a 45-minute drive from the port and offers a wide selection of water sports. Although the influx of tourists each year exceeds the local population by far, the island seems big enough to absorb the large numbers and at the same time maintain a semblance of tradition and great charm. In fact, Phuket still casts its spell on all that come to its shores.
The areas of Kata, Karon and Patong feature excellent beaches. Patong is best known for its nightlife and souvenir shops, while Kata and Karon boast superior resorts and restaurants.
Marine Research Center and Aquarium
The aquarium's exhibits are interesting examples of Phuket's marine life and its environment.
Thalang National Museum
The displays in this small museum provide insight into Phuket's history and culture. A majority of the exhibits refer to Phuket's tin industry.
Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Park
Located about 16 miles from Phuket Town, the park is a remnant of the island's natural forest ecosystem. A large variety of animals, including wild boars and monkeys lives in this natural habitat.
A visit to Promthep Cape, then the ‘big Buddha’ near Chalong and of course an elephant ride are on many itineraries.
For a bit of island hopping the long tail boats are a great way to do so. Prices must be negotiated and are approximately 500 baht per hour or no more than 1,800 baht per day. Do not eat a large meal beforehand, as the ride will be bumpy.
Avoid taking the mini truck tuk-tuks since they will either overcharge or scam you.
Many resorts are near the cruise dock, where one can spend a relaxing day for a few dollars.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Boutiques and markets are centered around Time Square Mall. Good buys include Thai silk, cotton fabric and cultured pearls. The Native Handicraft Center offers a wide range of local handicrafts. Additional shopping is available at the new Wang Thalang shopping complex. Bargaining is expected at markets; better shops have fixed prices.
The local currency is the Thai Baht, which is divided into 100 satang. ATM's everywhere.
The national language is Thai. However, English is widely understood and some Chinese dialects are also spoken.
Holidays in Thailand
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