When it comes to Thailand, what’s the first place you think of? I bet it’s Bangkok. How about the second? Phuket, am I right? I’ll be surprised if you answer otherwise. Phuket seems to be every traveler’s dream paradise. Its soft sand, white beach, beautiful sea, great massage… you name it. At least that’s what most travelers perceived it to be. But is Phuket worth visiting really? Let me debunk the myth for you!
Where is Phuket?
Phuket lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. It’s around 1.5 hour flight from Bangkok. Many travelers come here for the beautiful white sand beach and clear sea water. With the influx of tourists, the island is now home to many high-end seaside resorts, spas and restaurants.
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Does Phuket really have white sand and clear sea?
The sand is still white, but sadly, the sea is definitely not crystal clear. The most famous beach Patong Beach especially, is rather brown and earthy. To set your expectation right, don’t expect Hawaii kind of quality when you visit Phuket.
Of course you will still be able to find clear water, but you will need to travel out of Phuket island. Many travellers will go to Phi Phi Island, the super-star island that has been featured in movies. I went there a few years back, and the scenery was great. That’s why many people still head to Phuket so that they can do island hopping.
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So is Phuket worth visiting?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t visit Phuket. There are still many beautiful attractions inside Phuket, just not the beach. To me, Phuket is a heaven for viewpoints. Below are the few viewpoint you shouldn’t miss to get the best out of Phuket.
Windmill Viewpoint is located between Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches in south Phuket. Not far from Cape Phromthep, it has several tall, slim white windmills facing out to sea that look like airplane propellers. This hilltop viewpoint features west coast vistas similar to Phromthep, but is quieter.
The windmill viewpoint is located just above the very popular Ya Nui Beach (the clearest beach in Phuket, but it’s small). Over there, apart from the tropical sea and the blue sky, you’ll find a few huge white windmills. (Aha! That’s why it’s call windmill viewpoint).
You’ll be surprised how quiet this place is. When we got there in the late afternoon, there were only a couple of travelers there. So it’s perfect for photo taking and some quiet time.
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Only 10 mins drive away from Windmill Viewpoint, you’ll find one of the most popular viewpoints in Phuket. And what it’s famous for? Sunset. The viewpoint is an absolutely irresistible spot for a good old-fashioned sunset photo. And apart from sunset, you’ll bound to see a lot of crowd. Sorry there’s no way you can get away from it, as this spot is too popular for sunset.
Oh wait, there’s actually one way. Walk all the way down to the end of the cape. Most tourists are not courageous to venture into the path. Trust me, it’s not dangerous nor too difficult. It’s just rather…wild. So prepare yourself with insect repellent!
And when you reach till the end of the cape, the sunset is all yours…
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SAMET NANGSHE VIEWPOINT
Few travelers has heard of Samet Nangshe. Even if they know, they may never go there, simply because it’s too far out. Approximately 2 hours drive from Phuket town, Samet Nangshe is an absolutely superb viewpoint in Phang Nga Bay.
And guess what? We drove there all the way to catch sunrise. Rumours have it that it’s the best place to catch sunrise in Phuket. And I strongly believe the rumours are true. Just look at the pictures!
Actually we didn’t manage to catch the moment when the sun rose above the horizon, as we woke up at 430am and reached at 630am. It’s considered late as the sunrise rose at 6am. T..T. Still, the scenery blew me away.
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How to get around?
Attention! When you are in Phuket, you need to rent a car! I’m not kidding. The transportation cost is super expensive. A 10 mins short Tuk Tuk ride (the most popular kind of transportation) can easily cost you more than $10. If you ride from the international airport with a taxi (40 mins ride), expect to pay more than $30 (1000 Bhat).
That’s why it’s best to hire your own car. Personally I hire Budget Car Rental as the service is awesome with very affordable price. One day rental cost only around 1000 Bhat ($30). Yes it’s that cheap!
And you can literally go any part of Phuket with your own vehicle, at your own sweet pace. And if you are travelling with your friends and family, you guys can literally split the cost, making it even more affordable!
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Where to stay?
Another plus point of Phuket is its beautiful hotels and resorts. There are so many choices in Phuket that travelers often feel lost choosing the ideal ones. If you are looking for some luxury retreat, look no further. The Charm Resort and Swissotel are the answers.
Why the Charm Resort?
Located just 5 mins from the Patong Beach, the Charm Resort offers ultimate luxury by the beach. The rooms are super spacious. If you opt for Junior Suit like I did, you can even have your own Jacuzzi! I remember that night I slept so well, after having a relaxing soak in Jacuzzi.
Did I tell you that they have sky pool where you can enjoy the sea view while swimming? Aww… Check out the complete Charm Resort Phuket Patong Review now.
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As you can see, I’m not a huge fan of Patong Beach. That’s why I would love to experience something different. When I encountered Swissotel Kamala Beach, I know I gotta try it out! And to my surprise, everything was just amazing.
I didn’t spend a lot of time at Kamala Beach after all, as the hotel was too beautiful to leave. The room is super cosy and well decorated. And the service, the pool and the facility are simply top notched. Trust me, it’s one of the best resorts in Phuket you wouldn’t regret staying.
Conclusion – is Phuket worth visiting?
I’ll say yes if you are looking for something more than just beautiful beaches. And it’s best to stay there for at most 3 days (Phuket island alone). Anything longer than that gets really boring, especially if you are not the kind of person who likes to laze around at the beach. So what’s your take? Share with me by commenting below!
Lastly, check out the video below for the complete picture of what Phuket can offer you!
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