Pure white sands, aquamarine waters and limestone cliffs await travelers who visit Thailand's southwestern island of Phuket. Surrounded by the Andaman Sea and about an hour by plane from Bangkok, this island is a little piece of paradise, which comes with a relatively low price tag for everything from its accommodations to spa treatments and boat tours. But along with its tropical appeal, Phuket beckons to travelers wanting to experience its flavorful cuisine (think: lemongrass, lime leaves, chillies) and its rich culture, heavily influenced by its reigning religion: Buddhism.And although the island's beaches and tourism operators have bounced back from the 2004 tsunami, which hammered its western coast and tragically claimed thousands of lives, it remembers the past with memorials and a better warning system, should the area once again come under threat.
#3 in Best Places to Visit in Asia
#7 in Best Islands in the World
#11 in Best Winter Vacations
#15 in Best Beaches in the World
#19 in World's Best Places to Visit
Where Nai Harn Beach is Phuket's southernmost beach, Promthep Cape (or Laem Promthep) is the island's southernmost point, and likewise, it offers an amazing view of the Andaman Sea. Visitors can also take a short hike from the cape (less than a mile) to a scenic lighthouse.Sunset is the best time to view the beauty of Promthep Cape, according to recent visitors, but they also say that this is no longer a secret spot: Travelers will usually have to share their vantage point with a host of others, but even so, a trip to Promthep Cape comes highly recommended.Many experience Promthep Cape through a tour bus operator, but if you're driving yourself, make sure to reach the cape in plenty of time since parking spots go quickly. Several operators, including Viator and PPKK Tour Service, earn high marks from recent travelers. You can also reach it via tuk-tuk or taxi. You'll find this viewpoint near Nai Harn Beach, on the southern coast of Phuket. It is free to visit and accessible 24/7.
Big Buddha is a giant statue of Buddha encased in Burmese alabaster that towers over Phuket from the peak of Mount Nagakerd. Construction on Big Buddha began in 2007, and Phuketians are proud of both the structure and the vantage point from which travelers can view the island. Visitors to Big Buddha will enjoy a bird's-eye view of the Kata Bay, the Karon strand and the islands that speckle the Chalong Bay.Although some travelers say they had a spiritual experience at Big Buddha, most reviewers say the views from the peak are what captivated them. To that point, visitors suggest bringing your camera (and a wide-angle lens).Big Buddha is open every day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and it's free to visit. You'll find the large statue on the summit of Mount Nagakerd. Most choose to hike the nearly 4-mile path to the peak, starting at the Chaofa Road West (a little more than a mile from Chalong Circle). You'll also find restroom facilities atop the hill and food and drink options on the way up. Keep in mind that parts of this attraction are under ongoing construction, but even still, visitors call it a must-see. For more information, visit Big Buddha's website.
Nai Harn Beach is the southernmost strip of sand in Phuket, and locals love it just as much as visitors. Picture gleaming white sands bordered by grassy knolls and rolling cerulean waves, and you'll start to be able to imagine the beauty of this seemingly remote spot. The beach also gets high marks for its authentic collection of nearby restaurants.While experiencing all of the Nai Harn beauty, visitors recommend keeping your ear out for the lifeguards' warnings. They also suggest only swimming within the flagged areas, since Nai Harn is no stranger to strong, dangerous riptides – especially during monsoon season (May to October).You'll find Nai Harn Beach about 11 miles southwest of Phuket Town. The easiest way to reach it is by tuk-tuk, taxi or motorcycle. You'll find public restrooms located on the north end of the beach, along with a collection of small shops, where you can rent beach umbrellas. There are also a handful of restaurants within walking distance. The beach is free to visit and accessible 24/7.
When you travel to an exotic Thai island, you might not think that an animal shelter would be high on your list of to-dos. But think again. Travelers call this innovative cat and dog shelter a must-do. The Soi Dog Foundation was established in 2003 to try and care for the tens of thousands of street cats and dogs as well as to fight the dog meat trade. Today, the shelter contains hundreds of animals that visitors can meet and play with.Reviewers said that although the Soi Dog Foundation is a bit out of the way, it's completely worth it, calling their visit both heartbreaking and inspirational. To get the fullest experience, most suggest taking one of the guided tours throughout the shelter, and some even recommend clearing a few days in your itinerary to volunteer at the shelter.The Soi Dog shelter is free to visit and open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Visitors can take free guided tours of the shelter at 9:30 and 11 a.m., and 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. The dog shelter is located in the Thalang district, which is about a 15-minute drive from the airport. If you're taking a taxi, the shelter recommends that you show your driver the address in Thai, visible here. For more information, visit the Soi Dog Foundation's website.
当你前往一个充满异国风情的泰国岛屿时，你可能不会认为你的待办事项清单上的动物收容所会很高。但是再想一想。旅行者把这种创新的猫和狗收容所称为必做之事。Soi Dog基金会成立于2003年，致力于照顾数以万计的街头猫狗，并为狗肉贸易而努力。今天，这个庇护所里有数以百计的动物，游客可以见面和玩耍。审稿人表示，虽然Soi Dog基金会有点不合时宜，但这完全是值得的，他们的访问既令人伤心又鼓舞人心。为了获得最丰富的体验，大多数人建议在整个庇护所中进行导游之旅，有些人甚至建议在行程中清理几天，以便在避难所自愿参加。Soi Dog庇护所可免费参观，开放时间为星期一至星期五，上午9时至中午及下午1时至3时30分。游客可于上午9时30分，上午11时及下午1时30分免费导览庇护所。 2:30 上午这个避难所位于Thalang区，距机场约15分钟车程。如果你乘坐的士，建议你向司机出示泰国的地址，这里可以看到。欲了解更多信息，请访问Soi Dog基金会的网站。
Kata Noi Beach is known for its brilliant white sands and transparent aquamarine waters, as well as its relatively calm atmosphere, especially compared to other popular beaches like party-centric Patong (located just north). Backed by the fancy (and sprawling) Kata Thani Phuket Beach Resort, the beach is described by recent visitors as "family friendly."This spot along the southwest coast of Phuket is popular among travelers for its kid-friendly atmosphere and nearby facilities, including a handful of restaurants and shops and a 7-Eleven, which is useful for picking up drinks and snacks.The best way to reach this beach, which is a little more than 10 miles southwest of Phuket Town, is by a taxi, tuk-tuk or motorcycle. The beach is free to visit and accessible 24/7, though swimming after dark is never recommended.
Relaxing at a spa is a must-do in Phuket. The island's spas, like many in Thailand, feature aromatherapy, herbal treatments and traditional Thai oil massages, among other services, which makes for a unique experience not found stateside. Plus, for a relatively small island, Phuket boasts an extraordinary number of spas – hundreds – and compared to U.S. prices, spa treatments are relatively affordable in Phuket.Travelers say their experience at Phuket's spas were amazing – even perfect – but as with most things, you get what you pay for. Visitors who spent a bit more for their treatments and went with traveler-approved spas tended to be rewarded with clean, relaxing treatment rooms and out-of-this world massages while those that went with cheaper, less-reviewed places had disappointing experiences.Many of the island's top hotels, including the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort and Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, are home to some of the island's most lavish spas, but there are also several standalone spas that come recommended by recent travelers. So Thai Spa Phuket is one of the most popular, and prices range from about 1300 Thai baht (about $40) for a two-hour experience to 6000 Thai baht (about $180) for four-hour couples massage. Spa Burasari is another traveler-approved facility, and it uses the rare Burasari flower (which grows on the spa's grounds) in many of its treatments, including its 90-minute signature massage and traditional Thai massage.
普吉岛必须要做的是放松身心。与泰国的许多水疗中心一样，岛上的水疗中心设有芳香疗法，草药疗法和传统的泰式按摩等服务，这些都使得这里没有一个独特的体验。另外，对于一个相对较小的岛屿，普吉拥有数百个水疗中心 - 数百个 - 与美国价格相比，普吉岛的水疗相对便宜。旅客说，他们在普吉岛水疗中心的体验是惊人的甚至是完美的，但是与大多数事情一样，你得到了你所付出的。游客花费了一点点治疗费用和旅行者批准的水疗中心往往会得到清洁，放松的治疗室和世界按摩的奖励，而那些与更便宜，更少审查的地方去的地方有令人失望的经历。许多岛上的顶级酒店，包括普吉岛JW万豪度假酒店及水疗中心，普吉岛艾美海滩度假村和希尔顿度假村阿卡迪亚度假村都是岛上最豪华的温泉之一，但也有一些独立温泉由最近的旅客。所以泰国普吉岛是最受欢迎的之一，价格从约1300泰铢(约40美元)，两小时的经验，到6000泰铢(约180美元)的四小时夫妻按摩。Spa Burasari是另一家经过旅客批准的设施，在其许多护理项目中使用罕见的Burasari花(可在水疗中心种植)，包括90分钟的特色按摩和传统的泰式按摩。
You'd be remiss if you didn't spend some time sailing the waters around Phuket, stopping for a snorkel break along the way. Whether you want to stay dry and view all the beauty of the sea and surrounding islands from the boat deck or you want to swim, stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or even scuba dive, there is a boat trip for you.Travelers gush about their experiences on the various boat tours, calling them "a dream come true," wonderful, peaceful, entertaining and fun, among other descriptors. Still, it's important for travelers to do their research and book with a quality, well-reviewed tour operator even if the tours are a bit pricier. For every glowing review of the great tour operators, there are poor reviews of the not-so-great operators.There are hundreds of tour operators in Phuket, offering boat tours and snorkeling and scuba diving excursions. Some traveler-approved companies include Two Sea Tour, which takes travelers on a full-day trip to nearby islands and gives them a closer look by taking them via canoe into caves and around rocky outcroppings. Snagging a spot on this tour would run you 9600 Thai baht, or a little less than $300. Super Divers is another popular operator, and for a full-day excursion including equipment, you'll pay at least 4200 Thai baht, or about $125.
Wat Chalong is a colorful Buddhist temple and it's also the biggest and most famous temple on Phuket. who are credited with helping halt the Chinese Rebellion of 1876. At 5 p.m. daily, visitors can see present-day monks praying.Visitors highly recommend a visit to Wat Chalong, as well as a stroll through its impressive, clean and well-maintained grounds, saying that the temple complex exuded peace and serenity. Reviewers also suggest planning a midweek visit, as the temple can get very crowded on the weekends.You'll find Wat Chalong, which is free to visit and open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., a little more than 5 miles southwest of Phuket Town. Before entering, visitors should be aware of the temple's strict dress code: If entering the temple, you're expected to take off your shoes. Women are expected to wear clothing that covers their shoulders and their knees; all visitors are encouraged to speak in hushed tones and refrain from touching the statuary and relics. You should also plan to turn off or silence your cellphone so as not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere. For more information, visit Wat Chalong's website.
Amari Watergate Bangkok曼谷阿玛丽水门酒店
Banyan Tree Bangkok曼谷悦榕庄酒店
Book your hotel in advance You'll pay a premium if you're booking your hotel on arrival, especially during the peak season months of December and January.
Find the best exchange rate Skip the airport when you want to exchange your U.S. dollars for Thai baht. The off-brand kiosks in the main streets of popular beach towns usually offer the best rates.
Check the hotel perks Some hotels offer a complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, as well as between popular beaches, so check out the property's perks before shelling out your baht for other modes of transport.
Thai is the official language of Thailand and its island Phuket, but you'll find that most tourist operators speak proficient English. Still, you might want to carry along a Thai phrasebook just to be safe. Some phrases you might want to memorize include: "hello," sa wat dee; "how are you?," sa baai dee reu; and "thank you," kòp kun mâak. When you're communicating with various taxi or tuk-tuk drivers, you might want to show them the address of your destination in Thai, especially if you're traveling to places that are off the beaten track. Thailand's currency is the baht.
泰语是泰国的官方语言和它的岛屿普吉岛，但你会发现大多数的旅游经营者都说流利的英语。尽管如此，你还是要随身携带一本泰国常用语手册，以防万一。你可能想要记住的一些短语包括:“你好”，sa wat dee;“你是如何?还有“谢谢”kop kun maak。当你与不同的出租车或tuk-tuk司机沟通时，你可能会想用泰语向他们展示你的目的地的地址，特别是如果你要去那些偏离常规路线的地方。泰国的货币是泰铢。
For instance, a red flag means "no swimming," a yellow flag means "be careful," and a pair of half-red half-yellow flags signal that you should swim in between the two flags.
普吉岛的美食是中国大陆美食的延伸。在普吉岛的菜单上，汤姆·百胜(一种有虾的汤)、som tam(一种木瓜沙拉)和绿色咖喱都是主流。在泰国的高档体验中，游客们应该在Thong Dee餐厅预订一张桌子，这是在最近的游客中为其友好、随和的员工和一贯的美味佳肴而赢得的高分。对于一个便宜但又美味的体验，旅行者应该去普吉镇的欧-欧农场。
One of the biggest safety concerns you'll run into on a Phuket vacation are the dangerous rip tides and undertows at the beach, especially during monsoon season, which stretches from June to October. Make sure to pay attention to lifeguard warnings and all of the posted beach flags. For instance, a red flag means "no swimming," a yellow flag means "be careful," and a pair of half-red half-yellow flags signal that you should swim in between the two flags.Because of the threat of the Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control & Protection recommends that pregnant women and couples – or those hoping to become pregnant –efrain from traveling to Thailand. All travelers can ward against mosquito bites by wearing bug repellant and skin-protective clothing, such as high-tech fitness wear. There are some areas of Phuket that are known as hotbeds for sex trafficking, prostitution and drugs. For instance, Patong, which is known for its wild nightlife, is a center for such activity. Take care to be aware of your surroundings, especially in the evenings in areas like Patong.
The best way to get around Phuket is by tuk-tuk, though occasionally you might have to rely on another mode of travel, such as a taxi or rental car, if you want to travel beyond the town in which you're basing your vacation. Not only is a tuk-tuk (a small yellow or red truck) the most atmospheric of all transportation options, it's also one of the most convenient – they're absolutely everywhere. Still, they can be expensive for trips outside of town, and a metered taxi, songthaew or rental car might be a better option.
为了到达普吉岛，大多数旅客都乘坐飞机进入普吉岛国际机场，该机场位于该岛的北端。大部分的住宿都集中在南部的Patong, Kata, Karon和Phuket镇。旅行者应该检查他们的酒店是否有机场班车，如果没有的话，他们可以乘坐机场大巴，这将带游客到普吉岛。出租车可能是最简单、最有效的穿越机场与住宿之间距离的方式。虽然有面包车和小型巴士提供从机场到这些南部地区的服务，但很难辨认哪些是有信誉的。如果你的酒店没有提供接送服务，询问礼宾部是否可以推荐任何有信誉的面包车或小型巴士可以出租使用。