There was a time when more people ignored Thailand as an underdeveloped, overrated travel destination for budget travelers. Thanks to the global cinema and especially Hollywood, this beautiful country caught the limelight, and today it is a primary tourist magnet for everyone be it luxury or budget travelers, bachelors, honeymooners or families with kids. Many people cannot have enough of the country in a single trip and cannot help coming back to the state over and over again to explore it further. It is a country that is known for its colorful culture, ultra-pristine beaches, calm seas, soft sands, dense forests, delicious food, lots of fun and all that at a very economical price.
Thailand is not just beaches and parties as most people assume it to be. It has an incredibly diverse scope for all kinds of tourists and explorers. From ancient historical ruins and mythical Buddhist temples to culture trips deep into the local village top the contemporary tourism scene, it is close to impossible to cramp everything Thailand in a single trip. Probably, for this reason, many tourists are not able to resist the urge to keep coming back to this fantastic land. However, if you are making your first trip to Thailand and wish to get a little taste of everything that the country can offer, you have got to go to Phuket.
Phuket is the largest island in the country that is located at a considerable distance from the capital Bangkok. Although you can take overnight trains or buses to reach there too, that is indeed not the ideal option for tourists. Phuket has an international airport that caters direct flights from a few destinations. Therefore, if you are coming from any far-eastern neighbors, you can land directly in Phuket. If you are traveling from the Middle East or the West, an Emirates flight can take you to Phuket with a single stop-over at Dubai. Alternatively, if you are choosing any other airlines, you can make a connecting flight to Phuket from Bangkok.
What to Do and Where to Stay?
There is quite a lot to do in Phuket but what you can do depends on the time and money you are willing to spend. The number of Phuket tours that are available can easily overwhelm and confuse even the veteran travellers, therefore, do your research and choose wisely. Most tourists prefer making Patong as their base station since it makes most activities such as island hopping, beaching, and the Bangla street easily accessible. However, if local culture and sightseeing is your primary focus, you might want to stay farther from the touristy beach into the Phuket town. Must do trips include Koh Phi Phi and surrounding islands, Phuket Fantasea, Bangla Street, Zip Lining, Elephant Trekking River Rafting among a lot of other things.
Although Thailand is generally a safe place to beat, like any other tourist country, it has its fair share of tourist traps and petty crime issues so being cautious is always good for your safety and can also help you from overspending. When dealing with any local service providers or retailers, do not hesitate to bargain. You can close a deal at a fraction of the original price that they quote. Beware of pickpockets and do not carry a lot of cash or passports around.