Phuket and the Islands : A Complete Travel Guide

Phuket and the Islands : A Complete Travel Guide

Phuket is a great choice for travellers who crave for a tropical, culture-filled vacation. Known as the Pearl of the Andaman, It’s one of the world’s top beach destinations offering their vibrant culture, fine white sand beaches, sweet coconut juices and shimmering cerulean seas. It has every kind of place and every kind of island that will fit your budget and schedule just fine.  Phuket-Travel-Guide-tia-lacson What I love most about this place though is that I can easily get to a ferry and hop from one island to another and feel like I’m in a whole other world. Just a speedboat ride away are the famous Phi Phi islands, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan where you can explore each tropical paradise with its own unique character. Phuket-Travel-Guide-tia-lacsonI’ve compiled all the places I’ve been to after visiting this place twice, talked to other travel bloggers, and did a lot of research, to give you a travel guide that you can easily use for your trip to Phuket. Finally, you’ll find answer all those questions of where to go, stay, and how to make it all fit in your budget here.


International flights can be surprisingly affordable. My ticket to Phuket only cost me around 2,500 Php (50 USD) which is cheaper than a number of domestic flights. You can search for promo fares here.


All I have to say is, be careful when accepting fares in Phuket as the cost may really shock you. Even the locals don’t like riding the taxi because it’s just way too expensive. I suggest looking for alternative ways to go around such as renting a scooter, hopping on the Songthaew Buses, taking Grab Taxi, or booking your trips ahead with Klook.

I usually plan my airport pick ups and book ahead with Klook since it’s hassle-free, and cheaper.

Book your transfers here:


Currency: Thai Baht

High Season : November to March – calm seas, sunny skies and full of tourists

Low Season: July to October – no sunshine guaranteed, windy and strong seas, good for surfers


Budget Guide:

Depending on where you are going, Thailand doesn’t have to be expensive, you can go for 4 days with 5,000 Pesos/ 100 USD!

Accommodation : 400 Php/night (8usd)
Transportation : 500Php/ day (10usd)
Food: 300Php/day (6usd)
Activities: 500-1000 Php/day (10-20$)


Book your discounted Phuket activities here:

Book your activities here and enter the promo code <AUGPHTHAI> to get 810PHP off on any Thailand Activity.

Promo ends Aug 31.



Phuket has hundreds of hotels as well as dining and partying places. Each is also unique which is why I don’t just stay in one place. Note though that when considering a hotel choice, you have to keep in mind factors like if you want to be near the city centre, or if you want to stay near a specific beach. Below, I’ve listed the three places I stayed in, and all range from budget, mid to high respectively.

Doolay Hostel

Price Range: 7-8 USD/night

164, Patak Road, Karon District, Karon Beach, Phuket

For those of you looking for affordable places to stay in, Doolay is clean, quirky, and situated in front of Karon Beach. I loved how bright the place was, how comfy the sheets were. You’ll be sharing a room with fellow backpackers here and that’s the fun part about staying in hostels. Meeting people who share the same interests as you do is priceless. Here, I’ve met awesome friends who went with us to explore the rest of Phuket.  You have a choice to stay at the ladies dorm with 6 bunk beds or a Mixed Dorm with 8 bunk beds each.


Novotel Phuket Karon & Novotel Phuket Surin 

Karon: 568 Patak Rd, Karon Muang , 83100 Phuket, Thailand Surin: 106/27 Moo 3, Cherngtalay, Talang, Surin Beach, 83110 Phuket

Price Range: 50-75 USD/night

Novotel is known for its amazing food, spa, and beautiful facilities. If you want a place where you can holiday comfortably yet not spend too much, then book your stay here.

Read more about my experience with Novotel here.


Sri Panwa

88 Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Tumbon Vichit, Muang, 83000 Panwa Beach, Thailand

Price Range: 340-5,000 USD/night

Perfect for honeymoons and family getaways, Sri Panwa has won several awards. If I may also say, this is the best Hotel in Thailand. They have state of the art designs and facilities, a private pool in your villa, and panoramic views everywhere. See my previous post about Sri Panwa here.


Suggested Activities

Pick out a Beach – with over 30 beaches in Phuket alone, you have to  have at least relaxed, swam and sunbathed in one or two.

Chill and have lunch at Baba Beach Club– Live the luxurious life while having lunch by the sea for a one of a kind experience. While I was here with my friend Cheyser, we were also given a tour and a day pass to enjoy their luxurious 5Br Villa which is for sale. Its the house of your dreams, I tell you.

Prom Thep Cape in Rawai

Hike at the Prom Them Cape – Get a picture perfect panoramic view of the seascapes. Really, really did not regret going here.

Try the famous Teh Tarik – perfect for when you need to cool off, the milky goodness of this Thai Tea will surely make any day better.

Bangla Road Nightlife– You never really go to Phuket without experiencing Bangla Road. This is where you’ll find Phuket’s nightlife as they close down the road and fill the place with neon lights, loud music and cheap booze.

Phuket Day tour– just to get an overview of what the city really has to offer, and also to get ahold of their culture. This is also a good opportunity for you to get souvenirs.

Try Thai Boxing/ Muay Thai – learn it all from where it originated.Phuket-Travel-Guide-tia-lacson

Go hotel hopping– one of the things I like to do most when travelling. I try to see if there is a day pass, or I eat lunch at the hotels restaurant by the pool, just so I could somehow experience as many hotels as possible.

Get a massage– you will have so much options for traditional Thai Massage, and some will be more thorough compared to the others, but what’s a vacation without some relaxation?

The Neighboring Islands

Spend a Day or Two in Phi Phi Island

One of the main reasons why people go to Phuket is that it’s a jump off place to the famous Maya Bay, Monkey Island, and Phi Phi Island. Here, you’ll find famous snorkeling spots, view points, party places, and lots of good cafes.

How to go from Phuket?  Take a ferry for less than 10$ one way.

Suggested Places: Unni’s Cafe and Phi Phi bakery for great food. Hike up the viewpoint at Phi Phi. Wake up at dawn to see a peaceful Maya Bay.



Read more about my friend Amy’s sailing trip to Phi Phi here.


Similan Islands

Experience beauty like no other here at the islands 60 km off  the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. You can book here through tour companies which will take you on a speed boat ride from Khao Lak. The Similan National Park is only open between November to April to preserve them. Read more about my friend Laura’s trip here.

Photos from @girlxdeparture


Ao Nang, Krabi

One of the most visited places in Krabi, Ao nang boasts of its limestone cliffs, coves and stunning views. Tourists can go snorkeling, scuba diving and go to the famous Railay and Phra Nang Beach.

How to go from Phuket? From the bus station,take the bus headed to Krabi Town and take the bus for 3 hours where you will reach the town center. You can also take a boat to Ao Nang from Koh Phi Phi.

Read more about Ao Nang from my friend Karla’s point of view, here.


Koh Phangan

Known as the famous “Full Moon Party Island” this is where you’ll find all night ragers that draw tourists from all over the world. So many of them travel here from Koh Phi Phi then go to Koh Samui right after which is just a 30 minute boat ride away. Did I party my brains out? Hmm, find out here.


Koh Samui

I don’t much about Koh Samui since I never got the chance to go here, but from what I’ve gathered, it’s a luxurious island filled with 5 star resorts, manicured gardens and celebrities. Here’s a picture from @doyoutravel.