The Ultimate Newbie Guide to Thailand

Guide to Phuket 

Phuket: If a balance between nightlife, girls, beaches and tourist excursions is what you are looking for, then Phuket may likely your answer. Because of its laid back atmosphere and diverse offerings it is a preferred destination by some tourists..
If you are traveling with your girl friend/wife, it is not just an option it just might be a must.
If nightlife is you main focus but non-P4P is important too, you may want to consider a balance between Phuket and Pattaya.
Being the type of destination that it is, one should also expect a higher pricing structure.

For those in to the nightlife Patong Beach (namely Bangla Road) is the center of the action, however, there are many other Beach communities along the coast and most with better beaches than Patong. Examples are Karon and Kata Beaches south of Patong.
If you plan on going out most every night to party, staying in Patong is strongly recommend and when desired take a ride to better beaches for the day. This mainly because transportation on Phuket can be on the expensive side. Consider this, a ride to Patong from Karon will  set you back 4-500 baht each way and if you bring company back for the night add another 4-500 baht for their return ride. That means 1,200-1,500 baht in daily transportation. That could possibly pay for a hotel in Patong.
 

Adult Entertainment Districts: Phuket is an Island with adult P4P available in several beach communities and Phuket town. By far the highest concentration of nightlife venues is at Bangla Road (and Sois) in Patong. Throughout the rest of Patong and all the beach communities there are also many beer bars in clusters. Phuket town also has beer bars as well as soapy massage parlors.

Bangla Road: Bangle Road is a long block in central Patong stretching from Rat-U-Thit Rd to Beach Road with several Sois (plus some venues along Rat-U-Thit/Beach Rd near Bangla) comprise the center for adult entertainment on Phuket Island (map). In this area there are lots of beer bars in plazas and down the Sois. There are also a few Go-Go's and Discos. Compared to other destinations in Thailand the Bangla Area tend to operate at later hours with many bars opening around 10PM.

Phuket Town: Phuket Town is where the provincial government is located and to a lesser degree a tourist destination. Many venues cater mostly to Thais, that includes the small number of soapy massage parlors.

Everywhere Else: Throughout all the beach communities on Phuket (including Kamala, Patong, Karon, Kata, etc.) there are beer bars. Most of them in certain Sois and plazas. The atmosphere in these bars are generally far more laid back than Bangla Road in Patong. That may be a benefit or a drawback depending on your preference.

Soapy Massage: On the beaches side of Phuket Island there is only one soapy massage parlor which is Christin massage on Rat-U-Thit Road a few hundred meters south of Bangla Road.
 

Local Transportation: Tuk-tuk's (tiny mini buses) are the main form of hired transportation with motorbikes and taxis as another options.

Tuk-tuk: Transportation using Tuk-tuk's on Phuket is a bone of contention for many. So much so that the operators often are referred to as the Tuk-tuk mafia. It is not uncommon that tourists are quoted 200 baht to go 200-300 meters. Going longer distances such as between Patong and Karon Beach may be 400-600 baht with a price that change based on the time of day and depending how bad you need the ride. ALWAYS make sure to negotiate a firm price before the ride and at all cost do not offend the driver if you cannot come to an agreement ... it can have dire consequences. Also single women should not travel by Tuk-tuk alone at night as there are occational reports of rape by the drivers.

Taxi: Taxies (private or metered) are available and for many the preferred form of transportation for distances over 5km (3 miles). The cost is about the same as a Tuk-tuk, or sometimes a bit higher. The comfort level is of cause way higher with air-conditioner and no 2-stroke engine. To and from the airport this should be your number one choice; the cost is 5-700 baht depending on distance.

Motorbike Taxi: A quick and reasonable priced option for short trips. It goes without saying that motorbike is a lesser safe form of transportation, especially at night.

For more general transportation information, including air, bus, train and rentals see the Transportation Section.

 

Jet Ski Rental: There are a number of jet skis for rent at the beaches, however, since the chances of getting scammed is so high details have been posted in the Scam Section.

 

Phi-Phi Islands: Phi-Phi is a pair of islands east of Phuket Island and west of Krabi. Kho Phi Phi Don is the main island where the center of the H-shaped island is where most tourists go (especially back-packers). The eastern side features a number or resorts and secluded hut-style lodgings. Kho Phi Phi Lee is the southern island and does not feature any lodging or overnight camping. The island features a number of coves and caves as well as Maya Beach which was the site for the filming of the Movie "The Beach". The main form transportation around and between the island is the classic long tail boat, which is long and narrow seating up to ten passengers. It is powered by a 2-stroke engine with a prop on a long shaft extending out part the rear of the boat. Long tail boats may be used for commuting or may be rented for the day. Phi-Phi Islands may be reached from Krabi or Phuket Town via a ferry ride that is typically about 2-hours. Because of the distance travelers should consider at least one overnight to maximize the adventure and gain the opportunity to tour both on a long tail boat. There is a fair amount of nightlife at the center of Kho Phi Phi Don, however, P4P is quite minimal so do consider inviting a girl if you desire company while there.

 

Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island: Kho Khao Phing Kan as it is called in Thai is a pair of islands northeast of Phuket Island. The island was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. The island feature no overnight accommodation, but is a popular destination for day tours. Tours are usually an all day event and includes an excursion to Monkey Caves (Wat Suwankuha) and lunch at Kho Pannyi (a floating Muslim fishing village) before boarding long tail boats at Phang Nga Bay to James Bond Island where one will have some 30 minutes to take pictures, have a beer and buy souvenirs from pushy vendors. Some tours a by tour boats and circle the islands.
 
Simon's Cabaret: A famous Ladyboy show theater where every actor or dancer on stage are men and most of the transsexual. Some are so woman-like that it is hard to tell. The show is lively and entertaining. It gives spectators and opportunity to enjoy the glory of ladyboys in a 'safe' and comfortable distance.

In Thailand, due to the considerable tolerance of the culture, the theatrical performances of men dressed as women has always been accepted and a great number of males who feel more natural as females, find a career as cabaret performers. Join the fun at Simon Cabaret where the lavish sets and brilliant costumes will amaze you. Performers lip-synch songs popular in countries around the world.
Official Website for Simons Cabaret.

 

Elephant Trekking: A ride on an elephant is on the list of many tourists and it can be a most enjoyable and fun excursion. It can also be a rough ride with a lot of jolting from side to side. It should be noted that this is not an adventure free of risks and many come to the conclusion that the animals are not treated well. Based on your personal feeling about the pros and cons, best to do your own research. Try this Google Search for more info.

 

Fantasea: Fantasea is a Nighttime Cultural Theme Park. Inspired by Thailand's rich and exotic heritage, Phuket Fantasia not only showcases the charm and beauty of Thailand, but also enriches ancient Thai traditions with the wonder of cutting edge technology and special effects. In addition to the two-hour show which is the main event the park also feature mini elephant rides, smaller amusement stalls, animal/fish feeding and a large buffet dinner. The dinner can be purchased or omitted as part of the ticket purchase.

 

The number of excursions and non-P4P entertainment options in Phuket are countless and the above are just snippets of what may await you. For more details and options try this Google Search.
Worth noting are these options: Golf, Thai Boxing, Cooking Classes, Scuba Diving, Old Phuket Town, Temples.

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