Phuket, Thailand
Recos on stays, transfers, activities, tours, food. Plus side stories.
11 Places • ago
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Stays

I recommend staying at hotels in Patong Beach, which is the best and most popular beach in Phuket according to a local. Everything you need is right at the beachfront—restaurants, cafes, pharmacies, massage shops… There are even marijuana shops at every corner (Yes, weed is legal in Thailand). The hotels are not exactly sitting right at the beach, but you just have to cross a small road to get there.

LIV Hotel Phuket Patong Beachfront
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💰Pool view balcony room for 3pax: $180 per night

LIV Hotel is a modern and stylish hotel in Patong Beach. Rooms are very clean, and the staff are very friendly and always eager to help. They also arrange airport van transfers for 1200 THB/$35 per way. Our room came with a cute sofa bed by the window, which was perfect for afternoon naps.

🙂LIV Hotel is situated at the quieter side of Patong Beach, far from all the partying. Pool area is a nice place to lounge and take a sip of coffee.

🙁It is far from the more beautiful side of Patong Beach and Bangla Road, around 15 minutes by foot. Locals will suggest you take a tuktuk, but you will be charged at least 200 THB/$6 for a ride.

📌The hotel asks for a security deposit of 2000 THB/$59.

Baan Boa Resort Patong Beach Phuket
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💰Room for 2: $55 per night

If you are looking for a beachfront hotel at an affordable price, Baan Boa Resort is your best bet! This is just a 1-minute walk away from LIV Hotel. We booked a room for 2 for $55 per night, but the staff upgraded us to a bigger room with a balcony and pool view. Rooms are just as clean and they have a bigger pool than LIV Hotel.

🙂Staff were very, very friendly and gave a lot of recos. Their khao pad was the best I have tasted in Phuket. They also arrange airport transfers for only 800THB/$23.

🙁No elevator. Staff helped us with our luggage, though, since our room was on the third floor. But upon checkout at 5:30am, there was no staff around to help us, so we had to carry our luggage all the way down.

Getting There

Phuket Smart Bus

💰100THB/$3 per ride, regardless of distance

From Phuket International Airport, I highly recommend taking the Phuket Smart Bus (blue and white bus). This is the cheapest way to get to Patong Beach. A bus leaves every hour, stopping at several points, but I noticed you can ask the driver to stop anywhere and hail one anywhere, too. No reservations are required.

Photo from the Phuket Smart Bus Facebook page

📌How to find the Phuket Smart Bus stop:

• Exit the airport through Gate 3 and turn left.

• Walk straight under the bridge. Once you see a parking lot, you will immediately spot the line of Phuket Smart Buses there.

🙂Bus has a storage for luggage and it’s for free! There’s wifi in the bus, too. Driver is very helpful; he asks for your hotel and drops you off at the nearest point to your accommodation.

🙁Takes you longer to get to your destination since it stops at many points.

📌Watch out for taxi drivers who offer you 800THB/$23 for a ride to Patong Beach or anywhere in Phuket, then suddenly lead you to a van where all other taxi passengers are gathered, brought to their destinations, and still charged for the full price.

Where To Go

Patong Beach
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Patong Beach is the place to be for beach lovers, adventure seekers, party people, foodies, coffee addicts, name it! It’s a long stretch of white sand, with countless food options, massage shops, travel shops, and souvenir stalls at the beachfront. Local guides offer activities like parasailing, jet ski, boating, and more.

📌It’s better to choose a spot on the better side of Patong—near the roundabout with the big Patong Beach sign and further right of Bangla Road when facing the beach. We saw a lot of dark algae blooming on the left side of the beach.

Bangla Road
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Bangla Road is the center of Phuket’s nightlife. It’s crowded with tourists, littered with bars and pubs, and locals will approach you to offer ping-pong shows and weed.

Phi Phi Islands
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Maya Bay
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Koh Khai Nok
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💰Tour to Phi Phi Islands and Khai Islands booked via Klook: Around $45 per person for a joined tour

I highly recommend taking this tour! Phi Phi and Khai Islands boast of fine white sand and cliffs that make the views just breathtaking. Maya Bay is definitely the highlight of the tour for me. It’s so beautiful, no wonder it was chosen to be a shooting location for Leo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” film. Swimming is now prohibited in Maya Bay, though.

You can go snorkeling at the lagoons, and snorkeling gear are free to rent. Long-tail boats are also offered to tourists when going around the lagoons for a price.

Khai Island is where you can rest and just enjoy swimming and snorkeling; it was where we stayed the longest during our tour. Chairs can be rented for 150THB/$4.

Tours begin at 9am and end at around 5pm. The tour operators provide round-trip transfers from your hotel to the pier, too. Phi Phi Islands are part of Krabi and you need to take a speedboat for over an hour to there. The speedboat ride is so bumpy that tourists are required to take motion sickness pills before leaving the pier.

I strongly advise, though, to eat a heavy breakfast since the buffet lunch starts between 1:30-2:00pm. I could no longer go down the other islands because I was feeling dizzy from the hunger!

🙂The tour is good value for money. I think we visited 6 or 7 islands, I’m not really sure because I didn’t go down the boat in some of them. The buffet was worth it, too! I think that’s where I had the best tom yum soup in Thailand. It was so good that my friend got 3 servings of it.

🙁I got rashes! It began when water splashed on me during the bumpy speedboat ride and got worse when I swam in the lagoon. Rashes lasted for 3 days and the pharmacist gave me a corticosteroid for it. I was the only one in our group who got rashes, though.

📌Locals recommend taking the James Bond Island tour, they say it’s way more beautiful than Phi Phi. We just didn’t have time to go there because I got sick when I had the rashes. 🥲

Where To Eat

Roxane Cafe & Restaurant Phuket
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Their spicy wings and fish and chips are so tasty that I wanted more servings! Ice blended coffee drinks were so good, too, but this cafe is pricier than the others. I think we spent a total of 800THB/$23 for 2 people. They have a nice roofdeck on the third floor where you can lounge in, but not advised in the afternoon when temperatures soar to the 30s.

The Place Phuket
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When I first tasted wood-fired pizza, that became my benchmark for pizza taste, and The Place did not fail to deliver. It was crowded when we went there, an evidence of its popularity among locals and tourists. Try their Pizza Regina, it’s their bestseller!

Ice cream Rolls
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It’s my first time to eat ice cream rolls (they also call it fried ice cream) and I liked that they show customers how it’s done. Here’s a short video of how they made my mango ice cream rolls at the Chino Yard night market in Patong Beach

Signature Coffee
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This is for me the best iced cappuccino in Patong Beach, and the cheapest among those I’ve tried too! Iced cappuccino was 110THB/$3 at Signature Coffee and it was worth it! I was so tired and sleepy due to a long flight from Manila to Bangkok to Phuket, including the airport waiting hours, but this boosted my energy in minutes!

More Tips:

📌Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen! Phuket in February ranges from 30 to 33 degrees. I’ve also read that the best months to visit Thailand are November to February because there’s little rain.

📌Be ready with your remedies for rashes and jellyfish stings. My friend got stung by jellyfish while snorkeling at Monkey Island, though the locals were very helpful and poured vinegar on her leg and recommended an ointment for it too.

📌Locals can communicate in English well. 😊❤️ I encourage learning a few Thai phrases as well; it quickly brightens up their faces!

📌For budget travelers, visit the Chino Yard night market right in front of Patong Beach. There are so many Thai street food options for a cheaper price!

📌Prices in Phuket are, if not, almost twice the prices in Bangkok.

* * *
CURATED BY
📍Philippines Beach lover and K-drama fan here. I’m generally a budget traveler, but I don’t mind splurging on one sumptuous meal or an overnight stay at a starred hotel. I love taking photos and making music videos out of my travels. I love beach sceneries, but for some reason, mountains and meadows appeal to me, too. I can make recommendations/detailed itineraries for the best Korean drama shooting locations or the top destinations in South Korea depending on the season. 😊
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Phuket, Thailand
Recos on stays, transfers, activities, tours, food. Plus side stories.
11 Places • ago
Free

Stays

I recommend staying at hotels in Patong Beach, which is the best and most popular beach in Phuket according to a local. Everything you need is right at the beachfront—restaurants, cafes, pharmacies, massage shops… There are even marijuana shops at every corner (Yes, weed is legal in Thailand). The hotels are not exactly sitting right at the beach, but you just have to cross a small road to get there.

LIV Hotel Phuket Patong Beachfront
@tintin
Add to
Details

💰Pool view balcony room for 3pax: $180 per night

LIV Hotel is a modern and stylish hotel in Patong Beach. Rooms are very clean, and the staff are very friendly and always eager to help. They also arrange airport van transfers for 1200 THB/$35 per way. Our room came with a cute sofa bed by the window, which was perfect for afternoon naps.

🙂LIV Hotel is situated at the quieter side of Patong Beach, far from all the partying. Pool area is a nice place to lounge and take a sip of coffee.

🙁It is far from the more beautiful side of Patong Beach and Bangla Road, around 15 minutes by foot. Locals will suggest you take a tuktuk, but you will be charged at least 200 THB/$6 for a ride.

📌The hotel asks for a security deposit of 2000 THB/$59.

Baan Boa Resort Patong Beach Phuket
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💰Room for 2: $55 per night

If you are looking for a beachfront hotel at an affordable price, Baan Boa Resort is your best bet! This is just a 1-minute walk away from LIV Hotel. We booked a room for 2 for $55 per night, but the staff upgraded us to a bigger room with a balcony and pool view. Rooms are just as clean and they have a bigger pool than LIV Hotel.

🙂Staff were very, very friendly and gave a lot of recos. Their khao pad was the best I have tasted in Phuket. They also arrange airport transfers for only 800THB/$23.

🙁No elevator. Staff helped us with our luggage, though, since our room was on the third floor. But upon checkout at 5:30am, there was no staff around to help us, so we had to carry our luggage all the way down.

Getting There

Phuket Smart Bus

💰100THB/$3 per ride, regardless of distance

From Phuket International Airport, I highly recommend taking the Phuket Smart Bus (blue and white bus). This is the cheapest way to get to Patong Beach. A bus leaves every hour, stopping at several points, but I noticed you can ask the driver to stop anywhere and hail one anywhere, too. No reservations are required.

Photo from the Phuket Smart Bus Facebook page

📌How to find the Phuket Smart Bus stop:

• Exit the airport through Gate 3 and turn left.

• Walk straight under the bridge. Once you see a parking lot, you will immediately spot the line of Phuket Smart Buses there.

🙂Bus has a storage for luggage and it’s for free! There’s wifi in the bus, too. Driver is very helpful; he asks for your hotel and drops you off at the nearest point to your accommodation.

🙁Takes you longer to get to your destination since it stops at many points.

📌Watch out for taxi drivers who offer you 800THB/$23 for a ride to Patong Beach or anywhere in Phuket, then suddenly lead you to a van where all other taxi passengers are gathered, brought to their destinations, and still charged for the full price.

Where To Go

Patong Beach
@tintin
Add to
Details

Patong Beach is the place to be for beach lovers, adventure seekers, party people, foodies, coffee addicts, name it! It’s a long stretch of white sand, with countless food options, massage shops, travel shops, and souvenir stalls at the beachfront. Local guides offer activities like parasailing, jet ski, boating, and more.

📌It’s better to choose a spot on the better side of Patong—near the roundabout with the big Patong Beach sign and further right of Bangla Road when facing the beach. We saw a lot of dark algae blooming on the left side of the beach.

Bangla Road
@tintin
Add to
Details

Bangla Road is the center of Phuket’s nightlife. It’s crowded with tourists, littered with bars and pubs, and locals will approach you to offer ping-pong shows and weed.

Phi Phi Islands
@tintin
Add to
Details

Maya Bay
@tintin
Add to
Details

Koh Khai Nok
@tintin
Add to
Details

💰Tour to Phi Phi Islands and Khai Islands booked via Klook: Around $45 per person for a joined tour

I highly recommend taking this tour! Phi Phi and Khai Islands boast of fine white sand and cliffs that make the views just breathtaking. Maya Bay is definitely the highlight of the tour for me. It’s so beautiful, no wonder it was chosen to be a shooting location for Leo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” film. Swimming is now prohibited in Maya Bay, though.

You can go snorkeling at the lagoons, and snorkeling gear are free to rent. Long-tail boats are also offered to tourists when going around the lagoons for a price.

Khai Island is where you can rest and just enjoy swimming and snorkeling; it was where we stayed the longest during our tour. Chairs can be rented for 150THB/$4.

Tours begin at 9am and end at around 5pm. The tour operators provide round-trip transfers from your hotel to the pier, too. Phi Phi Islands are part of Krabi and you need to take a speedboat for over an hour to there. The speedboat ride is so bumpy that tourists are required to take motion sickness pills before leaving the pier.

I strongly advise, though, to eat a heavy breakfast since the buffet lunch starts between 1:30-2:00pm. I could no longer go down the other islands because I was feeling dizzy from the hunger!

🙂The tour is good value for money. I think we visited 6 or 7 islands, I’m not really sure because I didn’t go down the boat in some of them. The buffet was worth it, too! I think that’s where I had the best tom yum soup in Thailand. It was so good that my friend got 3 servings of it.

🙁I got rashes! It began when water splashed on me during the bumpy speedboat ride and got worse when I swam in the lagoon. Rashes lasted for 3 days and the pharmacist gave me a corticosteroid for it. I was the only one in our group who got rashes, though.

📌Locals recommend taking the James Bond Island tour, they say it’s way more beautiful than Phi Phi. We just didn’t have time to go there because I got sick when I had the rashes. 🥲

Where To Eat

Roxane Cafe & Restaurant Phuket
@tintin
Add to
Details

Their spicy wings and fish and chips are so tasty that I wanted more servings! Ice blended coffee drinks were so good, too, but this cafe is pricier than the others. I think we spent a total of 800THB/$23 for 2 people. They have a nice roofdeck on the third floor where you can lounge in, but not advised in the afternoon when temperatures soar to the 30s.

The Place Phuket
@tintin
Add to
Details

When I first tasted wood-fired pizza, that became my benchmark for pizza taste, and The Place did not fail to deliver. It was crowded when we went there, an evidence of its popularity among locals and tourists. Try their Pizza Regina, it’s their bestseller!

Ice cream Rolls
@tintin
Add to
Details

It’s my first time to eat ice cream rolls (they also call it fried ice cream) and I liked that they show customers how it’s done. Here’s a short video of how they made my mango ice cream rolls at the Chino Yard night market in Patong Beach

Signature Coffee
@tintin
Add to
Details

This is for me the best iced cappuccino in Patong Beach, and the cheapest among those I’ve tried too! Iced cappuccino was 110THB/$3 at Signature Coffee and it was worth it! I was so tired and sleepy due to a long flight from Manila to Bangkok to Phuket, including the airport waiting hours, but this boosted my energy in minutes!

More Tips:

📌Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen! Phuket in February ranges from 30 to 33 degrees. I’ve also read that the best months to visit Thailand are November to February because there’s little rain.

📌Be ready with your remedies for rashes and jellyfish stings. My friend got stung by jellyfish while snorkeling at Monkey Island, though the locals were very helpful and poured vinegar on her leg and recommended an ointment for it too.

📌Locals can communicate in English well. 😊❤️ I encourage learning a few Thai phrases as well; it quickly brightens up their faces!

📌For budget travelers, visit the Chino Yard night market right in front of Patong Beach. There are so many Thai street food options for a cheaper price!

📌Prices in Phuket are, if not, almost twice the prices in Bangkok.

* * *
CURATED BY
📍Philippines Beach lover and K-drama fan here. I’m generally a budget traveler, but I don’t mind splurging on one sumptuous meal or an overnight stay at a starred hotel. I love taking photos and making music videos out of my travels. I love beach sceneries, but for some reason, mountains and meadows appeal to me, too. I can make recommendations/detailed itineraries for the best Korean drama shooting locations or the top destinations in South Korea depending on the season. 😊
Send A Tip
Support Tintin Aga’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
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Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Tintin Aga Privacy Terms