Phuket Tourist Information by the Tourists
If you're thinking of a holiday in Phuket, or visiting Phuket as part of a longer trip, you will surely be looking for information on hotels, things to do, places to eat, the culture, festivals and so on. Every tourist wants something different. Some people are very happy to be immersed in Patong with all the shops and touts and fast food and bars. Some people want a quite resort with a less crowded beach. Some want the ultimate honeymoon getaway. Some tourists book tours, others explore on their own. This blog is open to anyone, but will certainly interest the more independent traveler/tourist. I tend to look at places a bit more off the main route and don't mention Patong much, or the normal tours (elephant rides, speedboat snorkel trips, Fantasea show, snake shows etc..). Hey, the idea of the blog was to show another side to Phuket rather than just the same old things you can find on any website.
BUT of course, this leaves a hole. This blog can't cover everything, so where to look if you want to know about Patong? Tours? Get a hotel recommendation from someone who stayed there recently? Well, you can try other blogs about Phuket (see some of the links on the left side of this page), but again, like this one, they are written by people living here. I think if you are coming as a tourist it's good to get a tourists point of view. Where to start?
I joined TripAdvisor some time ago and it has a very busy Phuket forum. New questions being asked hourly, and there always seems to be someone with an answer, be it a recent visitor or a regular visitor to Phuket or maybe one of the "Destination Experts" for Phuket. I recently got given that title, so now tend to look at the forum more often and help with questions, but it's often already been answered, as there are so many people using the forum!
• TripAdvisor Phuket Forum
• TripAdvisor Phuket Hotel Reviews
So, that's a good place to start, but it was through the TripAdvisor forum that I found several Phuket experts, regular visitors to Phuket rather than residents, and they have very good information to share. Have a look at these websites:
• Cathy and Gary's Phuket Pages
• Bob and Janette's Travel Pages
The VirtualTourist website also has hotel reviews and a forum - I should take a closer look sometime. I see that Cathy and Gary also contribute a fair amount to that site. There's just not enough time to surf the whole web!
(update 2017 - Virtual Tourist as shut down)
Also on the TripAdvisor forum I found Richard (using the nickname kiwilad37) offering to send people his Phuket Tips sheet. I contacted Richard by email. He's been to Phuket many times over the last 15 years and started making a tip sheet for friends or family. Lots of information, but it's not online. You can contact Richard by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for a copy. Actually, rather more than a "sheet" - it's a 25 page pdf file, like a mini guidebook!
On the subject of guidebooks... now normally I would say a guidebook is likely to be out of date, maybe good for general information, but there is nothing like getting information right from the horses mouth. However, there are a couple of good Phuket guides, both updated in the last year. I have reviewed them on this blog. If you are coming to Phuket and must carry something on paper, these are worthwhile:
• Travelfish Phuket Guide
• Lonely Planet Phuket Encounter Guide
If anyone knows of any recommended websites in a similar vein to those above, please do add a comment below. I believe you can learn a lot from reading the experiences of other visitors and getting "insider tips". Having the right information can make a visit to Phuket much more rewarding. I hope this blog helps a little! :)