Adventure Cruises in Phuket
About Phuket Cruises
Phuket is one of the major destinations in Thailand, and it is easy to see why. It is the largest Thai island, surrounded by the Andaman Sea. Famous for its varied range of stunning beaches, it is the perfect spot for an adventure cruise. From Phuket, it is very easy to reach other well-known islands, such as Ko Phi Phi or the diving paradise of the Similan Islands.
Top Things to Do in Phuket
When you hear Phuket, you might be thinking of beaches. And you would be correct, as there are a plethora of sandy white beaches with crystal clear water and an abundance of marine life to choose from. The most famous (and notorious) is Hat Patong, where you can party the night away after a day of sunbathing in the go-go bars of Soi Bangla. Those looking for a quieter experience might get more enjoyment from beaches such as Hat Bang Thao, Hat Nai Yang, Hat Surin, or Hat Laem Sing.
More impressive beaches can also be found off the main island. Koh Hey, or Coral Island, is only a short speedboat ride away from Rawai Beach in the south of Phuket and offers the busy Banana Beach or Long Beach. A more unique destination is Koh Mai Thon. This private island used to be home to the ultimate Phuket luxury hotel, but 60 out of the 70 bungalows on the island are now in disrepair. It is just as easy to reach as Koh Hey, but a lot quieter and, therefore, the perfect trip if you’re looking for a day of relaxation and snorkeling.
However, there is a lot more to Phuket. Nature lovers can also get their fix in the Sirinat National Park, where they can hike the mangrove forests. There is also the Khao Phra Thaew Royal Wildlife & Forest Reserve, which once upon a time hosted tigers, rhinos, and elephants. Nowadays, visitors can still spot monkeys, flying foxes, pythons, and cobras. For a spectacular sunset, head to the southern tip of the island at Cape Phrom Thep, where the cliffs and palm trees under the orange sunlight are a true sight to behold.
Those looking for culture will enjoy Phuket Town. Historically, the city was a melting pot of cultures, with a significant Muslim population and a Buddhist majority. There is also a major European influence, as Phuket was a major trading hub for the West from the 16th century onwards. This results in a distinct and well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture, and many of these buildings still serve as shops, cafés, restaurants, and museums. There are also Chinese shrines dotted all over town, the result of an influx of Chinese immigrants who came to work the Phuket tin mines in the 19th century. This history is also detailed in the Phuket Thaihua Museum.
Just like the rest of Thailand, Phuket also boasts a few impressive temples. Wat Chalong is the most famous of the Phuket temples, about 20 minutes south of Phuket Town. Nearby you can also find the Big Buddha of Phuket. This impressive 45m marble statue is located at the top of a hill, offering an impressive view of the surrounding landscape and nearby Kata Beach.
Top Tips for Visiting Phuket (Where Applicable)
It might be a good idea to bring snorkeling gear when visiting some of the quieter beaches. Hat Nai Yang beach is one place that is known for its large coral reefs and abundant marine life. Between November and February, you might also find sea turtles coming to lay their eggs on the beach.
Best Time to Cruise Phuket
The best time to visit and cruise Phuket is probably between November and March when temperature and humidity levels are agreeable and there is not much rain. Crowds and prices are at their highest in December and January, with many trying to escape Western winter. After that, temperatures and humidity will start rising, with occasional thunderstorms and showers. This means conditions will still be nice enough, but without the high prices of peak season. The rainy season starts in May and runs through October, with spells of sunshine and torrential downpours, which make cruising, diving, or swimming difficult.
Where Do Phuket Cruises Depart From?
Most Phuket adventure cruises depart from Chalong Pier, towards the island's southern tip. Travelers will choose between several itineraries around the Andaman Sea, with Ko Phi Phi and the beautiful Similan Islands as common destinations. Getting to Chalong Pier shouldn’t pose any major problems, as it is only a 20-minute drive away from Phuket Town or about 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport.
Phuket International Airport will be your best bet to reach the island of Phuket. Currently, there are very few direct flights from Europe, which means added travel time and the option to add another destination to your trip. One option is to take a few days to explore Bangkok, the most common layover. Take a night bus from the capital instead of flying for a cheaper option. Alternatively, you can also make a stop in Malaysia or Singapore on the way to Phuket.