Saturday, February 12, 2011

Phuket Map Information 1

Phuket International Airport (ท่าอากาศยานนานาชาติภูเก็ต)The gateway to Phuket Island as well as to Phangnga and Khao Lak, all of which are very popular destinations over the years for tourists from any origins looking for a holiday paradise of tourists in the South of Thailand.
Airport code is HKT is now under supervision of the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited. Many domestic and international carriers are servicing the island as well as long haul charters, some of which are available year-round.
Most of the traffic is staying on the Island of Phuket, but more and more sub-destinations are gaining in popularity. Let aside the many beaches and night entertainment, Phuket and the Andaman Islands have something for every taste and from young travelers to families and retirees the combination of warm climate and developed infrastructure made Phuket on the center of longer staying tourist.
The easy reach to the stunning white powdery beaches of Koh Racha or the more private and adventurous Koh Yao Noi as well as Koh Phi Phi in the South and the Similan Islands in the North make Phuket an ideal gateway and/or access point for unforgettable holidays.

Thalang District (อำเภอถลาง)Thalang was the original center of Phuket province, of which the Island had its former name : Mueang Thalang. The district borders to the south Mueang Phuket and Kathu, while to the north is Takua Thung of Phang Nga Province, separated by the Pak Prah strait, crossed by nowadays by Sarasin bridge, thus connecting Phuket to the mainland.
The Khao Phra Thaeo Natural reserve protects more than 20 km² of rainforest within the hills of the district. The three highest peaks of this reserve are the Khao Prathiu (384 m), Khao Bang Pae (388 m) and Khao Phara (422 m). The Sirinat National Park on the northwestern coast was established in 1981 and protects an area of 90 km² (68 km² marine area), including the Nai Yang beach known for being a sea turtles sanctuary and breeding area. In the South of the district a branch museum of the National Museum was opened in 1989 at the heroines monument. The monument itself commemorates the local heroines Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon, who forced the Burmese army besieging the town of Thalang to retreat. Phuket International Airport is located in the Northern part of the district. The main road is Highway 402, which runs from Sarasin bridge over the Pak Prah strait till Phuket city in the South East of the Island.

Boat Lagoon (ท่าเทียบเรือ)The Boat Lagoon, a unique maritime township on the east coast of idyllic Phuket is offering an easy-living homes surrounded by tropical green garden, full service marina, resort hotel, commercial plaza, bank, med park, supermarket, restaurants and other sporting facilities.
An increasing number of both sailing and motor yachts are moored year round there as yachting in the emerald seas around Phuket Island as well as the smaller islands around the Phang nga Bay rapidly gains in popularity.

Kathu District (อำเภอกะทู้)Kathu is a district of Phuket Province, located in the west of the island.
It neighbors Thalang to the north, Mueang Phuket to the east and south, and the Andaman Sea to the west.
Kathu is the district which covers the most touristical beach of Phuket, namely Patong beach. Kamala beach to the North is much less developed, but rapidly gaining in popularity.

Phuket Town (เมืองภูเก็ต)Mueang Phuket is the capital district of Phuket Province. The town Phuket itself is in the northwest of the district.
The district covers the southern part of the island Phuket. The western and southern coast consists of several more or less touristical beaches, from the northwest: Karon, Kata, Kata Noi, Nai Harn, Rawai and the Friendship Beach along the Chalong Bay. The beaches are separated from each other by rocky capes, most notably the Promthep Cape with the southernmost trip of the island. The cape is popular for Thai as well as International tourists for its dramatic views of the sunset.
 The most important of the 29 buddhist temples of Phuket is Wat Chalong (วัดฉลอง, วัดไชยธาราราม). It is dedicated to two highly venerable monks, Luang Pho Chaem (หลวงพ่อแช่ม) and Luang Pho Chuang (หลวงพ่อช่วง), who with their knowledge of herbal medicine helped the injured of a tin miners rebellion in 1876.

Mai Khao Beach (หาดไม้ขาว)Mai Khao Beach is located on the northwest coast of Phuket. The main beach which stretches a bit over 10km is still much less developed as the other destinations. Mainl as it is part of the Sirinat National Park and the only significant constructions along it is Phuket International Airport as well as a few high end resorts, such as JW Marriott and Anantara. Although the sand is not the finest, and perhaps the coarsest in Phuket, the beach is so positively secluded that visitors can enjoy endless privacy.
Both due to the isolation and the National Park status, Mai Khao is a very popular camping spot . At the far north of the beach, where the waters from Phang Nga Bay meet the Andaman Sea, surfers sometimes ride the waves, otherwise the beach is mostly devoid of activities except fishing and hiking. Due to a sharp drop off in to the Andaman Sea, swimming may be limited in the low season due to strong underwater currents.
Mai Khao is as well where the endangered giant leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs in the spring. In addition, every year young hatchlings are released into the sea in an effort to repopulate the sea.

Nai Yang Beach (หาดในยาง)Is a very popular beach for local and residents alike. Only located 5 minutes south of Phuket International Airport, it is as well where the National Park office is located. The beach itself is on a long curving bay lined with casurina trees that provide shade to picnicker.
The large coral reef is home to many different species of fish, and Nai Yang is well known as a site where sea turtles come to lay their eggs during the period from November to February; unfortunately the population of these has however, dropped off greatly.
First class accommodations are available and small food vendors cater to the many day trippers. To get there take the Nai Yang Rd., and look for signs indicating the park entrance.
Aside of some informal restaurant and bars in the sand – there is not much of evening entertainment available to the visitor. All very laid back, it recalls the early days of Phuket Island, before it made it to be listed in nearly every travel agency programme.

Nai Thon Beach (หาดในทอน)This quiet bay nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of the sand. It is a beautiful beach, and until now not developed commercially. There are some accommodations but virtually no other business. Ideal for swimming and dining in the small restaurants in high season, the area is very isolated and nearly forgotten in low season, when the occasional stormy sea make the bay unattractive or even dangerous.
Located between Bang Tao Bay and Nai Yang Beach, Nai Thon Beach can be reached by taking Thep Krasatri Rd. Turn at the first traffic light north of Thalang Town to Nai Yang Rd. Look for signs indicating the turn-off to Nai Thon. The journey is definitely worthwhile, especially from the south, as the long winding road reminds a lot of the Southern areas of Europe.
Aside of swimming there are very good diving and snorkeling spots, most of them accessible only by boat which can be arranged at local dive shops on the Beach Road. Entertainment and nightlife are very limited to a few beach bars and shopping is pretty much the selection of a few mini marts.

Layan Beach (หาดลายัน)Layan Beach is at the northern end of Bang Tao area where the beach meets a river and a lagoon. Many birds and other wildlife call this area home as they can enjoy the peacefulness of the lagoon.
The many small tracks which cover the hillside of the beach are well known by climbers and bird watchers. You can reach the beach by walking pass the Laguna Phuket Resort or by following the highway and turning in to Nai Thon beach at the road sign. Layan Beach Resort & Spa Village is the only resort on this beach.
 The beach can be accessed by a small road passing close by the Banyan Tree Golf Club. Altogether though the beach is quite limited and for swimming tourists and residents prefer to head to Bang Tao Beach, a 10 to 15 minute walk south.

Bang Tao Beach (หาดบางเทา)Bang Tao is a large open bay with one of Phukets longest beaches. In the older days the whole area was used for tin mining, but has since been developed into a number of luxury resorts and apartments. Most of Bangtao Beach is occupied by the Laguna complex, a massive five-hotel development with golf course. During the Dry Season (November to April) swimming is excellent, during the summer months the swimming is restricted due to strong currents. At the Northern end there is a smaller bay, almost completely enclosed, at the mouth of which is some fine coral. Plenty of places to eat, tour companies, and other tourist facilities available either at Laguna or in the nearby town of Choeng Thale, which has kept its traditions alive with most of the inhabitants living off fishing, rubber taping and farming.
In terms of nightlife and entertainment, the area is rather undeveloped as most of the upmarket hotels have their own activities for guests and thus there are not many alternatives in the immediate vicinity.

Pansea Beach (หาดแพนซี)Pansea Beach is refined luxury by excellence.
Small, intimate and exclusive, the Northern end is reserved for the top end Amanpuri Phuket and Chedi resorts – home away from home for the rich and famous and numerous celebrities from fashion designers to industrial magnates are known to be regulars.
The only access to Pansea Beach is through the hotel grounds and it therefore quite restricted.

Surin Beach (หาดสุรินทร์)Swaying casurina tress in the sea breeze rim this small, curvy bay beneath the foothills north of Kamala. A bit off the beaten track, Surin has seen a lot of mid to upper market development in the recent years and it rapidly gaining in popularity by couples and families alike.
As well Surin is home to Phuket's first golf courses, a nine-hole course laid out more than sixty years ago during the reign of King Rama VII. It is now largely in disuse except as a park.
Word to the wise, the steep incline of the beach, turbulent water, and big waves make Surin a dangerous place to swim during the rainy season, but during the dry months, it is a perfect location to collect perfect holiday memories.
Surin Beach is located at the end of Sri Sunthon Rd., the road running west from the Two Heroines Monument. Nightlife is very limited, but both accommodations and restaurants can be found. Some of the hotels do run Sunday brunches which have long been very popular to the locals and foreign residents alike.

Kamala Beach (หาดกมลา)Kamala is a Muslim fishing village north of hustle and bustle of Patong Beach. Tourist development on this much more laid back and quiet beach have become a preferred place for long stays and retirees, although much of the area is covered by a Muslim graveyard and a police outpost has been slow in coming.
The beach is very beautiful and spans over about 2 km in length. There are accommodations ranging from guesthouses to international class hotels and self catering apartments as well as a number of small Thai restaurants specializing in seafood for the tourist.
Kamala is the perfect place to get away from it all and has little to offer in the way of entertainment for that go across the mountains to Patong. On a scenic drive along the headland to the south, can be found a number of luxury villa developments, with great views of Kamala Bay and beyond.
Kamala is more the type of place to meet and relax with friends in a local seafood restaurant or bar, so night entertainment is rather low-key. This said, Kamala is also home of the acclaimed Phuket FantaSea entertainment complex which has become one of the must-see places when visiting Phuket.

Nakalay Beach (หาดนาคาเล)Nakalya Beach is the private and secluded beach of Thavorn Beach Village. The entrance to the beach bears a DO NOT ENTER sign, clearly limiting it to the residents of the resort. Swimming is only possible at high tide.
In the center of the Beach, a long pier has been built and the Nakalay Junk moores not too far away, providing both day and sunset trips as well as being available to be fully chartered for parties.
Nakalay Beach is located in Nakalay Bay near the Patong/Kamala border sign and 4 km north of Patong Beach. It is suitable for people who like it quiet but still want to be near the entertainment area of Patong.

Kalim Beach (หาดกะหลิม)
Kalim Beach, Phuket is in fact a continuation in the North of Patong's main beach, of which it is separated by some cliffs. Kalim beach with its extensive coral reef is more for snorkeling than for swimming and the views over the bay are very charming.
Despite the more quiet edge to the beach, the vicinity to Patong Beach make it an ideal alternative for travelers who like to have a bit more of a quiet time, albeit easy access of the nightlife, restaurants and entertainment.
It is though recommended to use solid footwear if planning to enter the water in that area as the corals do have very sharp edges. The Northern part of the bay is quite exposed to strong winds in low season (June to September) and occasional surfers are to be found on the breaking surf.

Patong Beach (หาดป่าตอง)Patong Beach is Phuket's central tourist and night time entertainment district. Over the past ten years, Patong has turned from a quiet fishing village into one of the island's two cities. Mainly due to the development of tourism, the beach has seen a massive number of restaurants catering to any taste and cuisine, pubs and bars, tour and travel agencies. As well a lifestyle shopping complex, Jungceylon, opened recently offers more international goods and brands in air-conditioned space in addition to the usual endless night market popping up at sunset all along the side walk of beach road, turning the whole of Patong into one extensive market.
The famous bay and about 4 km long beach is more often referred to when tourists are aiming for Phuket to be their holiday destination. Accommodations range from budget to five-star. Live music can be found in most pubs and bars. Motorbike rentals as well as paragliding and jet ski rental are widely available on the beach.
Nightlife is centered around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road), but is virtually found all over, in either shape or form. Nevertheless both North and South end of the bay are however there are quieter and family friendly. Patong Beach is ideal for swimming as well aswater-sports.

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