London to Phuket
London to Phuket
London to Phuket
London to Phuket
London to Phuket
London to Phuket
Your Finnair flight from London will depart from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) or London Gatwick Airport (LGW). When you book your flights with us, you guarantee the best possible start to your trip aboard our modern fleet of aircraft. If you are a frequent flyer, register for Finnair Plus and earn upgrades to redeem on future flights.
To reach London Heathrow Airport, which is located 22 km west of London, you can catch the Heathrow Express train. This is a non-stop direct rail service between Paddington Station and Heathrow airport. Alternatively, the airport can be reached via the London Underground, with the Piccadilly line serving the airport.
Departing from London with Finnair
- Finnair flights from Heathrow Airport will leave from Terminal 3, Zone G.
- Check-in at LHR opens 2 hours 30 minutes before your flight, closing just 45 minutes before departure. If you’re pushed for time, check-in is also available at Paddington Station.
- Up to five Finnair flights depart from Heathrow each day.
Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, enjoys a rich and colourful history, but it is even better known as the ultimate holiday destination for people from all over the world. Patong Beach is famous for its wild nightlife, but don’t let it be the only place you see. There are many beaches around the island and numerous activities and attractions for a fun-filled and diverse vacation. This Finnair travel guide to Phuket will show you how to make the most of your time on the island and have a holiday to remember.
Sights in Phuket
When it comes to beaches, Phuket offers some of the best around. Kata Beach has soft sands backed by palm trees and the small Kata Noi offers a quieter vibe and terrific views. The tiny Ya Nui Beach is incredibly picturesque, Freedom Beach is like a little deserted paradise and popular Surin Beach has plenty of facilities. Nai Harn Beach has a sparkling lake right behind it, with the sandy stretch sandwiched between lake and ocean. Patong Beach is raucous with lots of water sports and beach bars and Bangtao Beach is one of the island’s longest shores. Even more gorgeous beaches to visit include Kamala Beach, Laem Singh Beach and Banana Beach. While spending your days swimming in refreshing waters and basking on soft white sands may sound deliciously appealing, Phuket does offer a lot more variety. Around the island there are countless possibilities for diving, surfing, fishing, and even playing golf. To experience some culture you can pay a visit to Thalang National Museum and Wat Chalong Temple. The 45-metre-tall (147.6-foot-tall) Big Buddha is one of the island’s main landmarks … and it’s easy to see why! Sacred shrines are dotted around the island, including the Taoist Shrine of the Serene Light and the Chinese-Buddhist Jui Tui Shrine. The towns are a fun mix of colonial and Chinese architecture, and in Phuket Old Town you’ll see traditional Chinese shophouses and a former red light district.
Get close to wildlife at Toh Sae Hill. Also known as Monkey Hill, the highest hill in Phuket is home to around 400 mischievous macaque monkeys. The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project is a worthy visit, with the sanctuary rehabilitating gibbons with the goal of returning them to the wild. The Soi Dog Foundation works to improve the conditions, and lower the numbers, of stray dogs in Thailand, and the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary lets you get close to these magnificent beasts and learn more about ethical elephant experiences in Thailand. For something fun and unusual, check out Phuket Trickeye Museum and Baan Teelanka. The first is a cool interactive museum with lots of 3D artwork; the second is an upside-down house. Touring the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is another unique activity in Phuket. Take a cooking class, join a yoga session, have a massage, relax in a luxurious spa and watch stunning sunsets from Karon Viewpoint or Promthep Cape. Phuket FantaSea is the island’s answer to Disney and it’s popular with kids and adults alike. Simon’s Cabaret is a family-friendly ladyboy show and Siam Niramit includes dancing, acting, music and traditional costumes for a spectacular cultural event. If pulsating nightlife is more up your street, don’t miss the infamous Bangla Road.
Things to See and Do Near Phuket
- Phang Nga Bay – Offering one of Thailand’s most iconic views, this striking bay, with its greenery-clad limestone karsts, is located between the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. There are several small islands, islets and rock formations, with the most famous being Koh Tapu; also known as James Bond Island.
- Khao Sok National Park – A scenic wildlife reserve located just a couple of hours’ drive from Phuket, offering hiking in the lush wildlife-rich jungle and boat trips around the large lake.
- Khao Lak – A beautiful mainland beach resort with a low-key and family-friendly vibe.
- Similan Islands – This island group is one of the best places in Thailand for scuba diving.
Shopping in Phuket
Although not a major shopping destination, Phuket does its best to cater to international visitors who may want to give their credit cards a workout. Prices are often higher here than elsewhere around the country, so keep that in mind if visiting Phuket as part of a multi-destination trip. There are numerous small shops and street vendors as well as markets and shopping centres. Local products include pearls and dried seafood.
- Phuket Town – One of the best places to find a large variety of gifts and souvenirs in a fairly compact area, the streets of Montri, Ratsada and Yaowarat have a wide array of trinkets and knickknacks.
- Beaches – Vendors patrol the sands of the busier beaches, selling things you may expect, like beach clothes, sunglasses, cold drinks and snacks, and things you might not expect so much, such as carved wooden fruit baskets, ornamental statues of the Lord Buddha, bangles and other souvenirs. Remember to haggle if something catches your eye.
- Jungceylon – Located in Patong, this is one of the two major shopping malls in Phuket. Stores cater to diverse tastes and budgets and there are around 200 stores to browse in air-conditioned comfort.
- Central Festival – Situated on the outskirts of Phuket Town, this is the other major shopping centre in Phuket. You’ll find plenty of international brands as well as local goods. Prices are generally fixed, though some store owners may offer discounts for multiple purchases.
- Premium Outlet Phuket – This is an ideal shopping spot for visitors who want to pick up branded products at discount prices. You’ll find goods from Nike, Pierre Cardin, Lacoste, Lee, Guy Laroche and more.
- Banzaan Market – A fresh produce market in the heart of frenetic Patong, this is a great place for stocking up on self-catering supplies or simply sampling a slice of local life.
- Naka Market – Held every weekend, this evening event is also known as Phuket Town Weekend Night Market. A large market, it attracts tourists and locals alike, with almost anything you could imagine found somewhere among the diverse stalls. Clothing, pet accessories, handbags, jewellery, lamps, toys, ornaments, art work, pre-cooked meals and fresh fruit are just a few things you’re likely to find here.
Food and Drink
- Rum - Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is located in Phuket, producing white rum that is starting to become famous outside of the island.
- Mee hoon baa chaang – A basic local dish, consisting of stir-fried noodles with soy sauce and topped with spring onion.
- Moo satay – This grilled pork on sticks comes with a bag of peanut sauce for dipping.
- Poh pia – These Phuket-style spring rolls are similar in consistency (though not in the filling) to those found in Singapore and Malaysia. The thin rice paper wrapping contains pork, grated turnip, green beans and a sweet and tangy sauce.
- Kaeng som – A speciality from Southern Thailand, this sour fish curry also contains an assortment of vegetables and sometimes even fruit.
Transport in Phuket
As a hugely popular holiday destination, getting around Phuket is often easy. It is, however, generally a lot more expensive than in other parts of the country, with inflated prices because of the large number of international visitors. If you remain around a particular beach / resort area, many places will be reachable on foot. If you wish to explore other parts of the island, though, you’ll need to use some form of transportation.
- By foot – Walking between the beach and major hotels, nightlife areas, restaurants and shops is generally easy in the main tourist areas like Patong and Kata.
- Shuttles – Many hotels offer shuttle services to Phuket Town.
- Songthaews – These are converted pickup trucks that have two benches in the back. They typically operate on set routes around the island, usually looped, connecting the beach resorts with Phuket Town. They pick up anywhere along the route; simply flag one down. Ring the bell when you want to get off. Prices are fixed and you pay the driver.
- Tuk tuks – A private-hire type of vehicle, always negotiate a price before starting a journey in a tuk tuk.
- Taxis – There are plentiful taxis in Phuket, though many drivers will refuse to use the meter. Agree prices before starting your trip. It helps to ask in your accommodation for rough ideas of how much the fare should be to a certain place to avoid grossly overpaying. Taxis can be ordered by telephone or flagged down on the street.
- Motorbike taxi – A convenient way for solo passengers to get from A to B, motorbike taxi drivers wear vests to distinguish them from regular motorcyclists. Arrange a price before starting your ride. It is recommended to always wear a helmet, although some drivers do not always have them available. This method of transport is more suited for short distances.
- Boats – Long-tail boats connect Phuket with nearby islands. Island-hopping day trips are popular. Prices are usually advertised but negotiating is possible, especially in the low season.
- Rental scooter – There are many scooter rental companies in Phuket and they can be a cost-effective way for one or two people to explore the island. Do always ensure you wear a helmet and suitable clothing, and it is imperative that you have comprehensive insurance. Renting a scooter is not recommended for people who have no previous riding experience and who do not have the relevant license.
- Rental car – Several car hire companies can be found in Phuket. Do check insurance terms first, remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road and check fuel policies before setting off. Also, make a note of any scratches or damage before taking possession of the vehicle to avoid any potential problems when returning it.