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Backpacking in Phuket
Backpacking Phuket: Phuket is the largest island in all of Thailand. Pristine beaches and warm weather make it a popular tourist destination for UK citizens on holiday. Travelers to Phuket will enjoy a wonderful blend of modern convenience and old world charm. UK backpackers can expect an extremely low cost of living in Phuket, which makes it an ideal holiday destination for those traveling on a budget.
What to Do
While the major resorts of Phuket tend to be crowded with tourists and marked by a modern aesthetic, backpackers can find more remote and less developed areas to enjoy in the region of Nai Han or Phuket Town.
Nai Han – This beach is located on the southern tip of the island of Phuket, just a few kilometers away from the more commonly recognized region of Kata. In the center of the beach is a monastic center named Samnak Song Nai Han, which allows travelers to stop by for a visit if they are dressed modestly. Though the water along the beachfront is dangerous for swimming during monsoon season (May through October), visitors can enjoy the warm and clear water when weather permits. Scuba diving is a popular attraction, as many beautiful species live in the waters just off the shore of Nai Han. Hilly, forested land borders Nai Han, which means that backpackers can enjoy hiking beautiful trails during their time in Nai Han.
Enjoy Sino-Portuguese architecture in this ancient trading center that feels nothing like the overcrowded tourist hotspots in touristy Phuket cities like Patong. Walk along the streets of Phuket Town to get a sense of how the locals live out their everyday lives. Funky boutiques and delicious yet affordable cuisine can be expected around every corner.
Travel Tips – Backpacking Phuket
Phuket’s peak season runs from April to November, so backpackers that want to save on airfare should plan to travel in off-season months. No visa is required to backpack in Phuket if your trip is under 60 days total, but you must be able to present a few key documents:
- Valid Passport – The traveler must present a passport that is at least 6 months old, and which has one blank visa page available for stamping.
· Proof of Finances – The traveler must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while on holiday in Phuket.
· Exit Tickets – The traveler must show a plane ticket to depart from Phuket within 60 days of arrival in the province.
Travelers from the United Kingdom can get cheap flights to Phuket via Bangkok. Backpackers looking to save money on airfare can also fly into neighboring airports, all of which are between 54 kilometers and 265 kilometers from Phuket. Many buses travel from major Thailand cities into Phuket Town, at the BKS terminal. Make sure that your chosen airport hub has bus service to the BKS terminal before booking your flight.
Backpackers can enjoy dorm-like accommodations in Phuket hostels for as little as two-and-a-half pounds per night. Private rooms in these establishments are only a few pounds more. Hostels range from quiet beach cottages to themed party centers in the heart of Phuket.
Mid-range accommodations start at around nine pounds for private rooms in primarily residential areas that are away from the noise of crowded downtown centers. Lavish resort accommodations begin at around 41 pounds, which is significantly more expensive than hostels, but well under what you would pay for similar lodgings in the UK.