Travel Tips: Planning Your Visit to Bangkok and Phuket

Whether you recently booked your flight to Thailand or you’re simply dreaming of your trip to Bangkok or Phuket, it’s time to start making plans. Thailand is a beautiful country, full of different places to visit all with their own unique character and style. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a popular starting-off point for visitors to the country as most international flights will arrive here. Phuket is a vacation destination that draws millions of visitors each year. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Travel Tips: Planning Your Visit to Bangkok and Phuket
Bangkok skyline/ Image via Swaminathan/ Flickr

Be Prepared for Bangkok Craziness…..

Bangkok is unlike any other city in the world and we love it for that reason. It is a huge, sprawling, busy city with so much going on you will hardly be able to catch your breath. On your first arrival in Bangkok be prepared for some culture shock. Here in Bangkok, the ancient meets the modern – Thai temples and Buddhist monks exist among the sky-high hotels and the cocktail bars. The streets are filled with traffic and there are people everywhere. Bangkok is full of contradictions and that’s what makes it fun and interesting. Give yourself a little time to acclimatize and then dive right into the world of Bangkok, whether you stay here for two days or two months.

…And Phuket Tranquility

Phuket is, of course, a busy place too and you will find your fair share of bars, clubs, noise, and excitement, particularly around Patong Beach. But if you want to chill out and relax, Phuket is your destination. Choose a resort in a secluded spot on the Phuket coast, or stay in a hotel a little further from the action and you can enjoy lazing on the beach, watching sunsets with a cocktail in your hand, and trying some beach sports. Phuket has something for everyone. If you want a loud and crazy vacation with friends, you can find it. If you want a romantic break with your loved one, Phuket will provide. Check out the range of Phuket resorts available – you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Travel Tips: Planning Your Visit to Bangkok and Phuket
James Bond Island/ Image via Joan Campderrós-i-Canas / Flickr

Come to Bangkok and Phuket in the High Season…

The high season for tourism is from October to April. During these months the weather is coolest (although the temperature is never cold) and there is little rain. During the high season accommodation is at its most expensive and the beaches in Phuket are busiest.

….Or in the Low Season

After about May or June the rain starts to arrive to herald the monsoon season. But you don’t need to worry too much if you visit Bangkok or Phuket in the rainy season. Rain only usually appears once or twice a day, in a brief heavy downpour that you can avoid. You will find that the beaches in Phuket are quieter, hotels in Bangkok are cheaper, and it can be a good time to travel around the rest of the country.

Packing for Bangkok and Phuket

You’re going to need slightly different clothes for Bangkok than Phuket, only because you need to pack some long pants or a long skirt so you can visit the wats (temples). You will also need to take something to cover your shoulders. In Phuket, you can wear pretty much what you want, any time, and you should pack light. You won’t need any jackets or sweaters. You probably won’t need too many tops and shorts because you can easily buy them cheaply in Bangkok or Phuket. Don’t bring too many toiletries as you can get basic supplies at any corner store or 7/11. Markets are a great place to hang out in Bangkok or Phuket. Don’t forget to haggle (good-naturedly!) as the price you are given first will undoubtedly be too high.

Arriving at Bangkok International Airport

Even if you are not planning on staying in Bangkok and are heading straight to Phuket, most flights from overseas will land in Bangkok and you will change planes for the next leg of the trip. If you are staying in Bangkok it is a good idea to have your first night’s hotel booked, particularly if you are arriving late at night. The taxi is a good way to get from the airport to downtown hotels, but make sure the driver uses the meter. Pick up a Thai SIM card for your phone from the airport or a 7/11 so you can easily communicate with friends while in the country.

Bangkok is a modern city but you will find that things don’t work all the time – sometimes the water will fail, sometimes the power. In Phuket, there are places where you can’t access your phone or your Wi-Fi. Look on it as an adventure. Have an open mind and be ready to meet some local people – Thai people are among the friendliest in the world.

For more information about travel to Bangkok and travel to Phuket, check out PhuketOn. With articles and advice for Phuket and Bangkok travelers, PhuketOn is your must-visit destination.

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