Festivals in Phuket
Loy Kratong, or the Festival of Light, takes place across Thailand on the twelfth lunar month at full moon. 'Loy' means 'to float' and 'kratong' refers to a lotus shaped vessel. During this festival, people gather beside rivers and light candles on kratongs they then place on the water, making a wish as they do so. It is believed that as long as the candle light doesn't go out, it will fulfil people's wishes and provide them with longevity. Loy Kratong is a beautiful sight and makes for a romantic event for couples.
Songkran, or Thai New Year, is celebrated annually from 13 - 15 April. Water is the symbol of this festival as it washes away any bad from the past year. This tradition has evolved into throwing water on friends, family and strangers, which is convenient as Songkran also falls on the hottest time of the year. During Songkran, people also visit Buddhist monasteries to pray, give food to monks and cleanse images of Buddha in order to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year in Phuket is a celebration filled with traditional Chinese foods, firecrackers and parades. Many Chinese areas are covered in red banners and decorations, a traditional colour thought to bring luck. Partake in the festivities and gorge yourself on the delicious foods during Chinese New Year. Gong xhi faa chai!
Phuket King's Cup Regatta
The King's Cup Regatta is an annual yachting event that takes place during the first week of December on Phuket's Kata Beach. The King's Cup Regatta is a week long celebration filled with sailing and many parties. During the regatta, festivities include music from local and international musicians, traditional Thai dances and amazing fireworks displays.
Phuket is Thailand's largest island, just off the mainland's west coast. Phuket is a perfect holiday destination for those on a budget, as a holiday in Phuket is relatively cheap.
Relax on Phuket's beautiful beaches and enjoy the great hospitality of the local Thai people. Head to Patong Beach, Phuket's tourist capital, and trade some Baht for some cheap souvenirs in the shopping district or enjoy the vibrant nightlife of this tourist resort.
Peak travel seasons in Phuket are November to April, with the New Year's period especially busy.
Phuket is a melting pot of cultures. Currently, nearly half of the population in Phuket are ethnic Chinese, and in turn a lot of Chinese influence can be derived from the architecture around Phuket. According to popular wisdom, Phuket is Buddhist in religion, Hindu in culture, Sanskrit in its classical literature, Brahminic in its rites and Chinese in origin, which only exemplifies the multiculturalism that makes up Phuket.
What to do and see in Phuket
Phuket Water Activities
A holiday in Phuket is incomplete without a visit to its beaches and pristine waters. Phuket is one of the world's top diving locations, so organise a diving trip and go snorkelling or scuba diving in Phuket's amazing reefs. Or kayak through Phuket's hongs, collapsed caves that are only accessible by kayaks and canoes during low tide, where local guides lead you through these mysterious worlds filled with unique wildlife.
James Bond Island
James Bond Island, or Koh Ping-Gan, gained fame as the island featured in the James Bond film 'The Man With The Golden Gun'. The island's distinctive rocky pinnacle is a popular tourist attraction which is routinely followed by lunch on nearby Koh Panyee, or Sea Gypsy Island.
Head to Phuket Zoo and see an assortment of exotic animals. Inside Phuket Zoo, there is also an aquarium, bird park and an orchid garden so there is something for everyone! There are daily shows to be enjoyed which feature monkeys, crocodiles and elephants.
Phuket FantaSea is a theme park and is a popular nightlife tourist destination in Kamala Beach. Phuket FantaSea fuses Thai culture and tradition with a Las Vegas style show on a 140 acre site that also houses many attractions including games, shopping and a 4,000 seat restaurant.
An elephant trek is an unforgettable experience. In Phuket, elephant treks are operated from an elephant camp on the Chalong Highlands. Learn about conservation efforts as you trek through mountains on top of an elephant.
Phi Phi Island
When you're in Phuket, make a day trip out to nearby Phi Phi Island, which was featured in the film 'The Beach'. Phi Phi Island is actually made up of two islands, Phi Phi Lei and Phi Phi Don, which are without the hustle and bustle of Thailand's cities. Instead, you'll find towering rock cliffs, jungles and pristine beaches perfect for diving, snorkelling, hiking and rock climbing.
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