An island just off the southern coast of mainland Thailand, Phuket is a part of the world which many sun-seekers choose to visit in order to experience something a little different. Being in the south of the country, Phuket enjoys a balmy climate which means that even during winter, the temperatures are far in excess of what we’re used to in the UK. Phuket is seen as a peaceful yet vibrant island where you can visit the beach, go shopping or dine at fancy restaurants, being a world away from the hustle and bustle of cities such as Bangkok. It’s also a place with a surprising history, formerly serving as a major gateway to South East Asia from the Indian Ocean, but today, tourism is king.
If you want to drive off the beaten track, especially towards the beach, then a rugged 4x4 is the best vehicle for driving on the island, especially when negotiating any potholes.
Driving in Phuket
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The only road connection between Phuket and the Thai mainland is the Thao Thepokasattri Bridge. The bridge can be jammed during summer.
Just south of the bridge, there is a police checkpoint. Make sure that your car meets all the legal requirements for driving in Thailand.
Some of the roads off the beaten track aren’t in stellar condition. You should stick to the main roads in Phuket if you can.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Chalong Temple in the town of Chalong Bay is an important place of worship as well as historical site. Here, the Temple’s monks helped the locals fight off rebellion from the Chinese and keep the island’s unique culture intact. Tours are available.
If visiting with the family, then the Phuket FantaSea theme park is the best place to go. There are numerous rides and nightly attractions to keep visitors young and old entertained, helping the park to gain its reputation as the region’s Disneyland.
It’s possible to go on safari in Phuket. Across the island, if you find a tour operator, you can observe some of the local wildlife including elephants, go canoeing or on a trek. It’s important to stay within a safe distance of the animals though.
Being off the coast of the Indian Ocean, Phuket is a great place to go snorkelling, diving or swimming. Lessons are available if you ask nicely, while you can see some of the sea life including the majestic reefs.
Phuket International Airport is the main airport serving the island and province. It‚Äôs 17 miles north of Phuket City, serves close to 10 million passengers a year and has two terminals; one for domestic flights and the other for international passengers.
The airport is along the 4031 highway, which goes in a north-westerly direction to the 402 highway. From there, you can go south towards Phuket City or north to the mainland.