Foreign tourists can now apply to stay for up to nine months in Thailand

(Photo by the Airports of Thailand)

Foreign tourists can now stay in Thailand for up to nine months without the need of travel abroad to have their visas extended, three months on the initial visa with two extensions of three months each.

Thailand’s Ministry of Interior says the new rules came into effect on October 1st, and are valid until September 30th next year, in a bid to boost the tourism industry.

Foreign tourists will, however, have to meet certain requirements to qualify as long stayers.

First of all, they must agree to a period of quarantine, as part of the Public Health Ministry’s measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, and must show booking receipts from the hotels in which they will isolate.

Then, they must show evidence of payments for their lodgings during their stay in the kingdom, which can be a rented house, a rented condominium room or a title deed of a condominium room.  They are also required to have health insurance, with a minimum of US$ 100,000 cover for COVID-19 treatmentvalid for the entire period of their stay in the country. They must also have health and accident insurance coverage of40,000 baht for out-patient treatment and 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment.

Having met the requirements, tourists will be granted a special tourist visa (STV), which is for single use and will allow them to stay in Thailand for 90 days, which can extended twice by90 days per extension. The visa extension fee is 2,000 baht.

Phuket Sandbox Updated 18 Jun 21

PHUKET SANDBOX FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As of 1st July, 2021, Phuket, Thailand will be open to international travelers.
There will be no quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers who are tested negative seventy-two <72> hours before arrival in Phuket.
You must spend at least fourteen <14> nights in Phuket before being able to travel freely in the rest of Amazing Thailand.
You may stay for less than fourteen <14> nights and return to your home country directly from Phuket.
◉ Children aged six <6> or above must get a COVID test before departure from their home country.
◉ In case parents are found to have Covid-19 during their stay in Phuket, the children will be required to be put into isolation for fourteen <14> days thereon.
 Every traveler must obtain a ‘Certificate of Entry’ (COE) before being eligible to fly into Phuket International Airport.
 Check the website https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/ for the required documents and the four easy <4> steps to apply before arriving in Phuket.
 The Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate-General takes three <3> working days to process steps one <1> and step three <3> respectively so please leave enough time to apply.
 Applicants must continually check the result of their application on the website after submitting each step.
◉ Every traveler must obtain a ‘Certificate of Entry’ (COE) before being eligible to fly into Phuket International Airport.
◉ Check the website https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/ for the required documents and the four easy <4> steps to apply before arriving in Phuket.
◉ The Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate-General takes three <3> working days to process steps one <1> and step three <3> respectively so please leave enough time to apply.
◉ Applicants must continually check the result of their application on the website after submitting each step.
 Foreign travelers must have insurance covering the treatment and medical expenses for COVID-19, with a minimum coverage of One Hundred Thousand US Dollars <100,000 USD>.
 The insurance must cover the total duration of your stay in Thailand.
 Please print out one copy (with receipt) as you will need to show at Phuket International Airport upon arrival.
◉ International travelers with the following vaccines are able to enter Phuket.

◉ Thai FDA approved vaccines:

      ◉  AstraZeneca
      ◉  Moderna
      ◉  Johnson & Johnson
      ◉  Sinovac Biotech
      ◉  Sinopharm
◉ You must be vaccinated more than fourteen <14> days but within one <1> year before entering Thailand.
◉  A proof of vaccination must be submitted when applying for your ‘Certificate of Entry (COE)’.
◉  Airlines that announced direct flights to Phuket are:
    ◉  THAI Airways International
    ◉  Singapore Airlines
    ◉  Emirates
    ◉  Qatar Airways
    ◉  Hongkong airlines
    ◉  EVA Air
    ◉  Korean Air
    ◉  Jinair
    ◉  Cathay Pacific
    ◉  KLM
◉  Please check airline flight schedules on their websites as this list might change.
◉  Please be aware that some airlines might not be able to operate to your home country when returning due to their current regulations. Please check carefully.
◉  You are responsible to check their requirements for returning to your home country.
◉  You must get an ‘RT-PCR’ Covid test issued no more than seventy-two <72> hours before traveling and submit as per the requirements of the ‘Certificate of Entry’ (COE) – Step four <4>.
◉  Ensure that you have printed out:
◉  Your approved ‘Certificate of Entry’ (COE)
◉  Your ‘SHA Plus’ hotel reservation(s) showing at least fourteen <14> nights stay with the ‘SHABA’ confirmation (please see ‘Accommodation’ section below).
◉  Your Insurance policy summary showing the required coverage and receipt
Your RT-PCR test result
◉  You must download the ‘Mor Chana’ mobile application as soon as possible after landing.
Upon arrival at Immigration, you are required to:
        ◉  Your passport
        ◉  Completed a ‘™.6’ immigrational arrival card
        ◉  Provide your printed ‘COE’
        ◉  Provide your Visa (if applicable)
        ◉  Your “SHA Plus” hotel booking with the ‘SHABA’ confirmation (please see ‘Accommodation’ section below).
        ◉  Your travel insurance
        ◉  The ‘Mor Chana’ application loaded in your mobile telephone and ‘Check In’ at Phuket International Airport
        ◉  Your return flight confirmation from Phuket International Airport in the event you are staying in Phuket for less than fourteen <14> nights.
◉  ‘Mor Chana’ is an application that is simple and easy to use as it helps to track and trace where Thai residents, nationals and visitors alike in the case a Covid-19 case has been identified and contact needs to be made.
◉  In the application, there are four <4> points of information to be made accessible, which are ‘Camera’, ‘Location’, ‘Pictures’ and ‘Store’.
‘Mor Chana’ will notify users when they are at risk of being near or contacting a COVID-19 infected person.
Wristbands will be used ONLY in cases where tourists don’t have a mobile telephone or have an older telephone which won’t allow the sharing of their location.
◉  ‘SHA’ is a certification for businesses who meet the basic standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
◉  ‘SHA Plus’ is a certification for companies/individuals who have received their ‘SHA’ certification ‘PLUS’ at least 70% of their workforce has been fully vaccinated.
◉  The ‘SHA Plus’ list is constantly updated as and when businesses are certified.

◉  Follow this link: https://www.thailandsha.com/shalists/m/ to keep updated of ‘SHA Plus’ businesses.

◉  You can go anywhere within the Phuket province, BUT you must strictly follow the ‘DMHTTA’ precautions:
         ◉  D – Distancing
         ◉  M – Mask wearing
         ◉  H – Handwashing
         ◉  T – Temperature check
         ◉  T – Testing for COVID-19
         ◉  A – contact tracing application (‘Mor Chana’).
◉  Masks must be worn at all times in public areas. Fines are in place if you fail to adhere to this.
◉  A COVID-19 rapid test is required on day five <5>.
◉  You are required to scan ‘Mor Chana’ application and do a temperature check at your ‘SHA Plus’ hotel every day during your first fourteen <14> days stay.
◉  It is mandatory that you book a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel for the first fourteen <14> nights in Phuket.
◉  Residing in a private residence is not allowed on the first fourteen <14> nights for COVID-19 control purposes
The first seven <7> nights reservation must be at one hotel and after their PCR test is negative on day eight <8>, you can move to another hotel. After the next test on the thirtheen <13> night proves to be negative, you can then move to another SHA Plus+ hotel.
Once you have made your ‘SHA Plus’ hotel reservation(s), you must advise the hotel(s)/tour operator(s) or OTA(s) that you are joining the “Phuket Sandbox” project so that the hotel(s) can enter your booking details into the ‘SHABA’ (SHA Plus Booking Authentication) system and you will then receive a QR code and Reference number as required by the ‘Certificate of Entry’ application. No other forms of confirmation of reservation will be accepted.
◉  All ‘SHA Plus’ hotel bookings must be fully pre-paid for the first fourteen <14> nights or less if you are planning to stay in Phuket for less than fourteen <14> nights.
◉  Upon arrival at the airport, the PCR tests results will be issued within twelve <12> hours. During this time, you must remain in their hotel room until you have received a negative result.
◉  ‘RT-PCR’ tests on day six <6> and day twelve <12> are mandatory.
◉  RT-PCR Covid-19 test
◉  Every hospital in Phuket can provide an ‘RT-PCR’ test.
◉  The cost of an RT-PCR covid test ranges from two thousand five hundred <2,500> to four thousand <4,000> Thai Baht per person.
◉  Covid-19 testing is at your own expense.
◉  IF your covid-19 test is positive, you will be immediately admitted to a hospital for treatment.
◉  The Department of Health, Phuket will investigate your movements and notify and isolate those who have been in direct contact with you since your arrival.
◉  We recommend that you only book an excursion with ‘SHA Plus’ certified companies for your safety.
◉  The following marinas are open for service: Ao Por, Grand Marina, Ratsada Pier, Chalong Pier. From these ports you may travel by ‘SHA Plus+’ certified boats only to Phuket provincial islands.
◉  On the first fourteen <14> nights, you are allowed to visit islands in Phuket Province which include Koh Naka Yai, Koh Naka Noi, Koh Rang Yai, Koh Maprao (Coconut island), Koh Tapao Noi, Koh Tapao Yai, Koh Lone, Koh Mai Thon, Koh He (Coral island), Koh Bon, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi.
Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao and Phang Nga Bay are NOT a part of Phuket province. You are not allowed to visit these places in the first fourteen <14> nights stay.
◉  We recommend that you only use ‘SHA Plus’ certified restaurants for your safety
◉  The consumption of alcohol in restaurants, bars and other places forms part of the provincial Covid-19 restrictions which are updated regularly by Provincial Governors. Compliance is mandatory under the ‘Disease Control Act’ when restrictions are in place.
◉  We recommend that you use only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis, minibuses and limousines.
◉  If more than two <2> persons are in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.
◉  Visitors who wish to drive themselves are able to rent a car during the first fourteen <14> night stay in Phuket.
◉  What’s open?
              ◉  The Central Floresta – the largest department store on the island and Porto do Phuket in Cherng Talay
              ◉  Many locally owned and managed restaurants are open across the island
              ◉  The beaches are all open, but please watch the flag warning system
              ◉  Surfing on many of the top beaches is in season
              ◉  The vibrant and in trend Phuket down small coffee shops, eateries and markets are open
              ◉  Some marine companies offering trips around Phuket island and island hopping within the province
              ◉  Dive shops and schools in some areas
              ◉  We expect more and more businesses will very slowly re-open as the year moves ahead
  • ◉  In the case you have a relative or friend who is already resident in Thailand, they are allowed to visit and stay with you during your fourteen <14> ‘SHA Plus’ hotel night stays.
  • ◉  Your friend or relative is responsible to comply with the current domestic travel requirements when traveling to see you.
  • ◉  At the time of press (and please be reminded that these regulations can/may change by individual Provincial Governors) the following regulations are required:
    •        ◉  Fully vaccinated (two <2> vaccinations) OR one vaccination of the AstraZeneca vaccine
OR
  •        ◉  Show a Negative Covid-19 test within the past seven <7> before traveling to Phuket
OR
  •        ◉  Show evidence that they have fully recovered from Covid-19 in the previous ninety <90> days.

  • ◉  If you show any Covid-19 symptoms it is your legal responsibility to immediately get a test.
  • ◉  IF you are shown to be ‘positive’ for Covid-19 and traveling with a group or family, everybody in the group or family must undergo a test and stay in an Alternative Hotel Quarantine (AHQ) covered by your expense. The remaining nights in the SHA Plus+ hotel will be cancelled automatically and the guests will be refunded in order to pay for the ALQ accommodation.
  • ◉  In all cases, if you are tested positive whilst in Thailand, you will be responsible for all medical expenses which must be covered by your ‘Covid-19’ insurance sum. In the case your medical insurance does not cover certain items, then you will be personally responsible to settle any outstanding before being discharged from hospital.
  • After spending fourteen <14> nights in Phuket, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but you must follow each province’s restrictions which can change.
  • You must follow your home country’s entry requirements and Thailand is not responsible or able to assist with such updates by individual countries.

Proposed Phuket Sandbox Program in July: Here’s what you need to know

Good news for vaccinated travellers, you may travel to Thailand without the need to quarantine under the proposed Phuket Sandbox Program starting July 1st.

The Thai government and Tourism Authority of Thailand encourage all travellers to get inoculated prior to their travel to Thailand. Those who were not vaccinated can still travel to Phuket but must stay in Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) for 2 weeks.

Planning to travel to Thailand in July? Here are some of the things you need to know. However, it is important to note that the plan is not yet official and may be subjected to changes depending on the COVID situation in Thailand.

Who can travel to Phuket?

Basically, everyone is welcome, including foreign travellers and their children. However, under the Phuket Sandbox Program, visitors must stay in Phuket for at least 7 days, after which they are free to travel.

Vaccinated travellers from low and medium risk countries must have received their vaccines at least 14 days prior to their travel to Thailand. Travellers must present a vaccine certificate as part of the requirements. Minors do not need to show vaccine certificates, but travellers ages between 12 and 18 must undergo rapid antigen test at their own expense, which cost around THB1,200 to THB1,500.

I got vaccinated; do I have to undergo testing and quarantine?

Protocols differ for international and domestic travellers:

For international travellers:

  • Vaccinated travellers (over 18 years old) must do an RT PCR test on day 5 of their stay.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers (over 18 years old) will need to do an RT PCR test upon arrival and stay at ALQ (Alternative Local Quarantine) Hotel for 14 days.
  • International travellers between 12 and 18 years old will need to undergo a rapid antigen test at Phuket International Airport upon arrival. However, children under 12 years old can travel to Phuket with their parents and do not need to undergo any test.

For domestic travellers:

  • Vaccinated travellers (over 18 years old) can enter Phuket without the need of doing any test.
  • Non-vaccinated travellers, including minors ages between 12 and 18 years old, will need to do a rapid antigen test at the checkpoint. Meanwhile, children under 12 years old, can enter Phuket with their parents and no need for tests.

I passed the immigration, what now?

All travellers must download the Thailand Plus Mobile App for contact tracing during their entire stay. It uses GPS and Bluetooth to detect locations of mobile phone combined with check-in records via QR code scanning in locations during the travellers’ journey.

From the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Transfer and hotel must be SHA-approved (Safety and Health Administration).

Can I go on island tours?

Vaccinated travellers are allowed to do activities within Phuket, but they must observe standard protocols of DMHTT (distancing, mask-wearing, hand washing, testing, Thailand Plus). On day 5, guests will undergo an RT PCR test. If they test positive, they will be transferred to the hospital. If they tested negative, they can visit other islands around Phuket (Phi Phi Islands, Koh Yao, Phang Nga Bay) for a one-day tour.

Can I go to other provinces?

Guests must stay at least 7 nights in Phuket before travelling to any other Province around the Country. They will need to do an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure. In addition, they must present it with the COVID 19 Vaccination certificate at the checkpoint of their destination.

Tourists are allowed to stay less than 7 days in Phuket and travel back home or to another country. However, they are not allowed to travel to another province in Thailand before finishing 7 nights in Phuket. This is to help revive the flailing tourism industry in Phuket.

Source: Royal Vacation, Thai Embassy

James Bond Island Cruise

Take a spectacular cruise around the James Bond island of Phang Nga Bay, and marvel at the limestone karst formations of Khao Phing Kan. Get some free time to go for a swim in the glorious tropical marine environment.

Highlights

  • Take a spectacular cruise to James Bond Island
  • Explore the mangrove forests of Ao Phang Nga National Park
  • Enjoy a buffet lunch of Thai food aboard a beautiful sailing boat

Full description

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Phuket, and then travel in air-conditioned comfort to board a beautiful sailing boat at Yacht Haven Marina.

Cruise through the enchanting Phang Nga Bay to marvel at the breathtaking limestone karst formations. Drop anchor at Khao Phing Kan, popularly known as James Bond Island after it was featured in the movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. Continue your journey by long tail boat and navigate the mangrove delta to visit the Grotto Cave and Sea Gypsy village.

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch of food from Thailand back on board the boat. Then, get the afternoon free to relax, sunbathe, and swim in the Andaman Sea. Cruise back to Phuket, and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival. 

Includes

  • Pickup and drop-off at your hotel or Phuket Airport
  • National park entrance fee
  • Guide
  • Meals, water, and soft drink
  • Lunch, with tea and coffee
  • Soft drinks and bottled water
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Long tail boat ride
What’s Not Included
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages

When you get there

  • Please bring a swimsuit, comfortable clothing, beach shoes, beach towels, sunscreen, camera and sunglasses.
  • This trip is not recommended for participants with heart complications, who are pregnant or who have any other serious medical conditions.
  • This trip is subjected to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather conditions, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • Maya Bay is closed for restoration until further notice. The tour will not stop or access the beach during this period.
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James Bond Island Tour by Big Boat & Sea Canoe

Explore magical Phang-Nga Bay and the limestone karst islands of Koh Tapu and Khao Phing Kan. Work up an appetite with a full day of canoeing in the Andaman Sea before lunch, and then enjoy a leisurely cruise back to port.

Highlights

  • Cruise through beautiful Phang-Nga Bay
  • Explore the limestone caves by canoe
  • Enjoy lunch on board the boat and soak up the amazing views

Full description

Start your journey from Ao Po Pier and climb aboard a 2-storey fishing boat and experience the beauty of Phang-Nga Bay and its many limestone islets. Enter the Bat Cave by canoe, and avail of the services of a paddle-man on every vessel.

Continue to Koh Hong and explore a room-like lagoon. Marvel at the limestone rock formations in different shapes before relaxing with a buffet lunch on board the boat.

End with a visit to the islands of Koh Tapu and Khao Phing Kan and discover the beach where the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was shot. Cruise back to Phuket and keep a look out for the large flock of sea hawks that live on the nearby mountain. 

Includes

  • Sightseeing cruise with commentary
  • Sea canoe session
  • Buffet lunch and light refreshments
  • Hotel pickup (selected hotels in Phuket only)
What’s Not Included
  • Personal expenses and tips

When you get there

  • Please note that pick-up from your hotel will be about 45 to 90 minutes before the boat departure
  • This tour operates in all weather conditions, so please dress appropriately
  • Bring sunscreen, your sunglasses, a camera and personal items
  • This tour is also suitable for rainy days as the boat is covered
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Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island by Longtail Boat

Cruise the amazing Phang Nga Bay by traditional longtail boat on a full-day tour from Khao Lak. Discover the unique karst formations and green mangrove forests, and visit James Bond Island and Suwan Khuha Cave Temple.

Highlights

  • Cruise the tropical waters of Phang Nga Bay by traditional longtail boat
  • Canoe up close to the limestone rocks
  • Stop at the floating village of Koh Panyi and visit the local Muslim community
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant in Koh Panyi
  • Visit the sacred Buddha Cave Temple at Wat Tham Suwanakhuha

Full description

Following pick-up from your hotel in Khao Lak, board a traditional longtail boat and experience the mangrove forests and karst formations from a different perspective. Get up close to the limestone rocks on a short canoe trip before heading to Khao Phing Kan.

Marvel at rock formations such as Tapu Island and James Bond Island, used as a film location in the movie “The Man With The Golden Gun.” Continue to the floating Muslim village of Koh Panyi, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch.

Next, go to Suwan Khuha Cave Temple to see the statue of the reclining Golden Buddha. Get some time to feed the resident monkeys before the return trip to Khao Lak.

Includes

  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entry fee at Wat Suwannakhuha
  • Longtail boat cruise at Phang Nga Bay
  • Lunch at a restaurant in Koh Panyi
  • Full insurance
What’s Not Included
  • Tips and gratuities

When you get there

  • The local tour operator will confirm your exact pick-up time after booking
  • Please note that the itinerary may change due to bad weather or other unforeseeable events
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Phi Phi & Khai Islands Snorkeling by Speedboat

Explore the beautiful Phi Phi Islands from Phuket by speedboat and see several breathtaking locations and snorkeling spots, such as Khai Nai and the famous Maya Bay. Enjoy a day filled with amazing sightseeing stops and relaxing beach visits.

Highlights

  • Marvel at the beautiful sights of the Andaman Sea from a speedboat
  • Be amazed by the beauty of Phi Phi Islands and famous spots such as Maya Bay
  • Explore the exciting underwater world on several snorkeling trips with the gear Included
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch served at a beach side restaurant in Phi Phi Don

Full description

Enjoy a day exploring the Phi Phi and Khai Islands, departing from your hotel in Phuket in the morning. Your adventure begins with a 1-hour relaxing boat ride to the Phi Phi Islands. See the wild monkeys from aboard the boat at Monkey Beach, before beginning your first snorkeling trip of the day. Pass by Camel Rock or Nui Bay and marvel at all the beautiful scenery while you cruise by in the speedboat.

Once you arrive at Phi Phi Leh, visit Maya Bay, made famous by the film “The Beach.” Here you will have more time to snorkel and swim in the area.  At noon, enjoy a delicious lunch at a beach side restaurant at Phi Phi Done, before cruising to Khai Nai Island where you will get to explore the tiny island.

Spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming and snorkeling on and around the islands. This tour is one of the best ways to truly discover the beauty of the area, from its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and everything in between. Your island hopping adventure will end when you return to the marina, before boarding your transfer back to your hotel in Phuket.

*The Maya Bay will be closed by the national park from June 1st 2018- September 30th 2018

Includes

  • Entrance fees and National Park fees
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Lunch
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • Use of snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel and life jacket)
What’s Not Included
  • Fins (available for rent)
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Beach towels
  • Alcoholic beverages

When you get there

  • Please bring a swimsuit, comfortable clothing, beach shoes, beach towels, sunscreen, camera and sunglasses.
  • This trip is not recommended for participants with heart complications, who are pregnant or who have any other serious medical conditions.
  • This trip is subjected to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather conditions, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • Maya Bay is closed for restoration until further notice. The tour will not stop or access the beach during this period.
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Chalong Temple

What is Chalong Temple?

Wat Chalong, the largest, most revered and most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Chalong Temple (officially Wat Chaitararam) is one of the Must-See places in Phuket, together with the nearby Big Buddha of Phuket as they are relatively close to each other.

Wat Chalong Temple in Phuket

The tallest building on the grounds of Wat Chalong is a 60 meters tall stupa (chedi) sheltering a bone fragment of Lord Buddha. Walls and ceilings of the temple are decorated with beautiful painting retracing the most significant steps of Buddha’s life. Each floor is also full of large donated golden statues.

Wat Chalong

Wat Chalong Chedi is built on three floors so feel free to climb all the way to the top floor terrace to get a beautiful bird view on the entire temple grounds. Few more steps will lead you to a glass display where the fragment of bone can be contemplated. You can see the nearby Phuket Big Buddha from there, but you can see it from almost anywhere in the southern part of Phuket island. The central temple is where most Thai people will make merit by offering lotus flowers and adding a small piece of gold paper to the monk’s statues inside.

No need to tell you to remove your shoes, you already know that, and the sea of shoes in front of the temple will remind you anyway. In theory, you should wear long pants and no sleeveless shirts, but this requirement seems to belong to a past era.

Wat Chalong Temple

Once in a while, you will hear loud explosions of firecrackers coming from a brick oven-like construction. That’s another way to make merit, supposedly to show your gratitude when one of your wishes came true. One person stands by to lit the firecrackers for you, the big ones are pretty scary but make fun photos (see video). On the side of the temple, a dozen small shops are selling all kinds of souvenirs and tourist stuff. Strangely, the shops selling religious items are outside the temple ground, next to the gate, go figure.

Wat Chalong Bird View

Then there are the occasional large funfairs, displaying lots of food, plenty of favourite Thai games and big stage performances. It’s always fun, noisy, entertaining and will undoubtedly give you interesting of opportunities to take some fun photos and insight on Thai life.

Inside Chalong temple main building


Things to Know

  • There is no entry fee
  • Dress respectfully
  • Take off your shoes, remove caps or hats when entering a building

How to Get There?

From Phuket town, take ‘Chaofah Road’ in the direction of Chalong and Rawai. There are two Chaofah Roads: the one you need is passing in front of Central Festival and all the shopping malls. It’s about 10 km from Central on the left, well indicated.


Useful Tips:

Big Buddha Phuket

Wat Chalong is a nice stop on the way to the nearest interesting point: the Big Buddha. If you like temples, see also the reclining Buddha of Wat Sri Sunthon.

Wat Chalong Information

  • Location: 70/6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Road, Chalong, Phuket 83130
  • Open: 7 am – 5 pm (but you can walk around the temple grounds anytime)
  • Phone: 076 381 226
  • Dress Code: Wear at least a T-shirt with sleeves, skirts or short pants that reach knee level
  • Price: Free

Credited : phuket101.net

9 Best Night Markets in Phuket

Night markets in Phuket are always fun, from the new Chillva Market to the giant Naka Weekend Market or the Sunday Walking Market in Phuket Town, almost everyone loves to browse the incredible array of things you don’t actually need. Phuket night markets are intense, colorful, surprising, fascinating, puzzling, smelly, messy, confusing and overwhelming. But night markets all have one thing in common, they offer a unique glance of the daily life of Thai people, rich, poor or just like you and me.


1. Chillva Market Phuket

Chillva Market Phuket

Chillva Market Phuket is the latest and definitely the best young night market on the island… Everyone loves those night markets and Thai teenagers more than everyone else, especially this new trend of making use of old containers! Every town in Thailand seem to have a surprising amount of those weekend or night chill-out places and they are always packed. (Note that this Chillva Market is not to be mistaken with the new Phuket Floating Market in Kathu few kilometre away which is a big bigger but mostly deserted)…

Open: Container part: Daily from 5pm – 11pm – Closed on Sunday
Full market: Thu – Sat from 5pm – 11pm
Location: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town (Between Tesco Lotus and Phuket Town)


2. Phuket Sunday Street Market

Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market

Phuket Walking Street weekend market also called ‘Lard Yai’ by the locals and is now the most popular attraction in Phuket Town. This weekend street market was an instant success wasn’t long to catch up, denoting a need for something to happen in Thalang Road, the historical part of town. Night markets are not new to Phuket Town, the original Phuket Weekend Market (Talad Tai Rod) on the outskirt of town near Central Festival has always been a very popular weekend destination but what is on sale over there is not as fun nor creative as the Phuket Walking Street (The weekend market sells a lot of copy tee shirts and cheap jeans).

Open: Sunday 5pm – 9pm
Location: Thalang Road, Phuket Town


3. Phuket Weekend Market

Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market)

Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market) is the name given by tourists to this overgrown Phuket town night bazaar, while Thai call it ‘Talad Tairod’, which literally means ‘Car Boot Sale’. ‘Naka Market’ seems to be the most popular name lately. ‘Phuket Chatuchak’ is also used, by reference to the giant week-end market in Bangkok. So many names for one single market!

Open: Sat-Sun 4pm – 9pm
Address: Opposite Naka Temple on the outskirt of Phuket town


4. Phuket Indy Market

Phuket Indy Market

A fun, young and creative little corner in Phuket Town, the Phuket Indy Market is tucked in a small lane off Dibuk Road, just next to the Limelight Avenue mall and not far from the well known Raya Restaurant.

Open: Wed-Fri 4pm – 10pm
Location: Limelight Avenue, Phuket Town


5. Malin Plaza Patong

Malin Plaza Night Market Patong

Malin Plaza is a relatively new night market at the southern end of Patong Beach that succeeded where other night markets failed because Malin Plaza kept in mind that food is the magnet that makes people come at the first place. It applies to shopping malls just as well.

Open: Daily 2pm – 12 am
Location: Patong beach not far from Duanjitt Resort


6. OTOP Night Market

OTOP Market Patong Beach

OTOP (which serves as acronym for ‘One Tambon One Product’ which means One Province, One Product) was originally designed as a local market to promote the handicrafts of each province of Thailand. This nice idea didn’t last very long and today the Patong OTOP market mostly sells a lot of copies, fake stuff and souvenirs you don’t even need. What is more interesting is the food street and the small beer bars in the back.

Open: Daily 10am – late,
Food Street: 5pm till late
Location: Patong beach, Opposite Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters


7. AWA Market

AWA Market Kathu

AWA market is the latest night market in Phuket, set in Kathu, just halfway between Phuket Town and Patong Beach. AWA has a lot of very good local food at low prices, a few bars inside recycled containers and a stage with occasional live band. The location of the night market makes it convenient. It is still a very young market but it is already quite popular.


8. Karon Temple Market

Karon Temple Fair

The Karon Temple Market only opens twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and is so popular that people start to plan their evenings around that event. Night markets have always been popular in Phuket and all over Thailand, but a Temple market sounds so much more exotic. In addition, Karon Beach lacks a little of attractions so the fair is always a welcome breeze of fun.

Open: Every Tuesday and Friday – 4 pm to 10 pm


9. Fun Friday Avenue Market

Fun Friday Avenue Market is a small weekend market popping up every Friday evening at the Boat Avenue on the way to Phuket Laguna. It’s modest in size but fun to visit if you are staying in the Bangtao Beach area. Night markets are part of Thailand life and wherever there is a market, there is a crowd…. and lots of food!

Open: Every Friday – 5 pm to 10 pm

40 Amazing Beaches in Phuket

A List of All the Beaches of Phuket

40 Phuket beaches are now in our list! A few are crowded, a lot are quiet, some are hidden and some are still secret. There are so many beautiful beaches where you can walk alone for kilometers, even during high season. So here is our updated list of Phuket Beaches by alphabetical order. Some are easy to find, some are really hidden. Surprisingly the nicest beaches, long and deserted, are just next to the main road! There are actually 2 more amazing secret beaches but we prefer to keep them…. secret 🙂 So get a bike or a car and start exploring! Stay away from the crowd and discover Phuket!


1. Ao Sane Beach

A little Remote – not too busy

ao-sane-beach

Ao Sane is a tiny hidden beach, very visible from Nai Harn Beach, but unless you know that you need to drive through a tunnel under the kitchens of the Phuket Yacht Club, you will never find out. Ao Sane consists of three very small sandy bays and you can walk from one to another through the few beach bungalows.


2. Ao Yon Beach

Remote and Quiet Beach

Ao Yon Beach

Ao Yon is so out of the way and far from the road, you could drive nearby ten times without noticing its entrance. Located between Panwa beach (past the Novotel Panwa resort) and Cape Panwa, it is not even indicated but few ‘restaurants’ signs and an old yellow giraffe sculpture might give you a hint.


3. Banana Beach

Relatively Quiet

banana-beach

Phuket is a world wide famous holiday destination. Every corner of this tropical island has been explored, invaded, sold, developed and exploited. Or so you thought! Still one tiny beach is hiding itself from the crowd, but it won’t last long.


4. Bangtao Beach

Quiet in North Part – Busy in South

Bangtao is one of the longest beach in Phuket, half way between airport and Patong on the west coast of the island. With its beautiful stretch of sand, Bangtao is always associated with the gigantic resort complex known as ‘Laguna Phuket’. Read more


5. Freedom Beach

Relatively Quiet – By Boat Only

Freedom Beach

Freedom beach is a beautiful strip of soft white sand lined with coconut trees in the South of Patong. Since the land surrounding the beach is privately owned, the only way to reach it is by longtail boat from the south of Patong, near the big bridge. Freedom Beach is only accessible during high season, during low season no boats will go there because of rough sea. Read more


6. Friendship Beach

East Coast – Not a Sandy Beach

friendship-beach

Friendship Beach is not really a swimming beach since it is on the east coast but offers nice views on the islands. The name of Friendship probably originated from the small resort built there as it is a very popular hangout for expats.


7. Haad Sai Kaew Beach

Deserted Beach

haad-sai-kaew

Haad Sai Gaew, is a beautiful endless beach located at the very north of Phuket Island. Haad Sai Gaew means ‘Glass Sand Beach’ in Thai, but sand is not that shiny. During the high season, The sea over there has a nice blue tone and walking alone for miles, you would never guess you are still in Phuket.


8. Haad Pak Phra Beach

Deserted Beach

Haad Pak Phra Beach

Haad Pak Phra is the last beach when leaving Phuket from the north end and most people would drive past without ever stopping. But Haad Pak Phra has a little ‘Dirty Secret’.


9. Kalim Beach

Not a Swimming Beach

Kalim Beach

Kalim Beach is a modest bay located just next to the famous Patong Beach on the way to Kamala Beach. As the sea floor is mostly made of rocks and dead coral, Kalim is not a swimming beach, but in low season it is a popular spot for local surfers. However, waves are not very high so don’t go imagining some big action. It seems to be a good practice place. It’s not a popular place to hang either as the sand is quiet rough and coarse. People just come here to walk their dogs or eat at one of the many food stalls coming at the end of the afternoon.


10. Kamala Beach

Moderately Busy

Kamala Beach

To most, Kamala Beach surprisingly shines by its lack of particular signs, if you don’t take Fantasea parkinto consideration of course. It is however a nice large beach with clear waters during high season and a decent amount of dining and shopping options, several hotels, some with a beach access. Read more


11. Karon Beach

Busy

Karon Beach

Karon Beach, the second longest beach in Phuket, enjoys a very long and wide stretch of white sand with an acceptable dining and nightlife. Yet it doesn’t seem to attract the crowds, and it’s not because municipality hasn’t tried. Read more


12. Kata Beach

Busy – very popular

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is the most popular beach in Phuket after Patong. But it is still a great choice as it enjoys a wide white sandy beach with an incredible blue sea. Less crowded than Patong, it offers a large choice of dining, shopping, hotels, and not to forget a good nightlife! Read more


13. Kata Noi Beach

Medium

Kata Noi Beach

Kata Noi Beach is a great little bay if you want to be near Kata action but stay away from the usual herd. This nice wide strand of white sand has incredibly clear blue water during the high season. Fortunately, its ‘Out of the way’ location kept it relatively quiet and unless you know about it, you probably would miss it. Read More


14. Laem Ka Beach

Partly Hidden Beach

laem-ka-beach

Laem Ka Beach, in the very south of Phuket near Rawai is a little gem hidden from view, only the ones in the know might find it. But you have to be a bit curious or adventurous to get something different and obviously some did their homework since I found about fifteen people lazying on sun loungers. Read more


15. Laem Singh Beach

Very Quiet – Accessible by Boat

Laem Singh Beach

Weather is lousy but you really want to go to the beach today… Laem Singh happens to look better in that exact weather. Laem Singh has this tropical touch that goes well with a bit of rain. It’s like been in the Caribbean, a bit nostalgic, very green with its palm trees leaning over the sand and you have the beach almost for yourself. Read more


16. Layan Beach

Quiet to Medium

Layan Beach

Layan Beach, a remote and very little known beach on the west coast of Phuket, is located at the northern end of Bangtao Beach which itself is home to many luxurious resorts such as Banyan Tree Resort, Angsana Laguna Phuket and Dusit Thani Resort. Layan Beach ends on one side with a river harboring small fishing boats and the best known feature is the tall island standing at the mouth of the river. Read more


17. Mai Khao Beach

Quiet

Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao Beach, the longest in Phuket, still looks in some parts as deserted as it was when I first visited it in 1990. A lot has been built but the beach hasn’t yet been covered with beach chairs, umbrellas and food vendors. You can still walk eleven kilometers or more and only meet three fishermen and the beach remained mostly untouched. Read more


18. Merlin Beach

Quiet

Tri Trang Beach

There is a lot of confusion and discussion about all the tiny beaches near Patong. So far, Tri Trang beach is the small hard to find beach hidden behind the Marriott Phuket Beach Club and accessible via a small dirt road on the side of the hotel. The beach is nice but the sea is a bit rocky. You’ll find nice massages on the beach and a popular restaurant on the hill. Read more


19. Nai Harn Beach

Medium to Busy

Nai Harn Beach

Definitely a very nice beach, different from the typical west coast touristy spots, Nai Harn is a popular beach among the expats and tourists. It is definitively changing but thanks the lack of possible developments, it still holds on to its local feel. The beach is in a protected bay where sailing or fishing boats anchors in calm waters. Read more


20. Naithon Beach

Quiet to Medium

naithon-beach

Naithon Beach is one of these little known beaches on the west coast of Phuket, mostly because it is far from the crowded areas. People coming here are usually in search of a peaceful spot with just enough facilities and hotels. Read more


21. Naithon Noi Beach

Naithon Noi Beach

Naithon Noi Beach is not officially a private beach but since the land you need to cross belongs to Andaman White Beach, it ends up the same… lucky them, it’s one of the most beautiful in Phuket. Read more


22. Nai Yang Beach

Medium to Quiet

Nai Yang Beach

Nai Yang Beach seems to be one of those beaches popular with returning tourists… It is a nice shaded beach full of tiny fun bars and restaurants, but like most of the northern beaches of Phuket which are not along the main road, it remains relatively unknown to the crowds. Read more


23. Nakalay Beach

Private Beach

Nakalay Beach

Nakalay beach is another case of beach surrounded by private land which makes makes it difficult for outsiders to access it. In this case, only the guest from Thavorn beach resort can enjoy it. It might not be the most amazing beach in Phuket but it’s large and very good for snorkeling.


24. Nui Beach

Private Beach

Nui Beach

Nui Beach is hard to find and hard to reach. Just like a few other beaches it is surrounded by private land and therefore there is an entry fee. The entry fee for Nui Beach used to be expensive but recently price has been reduced. It’s located past the well known Karon Viewpoint on the dirt road that leads to Black Rock Viewpoint. The road that lead down to the beach is tricky, so drive carefully. Read more


25. Pansea Beach

Private Beach

Pansea Beach

Private beaches are not allowed in Thailand, but you can get around simply by owning all lands around that beach. Pansea Beach, shared by ‘The Surin Phuket’ and ‘Amanpuri Phuket’ is one of them, but there is a way to ear the beach. Read more


26. Panwa Beach

Quiet

panwa-beach

Panwa Beach, also known as Khao Kat Beach, is not a swimming beach, and yet has the charm of these remote bays not many would take the time to explore while visiting Phuket. Located on a east coast cape but facing west, the whole area is peppered with luxury villas and few resorts, a great alternative to relax away from west coast crowded spots. Read more


27. Paradise Beach

Private but Crowded

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach’ sounds good, doesn’t it? With such name, people expect to discover another ‘beautiful-secret-hard-to-find-beach’ located near Patong. And yes, to its credit, the sea is very blue, sand is powdery and cute little boats are gently bobbing in the bay. Yes, it is small, remote and not easy to find. Read more


28. Patong Beach

Crowded

Patong Beach

If Bangkok is the Big Mango, then Patong is the Big Durian: you’ll love it or you’ll hate it… and it kinds of smells strong too. Patong Beach is the pulsating heart of Phuket Island and what makes it popular to some, is often what other people complains about. It’s big, it’s bold, crowded, bright and loud, yet people flock there like flies on honey. Read more


29. Rawai Beach

Quiet – Not Really a Swimming Beach

Rawai Beach

Located at the south end of Phuket island, Rawai is not a swimming beach but offer beautiful views on the many nearby islands in a peaceful local atmosphere. It’s a great place to enjoy great seafood and a good starting point to do some island hopping. Read more


30. Rayee Beach

Quiet – Not Really a Swimming Beach

Rayee Beach

Located in the southern part of Kamala, this tiny beach is not very attractive in itself but provides a nice view to the long established ‘White Orchid’ restaurant as well as some tiny bars. Read more


31. Karon Noi Beach or Relax Beach

Private Beach

Karon Noi Beach

Part of the “Best Beaches of Phuket’ collection, Karon Noi Beach is one more inaccessible beach only for the use of a hotel’s guests. Not well known from most tourists, it happens to have the nicest sand and most amazing blue sea on the island, and it is not even far Patong beach. This is the nest of Le Meridien Phuket… Read more


32. Surin Beach

Moderately Busy – No Facilities

Surin Beach

Surin Beach is popular for a good reason, with plenty of dining venues along a large beach blessed with a beautiful sand and an amazing clear blue water. Maybe it is already a bit too popular, with four of even five rows of beach chairs in some parts. But the quality of the water and sand still makes it one of the nicest beaches on the island. Read more


33. Tri Trang Beach

Quiet

Tri Trang Beach

Tri Trang is without doubt the longest and the nicest of four beaches located south of Patong. Its only downside might be during low tide, when the sea reveals a rocky area that used to be coral. Fortunately at high tide there is more than enough sandy areas for a good swim. Read more


34. Trisara Beach

Small and Private

Trisara Beach

Trisara Beach is just a tiny strip of sand on the west coast, just between Bangtao Bay and Naithon beaches and only accessible from the exclusive Trisara Villas.


35. Ya Nui Beach

Busy

Ya Nui Beach

Ya Nui is tiny but has the charms of a small beach, tucked in a cove between the Windmill Viewpointand famous Promthep Cape in the very south of Phuket Island. Coming from Nai Harn Beach you would drive through, keeping your eyes on the curves, and miss it if it was not for the amount of cars parked alongside the road of this hollow. Read more


36. Thavorn Beach

Private Beach

Thavorn Beach, like the 3 other ‘private’ beaches are not really private, but the entire land you would need to cross belong to the immense Thavorn Beach Village, one of the oldest hotel in Phuket.


37. Yae Beach

Private Beach

Yae Beach

Yae Beach is not really a great beach but since it is really hard to find, I really wanted to find it. It’s located on a cape between Patong and Kamala and you won’t find much there, just a small hut selling drinks… well, when it’s open.


38. Hua Beach

Hidden Beach

Hua Beach was unknown to us for a long time. Also not a great beach for swimming it is a very peaceful place not far from Kamala Beach. Read more


39. 40. Phuket Secret Beaches

Phuket Secret Beach

Those 2 secret beaches might be the last ones so we will not reveal them openly here. They are hard to find and hard to reach too! So let’s make a deal 🙂 follow us on instagram.com/willythuan and send us a message and we will tell you where they are. 😀