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Many new things have come or are coming to the island of Phuket as its popularity grows with its infrastructure. It is no wonder why it is one of the Kingdom’s most popular island destinations and with airline carriers continuing to add new flights to the lovely resort island things are sure to keep on growing.
Australia’s budget carrier Jetstar is the most recent airline to announce a new flight route to Phuket, which is set to start before the Christmas holidays. This twice weekly flight will run between the island and Melbourne. Read information on this new route in this 1Stop news article, or go to 1Stop Phuket’s airport guide for a list of current flight destinations.
Another improvement to the Phuket International Airport is the new public bus that starting running late last month. There are eight buses that run this route, which leave the airport and pass through Kathu before terminating at JJ Market in Patong before coming heading back to the airport. The journey to Patong takes 90-minutes and is a great alternative to taking an expensive taxi.
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On October 4th between 4-6pm all of the Chinese shrines around Phuket will raise the Go Tengpole and the annual Vegetarian Festival will begin. This 10 day festival is one of the most interesting and colourful in Phuket, and is a must for all visitors and expats on the island.
The Vegetarian Festival is celebrated by the Chinese community and it is believed that by abstaining from meat for nine days that it will help to gain good health and peace of mind. The first two days of the festival do not have much to offer in terms of entertainment, though there is plenty of excellent vegetarian food around.
The third day of the festival (October 7th) the street processions will begin, which are definitely a sight to be seen. It is during these processions that many Thais of Chinese decent do acts of self mortification, acting as a medium for the gods. It is believed that the gods will protect them from harm. The processions will continue throughout the week all over the island.
To read more about the Vegetarian Festival and other festivals in Phuket, go here.
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Last week was the 81st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and in honour of that there was a massive beach and reef cleanup in Phuket, as well as in other Southern Provinces. Phuket’s dive community worked together with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to raise awareness in the province on how important it is to keep Phuket’s beaches and marine life clean.
The clean-up took place on Tuesday and more than 1,500 divers and non-divers volunteered their time to clean the beaches and reefs around the island. At the end of the day 4,356 kilograms of debris was collected and two mooring line were installed at Racha Yai, which is one of Phuket’s most popular diving sites.
The beaches around Phuket is the main reason why people visit the popular island and without keeping them clean they will no longer be desirable or as stunning as they are today. As well, with diving becoming more and more popular and being a major activity around Phuket, the reefs and sites must also be kept clean. Plans are underway to make this clean-up a yearly event, though everyone needs to do their part on a daily basis by ensuring they throw away their rubbish.
For a detailed description on Phuket’s beaches visit this One Stop Phuket beach guide. For more information on diving in Phuket and its top diving sites and schools have a look at the One Stop guide to Scuba Diving in Phuket.
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Phuket is one of the most visited provinces in the country and as a result hosts numerous festivals and events. No matter what time of year you are on the island there is always something to do, with the monsoon season being no exception.
Despite the heavy rainfall, there are still things going on in Phuket this wet month, like the Kathu Cultural Street Festival. This three day event starts today and showcases the history and culture of Kathu through music, dance, martial arts and of course food. The festival will be held around Kathu Market on Wichit Songkram Road and is best attended in the evening.
Another great event taking place this month is the charity concert at the Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa in Patong. This concert is to raise money for Myanmar refugees living in the province and features a night of beautiful classical music that will be conducted by Heeduk Lee. The concert will be held in the resort’s Grand Ballroom between 18:00 and 20:00 on July 23rd.
For other things to do in Phuket have a look at this One Stop Phuket guide.
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Couples hoping to get married in a unique way should head to Phuket next weekend for the fifth annual Phuket Baba Wedding. This three day fair follows the Baba Peranakan style, which is a traditional 15th century Chinese Malay custom in which guests dance and sing romantic themed songs and is one of the most colourful wedding ceremonies around.
Event goers will be able to see couples clad in traditional 19th century Chinese costumes and upscale Thai outfits and takes place in old Phuket town at the Hongyok Mansion on Thepkrasattri Road and the Thai Hua Museum on Thalang Road. On June 23rd a wedding procession will take place along Thalang Road, while will be adorned with Chinese lanterns and flowers. Afterwards a lavish reception will be held at the Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant Phuket in the former mansion of the Phuket governor.
Couples wanting to participate in this colourful wedding ceremony can do so for just under 40,000 baht, which includes the ceremony, costumes, the reception and three nights’ accommodation.
Read about local customs and etiquette here before opting for his unique wedding experience.
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The eighth annual Laguna Phuket International Marathon is set to kick off on June 9th at 4:30am. This year Laguna Phuket is expecting around 5,000 runners from around the world to take part in the marathon, which is pegged ‘Run Paradise’.
This is one of Asia’s most family-friendly marathons, as it has a race catered to all types of ages and fitness levels. The main course is a 26 miles course that passes through a Thai village market, along the stunning coast, through a rubber plantation and over vistas that offer picturesque views of the sea. There will also be a half marathon, a 6.5 mile run, a three mile walk and a 1.24 mile children’s run.
If you would like to compete in this great marathon and have not yet done so you can register on June 7th between 13:00 and 18:00 or on June 8th between 10:00 and 17:00. You can read more about this fantastic marathon here. For more information on Bang Tao Beach, which is home to Laguna Phuket and plenty of other luxurious resorts, visit this 1Stop Phuket guide.
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Every year Phuket hosts an international rugby tournament, and this year is no different. This year marks the 15th year of the Phuket International Rugby Tens, as seen in this advert shown here. The action takes place on May 25th and May 26th at the Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club and is sponsored by Strategic Sports.
This year there are 16 teams competing from all over the world, including Australia’s Morrabbin Rams and Singapore’s Wanderers. Many teams are repeat tournament competotrs, while others, like the Manila Nomads and Jakarta Komodos, are first timers. The Phuket Vegabonds will of course also being competing as well as hosting the event.
Funds raised at the tournament will go to the Asia Center Foundation, making it not only an exciting couple of days but also for a good cause. Anyone can go and watch the rugby matches and support this great organization, which today schools nearly 100 children on the island.
For more information on what to do in Phuket, visit this One Stop Phuket page.
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Tens of thousands of people visit Phuket each year and plenty decide to stay. They fall in love with the beaches and the lifestyle and opt for a life just like it. If you are one of the many that would like to make the big move to Phuket there is much to know beforehand, as life isn’t always easy here.
The first thing to look into before making the move here are visas, as a tourist visa will only go so far. Have a look at this One Stop guide to visas for more in depth information on types of visas and how to go about getting one so that you can legally live here. Next thing to research is the cost of living. Yes, Phuket is quite cheap compared to most western countries, but have a look at this guide to see just how far you can stretch your money.
There is no shortage of property available in Phuket, be it a small rental house, a luxurious villa rental or a condominium. There are all sorts of great options here, including buying your own property. The laws on owning property in Thailand are quite strict so be sure to do all of the research before getting into a sticky situation. This One Stop guide is a good starting point.
The last thing to remember is that even though you move here you will never be a local, but you do want to do everything you can to try to blend in and keep a low profile. You will want to have some grasp of the Thai language and know about the customs and culture, including etiquette, which you can read more about here.
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Being healthy seems to be somewhat of a trend these days, with everyone into things such as yoga, raw food diets and zumba, the newest fitness craze. Years ago one would not think that they could come to Phuket and enjoy a healthy lifestyle while on holiday or living here, but today well-being in Phuket is seen everywhere.
The Rawai-Nai Harn Group is taking it even further by hosting a festival; the Phuket Health & Fitness Festival. This year is the second year that they festival will be held and features lectures on healthy eating, raw food cooking classes, yoga classes and zumba among other things. The event will take place from 07:30 on May 18th until 18:00 on May 19th at various locations in Rawai and Nai Harn.
Some of the businesses involved in this healthy festival include The Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa, The Davinci Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Atmanjai Wellness Center and Serenity Resort & Residences. Tickets to the Phuket Health & Fitness Festival cost 500 baht per person, which will give you access to all of the activities taking place over the course of the festival.
If you are not interested in attending the festival or will not be in Phuket at that time and are still looking for healthy options while visiting the island, have a look at this One Stop Phuket guide of courses in Phuket.
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The beautiful island of Ko Yao Noi is sometimes overlooked by many visiting Phuket. This picturesque, undeveloped island is the perfect place to get away from it all and truly relax and unwind. The island sits in Phang Nga Bay on the east coast of Phuket and is accessible by boat.
Boats leave for Ko Yao Nai from Bang Rong Pier at 09:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:30, 16:00 and 17:00. Once arriving on the island you will not see any chain restaurants, shopping centres or crowds. What you will see are idyllic beaches, rubber plantations and mangroves, and a whole lot of beauty.
There are a few places to stay on the island that range from budget-friendly bungalows to five-star luxury. Six Senses Hideaway is the most luxurious resort on the island, sitting on a pristine beach on the east coast of the island. It is the best place to relax and get away from it all while being pampered in every way possible. Tha Khao Bungalow is on the opposite end of the spectrum, offering up budget bungalows on the north tip of the island.
This One Stop guide offers more details about Ko Yai Noi.