Phuket is astonishing. It’s the most famous and popular resort in Thailand. Besides enjoying the amazing days on the beach with excellent service, you’ll experience diving and admiring exotic sea inhabitants, exploring the island and discovering ancient temples, and just having the time of your life.
The most comfortable and efficient way to explore the island is to get a rental car. You’ll need to be over 21 years old and submit two documents - the international driving license and your passport. Mind, that you can’t visit another country on the vehicle which you booked in Thailand. But the country and its resorts are so tempting and adventurous that you won’t have time for anything else.
What to see in Phuket?
Phuket is a great alternative for those beach fans who don’t feel like spending their whole vacation lying by the sea. It offers a great variety of attractions worth seeing. So, get a pen and make a list of sites you want to explore, get a rental car and start your journey. And at nights enjoy a party under the stars or just grab a drink or two (or three) in one of the bars right on the beach. Here are some of the destinations you ought to check out:
Clearly, you must see the Big Marble Buddha on the top of the Nakaked hill. The statue is guarding the entrance to its temple. In addition to the big monument of Buddha, there are many smaller statues of other Buddhist gods and saints inside the temple. The visitors come to this place to ask for health and wealth for themselves and their family and friends. Moreover, the view from the observation deck is truly breathtaking. Many people come here to clear their thoughts and enjoy the sunset.
If you want to dive into the local culture and customs, hop in your rental car and head to discover the traditional Thai village. You’ll have a chance to watch sword fighting and Thai boxing, see the traditional dances, learn some craft and even observe a traditional wedding. Close to the village you can visit an orchid garden and have a calm dinner at one of the restaurants with local cuisine.
There are over 30 Buddhist temples on the island, but the most outstanding and important one is Wat Chalong. When you see it for the first time, it resembles a real palace from the Disney movie. There are several buildings on the territory of the complex. The ubosot is the main building with the part of Buddha’s ashes and where the monks pray. The vihara is the building with the statues of the three monks and another building where the monks live. When you enter the Vihara, don’t forget to rub the belly of the elephant figure.
What to around Phuket in a rental car
Numerous beaches, bays and a highly developed tourist infrastructure are not the only two things the island can be proud of. Phuket is so big, that the most convenient and the quickest way to get around is a rental car. Here are some of the destinations scattered around the island which you should see:
The Khao Sok National Park is the biggest and the most famous national parks in Thailand. It has plenty of attractions which will make you forget how to breathe. Among them, you shall find the upright karst rocks, the jungles, mountain rivers, and waterfalls, but the most charming and astonishing site is the mountain lake called Cheow Lan. This fabulous place is located only 160 km away from the city;
The Promthep Cape is the southernmost point of the island and the perfect observation deck. This natural destination does not only offer a wonderful view, but also a couple of historic and religious sights. Thus, here you’ll be able to attend the old lighthouse for a better view and see an elephant family living nearby;
In the northern part of Phuket, in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, you’ll have a chance to admire the biggest waterfall on the island, Bang Pae. The water is beautifully falling into a stone basin, where you can enjoy a swim if there are not many tourists around. 15 meters in height, this spot is a perfect place to escape and see the might of nature. Besides, the area and scenery around are simply marvelous.
Tips for driving in Phuket
When thinking of booking a rental car in Phuket, get acquainted with the local rules and laws. The vehicles on the island have the wheel on the right side, but they still have a left driving. Moreover, the movement is pretty chaotic. The city takes the leading position in road accidents in the whole of Thailand, so be very careful while driving. The roads and highways are in very good condition and it’s possible to reach any destination. Be careful at the lacet roads especially after the rains.
Local citizens often violate the rules and have an aggressive style of driving, so be very attentive on loaded parts of roads. By the way, all the highways and roads on the island are free. There are also many free parking lots near every attraction, restaurant, and other public spots. If you find a paid parking, which is very rare and cheap, you’ll have to pay only $1 per hour.
Where to get a rental car in Phuket?
You can get a rental car right after your arrival at the Phuket International Airport (HKT) or better book it in advance online. The second option is more convenient and safe as during a high tourist season it’s nearly impossible to get a proper vehicle, moreover, the prices go up. You’ll have to pay some ridiculous money for an auto of a not very good quality or which you don’t like. Booking a rental car online saves your money, gives your options and help you make sure your vacation goes smoothly.
What car rental companies are situated in Phuket?
Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Avis, and Sixt are among those international companies which provide their services on the island. Don’t trust the local companies who offer the lowest rates and the best conditions. The devil is in the details. These companies typically use the tourists to earn money and lie regarding their services. And you clearly don’t want to get in troubles during your desired vacation. Also, run away from those service providers who don’t have the insurance or have suspiciously low rates. Such places can rent vehicles that are stolen.
Price of a rental car in Phuket
There are several factors which influence the price of the rental car. There are the season, the class and the model of the vehicle, its condition. Another matter that influences the cost is the gearbox. The automatic gearboxes are typically a bit more expensive. Another pleasant bonus is that, If you book a rental car for a period longer than 7 days, you’ll have a 30% off.
Thus, the economy variant with an automatic gearbox and an air conditioner will cost you around $30 a day, for the medium class you’ll have to pay around $45. Big jeeps and more chic vehicles cost around $60 per day.
What’s included in the cost of a rental car in Phuket
If you book a rental car in Phuket, you shall get:
Unlimited free kilometers;
Full gas tank;
If you want to order a full protection and insurance, you’ll have to pay extra $55 daily.