BANGKOK VS PHUKET | Best Of Thailand Must Visit!
we all come to that point where we want to travel to a different location. It could be work, for a vacation or to visit family and friends. Whichever is the reason, a different location helps to widen our horizons and provide the relaxation we crave.
If you are thinking of a travel destination to visit, then Bangkok is a beautiful place that could switch up things. Nevertheless, others argue that Phuket is a better location.
In this article, we would compare the different locations. This will help you discover which location works best for you.
History and Location Of Bangkok And Phuket
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand with amazing sights and mind-blowing delights.
In a country of small towns and villages, it is the only cosmopolitan city and is also Thailand’s cultural and commercial center.
On the delta of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is located and is about 25 miles (40 km) from the Gulf of Thailand. The city has two main municipalities namely; Krung Thep on the east bank and Thon Buri on the west, both connected by several bridges.
History of the Bangkok Metropolis
In 1971, the two municipalities were one city-province with a single municipal government. In 1972, the province, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok Metropolis) was formed by merging the city and the surrounding provinces. The metropolis is a bustling, crowded city, with temples, factories, shops, and homes juxtaposed along its roads and canals. Bangkok is also a major tourist destination, which stands out for its bountiful cultural attractions and nightlife that includes a blossoming sex trade.
History Of Phuket City
On the other hand, Phuket is a city on Phuket Island and is the capital of Thailand’s Phuket Province. Phuket province is located in southern Thailand. Phuket island is the biggest Island of Thailand (about 360 sq mi/930 sq km—about the size of Singapore) and sits on the Andaman sea. Another name for the island is The Pearl Of Andaman Sea.
Phuket is one of the oldest cities in Thailand. It was an important port on the west of the Malay Peninsula, where Chinese immigrants first landed.
Phuket province is located in southern Thailand. It is the biggest island in Thailand and sits on the Andaman sea. The nearest province to the north is Phang-nga and the nearest provinces to the east are Phang-nga and Krabi.
During the thirteenth century, Phuket, for the first time, became part of a Thai state when Thai armies from Sukhothai wrestled control of the island from the Sirivijaya Empire based in Sumatra.
It was in the 15th century, Phuket shot to fame as one of the leading tin mining producers of the region. The Dutch made this influential destination as their business region during the 16th century, influenced by the rich assets of Phuket.
The Chinese greatly influence Phuket, so it’s common to see many Chinese shrines and Chinese Restaurants around the city. An example of this will be the Chinese Vegetarian Festival in Phuket.
However, other ethnicities are bringing all their traditions and festivals from all over the world to Phuket regardless of the Chinese community.
What You Need To Know About Bangkok
Over the years, Bangkok city has experienced explosive growth, which the authorities have attempted to direct through a series of master plans since the 1960s. Formerly, the city center was enclosed by a wall, but it has been massively developed.
Also, expansion has moved outward, well beyond the administrative boundaries of the city, into the neighboring agricultural areas. Over time, functional units have been born out of some districts as the inner city has become more institutional and commercial and the outer city more residential and industrial.
Walled Buddhist temples and monasteries called wats, which are often highly ornamented, serve as focal points for religious, cultural, and even commercial life in the city of Bangkok.
The traditional sites in Bangkok are occupied by the governmental and commercial districts of Bangkok city. The 18th-century In the walled compound of the 18th-century Grand Palace, government offices were formerly housed, but by the late 19th century they occupied surrounding palaces and mansions.
Multistoried buildings have been put in place to meet the increasing demand for space, and the traditional government compounds have become filled up. Many camps around and north of the National Assembly Hall constitute the military area.
What Do You Need To Know Before Going To Phuket?
Phuket has a wide array of fantastic attractions and serves as a high tourist destination. From natural to man-made, from land-based to water activities. On Phuket Island, one hardly runs off of what to do and a place to visit. The amazing thing is that these wonders are not far from each other.
Phuket has beautiful museums, outstanding religious and cultural structures, exotic shows, intoxicating nightlife, and a good number of beaches on which to enjoy the fine, soft white sand, nodding palm trees, and amazing scenery. It is among the world’s beautiful beach destinations. Out of a number of them, famous examples include Paying Beach, Kara, Karon, and Kamala.
Another amazing thing about Phuket is it has something for almost any taste and budget.
Aside from visiting the fantastic attractions of Thailand’s biggest island, you can take an exhilarating speedboat trip to the many nearby tropical islands. Such islands include the famous Koh Phi Phi. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay.
It’s also worthy to note that the people of Phuket are ardent followers of Buddhism. They staunchly adhere to the gospels of Buddhism. Consequently, they are helpful, warm, and friendly. The citizens of Phuket hold on to family values tightly.
Supporting the old, the helpless and respecting elders are some core cultural traits much appreciated in Phuket.
The socio-cultural life of Phuket revolved and evolved around the Buddhist temples. Usually, the temples are established at the center of towns served as cultural and educational institutes. Here the young and the old alike travel to get religious blessings, take part in cultural functions like feasts, fairs, ceremonies, etc., and educate themselves. Thais still hold the highest regard for Buddhist teaching and hence they are likable and respected.
What Language Is Used In Bangkok And Phuket?
The official language used throughout Thailand, including Bangkok and Phuket is the Thai language.
However, Thais also speak and understand English, especially in Bangkok and other major tourist areas such as Phuket.
The Thai language is challenging to learn for foreigners. However, foreigners get help from Thai people to learn some words which will ease their stay.
Nevertheless, the language for cross-cultural conversation remains English as Thailand hosts visitors from around the world.
What Is The Currency Used In Bangkok And Phuket?
Thai Baht is the official currency used in both Bangkok and Phuket and throughout Thailand.
What Is The Climate Of Bangkok And Phuket?
The temperature in Bangkok ranges from about 77 °F (25 °C) in the “cold” season in December to about 86 °F (30 °C) at the height of the hot season in April. So, the climate of Bangkok is hot.
The mean annual rainfall in Bangkok totals 60 inches (1,500 mm), four-fifths of which fall in brief torrential downpours during the late afternoons of the rainy season. The rainy season lasts from mid-May through September, while the dry season lasts from December to February. The mean monthly relative humidity varies from a low of 60 percent in the cold season to more than 80 percent during the rainy season.
The climate of Phuket is tropical, hot all year round, with a rainy season due to the southwest monsoon, which lasts from May to October, and a dry season from December to March.
So, Bangkok and Phuket basically have the same climate.
The People of Bangkok
Bangkok has a population with outstanding demographic characteristics. The high rate of natural increase and by the restrictive foreign immigration quotas adopted after World War II explains to its youth and the number of non-Thais.
Due to the introduction of a birth control program, the birth rate has declined. However, the immigration of young adults, particularly females, has increased greatly. This has made over a quarter of the resident population of Bangkok city to be migrant Thais from all parts of the country.
Most of the city’s population is ethnic Thais.
The largest minority is the Chinese, but other Asians, North Americans, and Europeans are also communities. Despite their small size, foreign communities tend to live in certain areas.
Top Hotels in Bangkok
· Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok was built in 1876. It is still the classiest hotel in Bangkok. It serves as the preserve for wealthy travelers and cultural icons. The hotel is exceptionally cosmopolitan and it is in the hospitality league of its own due to the excellent service provided.
· The Siam
The Siam is an exceptional and one-of-a-kind heritage-style luxury hotel that seamlessly marries classic Thai influences with Art Deco aesthetics. Public areas and rooms are decorated with stunning antiques and huge efforts are made to offer guests complete privacy amidst silent, sumptuous serenity.
· Capella Bangkok
Bangkok has no shortage of luxury hotels. However, the opening of Capella Bangkok in a level of sophistication the city hadn’t seen before: rooms boast private plunge pools. Additionally, there are villas on the riverside, plus a restaurant spearheaded by one of the world’s top chefs.
· Chakrabongse Villas
Chakrabongse Villas is an exquisite heritage property on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, offering three rooms and four suites right across from Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. A sumptuous tropical garden, a great pool, and several salas by the water’s edge make for a regal stay.
Sala Arun is a delightful riverside property. It is housed in an 80-year-old Chinese shophouse opposite iconic Wat Arun. This hotel is a perfect fit for visitors interested in Bangkok’s historic heritage.
· Prince Heritage Theatre Stay
Prince Heritage Theatre Stay is close to the river and Chinatown. It is set in a beautifully refurbished, spectacular 100-year-old Art Deco-inspired cinema. Hotel-wise, it offers just four spacious suites and several dorms.
· Riva Arun Bangkok
Riva Arun is a small, smart riverside boutique property, located in a historic Chinese shophouse right in the heart of Bangkok’s historic center, facing spectacular Wat Arun. It features just 25 bright rooms and a beautiful roof terrace restaurant with a tasty Thai-Western fusion menu.
· Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
The Sofitel is an elegant, luxurious 345-room downtown hotel with excellent facilities, two great restaurants, and a large pool, close to the sky train in an area packed with shopping opportunities, restaurants, and bars as well as some of the city’s most illustrious nightlife.
· Sofitel So Bangkok
The Sofitel So is a trendy, outrageously fashionable lifestyle hotel, located in the downtown Sathorn area facing Lumpini Park. It was created by French celebrity designer, Christian Lacroix and several Thai artists. The hotel is squarely aimed at a young crowd.
Top Hotels in Phuket
· Amatara Wellness Resort
The Amatara Wellness Resort, cleaved into the Cape Panwa hillside, in the south of Phuket, offers traditional tropical holidays as well as an excellent range of health and wellness programs, including fitness, yoga, meditation, weight loss, and detox, in a beautiful tropical setting.
The Amanpuri hotel was the first in Aman’s ultra-luxurious hotel empire. Nearly 30-years on it is still arguably one of the best hotels in Thailand, if not Asia. Facilities include four fabulous restaurants, a superlative spa, a seductive black swimming pool, an embarrassingly beautiful beach, and a fleet of yachts.
· Thanyapura Phuket
Thanyapura Phuket is famous for its extravagance in sporting activities. This is aside from the luxurious services provided. No wonder professional athletes (including Maria Sharapova and the Team GB swim team) come here.
· Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel
Discover a completely different side to Phuket at this lovingly restored Sino-Portuguese mansion, with simple rooms, a secret swimming pool, and a cracking little cake shop, located in the island’s historic Old Town.
· Paresa Resort Phuket
This romantic retreat clinging to the cliffs above Kamala Beach exudes a wonderful sense of calm. Indolence is the name of the game; leisurely breakfasts, floating in the infinity pool, hours on the balcony staring unblinkingly at the Andaman Sea, with trips to the spa in between.
· Phuket Cleanse
This tiny detox retreat punches well above its weight with its high-personalized fitness programs and motivational staff. Classes are varied and exciting. Examples include Muay Thai boxing, aerial yoga, mountain hikes. These are complemented with visits to night markets, poolside barbecues, and movie nights.
Top Restaurants to Visit in Bangkok
- Good Peace Restaurant and Bar
- Le Du Restaurant
- Issaya Siamese Club
- Enoteca Italiana
- Water Library Chamchuri
- Ma Maison
- Ginza Sushi-Ichi
- Le Normandie at Mandarin Oriental Hotel
- Savelberg at Oriental Residence
- Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant at the Pullman
- Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery
- Supanniga Eating Room
Top restaurants you should visit in Phuket
- Mom Tri’s Kitchen
- Black Ginger
- La Gritta Italian Restaurant
- Bampot Kitchen & Bar
- DeDos Restaurant
- Blue Elephant Phuket
- Wok Pagoda Kitchen
- La Gaetana
- Home Kitchen, Bar & Bed
- Kata Rocks Clubhouse
- Ka Jok See Restaurant
- EAT Bar and Grill
- Sam’s Steaks & Grill
Where can I visit Bangkok?
· The Grand Palace
Just as the name says, the structure is truly grand. Its architectural design still beats many others. It’s also the home of Wat Phra Kaeo, which houses the Jade (or Emerald) Buddha.
The grand palace was built in 1782. It was the royal residence for generations and is still used for ceremonies and accommodating heads of state.
You must dress modestly when you visit the grand palace.
· Wat Arun
Dating back to the time of ancient battles between the former Siam and Burma.
Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, was that temple that they built. Here, the new king later built his royal palace and a private chapel.
Climbing to the top of the prang just before sunset will give you an unforgettable view as the sun sinks over the Chao Praya River.
You don’t even have to climb, the sunset will enable you to see the glory of this place.
· Wat Pho
It is located immediately south of the Grand Palace precinct.
The temple was built by King Rama I and is the oldest in Bangkok. People have come here for healing for ages and were famous centuries ago for its pharmacy, established by King Rama III. It is known as Thailand’s first “university” and was established by King Rama III.
You can get a Thai or foot massage at the traditional medical school on the premises, but the prices are significantly higher than what you will find at massage parlors elsewhere in the city.
Presently, Wat Pho is famous for the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Here, you’ll find a statue so big (45 meters long and 15 meters high), you can’t see the whole thing at once instead, you will have to appreciate its beauty in sections.
· Giant swing
The 27-meter-high teak frame of the so-called Giant Swing in the center of the busy square in front of Wat Suthat stands one of Bangkok’s most eye-catching sights.
The Giant Swing was built in the 1700s to be used as part of traditional Brahmin (Hinduist) ceremonies. However, the Grand swing was later damaged by lightning and became just decorative.
· National Museum & Wang Na Palace
Until the mid-1970s, the national museum was Thailand’s only museum. This is the explanation of why its collection is so big and diverse.
Most exhibits have both Thai and English labels for easy understanding. Most guided tours are also in English.
This helps to ensure that tours do not miss out on any of Thailand’s fascinating history.
· Wat Suthat
Wat Suthat is one of the oldest and most beautiful Buddhist temples in Bangkok.
It is adjacent to the Great Swing and three kings had a hand in its construction.
The construction started after the coronation of Rama I (founder of the Chakri dynasty) in 1782, continued by Rama II and completed 10 years later by Rama III.
The temple’s exceptionally interesting wall paintings are very pleasant to the eyes asides from its jaw-dropping architectural design.
Wat Suthat is less popular than some of the other temples in the city, so it is less crowded. That affords you a peaceful experience.
· Chatuchak Market
This semi-outdoor weekend market is the largest in the world. You can find a lot of things here; from jewelry and religious icons to paper lamps, pet supplies, and delicious street food.
Over 15,000 stalls are in Chatuchak Market which offers just about anything you wish to buy.
In the Chatuchak Market, any souvenir you might want is probably available at a much cheaper price than anywhere else in Bangkok.
Asides from the purchase of things, the market is a place to mingle with locals and acquaint yourself with everyday Thai life,
The market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT), about a five-minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT).
· Jim Thompson’s house
The historic home of a “self-made American entrepreneur”, Jim Thompson, who is said to have disappeared while traveling in Malaysia, currently stands as a relic of an older time in Bangkok.
After Jim Thompson spent time in Thailand as a serviceman around the end of WWII, he settled there as well and quickly became a well-known name in the Thai silk industry.
Jim was awarded the Order of the White Elephant as a result of his success in Thailand. The Order of the White Elephant is an important honor locals give to foreigners who have made significant contributions to Thailand.
Where can you visit Phuket?
· The Phuket Big Buddha
This huge Buddha is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Phuket.
It sits beautifully at the top of the Nakkerd Hills and stands forty-five meters tall. Hence, it is very difficult to miss. The Buddha is made from white Burmese marble, which makes it sparkle elegantly in the sun.
From the top of the hill, one can be able to get a panoramic view of the island. At the Buddha, you will notice that it is very quiet except for the sound of dharma music and some little bells.
Wat Chalong has been open to visitors for over a century. It’s a place of adventure, starting with Poh Jao Wat, which houses two statues of elderly men.
One is a local who won various lotteries after he had been to visit the Poh Than Jao Wat statue, the other is called Nonsi.
The highlight of your visit could be the Grand Pagoda, which contains a small splinter from the bone of Lord Buddha.
Buddha images and pictures that depict his life story beautifully decorates Wat Chalong.
· Karon View Point
The Karon View sits just to the south of Kata Noi Beach Point. Because of its amazing views, it is common to find a good amount of tourists here.
The viewpoint looks out over the Andaman Sea in one direction and the other direction points towards the three west coast beaches on the other side of the island.
· Phuket Town Weekend Night Market
The Phuket night market or Naka Market is another popular site to visit. Tourists can buy a wide variety of things there; fruits, old curiosities, animals, and clothes. Because the market easily becomes crowded, it’s best to go on time. Examples of local foods on sale include the golden buttered corn on the cob.
· Bangla Road
When the sun goes down the Bangla, traffic is close down the Bangala road. At this time the road comes alive with beautiful scenery.
There are also street entertainers ready to give a few minutes’ entertainment and, in return, part with your cash in return.
The fun is unending.
· Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary allows you to meet elephants and learn about elephants. That is a way of supporting ethical elephant tourism.
· Monkeys at Monkey Hill
Toh Sae Hill is another name for the monkey hill and it is the highest hill in Phuket Town. Here you will find monkeys that are quite friendly with humans However, carefully keep an eye on your belongings.
About 400 macaques are living on the hill and they live in little groups all over the hill. At the bottom of the hill is a shrine popular with Thai people. A good number of them go to the shrine to ask for lucky lottery numbers.
The Three different holy spirits, Toh Sae Dang, Toh Sae Dam, and Toh Sae Kaow were the reasons why building the shrine was so important.
Both Bangkok and Phuket are fantastic locations for a fun trip with your family and friends. However, your choice depends on what you would like to achieve from your travel.
1. What is the cost of living in Bangkok?
The cost of living in Bangkok, is fairly moderate. $500 is enough to cover all your basic monthly expenses and give you a comfortable life.
2. Are there any lifestyle modifications needed to stay in Bangkok?
Not really, Bangkok is like most urban cities. Its restaurants, bars, clubs, sites and nightlife makes it a wonderful place to be. While visitors have a wide array of menus, you may have to alter your meals and try some of the local dishes.
3. What are most delicious foods in Phuket?
It would be best if you tried some of its dishes and figure this out on your own. Many people have different favorites and you should figure yours out on your own. However, here are some special dishes you should try:
Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai, Kuay Tiew, Som Tam, Geng kheaw wan gai.