Phuket Reopening

For sure there is a lot of information being circulated now via Thai embassies and online forums to digest about the reopening of Phuket under the highly anticipated ‘Sandbox’ scheme.

Don’t get blind-sighted by it all and know that as long as you are fully vaccinated and have ticked all the boxes regarding paperwork and pre-covid testing, Phuket could be your holiday destination from July 1st. Phuket will be a test model for tourist destinations all around Thailand and the Southeast Asia region, so there is a lot of efforts and excitement to bring a semblance of normality back to travel.

Whilst the government and other tourism bodies are working out the nitty-gritty, we would like to focus on the benefits of visiting Phuket from July 1, and we can’t wait to welcome you.


Phuket is remarkably easy to get to, more airlines are announcing direct flights into Phuket International Airport starting July 1, 2021, for the Sandbox scheme. Some of the flights confirmed at the time of us drafting this article are Thai Airways from Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Seoul, Singapore, and New Delhi (or Tokyo). Emirates, Dubai to Phuket direct daily. Singapore Airlines is planning a daily flight from Singapore to Phuket. Qatar will fly from Stockholm, Oslo, Paris, Doha, Warsaw, and Vienna into Phuket. El Al Israel Airlines will fly in daily from Tel Aviv. British Airways will codeshare with Qatar and there will be 3 flights per day from London.


We appreciate that some people may already be planning to use the Sandbox scheme as an alternative to the state quarantine for overseas visitors. It is perfectly acceptable to come and experience Phuket for 14 days with the freedom to dine, visit beaches and enjoy your hotel than being couped up in a hotel room with no access to the outdoors at all. There is still a restriction on movement though, you do have to stay within Phuket province for 14 days, but this is way better than quarantine, we are sure you agree.


For those who are returning guests to Twinpalms, or new to our hospitality brand, we have been busy in the last 18 months. Just before the start of the pandemic, we launched a sumptuously designed steakhouse ‘Wagyu Steakhouse’. This is in our Surin Beach hotel, with its own entrance on the main road too. The menu really is as good as the interiors, a touch of Manhattan class in Phuket! We have also opened a laid-back beach club next to Catch Beach Club on Bang Tao Beach, ‘The Lazy Coconut’. This really is a wonderful place to simply relax and enjoy the pool, graze on tasty cuisine, and enjoy the Phuket sunset in chilled-out style. ‘Palm Seaside’, our stunning restaurant on the southern tip of Bang Tao Beach has reemerged as a dining destination serving quintessential Southern Thai cuisine, do not worry, you can still find some of your seafood favorites on the menu, but now we focus on celebrating the authenticity of the region’s fresh produce and flavors.


We’ve mentioned before that during the pandemic and with the drastic reduction of tourism, the beaches are just spectacular. Even in the ‘low’ season, the beaches are still a joy to walk and to take time to relax on. In July through to November, the waves are roaringly intense, so swimmers need to divert their attention to the hotel pools, but surfers can spend their days with nothing but rolling waves as company. There are still plenty of small ‘mom and pop’ beach restaurants and bars that you can enjoy and more importantly support, as well as the more established hotel venues and beautiful beach clubs, such as Catch Beach Club and The Lazy Coconut  where you can forget that there is even a pandemic going on in the world!


If you book a trip with a SHA Plus certified tours provider, you can be whisked away for a day visiting smaller islets in the Phuket region. Island destinations include Ko Maprao, Ko Naka Yai, Ko Racha Noi, Ko Racha Yai, and Ko Sire, Andaman Cruises awaits you. All these small islands are fantastic snorkeling spots and incredibly beautiful. Scuba companies can also take you diving to some good dive sites around Phuket. You can spend time cruising sipping on cold beverages and enjoying an on-board barbecue with some of the swankier yacht charters or keep it real and enjoy local Thai food on the island and a spot of kayaking. There really is enough choice to enjoy either way.


Do not let anyone tell you that there is nothing to do now in Phuket, it is rubbish! For sure, lots of places are closed, do not expect huge theatrical shows and pumping nightlife, but there is still plenty to do. You can take a walk around Phuket Old Town, buy some cool trinkets, have lunch in so many places, whether you want middle eastern fare or authentic Phuketian dishes, there is a whole array of cuisine available to you in Phuket Old Town. You can also imbibe some culture within the Chinese temples and the Peranakan Museum.


SHA Plus certified hotels, restaurants and activities all have been audited to meet a certain quality control for health and safety. Hotels must have at least 70% of their staff fully vaccinated, mask usage is mandatory in Thailand in public places and closed areas, as well as ongoing hand hygiene, is encouraged consistently.
We are vaccinated and ready to welcome you and the whole of Phuket is super excited to have visitors once again safely returning to our island.


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