Phuket Bike Week is the largest motorcycle event in Asia. It takes place every April in the bustling provincial capital of Phuket Island in southern Thailand. Tens of thousands of visitors from dozens of countries flock to the mountainous island every year to watch as ten thousand motorcyclists show off their hogs, choppers, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes and custom rides that are closer to works of art than a means of conveyance.
This quick guide to Phuket Bike Week looks at:
- An introduction to bike week
- How to get there
- Where to stay
- Cultural and recreational attractions in Phuket
What to Expect at Phuket Bike Week
Phuket Bike Week begins on the scenic white sand beach of Patong Beach in Phuket Town on Saturday, April 11, 2020, and runs to April 13. Then it kicks off again at the Phuket Boat Lagoon April 17 and 18. You can find the full schedule here.
Phuket Bike Week includes an exhibition of 10,000 motorcycles of all kinds, a “Ride for Peace” bike parade, and custom bike contests. There’s also live entertainment and a Miss Phuket Bike Week competition. Part event and part trade show, Phuket Bike Week is also a great opportunity to purchase bike accessories and apparel.
If you’re planning on attending the event Phuket Town, you can expect to find historic Sino-Portuguese architecture, Buddhist and Chinese temples, quaint cafes and restaurants, and an active nightlife.
If you’re thinking about catching the event at the resort of Phuket Boat Lagoon, expect a more modern and less authentic experience. There are several resorts and villas to choose from as well as numerous fine dining options. More on Phuket Boat Lagoon, the island’s “most lively marina,” can be found here.
Being an island, Phuket is rather difficult to reach except by air. Phuket International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the country, is well-connected to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok with numerous daily flights. Numerous direct flights to Phuket are also available from Germany, Australia, India, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Outside the airport, look for cream-coloured buses with blue stripes that head straight to Patong Beach from 7:30 in the morning to 9:30 at night for around $5. Alternatively, many resorts and hotels arrange airport pickups. There are numerous bus options to get to Boat Lagoon from the airport, but because it’s just a 30-minute drive you might want to book a taxi or arrange transport with your hotel or resort. There are many taxi services that offer online booking, just be sure to confirm with your hotel or Airbnb host whether the taxi service you’re using is legitimate.
Where to Stay
- Phuket Town
There are almost too many options to choose from in Phuket Town. If you’re looking for a more authentic “local” experience, definitely start with Airbnb. There are numerous options in town, from villas on the shore to cosy cottages in the old town centre.
As far as resorts go, there are plenty of those, too. For a five-star stay right on Patong Beach, La Flora Resort Patong, where rooms start at around $100 USD a night. The 4-star Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, where rooms start at under $100 a night, is just a stone’s throw away, as are numerous excellent resorts where you can stay for $50 and under a night.
- Phuket Boat Lagoon
If you’re looking to take in the spectacle from Phuket Boat Lagoon, a great option is the Boat Lagoon Resort, which has marina views, two pools, a spa, a fitness center, and a game room. Don’t miss daily barbecue buffets on the resort’s Port of Call Beer Terrace. The best part? Luxurious rooms start at under $50 USD, depending on season and availability. There are also many options around the marina on Airbnb.
- Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa
The perfect location away from the hustle and bustle, located on the sunset side of the Andaman Sea and the pristine Natai Beach, the 5 Star Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa is just 25 minutes north of the Phuket International Airport, short distance away from the Blue Canyon Golf Course and the picturesque Phang Nga Bay.
The island of Phuket sits in the Andaman Sea and is dotted by white sand beaches on its east- and west-facing coasts. It’s a magnet for serious and amateur divers and snorkelers thanks to its many pristine coral reefs.
To find your beach check out this list of the best beaches in Phuket, which includes resort getaways with jet ski rentals and lively nightlife to secluded coves you have to hack through jungle to reach.
If you do plan on rolling beach time into your Phuket Bike Week trip, do so early in the month because monsoon season starts in May.
Thai New Year Celebration
Phuket Bike Week takes place during the Thai New Year national holiday that extends from April 13 to 15.
The holiday is rich with tradition and celebration. Mornings begin with merit-making, a concept considered fundamental to Buddhist ethics, which includes visiting local temples and offering food to Buddhist monks. People who have moved away return home to their loved ones and elders and pay respect to their ancestors.
Whether you’re in Phuket Town or Boat Lagoon, you’ll see parades and the crowning of a “Miss Songkran” in traditional Thai attire. In Phuket and other southern provinces of Thailand, the rules during Songkran include working as little as possible and avoiding spending money, not hurting people or animals, and not telling lies.
One of the more fun aspects of Songkran Festival is the water, which is symbolic of purification and the washing away of sins. Major streets are closed to traffic and used as an arena for water fights.