Phuket Airport

Make a style statement in Phuket ….

Phuket Duty Free Airport ShoppingPhuket International Airport (HKT) is located 32km north of Phuket City, on the paradisiacal Thai island of the same name. A major player in Thailand’s tourism industry, HKT is the country’s second busiest airport after Bangkok and provides jaw-dropping views on arrival or departure over the warm, island-studded Andaman Sea.Distinctive, red and yellow metered taxis will take you into the heart of downtown Phuket from just outside the airport, and should take 40 minutes to an hour. The regular Airport Bus runs every 90 minutes. There’s also a private taxi counter inside the terminal building, to whisk you to those world-class beaches with minimum delay.

HKT is a compact affair with two terminals housed in the same complex. T1 is for international flights, T2 is for domestic flights. Together they handle around three millions visitors annually. Thanks to unprecedented increases in passenger numbers to this textbook tropical island, the airport has a USD$188 million expansion programme in the pipeline. Projected to run from July 2012 to 2014, it will feature a brand new, state-of-the-art international terminal plus extensive service and retail improvements throughout.

Full-service airlines using Phuket include Air Australia, Malaysia Airlines, Air China and Qatar Airways. Its low-cost carriers range from FireFly, Eastair Jet and Nok Airways to Thai Airways and Indonesia AirAsia. Flights to Bangkok are frequent and take around an hour.

On arrival you’ll find a temptation-filled duty free shop, for all the tax free confectionary and luxury goods you forgot to pick up en route. Marlboro, Lambert & Butler and Mild Seven cigarettes abound, alongside liquor and gift ideas.

Make the most of your duty free allowance and select a few top shelf bottles from Absolut Vodka and Brazil’s Pirassununga Cachaça to Jim Beam Bourbon or Wild Turkey Whisky. Spirits are relatively cheap once in Thailand, so a vintage wine or bottle of Dom Pérignon, Krug or Bollinger Champagne might make more sense.
In the T1 Departures terminal is the Thai Airways International Restaurant, for delectable Thai and world food. You’ll also find around ten retail outlets plus a handful of cafés and bars. The second King Power Duty Free store is here, too. It brims with a sea of premium products including fashions and fragrances, watches and lighters, electronic gadgetry and stylish costume jewellery.

With its heady spice and flower markets you might not need a new perfume until you get home, but duty free is still the best place to buy it. Choose a bona fide bottle from fragrance powerhouses like Victoria Beckham, Gloria Vanderbilt or Paloma Picasso, or an eau de cologne from Gucci, Lacoste, Thierry Mugler or Acqua di Parma.

Emulate the beauty of Thailand’s exquisite national dancers with tax-free cosmetics from the upper echelons of the beauty world. With a travel compact or boxed gift set from Urban Decay, Chanel, Giorgio Armani or Origins, you’ll be halfway there. Advanced anti-ageing serums and creams come from Revlon, Garnier, L’Oréal and Elizabeth Arden.For duty free Apple and iPad accessories, digital cameras, cordless shavers and hair straighteners, seek out an airside exclusive from ghd, Samsung, Olympus, Philips or Remington.

Protect your eyes from the warming Thai sun with a new pair of designer sunglasses. Select a sleek, stylish or conversation-stopping pair from Police, Maui Jim, Oakley, Ray Ban, Tom Ford or Chanel. And try not to stay in the sun too long • time your tanning to perfection with a new cutting edge watch from Tag Heuer, Oris, Omega, Versace, Bulova or Raymond Weil.

In a region somewhat renowned for its cut-price replica products, save on cost • not on quality • by scooping up some authentic luxury goods at tax-free Phuket Airport prices.

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