The Best Things To Do In Phuket
In a nation renowned for its sheer abundance of tropical island getaways, one island stands out among them all. A mere mention of its name is sufficient to conjure up images of beaches which are the very image of perfection and an exciting vacation in the tropical sun. The haven of endless delights in question is none other than Phuket. Thailand’s largest island is bordered by the Andaman Sea to its west and Phang Nga Bay, Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai islands to the east. Phang Nga province and its Ao Phang Nga National Park lie to its north while Ko Lon and Ko Racha Yai are located to its south.
Holidaying in Phuket means coming face to face with some of the most breathtaking scenery from its selection of unspoilt beaches, a thriving nightlife scene which promises loads of excitement and the emerald waters of the Bay with its limestone cliffs and floating village. With so much to look forward to, your vacation on this island of marvels might just become your favourite ever.
Phuket’s popularity and status as one of the most visited islands on the planet is evident in the sheer number of visitors who alight at its International Airport making it the busiest in the entire nation with only the capital winning at this game of numbers. The town centre is an hour and half away from the airport with taxis, airport shuttles and buses available to ferry visitors to and fro. As is the case in most cities in Thailand, songthaews, red buses are widely used. Motosais, motorcycle taxis, are also quite handy while taxi cabs are another option worth considering.
Phuket is filled with limitless opportunities for exploring and one of the best places to get started is Phang Nga Bay. With its calm, green waters, it is perfect for boating and you will be able to discover secret caves and hidden islands. Booking a cruise is also a great option for admiring its natural beauty in very comfy and relaxing surroundings and for visiting its floating village Koh Panyee where you will be able to shop for delightful souvenirs and tuck into freshly caught seafood.
There is no better way to round up a day of exploration than a visit to Bangla Road, with its different lanes which are all bubbling hives of activity and where you will be able to find shops and stalls to purchase souvenirs. You will also be able to enjoy a tasty dinner at any of its restaurants selling a variety of local and international cuisines and dance until dawn at one of its plethora of clubs.
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN PHUKET…
Chalong Big Buddha
A fun way to get your bearings in Phuket is to visit the Chalong Big Buddha that sits at the peak of Mount Nagakerd, and towers over the city. This massive statue stands forty-five metres high, and is made from concrete clad in white jade marble. Its beauty and size will hold you in awe, and as you walk to the feet of this majestic structure, you will discover the beautiful views of Phuket below.
Wat Phra Thong
Wat Phra Thong is a temple with a fascinating history. Famous for its half-buried gold statue of Buddha, it is surrounded by myths of a curse on those who have tried to excavate the statue over the years. Explore this complex of decorative buildings and visit the temple where the semi-submerged statue is housed!
Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
Rum lovers and the naturally curious will have a great time at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, the site where humble sugarcane is transformed into the locals’ favourite rum. Take a guided tour and learn about the production techniques that have evolved over the years, and make it a special day with a masterclass on how to make cocktails that will wow your friends.
Come and have a few hours of fun at the magnificent Simon Cabaret Show. This world-famous lady-boy performance is light-hearted fun with plenty of comedy, singing, and dancing by elite professional transgender performers in glitzy costumes. For a little over an hour, the show will take you around the world, with performances drawing on the best traditions of many countries.
Phang Nga Bay
Take a break from Phuket and take a day tour of the beautiful islands dotted around Phang Nga Bay; including the island made famous by the James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun!” Each island has its own unique attractions, whether it is a traditional fishing village to visit, beautiful beaches to relax on, crystal clear waters for snorkelling, or magnificent scenery and cliffs to photograph. Take a tour, you won’t be disappointed!
James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan)
Made famous by a 1974 James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, the picturesque James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan) can be seen but not touched! While you cannot land on the island, tours ensure you see the beautiful lush forest, the imposing cliffs and scattered caves. Swim in the surrounding waters, and visit the floating village for a meal, before returning home for the day.
Offshore from Phuket and Krabi, the beautiful Maya Bay was made famous as the site where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. It remains a great place to head for swimming and snorkelling, a paradise with brilliant white sand, and crystal-clear waters brimming with marine life. Meander along the trails and explore the stunning scenery of this magic island today.
The temple that locals visit – and the most loved – would be that of Wat Chalong, dedicated to two abbots who resisted a Chinese rebellion in the mid 1800’s. There is so much to see here; admire the magnificent sixty-metre high chedi, fall in love with the elaborate decorations that fill the walls and ceiling, and learn about the history as you study the statues of the two abbots that the temple honours. And as you reach the top, the views are just magnificent!
Ao Phang Nga National Park
There are many tours that explore the forty islands of the pristine Ao Phang Nga National Park. The decision is tough; do you want to cruise the waters and take in the magnificent scenery of the limestone cliffs and rainforests? Or do you want to spend more time exploring the caves, walking the trails, and relaxing on the pristine white-sand beaches? Either way, it’s going to be the perfect day out!
Phi Phi Islands
Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands, but most of them are just limestone spires. The only ones of any size are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley. When you come to visit these heavenly islands, you’ll be coming into the port on Koh Phi Phi Don.
Cities & Towns