Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, whether one of the best places to hang out at the beach or go island-hopping while experiencing a myriad of ways to entertain yourself. Whether you opt to stay on Phuket Island or experience the surrounding isles in the Andaman Sea, the list of what to do in Phuket is a long one, of local attractions, eateries, or activities.
Kata Noi Beach
Nai Harn Beach
Phuket Walking Street
Phuket Weekend Market
Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
Wat Khao Rang
Wat Phra Thong
Wat Phra Nang Sang
Wat Suwan Kuha
Phuket Trickeye Museum
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Karon View Point
Phuket Tiger Kingdom, Thailand
Phuket Town Baba Museum
AC’s Phuket Fishing Park
Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
Phang Nga Bay
Phuket Simon Cabaret
Old Phuket Town
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
Koh Yao Yai
Koh Yao Noi
KOH NAKHA YAI AND KOH NAKA NOI
James Bond Island
JUI TUI Shrine
Shrine of the Serene Light
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
SOI dog Foundation
Patong Boxing Stadium Sainamyen
Dino Park Mini Golf & Restaurant
Jungceylon Shopping Mall
Central Festival Phuket
Siam Niramit Phuket
Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, as one of the best places to hang out at the beach or go island-hopping while experiencing a myriad of ways to entertain yourself. Whether you opt to stay on Phuket Island or experience the surrounding isles in the Andaman Sea, the list of what to do in Phuket is a long one, be it the local attractions, eateries, or activities.
The Phuket beaches number over 30 in total. Patong and Karon Beach are among the better known, offering visitors activities such as snorkelling, diving, parasailing, and jet-skiing for starters. Other options include Kamala, Kata, Kata Noi, and Kalim Bay.
If you wish to purchase souvenirs, shops can be found on Phuket Walking Street in the Old Town and the Phuket Weekend Market, also known as the Naka Market.
Those looking for attractions have much to choose from. For entertainment, you can visit the Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park, the Simon Cabaret, and the Phuket Aquarium. If you’re in a more cultured mood, there are many Buddhist temples in the area, the most prominent of which is Wat Chalong. On the other hand, if you’re interested in local history, venues worth a look at are the Phuket Trickeye Museum, Thavorn Museum, Phuket Baba Museum, and the various Sino-Portuguese shophouses and buildings on Thalang Road. And for those looking for something different, AC’s Phuket Fishing Park offers freshwater fishing for several species of fish.
If you time your trip right, you can also observe local fairs and festivals. The month of July sees the Kathu Festival and Cape Panway Hotel Phuket Race Week, while the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
Or perhaps you happen to be eager to sample the Phuket nightlife. In that case, Patong is the epicentre, although you also can find scenes in Kata, Karon, Phuket Town, Bangtao Beach, and Rawai.
Outside of the island itself, you can also arrange a boat ride to one of the islands nearby, including such names as Koh Yao Yai, Koh Yao Noi, and Nakha Yai.
Because of its status as a tourist spot, Phuket has a bevvy of dining options aimed at both locals and foreigners alike, with seafood being a consistent presence. Chances are that you will find whatever meal it is you’re in the mood for if you know where to look, be it Thai food or something Western.
Read through the rest of this page now for more information on Phuket’s tourist attractions and activities. If you have further questions or can’t find anything, don’t hesitate to contact us now.
Being well-known for its beaches and local attractions, some of the most popular things to do in Phuket, Thailand include visiting Phang Nga Bay, Koh Phi Phi, local beaches like Patong, island-hopping, seeing the Big Buddha, checking out the Phuket Walking Street on Thalang Road each Sunday evening, and Old Phuket Town.
Reviews cite the best islands to explore near Phuket are Koh Phi Phi, the Similan Islands, the Racha Islands, Coral Island (Koh Hae), Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi, the Koh Khai islands, Koh Bon, Koh Maphrao, and Koh Rang Yai.
It depends on what your concerns about safety and costs are. If you wish to be conservative and stick with reputable names, consider booking in advance, as it will give you time to do the necessary research. Smaller parties, however, can opt to book tours after arriving in Phuket. Be aware that if you do opt to book tours while in Phuket, it may be best to do so in tourist-heavy spots like Patong Beach or Bangla Road.
Visitors mention the top Phuket attractions as the Soi Dog Foundation, Bang Tao Beach, Freedom Beach, Monkey Hill, and Jungeceylon.
The best outdoor activities in Phuket should include a trip to Patong Beach, the Soi Dog Foundation and island hopping, as well as water sports and snorkelling.
The best day trips from Phuket are adventure trips to the Phi Phi Islands, the Phuket City Tour, the Phuket Best Half Day City Tour, the Maiton, Coral and Racha Island Snorkeling Trip By Seaboat, and the Phi Phi Islands Early Bird & View Point Hike.
With the right scheduling and imagination, visitors can fit in plenty of activities. However, we would recommend using the first day to tour the island as thoroughly as possible. The second day should be used to really get into things, whether island-hopping, checking out the beaches, or seeing a Muay Thai match. The last day should be exploited to the fullest. Do whatever you really can’t miss out on before you go, be it shopping, enjoying the local entertainment, signing up for Phuket tours, or even more island-hopping.
The best things to do in Phuket during the day, when the nightlife is irrelevant, include trying the local beaches like Kata Noi beach, checking out the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, visiting the local temples and seeing the Big Buddha, getting some perspective at Karon View Point, or visiting the Phuket Tiger Kingdom.
The best time to go to Phuket is between November and April, as weather conditions then are ideal for beach activities. The rest of the year is more likely to see monsoons, making activities like boating potentially hazardous.
Some specifics to avoid in Phuket would be renting motorbikes without proper license or experience, exchanging currency near airports, and the so-called jet ski scam. At the same time, be mindful of local customs. In recent years, taking photographs of or with endangered wildlife is already discouraged.
Yes. But if you still need convincing, check out the rest of this page and our website.
Phuket is best known for its beaches and associated activities on and around the famous island, although to a lesser extent, attention is paid to its temples and local nightlife too.
Traveller recommendations say first-time visitors should try Phuket town, those on a budget should go to Karon, tourists eager for the nightlife should stay at Patong, families should stay in Kamala, and those looking to be in the centre of things should try Kata. Others suggest couples and families should stay in the north and south Patong, although they and honeymooners can also opt for Karon and Kata, singles and party people should try central Patong, those intrigued by local culture and history should stay in the Old Town, visitors preferring luxury and privacy Bang Tao, and those wanting easy access to the airport should stay at Mai Khao Beach.
Before going to Phuket, would-be visitors should know a few things. If you plan on going snorkelling or other activities requiring gear, it is highly recommended you bring your own since you would otherwise be renting or using shared items. The more crowded a tour, the cheaper, so you will have to figure out a balance between your wallet and intimacy. Booking tours at a hotel may be more expensive. Keep a close eye on any deals, as anything that sounds too good to be true probably is. Still, unless you have other means of transportation, tours are your best bet for moving across islands. It also helps if you know at least a little Thai to be on the safe side, particularly when getting around or avoiding scams.
Chaithararam Temple (Wat Chalong). The most revered and well-known temple in Phuket. Stories about Luang Poo Cham with healing powers and Phra BoromSareerikatat (a fragment of the Buddha’s bone) kept on top of Phra Mahathat Chedi are many. Located 10km from Phuket town, you can get to the temple by taxi or tuk-tuk. A city day tour of Phuket always includes Wat Chalong in the itinerary. Don’t go on weekends or Thai public holidays though, the temple tends to be busy with crowds.
Big Buddha Temple (Wat Khao Nakkerd). The Big Buddha shrine is on top of Nakkerd Hill, in the Karon district. Formally named Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri, the statue is 45 metres tall and decorated with 135 tons of white marble from Burma. From the shrine, you can see Chalong Bay to Phuket Town and even Phang Nga Bay on clear weather days. Kata Bay, Kata Noi Bay and Promthep Cape and Rawai can be also seen. Not to forget the stunning sunsets from this viewpoint.
Kathu Temple (Wat Kathu). A quiet local temple near the Phuket Tin Mining Museum, and the Kathu Waterfall.
Wat Phra Thong (or Wat Phra Phud). An ancient temple in Phuket, Wat Phra Thon is located in the northern part of Phuket island, near Thep Krasattree Road and around 10km from the Phuket International Airport. The main attraction in this temple is the half-buried golden Buddha image. There are also ancient artefacts of the Phuketian people.
Wat Koh Sirey. Located on the hilltop of Sirey island, southeast of Phuket island, this temple presents a panoramic view of Phuket Town. There are Buddha images along the entrance and the big image of a reclining Buddha and the Phra That Inn, a big 5.5m golden stone.
There are weekly flights from Bangkok to Chalong, with a flight time of 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Phuket is undoubtedly one of, if not the best or popular family holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. Its amazing beaches, great resorts and hotel accommodations plus the tasty food fare, combined with events and activities that are fun and exciting or calm and relaxing, you choose! To help you decide, here are some of the best things you can see and do in Phuket.
Splash Jungle Phuket. Popular with children, this water theme park with various slide choices like tube slides, body slides, a family raft ride, and a wave pool and more. There is a kids zone for littler children to have their own water fun among fellow toddlers. In the park are likewise cafes and bars, a swim-up var, lockers for rent and souvenir shops that have swimming stuff in stock, and there are rooms and pool villas for an overnight stay – which children would clamour for, I’m sure!
James Bond Island and Phang Nga Bay. This is a must-see in Phuket, Phang Nga Bay amidst soaring limestone cliffs and spectacular rock formations. The most famous island in this bay is Koh Tapu, or popularly called James Bond Island, due to its being one of the locations of the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.” This area is one of Phuket top attractions with many day tours bringing travellers to enjoy kayaking, surely a great activity for children.
Snorkelling in the Similan Islands. A popular destination for day trips, the Similan Islands National Park is made up of 9 islands northwest of Phuket and is said to have the best snorkelling spots in the country. It is one of the top Phuket tourist attractions with its clear turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling and diving. Similan Islands day tours itineraries have several stops for snorkelling and swimming and lunch on one of the coral white sandy beaches. This island group is also the site for another Phuket must-see – migrating manta rays and whale sharks between February and April. With older kids, a liveaboard dive trip would be more fun. Just remember that the national park is closed from May to October, the monsoon season.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. There are reportedly two elephant parks following the ethical and moral standards for animal welfare, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Paklok and the Elephant Retirement Park. These parks have half-day programs but adhere to the general norm to diminish real contact with the elephants, like riding the elephants, or do tricks like painting, even bathing is being discouraged. If you want your children to see these lovable gentle giants up close, do proper research and visit a park that genuinely cares for the rescued elephants properly. You are teaching your children real-life values about all creatures of nature and giving them a fulfilling family holiday in Phuket.
Phuket Big Buddha, or the Great Buddha of Phuket, is one of the famous Phuket attractions and activities. This statue is a seated Maravija Buddha with the official name of Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Eknakiri or Ming Mongkol Buddha for short. 45 metres in height, this Buddha is visible across the whole Phuket island. At the site, you get a 360-degree view over the island and a perfect point from which to view the sunset.
Phuket Old Town Tour. Phuket Old Town is a quaint section of Phuket that showcases the interesting combination of Chinese-European architecture which structures, well preserved, are a wonderful sight in a walking historical tour. The influx of Chinese labourers and European miners into Phuket happened in the 19th century at the height of the tin mining industry of the town. One of the exciting things to see in Phuket Old Town happens on Sunday afternoons when Thalang Road transforms into Phuket Walking Street. There is a vibrant night market event, souvenir shops, food stalls for local cuisine and Thai street food, and an entertainment show or two for the kids.
Rebel Rock Climbing. A 700sqm+ wall space with a boulder wall, top out boulder wall, top rope wall and lead climb wall, this indoor rock climbing facility is one of the must-see places in Phuket. There are 2-3 hour courses for adults and kids of all levels with a cafe on site.
Wake Boarding. There are two wake parks that should be among the fun things to do in Phuket – the Anthem Wake Park, beside Rebel Rock Climbing. This is a cable wakeboarding park on a fresh-water lake where both beginners and experts can wakeboard safely, in 11 obstacles around the circuit. For total beginners, there are training cables available. There is also the International Wake Park Phuket, a bigger facility with a wakeboarding lake, a fun surf simulator, two swimming pools and a mangrove kayaking spot.
Phuket is famous for its stunningly remarkable beaches. There are more than 30 of these dotting the island, with their own unique attractions of atmosphere, facilities, scenery and views, even sand texture. Here are the most reviewed by travellers:
Kata Beach. Here one can experience popular activities in Phuket like surfing, snorkelling, swimming, island-hopping, chilling on drinks at the end of the day. Sand is soft and coral-white, waters are clean, budget food and drink stalls are available, as well as great beachfront hotels and restaurants, with Mom Tri’s Kitchen among the popular ones. Most of all, Kata Beach doesn’t get too crowded for comfort.
Freedom Beach. Freedom Beach will give you the feel of real freedom from stress – it is accessible only by boat or thru a footpath. Its isolation makes it unfettered of water sports and other common activities in Phuket beaches including roaming sellers, but not deprived of a restaurant and lounging facilities.
Surin Beach. A beach of natural beauty, with its soft sandy shore dotted with trees and clear waters, it hosts a number of the island’s exclusive hotels and other establishments.
Nai Harn Beach. Located south of the island, Nai Harn Beach emerged from quiet and secluded to busy and popular. There is a large lake almost right behind the beach that hasn’t been developed and allowed the area to keep its serene atmosphere. With lifeguards around and the soft sand sloping gently to the sea, this is a family-friendly destination, with several hotels and shops and restaurants available for your favourite Thai food. There is kite-surfing on the beach on windy days too.
Bangtao Beach. One of the longest beaches on the island, Bangtao Beach has some of its top hotels, restaurants and beach clubs, making it a popular destination for all kinds of travellers. Because of its size, there is always a chance to find a spot for some peaceful relaxation.
Patong Beach. Located on the west coast of the island, Pa tong is always on the list of best beaches with its fine sandy shore. It is the most popular among all travellers to the island also because right behind are several great hotels and restaurants and the hub of Phuket nightlife.
Karon Beach. The third-longest beach and almost perfectly straight, lined with trees on the southern end while volleyball nets and beachfront restaurants dot the north. Karon Beach is described to have the squeakiest sand on the whole island because it’s super fine and soft that there is a squeaky sound made by your walk. There are almost no rocks along the stretch of this beach making it a safe spot for swimming.
Kata Noi Beach. Literally meaning “little Kata Beach,” Kata Noi is right next to its bigger sibling. It is the smallest of the island’s best beaches but its popularity among travellers is not small at all! The sand is so fine, the sea is beautiful, the few restaurants and hotels on this beach are among the best. It is quieter than its big sibling so its ambience is more relaxed. The waters on this beach present wonderful surfing and snorkelling experiences, too.
Ya Nui Beach. Another small yet popular beach among travellers to Phuket. With beautifully soft sand and inviting clear water below Windmill Viewpoint, a great location for photo ops and a wonderful dive spot for snorkelers. There are great restaurants, accommodations and vendors for that amazing Thai street food experience nearby.
Paradise Beach. Not so long and with a little rocky headland, it’s like there are 2 beaches. Paradise Beach is near Pa Tong, with a white sandy shore lined with palm trees and calm water and a soft seabed. This beach hosts the Paradise Beach Club, thus paving the entry of various other facilities, restaurants and bars, kayaks, beach chairs. Most of all, in line with its name, only Paradise Beach hosts the beach parties in the mode of Koh Phangan!
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