The tropical island of Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. With white sand beaches, amazing food, and culture, it’s no wonder that more than 3 million people visit each year! If you’re planning your next vacation to Thailand or are just dreaming about a trip to paradise, here are 15 Things To Do In Phuket: The Ultimate Guide
What is Phuket best known for?
Phuket is best known for its beaches, which are enormous and have pristine white sand. The beaches are lined with palm trees and a beautiful blue ocean. There’s a ton of water activities to do on the beaches, from surfing to parasailing, to scuba diving!
You can also find a ton of nature walks that will take you through unexplored areas of the jungle, where you’ll be able to spot monkeys and all sorts of other wild animals.
Phuket is also home to many international cuisines, as well as nightlife. In downtown Phuket, there are bars, pubs, and dance clubs that will suit any taste or preference. And if your tastes call for something more traditional, there are also plenty of street food vendors that serve up tasty Thai food dishes.
How many days in Phuket is enough?
A 3-5 day stay in Phuket is perfect for those who are on a tight vacation budget, prefer the ease of service at their hotel, and don’t mind how long they spend downtime in one area. However, if you’re planning to be outdoors most of the time during your trip, you’ll want to plan an 8-12 day stay.
Is Phuket expensive for tourists?
Yes, Phuket is an expensive place to visit for tourists. Things to do in Phuket can vary from culture, food, and nightlife. The prices also vary from one type of Thing to do in Phuket to the next. Some Things to do, such as elephant trekking, cost upwards of $300 while others only cost about $5.
Is Phuket island safe?
The answer to this question is yes and no. There are some places that you should not go to in Phuket such as the red light district and Koh Yao Yai. However, you can visit other areas where there is minimal crime. The areas with low crime include Patong, Kata beach, and Chalong. These areas have a higher chance of being safe than other areas on the island.
Phuket Town is famous for the namesake landmark, Phuket Tower. The views from the top of this tower are spectacular and offer a 360-degree view of the whole island. There are plenty of dining options inside this tower, along with shopping and an entertainment complex called Sogo.
Phuket Town is also famous for its nightlife, so if you want a fun evening out then this may be the place to do it. There are plenty of nightclubs that stay open until late into the morning hours, with live music and lots of activities to keep you entertained.
Another thing To Do In Phuket is to visit the beach at Patong, which has tons of shops and restaurants along with markets that offer a wide variety of items for sale. It’s also famous for its many nightclubs and bars, making it one of the most popular destinations in Thailand among tourists looking for a wild night out.
The history of Phuket
The history of Phuket is something that we can trace back to the 7th century. This is when we first started to see evidence of trade and Buddhism on the island. And for more than 1,000 years it stayed a sleepy fishing village until the 20th century.
Things changed in the 20th century as an influx of Chinese immigrants arrived after Thailand took over from France as a colonial power in 1941 – one group wanted land and another wanted education.
Phuket’s jungles were inhabited by indigenous people who lived a simple life and had no contact with the outside world. But as more immigrants arrived they began to clash, leaving behind evidence of their existence which can still be seen today in some parts of the island where you will find different colored stones – these were used as currency back then.
Today, Phuket attracts tourists from all over the world with some 15 million people visiting each year. It’s famous for its white sand beaches and clear waters which make it a popular destination for those wanting to go on holiday with their family or friends. But how do you know what to do when you get there?
22 Best Things To Do In Phuket
1. Visit Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi Beach is one of Phuket’s most dramatic beaches with its hot, golden sand contrasting the deep blue water.
You may want to visit this location for its beautiful, soft sand and palm trees that hang over the edge of the water while you relax on your vacation.
This beach offers visitors spectacular views of the island and it has an abundance of restaurants for visitors to choose from, all serving Thai dishes with a beautiful view.
Some activities you can try include Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Jet Skiing, Fishing, and Kayaking. Just taking a walk along the beach can be a relaxing experience.
The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April.
2. Tour The Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
One of the most popular attractions in Phuket is the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. Visitors can sample and purchase locally distilled rum products such as local honey liquors, pineapple wine, and fruit juice rum.
The famous distilled rum is a great way to remember your time in Phuket. It is also a wonderful place for you and your family or friends to have an enjoyable afternoon together while learning about the history of Chalong Bay Rum Distillery.
You can take a guided tour and learn how rum is made and taste different flavors of liquors. The tour also includes a cocktail workshop and you will even get to meet and greet with the master distiller.
The tour of Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is a great activity for couples, families, and groups. The location is easy to find and offers many different tours so that there’s something fun for everyone!
3. Visit The Phuket Big Buddha
The Phuket Big Buddha is a 95-meter Buddha carved from natural rock by the sea. The statue has been an attraction for travelers since the 1930s. Tourists can also access this site by climbing up a 400-step staircase.
The statue is one of the most iconic images of Thailand and plays a role in Buddhism, recognizing Gautama Buddha as being Enlightened or “enlightening.” The image is a popular spot for Thai people to come and make merit. And, many tourists have visited to do so as well.
When you get to the top you can admire the view and see some of the other attractions on the island. You will discover that it is a very peaceful place to visit, so you can escape from the noise of other towns.
You should keep in mind that the Big Buddha is a very popular tourist attraction and it can get busy at different times of the day. At night there are even fireworks which will give your trip a great ending!
4. Visit Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Beach is a 3-kilometer long crescent shaped beach that’s located on the northeast side of Phuket. It is a popular tourist destination where people come to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the crystal waters.
It has a tranquil ambiance and is a favorite destination for those who want to have a tranquil and relaxing time. The scenery – which includes palm trees, casuarinas, and tropical plants makes it an even more popular destination for those who seek serenity.
You will discover why this beach is so popular among tourists and locals alike. Several restaurants are serving Thai and Western food, beach bars where you can order a refreshing drink or two to beat the heat, and souvenir shops to buy a few souvenirs to take home.
The sunsets are spectacular and can be viewed from the beach or at one of the restaurants located on its periphery. During certain times, there is also free live music performed by locals which makes for an enjoyable evening to end your day in Nai Harn Beach.
5. Visit Karon View Point
Karon View Point is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a great view of the coastline. This is one of my favorite places in Phuket because I like the view of the white sand below me and the blue ocean that embraces it.
It can get crowded here on weekends because countless other people are looking for a spot to snap the perfect picture. The viewpoint is at the highest point of Karon, which means you’re going to have a great view. There are benches and chairs where visitors can sit and enjoy their time there.
View the spectacular views over the Andaman sea, famous Kata and Karon beaches, Phuket town skyline & the mountains of Rawai. This viewpoint is a must if you’re a keen photographer.
6. Visit Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is located in Phuket, Thailand. The one-hundred-year-old temple was constructed in 1901. This temple is the most visited tourist site in Phuket. There are over 5000 Buddha statues at Wat Chalong.
The temple houses a Thai-style mausoleum. The mausoleum houses the ashes of Queen Victoria’s son, King Rama VI who ruled Thailand from 1910 to 1925.
You will also discover the Grand Pagoda that is adorned with golden roofs. Inside the temple are hundreds of Buddha statues that have been donated over time by visitors from all around.
This place not only offers an enlightening experience, but it also has amazing architecture and beautiful landscaping to admire as well!
7. Shop at Phuket Town Weekend Night Market
Phuket Town Weekend Night Market is the heart of the chaos. The market is full of cheap clothing, souvenirs, and local delicacies. The vendors are very friendly and will give recommendations on what to buy depending on what you’re looking for.
It’s also not too bad to go shopping with friends because there are plenty of food stalls where you can take time to refuel while you shop or just enjoy your trip with fellow travelers or family members who happen to be visiting Thailand.
You can find various things in the market including clothes, shoes, hats and much more. You can also find food in the market such as barbecue chicken rice balls or Thai desserts like sticky rice with mangoes.
8. Visit The Tiger Kingdom
One of the best things to do in Phuket is to go to the Tiger Kingdom. It is a place where you can go and see tigers up close and personal. The Tiger Kingdom gives you a lot of opportunities for photography.
The other great thing about going to this place is that it provides an opportunity for people from all over the world to come together and get a glimpse of one of the world’s most endangered creatures.
The public wants to see these animals up-close and get a sense of how they live in their natural habitat. You can learn about these incredible animals through workshops and presentations.
Make sure that when you visit this place that it is during feeding time because then you will get a chance to see them hunt and what they like to eat.
The owners of this establishment believe in conservation efforts and do everything they can to make sure their animals are well taken care of, so you know when you visit the Tiger Kingdom that you are helping to save these amazing creatures.
There are 2 restaurants on-site that sell Thai food and Western food, so you have plenty of choices.
The Tiger Kingdom will give you an opportunity for great photography that very few people get the chance to do. Make sure that before you go into this place that your camera is ready because it might be one of the best experiences in Thailand!
9. Learn at a Thai Cooking Class
The cooking classes are a great way to learn about the local cuisine from the experts. Not only will you learn Thai dishes, but also recipes from other cultures that have been influenced by Thailand. The classes also allow you to take a broader look at issues such as urbanization, food security, and sustainability.
The food in Thailand is very different from our own. It is well worth learning about the local cuisine to truly appreciate it. You will learn the skills and ingredients needed to make delicious food.
This is a great way to learn about the culture and local cuisine in depth. You’ll leave feeling inspired, knowing that there’s much more than Pad Thai out there.
There are many different kinds of cooking classes available in Thailand, so choose one that best fits your interests or schedule!
10. Explore Bangla Road
Bangla Road is a street in the suburb of Patong that is a popular tourist attraction. The lively atmosphere includes lots of vendors selling souvenirs and food, as well as bars and nightclubs.
You will see the street performers and live musicians, and there are many bars and nightclubs. There is a barbecue party on the beach with water sports and fun outdoor activities.
Experience the eclectic vibe as you explore the street performers and live musicians. The various stalls barter a variety of goods, foods, and more. Prices are always negotiable. And when you get used to negotiating it’s fun.
11. Visit Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a sanctuary located in the hillside jungle between Thalang and Kathu. The site was established to provide a home for all displaced and abused elephants, and for any elephant that needs medical treatment.
This is an amazing place, where you can watch elephants frolicking in the pool or feeding on tree trunks while surrounded by lush jungle. Many elephants are living here, and they get two huge meals of fresh fruit and vegetables each day.
Meet these majestical creatures, and learn more about their habits and lifestyle.
All proceeds go to the elephants, so this is an eco-friendly place where you can make a difference!
You will also learn how they are trained by mahouts (elephant riders/trainers), which makes for another fun experience at this wonderful sanctuary.
12. Watch Monkeys at Monkey Hill
Monkey Hill is one of the first attractions that visitors usually see when they first arrive in Phuket. The monkeys are used to people who come to watch them and will often approach tourists offering food for an expected handout.
The monkeys are generally friendly and will even let you touch them. However, they can also be unpredictable around food and if one gets too close to someone’s lunch it might quickly get snatched away.
If you wander down the hill you will find a shrine that is popular with Thai locals, who want to discover lucky lotto numbers. The shrine honors Toh Sae Kaow, and several other holy spirits.
13. Visit Phang Nga Bay
A good idea for a day trip in Phuket is to visit Phang Nga Bay. The bay is famous for its unique limestone karsts which are not found anywhere else in Thailand. There are also some small villages around the area where you can stop by and get an authentic Thai experience.
The bay is home to various popular islands including Koh Panyi, Ko Tapu, and James Bond Island.
If you are looking to get into the water then pay a visit to Freedom beach at Ao Sane where there is also an old Japanese seaplane wreck that lies in shallow waters near the bay.
Discover the lagoons and caves of the bay by kayaking. Several companies offer guided tours, for an extra fee you can even have lunch at one of the small islands in the area while being accompanied by a Thai cook who prepares fresh seafood caught from the sea earlier in the day.
There is also an option to go diving and snorkeling around the bay. You can spot some exotic marine life including turtles, manta rays, and sharks if you are lucky.
14. Ladyboys at the Simon Cabaret Show
The Ladyboys is a must-see show when in Phuket. It’s one of the few all-male burlesque shows in the world. The show starts with a beautiful and convincing woman who sings and dances to music. After she leaves, there is an MC who introduces the Ladyboys and they all come out in glamorous clothing and with wigs and makeup on their faces with different characters and personalities. They start off by cracking jokes and then do a striptease, using props or coming into the audience.
You will see the spectacular cabaret show at the Simon Cabaret. It is a very entertaining show with glamorous costumes, great staging, and wonderful music that will keep you entertained throughout.
The Ladyboys are one of Thailand’s most popular cabarets groups who work in Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya performing their all-male burlesque shows to full houses every night.
This is an entertainment venue not to be missed. Be sure to organize your tickets in advance, as it is very popular.
15. Enjoy The Phuket FantaSea Show
The Phuket FantaSea Show is a water and fireworks show that takes place every evening at 18:00. The show starts off by showing the Thai flag and it proceeds to get more dramatic as people come out on boats. There are also fireworks at the end of the show which really makes it something to see.
The large complex is filled with shops, restaurants, and live performances. There are many shows that take place here including the traditional Thai dance show which is really fun to watch.
The Phuket FantaSea Show lasts about 45 minutes with both water and fireworks so it’s a quick but memorable event to see while you’re on holiday in Thailand.
There are a number of activities in the complex including a large pool with a water slide, shops, and restaurants. If you’re looking to get out of the heat but still have fun then this is a great place to go.
The complex also has a range of shows that take place throughout the day so if you don’t want to see one at night there are other options open for you as well.
16. Phuket Trickeye Museum
Phuket Trickeye Museum offers a look into the history and culture of Phuket. The museum houses informative and interactive permanent displays. It also offers a glimpse of what it was like to live in the 1700s and 1800s.
A visit to the museum will provide a glimpse of Phuket’s history and culture. There are informative displays in the museum that will educate people about what it was like to live on this island hundreds of years ago. The museum also offers interactive features for visitors to enjoy along with free admission.
You will discover the 3D artworks and installations in the museum. There are many activities to do at the Phuket Trickeye Museum, including taking photos with some of their famous characters.
Be amazed and inspired by the artwork and installations that you will discover in Phuket Trickeye Museum.
17. Visit Khao Rang Viewpoint
I would recommend visiting The Khao Rang Viewpoint. This viewpoint provides tourists with views of the temples and streets below. The viewpoint is also within a short distance from the airport, which makes it a good place to stop if you’re just arriving in the city.
It is a great place to admire the view of the town and several islands including Racha Yai and Racha Noi. There are also various restaurants serving Thai food at the viewpoint if you get hungry from all of your sightseeing!
There is also a fitness park and a walking path where you can take your time to explore the area.
18. Visit Jui Tui Shrine
The Jui Tui Shrine is a Chinese shrine. It is located in the scenic area of Karon Lombi Road. The shrine has been devoted to the worship of a Taoist God for generations.
The shrine has been renowned for its miraculous powers and good fortune. It is a place where many people go to pray or ask for help from the gods who reside in this location.
You might get the chance to see people throwing firecrackers at the shrine, during celebrations that take part in the month of December. This particular shrine is visited by many people and has been known to help those who come with a prayer or wish in mind!
It is a very peaceful and inspiring place to visit and is a great place for people of all faiths.
19. Explore Phuket Old Town
Phuket has an old town area that is worth exploring. There are some interesting things to look out for in the area. The whole town is divided by a canal which makes it easy to get around the place. Many shops offer Thai products, clothes, and handbags. You will find many of the locals wearing traditional Thai clothing too.
The town is compact and easily explored on foot. There are some temples and shrines in the area that you should not miss. The town also has two museums which house many interesting antiques, fossils, costumes and more.
There are numerous restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy food from all over the world. There are also many bars which offer a good selection of drinks too.
20. Visit The Shrine of the serene light
The shrine of the serene light is one of the most visited shrines in Thailand. The shrine is located close to Klong Prao Beach. Seawater flows into the shrine and drips out of a statue of Ganesh, which can be seen at the base of this Hindu pagoda. This water has many believers who believe that it washes away their sins.
The shrine of the serene light has spectacular ornate walls and bright colorful carvings. The water coming out from under the statue seems to have special powers for some people who believe that it will wash away their sins.
As you enter the premises, make sure you smell all the incense and look around you to see the brilliant carvings and walls that are ornately decorated.
21. Visit Patong
Patong Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in Phuket, Thailand. It is about 6 kilometers from the town of Phuket. The beach is situated on the west coast of the island.
Patong also boasts a lively nightlife scene, visit the Bangla Road area, the main tourist nightlife district. You will find a wide range of bars, pubs, and discos.
Patong Beach is also a great spot for shopping during the day or night time. There are many stores that sell souvenirs, clothes, accessories, etc. The prices here might be more expensive than elsewhere in Thailand but still cheaper compared to what you will find at places like Bangkok’s Khao San Road.
The beach is the main attraction in Patong. The sand is white and soft, the water is clear with a blueish hue to it. There are many people offering activities on the beach like jet ski rentals or parasailing rides for example.
22. Go Diving or Snorkeling
Phuket is an island that has many natural resources. Along the coast, there are some great snorkeling spots and some great diving opportunities.
You can rent masks, snorkels, and fins right on the beaches, or you can organize a tour or a dive with a local.
there are numerous shops where you can rent equipment for snorkeling and diving. You can also check out the best dive spots including coral reefs and shipwrecks. Some of the sites include Shark Point, King Cruiser Wreck, and Hin Daeng.
You can take lessons for both snorkeling and diving. Then you can explore some of the most popular dive spots in Asia, including Richelieu Rock that has coral gardens teeming with diverse marine life.
Lessons are for all levels, even for beginners.