There are plenty of things to do in Phuket. We can assure you of that. Trying to fit everything in your itinerary may not be practical, but what should you choose? If you are having split minds, then read on. We have selected 10 activities that will guarantee an unforgettable trip! Check out the best activities in Phuket below!
1. A day trip to Phang Nga Bay including a tour around James Bond Island
A day tour to Phang Nga Bay and the world-famous James Bond Island is a must for every traveller visiting Phuket. The entire place is totally unique, with magnificent limestone structures dotting the ocean and surrounding headlands. And the glistening emerald green water only adds to this remarkable sight.
There are many tour operators offering full-day tours to Phang Nga Bay from many different locations around the island. No matter if you are staying in the bustling tourist area of Patong or out towards the more quiet locations of Mai Khao, you will have no problem finding a travel operator capable of booking you on this magnificent Phuket tour.
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2. Private Lopng-Tail Boat Hire
There are things in life you should try at least once, like travelling on a long-tail boat. Whether you desire to venture out and explore the nearby islands off Phuket, or simply cruise around the local beaches, hiring your own private long-tail boat is definitely the most relaxing mode of transport to get around the island.
Traditional Thai-style long-tail boats can be found parked on the sands of almost every beach in Phuket. To hire one for the day, simply tell the boat driver what you want to do and where you want to go. You will then have to negotiate a suitable price with the driver, which is usually dependant on the time of year you visit (high or low season), the distance you want to travel, and the amount of time you will need his services. Where you are going to is beautiful, but the journey there is a fun experience on its own.
Villa Finder’s Tip: Remember to wear a life jacket. If you don’t see it on the boat, do ask the driver about it.
3. Karon Viewpoint and Lookout
While there are many fantastic vantage points in Phuket to witness amazing scenery, the viewpoint and lookout at Karon is truly something special. Karon viewpoint (sometimes referred to as Kata Noi Viewpoint) offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the surrounding tropical vegetation and the Andaman sea.
At sunset, you will find hordes of tourists flocking to Karon viewpoint to find themselves a good spot to take photos of the remarkable sunset scenery. You will also find a number of local Thai people hanging around the viewpoint at all times during the day, selling fresh coconuts and other tasty Thai street-food treats to tourists who stop by.
4. Big Buddha Phuket
One of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Phuket has to be the Big Buddha statue. Perched high on top of one of the biggest mountains on the island, Big Buddha can be seen from many different areas around Phuket.
This larger than life statue of Buddha in meditation offers a 360-degree view of the entire Phuket Island, which can only be described as breathtaking. Big Buddha is also a practising Buddhist monastery so you will see lots of Buddhist Monks around the shrine. If you like, you can pay a small donation to be blessed by a local monk.
Villa Finder’s Tip: As it is a practising Buddhist monastery, make sure you keep in mind to cover yourself up at all times in modest clothing (or carry a sarong over your shoulders and chest) as this is part of the dress code to enter.
5. Weekend Night Market Near Phuket Town
You will find plenty of different night markets all around Phuket during different times of the week. However, the weekend night market near Phuket Town (known locally as Naka Market), is a night market you definitely do not want to miss!
This local weekend market is a favourite place for both locals and foreigners to mingle, shop and enjoy some of the best Thai street-food Phuket has to offer. The newly refurbished marketplace is filled with lanes of local Phuket merchants selling a wide variety of different things, from the latest fashion to handmade souvenirs. With the price of almost everything at the market open for negotiation.
6. Night Out on Bangla Road in Patong
Bangla Road in Phuket’s busy Patong District is a world-class partying destination and the central hub for all Phuket night activities. Tourists from all over head to Bangla Road in the evenings to experience the infamous Thai nightlife and bars of Bangla Road.
There are more than 200 pubs, bars, go-go bars, restaurants and discotheques within the Soi Bangla area and no shortage of cheap alcoholic beverages to be shared among friends. Whether you happen to be in Phuket on a Friday or Monday, there is always something happening at nighttime along Bangla Road in Patong.
7. Play With Elephants in an Elephant Sanctuary
Having the chance to interact with elephants during your trip to Phuket is an experience you definitely don’t want to miss out on. But finding an ethical way to do so in a developing country such as Thailand can sometimes be difficult.
The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket allows visitors to get up close and personal with elephants in an ethical and fun way. No one rides or bathing the elephants at this particular elephant sanctuary. Instead, you get to learn about elephants, feed and walk with them in a more natural and less harmful environment.
8. Hire a Scooter and Explore The Entire Island of Phuket Yourself
Some of the most majestic locations and amazing sights in Phuket are to be found far away from the busy ‘tourist traps’ frequented by the majority of visitors. The best way to experience everything Phuket has to offer is to hire a scooter and explore the island for yourself.
There are countless Buddhist Temples, lookouts, local restaurants and unique experiences to be had in all corners of Phuket. And Phuket is one of the most welcoming and safest tourist destinations in all of Asia. So you don’t ever need to be scared or intimidated to take those ominous looking side-streets and alleyways while exploring.
Related: Transportation in Phuket: Buses, Cars, Scooters. What are your options?
9. Walk Around Phuket Old-Town
The well-preserved streets and local culture of Phuket Old Town are often overlooked by travellers visiting Phuket. However, a walk around the bustling streets of Phuket Old Town is certainly something you should try to experience while in Phuket. Especially on weekend evenings when the main street is closed to traffic and numerous local street buskers and food stalls start to appear.
The centre of Phuket Old-Town consists of a local fruit and vegetable market, which operates at all times of the day and night selling fresh fruit and vegetables to both wandering tourists and local restaurant owners. Around the local market, you will also find a myriad of shops selling a vast range of items such as souvenirs and the finest Thai silks, at some of the most reasonable prices to be found anywhere in Phuket. So if you are looking for a good deal on shopping, make sure you visit Phuket Old-Town.
10. Stay in a private Phuket villa
Staying in a luxury villa while on holiday is something most people don’t get to experience every time they go away on vacation. However, unlike other destinations around the world, Phuket has a huge variety of luxury villas for rent to suit the requirements (and budget) of almost every traveller.
There is simply nothing better than lounging around your own private Phuket villa, complete with luxurious furnishings, on-call staff and amazing views of the surrounding tropical landscape. So treat yourself, your family or your fellow travel companion/s to a Phuket holiday they will never forget by renting a luxury Phuket villa during your next trip!