Amazing beaches, sumptuous food, bargain shopping, and friendly faces are among the few things that make Thailand one of the best destinations in Southeast Asia for travellers. If you have friends who have been to this country, you may have heard them rave about their trip- from their shopping spree in Bangkok to their river trek with elephants in Chiang Mai to their sunbathing sessions in Phuket. Thailand has everything to offer. Plus, it is pretty affordable!
If you’ve been needing vitamin sea and beach therapy for quite some time now and your friends haven’t convinced you enough to pack your bags and fly to Phuket, this article might. Keep scrolling to know about the top 10 things that you can do in Phuket.
1. Cruise around Phang Nga Bay
This is something you should never miss while you are in Phuket. With its beautiful landscapes and emerald-green waters, a cruise around Phang Nga Bay can chase your worries away. A lot of tourists come here to get a break from the hustle and bustle that our corporate lives could bring.
The area is also famous for a couple of “hongs” (enclosed lagoons that are mostly accessible on low tides). The best way to explore them is by canoes or kayaks. A lot of agencies offer packages with expert guides that could take you inside these enclosed lagoons to maximize your Phang Nga Bay experience.
2. Climb up Nangshe Viewpoint
Another way to enjoy Phang Nga Bay is to view it from Samet Nangshe Viewpoint which is two hours away. Tourists come here to capture the breathtaking view of the bay during sunrise and sunset. Its nighttime view is also magnificent.
A lot of guests camp out here to capture the Milky Way. If you did not come prepared because you were not planning to stay, tents and sleeping bags for rent are available. There are two viewpoints here; the higher your climb, the greater the view. It will not be a piece of cake, but it’s definitely worth it.
3. Visit Phuket’s Big Buddha
Your Thailand trip will not be complete without a sighting of a Buddha. The Big Buddha in Phuket is marble statue that stands 45 meters tall. It is so big that it can be seen anywhere the southern part of Phuket. The area also serves a viewpoint that gives you various breathtaking views of some of the best bays in Phuket.
You can see PhaNga Bay, Kata Bay, Kata Noi Bay, and Chalong Bay from here. The area also serves as a museum where you can learn the history of Big Buddha. Restaurants and souvenir shops are also available within the vicinity.
4. Enjoy diving and snorkeling in Similan Island
Similan Island is a paradise and is one of the most picturesque locations in Thailand. It is located in Andaman Sea which is about 100 kilometers from Phuket Island. The fastest way to get here is by riding a speedboat. Similan has nine islands in total. The main island is famous for its huge rock boulders where you can climb and have a great view of the bay from the top.
The water surrounding the island is crystal clear blue. There are tour packages that could take you to the best snorkeling and diving spots. If water sports are not your thing, lounging at the beach is perfect. The sand in this island is fine and pearly white. It is best to come here in the morning since the beach could get a little crowded in the afternoon. If you would like to stay for a couple of days, accommodations are available in the main island. Other visitors recommend for live-aboard cruise as well.
5. Stroll around Old Phuket Town
Interested to emerge in some Thai culture? Take a walk around Thalang Road. This is the center of history of Old Phuket Town. You can see old Sino-Portuguese mansions and shops here. Do not miss getting inside the local coffee shops with vintage vibes.
Some of these cafes look like they are a movie set from 1960s. The most popular ones would have a lot of tourists taking photos on their porch, so better come early. Architecture lovers will have a magnificent day strolling around town.
6. Catch a Fantasea Show
Yes, as you may have guessed, it’s wordplay of fantasy and sea. Phuket Fantasea is a cultural theme park that showcases award-winning performances that bring Thai legends to life. Witness shows that include dancing elephants in their Palace of the Elephants Theater. If you are travelling with children, you will not have to worry about keeping them entertained since the entire place is filled with fun fairs and shops.
Elephant and mermaid statues are popular here. Once you have toured the area for the entire day and would need a huge meal, enjoy a buffet dinner at Golden Kinaree Restaurant. It is known as one of the biggest dining halls in the country with its 4,000 sitting capacity; however, if you want to dine somewhere more quiet and intimate, there are loads of good restaurants nearby Kamala beach as well.
7. Get Some Adrenaline Rush by White-water Rafting
Are you up for some adrenaline rush adventure? Avail one of the white-water rafting packages and experience a thrill of a lifetime. If this is part of your bucket list, hop on one of those rafts right away and experience this eco-friendly activity. The rafting activity takes place on Phang River. Phang Nga province is eighty kilometers away from Phuket.
Although this activity is available all year long, the best time to enjoy this activity is during rainy season in the country, which is from June to November. If you haven’t done this before, there is no need to worry because the guides will conduct basic training before starting the fun. Everyone is required to wear helmets and life jackets for safety purposes. After finishing the nine kilometer rafting experience and you feel like you are still up for more adventures,some tours include ATV, elephant ride, or a side-trip to a waterfall nearby.
8. Bask in the breathtaking sunset in Phromthep Cape
This is a good place to catch the sunrise or sunset. The golden hour would be perfect for your Instagram and post-card photos. Phromthep Cape is probably the most photographed site. It gives the most beautiful view of the sunset which means that you cannot expect to have the place to yourself, especially around late afternoon.
If you would like to stay later until the evening, Phromthep Cape Restaurant is a great place to chill. The crowd usually thins out after sunset and the place gets serene once again. You can enjoy your meal under the stars and feel the breeze from the Andaman Sea. The restaurant offers reasonable prices as well, thus making it a great hangout place.
9. Take a trip to the Upside Down House
This is not a metaphor; it’s exactly how it sounds. Baan Teelanka, upside down house in English, is one of the fun attractions in Phuket. It is a good place to visit for families since it could definitely stir up the children’s creative imagination. Where else can you enter a house through its roof that’s stuck on the ground?
With a minimal fee, you can enjoy touring the house and taking pictures of things that are upside down. It is best to come here on weekdays since even the locals frequent this place on weekends. You can find this house between the Outlet Village and Siam Niramit. There are tour packages that include this in the itinerary, but if you want to come here by yourself DIY way, Tuk-tuk for hireis also available.
10. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Phi Phi Islands
This is the most popular island in Phuket and in the entire Thailand. They call this the superstar island. This has been featured in a lot of movies including Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Beach”. If you fell inlove with the photos, travellers who have been here can attest that seeing and being in the island in person is even way better than photos.
Phi Phi is the best example of paradise on earth. It is made up of couple of Islands such as Phi Phi Don, Phi PhiLeh, KohBida Islands, KohYoong (mosquito island), and Koh Mai Pai (bamboo island). Phi Phi Don is where the hotels and shops are. This is where the beach party happens every single night. For some water fun, Phi PhiLeh is the go-to island. If you are into diving and snorkeling, KohBida Islands would be the best for that. Anywhere in Phi Phi Islands is a must-see if you are in Phuket. A lot of tourists come here just for this. The beauty of the island would remind you why you packed that suitcase and booked that flight.