Everyone’s different, and we won’t tell you how to spend your hard-earned vacation time, but there are some things in Phuket you just can’t miss. If you try out a couple of these Phuket experiences you’re sure to enjoy a fun-filled time – put them on your to-do list, and then do some exploring of your own to find your individual Phuket gems.
1) Get Out and Visit another Island
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand but you can explore some of the smallest very easily from Phuket. If you do anything in Phuket, get yourself on a trip to Similan Island, or Phi Phi Island, Coral Island, or Racha Island. You’ll encounter views and an atmosphere that are out of this world. Some islands are busier than others, so do your research if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Similan Island/ Image via dia_n/ Flickr
2) Kayak in Phang Nga Bay
Explore the unforgettable seascape of Phang Nga Bay the active way – by canoe or kayak. It’s an altogether different experience when you see the bay under your own paddle power, and you can get up close to the nature and the dramatic rock formations. There are places you can access that you can’t get to by tourist boat. But if you don’t have much time, or you are not the active type, seeing the bay by taking a cruise is still an excellent way to explore this icon of Phuket.
3) Go to Koh Panyee
This is a tiny fisherman’s village that is constructed on stilts and is located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. It is ideal to visit Koh Panyee on a tour of the bay, but it is best to go there before or after all the tourists descend so you get a better feel for the unique atmosphere of the place.
4) Visit Old Phuket Town
Unfortunately many tourists miss out the attractions of Phuket Town, preferring to focus on the beaches. But Phuket Town makes for a lovely afternoon or full day of sightseeing. The buildings are designed in the Sino Portuguese style and there are plenty of antique shop houses to see, plus cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and bars to explore. The markets near the bus station are perfect when you want to pick up some cheap food or simply explore the sights and sounds of a more authentic Thailand. You can take organized walking tours around Phuket Town or take the excursion by yourself.
5) Look Out at Prompthep Cape or Karon Viewpoint
It may not be the most beautiful place in the world and it is usually packed with tourists, but Prompthep Cape is still a good place to visit as the sun sets. Look out over the bays and across to the neighboring islands, relax, and enjoy a Thai dinner on the way back at one of the local restaurants. Karon Viewpoint is another place where you can see clearly and far over Karon Beach and some beautiful bays and islands. Less crowded with a great view, Karon Viewpoint is another sunset special.
6) Check Out the View at the Big Buddha
The landmark of Phuket, Big Buddha stands 45 meters tall on a hill and is visible from everywhere in the south of the island. It would be a shame to miss seeing this Phuket icon close up. Plus, when you get to the Big Buddha the views down across the ocean and the island are spectacular. There is also a temple and a museum for the Big Buddha.
Big Buddha/ Image via Kevin Tao/ Flickr
7) Visit Wat Chalong
A visit to Phuket wouldn’t be the same without a visit to a Buddhist temple. Wat Chalong is the biggest temple in Phuket and the most visited. The interior decoration is stunning gold and lifelike paintings, and the buildings outside the temple are also wonderful to walk around.
8) Promenade down Soi Bangla
You don’t have to be a single man (or acting like one) to have fun on Soi Bangla. It is not as sinful as people make it out, although it is certainly colorful and you will definitely see some strange sights. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes to explore and if you want, you can check out one of the infamous Go Go bars. In general it’s an easy going place and a lot of fun.
Looking for new things to do and places to explore on Phuket? Look at PhuketOn – your complete guide to Phuket and beyond. Find activities and attractions in Phuket, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and more. PhuketOn is your guide to Phuket and its surroundings.