Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is located in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of the mainland. Phuket, otherwise known as the “Pearl of the South” offers something for everyone – from shopping opportunities, to sightseeing and activities. And of course, when you tire of these pursuits the island boasts some stunning beaches to soak up the sun. Discover more about Phuket and its attractions in this mini-guide to Phuket on land.
While Phuket may not have Bangkok’s flagship stores or huge malls, Phuket still offers a great deal of shopping opportunities for locals and visitors. If you’re interested in buying anything from Thai handicrafts to electronics you’ll find department stores, specialist boutiques, market stalls, street stalls, malls, and duty free shops.
If you want to buy some genuine Thai silk or you are seeking authentic souvenirs to take home then Kamala Beach is the best place to go. Or you can find a number of small boutiques offering souvenirs and goods in Phuket Town. If you want to pick up cheap souvenirs then these are readily available at all major beaches – vendors will sell hats, sunglasses, sarongs, and toys on the beach walkways and close to the sand.
Pearl jewelry is available from the Phuket Pearl Factory, which is located in Sapam. Other jewelry items are frequently found in boutiques in Phuket town as well as the stores in the malls. The two main shopping malls in Phuket are the Central Festival Phuket and the Jungceylon Shopping Center. The first of these mammoth malls has one department store where you can find practically anything, and the second has over 200 shops where you will discover everything from DVDs to watches, perfume to sarongs.
If you are shopping at market stalls or anywhere the price is not fixed, it is common to bargain or haggle with the vendor to get money off the initial asking price. When bargaining, always remain positive and polite – if you don’t like the price then be free to try elsewhere.
While most holidaymakers come to Phuket for the amazing beaches, there are also a lot of other attractions on offer on the island. For example, check out the famous Wat Chalong, a prominent Buddhist temple, as well as the 45-meter-high statue of the Big Buddha. There’s the museum of history at Thalang National Museum, and you can witness the spectacle of Muay Thai boxing in various venues on the island.
If you tire of spending time around the resort pool or on the beach, check out the alternative attractions and activities in Phuket. A trip to Phang Nga Bay is unmissable – this collection of thousands of islands is characterized by dramatic, towering limestone cliffs and a boat ride or canoe trip will take you to the heart of the bay. Similan Islands National Park is an area of natural beauty where crystal clear waters make for amazing diving, or simply touring the waves by boat for a beautiful sightseeing trip. The Koh Yao islands are between Krabi on the mainland and the island of Phuket, and they represent a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the main Phuket surroundings.
Phuket also has its fair share of land-based excursions that are accessible from all parts of the island. There is a wealth of activities on offer from mountain biking to elephant trekking, golf to bungee jumping.
Phuket is known for its beaches and its nightlife but there is plenty on offer for a varied and enjoyable vacation, whatever time of year you visit. Make sure to check out what the tour operators are offering and save time for a trip into the bay, or a visit to a butterfly sanctuary.
Phuket offers something for everyone – find out more at PhuketOn. Find the best hotels and resorts in Phuket and a variety of activities and attractions with PhuketOn, your Phuket expert.