Thinking to holiday at an international beach destination? Phuket is your best bet! Undoubtedly, there is so much to experience in Phuket. And by saying so much, it means almost everything, literally; from the uniqueness of beaches and serenity of temples to exquisiteness of the nature and glitz and glamour of the nightlife. All that together mark a prominent place of Phuket in the map of Thailand tourism. With that being said, let’s head out to my compiled list of some popular tourist attractions in Phuket along with top things to do to make your holiday in this best Thailand destination.
Wow!! That will be your first word for sure as you will land on Kata Beach. Hardly ten minutes drive away from the town of Patong, Kata Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Phuket. The long stretch of the beach offers tourists a chance to unwind themselves by lazing on the shore. For others, the beach also has various kinds of activities to do. You can come here for parasailing, surfing, jet skiing, or just swimming. Besides, a number of tourists can also be seen sunbathing. Indeed, a place anyone can fall in love with!
Even if you are not a spiritual person, a visit to Phuket Big Buddha is a must! Perched atop the Nakkerd Hills, Phuket Big Buddha is an imposing effigy of Lord Buddha with a height of 45m. Built of white Burmese stone, this statue of Lord Buddha can be spotted from as far as Karon Beach and Phuket Town. The beautiful site of Phuket Big Buddha offers 360-degree vista of the island along with the sweeping sights of Kata Karon, Chalong Bay, Phuket Town, and more landmarks. While visiting the site, the pleasant sound of the tinkling of bells is something that perfectly compliments the peaceful ambiance. If that sounds like a great destination to you then indeed the compelling aura of this place would easily blow away your mind.
Also known as the Wat Phra Phud, which means the rising Buddha, Wat Phra Thong is one of the most interesting landmarks in Phuket. This is basically a temple which is famous for a half-buried golden effigy of Lord Buddha. Not a tourism place where you can capture some fun-filled memories, but Wat Phra Thong is an attraction where you can get to know so much about the local culture. The temple tells an interesting story of its origin; the Buddha statue at Wat Phra Thong was discovered some 400-years ago by a young local farmer. During that time, the ground where the present temple is located used to be a paddy field. The young boy saw some part of the head of the Buddha (the sharp stick on the top of Buddha’s head) risen up from the ground.
In the Thai culture, the head is considered as the most important part of a body, and thus, the Thai people do not touch anyone’s head. Unaware of the buried statue, the boy tied the rope of the buffalo on that sharp stick-like object (which was actually the upper part of Buddha’s head) that was risen up from the ground. As a result of this, the boy along with the buffaloes died. He later came back in his father’s dream and asked him to find the statue of Lord Buddha under the ground. That’ how the beautiful effigy of Lord Buddha was discovered, and thereafter, the place became the temple.
Trust me, you won’t be judged if you compare this place with either Victoria Peak in Hong Kong or Griffith Park in Los Angeles. True, the beautiful panoramic vistas from the top of the mountains are something that you can’t really afford to miss out while vacationing in Phuket. Khao Rang Hill is undoubtedly the most famous city viewpoint in Phuket from where you can see the entire city pretty much in just one frame. From Chalong Bay in the South to Patong and Kata in the West to Koh Sirey in the East to Mai Khao in the North, you can savour the clear-cut views of the entire Island. However, it is altogether different if you visit this place at night.
Next on the list is the Chalong which one of the most important temples of the island which is also currently serving as a popular tourist destination in Phuket. Built in the early 29th-century, Chalong Temple, also touted as Wat Chalong, boasts an impressive traditional architectural design that houses a 60m high chedi which is known for housing a splinter. The splinter is said to be built from the bones of Lord Buddha, and thus, the temple is one of the most stunning sites to visit in Phuket. Inside the pagoda, one can see the paintings beautifully crafted on the walls that delineate the entire life of Lord Buddha.
Probably, Promthep Cape is one of the best hidden gems of Phuket. It is in the southernmost part of the island where people, both locals and tourists, gather to witness the surreal sunset. This is one of the routine chores which is observed here every evening; people from round the world come here and spend some quality time admiring the picturesque surrounding of the place with an exquisite view of sun falling asleep in the backdrop. However, the sunset view all depends on the weather condition. Even if the conditions are not in your favour, you can still choose to be here and stroll around observing nature. Doesn’t that sound a perfect place to be with your partner, especially if you are on a honeymoon trip in Phuket? Trust me, it’s worth travelling here!
Some 108 km northwest of Phuket, there lies an extremely beautiful island – Similan. Fringed by the Andaman Sea, the island is counted amongst the world’s best places to visit for diving. The term ‘Similan’ derives from Malay Sembilan that means ‘nine’, which refers to the total number of islets Similan consist of. Coming onto the tourism of this beautiful place, here you get to savour a lot of indelible experiences like thrill of water sports, the peacefulness of the nature, and the beauty of white coral-sand beaches. While exploring this most beautiful island around Phuket, you get a chance to savour one of the best travel experience. So, don’t you dare to miss out on this place!
The list of must-see places in Phuket is incomplete without Patong Beach. For many, Patong Beach is one of the main reasons to love Phuket. Renowned as the lifeline of Phuket tourism, the 2km long Patong Beach is also counted somewhere on top on the list of the most famous beaches in Thailand. Apart from the beach fun, tourists come to Patong Beach to relish an indelible nightlife experience. We’ll discuss about the Patong’s nightlife in a separate point, meanwhile, let’s talk about the beach fun. Here you can either indulge in water sports like parasailing, jet skiing and surfing or can just be laid on a hammock while lazing at the beach. Sunbathing is another popular thing of tourists’ interest at Patong Beach.
Well, technically it isn’t a tourist place but if you are an animal lover, then you can make it to this place during your Phuket holidays. Gibbons are one of those endangered animals in Thailand that need to be taken care of, and thus, comes the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. As per the official records, in Thailand, more than 3000 Gibbons got killed by hunters every year. In order to stop such cruelty, Gibbon Project was set up to look after these beautiful creatures. The Project aims to rescue and rehabilitate Gibbons, before rehoming them back to the wild. The place is free of cost to visit and is a kind of attraction in the region that totally deserves to be on the top of the tourism list of Phuket. If you are up for volunteering then you can give you helping hand at The Project on various tasks like fixing broken fences, working in the souvenir shop, carrying out research and feeding Gibbons.
After a mix of experiences, spiritual tours of the temples and fun-filled time at beach holiday destinations in Phuket, a naturally rich place is a perfect destination to head out for more enthralling holiday encounters. And Phang Nga Bay fits right into the spot! Home to around 40 islets, Phang Nga Bay is located between Phuket Island and southern Thailand’s mainland. The place is full natural wonders, whether lagoons, mangroves or caves, you’d find all of three of them here. It is hard to explore all these attractions in just a day sightseeing tour; thus, it is advisable to plan your stay somewhere nearby to this place to have the best of Phang Nga Bay. Far away from the reaches of the cacophony of city life, this can also be your perfect honeymoon destination.
From best places to visit in Phuket, let’s now come to the list of some popular things to do. Be ready to embark on a fun ride as I am going to take you on a short virtual tour of top things to do in Phuket.
First on the list of best things to do in Phuket is surfing. With more than 35 beaches, Phuket is one of the most popular travel hotspots in Asia when it comes to water sports, especially surfing. Most of the beaches of Phuket are with soft sand which is the main reason why surfing is so famous here. Kalim Beach, Kamala Beach, Kata Beach, Surin Beach and Nai Harn Beach are some surfing spots in Phuket where you can head out if you are really looking out for an amazing surfing experience. Not just this, a number of races and surfing competitions are also organised at these beaches. If you are a beginner then fret not, lessons are available everywhere on the beach.
Well, Zorbing is one such activity which can’t be experienced everywhere in the world, and hence, while you are in Thailand, it is one of the perfect adventures to encounter with your family, friends or even alone. Located at a distance of 2 minutes, Rollerball is a 190 m-long hill track is where you can enjoy zorbing in Phuket.
What would be your reaction if I tell you that 90% of the world’s coral reef will be gone after 30 years from now? So, before it actually happens, why not make some memories and stories to tell them in the future to your grandchildren? Well, I can assume they will be pretty much fascinated with your actual experiences.
Coming to snorkelling, ahead of the shores of Thailand’s pristine beaches and underneath the ocean, there are some of the most exotic coral worlds. Even though the 2004 tsunami destroyed a huge number of coral reefs in Phuket, there are still some amazing spots where you head out to enjoy this sport. Ao Sane, Kata Noi, Ya Nui, Paradise Beach and Laem Ka Beach are some popular snorkelling spots in Phuket.
We have already discussed that Patong is one of the famous beaches in Phuket that remains packed with international travellers every day. During the daytime, you can come here take a sunbath or can indulge in various water sports, but, it is the night time when this beautiful place becomes nightlife hub of Phuket. Just a few kilometers from the beach, there lies Bangla Road, also known as the walking street, which is famous for a high-end nightlife experience. From laid-back restaurants and lively bars to music, entertainment and everything, this place is a perfect hideout for all those international tourists looking out for an indelible nightlife experience in Phuket.
Another popular nightlife/shopping destination in Phuket is the Weekend Market which is undoubtedly a perfect place for all those who love to shop and eat. Here, you not only get to savour the authentic taste of Thai food but you can also try bargaining skills as the market also has plenty of stalls that sell everything from clothes and ornaments to perfumes and antiques. Phuket Weekend Market is also a place which gives you a plenty of good options to buy gifts for friends and family.
Well, the caption must have given you a raw image of what’s this festival is all about; the only difference here is they don’t use colours like in Holi in India. The festival of Songkran marks the beginning of a New Year in Thailand and is celebrated on 30th April. On this day, the entire country indulges into a massive but a friendly water fight. If you are planning your Phuket vacation somewhere during this time then I advise you to prepare yourself in advance some amazing water fun. However, don’t forget to buy a big water gun and be ready to shoot everyone because if you hesitate, they will not miss a chance to knock down you. So, have fun!
Phuket is one of the best places to visit in south-east Asia and is also touted as a treasure trove for travellers with innumerable baguettes in its fold. The island has so many beautiful attractions and amazing activities to do that can’t be explained in a single blog. In this blog, I have tried to present you the best of Thailand tourism. Hope you’ve liked it. If so, then don’t forget to give us your valuable feedbacks, queries and suggestions.
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