One of the best places to visit in Thailand, Phuket is the land of golden sand beaches, eye-soothing turquoise water, architectural wonders, spicy food, charming people and a hot-and-happening nightlife. The largest island of the country, it is a place where Thailand’s old legacy is stored in the form of a town. The rain forested mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, located in the south-west direction of the mainland of Thailand, Phuket attracts over 10 million tourists each year. It has 36 beaches and is connected to the mainland by the Sarasin Bridge in the north. There are around 32 smaller islands surrounding the main island and the exotic landscapes of these islands remain the main highlight of a Phuket trip.
Apart from spending time on the pristine beaches, there are many things to do in Phuket. Let’s know about must visit places and which things you can do in those places in Phuket.
|Places to Spend Time on Beaches||Patong Beach, Khai Islands, Karon Beach, Kamala Beach|
|Best Places for Water Activities in Phuket||Khai Islands, Koh Panyee Island, James Bond Island, Patong Beach, Paradise Beach|
|Place to Explore Nightlife in Phuket||Bangla Road, Simon Cabaret, Phuket FantaSea|
|Best Places for Honeymoon Couples in Phuket||Patong Beach, Khai Islands, James Bond Island, Tiger Kingdom, Aquaria Phuket, Old Phuket Town|
|Best Places for Shopping in Phuket||Jungceylon Shopping Mall, Phuket Weekend Market, Chillva Market, Phuket Old Town Market|
|Best Places to Eat in Phuket||Kata Rocks-SHa Extra Plus, Chanalai Romantica Resort, Kata Beach-SHA Plus, Sleepy Station|
|Best Places to Stay in Phuket||Patong, Nai Harn, Bangtao, Kamala, Karon, Old Phuket Town|
One of the top tourist places in Phuket, Patong looks like a golden sand strip on the west side of the island. The beach is three-kilometre long and has a row of tropical trees that separate the shore from the main road. One of the best places in Phuket to experience its famous beach life as well as the nightlife, Patong Beach sees flocks of tourists all around the year. From experiencing different kinds of watersports activities like parasailing, jet skiing to eating Thai foods in the beachfront restaurants, Patong will undoubtedly win your hearts.
Tips From A Traveller: The southern part of the beach leads to the mouth of a river and a fishing village, which you will find less crowded and perfect for spending time in peace.
The largest Buddhist shrine in Phuket, Wat Chalong offers a remarkable experience. The temple was built in the year 1837 with the name “Wat Chaiyathararam.” It used to serve as a haven for the injured people during the rebellion against the Chinese. Two monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Cho Chuang, who were also the founders of Wat Chalong led the citizens of Chalong to fight against the Chinese and used to take care of the injured with their knowledge of herbal medicine here in the temple complex. The tallest structure of the complex, Phra Mahathat Chedi is a 60-metre tall three-storied building that shelters a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone and it attracts thousands of tourists as well as locals throughout the year. One of the popular tourist attractions in Phuket, Wat Chalong is a place of architectural wonders, which come with decorated gardens, beautiful buildings and intricate wall paintings about Buddha’s teachings.
Tips From A Traveller: Visit this temple early in the morning to avoid crowds and dress properly (cover your shoulders and knees) if you want to enter the temple.
Phuket Big Buddha is one of the popular points of tourist interests, located in Karon, Mueang District. It is an iconic 45-metre-tall statue seated on the top of Nakkerd Hill facing Chalong Bay and can be seen from almost any corner of Phuket Town. The construction of the statue was started in 2002 with the official name “Phraphutthaming Mongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha,” which means “Happiness on top of Nakkerd Mountain” in the local language. The road to the complex is well paved and you have to hike to the top. There are around 94 steps to climb to the base of the tall statue. As a bonus, you will get to see the breathtaking panoramic views of Phang Nga Bay, Kata Bay and Kata Noi Bay or even Karon Beach on a bright sunny day. You will see a temple on the way to the statue, where monks give blessings. You can also donate for the construction by giving a white marble piece for 1,000 or 300 baht.
Tips From A Traveller: Do not forget to cover your shoulders and knees before entering the complex and take a selfie with the famous cat you will find under the shed on the back side of the statue. Reach this place in the afternoon so that you can capture pictures of the stunning sunset views.
Tiger Kingdom Phuket is the sister concern of Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai. It is located in Kathu, 15 minutes away from Patong Beach. The Tiger Kingdom is one such place in Phuket that you must add to your sightseeing tour if you want to learn about the Indochinese big cats and interact with them closely. This is not an ordinary zoo, here the tigers are kept in a comfortable haven for husbandry and veterinary research. You can touch the animals and click pictures with them according to your age and height. The wild animals are here in various sizes starting from newborn cubs, small, medium to big sizes. The ticket price including the insurance coverage ranges from THB 900 to 3700 based on which size you choose. You have to clean your hands and learn the rules from the booklet, as well as listen to the guides carefully before entering the enclosure for ten minutes.
Tips From A Traveller: The best time to visit the Tiger Kingdom is early in the morning, as the tigers are all up and energetic then. Go with your cameras and click pictures with the tigers to avoid the additional price of the photographers.
The heart of Phuket and one of the best places to explore, the Old Phuket Town is Thailand’s urban legacy stored and maintained well. You can easily stroll around the alleys of the town and explore the colourful corners. It will take half a day to discover the richness of the brightly-painted ancient Sino-Portuguese houses, ancient traditions, murals, museums and shrines in the old Phuket town. There is also a museum, Thai Hua Museum that exhibits the Chinese immigrant culture and a shrine, Jui Tui Shrine, that displays the colourful Chinese idols. The old shophouses along each side of Thalang Road, colourful cafes, local Thai restaurants and old mansions – are some of the sightseeing places here where you have to stop and take pictures.
Tips From A Traveller: Make sure you walk around the streets in the morning and complete exploring before the afternoon when it gets too hot to walk. Do not forget to taste Thai street foods and artisanal ice cream in the old Phuket town.
Koh Panyee or Koh Panyi is a unique island, mostly referred to as a village, surrounded by mangrove forests, which protected it from destruction when a tsunami hit the whole of Phuket in 2004. It is particularly a Muslim village, entirely built on stilts in the foothills of a giant limestone cliff. This fishing village was built at the end of the 18th century by two Muslim families from Java. Koh Panyee is a complete village with a school, police station, market, health centre, mosque and a floating football ground. The living space is scarce and a network of walkways connects all the corners of the village making it easy to stroll around the whole island. You can capture the daily life scenes of the locals and buy souvenirs from them. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Phuket if you want to taste Tom Yam Goong, a spicy sour prawn soup.
Tips From A Traveller: If you want to explore the island with no crowd, visit it in the morning, as the place sees a lot of visitors at lunchtime for their special kinds of seafood.
The most popular honeymoon destination for couples visiting Phuket is James Bond Island, which is locally known as Khao Ping Kan. Located in Phang Nga Bay, 25 kilometres northeast of the main island, this island got famed when a James Bond movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ starring Christopher Lee and Roger Moore was shooted here in 1974. The movie was not that good, but the island became popular across the world. It has a local name, which is Koh Tapu, means Nail Island (as there is a pointy rock: the main attraction of James Bond Island). The rest of the island is known as Koh Phi Khan, which means “hills leaning against each other.’ All the popular Phuket Thailand sightseeing tour cover this island as the next stop from Koh Panyee floating village. You will be thrilled to reach James Bond Island cruising through the breathtaking views of the cliffs in Phang Nga Bay.
Tips From A Traveller: While posing with the famous rock (the famous pose of holding the rock), click as many pictures as you can and leave the place soon for other travellers to enjoy. One more thing, avoid buying souvenirs on James Bond Island as the vendors sell them at heavy prices.
The pink-coloured sky with floating white clouds and the afternoon sun peeking through them – creates a magical moment to admire from the Khao Rang Hill. It is one of the best places to travel in Phuket for the locals as well as tourists for spending some romantic moments. The hill is easy to climb to get stunning views of Chalong Bay, Panwa and the Big Buddha Phuket. There are three excellent restaurants built on the hillside with different angles of view for having a romantic lunch or dinner with your partner. Moreover, a temple is also there on the top (Wat Khao Rang) where you can see a large golden sitting Buddha and take a rest after hiking. A walking bridge was also built recently with a beautifully decorated pavilion where you can spend quality time with your loved ones while admiring the views of the bay.
Tips From A Traveller: Be aware of the monkeys and go for a romantic dinner date at one of the restaurants on the top.
Koh Khai is a group of three islands and top tourism places in Phuket, which can be reached via a speedboat ride within 15 minutes from the east coast. The three islands are Koh Khai Nui, Koh Khai Nai and Koh Khai Nok, where Koh means islands in the Thai language. The incredibly clear water of the islands is the best for snorkelling and doing other water activities. Two of the islands (Nai and Nok) are must-visit places in Phuket for their breathtaking landscapes with white sand beaches. On a bright sunny day, you can see a swarm of colourful fish swimming around you, which makes an amazing moment for you. However, feeding the fish here is strictly prohibited and you can go to jail if you do so.
Tips From A Traveller: Carry swimsuits if you want to explore the water and buy your own snorkelling kit for safety.
One of the top tourist places in Phuket town, the Aquaria Phuket is a well-maintained aquarium offering an incredible underwater experience. The huge surface of the place houses around 300 species and a total of 25,000 animals, making it the largest aquarium in the country. One of the main tourist attractions of Phuket, Aquaria Phuket comprises four distinct areas for different kinds of experiences. It has Mystic Forest to enjoy snakes, lizards, chameleons and lizards in the freshwater area. The Coastal Heaven is dedicated to only penguins. The other two areas are the South China Sea and Station Aquarius, where people can touch the horseshoe crabs and starfish. Every area has a sitting space and snacks bar to enjoy profusely. People can also enjoy a modern contemporary dinner at Andasi Restaurant next to the massive tank with fish swimming in the background. The restaurant remains open from 7 PM to 10:30 PM.
Tips From A Traveller: Take your time to explore all areas of the aquarium and visit early to avoid crowds.
One of the popular visiting places in Phuket, Bang Tao is one of the longest beaches in Phuket. It was previously a tin mine, which helped Phuket to make a fortune long ago. After it became abandoned, Laguna Phuket transformed the place into a profitable eco-project. Bang Tao Beach is now a luxurious complex comprising some of the luxurious and largest resorts, restaurants and clubhouses. It is located in the Cherngtalay area, west coast of Phuket, halfway between Phuket airport and Patong Beach. The beach is narrower than the Patong and Kata and the water looks amazing to explore. It is one of the best places to see in Phuket if you want to spend time in a secluded place with no tourists.
Tips From A Traveller: Visit the beach at night or evening if you want to experience its active colourful nightlife.
Wat Phra Thong is one of the top tourist sights in Phuket for both locals and tourists. It attracts visitors for its must-see Buddha Statue and the story behind it. The temple houses the upper half of a huge Buddha statue that resembles it emerging from the temple’s floor. According to legend, the Burmese made multiple efforts to remove the statue during their invasion of Thalang town in 1785. Every time they dug into the ground; swarms of hornets forced them to give up in the end. The statue’s exposed portion was afterwards covered in gold by the villagers, and it has stayed that way ever since. The temple is located in Thalang District and remains open from 7 AM to 5 PM.
Tips From A Traveller: Get well dressed and cover your shoulders and knees before entering the temple. Visit the place in the early morning to observe the rituals.
We have constructed this travel guide in detail from a traveller’s perspective. Make sure you visit Phuket on your Thailand trip if you want to explore some of the unspoiled islands and their exotic atmosphere. The perfect season for exploring Phuket has already come and it’s the high time you plan your Phuket trip as the place is reopened without quarantine rules. Browse our website for several Thailand tourism/Phuket tourism packages and comment below which places you want to visit first in Phuket.
The best tourist places to visit in Phuket with family are:
There are umpteen things to do for tourists in Phuket and some of them are:
There are several kinds of accommodation facilities available in Phuket. People can stay anywhere near the beaches like Patong, Nai Harn, Bangtao, Kamala and Karon. Moreover, they can also stay in Old Phuket Town. Accommodation options available everywhere in Phuket from five-star luxury resorts to budget hostels. Some of the famous hotels in Phuket are:
The must-visit places for honeymoon couples in Phuket are:
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