As one of the most popular and touristy destinations in all of Thailand, Phuket, which is located on the southern tip, is characterized by tropical weather, beautiful beaches, top notch shopping options, and outstanding nightlife.
Whether you are a young adult traveling with friends, a parent traveling with family, or a wanderluster traveling with your significant other, there is something to do for everyone of all ages. You could easily spend a month in Phuket, and not see everything this land of paradise has to offer.
Since there are so many adventurous and fun things to do in Phuket, I have compiled this list of the 10 Best Things to do in order to make planning your next Phuket trip a little easier.
Best Things to Do
1) Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are the most famous and well known Islands in all of Thailand. Depending on where you stay in Phuket, a ferry ride from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands will take approximately 2 hours.
Some of the best things to do include:
- Monkey Beach
- Maya Bay
- Mosquito Beach
- Bamboo Island
- Snorkel at Hat Yao
- Kayak at Ko Phi Phi
- Hike up to Phi Phi Viewpoint
Since the Phi Phi Islands are the largest with lots to see, it’s recommended to book a hotel to see the main attractions. Additionally, if you’re young and enjoy partying, Phi Phi offers some of the best nightlife.
From clubs to sports bars, Phi Phi has it all. Not to mention, there are loads of top notch restaurants on the island.
Tip: There are no tuk tuks or taxis on Phi Phi Island. The methods of transport include walking or taking a longtail boat to get around.
2) Visit Karon Beach and Kata Beach
Karon Beach and Kata Beach are located towards the southern end of Phuket, and are known to be some of the best beaches in Phuket.
Most tourists tend to stay in either Karon Beach or Kata beach because there are a large number of luxurious resorts and hotels within walking distance to the beach.
Karon beach, which is north of Kata Beach, is a much longer beach than Kata beach and has lines of umbrellas and beach chairs. Both beaches have become extremely touristy so it can get crowded, especially during peak season (November-March).
Tip: Bring about 200 baht to reserve your own beach chair and umbrella.
3) Visit the Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is one of Phuket’s most revered and highly regarded landmarks. This majestic Buddha is located on top of the Nakkerd hills and can be seen from Karon beach and Kata Beach, many miles away.
A tuk tuk ride from Karon beach to the Big Buddha takes approximately 45 minutes and costs 1,000 thai baht for a roundtrip.
Once at the top of the hill, there are beautiful views of Phuket and the ocean. The best time to go is during sunset because the views are breathtaking.
The Big Buddha itself was built in 2004 and is made of white marble. Inside, there are scriptures on the wall, donation boxes, and monks chanting prayers. From my experience, 1-2 hours at the Big Buddha should be sufficient to see everything and take lots of pictures.
Tip: Since the Big Buddha is a religious site, please dress appropriately. Females should cover their shoulders and wear pants that are at least knee length. If you feel you are dressed inappropriately, the site centre will let you borrow a sarong for free.
4) Enjoy the Ocean Views from a Rooftop Pool
Many hotels in Phuket offer a rooftop pool at affordable prices. I recommend the Pacific Club Resort, a small boutique hotel located on a hill in Karon Beach.
The resort is located approximately 15 minutes from Karon town, which has many restaurants and shops. Not only can you soak in the gorgeous views, but the rooftop pool will be less crowded and more private.
5) Get a Massage
Massage parlors are prevalent throughout Phuket. With a variety of options at extremely affordable prices, it’s a must to get a massage! After all, you are on vacation to unwind and relax.
6) Check out Bangla Road
Located in Patong Beach, Bangla Road is nicknamed the mini Vegas. At night, the road is closed off to vehicles and becomes a large party of dance clubs, go go dancers, pubs, and restaurants.
Whether you want to chill at a bar while chatting with friends, listen to a live band, or go full out at a dance club, Bangla Road is the place for night entertainment. This road is packed, especially on Fridays and Saturday, from sundown until sunrise.
7) Get Food and Souvenirs at the Night Market
Almost every town in Phuket has a night market. Simply walk around town and look for lines of white tents selling souvenirs or freshly made food.
In my opinion, night markets offer the best variety of souvenir choices including: bags, tshirts, candy, buddha statues, magnets, handmade jewelry, and hats at affordable prices.
8) Take an Authentic Cooking Class
A Thailand trip is not complete without taking a cooking class. If you like green curry, pad thai, pad see ew, tom yum soup, and all the other Thai dishes, wouldn’t it be great if you learned how to make it? Heck yes!
Here are some of the top rated cooking classes in Phuket:
- Phuket Thai Cooking Class
- Kata Thai Cooking Class
- Phuket Easy Thai Cooking
- Phuket Thai Cookery School
- Pum Thai Cooking School
Most classes are a few hours long and will teach you how to make at least 4 different types of Thai dishes. Bon Appetit!
9) Visit Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong, which is located in Mueang Phuket District, is the most revered temple in all of Phuket.
Open from 7am-5pm, visitors from all around the world flock over to this temple to see the beautiful architecture and learn more about Buddhism and the temple’s history.
As always, please be respectful to the Buddha and monks by dressing appropriately and removing your shoes before entering the temple.
10) Go on a day trip to the Surin Islands or Similan Islands
The Surin Islands are located approximately 60 km from Phuket, whereas the Similan Islands are approximately 110 km from Phuket. Since both islands are located several hours away by ferry and 1-2 hours by speedboat, it’s best to leave at the crack of dawn to have sufficient time to explore the islands.
Most visitors come to the Surin and Similan Islands for the excellent snorkeling and scuba diving options, clear waters, lush coral reefs, smaller crowds, and hiking.
I hope this guide about the 10 Best Things to do in Phuket, Thailand was helpful for you!
Although only 10 attractions/activities were mentioned, there is so much more to do.
At a minimum, 3-4 full days should be enough to see the main attractions. In order to experience all that Phuket has to offer and to immerse yourself in the Thai culture, I recommend staying for a week.
What activities are you most interested in doing in Phuket? Let me know in the comments below and thank you for reading!