What are the Best Tours in Phuket? There is a lot to explore in and around Phuket, and many places are easy to reach on your own. Some other great places need a boat or a minibus ride and a bit of planning. We list here 10 of the most popular day trips tours you should consider. Of course, we know there are a lot more, and we will add them as we try them.

What are the best tours in Phuket?

The best tours in Phuket start with Phang Nga Bay and often include a few nearby islands such as Phi Phi and Similan islands. Tours on the island itself include the Big Buddha, the much revered Chalong Temples and the exploration of the old streets of Phuket Town.

NOTE: We are not travel agents, and we do not sell tours, however, if you need us to recommend an agent you can message us on Facebook. You also can ask directly to your hotel; most hotels can arrange almost anything.

1. Phang Nga Bay

(With John Gray Hong by Starlight: 3,950 baht – 11:30 am 10:00 pm – Other tours 1,600 baht)

Seacanoe in Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is a fantastic wonder of the world and is an absolute must do while in Phuket. As any favourite day trip, Phang Nga tends to become busy, but it’s enormous, and some tours like the famous John Gray SeaCanoe knows how to take you where and when other tourists don’t go. The massive limestone formations raising high above the water seem to come straight out of the movie Avatar (or it was possibly the other way around). The place was even featured as a background in one episode of Star Wars (the bad one I think). Read more

What we like
a) As mentioned above, it’s just fantastic.
b) The sea is quiet all year round, and it even looks better with the big rain clouds!
c) It’s not far, and all tour agents will pick you up at your hotel — no stress.
What We Don’t
a) Not every tour is Eco-friendly, some have no real experience and make lots of noise and shout, disturbing the magical peace.

2. Phi Phi Island

(about 2,800 baht – Full day)

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi seems to be on everyone’s list of islands to visit absolutely. It usually is for several reasons: The islands look fabulous with two bays surrounded by vertical limestone cliffs. The beach parties are notorious and can last all night. Backpackers seem to have made Phi Phi their destination of choice. It also is an excellent snorkelling and diving destination for all levels from beginners to wreck diving. There is an even more straightforward reason: they saw Maya Bay in the movie “The Beach”, and they want to see the place for themselves. Read more

What’s good:
a) It’s still beautiful a beautiful island, despite having been spoiled mainly by unstoppable construction.
b) It’s not very far from Phuket and affordable if you go by ferry
c) The island being in a bay, it is accessible all year round (unlike Similan).

What’s Not:
a) Uncontrolled constructions have spoiled the island, and it keeps extending.
b) Phi Phi can get crowded by young backpackers coming here for a serious party, so it’s not exactly your vision of relaxing beaches.
c) Unlike the advertising image, Maya Bay is covered with thousand visitors every day. The bay is full of speedboat so forget your vision of secret cove from the movie.

3. James Bond Island and Koh Panyi

James Bond Island

Usually James Bond and Koh Panyi are part of any Phang Nga Bay tour. If you have time we recommend to dedicate one day for a Canoe in Phang Nga Bay, then another day for James Bond, Koh Panyi, the village on stilts and the reclining Buddha inside a cave. Read more

What we like:
a) Going there offers amazing photos opportunities, not only the location but the cruise to get there is jaw-dropping.
b) The village on stilts is unique, unusual and fun to explore.
What we don’t:
a) It’s super touristic so expect a lot of people at midday which spoils a bit the exotic feeling.

4. Coral Island and Racha Island

(about 1,300 baht for both islands – full day)

Racha Island

Often packaged as one day trip, those two beautiful islands have white sandy beaches and the typical atmosphere of small tropical islands. They offer good snorkelling opportunities with plenty of fish coming and swimming around you. Racha Island is excellent for diving, especially for first-timers. Read more

What we like:
a) It’s accessible all year round, and it doesn’t take too long to reach
What we don’t:
a) It can be bustling and touristic.

5. Elephant Sanctuaries

Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

There are now many elephant sanctuaries around the island that give you a chance to play and bathe with the elephants. You can feed them, scrub them and get unforgettable memories. The old fashion elephant trekking is over! Ask your hotel or travel agent for one of the sanctuaries but skip the trekking or elephant riding! Read more

What we like:
a) It’s fun, unusual and the best way to see real elephants!
What we don’t:
a) Some of the sanctuaries may feel a little too touristic (they probably switched from trekking to sanctuary to catch the wave).

6. Similan Islands

(about 2,600 baht – Full day)

Similan Islands

Amazing and beautiful, the Similans have the white sand and blue water you only see in postcards. It’s so strikingly beautiful that your friends might believe you photoshopped your photos. But it is that blue even on photos taken with a mobile phone!

It used to be possible to spend the night in a tent or a basic bungalow with air-conditioning, but it seems that this option is not available at this time! There is not much to do apart from snorkelling, sunning and a small restaurant, but it’s a Robinson Crusoe experience you don’t want to miss. Read more

What we like:
a) Everything!
What we don’t:
a) It’s closed half-year during the low season, mostly because of the sea condition.
b) It’s quite a long way from Phuket. Usually, a van takes you from Phuket to Takua Pa then 1.30 hours by speedboat

7. Simon Cabaret

(starts 700 baht – 2 hours – Patong beach)

Simon Cabaret

Simon Cabaret is long-running successful stage performance with beautiful sets and great choreography. Of course, people go to Simon Cabaret for another reason than the pretty costumes and the show. They want to see the surprisingly beautiful ladyboys with their own eyes! Photos are not allowed during the show, but the ‘girls’ will happily wait for you outside the theatre for a photo session. Read more

What we like:
a) Good stage performance, most people are surprised at how well it’s done.
b) It’s literally in Patong Beach so you can enjoy the show and still go out for a party after the show
What We Don’t:
a) Ladyboys are known to be pushy for a tip if you take photos after the show. They might pick the money from your hand; thank you very much.

8. Phuket Fantasea

(starts 1,800 baht – from 5 pm – Kamala Beach – closed on Thursday)

Phuket Fantasea

This longtime running show is still top-rated. It’s both a giant theme park and a professional stage performance with dancers, acrobats and real elephants walking through the audience then onto the stage. The setting is awe-inspiring and the show, exceptionally well executed, narrates the legend of Kamala where the park is. Read More

What we like:
a) It’s professional and beautifully crafted, including the many buildings in the park.
b) There are a lots of fun photo opportunities outside the theatre.
What we don’t:
a) With 2,500 seats, the buffet is too big to be enjoyable
b) The elephants performing in the show or giving tourists a short ride are a little controversial
c) You can’t take photos inside, but we understand that it can be annoying.

9. Island Hopping: Koh Hong, Koh Yao and Koh Khai

(about 1,900 baht – Full day)

Koh Hong

Tours usually go to Hong Island, a fantastic little bay that reminds a lot of ‘Maya Bay’ from the movie ‘The Beach’ but smaller and less crowded. It’s pretty much how you could imagine Robinson Crusoe island. Stop also at the tiny Koh Khai island found just a few kilometres off Phuket looks like a cartoon postcard of a tropical island. There is not much to do there apart of sunbathing, snorkelling or swimming with hundred fish and drink fresh coconuts. It’s so back to basics but isn’t it why you came to Phuket at the first place?

What we like:
a) It’s an easy, relaxing day out
b) Plenty of photo opportunities to post on your Facebook and drive your friends insane
What we don’t:
a) Nothing actually

10. Phuket City Tour

(about 900 baht – half day)

Phuket Town

In recent years Phuket town has become a charming city with several historical style streets and a lot of beautiful old Sino-Portuguese mansions, some renovated and some partly run down. You might get to see some local markets, and even visit some Thai temple and their typical intricate gold red and green roofs. Exploring the picturesque street now full of little cafes and shops is a popular photo opportunity especially since they buried those horrible electric cables. Read more

What we like:
a) It’s a good exploration day, especially when the weather is not favourable to be on the beach
b) It’s not such a big area, so it’s easy to walk along the streets and between landmarks
What we don’t:
a) It’s quite small so don’t put your expectations too high either

NOTE: We are not travel agents, and we do not sell tours, however, if you need us to recommend some good tour agents you can message us on Facebook. You also can ask your hotel, they usually can arrange almost anything, and you can ask about it in the street it’s quite safe.