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What are Phuket best tours?

What are the Best Tours in Phuket? There is a lot to explore in and around Phuket, and many places are easy to reach. 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 trip tours you should consider. Of course, we know there are a lot more, and we will add them as we try them.

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.


1. Phang Nga Bay

Seacanoe in Phang Nga Bay

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

Phang Nga Bay is a fantastic wonder of the world and is an absolute must-do while in Phuket. As any favourite Phuket tour, 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 rising 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

Phang Nga Bay

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 very 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

Phi Phi Island in Thailand

(about 2,800 baht – full day)

Phi Phi seems to be the Phuket tour 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 know 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) Maya Bay is still closed



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 dedicating one day for a Canoe in Phang Nga Bay, then another day to James Bond, Koh Panyi, the village on stilts and the reclining Buddha inside a cave. Read more

Longtail boats in Phang Nga Bay

What we like:
a) Going there offers amazing photo 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

Koh Racha Island

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

Often packaged as one Phuket tour day trip, those two beautiful islands have white sandy beaches and the typical atmosphere of small tropical islands. They offer excellent 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

Tree Tops Elephant Reserve Phuket

There are now many elephant sanctuaries around the island that give you a chance to interact with the elephants. You can feed them, walk with 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)

Unique 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

Similan Islands

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 a long-running successful stage performance with beautiful sets and outstanding 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

Simon Cabaret Phuket

What we like:
a) Excellent stage performance.
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

Phuket Fantasea

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

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 and 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

The Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant

What we like:
a) It’s professional and beautifully crafted, including the many buildings in the park.
b) There are a lot 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

Koh Hong

(about 1,900 baht – Full day)

Tours usually go to Hong Island, a fantastic little bay that reminds a lot of ‘Maya Bay’ from the movie ‘The Beach’ but is 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 from sunbathing, snorkelling or swimming with hundred fish and drinking fresh coconuts. It’s so back to basics but isn’t it why you came to Phuket in 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

Read More ►

10. Phuket City Tour

Phuket Town, Thailand

(about 900 baht – half day)

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, mostly since they buried those horrible electric cables. Read more

The Chartered Bank in Phuket Town

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 relatively small so don’t put your expectations too high either


NOTE: We are not tour 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 relatively safe.

More reading

Phang Nga Bay – The Many Ways to Explore Phang Nga

Willy Thuan
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.