10 Best Tours in Phuket and Around

10 Best Tours in Phuket and Around
10 Best Tours in Phuket and Around
4.4 (11 votes)

10 Best Tours in Phuket and Around

What are the best tours in Phuket? There is actually a lot to explore in and around Phuket and many places are easy to reach on your own if you have a car or a bike, but some other great places need a boat ride or a bit of planning. We list here the 10 most popular daytrips tours you should consider. We of course know there are a lot more and we will add them as we try them. 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 your hotel, most can arrange almost anything.

1. Phi Phi Island

(about 2,800 baht – Full day)

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island seems to be on everyone’s list of islands to see absolutely. It usually is for several reasons: The island looks fabulous with it’s two bays surrounding by vertical limestone cliffs. The beach parties are notorious and can last all night and backpackers seems to have made it their destination of choice. It’s also a good snorkelling and diving destination, able to satisfy all levels from beginners to wreck diving. There is an even more simple 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 largely spoiled 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) The island has been spoiled by uncontrolled constructions, and it keep extending.
b) It’s crowded by young backpackers coming here for serious party so it’s no exactly your vision of relaxing beaches.
c) Unlike the advertising image, Maya bay is covered by thousand visitors everyday and the bay around is full of speedboat so forget your vision of secret cove from the movie.

2. 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 it’s an absolute must do while in Phuket. Of course as any popular day trip it tends to become a bit too busy, but Phang Nga bay is huge and some tours like the famous John Gray Seacanoe know how to get yo where and when other tourists don’t go. The gigantic limestone formations raising high above the water seems to be straight out of the movie Avatar (or it was possibly the other way around). The place was even used as a background in one of the Star Wars movies (the bad one i think). Read more

What we like
a) As mentioned above, it simple 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.

3. James Bond Island and Koh Panyi

James Bond Island

Usually those are part of the Phang Nga Bay tour but if you have time we recommend to do one day for a real Phang Nga Bay by Canoe and another full 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 gives you amazing photos opportunities,not only the location itself but the cruise to get there is jaw dropping.
b) The village on stilts is very unique and 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 island have white sandy beaches and this atmosphere so typical of small tropical islands. They offer good snorkelling opportunities and plenty of friendly fishes come and swim around you. Racha Island is great for diving, especially 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 very busy and touristic. Note that we have a tip to avoid the crowd on Coral Island here.

5. Phuket Fantasea

(Starts 1,800 baht – from 5pm – Kamala Beach – closed on Thurdays)

Phuket Fantasea

This long time running show is extremely popular. It’s both an immense theme park and a professional stage performance with dancers, acrobats and real elephants walking through the audience then onto the stage. The setting is very impressive and the show, extremely well executed, narrates the legend of Kamala where the park is set. Read More

What we like:
a) It’s professional and beautifully crafted, including the many buildings in the park.
b) Lots of fun photo opportunities outside the theater.
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 waiting to give tourists a short ride are a little controversial
c) You can’t take photos inside, but we understand that it can be annoying.

6. Similan Islands

( About 2,600 baht – Full day)

Similan Islands

Amazing and beautiful, the Similans have this white sand and blue water you only see on postcards. It’s so beautiful your friends will believe you photoshopped your photos, even those taken with a mobile. Most people go there for the day but 2 days is a lot nicer: you can even chose to stay in a tent or in a basic bungalow with shower and air-conditioning! There is not much to do apart from snorkelling, sunning and a small restaurant, but it’s a Robinson Crusoe experience (well… with coke and beers). Read more

What we like:
a) everything!
What we don’t:
a) It’s closed half-year during 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 a 1.30 hours by speedboat

7. Simon Cabaret

(Start 700 baht – 2 hours – Patong beach)

Simon Cabaret

This is another long running successful stage performance with beautiful set and well choreographed dancing. Of course everyone goes to Simon Cabaret not because the main attraction are not the pretty costumes but because of the surprisingly beautiful ladyboys. Photos are not allowed during the show but the ‘girls’ will happily wait for you outside the theater for a photo session. Read more

What we like:
a) Good stage performance, most people are surprised how well it’s done
b) It’s literally in Patong Beach so you can enjoy the show and still go out for 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 literally pick the money from your hand thank you very much.

8. Elephant Sanctuaries

Phuker Elephant Sanctuary

We had to remove this one as it is too controversial… pick something else 🙂

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 what imagine Robinson Crusoe island would look like. Last is the tiny Koh Khai island are found just a few kilometres off Phuket, which looks very much like a cartoon postcard of a tropical island. There is not much to do there apart of sunbathing, snorkeling or swimming with hundred fish and drink fresh coconuts… it’s so back to basics but isn’t it exactly 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 the 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 colourful street now full of little cafes and shops is a popular photo opportunity especially since those horrible electric cables have been buried. 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 street and between landmarks
What we don’t:
a) It’s actually 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 it the street it’s quite safe.

Written by

Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world in my 20s and never stopped until I finally settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 23 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 2 blogs: Phuket101.net and BangkokUndercover.com, I also manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com