15 Best Things to Do in Phuket (Updated!)

15 Best Things to Do in Phuket (Updated!)
15 Best Things to Do in Phuket (Updated!)
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15 Best Things to Do in Phuket (Updated!)

What are the best things to do in Phuket? This is without a doubt the most frequently asked question on our blog (after “what is the weather in Phuket today?“)! Actually all the answers are on the net but if you are as lazy as I am, you don’t want to read twenty pages to plan for your next holiday. No one really enjoys reading endless prose to find out the  short facts they really need to know (except a few readers of course).

So to make your travel planning a lot easier, here are our Must-See and Must-Do in Phuket. These are our all time favorites, and if you can fit just a few of them in your busy holiday, you will have great memories of Phuket…

Best is to plan for a couple of them in advance, and once in Phuket you can adjust your plan according to your own mood. I actually never plan too much in advance, I prefer to get the feel once arrived. Reading about a place you never saw is like trying to imagine the taste of a dish you never even saw before.


1. Phang Nga Bay

phang-nga-sea-canoe

This most incredible scenery should certainly be on top of your list of places to see absolutely. You can take a lazy cruise on a Chinese Junk or closer to nature, Explore Phang Nga by Canoe through the caves of Phang Nga and see some fantastic lagoons. Similar to the famous Halong Bay in Vietnam, these landscapes will leave you with unforgettable memories. Read more


2. Old Phuket Town

phuket

Hard to resist those old Sino-Portuguese streets with their beautiful shop houses and magnificent mansions. With many small cafes, bakeries and eateries along the way… it is perfect for a half day. Visit also the local markets near the bus station and explore the tiny streets here and there to discover some incredible abandoned mansions. Don’t miss the new Phuket Walking Street on Sunday! Read more


3. Prompthep Cape Viewpoint

promthep

Prompthep Cape is not as grand as you might expect but it still draws a crowd of tourists every single evening at sunset time. The location is high and at the very south of the island. It boasts nice views on the bays and the few islands around. If you decide to go there, stop at the other nearby ‘windmill viewpoint‘ and consider a Thai dinner at the local ‘Prompthep Restaurant’. Read more


4. Karon Viewpoint

karon-viewpoint

From the Karon Viewpoint you really can see three magnificent bays : the closest and smallest one is Kata Noi Beach, then a bit further is the beautiful bay of Kata with its island ‘Koh Poo’ which means Crab Island, and in the far, the very long Karon Beach. Read more


5. Big Buddha

big-buddha

The Big Buddha is a 45 meter tall white marble statue visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket and the views from up there are definitely breathtaking. When reaching the top of the hill you will find a large parking and a road leading to a construction where people can donate, buy amulets and where occasional ceremonies are held. This place also serves as a museum of the history of the Big
Buddha. Read more


6. Wat Chalong

wat-chalong

Wat Chalong, built at the beginning on 19th century, is the largest and one of the most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket. Its real name is Wat Chaitararam and the most recent building on the grounds of Wat Chalong is a 60 meters tall ‘Chedi’ sheltering a splinter of bone from Buddha. Walls and ceilings are decorated with beautiful painting illustrating the life of Buddha, as well as many donated golden statues.. Read more


7. Soi Bangla

bangla

Everyone should see it at least once. And unlike what most people believe, Soi Bangla is not ‘Sin City for Single Men’. It’s more of a colorful street full of life, restaurants, shops and bars and of course girls. Now if you want to know more, enter these famous Go Go bars and see for yourself what is this all about. You will often see couples tourists having a drink… Patong is a lot more easy going than Bangkok or Pattaya. Read more


8. Similan Island

similans2

The most impressive set of Island is without a doubt the Similan Island, but these are open at certain time of the year and a bit far. If you get a chance, you must absolutely go. If you are not confident, go to Phi Phi Island, but it’s kind of crowded. Easier and closer are Racha Island or really nearby Coral Island. Read more


9. Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Viewpoint Number 2

Phi Phi islands don’t need introduction anymore, Leonardo DiCaprio took care of this in 2000 with the movie ‘The Beach’ and the place just keeps on getting bigger and busier. The island was wiped out during the 2004 tsunami and despite what was said at the time, the construction just got bigger and maybe not better. However, the young crowd travelling to Phi Phi Islands seems to have great time so we decided to review it. No doubt it’s super crowded, especially at night, but yes the islands are beautiful and a great place for party! Read more


10. Phuket Fantasea

phuket-fantasea

It took me a long time before stepping onto the huge grounds of this ‘entertainment park’ in Kamala Beach. It’s bright and colorful, full of shops and fun fair games, but the main attraction is the stage performance given by Thai actors, dancers and acrobats accompanied by their dozen massive elephants. Read more


11. Simon Cabaret

simon-cabaret-phuket

Another Las Vegas kind of show, but of a totally different nature. Here too, the stage in Patong beach is magnificent, the sets and costumes are glittering and colorful, but what people really came to see are the amazingly pretty ladyboys! Perfect bodies with pretty faces, most of them would fool you! Read more


12. Rang Hill

tungka-cafe

A beautiful viewpoint set above Phuket town. Great by day and by night with the city lights. If you happen to go there, by car and bike, stay for lunch or dinner at the beautiful and excellent Tungka Cafe or Phuket View Restaurant on the other side of the hill. Read more


13. Koh Panyee

koh-panyee

A small fishermen village built entirely on stilts in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Take a longtail boat early to reach there before tourists arrive and you get a complete different feel for the place. Continue to the James Bond Island if you feel like seeing the shooting set of this antique movie ‘The man with the golden gun’. Read more


14. James Bond Island

James Bond Island

James Bond island is one of those bucket list items many people want to tick-off their list when in Phuket. There are many positive and negative opinions about James Bond island and most are actually justified. Before that old 1974 James Bond movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (remember Count Dracula?) no one knew about it. The movie wasn’t even good (45% on Rotten Tomatoes). James Bond Island of course had a local name before: Koh Tapu, meaning ‘Nail Island’ for the pointy rock, and Koh Phi Khan for the island surrounding it, meaning ‘hills leaning against each other” (you know, where the plane lands and where the entrance of the lair is). (read more)

15. Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

Samet Nangshe is an absolutely superb viewpoint located in Phang Nga Bay (that’s why we placed it as #13). It’s a little far outside Phuket island but if you have a car it is definitely worth the drive. From up there you can admire the fantastic limestone formations of Phang Nga Bay but it requires a good amount of effort. Not only you need to drive 25 kilometers past the Sarasin bridge that connects Phuket to the mainland, but also a serious 15 to 20 minutes climb. Read more


Other Top 10 you might want to look at are: ‘10 Things to Do Off the Beaten Track‘, 10 Girly Things to do in Phuket, and 10 Things to Do in Phuket when it rains, and 10 Ways to Party Wild in Phuket (this one is not as bad as you think…. )

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