If you love all things fun, Phuket is the place for you. The mesmerizing island with its many wonders starts to grow on you as soon as you step foot on its sandy beaches. The island has more than 40 stunning beaches. The sapphire ocean water seamlessly blends with the clear blue sky creating a soothing picture. The island is the largest in the country with a land area of about 540 square kilometers. About a million people call this their home but still, you will find an ample amount of tranquil places to spend some peaceful couple of moments with nature.
The star of the Andaman Sea, Phuket welcomes thousands of tourists each year. The majority of them visit the island between November to April. If you too are planning to hit this little piece of paradise here is a small preview of the things you can enjoy while on your vacation.
1. See The Big Buddha
Buddhism is one of the prominent cultures in Thailand. Everywhere you visit in Thailand from the cosmopolitan Bangkok to beachy Phuket, you are sure to find beautiful architectured Buddha Temples. These temples are not only a huge part of the Thai culture but also a great place for those who are inquisitive about world religions. The massive Maravijaya Buddha statue seats on top of Nakkared Hill. It is a marble statue of about 45-meters in height. The construction of the statue started in the year 2004 with the help of donations from people. The view of the entire city from the hilltop is something that lands this place at the top of every tourist ‘Must-Do’s in Phuket’.
2. Get dumbstruck at Karon View Point
If you are a nature lover and love things off-beat. A trip to the Karon View Point is worth it. The place was previously called Kata Viewpoint due to its proximity to Kata Noi Beach. But, someday someone decided to call it Karon Viewpoint. Nevertheless, its name ‘Kho Sam Had’ in Thai suits it perfectly. It means ‘Hill of the Three Beaches’ in English. The panoramic view of Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon Beach from the top earned the place its name. Tourists visiting the island for the first time would love to stop by the viewpoint. The top is perfect for clicking some killer photographers for your Instagram profile.
3. Pay a visit to Wat Chalong
Phuket has about 29 buddhist temples. Wat Chalong or Wat Chaithararam is the most revered of all. You can visit the temple on a day trip combined with a visit to the Big Buddha. The temple architecture is grand and the statue within are even more beautiful. A climb to the top is a must for the panoramic view of the city. Every now and then there are funfairs with lots of food and interesting Thai games. It is a great way of mingling with other tourists and locals. You get to know so much about Thai and Buddhist cultures in these fairs. Do not forget to click some snaps.
4. Canoeing and Sunset Dinner at Phang Nga Bay
Canoeing is the best way of experiencing the real beauty of Thailand. Lying north of Phuket Phang Nga Bay is yet another major tourist destination. It holds gorgeous limestone islands along the shore, eerie caves, and amusing rock formations. Canoeing through these natural wonders would be one of the highlights of your trip. After the adventures canoeing trip have a seafood buffet dinner enjoying the beautiful sunset.
5. Take a longtail boat ride to James Bond Island
Remember Roger Moore as James Bond trying to retrieve the energy device in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’. Well, if you are a Bond fan then you simply cannot forget the movie nor its exotic location. The island Khao Phing Kan was featured in the 1974 movie and has since then been as popular among tourists as the lead protagonist himself. The best way to explore the island is in a long-tail boat. You can book one from the Phang Nga Boat dock. Most of Phuket Tour Packages generally include a tour of James Bond island in them. You feel closer to the water in the traditional Thai boat. It offers an unobstructed view of the entire surrounding and calls for an unforgettable experience. Many people travel from Bangkok to Phuket only to go on a boat tour of the islands. The best time to go on a tour of the James Bond island is around 1 pm. There is a lesser speedboat crowd on the island and the afternoon light sets the atmosphere for some kick-ass pictures on the island.
6. Enjoy the Bangla Road Nightlife
Popularly known as the Patong Walking Street, the place is best for some night wandering. It is notoriously popular for its nightlife. The street remains flooded with all kinds of bars from go-go and rooftop bars to live music and nightclubs.
7. Enjoy a Cruise
There are numerous cruises in Phuket that lets you explore the islands at its best. You get to enjoy the gentle breeze at the ocean and mouth-watering cuisine while taking in the surrounding scenery. People often take a cruise to nearby islands like Phi Phi Islands. Cruises are also taken to indulge in watersports activities like scuba diving. You can book a cruise once in Phuket or have your tour operator book it for you.
8. Get entertained at Phuket Fantasea Show
A Las Vegas style cultural show in Phuket. It features elephants and an incredible set. Acrobates, magic, pyrotechnics, aerial performances, the stage show is a feast for the eyes with full 4-D effects and cutting-edge technology.
9. Have a walk down the past at Phuket Old Town
The old town has gone under a number of developments but has still managed to retain its old-world charm. The town hosts Weekend markets best for shopping and haggling. Khao Rang, the second highest summit in Phuket offers mesmerizing views of the town. If traveling with kids then paying a visit to Trickeye Museum would be fun. Tourists visiting old town love to take a tour of Baan Chinpracha. The 1903 Sino-colonial mansion has been opened by its owners for tourists to have a look at how the wealthy family of Phuket used to live decades ago.
10. Do not miss Simon Cabaret Show
The third-gender is a major part of the Thailand entertainment industry. Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya all have cabaret shows put up by these ladyboys. The Simon Cabaret Show in Patong is like a movie theater. With Saxophone music, dramatic headwears, and glittering costumes Simon Cabaret Show calls for an evening of entertainment.
11. Enjoy all kinds of watersports
You cannot visit Phuket and miss out on indulging in some exciting water sports activities. The brilliant marine life calls out to water sports enthusiasts. You can take a trip to Phi Phi island or Similan Island. The two islands are the top favorites among tourists for scuba diving. Andaman’s tropical water is also ideal for snorkeling. Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay is another top favorite activity of tourists. Phuket’s west coast is high on surfing. Generally, Phuket Tour Packages include these water sports activities within them. Or, when you visit Phuket you can book some local operators.
12. Hangout with the tigers at Tiger Kingdom
A unique experience indeed. When in Phuket you must pay a visit to the Tiger Kingdom. If you aren’t scared then you can befriend some tiger cubs or even hang out with some older ones. The place remains open from 9 am to 6 pm. The place is only 15 minutes away from Karon Beach.
13. Learn Cooking Thai style
Thai cuisine is another major attraction in the country. You are sure to fall in love with exotic flavors and refreshing tastes. For you to not miss the taste when to go back home, you can take a crash-course to learn the basics of Thai cuisine. So many different locations in Phuket offer cooking classes. Many classes offer morning, afternoon, or whole day packages and also you get to eat what you and your classmates have cooked.
14. Beach Bumming
Beaches in whole of Thailand compel you to fall head-over-heels in love with them and Phuket nowhere falls behind in this category. Even when visited by thousands of tourists each year. The beaches in Phuket have a peaceful vibe to it. Smaller beaches like Kata Noi are the best place to relax and watch the beautiful sunset. Nai Harn Beach, Karon Beach, Patong Beach, are some of the most popular beaches in Phuket.
15. Meet Elephant at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
If you love wildlife then do visit the place. You would get to witness how elephants are taken care of here. You might also be able to humanely interact with them. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical organization that aims to rescue mistreated elephants.
16. Get impressed by artwork at Phuket Trickeye Museum
The museum lets your imagination go wild. It is the first of its kind in Southern Thailand. You are sure to be blown away with the artwork on display. The museum allows visitors to engage with the art put on display by becoming a part of the art. The 3D artwork the museum has is hard to believe until you see it. The tickets to the museum can be purchased online.
17. Shop At Sunday Street Market
The street markets are a popular attraction everywhere in Thailand. Phuket Sunday Street Market makes the 350-m long Thalang Road come alive every Sunday from 04:00-10:00 at night. The market is a great place to try some local Thai food. But, be ready to be surprised. There are some great food, ice-cream, and sweet shops in the market. You are sure to find every shopper munching on something or the other as they wander. The market has Chinese migrants sellers, Thai Muslims, and Indian shops. The market is great for buying Phuket T-Shirts, printed fabrics, accessories, and stuffed animals. Street performers, musicians, and dancers create a festive mood.
18. Dine at Khao Rang Hill
There are several nice restaurants near Khao Rang Hill that offer amazing views of the hills and the city. Phuket View and Tung Ka Cafe are two of the most popular ones. Phuket View perched on Khao Rang Hill has a massive open terrace where you can enjoy your dinner and the beautiful panoramic views of Phuket. You must try the fried prawns and Pla Dook Foo which is crispy deep-fried catfish with sour mango salad. The restaurant serves some Chinese Kale in oyster sauce and Hor Mok Omelet. The restaurant has a secluded and romantic vibe and offers awesome views of Chalong Bay, Big Buddha, Kata Bay, and the islands.
19. Enjoy the sunset at Promthep Cape
It is one of the best places in Phuket to enjoy the sunset. It is the southernmost tip of Phuket and offers an amazing view of the Andaman Sea. The sky turns beautiful colors of pink and gold and is perfect for clicking some killer photographs. The cape has a lighthouse with maritime artifacts of the display. There is some cool stuff which you can see and it also has a souvenir shop. There are a couple of restaurants you can dine in while enjoying the view. The place is a popular tourist attraction and hence starts getting crowded as soon as it is the time for the sunset. You might want to reach early to secure a spot for yourself.
20. Fly like a Tarzan at Flying Hanuman
If you wish for something adventures then this must be in your ‘To Do’ list. The surrounding rainforest, fresh air, and adrenaline rush make the experience exciting. Ziplining at Flying Hanuman would cost around 2300 Baht if you book directly and 1500 Baht if you book through an operator. The tour operators take care of everything from pickup to dropping you back at the hotel. The place has good safety measures and thus you have nothing to worry about besides just enjoying the experience.