15 Best Things to Do in Phuket

Phuket Must-See Attractions and Places

There are plenty of really memorable things to do in Phuket. The island itself has a beautiful historical old town, great viewpoints and iconic cultural attractions. It is also a good base for exploring the nearby islands and must-see attractions. These include world-famous places like Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.

The following list is our pick of the things which you should absolutely not miss while in Phuket. No trip here can be called complete without ticking most of these off your bucket list. Being a place of great variety, there's something among the best things to do in Phuket for every kind of traveller. Take a look below and see what sparks your interest.

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    1

    Phang Nga Bay

    Phang Nga - North east of Phuket
    Phang Nga Bay

    Phang Nga Bay is unique. A day out here is an unforgettable experience that will definitely get you thinking. A distinctive feature of the bay is the sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald-green waters. These islands are home to sheltered fauna that are possible to observe on certain tours. James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this bay. Read More...

    Phi Phi Island

    Phi Phi Island is Thailand's superstar island, particularly famous for its central role in the 2000 movie The Beach. It's the topic of conversation for travellers all over Thailand. For some, it's the only reason to touchdown in Phuket. Even with all the hype, it doesn't disappoint. Phi Phi's beauty is a large chunk of the allure. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to beach-fronted jungle. It's love at first sight. Read More...

    Bangla Road in Patong Beach

    There are few things in this world to prepare you for an after-dark stroll down Patong's Bangla Road. However, a sense of humour and an open mind are prerequisites if you're looking to have some fun. The biggest collection of nightclubs, bars, shows and general nocturnal fun in Phuket, it is pretty much an all-out assault on the senses. In spite of this, it is still very much one of the essential things to do in Phuket, even if it's just to say that you have! Read More...

    4

    Big Buddha

    Chalong
    Phuket Big Buddha

    Visible from most of the south of Phuket, the giant Buddha image sits on the top of the Nakkerd Hills and looks down over Chalong, Kata and Rawai. It cost 30 million baht to construct and is 45 metres tall. Next to it stands a smaller golden image that is actually made of brass and there is a shrine near the site's car park. The drive up to the Big Buddha takes you through the 'real' Thailand and the view from the top is enhanced if you take a map to identify the many, many sights. Read More...

    5

    Similan Islands

    Phang Nga - North west of Phuket
    Similan Islands

    The stunning Similan Islands are surrounded by amazingly clear blue seas and pristine white-sand beaches. Heaven for island-hoppers and scuba divers, the nine islands are about 30 km off the coast of Khaolak. They are ranked among the best dive sites in the world for their lively and colourful coral reefs and perfect visibility. For non-divers, the famous Sailing Boat Rock is on Similan No. 8 and is an iconic feature of this must-see archipelago. Read More...

    6

    Relax on Phuket's Best Beaches

    Kata - Nai Harn - Patong
    Phuket Beaches

    We can't have a list of the best things to do in Phuket without mentioning the beaches! With more than 30 to choose from, the island is understandably famous for them. There's a lot of variety available, ranging from little secluded coves to long and lively shores. Most of the best beaches in Phuket are along the west coast. They offer beautiful sunsets, along with their soft white sands and clean blue seas. Read More...

    7

    Night Markets

    Phuket Town - Patong
    Phuket Walking Street Night Market

    Phuket has an impressive selection of night markets to choose from. Each has its own unique charms, but all offer interesting souvenirs at low prices. They are an excellent place to try local street food and snacks, and some also have street performances and music. Being open in the evenings means that you don't get too hot while getting your shopping fix. Read More...

    8

    Island-Hopping

    Andaman Sea - West of Phuket
    Islands near Phuket

    The Andaman Sea around Phuket is littered with absolutely stunning little tropical islands. Phi Phi and the Similans certainly stand out among them, but there are others closer to Phuket which are worth visiting. These tiny lumps of pristine sand in wide expanses of azure blue seas are real-life desert island escapes. Enjoy sunbathing, exploring and snorkelling, as well as a general sense of getting away from it all. Read More...

    9
    Phuket Fantasea Show

    It's wacky but fun and very professionally done. Trapeze artists, elephants on stage and pyrotechnics combine in a Las Vegas-style show. You'll see nothing else like it anywhere on the planet. Combining Thai traditional myths with humour, fantasy and a loose plotline that keeps getting more and more amusing, FantaSea's extravaganza is a highly entertaining and riveting show, worthy of its spot in this list of the best things to do in Phuket. Read More...

    Wat Chalong

    Wat Chalong is one of Phuket's most important temples and is visited by thousands each year. It's beautifully decorated, with infinite reflections from hundreds of tiny gliterring glass pieces on its many pagodas. On special holidays, Wat Chalong hosts 'country fairs,' with a real local flavour where you can buy just about anything and snack on Thai food to your heart's content. Wat Chalong has an interesting history and is Phuket Island's spiritual centre. Visiting this fascinating temple is one of the essential things to do in Phuket. See Phuket Temples or Read More...

    11

    Phuket Viewpoints

    Kata - Nai Harn - Panwa
    Phuket Viewpoints

    There are many viewpoints on both the east and west coasts of Phuket, affording sunrise as well as sunset views. Everyone goes to Promthep Cape, but it doesn't make it any less spectacular. There, you'll get fabulous views over the ocean stretching as far as Phi Phi Island on a good day. Check out Phuket's other viewpoints,  such as the 'Three Beaches' hilltop venue on the road between Nai Harn and Kata, or sip a cocktail at the After Beach Bar (also on the same road), while the sun slips below the western horizon. Read More...

    12

    Beach Clubs

    Bangtao - Kamala - Patong
    Beach Clubs in Phuket

    With great beaches come great beach clubs, and some of Phuket's are among the best in the world. These chilled-out venues offer great music, first-class food and delightful cocktails. Just steps from the sand, and often featuring splash pools, good times are all but guaranteed. With regular special events and parties, these are among the best places to be seen and the best things to do in Phuket. Read More...

    13

    Old Phuket Town

    Phuket Town
    Old Phuket Town

    Sino-Portuguese splendours and funky shops in the most unlikely places will surprise and delight you in the heart of Phuket's sleepy provincial capital. Phuket Town offers much more than you think, with some excellent restaurants and local sights. The unique blend of colonial and Chinese architecture, along with a tangible quaintness, makes for a fascinating and unforgettable afternoon spent sauntering around Phuket's Old Town. Expect the unexpected and don't forget your camera. Read More...

    14
    Simon Cabaret Show

    Simon Cabaret is probably the biggest transvestite cabaret show in Phuket. This show features a spectacular musical floor show performed by the world-famous ladyboy cast. See for yourself - guys, can you tell the difference? And ladies - wouldn't you just die for a figure like that? Fabulous costumes, glitzy and fun. Read More...

    15

    Elephant Sanctuaries

    Phuket Town - Naithon - Bangtao
    Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket

    Phuket's tourism industry is constantly evolving to keep pace with modern trends. Nowhere is that fact clearer than with the elephant sanctuaries springing up in and around the island. The sanctuaries provide a safe escape from trekking and logging camps. They also let you interact with the gentle giants in a more ethical, animal-friendly way. If you're a responsible traveller, these places should definitely be on your list of things to do in Phuket. Read More...

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