If it’s your first time to Phuket and you're confused, use this guide to help you decide what to do on a short break. What to do? Where to go? What to see?
If you only have 3 days to enjoy as much as possible on this action-packed island, we are here to help. Feel free to cut out items that don't relate to you and use this as a starting point to make the most of your time in Phuket.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
Day 1 - discover Phuket
Drive from Phromthep Cape to Surin
One of the best ways to see Phuket’s West Coast is to tour it in a rented car. This gives you the option of stopping exactly where and when you want and for you to stay exactly as long as you wish at differing locations.
We strongly suggest that you follow Phuket’s West Coast route as this is by far the most beautiful stretch of beaches in the region (Phuket’s East Coast comprises largely of mudflats and mangrove swamps), starting at the south end of the island at Phromthep Cape and exploring up to Surin Beach. Park at the huge car park at Phromthep and go up the steps to the viewpoint. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been here before as this view adorns millions of postcards, posters, T-shirts and TV company logos.
Enjoy the west coast beaches
Heading north, after a 1-kilometre dip and rise in the road, you’ll come to another smaller viewpoint. This commands a breathtaking view of beautiful Nai Harn Beach. No doubt you’ll feel a bit like Don Quixote as you’ll be standing in front several huge white windmills. This is one of Thailand’s windiest spots and these lofty machines generate power for the area’s electrical needs. Down below, the beachside development at Nai Harn is minimal due to the fact that the local Buddhist temple owns most of the land so you might want to take a quiet stroll along this lovely 800-metre beach.
On the road again, through Nai Harn Village, hang a left turn and follow the sign up the hill towards Kata Beach. At the top of the hill, you’ll come across yet another viewpoint. The view from here will also seem strangely familiar as it one of Phuket’s most well-recognisable outlooks. Here, you can gaze north and take in the triple vista of Kata, Karon and Patong beaches. Warning: If you can see over the lip of the hill down to Kata Noi Beach you’ve leaned over too far and are now in grave danger of killing yourself. Get back behind the railings. There are elephant camps on this hill so keep your eyes peeled for their calling cards. They could cause a nasty skid…
Day 2 - Phi Phi or Phang nga?
Discover some of the marvellous islands surrounding Phuket. There are many options – here are just a few you can choose from for your Day Two activities.
Phi Phi Islands by Speedboat
Go island hopping amongst some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Visit the location where The Beach was filmed, snorkel in some of the clearest waters in the world. Knock yourself out with Mother Nature’s beauty. Go on; you deserve it. (Book Phi Phi by Speedboat Daytrip...)
Phang Nga Bay by Speedboat
Some of the most fascinating scenery in the world is just minutes away by speedboat. Why waste hours on a boring slow tour bus when you can zoom off to this wondrous location, taking in James Bond Island, dining at a floating Muslim village and of course marvelling at those incredible karst formations.
Day 3 - shopping and showtime
Just outside Phuket City lies Central Festival – a tasteful shopping mall with everything you could possibly want in one location. You can lunch at one of the restaurants or fill up on popcorn as you catch a movie at one of the seven available movie theatres at the multiplex upstairs which also has a First Class Cinema where you get your own reclining armchair and blanket to snuggle up in.
In Patong, check out Jungceylon on Rat-U-Thit Rd. Watch the Dancing Musical Fountain Show. And if that isn't enough there’s also a life-size Chinese junk with a hydraulic catwalk for fashion shows. There’s a 5-screen multiplex for movie buffs, restaurants and bars and oh… I almost forgot… lots of shopping.
Choose the right live show for you
FantaSea is a live show based on Thai myths and legends. It features humour, tear-jerking love scenes, magic tricks, and wonderful lighting effects. Showtime is at 9pm every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can dine at the gargantuan buffet, shop in the Shopping Village, watch traditional Thai handicrafts being made, snack at the fast-food outlet, check out a ‘street show’ and – if you’re not too exhausted by then – watch the show.
Located just to the south of Patong, Simon Cabaret has been vamping, mincing and lip-syncing its way into people’s hearts since 1991. The transvestite-and-gender-reassigned cast does an impressive job and most have been at it for a good few years, making the cast interchangeable (no pun intended). There are 2 shows daily, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm. No cameras allowed but you are encouraged to take photos with the performers outside for a ‘small fee’.