Being such a large island and having such a vibrant past, Phuket is full of little nooks and crannies which are often overlooked, particularly by travellers on their first visit. Many of these hidden, hard-to-reach places contain delights which have largely escaped the attention of tourists. Mostly known only to long-term expatriates and locals, these are the best-kept secrets in Phuket. At least, they were until now.
Ranging from secret beaches to out-of-the-way viewpoints, the places on this list may not have the size and grandeur of the more famous landmarks in Phuket, but they make up for it by providing an otherwise unattainable sense of exploration and of straying off the beaten track. If you’re the sort of traveller who likes to escape the crowds and see something a little different - even in such a famously popular destination as Phuket – then this list is for you.
- 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
Ao Sane BeachNai Harn
Ao Sane is one of the nicest beaches Phuket’s southwestern coast. Being a little out of the way, it's one of the island's least visited. This little cove is found down a small, well-marked road past The Nai Harn. It's only 200 metres in length, with fine, soft sand dotted with large granite boulders. Bordered by dense jungle behind and clear water in front, Ao Sane is one of the top snorkelling beaches in Phuket. Read More...
- Location: Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Radar Hill ViewpointChalong
The Radar Hill Viewpoint offers outstanding views of Patong Beach, but is virtually unknown as it's quite a challenge to reach. The highest of Phuket’s many breathtaking viewpoints, it is so-named because of the military weather station found at the top. Counter-intuitively, the approach is actually from the back (eastern) side of the hill, off Chao Fa West Road. It’s a long drive, but very much worth it. Not that the guards generally don’t like people with camera’s hanging around, so we suggest you don’t get too close. Read More...
- Location: Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Wassa Homemade BarPatong
Wassa Homemade Bar is a relatively modest sundowner spot in Patong. It's located right at the back of town, about as far from the beach as you can get without going all the way up to Radar Hill, and the access road is extremely steep. The bar's open-air platform offers one of the most outstanding views of the entire bay of Patong on Phuket’s west coast. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 4pm to midnight
- Location: 50 Pee Rd, Ban, Patong, Phuket 83150, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)91 882 9322
Ao Yon BeachNear Cape Panwa
Ao Yon is a predominantly residential area and mostly one populated with locals. As a result, there are very few tourists who know of this quiet beach. Bordered by a small, sleepy village, the soft-sanded strand looks out onto a small cove, which is usually dotted with boats and yachts. Bizarrely, Ao Yon is one of the few beaches on Phuket where you can still reliably find sun loungers, thanks to The Cove Phuket and their small artificial beach, which is just behind the real thing. Read More...
- Location: Soi Ao-Yon Khaokhad, Wichit, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Shrine of the Serene LightPhuket Town
The Shrine of the Serene Light is one of Phuket’s oldest Chinese shrines. It's effectively hidden in plain sight, having been built in a little courtyard next to The Memory at On On Hotel on Phang Nga Road in Phuket Old Town. Established in 1891, the shrine clearly shows its heritage with distinctive architectural design, with characteristics common in Hokkien Chinese shrines like the terracotta-tiled roof and single-storey construction. Read More...
- Location: 72/1 Yaowarat Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Thai Amulets MarketPhuket Town
The Thai Amulets Market, located off Rassada Road in Phuket Old Town, is home to traders selling hundreds of Buddhist amulets, most of which are blessed by well-regarded Buddhist monks in Thailand. These can be made from various materials, including gypsum, clay, metal, silver or gold. Prices can range from 200 baht to as much as 100,000 baht (and even more). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 7pm
- Location: Ratsada Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Banana BeachBetween Bang Tao and Nai Thon beaches
Sometimes known as Banana Rock Beach, this 180-metre strip of sand is one of the most pristine spots in Phuket. Its remote location between Bang Tao and Nai Thon beaches, as well as a challenging path, makes it almost untouched by tourists. Banana Beach lies at the end of a rough trail down to the bottom of quite a steep hill, but the brief hardship of getting there is rewarded with a tranquil and unspoilt spot. Read More...
- Location: Choengtalay, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Samet Nangshe ViewpointPhang Nga
The Samet Nangshe Viewpoint is barely known by most expats, let alone tourists in Phuket. It's at the top of a steep hill far off the main roads in Phang Nga (about a 30-minute drive from Phuket). Thanks to the long distance from the bustling Phuket resorts, there's next to no light pollution – you can even see the Milky Way at certain times. As if that wasn’t enough, the view of the sun rising over Phang Nga Bay is absolutely breathtaking. Read More...
- Location: Khlong Khian, Takua Thung, Phang-nga 82130, Thailand
The Real Kathu WaterfallPatong
Kathu Waterfall may be the best-known and most-visited waterfall in Phuket, but many people often miss out on the most striking sights to see. The real waterfalls are on the right-hand side, past the bridge and up the hill. It may lack proper signposts and is a bit of a slog to reach, but your efforts will be rewarded with a different perspective that'll make for excellent photos. Read More...
- Location: Kathu, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Sabai CornerKata Beach
Sabai Corner is one of the lesser-known local restaurants in Phuket, being situated in a jungle between Nai Harn and Kata. While the food is fairly conventional, the real attraction is the view, which spans Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches as well as the tiny Pu Island. Sabai Corner also offers cheap, tasty Thai food and alcoholic beverages to complement the expansive scenery. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 10pm
- Location: Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)89 875 5525
The old Big Buddha at Wat Khao RangPhuket Town
If you want to see a striking big Buddha statue, most people head straight for the white marble one looking out across Chalong from the hills above Kata. Wat Khao Rang’s golden Buddha image was the island’s original Big Buddha, but it has virtually vanished into obscurity after the completion of the more famous one in the Nakkerd Hills. A visit to original sculpture means that you can look around and take photos without having to jostle with a huge crowd. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to late afternoon
- Location: Khao Rang Hill, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)76 222 520
The reclining Buddha of Wat SrisoonthornPhuket Town
Wat Srisoonthorn’s reclining Buddha statue spans 29 metres in length, making it one of the largest on the island. Even though the temple is right by the main road down the centre of Phuket, it's often missed because of dense trees surrounding the temple grounds. The reclining Buddha is on top of the temple's central building, with 9 smaller images in different positions facing the entrance. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 5.30pm
- Location: 20/4 Thepkrasatree Rd, Si Sunthon, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)98 017 8044
Among the many beautiful islands off Phuket, Koh Bon is one of the least well-known, mostly because it is among the least developed. Well off the typical day-trippers route, you can reach it is by chartering a long-tail boat from Rawai. Once you’ve made the 15-minute crossing, you will find a simple restaurant, pristine white sands, and very little else on the 1.2-km-long island. Read More...
- Location: Koh Bon, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Panwa ViewpointCape Panwa
The Panwa Viewpoint offers 360-degree views across southern and eastern Phuket. Also known as the Khao Khad Views Tower, it's on the road to Cape Panwa. The stairs leading to the hilltop might test the hamstrings, but you'll be rewarded with scenic views of Chalong Bay and the iconic Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hills. The 2-storey view tower has 8 photo keymaps in both Thai and English so you’ll know what you’re gazing at. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 7pm
- Location: Wichit, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand