Things to do in Phuket
The beaches will no doubt be at the forefront of your mind when you land in Phuket. To find them you'll have to head to the western side of the island. Granted, it's not hard to find a perfect stretch of sand to lay your towel down, however some do boast better scenery than others. As a rule of thumb, the harder it is to get to the beach, the better it is likely to be. Examples include Freedom Beach and Paradise Beach. An exception to the rule though would be Kata Beach. Despite being a popular tourist haunt, Kata's beauty is undeniable while its surrounding restaurants and breezy nightlife make it an ideal place to set up a beach umbrella and never leave.
Spend your entire Phuket holiday on a beach though, and you'll be missing out on a lot. Like Phuket sailing tours around the Phi Phi Islands, elephant trekking in Phang Nga, day tours of Phang Nga Bay and the list goes on.
But pace yourself. Phuket at night offers just as many options. Witness the dazzling Fantasea show, a popular cultural night that blends tradition with fantasy. Then there is the infamous nightlife, a smorgasbord of backpacker bars, nightclubs, live music venues and kathoey cabaret clubs - all found huddled along Patong's notorious nightlife strip of Bangla Road. You'll find that the gender-bending ways of this legendary nightlife strip are indeed true. Just remember to play safe, be respectful and don't overindulge too much - a spectacular beach awaits you in the morning.
For more must-dos in Phuket, check out our recommendations below.
For all its many beaches, Kata Beach is one of Phuket's best. A pristine, palm tree-lined stretch of sand surrounded by resorts, restaurants and nightlife, you may just never want to leave.
If you venture out from your resort to do just one day tour, make it a trip to the Phi Phi Islands. Renowned as some of the most beautiful islands in the world, the archipelago spans a total of 6 islands, of which only one is populated.
Located on the west coast of the island, Patong is the 'Surfers Paradise' of Phuket. It's a popular beach strip where travellers come for the beach and stay for the shopping and nightlife.
An icon of Phuket, Fantasea is the island's biggest show. In what can only be described as a nightlife extravaganza, the exotic show is set in a theme park and performed by a cast of thousands as well as elephants and other animals.
There’s no denying Thailand has charm. And while Phuket has plenty of glitz and glamour, where you’ll see the real charm is in its Old Town quarter – at last, a reason to leave the beach!
If you’re a Bond fan, you might recognise Phang Nga Bay for the appropriately Ko Tapu or ‘James Bond Island’ - known for its distinctive shape. Limestone rocks and cliffs jut out from the emerald-green water and are featured in the movie, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.
Similan Islands National Park is located 84 kilometres northwest from Patong Beach, and is an underwater adventure playground that's regarded as one of the 10 best dive spots in the world.
Located approximately 30 kilometres from Phuket Town, Sirinath was declared a national park in the early ‘80s and is made up of a collection of islands, beaches and mangrove forests.
In Phuket, there’s plenty of time for bucket-sized cocktails and hedonist pursuits but if you want to level the playing field, perhaps a visit to Wat Chalong, Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple, is in order.