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Things to do in Phuket

Things to do in  Phuket

Welcome to Phuket

A palm-fringed paradise of pristine beaches, exotic wildlife, and cocktails on tap, Phuket is Southern Thailand’s headline act. Jutting out into the Andaman Sea, this is Thailand’s largest island, as well as its busiest, and while the crush of tourists in high season can be overwhelming, its popularity is well deserved. The capital, Phuket Town, is the obvious starting point, with its buzzing markets and non-stop nightlife, but the best hotels can be found along the west coast, hugging the shores of Kamala Beach, Karon beach, and Kata Beach. Farther north, Surin and Layan Beach, and laid-back Rawai, at the southern tip of the island, offer respite from the crowds, while busy Patong Beach is the life of the party, boasting the island’s best nightlife. Phuket also serves as the departure point for many of the surrounding islands and there are a huge variety of day trips available. Cruise beneath the jagged limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay, home to James Bond Island; admire the Hollywood-worthy landscapes of the Phi Phi Island, where Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach” was filmed, or discover the underwater wonders of the remote Similan Islands.

Top 15 attractions in Phuket

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

A starring role in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” put the towering limestone islands of Ko Khao Phing Kan and the 66-foot-tall (20-meter) islet Ko Tapu firmly on Thailand’s tourist trail. While boats are forbidden from getting too close to the islands, opportunities for sightseeing abound in the surrounding area.More

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colorful marine life.More

Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

The stunning Maya Bay (Maya Beach) became a major tourist attraction after the 2000 film,The Beach, was filmed here. It’s situated within Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, off the coasts of both Krabi and Phuket on the mainland, and is distinguished by its beautiful white-sand beach sheltered by limestone cliffs on three sides.There are in fact several beaches here, but most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main beach, where most boats drop passengers just offshore, is a 200-meter long strip of silky white sand. It’s surrounded by clear waters filled with colorful coral and an abundance of exotic fish, making it an absolute haven for snorkelers. Walking inland is also a treat, with a path that winds through lush greenery and reveals some simply spectacular scenery.It’s true that Maya Bay’s popularity has taken a certain degree of the shine from this once little-heard of slice of paradise. It’s become so well-known that its shores are filled with hoards of boats dropping visitors off and picking them up throughout the day, particularly in peak season. Visitors should arrive early in the morning to avoid the larger part of the crowds.Please note: Maya Bay (Maya Beach) is closed indefinitely due to overtourism.More

Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga)

With limestone rock formations jutting out of the emerald green sea, Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga) in Thailand is famous the world over for its natural beauty. Many visitors to Thailand will find themselves crossing the bay on the way to popular tourist spots, such as Phuket or Krabi, but this place deserves some dedicated exploration time of its own.More

Big Buddha (Wat Chalong)

The Big Buddha Phuket is hard to miss. Built on a patch of virgin rain forest on Khao Nakkerd Hill high above Phuket, this gigantic 148-foot (45-meter) statue is one of the island's most prominent landmarks, easily seen from most places in the south. From the statue’s base, visitors enjoy panoramic views of Chalong Bay and Phuket town.More

Ao Phang Nga National Park

Known for its limestone rock formations rising out of the turquoise Andaman Sea, the protected Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park covers a large swathe of water in southern Thailand. Many visitors come to the area to enjoy the scenery and take part in watersports.More

Phuket Old Town

The prominence of Phuket’s beaches and out islands mean that Phuket Old Town is often overlooked. Yet, it offers a wealth of 19th-century architectural delights and fantastic photo ops. Beside the latticed windows of Malay-style shop-front buildings on Soi Rommanee, Old Phuket Town boasts temples, museums, and restaurants.More

Wat Chalong

As the most significant of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist temples, Wat Chalong attracts hundreds of visitors daily. A mountain backdrop emphasizes a golden spire, while wall paintings inside each temple depict vibrant Buddhist images. The main stupa, known as the Grand Pagoda, is said to harbor a splinter of the Buddha’s bone.More

Patong Beach

Big, brash, and bold, Patong is a high-energy resort on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand. Patong Beach, a deep stretch of white sand on a crescent bay, holds natural charms. But many head here for the restaurants, cabarets, dance shows, Thai boxing matches, and the loud and lively nightlife that draws travelers young and old alike.More

Promthep Cape (Laem Phromthep)

Jutting out into the Andaman Sea, crowned with a lighthouse and an elephant shrine, Promthep Cape (Laem Phromthep is Phuket’s southernmost point. Sweeping views over sparkling waters, rugged islands, sailing boats, sugar palms, and maybe even a paraglider or two make the headland a favorite photo stop, particularly around sunset.More

Racha Island (Raya Island)

Racha Island (Raya Island) is, in fact, two islands—Ko Racha Yai and Ko Racha Noi—both known for their excellent snorkeling and diving. Whether for day-long underwater exploring trips or stays of a few days to relax on the unspoiled beaches, the southern Thai islands are popular with water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.More

Koh Yao Yai (Ko Yao Yai)

Sister island to Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai (also written Ko Yao Yai) is an unspoiled gem that sprawls amid the karst seascapes of Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga). The coast offers white sand beaches, fishing villages (many on stilts), and mangrove forests; inland are timeless landscapes of orchards, rice fields, and rubber plantations.More

Phuket Simon Cabaret Show

As one of the most glamorous cabaret shows in southern Thailand, the Simon Cabaret is a must for fans of glitz and drama. Shows are a flamboyant combination of costumed transgender performers, traditional Thai dance and music, and comedy routines. After the show, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the stars and take photos.More

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is both the name of a small town on Phuket’s west coast and its popular beach. The mile- (1.5 kilometer-) long, picture-perfect crescent of sand is lined with shade-giving trees and seafood restaurants and is a go-to spot for sun worshippers, families, and water sports enthusiasts.More

Bangla Road (Patong)

This eclectic strip of bars, discos, shops, and attractions is the epicenter of entertainment in Patong. It offers a taste of local traditions and access to plenty of Western amenities, such as high-end boutiques in the modern Bangla Mall and restaurants that serve everything from pizza to pad thai.More

Trip ideas

How to Choose a Theater Show in Phuket

How to Choose a Theater Show in Phuket

How to Spend 1 Day in Phuket

How to Spend 1 Day in Phuket

How to Spend 3 Days in Phuket

How to Spend 3 Days in Phuket

Top activities in Phuket

John Gray's Hong by Starlight with Sea Cave Kayaking and Loy Krathong Floating
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Premium Phi Phi Islands, Maya Bay & Khai Islands by Speedboat With Lunch
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Phi Phi Island by Premium Speedboat including Buffet Lunch & National Park Fees
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Phi Phi Islands and Khai Islands Snorkeling Tour By Speedboat From Phuket
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Phuket Old Town Food Tour
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Phuket Old Town Food Tour

Private Airport Transfer in Phuket

Private Airport Transfer in Phuket

Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island with Canoeing By Big Boat From Phuket
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Recent reviews from experiences in Phuket

Memorable Tour
Shannon_H, Jul. 2022
Phuket Best Half Day City Tour (SHA Plus)
It was an eye opener to try Phuket's local food at Punte Phuket and to see the Big Buddha.
Great snapshot of Phuket
Tiana_N, Apr. 2022
Phuket Best Half Day City Tour (SHA Plus)
Great half day tour to see some culture and scenic views of Phuket in contrast to the beach area where I was staying.
Sabrina_L, Apr. 2022
Luxury Boat to James bond islands with lunch and sunset dinner
We had so much fun, the views were great, the activities were so much fun and the hospitality was amazing.
Awesome experience!
Vijay_R, Jun. 2022
Hype Boat Club: Phuket 's Most Stylish & Unique Catamaran Experience
Food- good Drinks- good range, chilled beer (paid) Activities- coral island- nice and serene island with crystal clear water.
A great way to see Phuket easily.
Darren_W, Apr. 2022
Amazing Phuket Island Guided Tour & Big Buddha (SHA Plus)
A great way to see Phuket.
A memorable experience
JORDAN_J, Mar. 2022
Phuket Old Town Food Tour
Her English is perfect and she was such a kind and generous person.
Kim is an amazing tour...
sarah_s, Mar. 2022
Phuket City Tour: Karon View Point, Big Buddha & Wat Chalong (SHA Plus)
He speaks good English and understands his customers.
Welcome to Phuket
Mary_H, Mar. 2022
Private Tour: Amazing Phuket Island Tour with Big Buddha (SHA Plus)
We has lunch, and was able to add an extra tour to see the tigers.
Great city tour of Phuket
Sadiqe_R, Mar. 2022
Phuket City Tour: Karon View Point, Big Buddha & Wat Chalong (SHA Plus)
Daisy was a great host and showed us the top attractions in Phuket.
Best private tour in Phuket
Megan_S, Jan. 2022
SHA PLUS Phuket City Tours with Landmark Viewpoints & Noted Attraction
Kim was a fantastic guide, spoke good English and I enjoyed learning about Thailand from him.
Best Tour in Phuket
Anika_A, Nov. 2021
Amazing Phuket Island Guided Tour & Big Buddha (SHA Plus)
The best way to see Phuket!
First rate and highly recommended
Declan_C, May 2022
Phuket Best Half Day City Tour (SHA Plus)
Excellent tour itinerary to allow you to see the sights of Phuket.
Great way to see Phuket
Emily_S, Feb. 2020
Phuket City Tour
Good way to see lots of Phuket and main attractions.
Phuket City Tour - i 100% recommend it.
Sonia_M, Jan. 2020
Phuket Tour to Karon View Point, Big Buddha and Wat Chalong (SHA Plus)
This was a great way to see phuket without paying a large amount of money for taxi fares.
Lovely day in Phuket
stephen_n, Dec. 2019
Small Group Phuket Sightseeing and City Tour
She spoke English very well and had strong knowledge of the area.
Professional, friendly service
Todd_S, Dec. 2019
Private PHUKET Arrival Transfer - Phuket Airport to Hotel
Very knowledgeable of phuket and spoke perfect English.
See A lot of the City
Amber_N, Apr. 2022
Phuket Best Half Day City Tour (SHA Plus)
We got to see a lot of the sights in Phuket all at one time, which was convenient.
A great and relaxing day in Phuket
PuiKuen_W, Aug. 2018
Phi Phi Snorkeling Day Trip by Speedboat and Photographer Option
Everything is well organized and have no doubt to recommend this day trip to anyone who plans to go Phuket with friends or family with kids.
Great intro to Phuket. Great way to see...
Elizabeth R, Apr. 2010
Phuket Introduction City Sightseeing Tour
Great way to see the sights relatively cheap.
Good way to see Phuket island itself...
Shane B, Jan. 2007
Phuket Introduction City Sightseeing Tour
Good way to see Phuket island itself.
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All about Phuket

When to visit

November marks the end of monsoon season in Phuket, and islanders waste no time in celebrating the glorious winter weather. Peak season runs through March, when temperatures are ideal for beach days and snorkeling, and the Lantern Festival (Loi Krathong Festival) and Patong Carnival draw in the crowds. If you can bear the heat, which sometimes climbs as high as 100°F (39°C), come in April for the legendary Thai New Year (Songkran) celebrations—the gigantic water fight will cool you down.

Getting around

Whether you prefer a taxi or tuk-tuk, you’ll need wheels to get around Thailand’s largest island. The cheapest option is catching a songthaew, which run to most destinations on the island—ask locally for the routes as formal timetables are hard to come by. For a bit more flexibility, rent a motorbike or car, or download Grab (Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber). If you want to explore further, regular ferries and speed boats cruise out to the surrounding islands.

Traveler tips

Escaping the beaten track isn’t easy in Phuket, but there are still a few lesser-known spots to seek out. For uncrowded sands and underwater views with more fish than snorkels, Banana Beach, on the northwest coast, is reached by a steep trail and remains one of the least developed of Phuket’s beaches with a single beachfront restaurant. For a street food hub with a more local vibe, try the small Kor Jaan night market along Kra Road in Phuket Town.

People Also Ask

Why is Phuket famous?

Phuket is known for its tropical beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture. Tourists flock here to try outdoor activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling and to enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beach. The Thai island has everything from zoos and museums to great restaurants and lively bars.

How do you pronounce Phuket?

Phuket is pronounced “poo-ket” not “foo-ket.” You'll see the “ph” letter combination in the Thai language often, but it’s always pronounced with a hard “p” rather than the “f” sound that English speakers are accustomed to.

Which part of Phuket is best to stay?

Phuket is a large island with several regions. Singles and young travelers flock to popular Patong. For a more family-friendly stay, there's Kata and Kamala beach areas. Surin and Karon boast lovely beaches. Stay in Bangtao for more sophisticated nightlife. Beachless Phuket Town is a thriving cultural hub.

What should we do in Phuket?

Phuket is known for its outdoor activities, from scuba diving to parasailing to relaxing on the beach. Popular day trips from Phuket include the nearby Phi Phi Islands and James Bond Island. At night, you can visit a bustling night market with authentic Thai food and souvenirs.

Is Phuket expensive for tourists?

No. Phuket is an affordable destination. Stay in modest rooms on the cheap or go for luxury resort options with higher price tags. Enjoy local street food for a dollar or two, or sit down to a nice meal that costs about what fast-casual food does in Europe or the US.

What can you do in Phuket for cheap?

The cheapest activity to do in Phuket is relaxing on its sandy beaches, which is free. For a more adventurous activity with a relatively low price tag, try a parasailing tour over Patong or a Muay Thai boxing match.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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