Recent Searches
Clear
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 10 attractions in Phuket

#1

Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga)

star-4.5856
Phang Nga Bay is a classic Southeast Asian bay - bright jade water, limestone pinnacles and all. A large part of it has been protected as a national park. Notable islands in Phang Nga Bay include the so-called James Bond Island (it's featured in The Man with the Golden Gun) and Koh Panyee, where you can visit a fishing community built out on stilts across the water. Bear in mind that this community is a Muslim one, so dress modestly. You can take tours that will drop you at various beaches to swim and snorkel and take you to James Bond Island and Koh Panyee; you can also canoe.More
#2

Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

star-4.52,244
The stunning Maya Bay 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.More
#3

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

star-4.52,270
Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands, but most of them are just limestone spires. The only ones of any size are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley. When you come to visit these heavenly islands, you'll be coming into the port on Koh Phi Phi Don. After the infrastructure here was largely swept away by the 2004 tsunami, it was hoped that rebuilding could take place with more care for the environment and a swing upmarket. But the rush to get the tourist business back on track meant that the island - with all its rash of tourist businesses - remains much the same. Koh Phi Phi Ley has its share of over-touristing too - Maya Beach is where the film The Beach was shot, and it's regularly crowded and littered. Koh Phi Phi Ley is also famous for its bird's nests, which are used in soups. Despite the islands' commercialization, they remain stunning little patches of paradise - all silken warm waters, limestone pillars and luminous underwater scenery.More
#4

Ao Phang Nga National Park

star-4.5485
More than 40 islands dot the green-blue waters of Ao Phang Nga National Park near Phuket. Their distinct limestone cliffs, unique sea life and close proximity to one another have made this natural escape one of the most popular Longtail boat trips in all of Thailand. Ko Kan—also known as James Bond Island—Ko Phanak and Ko Hong are some of the regular stops on these memorable excursions. Travelers can coast over the mostly calm waters and see the spot where James Bond his out in The Man with the Golden Gun, or explore the caves of Lod Yai and Lod Lek. In addition to dozens of distinct and beautiful islands, travelers will pass through mangrove forests, where it’s easy to spot kingfishers, blue winged leafbirds and some of Thailand’s other unique wildlife.More
#5

Chalong Big Buddha

star-4.51,190
Built on a patch of virgin rainforest high above Phuket City and visible from most vantage points, the serene - and very, very, big - Chalong Big Buddha will wow you even from a distance. Close up, it's quite overwhelming. The giant statue was built by donations - visitors who donated were allowed to choose how their money would be spent. Also donated was the white marble that covers the sculpture, giving it a tranquil white glow. There is another Buddha statue on the site, a smaller brass one - it stands a mere 12 meters (36 feet). The Big Buddha is 45 m (147 ft) and its lap is 25 m (82 ft) wide at the base. The smaller Buddha is dedicated to the Queen of Thailand, the larger to the King. Climb to the Buddha's feet to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and magnificent views.More
#6

Wat Chalong

star-4.51,371
There are 29 Buddhist temples on the island of Phuket, but Wat Chalong is the most elaborate and important. It is dedicated to two abbots who used their medical skills and authority to assist during the Tin Miner's Rebellion of the 19th century. The building is large and impressive, but the main interest of the temple for visitors is its history. There are numerous stories that have grown up about its abbots and their magical qualities. Statues of the abbots inside the monastery are covered in gold leaf. Thai tourists visit here in great numbers, often to make decisions or receive lucky numbers. You can do as they do, but be sure to make a donation, and dress modestly.More
#7

Phuket Old Town

star-4.51,171
While a lot of Phuket may be all neon and tanning lotion, there are some parts of town that give you a flavor of what once was. Stroll the streets of Old Phuket Town and you can go back to the days when it was dubbed 'Junk Ceylon' and made a fortune out of tin. The architecture from that time is based on other colonial forms in places like Malay and Singapore. 'Shophouses' are the signature construction, with their narrow fronts, long sides and internal courtyards. Latticed windows are another feature of the area. There are a few old villas scattered around, some of which are museums which are open to the public, some of which can be viewed from outside. Soi Romanee is of interest as the former red light district.More
#10

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

star-4.51,165
This iconic set of islands used to be nothing more than a spot on the map in Ao Phang Nga National Park. But in 1974, when James Bond chose Khao Phing Kan as a hideout in The Man with the Golden Gun, this rarely visited limestone island became a popular destination frequented by travelers on Longtail Boat tours. Along with the island's new fame came hoards of tourists and potential destruction of the island's natural beauty. So since 1998, it has been forbidden for boats to approach Ko Tapu, the 66 foot (20 m) limestone rock that lies just off the shore, in order to stop the erosion of the limestone and eventual collapse. Travelers love the lush vegetation, rocky cliffs and dark caves that make this pair of islands easy to spot. Most trips offer the opportunity to swim and explore the surrounding waters and hungry visitors can make the most of their excursion by eating lunch at the nearby floating Muslim village.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

Phi Phi Sunrise from Phuket

Phi Phi Sunrise from Phuket

star-5
384
From
US$157.24
Phi Phi, Bamboo & Rang Yai Islands Snorkeling Trip w/ Lunch by Speedboat

Special Offer

Phi Phi, Bamboo & Rang Yai Islands Snorkeling Trip w/ Lunch by Speedboat

star-4.5
46
From
US$93.45
US$105.00  US$11.55 savings
12 Islands Overnight Tour

12 Islands Overnight Tour

star-4
30
From
US$179.22
Private Airport Transfer in Phuket

Special Offer

Private Airport Transfer in Phuket

star-4.5
72
From
US$17.36
US$24.80  US$7.44 savings

Frequently Asked Questions