Phuket – Thailand

The island of Phuket is the quintessential beach destination in Thailand due to its enormous tourist offer and its privileged location in the Andaman Sea. You will not find deserted beaches, but it is a very good option for those who have only a few days and want to make the most of them. If this is your case, do not miss this guide with the best things to see and do in Phuket.

Table of Contents


Phuket is a fairly large island (over 500 km²) connected to mainland Thailand by a bridge. This means that on many occasions you do not have the feeling of being on an island. In fact, if you look closely, it is the only one that does not have the adjective “Koh” which means “island” in Thai before the name. But we assure you that you will find paradisiacal beaches, resort areas and other less crowded corners typical of any Thai island. However, first we must warn you of something: Phuket is one of the most tourist destinations in the country, planes full of visitors wanting sun and sand arrive at its international airport every day and you have to be aware of this. But on the other hand, the size of the island means that there is room for everyone, and you can even find less crowded semi-remote places. Its strategic position in the south of Thailand makes Phuket a perfect base to get to know many of the most impressive sites in Thailand, within reach of a “day tour”. Not to mention its and the endless possibilities of accommodation. If you don’t have much time to spend on transport, Phuket is a good destination to enjoy the beaches of Thailand.

What to see and do in Phuket?

Now that you know a little bit about what you are going to find, we move on to the recommendations of the best places to visit in Phuket and the essential places that you cannot miss:

Phuket Town

It is the main city of the island. Its architecture, a mixture of Portuguese and Chinese, and its buildings painted in different colors, reminded me a bit of Penang, in Malaysia. The best street to surround yourself with this atmosphere is Thalang Road, where the weekend market is set up. Other things you can see in Phuket Town are: the 3D Museum, a fun plan for those traveling to Phuket with children; the Jui Tui Shrine, a Chinese temple where locals come with their daily offerings; or go up to one of its two viewpoints: Rang Hill and Monkey Hill. The bad thing about Phuket Town is that it doesn’t have a beach, the good thing is that this is where the public (and cheap) buses leave for the rest of the island. In addition, accommodation is cheaper than in other coastal areas.

Kata Beach

It is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Phuket. It is huge, it has some restaurants on the beach such as the Ska Bar and hammocks with umbrellas that can be rented for 100 bahts all day, although this is common in many other beaches, always at the same price. It also seems like a good area to look for accommodation in Phuket, a little quieter than other areas of the islands, so it’s perfect for families.

Kata Noi

Not far from Kata to the south is her little sister, Kata Noi. She is not as wide as the previous one, but it also has all the services and above all with much fewer people. It can be reached on foot from Kata Beach in about 15 minutes and you have to go down some stairs to access it. There are a couple of 5-star hotels that have chosen Kata Noi as their location, so it must be for a reason.

Karon Viewpoint, the best views of Phuket

If we continue south, already inland, we can ascend to Karon View Point, which seemed to me to be the best viewpoint in Phuket . From above we will have a very cool view of the three beaches: Kata Noi, Kata Beach and Karon Beach. I went up at sunset and I think it’s well worth it. EYE: although google maps tells you that it is a 45-minute walk, it lies! The road he sends you on in some sections has no shoulder, there is no place to walk and it is dangerous. I recommend you spend a little money (it’s not much) and go up by motorcycle, taxi or Grab.

Karon Beach, one of the longest beaches in Phuket

We continue touring the southwestern part of the island to plant our towel on another of Phuket’s best beaches. Karon Beach usually has more waves than its other two neighbors to the south, but being larger, you don’t notice as much overcrowding as in Patong (which we’ll talk about below). There are also restaurants, hammocks and umbrellas for 100 baht and the possibility of renting jet skis.

Big Buddha, another essential thing to see in Phuket

On one of the inland hills not far from the island’s Karon Beach stands a massive 45-meter -high white marble Buddha that you’ll see from many other points in Phuket. Its height is as impressive as the fact that it has been made with donations, a sample of Thai religious fervor. Inside there is an area for those who want to practice meditation freely and from the outside there is a 360º view of the entire island. Admission is free, it is open every day from 06:00 to 18:00 and public buses do not go there. There is no choice but to go by bus, taxi or Grab.

Patong Beach, the most loved and hated area to see in Phuket

And we come to Benidorm in Phuket, the place where there are more tourists per square meter, more accommodation options, restaurants and bars and, above all, more party options. Its main street is Thanon Bangla, or as some friends called it “the street of sin”. Gogo bars, prostitution bars and even live s*x shows abound (or so they advertised). I thought it was a horror, but hey, of course it has its audience.

Freedom Beach, finally a paradisiacal beach in Phuket

We escape from sin by seeking freedom, and we will not find it far away. South of Patong there is a beautiful beach with crystal clear water and, above all, with a much more relaxed atmosphere than the ones we have mentioned. We’re talking about Freedom Beach, of course. You go down a stretch of jungle and suddenly the beach opens up before you. However, access is a bit complicated. You can go by land, going down a path where there is a lady who asks you for 100 bahts for the entrance. And you can also go by boat from Patong, they asked me for 1,500 bahts (€40) for the round trip, telling them the time they had to pick me up. The price is total per boat, so the more you go, the cheaper it is per person.

Surin Beach and Kamala Beach

The area of Surin Beach and Kamala Beach is the most touristic in the north of the island, where most of the luxury resorts and restaurants with prices according to the level of tourists who frequent this area settle. It has a nice beach, but nothing special that you can’t find in other parts of the island.

Visit other beaches in Phuket

Although without a doubt the best plan that we can recommend is to rent a motorcycle and take a tour of other beaches and coves in Phuket that are less crowded and far from resort tourism. These are our proposals: –Banana Beach To the north of the island, on a two-way road and where there is a sign that says that parking is prohibited, you will see a lot of parked motorcycles. Going down a short path through the trees, you reach Banana Beach, a beach hidden among palm trees. It has a small restaurant and is much less crowded than the main Phuket beaches. – Yanui Beach Another small beach between two breakwaters that I loved. It has a hippie vibe, kayaks can be rented, and the water is wonderful. In addition, smoking is prohibited. At the entrance there are some stalls where you can order something and eat it under some shade. – Mai Khao Beach This beach is next to the airport, quite far from the most touristic spots in Phuket. However, if you get to it you can take one of the most spectacular photos of the island : planes landing just a few meters from the heads of bathers.

Excursion to Coral Island

To the south of Phuket and off the coast, there is a small island that will catch your attention just by its name, it is Coral Island ( Ko He ). It is a place of beautiful beaches where snorkeling over its coral reefs is wonderful. There are two ways to do this excursion: going to the port of Rawai Beach and renting a long tail for about 1,200 baht.

Visit the islands of Racha Yai and Racha Noi

If we continue heading south after Coral Island we will reach the paradisiacal islands of Racha : Racha Yai (the largest) and Racha Noi (the small). Its crystal clear waters and colorful reefs make them perfect for both snorkeling and scuba diving, although it is also suitable for those who simply want to sunbathe on a magazine beach.

Wat Chalong, the main temple to see in Phuket

Phuket is not a destination where temples abound, as is the case in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, however it is worth stopping by to take a look at Wat Chalong, the most important temple in Phuket. The complex has several buildings, the main one is a huge pagoda that you can climb, while walking through rooms decorated with paintings and Buddha statues. Admission is free and it is open every day from 08:00 to 17:00.

Baan Teelanka, the upside down house, the most curious thing to see in Phuket

Another curious activity that may interest those traveling with children to Phuket is to visit Baan Teelanka, a house where everything is upside down. You can walk on the ground and take the craziest photos. It is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and admission costs 350 baht (€9.50). If you want to enter the maze of plants that they have in the garden, the combined ticket costs 460 baht.

Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

It is clear that Phuket offers plans for everyone, even those who are crazy about trekking. You are one of them? Then put on your sneakers and go to explore the jungle of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. A haven of tranquility in the middle of nature inside one of the most touristic destinations in Thailand. Hiking trails await you in this nature reserve (there is a 4 km circular route from the entrance), wild flora, wild fauna, a couple of small waterfalls (Tonsai Waterfall and Bang Pae Waterfall) or a gibbon recovery center (a native primate of this area) that we do not know in person and about which we cannot comment. There is no public transport, so you will have to organize the visit with private transport. Admission is 200 baht and it is open from 08:00 to 17:00 every day. Do not forget to bring plenty of water and a towel, I assure you that when you arrive at the Ton Sai waterfall you will want to take a dip.

Best excursions from Phuket

A trip to Phuket would not be the same without going out to discover other places nearby that are amazing. So we advise you to take some time and spend at least one day doing one of these excursions:

Excursion to Phi Phi Island

For those who do not have time to stay on the Phi Phi Islands, one of the best options to visit this paradise is to take an excursion from Phuket. Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon and other of the most famous points of the archipelago will leave you speechless.

Excursion to the Similan Islands

Although they are a bit far from Phuket, the Similan Islands are among the most impressive islands to be seen in Thailand. An archipelago of 11 islands, located 70 km from the coast and declared a National Park since the 1980s. The color of the water, that of the sand and, above all, that of its impressive corals makes this visit, although a bit rough, one of the best that can be done from Phuket (the entrance to the park of 500 bahts is separate ).

Excursion to James Bond Island

Another of the most typical excursions to do from Phuket is to James Bond Island, in the impressive Phang Nga Bay. Its nickname is due to the fact that it was the setting for the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974. Beyond its cinematographic past, sailing through the bay between limestone islets that rise in the middle of the sea is amazing.

Useful information

What is promised is debt, here we leave you all the necessary information to plan your trip to Phuket in the best way:

Best time to visit Phuket

The best months in terms of weather to travel to Phuket are from October to March, when temperatures are milder and rains less (although with climate change you will not have any guarantee that you will not get a downpour). Between the months of May to October, this coast of Thailand is affected by the monsoons, which does not mean that you cannot enjoy your trip, only that you will have to adapt to the greater probability of rain.

How to get to Phuket

– To get to Phuket the easiest (and probably cheapest) is to do it by plane. Its airport is the third largest in Thailand, after the two in Bangkok and from there you can go to each of the areas of Phuket by bus for 100 bahts, by Minivan for 150-180 or by Taxi, from 500 bahts and up.

How to get around Phuket

The most inconvenient thing about Phuket is the transport between the different points of the island, so it is convenient for you to rent a motorcycle. Keep in mind that you must have the International Motorcycle License (the car does not work, as in Spain), although the store does not require it, if you are stopped by the police you can be fined 500 bahts. Taxis are very expensive and I recommend using Grab. If you want to use local buses (30-40 baht) it is best to stay in Phuket Town.

Where to stay in Phuket

As for accommodation in Phuket, you can choose between different areas:

  1. Phuket Town, better communicated than the others but without a beach.
  2. Kata or Karon Beach, a quiet area of beach but without the craziness of Patong.
  3. Patong, the most crowded and without a good beach, yes, for partying it is the best.

And finally, we hope that if you have chosen this destination as a base to visit the south of Thailand, this list of 15 things to see and do in Phuket has been great for you to spend some incredible days. Have a good trip!

What can couples do in Phuket

  • Pairs of couples stroll around Cape Promthep.
  • John Gray’s Sea Canoe.
  • Travel to Phi Phi Island.
  • Serenity feels spa.
  • NaiHarn Beach.
  • Phuket Fantasize.
  • Wat Chalong.
  • Romantic dinner on the balcony.

Is Phuket best for honeymoon

Yes absolutely. Phuket is a great destination for a honeymoon due to its many great beaches, carefree vibes, and luxurious stay experience. There is a wide range of attractions in Phuket for couples to see. Its epic nightlife is another good reason on the list.

Is Phuket good for night life

Phuket’s nightlife is extremely varied, even if it’s best known for being a bit extreme. From wild go-go bars to laid-back little beer bars, to total club action to cocktails at a beach bar, it’s all there for those who want it. Of course, Patong is Phuket’s undisputed nightclub.

which is better bali or phuket

Bali offers more hotel options than Phuket. If you are a surfer, Bali is your choice for its collection of world-class breaks. On the other hand, Phuket’s beaches are more picturesque and laid-back, ideal for those who prefer island beach getaways with a mix of water sports and just letting the sand fall.

Is phuket good for couples

When it comes to romantic destinations, Phuket is definitely one of the top names in the world. It has everything couples need for a romance-filled vacation. From strolling along the beautiful beaches and watching the sun go dancing to a fun night out, there are plenty of romantic things to do in Phuket.

What should I avoid in Phuket

  • Renting a motorcycle if you are an inexperienced driver. Between the rough state of many of Phuket’s roads and the even rougher state of average driving ability, renting a motorcycle can be a very dangerous decision.
  • Not being aware of common scams.
  • Worrying weather forecasts.
  • Eating street food.
  • Inadequate night life.

How much does a massage cost in Phuket

A typical massage session lasts about 2 hours and costs 300-500 baht? A foot massage session is about 40-50 minutes and costs 300-400 baht. A massage in a 5-star hotel is naturally more expensive: the price can be triple or more. On the beach, the fee for a massage and foot massage is around 300 baht per hour.

Are there any bar girls in Phuket

99% of the girls here are bar girls. If that’s what you want, go for it, but don’t be stupid and think that the girl too forward is not a prostitute. That said, if you have a solid head and don’t get carried away, you can have a fun time here.

Which city in Thailand has the best nightlife

The best city to party at night in Thailand is Bangkok. You can stay for 2 weeks and still have plenty of places to choose from for unique party experiences. Within each nightlife area, you will find many different bars and clubs. No other city in Thailand has the nightlife options that Bangkok has.

What is Party Street in Phuket

Bangla Road is located in the Patong Beach area of Phuket, famous for its vibrant nightlife? With numerous restaurants, bars, discos, night clubs and go-go bars, Bangla Road is a fascinating place to walk and is always packed with tourists.

is phuket good for honeymoon

Yes absolutely. Phuket is a great destination for a honeymoon due to its many great beaches, carefree vibes, and luxurious stay experience. There is a wide range of attractions in Phuket for couples to see. Its epic nightlife is another good reason on the list.

Which is better for honeymoon Bali or Phuket

Phuket has its charm and Bali has its beauty, but our pick for a great honeymoon destination is definitely Bali. It has something for everyone, on all budgets. The people are very welcoming and the Balinese go out of their way to make your honeymoon special.

Is Thailand Good destination for the honeymoon

Thailand is definitely a honeymoon destination. Thailand has evolved over the years as it has gained popularity, but one thing has remained the same: you will get incredible value for your money. Like other destinations, you’ll find a wide selection of options ranging from budget to luxury.

Which is nicer Phuket or Bali

Phuket offers a Western experience, while Bali offers a local Indonesian experience. If you plan to visit beaches, lie down on the soft sand and eat tasty food, Phuket is where you should go. If you want shopping experiences at famous outlets and romantic getaways, Bali is highly recommended.

Which one is better Bali or Thailand

The winner: Thailand is cheaper overall, has a wider range of cuisines and activities for families, and has cleaner beaches. However, if nightlife is where you are, Bali is the winner. Scroll here to see our quick side-by-side comparison of each destination.

Is Thailand cheaper than Bali?

Thailand has the Thai Baht and Bali the Indonesian rupiah as the local currency, and both destinations are cheap. Food and accommodation prices are similar in the main tourist destinations in Thailand and Bali. Off the beaten track, Thailand might be a bit cheaper than Bali.

Which part of Thailand has the best beaches?

12 Top-Rated Beaches in Thailand

  1. Railay Beach. Railay beach.
  2. Nai Harn Beach, Phuket. Nai Harn Beach, Phuket.
  3. Haad Rin, Koh Phangan. Haad Rin, Koh Phangan.
  4. Phra Nang Cave Beach, Krabi Province. Phra Nang Cave Beach, Krabi Province.
  5. Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi.
  6. Pattaya Beach.
  7. Chaweng Noi Beach, Koh Samui.
  8. Freedom Beach, Phuket.

Is Thailand as a good place for couples

Home to many romantic destinations, it’s no surprise that Thailand draws lovebirds from near and far. With beautiful beaches, authentic experiences and world-class hospitality, spending a romantic getaway in the land of smiles will warm her heart.

Do’s and Don’ts in Phuket

11 Key Do’s & Don’ts in Phuket Thailand

  • Head for the national and royal anthems.
  • Respect Thai custom and culture.
  • Say hello to people.
  • Oh, smile. a lot.
  • Don’t touch Thai people on the top of their head.
  • Don’t put your feet up on a Thai person’s head.
  • Don’t aim with your feet.
  • Do not subdiet in public.

What should you be careful of in Phuket

11 things not to do in Phuket

  • Don’t disrespect the royal family.
  • Don’t wear your shoes in a temple.
  • Do not visit a temple in short clothing.
  • Don’t take Buddha images out of the country.
  • Don’t touch a monk.
  • Don’t point your feet at someone.
  • Walk around town shirtless (and ride a bike)

What to know before going to Phuket

10 things you should know before traveling to Phuket

  • Moisture
  • It rains from time to time.
  • You can expect mosquitoes.
  • Tap water is not drinkable.
  • There is no official public transport.
  • We drive on the left.
  • The English language is not really the strength of the locals.
  • Thai Baht is an official currency.

How safe is Phuket for tourists?

Phuket is a safe thing to visit, although it does have its dangers. It is a location known for its nightlife, which alone can cause numerous risks for tourists, from T-shirts to mugging. Violent crime has been on the rise in recent years and muggings and robberies are not uncommon at all.

Leave a Comment