10 Best Things to Do in Phuket

Thailand’s largest island has been a popular tourist destination for decades, but what are the best things to do in Phuket?

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with endless entertainment and some of the world’s best resorts in the area, great resorts are available for just 10 cents.


1 Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

The best and most ethical way to see elephants up close in Phuket.
No trick shows, no sightseeing trips – just elephants being elephants in a lovingly cared for environment.
Elephants can be seen working and performing all over Phuket, but unless you venture deep into the jungle, you won’t find anyone as happy as those lucky enough to call this place home.
Besides the gentle giants themselves, the real attraction is that you have the opportunity to feed, groom and even swim with these majestic creatures yourself.

2 Phuket Old Town

The picturesque historic district of Phuket Town, home to beautiful old buildings, museums, boutiques and a thriving night market
This old-fashioned part of town is a million kilometers from the tourist beaches and nocturnal hedonism found elsewhere in Phuket.It is rich in historical heritage and small enough to explore on foot.
There’s a strong Chinese and Portuguese colonial influence here, especially along the particularly charming Soi Rommannee, where brightly colored old buildings house boutiques, guesthouses and cafes.

3 Bangtao Beach

An eight-kilometre stretch of soft white sand lapped by crystal clear waters and home to some of Phuket’s most prestigious restaurants and resorts.
There are dozens of beautiful beaches in Phuket (Freedom, Kata and Karon are all worth mentioning), but Bangtao Beach is many connoisseurs’ first choice. Home to upscale bars, beach clubs and resorts, Laguna Complex’s relaxed yet elegant atmosphere is perfect for sunbathing and slow strolls on the sand.

4 Simon Cabaret

One of Phuket’s best ‘Ladyboy’ cabaret shows with spectacular shows three times a night.
Simon Cabaret is considered one of the best of its kind in the country, with extravagant sets and high-tech productions supported by impeccably choreographed and opulently dressed performers.
The recently opened Aphrodite Cabaret just outside Phuket Town is also worth a visit.

5 Wat Chalong

The most important and largest Buddhist temple on Phuket with a grand pagoda housing a splinter of bone from Lord Buddha himself.
The beautiful buildings and grounds are the perfect place to take a break from the beach. Always bristling with local worshippers and curious tourists, it can get really crowded here so try to come as early in the day as you can if you want time and space to take it all in – or get that perfect photo for the ‘gram. Remember: this is a sacred site, so make sure you cover up.



6 Big Buddha

The clue’s in the name with this one. Phuket’s 45-meter marble Buddha statue is one of the biggest draws for Thailand.
You can’t go to Phuket and miss the big Buddha. Quite literally, as it can be seen from just about anywhere in the south of the island. But take the time to climb up the hill in Karon and you’ll be treated not only to an impressive close-up of the religious icon, but also stunning views of the mountains and Andaman sea. While you’re up there, make a pitstop in the cafe and pop into the gift shop.






7 Island hopping in Phang Nga Bay

There are dozens of tour operators offering all types of day trips from Phuket.
If you only have one day, take a trip to Phan Nga Bay/James Bond Island, which takes you to the breathtaking limestone cliffs made famous by 007, plus a few other small islands for quality snorkeling and beach time.

8 Bang Pae Waterfall, Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

A small, but beautiful and tranquil waterfall surrounded by dense tropical jungle in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park on the sparsely populated eastern side of Phuket.
Bang Pae may not be Niagara Falls, but it is Phuket’s largest waterfall and attracts many locals and tourists all year round.
It’s best to visit in the rainy season, when the rock pools are full enough for a dip and the lush jungle is at its greenest.
There are some good local restaurants nearby if you’re hungry, but make sure you bring comfortable shoes and plenty of mosquito repellent.
Entrance to the park costs 200 baht.

9 Bangla Road

An infamous and arduous (but very fun) 400 meter stretch with all kinds of nighttime entertainment, the beating heart of Phuket’s nightlife.
If you want to have a night out in Phuket, this is the place.
If you’re walking from the beach to central Patong, walk down Bangla Road in the dark and you’ll pass everything from beer bars and live music venues (Red Hot, Rock City) to huge nightclubs (Illuzion, Tiger Disco) and of course Natural there are plenty go-go bars (Soi Freedom, Soi Sea Dragon).
You probably won’t have a civilized evening here; but come with the right attitude and you will definitely have fun.

10 Chillva Night Market

Made from recycled shipping containers and painted bright colors, this funky little market caters to young, fashion-conscious locals.This is one of the best in Phuket.
While you shouldn’t miss the famous night market and walking street of Phuket Town or the foodie paradise of Malin Plaza in Patong, if you’re looking for a local experience, be sure to spend a few hours there browsing, eating and eating people watching here.

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