Phuket, in southern Thailand, is an exotic coastal paradise with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals. There are many fun things to do in Phuket. You can have a romantic getaway, an adventure, or a beach holiday there. Or you could do all three!
Discover the local culture by tasting the seafood, tropical fruits, street food, and restaurants that locals enjoy daily. Snorkel in the clear waters of the Phi Phi Islands, hike to hidden waterfalls, or kayak through mangrove forests. Visit iconic temples, shrines, and museums to learn about the area’s history.
Besides the popular attractions, Phuket offers other unique experiences. At a sea turtle sanctuary, you can see injured sea turtles getting rehabilitated before being released back into the ocean.
See the Big Buddha
The journey up the hill to Phuket’s Big Buddha is an experience like no other. As you approach the towering 45-metre-tall statue, you’ll be greeted by a serene atmosphere and the scent of incense and fresh flowers filling your nostrils. Look around and take in the surrounding statues, each with significance and purpose. Listen closely, and you’ll hear the gentle chimes ringing in the breeze, adding to the tranquil ambience.
Explore the site and its surroundings slowly, taking in every detail. The construction of the statue took a decade and incorporates traditional Thai and Chinese architecture, making it a true masterpiece. Behind the statue lies a hidden viewpoint with a panoramic view of the region. Take your time here to appreciate the stunning scenery and let it fill you with awe.
As you leave, you’ll feel a sense of peace and rejuvenation that will stay with you long after you’ve departed. It’s hard to describe the overwhelming feeling of calm that comes from visiting this awe-inspiring location. You’ll understand why the Big Buddha is such a popular destination in Phuket, and why people from all over the world come to experience it.
Take a Tour of Old Town Phuket
Visit Old Town to fully immerse yourself in the culture and discover many things to do in Phuket. As you wander through the streets, marvel at the perfectly preserved Sino-Portuguese and colonial-style buildings that are a photographer’s dream. Stop at a local cafe to enjoy the enticing aroma of freshly brewed coffee and street performers playing traditional Thai music.
Stop by the beautifully restored Blue Elephant Restaurant and Cooking School. You can learn to cook authentic Thai dishes in a hands-on cooking class.
The Baba-Nyonya Museum provides insight into the history and culture of the Peranakan community. As you explore, keep an eye out for hidden alleys and courtyards. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Stroll along Soi Romanee, a narrow lane filled with brightly painted Sino-Portuguese shophouses. The lane is particularly atmospheric at night, with lanterns casting a warm glow on the street.
If you’re looking for a tasty treat, make your way to Torry’s Ice Cream. This local favourite has been serving homemade ice cream for over 70 years. Try their signature flavour, ‘taro ice cream’, made from locally grown taro root, for a delicious and authentic taste of Phuket.
Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Beach is a great place to get away from the city. With its pristine waters and soft sand, you’ll feel like you’re in a secluded paradise. The turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea are a breathtaking sight, especially against the backdrop of the lush green hills. Take advantage of the excellent snorkelling opportunities. Discover a diverse array of colourful fish and coral. You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the coves and beaches nearby.
When hunger strikes, head to one of the beachside restaurants for seafood and Thai dishes. Afterwards, stroll to Nai Harn Lake, a peaceful lake surrounded by natural forests. It’s a serene place to relax and soak up the beautiful scenery.
Nai Harn Beach is less crowded than other tourist hotspots in Phuket. So, it’s the perfect retreat for those seeking solitude. During the low season, you may even witness a stunning natural phenomenon: bioluminescent plankton glowing in the water at night. It’s a magical experience that’s sure to leave you in awe.
Head to the southern end of the beach for a surprise. Here, you’ll find a small island you can get to by wading through the shallow waters.
Explore Phi Phi Island
Are you ready to sail on a boat tour to Phi Phi Island, one of Thailand’s most famous attractions? Prepare to be mesmerised by crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and towering rock formations rising out of the ocean.
Discover coves and beaches that are only accessible by boat. The marine life is spectacular. So bring snorkelling gear for up-close encounters with these fascinating creatures. As you explore the islands, towering cliffs and lush greenery will leave you spellbound. On Monkey Beach, monkeys trade poses for bananas. While monkeys can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous, these monkeys are used to a lot of attention.
The magic of the Phi Phi Islands is magnified during sunset. The sky turns into a myriad of colours, creating an unforgettable backdrop for your day. Venture out on a bamboo raft to explore the mangrove forests. Or take a dip in the emerald-green lagoon (as long as it isn’t low tide). Phi Phi Island is the perfect place to both explore and unwind.
If you’re looking for something truly special, visit the Viking Cave. This mysterious cave is home to a bird’s nest harvesting industry. Locals delicately extract nests made of swiftlet saliva, used to make the famous Chinese bird’s nest soup. The cave is named after the drawings of Viking ships found on the walls. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the island’s history and culture.
Zipline through the Jungle
Ready for an unforgettable adventure? Visit the zipline park. You’ll experience the thrill of soaring through the emerald canopy of the jungle. The friendly staff will make you feel right at home in this magical location.
Stay safe and enjoy the ride by dressing appropriately, listening to the staff, and using proper equipment at all times. As you fly through the air, watch for the bright blue feathers of the rare kingfisher bird or the agile gibbons swinging through the trees.
Take a moment to soak in the beauty of your surroundings at the end of your zipline adventure. You’ll feel the rush of freedom and the excitement of pushing your boundaries. Come join us for an experience you won’t soon forget.
Visit Promthep Cape
Looking for a stunning view of Phuket? Head to Promthep Cape. However, it can get busy, so it’s good to visit early or on a weekday. When you arrive, grab some snacks from nearby vendors. Settle in to watch the sunset over the Andaman Sea.
As you explore Promthep Cape, immerse yourself in the rugged landscape of rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and verdant greenery. For an adventure, hike one of the many trails for panoramic views of the surroundings.
Promthep Cape has a fascinating history. It was once a notorious spot for pirates who preyed on passing ships. Nowadays, it’s a popular tourist destination that captures the essence of Phuket’s natural beauty.
One of the most iconic sights is the towering 45-metre-tall Big Buddha statue. You can even see it from the cape. Take a moment to reflect on its significance and feel the tranquillity it exudes.
Keep your eyes peeled for the kingfisher or eagle soaring overhead as you explore the area. And for a unique experience, venture to the mangrove forests on the eastern coast of the island. Here, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive mudskipper. This fish can breathe air and crawl on land!
Relax at a Luxury Spa
Looking for a tropical escape in Phuket? You deserve to experience a Thai spa that takes inspiration from local traditions and ingredients. Indulge in a luxurious spa treatment like the herbal compress massage or the nourishing body scrub that is made with coconut oil and sea salt.
Have you ever experienced a fish pedicure? Feel the tingling sensation as tiny fish nibble away at your dead skin, leaving your feet feeling silky smooth. It is just one of the exotic experiences you can enjoy in Phuket.
After your treatment, consider visiting places like Laem Ka Beach or Kathu Waterfall. Sink your toes into the soft sand at Laem Ka Beach and listen to the gentle sound of waves washing ashore. For an adventurous experience, hike to Kathu Waterfall and breathe in the fresh jungle air as you feel the cool mist on your face.
Snorkel at Coral Island
Take a deep breath and dive into the sparkling turquoise waters. Keep an eye out for playful clownfish darting in and out of the coral and graceful sea turtles gliding by.
Once you’ve had your fill of underwater adventures, stroll along the soft sandy beaches. You’ll discover secluded spots to bask in tranquillity. Sample treats served by beach vendors, like tropical fruits and coconut milk.
But Coral Island is not just about relaxing on the beach. For an adrenaline rush, try parasailing or a banana boat ride, soaring through the air or bouncing across the waves. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try sea walking? You’ll be amazed at the stunning underwater world you can explore without even getting your hair wet.
When you’re ready to unwind, choose from a variety of beachfront restaurants. You can have a meal or drink while soaking up the stunning ocean views.
Coral Island is also home to a fascinating coral nursery. It is run by a local conservation group. You can take a guided tour to learn about how they protect and preserve the coral reefs.
Visit Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is one of Phuket’s most treasured gems. As you step into the temple grounds, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the tranquil sound of fountains. Take a deep breath and inhale the sweet fragrance of burning incense. Feel the coolness of the marble underfoot. Let the temple’s charisma engulf you.
You’ll be in awe of the temple’s beauty. Shimmering spires and intricate wall carvings showcase the craftsmen’s skill and devotion. Just remember to dress modestly and respect the traditions and beliefs of those around you, as you would when visiting any temple.
But Wat Chalong isn’t just a visual delight. It’s a spiritual sanctuary where people come to respect the Buddha and seek guidance. By observing the temple-goers’ rituals and traditions, you’ll gain a deeper insight into Thai culture and values.
As you explore the temple grounds, keep an eye out for the shrines and statues scattered around. Each has a unique story and significance that enriches the temple’s heritage. Learn about traditional Thai medicine practices and the life and teachings of the venerated monk Luang Pho Cham. His towering statue outside the Grand Pagoda is an awe-inspiring sight.
Finally, you can get a traditional Thai massage at the temple. Therapists use ancient techniques for deep relaxation and rejuvenation. It’s the perfect way to end your visit to Wat Chalong Temple and leave feeling refreshed and enlightened.
Go to an Elephant Sanctuary
Are you ready to meet some of the world’s most gentle giants up close? As you enter the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, take a deep breath. Let the surrounding greenery and the sound of the nearby stream calm your senses. A tour guide will lead you through the sanctuary. You’ll learn about the elephants’ natural behaviours and the sanctuary’s conservation efforts. You can interact with these majestic creatures, feed them, and watch them play and swim in the pond. Here, they roam freely without chains or bullhooks, in their natural habitat.
Wear comfortable clothing and footwear. You may get muddy exploring the sanctuary. You might meet the adorable resident dog, who often joins visitors on the elephant encounters. Also, the sanctuary’s eco-friendly practices, including the use of solar energy, make it a sustainable and ethical destination.
One of the most exciting parts of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the opportunity to witness the elephants’ personalities and relationships. Each elephant has a distinct personality. Your guide will teach you about them. You may see elephants playing with each other. They often form close bonds with their herd members.
Your visit to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is an opportunity to interact with elephants in a responsible manner and learn about the importance of conservation efforts.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
Embark on a sunset cruise and immerse yourself in the serenity of the Andaman Sea. Let the warm breeze gently caress your skin as you sail through the calm waters. Sip on a refreshing cocktail, locally made with the freshest ingredients, and take in the magnificent colours of the sky as the sun sets.
Keep a lookout for playful dolphins as they leap out of the water. Or you might see a whale in the distance. You may even catch a glimpse of the rare green flash, a magical phenomenon that occurs when the last bit of the sun appears green before it disappears below the horizon.
As the stars begin to twinkle in the sky, enjoy the tranquillity of the Andaman Sea. You’ll feel like you’re among them as you gaze up at the night sky. Did you know that the Andaman Sea boasts some of the world’s most stunning and diverse marine life? You’ll be mesmerised by the coral reefs and exotic fish.
The Andaman Sea is also home to bioluminescent plankton. It glows in the dark and creates the illusion of a galaxy of stars underwater. At night, the dark water lights up as you move. This surreal experience will leave you in awe.
Shop at the Night Markets
As you explore Phuket’s night markets, you’ll wind your way through the maze of vibrant stalls, each one offering a glimpse into the skilled craftsmanship of hand-carved wooden sculptures and intricate sarongs.
Amidst the crowds, the aromatic smells of sizzling street food will tempt you. Indulge in the bold, spicy flavours of classic Thai dishes like pad thai or tom yum soup. Quench your thirst with a cool, refreshing coconut ice cream, elegantly served in a coconut shell.
If you’re looking to impress the locals, consider taking advantage of the free Thai language lessons offered at some of the night markets. With a few basic phrases under your belt, you’ll have the confidence to engage with vendors and locals as you explore the market’s hidden gems.
But it’s not just about shopping and eating. Watch for musical performances and traditional dance shows. These may pop up unexpectedly throughout the night markets.
Phuket’s night markets are an exciting way to immerse yourself in the culture of Thailand. There are many great souvenirs to choose from and memories to be made. Don’t miss the chance to explore the night markets during your stay in Phuket.
Party in Patong
If you’re looking for a night of fun and excitement, Patong Beach is the place to be. Clubs, bars, and restaurants fill the neighbourhood. As the sun sets, the streets come alive with dazzling colours and sounds. You can hit the dance floor or relax with a drink in hand. Or for a more athletic challenge, learn how to surf on the Flow Rider.
For a captivating experience, catch a cabaret show. These shows are a staple of Patong’s nightlife. The stunning costumes and incredible performances will leave you in awe. And when you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find food stalls and restaurants serving cuisine to satisfy any craving. The food near the beach tends to be pricey and not the best quality, so it may be wise to explore the neighbourhood just a couple blocks away from the beach to find better options.
It’s important to pace yourself. Patong’s nightlife continues until the early hours of the morning. But if you’re up for it, you’re sure to have an unforgettable night out. Explore the side streets and alleys. You’ll find hidden gems and less crowded spots to party. And don’t forget to take in the breathtaking view of the ocean from a rooftop bar. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and you’ll feel right at home in their company.
If you’re a fan of live music, check out the local bands that perform at bars and clubs. You’ll discover a vibrant music scene with musicians playing a variety of genres.
Things to Do in Phuket – Conclusion
Phuket offers a variety of unforgettable experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Explore secluded beaches where the crystal-clear water will refresh you, and the soft sand will invite you to stay all day. Explore the architecture of temples, with the intricate details on the carved wooden walls.
But Phuket isn’t just about relaxation. For a true cultural experience, head to one of the local Muay Thai boxing stadiums. The excitement and energy of the crowds will pump you up. Or try jet skiing. The exhilarating speed and water spray will make you feel alive. There’s also a Flow Rider near Patong Beach where you can catch some artificial waves. You can book an hour’s time with up to eight participants taking turns.
And when you’re ready to unwind, take a yoga class on the beach, where the gentle sound of the waves will calm your mind and soothe your soul.
But the true magic of Phuket lies in the surprises around every corner. Stroll down the local streets and alleys, where you’ll discover shops and restaurants. And keep an eye out for the unexpected, like a traditional Thai wedding procession or an impromptu street performance.
Phuket is a destination unlike any other. Immerse yourself in this tropical paradise’s beauty, excitement, and culture.