Phuket is the largest island in the country of Thailand and once you arrive on the spectacular shoreline, you may find that you never want to leave this paradise. After all, who could possibly resist the incredible food, options for island hopping, and fun parties through every weekend? To top it off, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the world.
However, remember to wear your sunscreen. We got horribly burnt while we were there and missed some of Phuket’s nightlife. Also, remember to be respectful of the people and culture if you choose to let loose and drink.
One of the best things to do in Phuket is a little island hopping among the sparkling water of Phang Nga Bay. There are around forty different islands within this area and you’ll want to take the opportunity to visit as many as you can. You’ll also discover lush mangroves, dark and deep caves, and a number of various lagoons. It is recommended that you spend an entire day seeing this area near Phuket, and you might want to consider booking a tour in advance so you get to see some of the best spots.
Nakkerd Hill Buddha
This massive Buddha can be found at the top of Nakkerd Hill–you won’t be able to miss it! Standing at 147 feet tall, it is a bit of a trek to get up there. When you reach the Buddha, you can hear chimes from the small bells surrounding the area and some dharma music, but other than that there will be nothing but silence. When the sun is out, the Buddha will seems because it is made out of Burmese marble. When you get tired of looking, you can get a view of the ocean below for the perfect photo op.
Kata Noi beach
Rest and relaxation should be on your list of things to do in Phuket–that’s why a trip to Kata Noi Beach is a must. This beach might be smaller than some of the others on the island, but the scenery is worth a few more crowds. Once you have finished swimming, make sure to hike up to the Karon Viewpoint. This area is often overflowing with tourists, but only because the views are worth the extra exercise.
Visit an elephant sanctuary
Animal activities are everywhere in Phuket, but you will want to choose how you spend time with them wisely. While a few people may be tempted to take an elephant ride, you are better off visiting the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary instead. This is one activity that many visitors look forward to the most while spending time in Phuket, and while there, you can meet the elephants at the sanctuary, learn more about them, and see how they are cared for in a humane way.
At the end of a long day in Phuket, you may be more than ready to head back to your hotel and call it a night. However, you should consider rallying and making the trip to Bangla Road at least one night of your visit. There are a number of bars on this street and hopping goes to a new extreme here with so many backpacker in one place. If you don’t feel like getting wasted (and we recommend not), grab a beer and stroll down the street instead for a more cultural night out.
If you want to experience a new kind of nightlife, then a weekend night market will be the place to go. At the Naka Market, and you will find vendors selling everything from food to clothing to your next quirky souvenir item. You might want to arrive a little early to this market, because it gets crowded quickly and it can be unpleasant with too many drunk tourists about. Need to find dinner? The street food here is utterly sublime.
One of the last things you should do in Phuket before leaving is wander around Phuket Old Town. This “downtown” of the island has numerous Chinese and Buddhist temples worth taking the time to explore, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants. You’ll also find some delightful street art and some unique museums that help to make Phuket one of the strangest, most entertaining places in Thailand.
What was your favorite thing to do in Phuket? You favorite beach?
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