With its fascinating nature, its architecture enriched under the influence of China and Portugal, Phuket offers its guests rare options in terms of places to visit.
On the island with a surface area of 570 square kilometers, located in the southwest of Thailand, you can find the opportunity to visit the buildings that prove their cultural richness besides the natural wonders and historical settlements.
In fact, if you intend to have an extraordinary holiday experience, you can combine your holiday days with natural life. I will share very important information throughout the guide, but pay attention to these first;
Where to stay? Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Rawai, Surin beaches and Phuket Town are the best places to stay on the island.
- Hotel recommendations: 3 ★ Ibis Phuket Kata, 4 ★ Holiday Inn Express and 5 ★ Grand Mercure Phuket are some of the most popular hotels to stay on the island.
Phuket Travel List
You can start creating your list of places to visit in Phuket by writing Chalong Bay on the east side of the island in the first place.
Because this region, which has a very colorful atmosphere, offers many options to its guests in terms of places to visit as well as shopping and entertainment opportunities. Moreover, from the port here, there is transportation to Coral Island, one of the most important diving centers of the region.
While spending time in Chalong Bay, you can focus on shopping and various activities other than visiting the historical buildings, which I will tell you about the most important ones.
If you are interested in local cuisine and enjoy cooking, you can attend culinary classes. When you’re looking for excitement, you can turn your route to Jungle Xtrem Adventures Park.
You can even test your marksmanship skills on the shooting track and watch the Muay Thai matches, which are considered the national sport of the country. In the evening, you can choose one of the entertainment venues in the region.
While spending time in Chalong Bay, I recommend you first visit Big Buddha, one of the island’s most important and respected places.
The magnificent statue, which can be easily seen from almost half of the island with its 45 meters height, was started to be built on the summit of Nakkerd Hill in 2007. Frequently visited by the local people to pray, the work attracts travelers with its 360 ° view.
When you reach the statue on the top of the hill, you can first examine the temple made of gold. Then, you can focus on watching the breathtaking view of Kata’s magnificent bay, Karon’s golden sand covered beach and the canal islands in Chalong Bay.
- Address: Tambon Karon, Amphoe Mueang, Chang Wat Phuket 83100
- Visiting Hours: 06.00-19.00
3.Wat Chalong Temple
After you finish examining the statue and watching the view, you can move on to Wat Chalong Temple, another important attraction in the bay area.
The building, which is the largest and most important Buddhist temple on the island, was built in the early 19th century. Locals come to the 3-storey building to commemorate and pay their respects to the monks who were their founders.
Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang, considered to be among the founders of the temple, are of particular importance as they led the rebellion against the Chinese invaders in 1876.
The other reason I recommend you to spend time at the temple, which has an impressive architectural appearance, is its interior decorations. Because all the walls and ceiling of the religious building are decorated with pictures depicting Buddha’s life.
Inside, there are also 36 golden statues donated to the temple at various times. After you finish examining the details of the interior of the building, if you go to the terrace on the last floor, you can enjoy the view surrounding the temple.
- Address: Chaofa Road (West) Chalong Phuket 83000
- Visiting Hours: 07.00-17.00
Being the third longest beach on the island, Karon Beach is located on Phuket’s west coast. Covering an area of 5 kilometers between Patong and Kata, the beach is divided into 3 regions that offer different opportunities to travelers.
As you can easily understand from its name, Karon Center, which is considered the center of the region, is extremely generous in giving its visitors a unique dining experience consisting of palatable tastes, attractive shopping opportunities and the opportunity to participate in the vibrant nightlife.
If you decide to stay in this area, you can choose from resort hotels along Karon Beach Road. So you also have the opportunity to be close to the popular Karon Bazaar.
On the south end of the beach, which is considered ideal for diving, restaurants and entertainment venues with high quality service await you.
- Hotel Recommendation: The 5-star Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa is one of the most beautiful facilities you can stay in this region.
5.Patong Beach & Bangla Road
As I started to explain the beaches that have a big share in making the island so popular, I would like to give you information about Patong Beach & Bangla Road.
Because of the beauty of Patong, known as the most famous beach of the island, Bangla Road is considered among the indispensable places of the travelers’ list of places to visit in Phuket due to the nightlife opportunities around it.
The natural wonder beach, where the intensity does not decrease for a moment during the season, offers the travelers pleasant hours with its turquoise sea and golden yellow beach during the day.
While you are here, you can also take advantage of the daytime water sports facilities to increase the level of entertainment a few clicks. When the sun starts to set, you can focus on Soi Bangla, or better known as Bangla Road, like many others.
At least as famous as the beach, the road is surrounded by hundreds of restaurants, pubs, go go bars and nightclubs where you can experience Eastern style entertainment.
- Hotel Recommendation: The 5-star Grand Mercure Phuket Patong is one of the most luxurious and quality facilities you can choose for accommodation on the island.
6.Kata Beach (Kata Noi Beach)
If the entertainment-oriented atmosphere of Patong does not make you happy, you can enjoy the sea in the quieter environment of the family-friendly neighbor Kata Beach.
Surrounded by palm trees, the beach is in high demand among surfing enthusiasts from May until October. In the period between November and April, surfers are replaced by travelers who want to swim and sunbathe.
Kata Beach, surrounded by numerous restaurants and lively but not sultry entertainment venues, is divided into 2 regions, the north end closer to Karon and the south side where the resorts are located.
When you want to shop after swimming and sunbathing on the beach, you can wander around the shops or the stalls set in the streets.
When you get hungry, you can choose from many options from affordable street vendors to Phuket’s best restaurants.
Of course, among all these activities, do not forget to go to the Karon Viewpoint, which is 4 kilometers from the beach, and enjoy the magnificent sunset view.
- Hotel Recommendation: If you want to stay in a clean and economical place on your Phuket trip, the 3-star Ibis Phuket Kata can be a nice option.
Phuket attracts attention with its population diversity as well as its natural beauty. Old Phuket is the best place to observe this multinational community led by individuals of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Nepalese descent, apart from the Thai.
The residential area, where the wealthy part of the island resided in the past century, today gives travelers the opportunity to learn about the architecture of the colonial period as well as getting to know Phuket‘s multicultural structure.
Phuket’s old town is divided by 5 main streets and numerous streets. There are many historical buildings and cultural facilities on the streets called Rasada, Phang Nga, Thalang, Dibuk and Krabi, as well as shopping venues selling authentic products.
If you go to the settlement during the Chinese New Year Celebrations, you may also have the opportunity to participate in the festival that will make it easier for you to get to know the local culture.
- Hotel Recommendation: The stylishly designed 5-star Novotel Phuket Phokeethra is ideal for those who want to stay in the old settlement of the island.
Operating on a 60-acre area, Phuket FantaSea is a theme park that is famous for its shows with elephants in the lead. Hundreds of elephants and animals of different species serve along with trapeze players in the shows, which are held every night in the entertainment facility and are the largest in this area of the island.
In the theme park, where traditions that have an important place in Thai culture are enriched with fantastic elements, different options are offered to the guests to have a pleasant evening, apart from shows.
In the facility, which attracts the attention of all age groups, you can shop, participate in carnival-style games and have the privilege of tasting the most special flavors of the local cuisine.
- Address: 99 Kamala, Kathu District, Phuket 83150
- Visiting Hours: 17.30-23.30
- Entrance Fee: 1.800 THB
9.Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
If you want to observe the admirable elephants in their most natural state with their magnificent structures and perfect memories, you can join the safari tours organized in Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.
The facility, where elephants rescued from various parks in the region spend their “retirement” days, spreads over an area of 30 acres. In this way, elephants can once again enjoy the freedom offered by wildlife.
Half-day tours organized to provide extra income to the conservation start at Monkey Coffee House. During the tour, guests are told how the shelter is operated. Later, travelers are given the opportunity to get close to cute creatures.
For those who are hungry, a vegetarian Thai menu is offered. If the half-day tour is not enough for you, you can pay 16.000 Baht and join the weekly volunteer program.
- Address: 100, Moo 2, Paklok, Thalang, 83110
- Visiting Hours: 08.30-17.00
- Entry Fee: 3,000 THB
When it comes to Thailand, the first thing that comes to mind is the dense forest cover and elephants that whet the appetite of adventure lovers. However, one should not miss the rich underwater life that makes diving enthusiasts flock to the island.
If you are also curious about the biological diversity of the Andaman Sea, you can include the Phuket Aquarium in your itinerary without thinking.
In addition to the creatures living in salt water, you can also observe species found in Thailand‘s lakes and rivers.
The facility, which is the guardian of the list of places to visit in Phuket for travelers who are curious about the natural life of Southeast Asia, was established in 1983.
Live demonstrations and interactive activities are held every day at the aquarium, located about 12 kilometers south of Phuket Town.
- Address: 51 Sakdidet Road, Wichit, Mueang, Phuket 83000
- Visiting Hours: 08.30-16.30
- Entrance Fee: 180 THB
Karon Viewpoint, which I briefly mentioned while giving you information about Kata Beach, looks directly at the Andaman Sea. Of course, when you come here, do not be surprised if you see that everyone focuses on the eight-kilometer coastline instead of the stunning sea.
Because there is no better place on the island that reveals all the beauty of Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches. That is why the view point is known as “Khao Saam Haad” in the local language, “Three Beach Hills”.
The attraction point, formerly known as Kata Viewpoint, attracts great attention almost all year round due to its scenery. However, it is not recommended to be deceived by this intensity and to stop here until late in the evening. Because after dark, attacks and thefts can occur here.
Another point where you can watch the sunset view during your Phuket holiday is Promthep Cape, the southernmost tip of the island.
If you go to the cape, which extends towards the Andaman Sea, especially on clear days, you can easily see the islands of Koh Racha Yai, Noi and Phi Phi, which are quite far from the land.
Of course, when you go to the earth formation, which the local people call “God’s Cape”, you do not have to be content with just watching the scenery.
If you enter the lighthouse at the highest point of the cape, you can find the opportunity to examine the tools and equipment used by sailors in the past.
When you go to the balcony of the building, which is organized as a museum, you can observe the environment better, and when you get hungry, you can go to the nearby restaurant and eat without being deprived of the view.
13.Maya Bay (Phi Phi Islands)
Near Phuket there are bays that host many islands. However, none of them attract as much attention as Thailand’s superstar islands chain, Phi Phi Islands.
The islands, whose reputation has grown exponentially after the release of the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, offers its guests the privilege of being alone with natural beauties thanks to their being far from human influence.
Moreover, almost all of them offer different experiences to their guests in terms of entertainment and shopping opportunities in recent years.
Phi Phi Islands, one of the most accurate locations around Phuket for diving enthusiasts, those who seek tranquility and want to observe Thai wildlife, consists of 6 lands of different sizes.
Opening to Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh is the favorite of those who want to enjoy the sea. If you intend to watch the scenery, you can turn your route to the “H” shaped Koh Phi Phi Don without thinking. If you are interested in underwater life, you can start a day tour preparation for Bamboo Island.
While you are spending time on the Phi Phi Islands, you can spend a few hours on Monkey Beach. Although the 150-meter-long beach is advertised as an independent island in most places, this iconic landform is actually part of Koh Phi Phi Don. What makes the beach surrounded by the vast forest cover interesting is the monkeys, which are the hosts.
You can use 2 different methods to reach Monkey Beach, located in the southwest of Tonsai Bay. The first of these is to participate in tours organized by local operators.
If you don’t want to get involved in the crowd, you can rent a canoe and paddle to the beach for 40 minutes. When you reach the beach covered with white sand, you can first take a photo of the monkeys and then focus on swimming.
15.Simon Cabaret Show
If you intend to watch exotic-style entertainment during your holidays on the island, you can include the Simon Cabaret Show in your list of places to visit in Phuket.
The cleverly designed choreography, magnificent costumes, high-level sound and light systems that draw the audience into the show have a great share in transforming the cabaret into one of the most important entertainment options of the island in 1991.
All of the artists performing in the Simon Cabaret are transsexuals. However, this does not mean that the shows held in the cabaret are sex-focused as in many parts of Thailand.
As a matter of fact, the audience includes individuals from all age groups and the professionalism of the team immediately reveals the difference. After watching the 70-minute screening, you can take pictures outside with the artists for an extra fee.
- Address: 8 Sirirach Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150
- Screening Hours: 18.00, 19.45, 21.30
- Entry Fee: 1,000 THB
17.Ko Deed (James Bond Island)
Ko Tapu, one of the 100 islands in Phang Nga Bay, owes its reputation largely to the 9th film of the James Bond series, The Man with the Golden Gun, which was released in 1974.
The island, which has already been protected as a national park due to this situation, is referred to by the name of “James Bond Island” rather than its official name among local people and travelers. For this reason, no boats or canoes are allowed to approach the land, where Mother Nature displays all her generosity.
You can either take boat tours or rent a canoe at Surakul Pier and go to the small beach in Koh Ping Gan to see the island, which is closed to visit in order to prevent damage to the rare beautiful rock formations and local plant and animal species.
If you join boat tours, you can have the opportunity to taste fresh seafood in the Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee near the island.
18.Phuket Town Weekend Night Market
When you decide to focus on shopping, you can go to Phuket Town Weekend Night Market. The exotic shopping paradise, known as “Naka Market” among locals, is built around ChaoFa West Road just outside Phuket Town.
Although not as much as Chatuchak in Bangkok, the market manages to easily attract shoppers with its large dimensions and hundreds of stalls installed within it.
Phuket Town Weekend Market consists of two parts. In the covered area, second-hand clothing items and gifts inspired by the local culture are sold.
In the newer open section, products from different categories, from various toys to electronics, from shoes and bags to jewelry, await you. If you feel hungry while wandering around the market, which takes hours to visit, you can head to the dining area to the right of the main entrance.
Tiger Kingdom’s facility in Phuket opened its doors to visitors in 2013. Built on a 4-acre land on the slopes of Patong Hill with a 100 million Baht budget, the facility provides its guests with the opportunity to be close to a group of tigers raised in human hands since their birth.
In fact, the rules that must be strictly followed before approaching the majestic cats that do not lose their wild instincts even though they are never found in nature, are clearly explained to the visitors.
Training programs for individuals of all age groups are also carried out within the Tiger Kingdom. Training had not yet begun when I visited the facility in Phuket.
However, in the Tiger Kingdom, which was first opened in Chiang Mai, I learned that there are two different activities that allow visitors to inform about the care and behavior of tigers.
- Address: 118/88 Moo 7, Kathu, Phuket 83120
- Visiting Hours: 09.00-18.00
- Entry Fee: 1,000 THB
At the end of the list of places to visit in Phuket, Nai Harn is where you can enjoy the sea during the day and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of nightlife in the evenings.
Considered among the most popular beaches of the island, the area is actually newly discovered compared to the others. Despite this, as the interest of the travelers increased, hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues began to open immediately.
Nai Harn Beach is a great place to swim from November to April. Between May and October, the beach is almost blockaded by surfers due to waves caused by strong currents.
If you want to dive, you can choose Yau Nui in the south, and if you intend to swim and sunbathe in a more secluded atmosphere, you can choose Ao Sane, which is a few steps away.
Where to Stay in Phuket
The most beautiful areas where you can stay in Phuket: Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Rawai, Surin beaches and Phuket city center.
If you want to stay in a 5-star luxury and quality place in a central location on your Phuket trip, you can check out the property called Grand Mercure Phuket Patong in Patong Beach.