Beyond the Beaches: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Phuket, Thailand

The southern part of Thailand is home to the country’s gem, the province of Phuket. The province of Phuket is where the largest island of Thailand is located, Phuket Island, along with 32 smaller islands.

Naithon Beach in Phuket Thailand photo by Nikldn via Unsplash
Naithon Beach in Phuket Thailand Photo by nikldn on Unsplash

Phuket is a travelers’ dream destination for its fine white sand, tropical environment, warm weather, and rich culture and traditions. You need a couple of days if not weeks when you’re in Phuket because there are many beaches (secret and not so secret) that you should visit. More than the beaches, they also have markets, shopping malls and countless dining options and accommodations.


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Include these 15 things to do when you’re in Phuket.

Go Island Hopping in Phuket

Best Things to Do in Phuket Thailand
Best Things to Do in Phuket Thailand

You’ll never run out of islands to visit in Phuket. Phi Phi island is a famous beach in Phuket. It’s been featured in movies and some say that this is the only reason why they go to Phuket in the first place. But, many will agree that with the number of islands of Phuket are also reasons to go there. Other islands in Phuket are James Bond Island and Coral Island.

Visit Phuket’s Big Buddha

The Big Buddha of Phuket
The Big Buddha of Phuket

The Big Buddha towers at 45 meters so anyone in Phuket Town or Karon Beach can easily see it. It’s located on top of Nakkerd Hills which adds to its gigantic appearance. You can reach the Big Buddha by traveling a 6-km winding road from Phuket’s main road. Visiting the Big Buddha offer a unique experience of being at peace since it’s a quiet place with only a hush sound of bells.

Watch the Simon Cabaret

Phuket Simon Cabaret show photo via KLOOK
Phuket Simon Cabaret show photo via KLOOK

The Simon Cabaret is the men’s version of Las Vegas’ Show Girls and everyone in Phuket should see their lively performances. The costumes worn are out of this world with crazy numbers of sequins and feather headpieces. There’s never a dull moment in the show. The glittery Simon Cabaret has been entertaining visitors since 1991. You’ll find that some of the performers are sound-a-likes of famous singers.

Simon Cabaret Show TicketsBOOK A TICKET

Capture a Photo at Karon Viewpoint

Kata Karon tropical beach viewpoint at Phuket island, Thailand
Kata Karon tropical beach viewpoint at Phuket island, Thailand

Viewpoints in Phuket are common but Karon Viewpoint lets you see Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon beaches. It sits between Nai Harn and Kata Noi Beaches. It’s famous amongst tourists because it looks out to the Andaman Sea at the South. To its north are views of the sparkling blue sea and white sand beaches plus Phuket’s hillsides.

Learn Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving Lessons in Phuket
Scuba Diving Lessons in Phuket

Phuket is included in the top 10 diving destinations of the world. You can get your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate in Phuket. There are diving tours in the area all year round and it accommodates experienced and beginners in the diving scene. Some of the sights to see are Anemone Reef, King Cruiser wreck and Shark Point where Leopard Sharks can be found.

Shop and Eat at Old Phuket Town

Old Phuket Town
Old Phuket Town

Phuket Town offers something not found at the beaches. It’s a sight where you can shop around and eat out. You can also go on a stroll to people watch and see how the locals live. You’ll find monks early in the morning and see heritage buildings that are well-kept. The night gets busy with disco bars and restaurants full of tourists.

Discover Phuket’s Most Popular Attraction

Phuket Fantasea Ticket photo via KLOOK
Phuket Fantasea Ticket photo via KLOOK

Fantasea, the biggest show of the island features trapeze artists, elephants, and other animals. It tells an exotic plot and the show is much like when you go to a carnival. Fantasea is an all-around amusement park where there are rides and visitors can also eat to their heart’s contents. Visitors can also go on a shopping experience at Fantasea.

Fantasea Phuket TicketsBOOK A TICKET

Traverse Bangla Road in Patong Beach

Patong night street in Phuket, Thailand
Patong night street in Phuket, Thailand

The magic of Bangla Road happens during night time when the road gets closed and it becomes a haven for loud music, neon lights and lots of cheap beer. The touristy place is always crowded and you’ll find there are bars and clubs you can go to. Street performances and street vendors are common throughout the street. Many locals who’ll try to catch your attention so try to choose what you like to do best.

Join Water Activities in the Island

Water Activities in Patong Beach, Phuket
Water Activities in Patong Beach, Phuket

So many water activities can be done when you’re in Phuket. You can try stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking if you want something laid back while if you want a real workout then you should kitesurf. Snorkeling and scuba diving lets you see some action underneath the water. There’s also a surf house you can go to if you’re not too keen on trying the sport on the open water.

Try Local and International Cuisines in Phuket

Thai Food photo by Alex Block via Unsplash
Thai Food Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

The best foods to try are still their local dishes like Tom Yang Goong but you should also eat at restaurants serving international cuisines like Western and other Asian foods. The dining scene in Phuket varies from world-class menus to street foods. There are expensive restaurants while you can get your tummy full with just a few bucks at regular food stalls.

Enlist on a Walking Tour of the Island

Phuket Heritage Walking Tour photo via KLOOK
Phuket Heritage Walking Tour photo via KLOOK

Walking and bike tour in Phuket are common ways of getting to know the place. It offers scenic countryside views and visiting old towns and exotic areas. Some of the tours you should try are Turtles and Waterfalls Full Day Bike Tour with Beach Side Lunch, Phuket Street Food Walking Tour and Morning Sino Heritage Tour which embarks on the discovery of heritage buildings.

Phuket Heritage Walk

  • Start the day visiting a local fresh market then visit Chinpracha House and Thai Hua Museum.
  • Stroll through the old town visiting the old post office and the first hotel in Phuket.
  • The Walking Tour includes Hotel pick up and lunch.

Phuket Walking TourBOOK THIS TOUR

Shop ‘til You Drop in Phuket

Phuket Night Market
Phuket Night Market

You can find many open-air village food markets, night markets, local shops and street stalls in Phuket. Support local products like housewares, jewelries and other artisan products which you can bring home with you. Some of the places where you can shop are Phuket Weekend Market, Walking Street Market, Central Festival Mall and Jungceylon Mall.

Stay at The Shore at Katathani

The Shore at Katathani Phuket
The Shore at Katathani Phuket

The Shore at Katathani (resort info) is a high-end resort with beachside villas located at the end of Kata Noi. It’s perfect for laid-back afternoons where you can just sip iced tea or lounge until the sunset. They have an infinity pool where you can have a great view of the beach and the mountains nearby.

Try an Overnight Stay at The Naka Phuket

Tropical Pool Vila at The Naka Island Phuket
Tropical Pool Vila at The Naka Island Phuket

The Naka Phuket (resort reviews) is another posh resort complete with amenities and fantastic views of the sea. It offers the luxury of staying at a nice villa where you’re just a few steps away from the shoreline. There’s a patio and balcony by the resort if you just like to chill. The whole place is also perfect for picture taking.

Find Where the Secret Beaches of Phuket Are 

Secret Beaches of Phuket
Secret Beaches of Phuket

If there are well-known beaches in Phuket, there are also secret beaches. These beaches are AO Yon Beach with palm trees and white sand; Banana Beach with a crescent-shaped appearance; Nui Beach which have more crowds for its activities; Khao Kad Beach which is quite an urbanized area; Yae Beach, a rocky beach perfect for Instagram moments and AO Sane which is visited for its snorkelling activities and granite boulders.

Best Activities in Phuket
Best Activities in Phuket

The beautiful beaches of Phuket make it one of the top destinations of the world but its culture, people and other things that make it whole are also reasons why travelers continue to go there. Where are you going to first on your Phuket adventure?

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