What to Do in Phuket

Ever wondered what to do in Phuket? I’ve got you covered. Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. With its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural history, there’s no shortage of things to do and see.

Explore Phuket’s Stunning Beaches

As we continue our journey across Phuket, it’s almost impossible not to marvel at the abundance of breathtaking beaches this island boasts. With approximately 30 beautiful seashores, I’ve found that there’s a coast for every type of visitor.

Patong Beach offers a lively atmosphere for those craving excitement. It’s one of Phuket’s most popular beaches, filled with water sports activities, bustling restaurants, and nightclubs.

What to Do in Phuket
woman swimming under water

In contrast, Kata Beach provides a more relaxed ambiance for those needing peace and serenity. The delicate white sand and clear blue water have a hypnotizing, relaxing effect.

For those wanting a secluded retreat, vising the Hideway Beach is a must. It’s off the beaten path and a hidden gem amongst the extensive list of Phuket’s beaches.

  • Patong: Known for its vibrant atmosphere
  • Kata: Perfect for tranquillity seekers
  • Hideaway: Ideal for seclusion and solitude

You’ll need more than a weekend to fully enjoy all the beaches; each has its unique charm and allure. Diving into the warm waters, indulging in exciting water sports, or simply lounging on the soft sand – the choice is all yours.

Not only are these beaches a haven for relaxation, but they also offer countless opportunities to engage with the local community. Dive into beachside cafes, bargain at local markets, or simply enjoy a long walk along the coast. It’s more than just sun, sea, and sand – it’s a vibrant, living experience.

Lastly, don’t forget to witness the mesmerizing sunsets that Phuket’s beaches are renowned for. As the sun dips low, the sky is painted a myriad of hues, creating a spectacle that leaves one in awe. Truly, it’s an experience not to be missed.

Navigating the numerous beaches sure is a challenge, but it’s an exciting one. That’s the beauty of Phuket – there’s always another sandy shore to explore.

Experience the Vibrant Nightlife in Patong

Patong is no stranger to the night owls. I’ve found that its dynamic nightlife scene is one of the real charms of Phuket.

As the sun sets, you’ll witness the city transform into an energetic hub bursting with an endless array of options. There’s a mix for everyone, from bustling nightclubs to quiet beach bars.

Bangla Road, in the heart of Patong, becomes the focal point of all action. The road, illuminated by multicolored neon signboards and pulsating with music, is a spectacle in itself.

One of the things I love about Patong at night is the variety of entertainment available. Here are a few things that you might want to check out:

  • Live Music Bars: These venues are a hot favorite with tourists and locals alike. With bands playing everything from jazz to rock, you’re sure to find a vibe that suits your tastes.
  • Night Markets: A common sight in many Asian countries, night markets in Patong offer a unique shopping experience. Stalls selling everything from delicious street food to handmade souvenirs operate into the late hours of the night.
  • Cabaret Shows: Patong is famous for its flashy cabarets. Performances at places like the Simon Cabaret offer an hour of fun-filled entertainment featuring music, dance, and elaborate costumes.

    What to Do in Phuket
    a black and white photo of a woman in a feather coat
  • Beach Clubs: If chill-out sessions by the seaside are more your style, Patong has several beach clubs offering great cocktails, food, and music right on the waterfront.

Interacting with the locals also presents an excellent opportunity to get insider tips and explore places that are off the typical tourist trail.

After a fun night on the town, don’t forget to return to the beach in the early morning. Watching the sunrise from a tranquil Patong beach, with the sand still warm from the previous day’s sun, is an experience to remember.

Indeed, Patong’s vibrant nightlife is something that’ll add an electrifying layer to your Phuket visit. It’s a town that truly embraces the motto: “The night is young, and so are we!” And frankly, it’s hard not to fall in love with that spirit.

Discover the Rich Cultural Heritage at Old Phuket Town

After relishing the breathtaking beaches and electric nightlife, your Phuket adventure won’t be complete without immersing in the local culture at Old Phuket Town. This historic region thrives with rich cultural heritage offering visitors a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and flavors.

A colonial-style architecture tale told through colorful, Sino-Portuguese buildings, Old Phuket Town paints stunning imagery. I’ve walked these streets time and time again, captivated by the beautiful shophouses and mansions, their ornate designs a testament to the island’s past as a thriving tin mining center in the late 19th century.

Your day in Old Phuket Town can

  • Start with a visit to Thai Hua Museum, offers an in-depth look into Phuket’s history.
  • Follow up with a stroll down Soi Rommanee Street, known for its vibrant and colorful buildings.
  • Take a pause at Jui Tui Shrine, it’s a Chinese temple renowned for its religious celebrations like the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

More than just a feast for the eyes, Old Phuket Town also offers a culinary adventure. The town is famous for its unique cuisine, a blend of Chinese and Malay influences known as Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine. It’s here that you’ll taste some of the island’s most famous dishes, such as Mee Hokkien noodle and Oh Tao oyster omelette.

Lastly, who can resist the allure of possibilities offered by countless small shops and marketplace selling a variety of local crafts, trinkets, and textiles. It gives you an excellent opportunity to pick a few unique souvenirs to remember your marvelous time in Phuket.

Next, we’ll be venturing even further off the beaten path. We’ll be journeying into the lush greens of Khao Sok National Park, where Phuket’s natural charm and wildlife wonder truly come alive.

Go Island Hopping to Phi Phi Islands

No trip to Phuket is complete without experiencing the sheer beauty of the Phi Phi Islands. Home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Thailand, these islands are a must-visit for any traveler looking for a slice of paradise to explore.

One of the best ways to explore these islands is by taking an island-hopping tour. It’s an opportunity to see the verdant cliffs, hidden coves, and crystal-clear waters that name Phi Phi a haven of natural beauty. And trust me, it’s a view that’s hard to forget.

Travelers have the option of booking either a half-day or a full-day tour, depending on their schedule. These tours generally include opportunities to snorkel in the aquamarine waters, visit iconic spots like Maya Bay (famously featured in the movie “The Beach”) and Monkey Beach, and even feed the friendly monkeys that inhabit the islands.

Feeling a bit adventurous and want a more personal experience? You can hire a private long-tail boat for the day. Enjoy the flexibility of creating your own itinerary and the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace.

The Phi Phi Islands are not all about their natural wonders. The main island, Phi Phi Don, also hosts a colorful nightlife scene. Its beachside bars, live music, and fire shows provide a fun and exciting finish to a day of adventuring.

After all, who wouldn’t want to end their day sipping a cocktail while watching a mesmerizing fire show on a pristine beach in Thailand?

After fully absorbing the beauty and fun of Phi Phi Islands, the next spot on my journey will be Khao Sok National Park. It’s a place where lush jungles, magnificent wildlife and stunning limestone caves await to be explored. Stay tuned as I delve deeper into Phuket’s many adventures.

Indulge in Delicious Thai Cuisine

No trip to Phuket is complete without exploring the incredible Thai cuisine. As an island, Phuket brings its coastal ingredients and flavors into the dishes for you to taste. During your stay, you’ll find variations of your favorite dishes from back home, but they’ll be just that much better!

Street food stalls boom in almost every part of Phuket. I can’t forget the aroma of simmering soups, sizzling stir-fries, and vibrant curries puffing out of the stalls. Don’t be overpowered by the array of choices, because all are equally appealing and scrumptious. From the deliciously spicy Tom Yam Goong (spicy shrimp soup) to the mild Phad Thai, every dish is an opportunity to acquaint your palate with different flavors.

Speaking of sea-side delicacies, the freshness of Phuket seafood is unmatched. The catch of the day makes it to the local eateries, making the coastal dishes a savoury feast. Rawai Seafood Market and Banzaan Market in Patong are excellent places to buy fresh seafood you can have cooked to your liking on the spot.

Thai cooking classes often pop-up in talks about Phuket. It’s your chance to learn cooking with a unique Thai touch. Not only can you indulge in preparing some signature dishes but also bring home the art of Thai cuisine.

I’d advise not missing out on the traditional Thai breakfast. It’s a far cry from your cornflakes at home – you’ll be treated to dishes such as ‘Kanom Jeen’, a noodle dish with curry, or ‘khao tom’, a rice soup packed with delicious flavors.

What’s coming next? A day amidst the towering peaks and dense jungles of Khao Sok National Park. We’ll explore the rich flora and fauna, impressive lakes and captivating caves that make up this nature’s paradise.

Try Exciting Watersports Activities

Now that we’ve explored Phuket’s willowy shores, awe-inspiring cliffs, and vibrant nightlife, let’s dive into the ocean of exhilarating watersports the island has to offer. Phuket isn’t just about lounging beachside – it’s also an excellent destination to dip your toes into the world of aquatic adventure.

Jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing are among the prevailing watersports that lure adventure enthusiasts to the island. Patong Beach, Kata Beach, and Karon Beach are the prominent hotspots for relishing these adrenaline-packed activities. Beyond the usual, there’s also the chance to explore the deep sea with highly-rated Scuba diving and snorkeling experiences. Amazing reefs, bewitching underwater formations, and a bustling ecosystem make for an unforgettable dive. Lessons from professional trainers ensure safety while maximizing the fun potential for both beginners and pros.

It’s also worth mentioning wakeboarding – the high-speed love child of water skiing, snowboarding, and surfing techniques. It’s becoming increasingly popular among thrill-seekers exploring Phuket’s vast waters. Cable ski parks such as Phuket Wake Park and International Wake Park ensure top-notch equipment and guidance for an extreme wakeboarding session.

Not to forget, unique water-based experiences like flyboarding and kite surfing also have been gaining traction on the island. You strap on a water jetpack or hold on tight to a power kite, and, with the help of the tropical wind, soar above the turquoise waters. It’s a rush like no other!

As we integrate the rush of the sea waves with the thrill of high-speed adventure, it’s clear why Phuket ranks high on watersports enthusiasts’ list. Up next, taking a detour from the adrenaline and the noisy bustle, we’ll immerse ourselves in the serenity of Khao Sok National Park.

Visit the Big Buddha

Stepping away from the thrill of watersports, I now found a sense of tranquility unfolding before me: The Big Buddha. This awe-inspiring white marble statue stands tall atop Nakkerd hills commanding attention as Phuket’s iconic landmark.

My heartbeat slowed as I approached the monument – a 45-meter high image; sitting serenely in a meditation pose. It’s visible from several parts of the island – a comforting and constant reminder of Thailand’s devotion to Buddhism.

I spent hours here but it felt like mere minutes. Time seems to stand still around the Big Buddha. Not only does it offer a spiritual retreat but it also presents sprawling panoramic views of the island. From this lofty vantage point, I soaked in the sights across Chalong Bay, Kata, and Karon beaches, and the mesmerizing Phang Nga Bay.

To make the climb to the top more worthwhile, I discovered rich cultural experiences dotting the way: local vendors selling authentic Thai food, handmade charms, and other intriguing keepsakes. I happened upon the six-ton ‘Gong’ as well, which is believed to bring good luck when hit three times.

Finally, the statue itself has a unique allure. Built largely from donations, each marble slab used carries inscriptions of well-wishers. I, too, left a mark there – a slab with my blessing now a part of this monumental emblem of serenity and spirituality.

For those who crave an immersive cultural experience, Phuket’s Big Buddha offers an unparalleled insight into the heart of Thailand. Now, it’s time to head to another gem hidden in the bosom of nature, the Khao Sok National Park.

Enjoy a Relaxing Spa Day

After your visit to the Big Buddha, a calming retreat to one of Phuket’s many spas might be just what you need. Whether you’re looking to unwind with a traditional Thai massage or seeking a rejuvenating facial treatment, you’ll find an array of wellness centers that cater to different needs in this tropical paradise.

My personal favorite is the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa. With expert therapists trained at their Banyan Tree Spa Academy, the rejuvenating treatments here are truly top-notch. Employing a holistic approach to wellness, the spa offers a blend of ancient Thai techniques and modern therapies, promising a complete wellness experience. Secluded in lush tropical gardens, enveloped by serene lily ponds, you’re transported to a realm of tranquility the moment you step in.

Not your scene? You won’t be left out. Phuket offers a range of different spas, from affordable options to luxury resorts. Let’s So Thai Spa and Oasis Spa are just a couple of local favorites. They both offer a rich variety of treatments, including the signature Four Hands Massage, an incredible dual therapist treatment that’s sure to melt your worries away.

I’d also suggest trying out a traditional Thai massage. Utilizing pressure techniques and stretching, it’s known to boost circulation and flexibility while reducing stress. It’s unlike any massage I’ve experienced elsewhere and is the perfect antidote after a day of sightseeing.

Deep relaxation and rejuvenation might’ve been the last thing on your mind while in Phuket with its vibrant nightlife and bustling markets. However, a spa day presents a golden opportunity to have a well-deserved respite amid all the fun.

As we soak in the serene calmness of the spa environment, we’ll prepare for the next section of our island journey where untamed wilderness awaits us at Khao Sok National Park.

Explore the Beautiful Surrounding Islands

Once you’ve had your fill of city life in Phuket and the rejuvenating therapies at the wellness centers, a trip to the nearby islands is a refreshing change of pace. Phuket’s surrounding islands are just as fantastic and offer a wealth of natural beauty and tranquility. You’ll find every island unique in its charm and landscape, making your island-hopping adventure unpredictable but exciting.

The Phi Phi Islands are a well-known cluster that tourists can’t resist. There’s plenty to do here from swimming in the turquoise waters of Maya Bay to snorkeling among the vibrant fish. You can even go hiking or rock climbing if you’re up for something more vigorous.

Just off the southeast coast of Phuket, you’ll find Coral Island or Ko Hae. As the name suggests, it’s a haven for snorkelers, filled with colorful coral reefs teeming with sea life. With peaceful beaches and clear waters, it promises a perfect day out for nature lovers.

Next on the list should be the Similan Islands— a group of eleven islands in the Andaman Sea. They’re internationally recognized for their incredible underwater life and are a favored spot for diving. The Similan’s striking granite boulders and lush tropical jungles are as beautiful as the underwater world they border.

Don’t forget to include Phang Nga Bay in your island-hopping agenda. Renowned for its surreal landscape of towering limestone cliffs and emerald-green waters, it creates a truly spectacular backdrop. This unique location was famously featured in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun,” giving it another nickname – James Bond Island.

As we continue to delve into what to do in Phuket, let us next set sail for the delicious culinary journey that awaits on this remarkable island.


I’ve taken you on a journey through Phuket’s most breathtaking sites, from the towering Big Buddha to the tranquil wellness centers. We’ve dipped our toes in the crystal clear waters of the surrounding islands, each with its own unique allure.

But there’s more to Phuket than just stunning landscapes and thrilling activities. Prepare your palate, as our next adventure dives into the rich and vibrant culinary scene of Phuket. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, there’s a flavor for every taste. So, stay tuned, food lovers. The best of Phuket’s cuisine is yet to come!

Lisa Boonmee
About the author
Lisa Boonmee
I am passionate about unveiling the hidden gems of Phuket, from its stunning beaches to its vibrant cultural scene. My extensive travels across the island have given me a deep appreciation for its unique beauty and rich history, which I love sharing with our readers.