Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, which means there is space for everyone to explore its deep and rich culture, It is a place where anything can happen, full of an array of activities coated by the Andaman sea, it suits all types of travelers as it offers everything from high-end sea resorts, bungalows, relaxing beautiful beaches along with the wild nightlife and top notch entertainment. It is a wise choice for a honeymoon, Impromptu trip with your friends, or a solo traveling adventure. It is definitely a place that will mend both your body and your soul.
Let us start this list with one of the most frequently asked questions which is what are the best things to do in Phuket?
1. Old Phuket Town
If you want to experience some of Phuket's rich culture and history, then the Old Phuket Town is the first place you should see, best time to visit is early in the morning or at the end of your day, it's filled with private and public museums along with shrines, temples, shop houses and a mini ex-red light district, it's also a place for a lovely picnic, and don't worry there are cafés and restaurants to keep you refreshed along the day, you can also shop for a souvenir to keep at the Amulet Market, Jui Tui Shrine is another place to deepen your knowledge of Thailand’s culture and gain a foresight to your future and grab some fortune sticks along with fortune paper in Chinese and Thai, at Phuket Town there is a Thavorn Hotel Museum that is filled with antiques and photos, Old Phuket Town makes everyone feel nostalgic for the good old days even though they weren’t lucky enough to live that long.
2. Kayaking at Phang Nga Bay
This is one of the unforgettable experiences of most visitors. Kayaking through the beautiful caves of Phang Nga Bay, this ride will take you through sparkling emerald lagoons and secret crystalline limestone caves that will leave you feeling like you were on a wondrous secret mission whether you kayak alone or have a guide with you; it is definitely an experience you can’t miss.
3. Tour to Phuket’s Big Buddha
A 45-meter-tall statue, a landmark on top of the Nakkerd Hills that can be seen all the way from Phuket Town, you can have the best views of the whole city from up there whilst soft dharma music playing in the background. You can donate money and write a message for good luck or in the memory of a passed away beloved one on purchased items, and don't forget to take pictures of this panoramic view, it's definitely a sight to behold. You can also chill out after the tour at the Nakkerd sea view restaurant to dine as you enjoy the view.
4. Visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
For all you animal lovers and animal rights activists! You will love the amazing work they do to rehabilitate gibbons that were captivated for performing or as pets and prepare them for their natural habitat, you will learn all about the gibbons and their history, the project contains more than 60 gibbons but keep in mind as it is not a petting zoo, such a great project to support.
5. Cooking classes
What is a better way to get to know a culture than delving into their culinary roots, gain a new taste pallet and take it home with you? Learning a Thai recipe to cook in your own home will always bring back memories of the best times you have had here on the island, you can do all that at Phuket Thai Cooking Academy, this class will take you on an informative local market tour and then you get to learn how to cook authentic and traditional Thai dishes and eat some delicious Thai food.
6. Scuba & Snorkeling
Phuket is known for being a Scuba paradise and has Underwater fun for everyone! It's always a pleasant time getting to know the sea and the underwater life, which will open up your eyes to a whole new world full of wonderful sea creatures and search in the depths for hidden wonders that you may find.
7. Nightlife Stroll of Bangla Road
The place where anything can happen after dark. Get ready for a helluva ride and expect the unexpected in this place for nocturnal animals and whimsical characters, have some nightlife fun as street performances decorate the street and loud music playing in the background, love it or not you will have a vibrant wild experience just by strolling around in the street; but beware of people trying to sell you things.
8. Simon Cabaret
All the sass, glitz, and glamour of this show will surely have an energizing impact on the witnessing audience, a real theatrical extravaganza. One of the best musical shows in Phuket that is full of colorful costumes and big numbers of fun whimsical performances. You would be surprised that every girl on stage is actually a man, it’s a highlight of Phuket since 1991, it’s a show that everyone from all cultures can attend and it’s also kid-friendly. After the show, you can pose with the entertainers for pictures but for a fee, get ready to raise some eyebrows and laugh some more with this highly acclaimed entertainment spectacle.
9. Thai Boxing Shows
Why not make your vacation more action-packed? Regular matches take place at Saphan Hin Stadium in Phuket Town or Patong Boxing Stadium, one of the most respected martial arts that have gained huge popularity in the last decade. Muay Thai boxing shows are electrifyingly violent in the best way, imagine yourself in the crowd rooting for your favorite fighter to win while enjoying a snack, this is an experience of undying energy the crowd will never stop cheering as most of them is really passionate about the sport, there is no doubt seeing this will pump energy into your system.
10. Relax at Patong Beach
The combination of sea, sand, and clear blue water will sure add a romantic twist to your vacation, it's one of the main touristic places on the island with lots of activities to do from water sports like parasailing, jet skiing and cable skiing to the (World Bungy Jump), the highest bungee jump in the south of Thailand for all the daredevils out there, it is a surf haven where you can learn surfing through Surf House Patong which teaches surfing in a safe and controlled environment and has an array of arenas that has cheat waves as if they are real ocean waves. Also, there’s a Go-Kart Speedway which is a really fun activity to try with some friends.
11. Phi Phi Islands Speed Boat Tour
Aboard a speedboat and enjoy a beautiful array of scenery around the mystical glowing Phi Phi Islands, don’t worry there will be an expert English-speaking professional guide who guides you through magnificent sites such as Maya Bay which is the most famous site, Viking Cave that has ancient paintings that shows the Vikings’ longships along with Monkey Beach and Bamboo Island, Phi Phi islands are a must-see on your trip to Phuket.
12. Baan Teelangka
One of the unique things to do in Phuket that is perfect for families and children, but there is a twist to it, the whole place is upside down so you can enjoy your day walking on the ceiling! After gaining this upside down perspective you can challenge your mind even further by checking out the garden maze, the last thing you can do is The Chamber of Secrets, it is an escape-room game where you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle in order to get out.
13. Monkey Hill (Toh Sae Hill)
The highest of the hills in Phuket Town filled with delightful monkeys that can sometimes be too comfortable with humans, the view from the top is breathtaking but keep in mind that the monkeys are known to snatch some snacks and things from people; so keep your belongings next to you, it’s a really fun experience to have that will compensate for the monkeys’ thievery.
14. Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
The magnificent 60-acre kingdom, this cultural theme park offers endless fun for everyone by showcasing all of Thailand’s heritage, right when you walk through the grand massive gates of the festival village which is known for shopping and you can have the best time at the Palace of the Elephants animal where Thailand meets Vegas! They offer one of the best shows that capture all Thailand’s majesty and culture that offers trapeze artists and spectacular pyrotechnics with elephants on the stage. It's a very amusing show with an engaging plotline and humor, it’s a great place where you can dine at the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant offering delicious culinary delights, you will never regret coming to this park of whacky wonders.
15. Spa Day
After a long series of activities and high energy packed trips and experiences you may need a time to chill and kick back for a day of complete and utter relaxation, you can get a relieving Thai massage which is influenced by Chinese and Indian healing arts or an aromatic hot stone massage that will melt your tension away, maybe you could try an Aromatherapy massage which uses essential oils obtained from plants and flowers. You can also enjoy a foot massage, well, they say that every organ in the body is connected to the foot, by focusing on certain pressure points. This is essential to continue on with your journey in great Thailand with a rejuvenated spirit.
16. Jungle Xtrem Adventures Park
A message to adrenaline junkies! You would want to visit this place; this park has a challenge course that will test your stamina to its limit. It requires a big effort to get through the obstacles on this course so you better do some stretches before starting, you will, of course, be harnessed as you mediate between the bridges, pathways, trees and all the other obstacles you may encounter, there is a safety net that is added for cautionary reasons, this should be a part of your itinerary for sure.
17. Central Festival Phuket
An accessible shopping destination that meets all your shopping needs. It has everything from clothing stores to electronics and bookstores; this place awaits your shopping frenzies, all the fashionistas will definitely love this place because it contains a variety of fashion that suits all styles preferences.
18. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
One of the must-do activities, as you will notice the Elephant is the national animal of Thailand and it is well cherished there, an ultimate tribute you could say, you can’t leave Thailand without encountering an elephant because that will be a shame, visiting an elephant sanctuary will be an exhilarating experience, yes it is one of the new attractions in Phuket as the approach towards animals has changed to become more animal-friendly than the cruel way they used to be treated. You will get to meet and feed the elephants, it is a great activity that will add delightful moments to your day and memories that you will never forget, who doesn’t want to see an elephant bath while posing for some pictures?, or even witness their cheerful spirits that will surely leave a mark on you, Phuket elephant Sanctuary also offers a week volunteering program including accommodation with three vegetarian meals per day which you will be able to help with preparing food and maintenance of buildings and you will even get to work with the elephants.
19. Phuket Aquarium
Phuket is placed on the shores of The Andaman Sea that is filled with riches of flora and fauna, Phuket Aquarium offers a large collection of fish and sea creatures, and also has an underwater tunnel that surrounds you, as a kaleidoscope of all types of fish you might also be very lucky to watch a fish attach its prey and devour it, it is a fantastic sight to see, the aquarium also has a pool that contains green sea turtles; did you know that the aquarium is also a piece of the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC)? it opens from 8:30 to 16:00 all seven days of the week.
20. Wat Chalong and Phuket Temples
A perfect place to end the list on. Wat Chalong is one of the most important and revered temples in Thailand and it is heavily visited by a large number of people, with its small pieces of glass that shines a holy reflecting light on the pagodas. Wat Chalong hosts country fairs on the holidays, and you can see wonderful Buddhist statues like Poh Than Jao Wat located in the old hall of the temple, you will find two statues one of them is an elderly grandpa named Ta Khee-lek who is a famous Thai that won a lot of lotteries after the blessing of the Poh Than Jao Wat statue. The temple has a grand pagoda which has been decorated with cultural paintings depicting Lord Buddha’s life story, as you can also see an exhibition home which is air-conditioned; this exhibition home belongs to Luang Poh Chuang, it is decorated with Thai antique furniture, and presents life-sized wax figures of Luang Poh Gleum, Luang Poh Chuang, Luang Pu Thuad, and Luang Poh Cham.
Wat Chalong is a sacred place with its own discretion. But don’t worry we have got you covered, let’s walk you through the do's and don’ts: You can't wear clothes that reveal shoulders, chest, belly or your legs, you will also be asked to take your shoes off when you enter certain buildings; so take a pair of shoes that you wouldn't mind losing in case anyone had mistaken their footwear for yours.
Also, it's best for you to emulate the Thais in the way that they behave in temples; for example, they never position themselves higher than any Buddha image or stand over them, the temple is a landmark of huge reverence and holy stance that you will notice once you enter its beautiful doors.
Hope you enjoyed the 20 Best Things to Do in Phuket!
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