While Phuket can take a large chunk of the hype from the islands due to its large touristic allure; that doesn't mean it should be the main and only focal point of your vacation, there are so many amazing places to visit around the island and the gorgeous Andaman sea, and each has its own unique reputation, you will get to add variety and excitement to have a full round trip that you will never forget.
We will walk you through The Best Places to Visit Near Phuket!
UNESCO Global Geopark (in Langkawi)
The park started its existence on May 31, 2006, it is a revered geological heritage site with a collection of nature’s treasury, it is an educational experience for everyone as you will see all of the geological miracles that are being represented in a healthy and cool way, this park demonstrates the need for us to protect our beloved earth and cherish our own mother nature.
Phang Nga Elephant Park
A must visit, the Elephant is the national symbol of Thailand, you can’t leave Thailand without encountering an elephant because that will be a shame, visiting an elephant park will be an experience like no other, as the approach towards animals has changed to become more animal-friendly and more kind 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, Phang Nga Elephant Park always strives to improve their animals’ welfare.
Wat Suwan Kuha (Cave Temple)
Wat Suwan Kuha also known as the Cave Temple, is a temple near Phang Nga town, the temple is called the Cave Temple because it is built inside a complex of numerous caves and has a lot of statues including the 15-meter long statue of Buddha which is also the biggest statue there, at the entrance of the cave you will find a lot of stalls to purchase food to feed the monkeys which can be seen frequently there, but look out for your things! As these monkeys are not shy from taking what doesn’t belong to them. The entrance to the cave costs about 20 baht (which is the currency in Thailand), there is a lot of stairs leading to different caves; one of the caves leads to a tiny forest that has benches so you can relax, there is lighting inside the caves with the help of the light from the openings of the cave which gives off a mystical vibe, the biggest cave there is called Tham Yai which is located at the lower level and has a great memorial, a tribute to one of the most important men in the region, the temple is a very touristic location so don’t be surprised by the crowds! It is highly recommended.
A stunning beautiful bay surrounded by 100-meter cliffs, there are a lot of small beaches inside the bay, the main beach is 200-meter long with golden smooth sand and exotic coral fish and graciously clear water, Maya Bay has become one of the main touristic attractions since it appeared prominently in the movie “The Beach”, you could say the bay was an important character in the film which was filmed there in 1999.
North of Maya Baya offers two great diving sites, the first one is to the north of the bay where you can see black tip reef sharks in the shallow water and leopard sharks found sometimes a bit deeper than reef sharks, the second diving spot is on the south of the bay; along its reef you will find some swim-through and small tunnels on the formation of the rocks although a lot of people seek this diving spot to dive with the hawksbill turtles that can be frequently seen on dives like these along the reef.
Sama Bay (Loh Sama)
Located south of the island, a snorkeling paradise as you may say, it's perfect for discovering tropical fish and coral plants, anchor of the boats is in the water so shallow that you can snorkel and feed the fish, also, it is well known for scuba diving spots, and because of the light reflecting from hundreds of crustaceans in the water you can dive at night. Sama Bay is separated from Maya Bay by a stone cliff that has a small piercing allowing the passage at low tide.
Samet Nangsh Viewpoint
You can find it on the top of the hill and it’s just 30-minutes away by car from Phuket, a stunningly riveting viewpoint from which you can enjoy the best view of the islets of Phang Nga Bay. And you can also see the Milky Way from up there sometimes too, being far away from all the pollution; it is a great place to enjoy the privacy of it’s clear and welcoming atmosphere when you watch the blazing sun shining as it rises above, preceding this miraculous sight is the Milky Way clearly visible from this amazing panorama, don’t forget to bring a camera and take some pictures of these sights, not that you need one cause this panoramic image will be stuck in your head for the longest time.
Home to 25,000 people, small but has a tranquilizing atmosphere despite being a huge touristic capital. Krabi is a place of many different attractions like the “Krabi Emerald Pool”: located in Thung Teao Forest Natural Park which is a rainforest that you can have a nature trek in and spot the most exotic and rare animals you could find along with its colorful flora and fauna, one of the main locations in the park is the Emerald Pool, it will take you 800 meters through the forest pathway to reach the pool and don’t forget to bring mosquito repellent along the pathway, but once you get to the emerald green clear sparkling water it is way worth it! The pool is also installed with a ladder to help you in and out of the water. “Krabi Hot Springs”: is a different aquatic experience also in Thung Teao Forest Natural Park as this one has healing powers beyond what you can imagine. A wild natural Jacuzzi with mineral salts that will soothe your muscles and evaporate all your worries away.
Krabi Kart Speedway
The Krabi Kart Speedway is a fun and entertaining experience for friends and families as you will ride a Kart of your choice and then race on the course, the track’s lanes are in between and around the limestone cliffs, there is a two-story building that has a balcony overlooking the track for people who does not want to race and enjoy watching all the races take place, there is also Krabi Paintball Park just behind the Kart’s track where you can have some blasting color fun with everyone on a large battlefield that has realistic and specifically designed shelters to take your cover, it is a full entertainment complex that will definitely give you an adrenaline rush.
Peninsular Botanic Garden (Thung Khai)
Located in Trang province; the Thung Khai Botanical Garden is an adventure that must be experienced. The park is out of Trang town and can be reached by a motorbike or a tuk-tuk, the park has a huge collection of rare plants and trees each has its own botanical name in Thai and Latin, it includes herb gardens, greenhouses, and a treetop walk as it has passages and bridges in the canopy lowland jungle, canopy stations appear as a treehouse, they also have a lot of programs like Conservation Program, Medicinal Plant Program, Reintroduction Program, Ex Situ Conservation Program, and exotic collections of gardens. Admission is free of charge.
Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi Monument
Also found in Trang. This monument was built as a tribute to remember Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi, who was formerly the Trang governor, thanks to him Thailand’s biggest product to export was rubber as he introduced plantation of rubber trees which is a significant contribution to Thailand’s economy, he was also honored as one of the five most distinguished government officials in the administration.
Koh Nang Yuan Beach
Koh Nang Yuan Beach is on a small island called Koh Nang Yuan that is close to Koh Tao, the island is famous for its diving spots and the great snorkeling beach. A lot of visitors come for day trips on the island, you can also find on the middle of the island Nang Yuan Dive Resort which provides an amazing view of the clear and green water and gives you a private feeling as it is very small and can only be reached by foot, the activities that can be done are mostly watersports and relaxing, also, perfect for diving and snorkeling as it is filled with many great diving spots, you can also try climbing, canoeing, and kayaking which are frequently done by visitors.
Thale Noi Waterfowl Park
An early morning trip. The Thale Noi Waterfowl Park is a gorgeous place that has a beautiful lotus lake, we recommend going early in the morning because the lotuses close at about 10:30 am and the tour can be pretty hot basking under the sun, it is a great place for bird watching enthusiasts it has about 180 species of Waterfowl and indigenous birds the highest popularity of birds is throughout the months from June to September, don’t forget water buffaloes’ enthusiasts too as you will see water buffaloes crossing the waters. The blooming lotus lake will make a lovely day or a nice picnic to cool down from all the roaming and traveling around.
Shadow Play House of Suchat Sapsin
A masterpiece of artistry, the art of telling a story through shadow plays have been around for a long time especially in Asia, this play is a winner of the Thailand tourism award, it introduces you to an enticing and interesting storyline along with demonstrations of the culture and deep roots of the land, the house has been declared as the best cultural and historical site in 1996, the Shadow Play House also offer complete performances and demonstrates the shadow play making, it is an authentic an traditional representation of the shadow play master indeed.
Surat Thani Province
Previously referred to as the Srivijaya empire. Surat Thani is known in Thai as “The City of Good People”, it is full of wonderful temples like Wat Sila Ngu Temple, which is a fantastic golden temple in Koh Samui and a popular touristic location with beautiful Wat décor, and just by entering its gates it exposes you to the Buddhists’ culture and traditions, the temple’s location is amazing and serene and will leave you feeling so delighted, also in the province there is the Bamboo Park ( Mae Nam) which is an amazing collection of things; it mixes live music with dancing and it even has a massage place, it has everything you could ask for in one destination, add to that the well prepared and delicious food you will get to enjoy in this lovely complex named Bamboo Park.
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