When it comes to the beautiful island of Phuket, there are countless of things to do, numerous beaches to pick from and nightly sunsets to catch. We stayed in Phuket for 4 nights at the Novotel Kata Avista Resort and loved every second of it. If I had the chance I would go back to Phuket in a heartbeat and we really hope to go back in the future. The island is truly beautiful, the locals are very kind and because it is so large there is so much to discover. Whatever you choose to do while on the island you can’t go wrong. Below are the 10 things that I found to be the most fun while exploring Phuket.
1. The Beach
So when you go to Phuket obviously you’re going to go to the beach, I know. But deciding which beach to go to can be a task since there are so many to choose from. Here’s the rundown; Patong is more of the party beach, very busy with tons of nightlife. Kata and Karon beaches (we loved both), are good for a more laid-back vacation, a quieter beach and a little nightlife. Surin and Kamala beaches are similar to Kata and Karon but are further north on the island above Patong and are good for those wanting to steer clear of the tourists that flock to Patong.
2. Rent a Motorbike
Hands down the cheapest and best way to get around. It’s around 200-300 baht per day to rent one. A total steal. They require a downpayment of a couple thousand baht and a photo copy of your passport in order to rent one so make sure to have that ready, your hotel can make you the passport photo copy. Once you’ve got your motorbike you’ve got a full 24 hours to explore. So take advantage of it and have fun.
3. Go on an Excursion
There are so many excursions to choose from in Phuket, it’s great. The most popular are excursions to Phang Nga Bay to see “James Bond Island” and excursions to the Phi Phi Islands. If you are planning on staying in the Phi Phi islands while during your stay in Thailand, the Phang Nga Bay excursion is the way to go. That way you can do an excursion in Phi Phi when you get there. But either way, an excursion is a must. Snorkeling, kayaking, beach hopping, enjoy it and take it all in.
4. Get a Massage
Seriously you get the best massages in Thailand and they are so much cheaper than the ones here in America. While we were in Phuket we got Thai massages and they were so great. A lot of hotels have spas and if not there are plenty of massage parlors along the street to choose from. And especially if you have a lot of activities planned out, it’s nice to have some downtime and treat yourself to a massage.
5. Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is a temple on the southeast part of the island, just south of Phuket Town. It is one of the more popular wats on the island and rightfully so. The Grand Pagoda part of the temple is beautiful. Wat Chalong is open from 7am – 5pm and welcomes many visitors daily. Be sure to wear appropriate attire, as the dress code at the temples is strict.
6. Phang Nga Elephant Park
So this isn’t exactly in Phuket, but the driver will pick you up from anywhere on the island so it totally counts. You can read about our experience at Phang Nga Elephant Park here. I came across the park while looking for elephant encounters and I’m so happy we found this place! Hands down one of my favorite things we did during our two weeks in Thailand. You can do a half day experience or full day, whichever you do it will without a doubt be amazing.
7. Watch the Sunset
Catching the sunset on Phuket is a must. You can get some of the most amazing views from both Karon Viewpoint and After Beach Bar. Both spots are fairly popular at sunset. Another great spot on the very far southeast corner of the island is Baba Nest at the Sri Panwa Resort. The food is a little pricier than you find at most places on the island, but the view is breathtaking and SO worth it.
8. Phuket Town
It’s hard to peel yourself away from the beautiful beaches in Phuket, but if you can seem to do so, head over to Phuket Town. The historic streets, delicious food and busy nightlife are worth the visit. Easily accessible by motorbike, it’s a great spot to spend the day market shopping and dining at local restaurants.
9. Thai Food
You guys know I can never do one of these lists without mentioning the food. And as a new found lover of Thai food, I’m telling you, you have to eat all of the Thai food you can get your hands on. Some of the best spots to get Thai food on the island are (in no particular order), Ka Jok See, Mom Tri’s Kitchen, Blue Elephant and Pan Yaah Restaurant. There are so many more places to try and some really great restaurants in Phuket so get out there and explore!
10. Big Buddha
On the very last morning of our stay, we woke early and took our motorbike up to the Big Buddha. Honestly it was one of my favorite things that we did during our stay in Phuket. If you go early enough, chances are you will be one of the few people on the winding road up to see the Big Buddha. The views on the ride up as well as the ride down are almost as amazing as the views from the top. There is a dress code here as well, but it seemed a bit more relaxed than other temples and places of worship that we visited. Enjoy the ride and take in the stunning views of Phuket.