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Things to see and do


  • What is the situation on Phuket's beaches?
    4.5 stars

    In June 2014, the unusual sight of army troops patrolling the sands of Phuket marked the launch of the newly-installed military government’s effort to clear up its beaches of illegal encroachment and profiteering. Now, 10 months on and nearing the end of ... read more

  • Driving Phuket's west coast
    3.5 stars

    Though its roads are getting busier, Phuket’s west coast yields some awesome sights. Are you up for some craggy cliffs, green hills and wide ocean vistas, with white-sand beaches to rest at along the way? ... read more

  • Phuket's best family beaches
    3.5 stars

    As Thailand’s largest island, Phuket has several sandy beaches that kids bearing buckets and spades will love to visit, but some are better than others. Our ideal family beach has shallow waters and shade, child-friendly activities and easy access to food ... read more

  • A trio of tiny Phuket beaches
    3.5 stars

    Phuket is known for having kilometres-long beaches along its west coast, but sprinkled in between the main beaches are some wee stretches of sand that offer some scenic alternatives. Three of Phuket’s cosiest little beaches are Laemka, Ao Sane and Ya Nui ... read more

  • Phuket's secret beaches
    3.5 stars

    If you find yourself in Thailand's tourist hub Phuket, we'd recommend a visit to Patong beach ... if we hated you. Every year squillions of tourists descend on the once glorious two-kilometre sandy expanse, and it shows: the beach is dirty, touts are rele ... read more

  • Banana Beach, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    With millions of visitors arriving to Phuket for sun-drenched holidays each year it’s safe to say that there are no hidden beaches left on the island, but Banana Beach comes close. Found on a tiny bay and reached only by longtail boat or a jungle path, Ba ... read more

  • Ao Chalong, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Ao Chalong is a bustling harbour on Phuket’s southeast coast and one of the island’s main launching points for dive and snorkel trips. Chalong means “celebrate” in Thai, but unlike Patong Beach, its hedonistic west-coast cousin, it’s far from being a part ... read more

  • Coral Island
    3.5 stars

    Coral Island is an easy 15-minute boat trip away from Phuket’s southeastern coast. Though Coral’s main beach gets busy with day-trippers, if you plan it right it’s possible to enjoy the island in the idyllic glory promised on the postcards. ... read more

  • Ao Yon, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Those in search of a more rustic beach scene on Phuket need look no further than Ao Yon, a small bay on Phuket’s east coast set between Ao Chalong and Ao Makham on Cape Panwa. ... read more

  • Standup paddling (SUP) in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Standup paddling (SUP) has become a popular water sport around the world, and Phuket is no exception. Here’s where you can try it out. ... read more


  • Viewpoints in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Phuket is a hilly island with several spots offering panoramic views over beaches and out across the Andaman Sea. More adventurous travellers may try to hike and hack their way up to the top of Phuket’s hills through the jungle, but several lookout points ... read more

  • Big Buddha, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    The 45-metre-tall Big Buddha sits on the highest peak of the Nakkerd Hills in Ao Chalong, making this not only a great cultural activity but also a breezy break from the heat with stunning 360-degree views of southern Phuket. Construction began in the early 2000s and the sight has quickly ... read more

Natural attractions

  • Best spots to watch the sunset in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    With a string of sandy beaches lining its west coast and several panoramic viewpoints, finding a good spot to watch the sunset in Phuket is easy. But here are some of our favourite places around the island to sit back and watch the day wind down. ... read more

  • Rang Hill, Phuket Town
    3.5 stars

    If you’re looking for a leafy-green alternative to the beach, Rang Hill in Phuket Town offers a pleasant place to cool down in the shade of its pavilions and stately trees. ... read more

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

  • Phuket Town walking tour
    4 stars

    Take this self-guided walking tour around Phuket Town's Old Town to enjoy intricate Chinese shrines, steaming bowls of noodles and candy-coloured shophouses dripping with red lanterns. Intricate Chinese shrines, steaming bowls of noodles, candy-coloured shophouses dripping with red lanterns. The ... read more

  • Phuket heritage walk: Car parts to saris
    3.5 stars

    Pick up any guidebook, leaf to the Phuket Town section and I guarantee you’ll see the words “Sino-Portuguese architecture” ... read more

Boat trips

  • Ao Chalong Yacht Club
    3.5 stars

    The Ao Chalong Yacht Club, set at the edge of Ao Chalong along Phuket’s southeast coast, is a great spot to learn the ropes of sailing, enjoy some waterfront dining and mingle with some of the region’s most skilled and salty sailors. ... read more

Day trips

  • Wakeboarding and flowboarding in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Most water sports activities in Phuket are played on the sea but a few choices inland offer plenty of wet and wild action as well. The island is home to two wakeboarding centres and a flowboarding venue. ... read more

  • Swimming pools in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Sure, the best place to cool down in Phuket is in the Andaman Sea surrounding the island, but those looking to take a dip in a swimming pool have plenty of options, too. Many resorts around Phuket will let outside guests use their pool for a fee, or even ... read more

  • Picnic spots
    3.5 stars

    Phuket has a good choice of restaurants, but for those looking to organise their own meal the island has several scenic spots to enjoy a picnic. ... read more

  • Phuket for kids
    3.5 stars

    With dozens of beaches, a wide choice of hotels and a good mix of cultural and natural attractions, Phuket is one of the most child-friendly places to travel in Thailand ... read more


  • Wat Chalong
    3.5 stars

    Wat Chalong is the most revered and the most ornate of the Buddhist temples on Phuket and as such remember to dress appropriately. The large golden temple is on the highway near Ao Chalong and, as it's part of the Phuket City tour, you won't have to worry about being the only clueless tourists ... read more


  • Thavorn Museum
    3.5 stars

    The Old Town historical district of Phuket Town is home to a number of strange little nooks and crannies to explore, none stranger perhaps than the Thavorn Museum in the Thavorn Heritage Hotel on Rassada Road ... read more

  • Phuket Mining Museum
    3.5 stars

    Phuket’s fortunes are now made in tourism but in the past it was home to a thriving tin mining industry. The Phuket Mining Museum, found in a rather remote area of Kathu district, tells the story of the island’s tin-powered history ... read more

  • Thalang National Museum
    3.5 stars

    Though it’s a small and humble attraction, the Thalang National Museum reveals a side of Phuket that’s unknown to most visitors coming here for their sun-drenched tropical holiday. ... read more

  • Phuket museums and historic sights
    3.5 stars

    Though Phuket’s museums may lack the flash and interactivity of museums found in larger cultural centres, with entry fees at 30 to 200 baht, they’re a cheap and cheerful way to learn more about the island beyond its beaches and bars. You're coming to Phuket for its beaches, right? Most visitors ... read more

  • Thai Hua Museum
    3.5 stars

    The Thai Hua Museum chronicles the journey of Chinese migrants to Phuket during the 1800s tin-mining era and their subsequent influence on the region’s culture and commerce. Housed in a former Chinese school built in 1934, the museum's exhibitions are a mix of old photographs, illustrations and ... read more


  • Tonsai waterfall
    3.5 stars

    Like all other parks in Phuket, Tonsai waterfall would benefit from having its facilities fixed up, but overall it makes for a fun and informative afternoon out, especially for kids. Tonsai waterfall is a modest sized cascade found in the thick jungle setting of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in ... read more

  • Bang Pae Waterfall
    3.5 stars

    Found in the more sparsely populated northeastern interior of Phuket, Bang Pae waterfall is among the more tranquil sights of the island. A cool alternative to the beach, this 16-metre cascade sits within Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, a protected virgin ... read more

  • Kathu Waterfall
    2.5 stars

    Kathu waterfall is more of a trickle than a flow, but if you’re exploring the interior of Phuket its quiet jungly setting makes it worth a stop. Found at the base of one of Phuket’s highest hills in Kathu district, about halfway between Patong beach and Phuket Town, Kathu waterfall has a series ... read more

Public parks and zoos

  • Dino Park
    3.5 stars

    If you happen to be walking the streets of Phuket’s Kata beach in the evening, you might come across a surprising sight: a lava-spewing volcano surrounded by some fierce-looking prehistoric beasts ... read more

Interesting buildings

  • Baan Chinpracha
    3.5 stars

    Baan Chinpracha is a stately Sino-Colonial mansion at the edge of Phuket’s Old Town area, and the island’s only historical home we’re aware of where visitors are allowed a peek inside. ... read more


  • Sang Tham Shrine, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Sang Tham is a small Chinese Taoist shrine in Phuket Town that’s a microcosm of the transformation taking place in the town’s Old Town district. What was once an oft-missed sight hidden away down a narrow lane is now revealed in grand style with an ornate ... read more

Art galleries or venues

  • Phuket Art Village
    3.5 stars

    Phuket Art Village is a creative community tucked away down a small lane in Nai Harn at the southern end of Phuket. Home to a diverse and growing collection of home studios and galleries, the village was built from the ground up by the artists themselves. ... read more


  • Phuket Aquarium
    3.5 stars

    Stroller friendly, air-conditioned and rarely crowded, the modest Phuket Aquarium is a part of the government-run Phuket Marine Biological Centre on picturesque Cape Panwa. While not exactly up to world-class standards, the aquarium makes for a relaxing half-day jaunt — especially if you ... read more


  • Lard Yai Sunday Street Market
    3.5 stars

    Lard Yai Sunday Street Market is a great place to buy local souvenirs and sample delicious local cuisine while also enjoying Phuket's old architecture. For a chance to sample some cheap and tasty local Phuket food and soak up some Old Town charm, the Lard Yai Sunday Street Market is well worth a ... read more

General activities

  • Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
    3.5 stars

    104/3 Moo 3 Paklock, Thalang, Phuket (about 10km east of the Heroine’s Monument on Route 4027) ... read more

  • What to do when it rains on Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Phuket can be a wet place during the southwest monsoon from May through October. But as Thailand’s largest and most developed island, there are plenty of things to do and places to escape to on a rainy day when the beach is not an option. ... read more

  • Exploring Ko Siray, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Travellers looking to get away from the crowds of Phuket and see the island’s more traditional, peaceful side are well advised to head east. Off Phuket’s southeast coast lies Ko Siray, a small island with great hilltop views, scenic roads to explore and s ... read more

  • Ko Siray sea gypsy village
    3.5 stars

    Ko Siray on the east coast reveals a lesser-known, more humble side of the island. Just six kilometres from Phuket Town and a world away from the five-star resorts sits Phuket’s largest sea gypsy village. ... read more

  • Helping Phuket's children in need
    3.5 stars

    Well away from the sunset cocktail bars and five-star resorts of Phuket there are untold stories of families in struggle ... read more

  • Soi Dog Foundation
    3.5 stars

    Phuket, like most areas of Thailand, is home to many stray animals in need of care ... read more

  • Phuket by night
    3.5 stars

    When you’ve finished sunbathing and splashing about on the beaches of Phuket, you’ll likely want to shower off the sand and see what else the island has to offer after dark. A lot of what’s on offer is sleaze — though officials would deny this — but here’ ... read more

  • Things to do in and around Phuket Town
    3.5 stars

    Aside from the markets and viewpoint, there is little to "do" in Phuket Town itself, but it does make for a handy base for trips elsewhere. If you want to recreate the yummy cuisine of Thailand for your friends and family back home there's plenty of opportunities to learn how to fry pad Thai and ... read more

  • Other things to do on Rawai
    3.5 stars

    There are a handful of spots across Phuket offering truly spectacular views and the best-known is Promthep Cape near Rawai which is a stop for every tour bus on the island. On a clear day you can see all the way out across the blue waters of the Andaman to Ko Phi-Phi. This is also the best location ... read more

  • Surfing on Phuket
    3.5 stars

    For surfers, Kata Noi gets a fast right hander that comes in near the northern headland of the beach, while bigger Kata Yai gets what many regard as the best waves on Phuket. Phuket is not exactly a top surfing destination but the arrival of the southwest monsoon from May to October kicks up enough ... read more

  • Things to do on Patong
    3.5 stars

    Surfers are better off heading to Patong for a drink than a wave, as the waves here tend to close out. If you're desperate, try the northern cap of the beach, but you're really better off heading elsewhere on the island -- even if just to Kalim Bay, which is just north of Patong and has a shallow ... read more

  • Things to do in Kamala
    3.5 stars

    Snorkelling at Kamala is pretty much restricted to the reef -- expect to see a lot of smashed coral -- partly as a result of the 2004 tsunami, but also frequent boat traffic. As with elsewhere on Phuket, you're technically supposed to have a Second Class Helmsman's license to operate a jet ski but ... read more

  • Things to do in northern Phuket
    3.5 stars

    Phuket's northern reaches are home to a number of surfing options. From south to north; The highlight for surfers on Nai Yang is the offshore reef that gets a very good wave when it's working. The problem is it's a bloody long paddle out to it and if the surf's working boats can be a bit unwilling ... read more

Cooking classes

  • Organic Thai Cooking School
    3.5 stars

    Held at the home of Thai chef Khun Eng, this three-and-a-half hour class covers the preparation of three Thai dishes using organic ingredients. Phuket is home to several Thai cookery courses where you can learn the secrets behind those dreamy, creamy curries, spicy salads and tasty stir-fries. ... read more


  • Ceramic Kitchen
    4 stars

    Ceramic Kitchen serves up an impressive menu in an enchanted-garden setting and is also a showcase for colourful ceramics designed by a local family and crafted in the attached factory. Ceramic Kitchen in Phuket's central interior offers little in the way of views, but it serves up an impressive ... read more

Festivals and events

  • Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014
    3.5 stars

    The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a nine-day spectacle of parades, daring acts of self-mortification and avoidance of meat, all in the aim of purifying the body and mind, making merit and paying homage to the nine emperor gods of Chinese origin. ... read more

  • Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket
    3.5 stars

    For the Hokkien Chinese community of Phuket, ghostly ancestors are as much a part of a family’s daily life as its living relatives. ... read more

  • Phuket Pride
    3.5 stars

    With the Songkran New Year celebrated nationwide, April is a festive month in Thailand, Phuket included. ... read more

  • Chinese New Year in Phuket
    3.5 stars

    With red lanterns adorning the streets and truckloads of firecrackers at the ready, Phuket is poised to ring in the Year of the Snake with plenty of colour and panache. ... read more


  • Phuket Diving Guide
    3.5 stars

    Phuket is the main hub for diving in the Andaman Sea, with dozens of dive shops offering day and live-aboard trips around the region ... read more

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