Phuket: Getting there & Things to do
Phuket is the biggest and most popular holiday island in Thailand. It's the number one island destination of the country. Long beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, the spectacular backdrop of huge limestone cliffs and the diversity make the island a tropical holiday paradise. It's a perfect destination for couples, families, honeymooners but also for people who like to party and enjoy Phuket's infamous nightlife.
How to get to Phuket
There are several ways to get to Phuket. Since Phuket has an international airport, you can fly directly to Phuket from many destinations worldwide. But there are also many domestic flights to Phuket from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani and some more. From the airport you can reach the rest of the island within maximum 1,5 hours. The most popular tourist destination Patong is around 1 hour away from the airport.
Another way to get to Phuket would be by bus or minivan. Since Phuket is connected to the mainland with a bridge, you don't need to take a ferry. From almost everywhere in southern Thailand there are bus connections to Phuket. Even there are buses from Bangkok to Phuket. Most buses will depart at the bus terminals of Phuket. From there you can easily book a connection to your vacation spot all around the island.
The next option would be going by boat. If you stay in Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta or one of the other nearby islands in the Gulf of Thailand like Koh Phangan, you can also book a boat ticket to Phuket. Mostly it's combined with a minivan transfer service to or from the pier. Also, there are connections from the islands in the Gulf of Thailand to Phuket, for example from Koh Samui to Phuket.
Things to do in Phuket
1. Big Buddha
The Buddha is the landmark of Phuket and definitely a must-see. Located on Nakkerd Hill in the south of Phuket, with a height of 45 meters and covered with white Burmese marble, it can be seen already from afar. The view from up there is really amazing: standing in front of the Buddha statue there is a view of Chalong, Chalong Bay, the Panwa Peninsula and part of Phuket Town. On good days, the view even extends to the Phi Phi Islands and on to Krabi.
2. Visit Phuket's beaches
On a tropical holiday island of course there must be beautiful beaches. And Phuket has many of them. The most popular beach is also the main tourist spot Patong Beach. This is the most crowded place on Phuket and you can find almost everything on the long beach: Beach chairs, beach vendors, many water sports opportunities but also beautiful sand, turquoise water and coconut trees. This beach is definitely a "love or hate it" thing so it's all up to you if you want to discover this place.
But around Patong you can find many more beaches that are significantly less packed. Visit Paradise Beach, Freedom Beach or Tri Trang Beach. Nearby there's even a tiny beach where you can swim with elephants. If you don't stay in Patong, there's also beaches in Kamala, Karon or Kata. Especially Kata Noi is a very beautiful beach that you should visit when in Phuket.
If you want to know a little secret tip, go to Laem Ka Beach. The beach is quite small and offers a nice view of the offshore islands. It's also a great opportunity for swimming. Here you can enjoy the atmosphere, the beach and the sea without any hustle and bustle. But not only Laem Ka is a nice beach as there are even many more on Phuket. If you decide to stay longer on the island, you will definitely discover more beautiful places.
3. Promthep Cape
This is another famous spot in Phuket. The Promthep Cape is the southernmost spot of the island and it offers a picturesque view of the Andaman Sea. Don't miss the sunset here but also know that it might get very crowded during this time. It's still worth it.
4. Enjoy some food at the Naka Weekend Market
Markets are an important part of daily life in Thailand. One of the best markets in Phuket is the Naka Weekend Market, located west of Phuket Town. It takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm. There are hundreds of stalls selling clothes, accessories, souvenirs and other stuff. What is definitely recommended is the food area. Here you will find a great choice of excellent and traditionally prepared Thai dishes.
5. Visit Phuket's temples
What would be a visit to Thailand without seeing at least one beautiful Buddhist temple? Of course you have to see the Big Buddha, but also make sure to visit the Wat Chalong temple. It's one of the most important temples of the island and a must-see for both western and Thai tourists. More beautiful temples of Phuket are Wat Khao Rang and Wat Srisoonthorn in and near Phuket Town.
Phuket is a very versatile island and of course there are plenty of breathtaking viewpoints! Apart from the Big Buddha, two very popular ones are the Karon Viewpoint (also called Kata Viewpoint) and the Promthep Cape (see also point 3). Another amazing viewpoint that is just a few minutes away from the Promthep Cape is the Windmill Viewpoint.
7. Have a night out in the infamous Bangla Road
Do you like to party? If so, then Phuket is the perfect place for you. Especially the Patong area is famous for its nightlife and there are plenty of bars, clubs and discos where you can turn night into day. The most famous street is definitely the Bangla Road which is also called the 'Sin City' of Phuket.
8. Do a day trip to the famous James Bond Island
The James Bond Island is one of the most popular photo motifs of the Thai Andaman Sea. The Roger Moore movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun' made this island world-famous. You can book a day trip to James Bond island almost everywhere in Phuket. Not only the James Bond island but the whole Pha-Nga Bay is very impressive and a great opportunity to witness the beauty of Thailand's nature.
9. Have some quiet days on Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi
Feels like Phuket is a little bit too busy for you? No problem! The 2 small paradise islands Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi are just a boat drive away. From there you could even move on to Krabi if you plan to do a round trip to Thailand's beautiful southern mainland.
10. Banzaan Fresh Market
This market is located behind the Jungceylon Shopping Complex on Banzaan Road in Patong. Fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are sold in the market hall early in the morning. In the evening there is even a small night market. The selection of fish and seafood on the ground floor is phenomenal. So this is definitely the place for you if you love fresh seafood.
11. Enjoy the turquoise water of Koh Bon
The tiny island of Koh Bon is only a 15-minutes boat drive away from Phuket, more exactly from Rawai in the south of the island. From there you can take a long-tail boat for around 1200 baht that will bring you to the paradise island and back. You can swim, snorkel and see some colorful fish, relax at the beach or eat something in the restaurant. A great day trip!
12. Take a walk around Phuket Town
The colorful houses of Phuket Town are really charming and a great photo motif. The Old Town of Phuket is a perfect day trip, if you get tired of all the beaches of Phuket.
Book tickets to Phuket
You can easily book bus or boat tickets to Phuket online but also buy them directly at numerous travel agencies in the tourist areas in Bangkok and the south of Thailand. Book cheap tickets to Phuket here. If you want to know about departure and arrival times of the major tour providers like Lomprayah, Seatran and Songserm, kindly check our time table.
Popular routes from Phuket
Photos: Home is where your Bag is