Phuket in Thailand has emerged on the world map as a popular tropical beach destination ever since Leonardo Dicaprio’s famous movie ‘The Beach‘released. The largest among the islands in Thailand, Phuket whisks you away into a tropical paradise. Add to it gorgeous forests, limestone karts, an amazing array of the food scene, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. You get the perfect destination in Thailand for all genre of travellers. If you are visiting Phuket for the first time and have no idea about what to do in Phuket, read on to get a summary of what this Asian destination has to offer you for your vacation.
Top things to do in Phuket
Soak up the tropical sun at popular Phuket beaches
The beaches are the obvious reason why anyone would visit Phuket in the first place. The emerald green waters lapping up sandy shorelines fringed by coconut palms and lush rainforests under the bright tropical blue sky feels serenely splendid to experience. If you are travelling along with family, head to Bangtao beach, Kamala Beach and Karon Beach which has beautiful coastlines. Tropical waters perfect for a refreshing swim or exciting watersports activities. If you are on a romantic getaway, sweep your beloved off her feet at enchanting beaches such as Pansea Beach, Laem Ka Beach, Ao Yan Beach and Nai Thon Beach are perfect for arm in arm sunset stroll and candlelit beachfront dinner.
Enjoy a blissful day at Phang Nga Bay.
One of the most gorgeous attractions to visit in Phuket is Phang Nga Bay – a paradisiacal attraction that lies in the Strait of Malacca. Phang Nga Bay has been a preferred choice of many film makers and even has a spot in the bay named as James Bond Island. Spend a day here getting a beautiful tan under the tropical sun while admiring the sheer splendor of nature’s creativeness at this picturesque Bay. Go on a long boat ride on the tranquil emerald waters and marvel at the colossal assortment of forest-covered limestone karsts that seem to float on the surface of the sea.
Witness the vivacious nightlife of Phuket.
Phuket is a happening Asian destination for dizzying nightlife. As the sun goes down, the ambiance turns into a happening hot spot for party lovers. Of all the beaches famous for nightlife parties in Phuket, Patong and Karon beach is the perfect place to visit to experience the vibrant vibes and jazzy crowded nightlife scene of Phuket. The beach areas have some amazing assortments of sundowner spots, nightclubs, discos and lounge areas. Check out La Versace, Boat House, and 360 Degrees if you want to just relax amid outstanding sunset views in soothing ambiances. For party lovers, the life begins after sunset in Phuket at Go Go Bars, Cabaret and Night shows and DJ pubs. The night gets charged up and the loud music gets you grooving till you drop.
Wander around Phuket Old Town.
A charming historic town center and a prominent Phuket tourist attraction. A stroll through the city lets you visit beautiful Chinese and Buddhist shrines, brightly hued rows of Sino-Portuguese houses and charming shop houses.
Gear up for some adventure sports.
If you are an adventure junkie, you would absolutely love Phuket. This fascinating Thai island is surrounded with brilliant aquamarine waters that are ideal for water adventures. The beach shores are diverse in topography that lets visitors enjoy adventure activities on land as well. Similan Island’s exotic underwater world and clear waters have caught the interest of scuba divers from around the world. This gorgeous island is considered as one of the best dive zones in the world due to its rich aquatic life and coral reef. If you are looking for gentle yet exciting watersports, then enjoy sea kayaking, jet skis, stand up paddling, surfing, kite surfing and much more at Patong Beach and Rawai beach.
Visit Wat Chalong and Big Buddha.
Take an excursion to Chalong Bay to view Wat Chalong and Big Buddha – two of the most popular Phuket sightseeing to visit on a Thailand trip. Wat Chalong is one of the significant Thai temples in Phuket visited by the locals to offer prayers. Built in the 19th century, it has ornate designs and murals illustrating the life of Buddha. It is dominated by a grand pagoda. The Big Buddha is a magnificent 45-meter tall statue of Buddha set at one of the most scenic viewpoints of Phuket – on top of Nakkerd Hills. After you visit this beautiful shrine, spend some time in tranquility viewing the picturesque seascapes and surroundings of Phuket.
Go shopping and dining at Phuket Weekend and Night Markets.
Phuket is a shopaholic’s paradise and you would get hoards of merchandises at really cheap prices. While shopping malls will cater to you at discount prices, a really reasonable way to shop for accessories, souvenirs and apparels are in street markets. Weekend and Night Markets pop up all over Phuket’s side street where you can buy all sorts of things and authentic Thai merchandises such as handmade wooden articles, batik prints, paper umbrellas, paintings at bargained rates.
Explore the street food scene while you are here.
The Thai street food is something you simply can’t ignore. The vibes, aroma, and flavours make it an irresistible experience for visitors. Being a popular global destination, the food scene is quite diverse and unique. You can get an amazing variety of restaurants and fine dining places. But the street food experience in Phuket is one of the ideal ways to explore the food scene at reasonable costs. Moreover, there are certain Thai delicacies that you shouldn’t miss relishing on your Thailand tour. Indulge in lip-smacking satays, Pad Thai, sticky rice dishes, papaya salads, spicy noodle soups at bustling streets lined with food stalls such as Lock Tien Food Court and Weekend and Night Markets. If you are looking for Thai vegetarian cuisine, then head to Jiya Chai near Jui Tui shrine, along Ranong Road. Skip your breakfast and enjoy an early morning tour of these food markets. So that you get to enjoy freshly made food amid fewer crowds.
Essential tips for first-time visitors to Phuket:
- The best time to visit Phuket is from November to April. It is also an ideal time for water adventures as the tides are less rough during these months. However, it is best to check on the weather and tides on the day you are going to gear up for sea adventures.
- As with any travel plan, it is essential to be alert and take care of belongings. All important documents and passports should be kept properly and safely. Carry a map and a Phuket travel guide with you. So you can make use of it in case you get confused about directions or things to do in Phuket. Always travel with valid travel insurance so that you can enjoy a worry-free holiday.
- Try to do what the locals do. At places like Wats and holy shrines, it is necessary to oblige to dress codes such as covering shoulders and knees. Footwear is not allowed inside the temples. If at any point you feel undecided as to how to behave in a shrine, watch the locals and imitate their way of behavior. Inside a holy shrine, respect the ambiance and talk in hushed tones. Do not touch a Buddhist monk, statues or any relics.
- Respect the Thai culture. Thai locals take offense if you touch their head or point at them or their foot. Also, do not disrespect the royal family and the monarchy.
- Always be alert and trust your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, be it in a local taxi or at a beach party, leave the spot immediately. Avoid sauntering on the beaches and lonely alleys alone. Make sure you have all the emergency contacts with you in the area you are visiting in Phuket. It can come in handy if any unpleasant situation arises.
Well, now that you know what to expect on your first trip to Phuket. Go ahead and chalk out a Phuket holiday package that will earn a place in your memory for a lifetime.
One thought to “Top things to do in Phuket for first-time visitors”
I love how compact yet thorough your post is, and all its amazing pictures. I have never visited Phuket but hope to do so soon 🙂