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Top Things to Do when Visiting in Phuket Thailand

Updated on May 19, 2012
Amazing views in Phuket and my favorite Phuket picture
Amazing views in Phuket and my favorite Phuket picture | Source

I adore Phuket, the Thai paradise-like island where the most picturesque beaches meet the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, rainbow colored fishing boats line the coastlines, elephants walk along the side of the roads, the sun seems to endlessly shine and the locals are always smiling. There are plenty of things to do in Puket - outdoor activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and boating; more exotic attractions such as elephant rides and safaris; Sightseeing with lots of breathtaking viewpoints and pink and purple sunsets, visiting the Big Buddha statue atop a mountain that can be seen from many parts of the island, checking out Phuket town, or visiting the Buddhist temples. Hour-long full body massages for $5 - $10, and of course partying all night long in Patong. Or just basking in the sun, in the island commonly referred to as the “Pearl of the Andaman”.

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Kata BeachKata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata Beach | Source
Kata Beach
Kata Beach | Source
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Sunset at Promthep Cape
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Sunset at Promthep Cape
Sunset at Promthep Cape | Source

Beaches in Phuket

Phuket’s most popular beaches are on the central western coast, they are: Patong Beach, Karon Beach, and Kata Beach. Each beach offers something different. Patong Beach is the most popular beach of them all. It’s always packed with people basking in the sun during the day and partying hard at night. The nightlife is centered around Bangla Road which stretches along the beach and is full of restaurants, bars, GoGo bars, and clubs. Karon Beach is a bit less hectic than Patong and is more family and couples friendly. It’s just a 10-minute drive from Patong. My boyfriend and I stayed in Kata Beach, which is one of the most popular for families. We loved it for its quietness, spectacular palm-lined beach, and restaurants and bars that are all close to the beach.

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Filling up the gas tank in PhuketIn the back of a tuk tuk
Filling up the gas tank in Phuket
Filling up the gas tank in Phuket | Source
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In the back of a tuk tuk
In the back of a tuk tuk | Source

Getting Around Phuket

Tourists are usually warned about traffic on Phuket island and to be extra cautious if driving a motorcycle. My boyfriend and I disregarding the warning and still went ahead and rented a motorcycle on our second day in Phuket. We loved the experience so much that we continued renting until our last day. Motorcycles are the cheapest and most common way to get around in Phuket. We paid 250 Baht ($8) for a day rental. Helmet laws are strictly enforced in Thailand.

You can also get around on tuk tuks, song taews, get a car rental or catch a motorbike taxi. Tuk tuks can be seen all over the island. They are small, brightly-colored pick up trucks with covered benches as seats in the back. It’s important to negotiate prices before heading to your destination. Song taews are bus small buses that pick up and drop off passengers along routes. It’s important to know the route before getting on. Motorbike taxis are a cheaper and quick alternative for short trips since they quickly move around traffic.

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The Big Buddha, 150-feet high and one of the island's most revered landmarks located on top of the highest hillOn the streets of Phuket TownAwesome t-shirts sold on the streets along Katon Beach
The Big Buddha, 150-feet high and one of the island's most revered landmarks located on top of the highest hill
The Big Buddha, 150-feet high and one of the island's most revered landmarks located on top of the highest hill | Source
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On the streets of Phuket Town
On the streets of Phuket Town | Source
Awesome t-shirts sold on the streets along Katon Beach
Awesome t-shirts sold on the streets along Katon Beach | Source
Map of Phuket
Map of Phuket

Things To See in Phuket

Wondering what to do in Phuket besides baking in the sun and partying all night? You have tons of options! Below is a list of the top attractions.

  • Visit Big Buddha, a giant Buddha statue at the top of Nekkerd Hills offering panaromic views of Phuket, Chalong Bay, Patong Beach, Old Town, and the Andaman Sea. The statue itself is a 150-foot white marble structure that’s still under construction and has been completely funded from donations. We drove up to the Big Buddha on a motorcycle but initially missed the exit to take since the sign isn’t very clear.
  • Watch the gorgeous pink and purple sunset in Promthep Cape, the furthest south end of Phuket with amazing panoramic views.
  • Stop by beautiful Wat Chalong, the most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket.
  • Go into town, Phuket Town is a great mix of old and new. My boyfriend and I enjoyed driving around and enjoyed going to the night markets off Ranong Road.
  • Visit Islands Near Phuket. The most popular islands to visit are Koh Phi Phi (AKA Phi Phi Island), Phang Nga Bay, and Similian Islands. Read about my experience and about Phi Phi Islands.
  • Take part in Phuket's festivals and events such as the famous Vegetarian Festival which will be held in September 2012 for nine days. The celebration has Chinese roots and it is believed that those who stick to a strictly vegetarian diet during this time, will be bestowed with good luck and good health. Check out this calendar of events for 2012 for additional festivals and events going on in Phuket.

Weather in Phuket

Most travel guides recommend visiting Phuket between November and April since the monsoon rains come from May to October but Phuket’s climate is pretty moderate all year long. My boyfriend and I visited Phuket for over a week in June and the weather was just perfect with warm temperatures and clear skies. We did experience some setbacks though on our first attempt to Koh Phi Phi, when the high winds didn’t permit the boat to leave and we had to reschedule for another day. Bottom line, don't let monsoon season refer you from coming to Phuket!

Elephant Statues Around Phuket

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Beautiful Video About Phuket

Comments

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    • parentsreview profile image

      parentsreview 5 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      These are amazing pics. It looks like a great time!

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

      Ian D Hetri 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      woh! truly amazing. I wish I have been there. voted up.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow! What a stunningly beautiful pictorial of Phuket Thailand. Enjoyed this hub and voted up across the board except for funny.

    • Jhangora profile image

      Dinesh Mohan Raturi 5 years ago from Dehradun

      Beautiful Images! Would love to visit Phuket.

    • Product Review profile image

      Product Review 5 years ago

      Excellent hub and wonderful photos. Thank you.

    • mvaivata profile image

      mvaivata 5 years ago

      Someone asked me to write a blurb about Phuket and surrounding areas. I sort of fell in with it, and have been itching to go ever since. Thank you so much for this stunning, and exceedingly useful article!

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks so much parentsreview, Ian, Happyboomernurse, Jhangora, Product Review, and mvalvata for your comments! I'm delighted that you liked my hub :)

    • profile image

      Phuket101 5 years ago

      Nicely written story Chica, it's informative and always with a positive angle! I live in Phuket since 17 years and I'm still in love with the island! (have a look at http://phuket101.blogspot.com if you haven't yet )

    • willythuan profile image

      willythuan 5 years ago from Phuket, Thailand

      Nicely written story Chica, it's informative and always with a positive angle! I live in Phuket since 17 years and I'm still in love with the island! (have a look at http://phuket101.blogspot.com if you haven't yet )

    • TravelinAsia profile image

      TravelinAsia 5 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      Nice photos, nice write up on Phuket. I lived their for 10 years but have since moved to Chiang Mai.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      Stunning blue waters! Clean beaches!

      And you have all the details about what to do while visiting Phuket

      Thanks for SHARING:)

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks, thumbi7. Yes, the water is very clean and so are the beaches of Phuket. It's a very beautiful and relaxing travel destination.

      Willythuan and TravelinAsia, thanks for your nice comments. My boyfriend and I loved our trip to Phuket and hope to return sometime soon. We also want to venture more north, up to Chiang Mai since last time we just spent time in Phuket and Bangkok.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful pictures and great information. This is one country that is still on my bucket list. I found your hub very interesting.

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Thank you, Pamela! I'm happy to know that you enjoyed the hub. Thailand is really beautiful.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is an interesting and useful hub with great pictures for anyone visiting Phuket. I remember being in Phuket for 2-3 days over the 4th of July weekend in 2005. I stayed on Patong Beach for two nights and made a day trip to Phang-Nga Bay which was very interesting. I remember renting a fan-tail boat and stopping at James Bond Island. I drove down to Phuket from Bangkok by way of Ranong which is famous for its hotsprings. I have heard that a lot of people flying down to Phuket are really gouged by taxi drivers when travelling from the airport to Patong Beach. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning.

    • profile image

      Dawn Alice 3 years ago

      We are off to Phuket in July and appreciate the thumbs up and tips you have given.

      Thank you

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 3 years ago from New York, NY

      @Dawn Alice - Oooh I'm so excited for you to be going to Phuket and I must admit, a bit envious because the island is just perfect! Have a wonderful trip :)

    • profile image

      Dawn Alice 3 years ago

      We certainly will thanks :)

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