Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and, surrounded by smaller islands, is located in the picturesque Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is about 860 kilometers away. Phuket offers tourists on 540 m ² a colorful variety of activities, excursions and tours, whether on land or by sea, during the day or at night.
Phuket by day – is guaranteed to not experience boredom
Active holidaymakers get their money’s worth on their phuket visit. The island is not one of the crowd pullers in Thailand for nothing. Phuket captivates its visitors with excursions to remarkable sights such as the temple Wat Chalong or the huge Buddha statue “Big Buddha.” However, the stunning neighbouring islands do not need to hide behind the Ko Phuket. Quite the opposite-every single one is worth a trip and offers an unforgettable adventure.
Crystal clear sea and beaches-Tours to the neighbouring islands
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Phuket for a while, it’s best to visit one of the many, smaller and larger islands around it. Guided tours usually start directly at the hotel. Booking in advance is absolutely recommended. When you arrive at the destination of the excursion, you can relax and enjoy the crystal blue sea and stroll undisturbed along the enchanting beach.
Note: Although many of the neighbouring islands are surrounded by enchanting sandy beaches, not all can offer this luxury. It is best to inquire about the island’s vegetation before an island tour, so do not experience any nasty surprise.
Recommended island tours are served by Koh Lon, Koh Bon, Koh Racha, and Koh Hae, better known as Coral Island. The Phi Islands, located between Phuket, Krabi and Kho Lanta and part of the province of Krabi, also offers an unforgettable experience.
Kho Lon is located about 15 minutes away in the south of Phuket and can be easily reached by longtail boat. In combination with a trip on Kho Lon, it is also worth a trip to the neighbouring island Koh Bon , accessible from Phuket at the same time. Both islands are perfect for holidaymakers who become easily sea-sick because of the short crossing or for families with smaller children who can quickly get bored of crossing to a more distant island.
Tip: When you take a trip to the neighbouring islands, think of plenty of drinking water. Many islands are sparsely populated and the possibilities to get to fresh drinking water are limited.
Koh Lon is a very mountainous island, but it can score points with narrow, little visited beach strips. The beach is a bit rocky in some places, so it is advisable to have sturdy shoes in your luggage. The ultimate beach adventure is sought in vain on Koh Lon, but Phuket’s neighbouring island enchants with pure peace and relaxation. But don’t worry, a real sandy beach is already waiting for Koh Bon on arrival. The small island is uninhabited, but still spoils its visitors with culinary delights in the island restaurant. If you still like it a bit more active, you will get your money’s worth when snorkelling or diving on Koh Bon. But here it is important to remember to borrow snorkeling equipment before the trip to Phuket. There is no way to do this either on Koh Lon or Koh Bon.
Koh Racha shares in the larger island of Koh Racha Yai and the smaller Kho Racha Noi. The archipelago delights with its breathtaking underwater world and dreamlike sandy beaches on Kho Racha Yai. Beautiful bays invite you to swim or snorkel. Between the island of Koh Racha and Phuket, 20 kilometres away, a passenger ferry commutes alongside longtail boats and speedboats. The speedboat crossing takes about 40 minutes. Translating with a longtail boat not only takes more time, but can be more uncomfortable and even more dangerous, depending on the weather conditions. More insensitive to weather influences, on the other hand, is the passenger ferry that connects Phuket and Koh Racha and goes back and forth several times a day.
As the name suggests, the island of Koh Hae or Coral Island , about 30 kilometers from Phuket, offers an insight into the fascinating marine world of the Indian Ocean. Both islands also connect either ferry, longtail or speedboat. On a trip to Coral Island, you can simply make yourself comfortable in a deck chair and let your soul dangle to sea sounds. The boats and ships dock directly on the main beach “Banana Beach,” where you can spend wonderful hours swimming in the crystal clear water. There is also a snorkeling or scuba dive. The equipment can be borroded directly on the beach. If you would like to extend your stay on Coral Island, you are in luck, because it is possible to stay overnight on the island.
Phi Phi Islands is an archipelago of 6 islands belonging to the neighboring province of Krabi. The only inhabited island is the main island Phi Phi Don, where the tourist accommodation is also located. Phi Phi Island is best known from the film “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The Hollywood strip was shot mainly at the real beach of Phi Phi Le, also known as Maya Bay. Above all, the solitude of the bay attracts dropouts of all kinds in the film, but in reality it looks very different. Maya Bay, like the whole archipelago, is now a tourist hotspot and many excursions are heading for the popular destination. This also affects the fragile ecosystem and beautiful coral reefs. The Thai government is responding with bans and a planned closure of Maya Bay.
Warning: The ecosystem around Phuket and its neighbouring islands is very fragile. The beaches and coral reefs in particular are suffering from the ever-increasing flow of tourists. Each individual can play his part in protecting and has a responsibility.
The various travel options to the neighbouring islands all offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The ferries connecting Phuket to the larger and popular islands such as Coral Island and Koh Racha are more robust against the weather and stronger swell. However, with fixed arrival and departure times, the island excursion is limited time. Long-tailed boats and speedboats can become a kind of adventure trip, especially during longer crossings. While they provide greater time flexibility, as drivers in most cases wait until the return journey on the island, they can become dangerous, especially if there is a high swell.
What to see around Phuket – excursions from religious meeting places to breathtaking landscapes
Phuket itself invites you to take extensive sightseeing tours. The majority of Thais are followers of Buddhism. The beautiful temples, 29 alone on Ko Phuket, and statues are definitely a “must see” on an excursion. The Wat Chalong Temple is one of Phuket’s most important religious meeting places. The temple is dedicated to the worship of the monks Luang Pho Chuang and Luang Pho Chaem. The temple complex consists of a main temple with numerous smaller outbuildings, which can also be visited. In addition to tourists, many locals also visit the Wat Chalong Temple to ask for assistance for themselves. By the way, this is also expressly allowed for tourists. For a small sum, incense sticks, candles, flower chains and small gold platelets can be bought. Because of the high popularity of the Wat Chalong Temple, the best way to get ready for a slightly larger crowd during the visit is to take an excursion.
Note: Since Wat Chalong Temple is a religious site, it is important to keep some things in mind. An absolute no-go is entering the temple with shoes. The clothes should be understated. Abdominal tops or too short skirts stay better at the hotel. The touching of the Buddha statues, or generally the ornaments and ornaments in the temple, is neither desired nor permitted.
From the roof of the Wat Chalong Temple you have an excellent view of another top landmark of Phuket: The Big Buddha statue on the top of Khao Nakkerd is not to be overlooked with a height of 45 meters. The imposing marble structure was completed in 2008. The view over Phuket from up there is breathtaking and the Big Buddha should definitely be firmly planned as a destination for excursions.
Top 3 activities on Phuket on the day
- Island hopping-either looking for solitude on Koh Lon or with some more action on the Phi Phi Islands
- A trip to Wat Chalong Tempels
- Ascent to the Big Buddha to Khao Nakkerd. Even the way to the congestion offers a beautiful view of Phuket
Phuket on land-A glimpse into fascinating wildlife
In addition to many great opportunities for excursions, Phuket offers enough fun and variety for those who like to be active on holiday and spray with drive.
Phuket with locals experience – private island tours
The best way to get forward on Phuket is with little mopeds. However, the driving style and traffic in Thailand takes getting used to. With the increasing number of tourists, traffic has also increased. So buses often line up at mopeds. Private island tours are an alternative to self-driving. In small groups or exclusively for a few tourists, both locals and migrant tours offer all over the island. The offer ranges from pre-planned excursions to the biggest main sights to insider tours including insider tips. For better forward planning, the island tours can be put together from the comfort of their own home on the internet. For spontaneous tours via Phuket, there is also a provider on site at any time.
Wassa Homemade Bar
The stunning panorama is particularly delightful at sunset, when the sun slowly sinks into the sea and the sky shows a series of fiery reds. Unlike in Europe, sunset doesn’t last long in the tropics, but it’s a unique experience you can enjoy alone, as a couple or in a group of friends. For several minutes, the Andaman Sea seems to be consumed in fiery red colours before the darkness of the night settles over sea, city and hills. The special thing about the Wassa Homemade Bar is and remains the exclusive view and sunset!
Trekking and mountain biking as a contrast program
Away from the big tourist attractions, Phuket enchants with its breathtaking scenery. Trekking tours through the island’s national parks captivate with its flora and fauna. In Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in northern Phuket, trails through the rainforest await hiking enthusiasts. The hiking trails vary with a duration of 1-2 and 3-4 hours and are therefore also feasible for beginners. Another highlight in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is the Gibbon RehabilitationProject, which is committed to the conservation, protection and respin-off of gibbons and is definitely worth a visit. Another popular national park is Kao Sok , with its mysterious caves and waterfalls in the still original rainforest. Multi-day hiking tours with an overnight stay in a hammock under the jungle roof promise an unforgettable experience.
Another way to get to know Phuket is the bike. Here holidaymakers have the opportunity to book guided one or more day tours depending on their will and existing endurance. Of course, Phuket can also be explored by bike on its own. Tours extend not only to Phuket itself, but also to the neighbouring islands such as Kho Yao Noi.
Tip: Mountain biking or trekking offer a wonderful opportunity to get to know the local flora and fauna. There are suitable tours for experienced hikers and bikers as well as for beginners
Phuket times different – The Zipline Adventure
A tour to the Zipline Adventure provides a completely different view of Phuket’s nature. Thrills included. Cable cars run from platform to platform through the jungle in small groups at an altitude of up to 40 metres. In addition to the cable car, the tours also lead over bridges and stairs through the beautiful treetops of the rainforest. Depending on the provider and zip line park, the duration of the adventure may vary. The equipment is made up of the park operators. Safety is also a top priority, so every adventurer expects a thorough briefing.
Note: A Zipline Adventure is sure to be booked in advance because of its great popularity. If you want to take children with you, you better ask the provider to see at what age this is possible.
A tour of one of the national parks on Phuket should definitely be high on the list. Whether floating through the canopy by bike, on foot or on a cable car. In addition to smaller and more unknown national parks, Phuket also has real celebrities. James Bond fans are likely to be familiar to the Ao Phang Na National Park with its characteristic rock in Phang Na Bay from the Bond film “The Man with the Golden Colt.” Due to its notoriety, the park attracts many visitors a year, who enjoy its unique rocky landscape of limestone and countless caves. If you want to feel like you’re in a bond-stripe, a trip to the James Bond Rock is a must for you.
Tip: If you want to discover the national park and the associated bay in peace, you are well advised to book a private tour away from mass tourism
In many national parks you can stay in simple bungalows or tents. More detailed information is available from the respective park administrations.
Recharge your batteries on a trip through the mangrove forests of Phukets
Mangrove trees line the island and contribute a significant part to the Phuket ecosystem. The slightly short trees do not necessarily impress with their beauty, but a visit to the characteristic mangrove landscapes is still worthwhile. If you don’t fancy mountain biking or hiking, you can comfortably cruise through the mangroves with a four-wheeled ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). The exploration of the yacht goes a little more leisurely. Along the approximately two-kilometre-long Mudong Canal, the mangrove trees can be viewed from a completely different perspective. The mangroves are not only beautiful to look at, they also serve an important protective function for Phuket as a flood barrier. For this reason, it is also important to behave responsibly towards nature.
Controversial: Elephant rides on Phuket
On Phuket, as in other tourist regions of Thailand, you will soon be offered the opportunity to ride on a real elephant. Which is a great adventure for holidaymakers with high entertainment value. An alternative to typical elephant riding could be visiting a rescue station scattered across Thailand. Here, interested parties can come into contact with elephants without being exploited for tourist purposes.
Phuket excursions without much advance planning – water fun from two perspectives
A day without the necessary planning of advance can be spent in the Splash Jungle adventure pool. On 6400 m ², plenty of water slides and a huge wave pool provide a refreshing pleasure. The hunger in between is also well taken care of on site, so that nothing stands in the way of a carefree day. Those who are reluctant to get wet will spend their day at Phuket Marine Biological Centre, about 10 km from Phuket City. The marine biological centre explores, among other things, the marine flora around the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean. Attached to the centre is the Phuket Aquarium. The aquarium gives a fascinating insight into native fish and coral species. The undisputed highlight of the aquarium is certainly the glass tunnels, which pass through a huge pool of water and give the splendour of the fish a completely different intensity once again.
Top 3 activities on land
- Come on! The Zipline Adventure is highly recommended
- Through the mangroves towards slowing down. Paddling along the Mudong Canal
- Having a day for fun: Bathing experience at Splash Jungle
Phuket on water – The Pearl in the Andaman Sea
Phuket on land is already a breathtaking experience, the many opportunities for water make the holiday experience perfect. Snorkeling, scuba diving, rafting or a canoe tour – there are no wishes left unfulfilled here.
Fascination underwater – scuba diving and snorkelling around Phuket
To dive on Phuket, you don’t have to be a professional. Many diving schools offer courses and escorted diving safaris. Around the Phi Phi Island archipelago stretches a paradise for diving enthusiasts. Tours can be easily booked on the internet or directly on site. Many providers pick up the tourists at the hotel and take them to the downturn at the port. In addition to countless smaller, colorful fish species and corals, with some luck you can also observe manatees, manta rays, sharks and dolphins in their natural environment. The warm water temperature provides a pleasant feeling of well-being during the dive. Excursions to the neighbouring islands of Phuket, such as the Similan Islands , take place regularly. The archipelago consists of 9 islands, but not all of them are open to visitors, and is considered one of the most beautiful diving areas with one of the most unique underwater world in the world. The islands are about 50 kilometers from Phuket and can only be reached by boat. To protect its stunning beauty, the Similian Islands belong to a maritime national park and therefore a visit is only possible in the months of November to April.
Diving is not for everyone. If you still want to take a look at the underwater world, snorkeling could be an ideal alternative to diving. Not every beach around Phuket and its neighbouring islands is good for snorkelling. The relatively low-wave Ao Sane Beach in the far south of Phuket or Freedom Beach, with its flat ends, offer perfect conditions for snorkelling. The neighbouring islands around Phuket offer almost even better snorkeling spots than Phuket itself. Here, too, the Phi Phi Islands are at the forefront of the list – spot. Snorkeling equipment can be easily hired on almost any beach.
Excursions by boat
The island landscapes around Phuket are invited to a sailing trip through the Andaman Sea. No matter the direction in which the tour starts, crystal clear waters await everywhere, beautiful landscapes of bizarre limestone formations over mangrove forests and a breathtaking variety of animals and plants. There are no limits to the design of the excursion and can be combined with different activities as desired. For scuba diving and snorkelling, you can take a tour towards Phi Phi Island or the Similan Islands. For more action during the landfall, Phuket is a prime destination. It doesn’t have to be a multi-day sailing trip, tours with a day’s length are also possible from different places along the island of Phuket. Boat elevations can also be used for deep sea fishing in the Andaman Sea.
Sightseeing by canoe and action fun with rafting
The allure of Phang Nga Bay lies mainly in its bizarre limestone landscape. A canoe tour through the bay becomes a breathtaking experience. Most providers of such tours pick up the tourists at the hotel and take them by ship to the bay. After a short instruction, the voyage of discovery around the islands continues by canoe. On most tours, food is served on one of the islands and enough time is planned for snorkelling or swimming.
For whom it may be a bit more action, it’s just right when rafting. On Phuket itself, however, you won’t necessarily find it if you’re looking for adrenaline in whitewater rafting. In the neighbouring province of Phang Nga, however, things are already very different. The Phang Nga Rafting Camp is the starting point of a 5 km long rafting route. However, the river does not carry enough water and is therefore padded extra and the locks are opened once or twice a day to provide sufficient thrills on the descent.
Since the 5-kilometre route, starting at Phang Nga Camp, does not offer infinite rafting fun, the tours are often offered in addition to another program item such as elephant riding. Here, of course, everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to book a complete – or just rafting, run it or carry it out on their own. If you’ve ever been to Phang Nga, you should definitely take a look at one of the many caves in the area.
A day at one of Phuket’s stunning beaches
White beaches, palm trees and the sound of the ocean provide the ideal backdrop to simply let your soul dangle on a beach day. It is guaranteed not to be boring. Most hotels on Phuket’s west coast are in close proximity to the beach. Some hotels also have private beach sections. Volleyball or – football provide fun and movement. Kitesurfing is possible on most beaches and equipment can be booked directly on site or already on loan at the hotel. To cool off, just jump into the crystal blue sea. Swimming is allowed on most beaches on Phuket. The best way to end the day is with a cocktail directly at the beach and marvel at the sunset over the sea.
Note: Swimming is usually allowed at almost every beach on Phuket and the neighbouring islands. Nevertheless, restrictions can be imposed, especially in the monsoon season and in localized places. Warning signs are indicative and should be taken into account.
Top 3 most exciting water activities on Phuket
- At the top of the list, of course, is diving in the paradisiacal Andaman Sea. Best around the Phi Phi Islands or the Similan Islands
- Whitewater rafting in the neighbouring province of Phang Nga followed by cave discovery tour
- The combination of diving and sailing around Phuket and are neighbouring islands provide the right mix of relaxation and experience
Phuket at night-The island never stands still
Phuket’s vibrant nightlife is particularly evident in the four major cities of the island of Patong, Phuket City, Karon and Kata. Patong as the tourist center of Phuket certainly offers the most opportunities to celebrate through the to night. Every night Bangla Road is closed to traffic in the middle of Patong and given the go-ahead for a long night of partying with no wishes left unfulfilled. Clubs, bars and shows as far as the eye can see.
Live music is a top priority in the Red Hot bar . Every evening talented musicians and bands perform here. Here you can perfectly tune in to a long night in Patong. If you prefer to dance in clubs or discos, you’re in the right place at Tiger Disco or Club Tai Pan. Dancing and drinking cocktails are possible here until the early hours of the morning, as the nightclubs and clubs have longer opening hours than the bars. Bangla Road as a tourist mile and Patong in general is more expensive compared to other bars and restaurants away from the holidaymaker hotspots.
With all the exuberant party atmosphere, however, it is important to pay attention to a few things in the nightlife on Phuket. The flip side of Thai nights is prostitution. This is officially banned, so so-called tugs must be inventive to advertise customers. In back rooms, side streets or, more or less hidden, in bars and clubs, women and men offer their sexual services. So a certain vigilance is always beneficial and excessive drinking is just as discouraged as accepting free drinks from strangers. KO drops are also used on Phuket to rob unsuspecting tourists or get the valuables in the hotel. But if you heed a few points, nothing stands in the way of a carefree night on Phuket …
- It is best to avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Fingers away from drinks offered to one by strangers
- Valuables that are not urgently needed simply stay in the hotel
Phuket’s nightlife is noisy, shrill and eccentric and perfectly made for letting yourself drift through the night. Go Go Dance, Travestieshows and Ladyboys play their part in a very special mood. Artistically high-quality shows are offered to curious people at Simon Cabaret . The Cabaret is not located on Bangla Road, but a bit away from it, in the so-called Artists ‘ Quarter. The current program can be viewed on the Cabaret’s website and tickets can be booked right away. The shows aren’t exactly cheap, but their money is definitely worth it.
The top 3 of nightlife on Phuket
- Be sure to see one of the imaginative shows at Simon Cabaret before the night of partying can start on Bangla Road.
- Right at the beginning of the street, the Red Hot bar is waiting to create the right atmosphere with live music
- If the bars have long since closed, you dance in the morning at the Tiger Disco
The Thai island of Phuket in the Andaman Sea offers not only breathtaking scenery and fascinating wildlife, but also a wide variety of attractions and activities. Whether by day, by night, by sea or on land, Phuket makes for an unforgettable holiday experience.