Almost everybody knows the island of Phuket, Thailand. Either as the crazy party island or the relaxing beach island, however, there's much more to do in Phuket than that. Here's my favourite things to do in Phuket - including the best beaches of course because who would visit Phuket and not the beach?
You can't visit Phuket without visiting the beach. Of course you can just go to the nearby beach and chill for the rest of your vacation but what if the perfect secluded beach was just next door? Especially Patong, Karon and Kata Beach is not the best but still full of people (if you gotta go to one of these Karon is the best for relaxing and Kata is for surfing. I chose to rent a scooter and find the best beaches out of all of them! All the beaches are on the western side of the island and it takes only 2 hours from one end to the other.
In the north you'll find great beaches like Nai Thon, Banana Beach and Surin Beach. The first two are very secluded beaches, while the latter is a nice white sand beach, which turns into a party beach at night. Right next to Patong Beach you'll find Freedom Beach hidden in the jungle. If you don't want to go far from your hotel, this is the place to go. However, sometimes the beach is closed like when we visited. In the south you'll find the beach Kata Noi, which is a scenic gem I would say. There's probably lots of others and maybe better beaches if you care to look!
Sunset views at Promthep Cape
On the southern tip you'll find Promthep Cape. A beautiful and free place to visit the sun go down over the ocean. If you think there's too many people here, you can head to Rawaii Hill near Rawai Beach, which is lesser known.
Phang Nga Bay in a longtail boat
My all time favourite thing to do in Phuket is renting a longtail boat from the Surakul Pier to go to the Ao Phang Nga National Park. It only costs about 5000 Bath for the whole day and the guide takes you to anything you want to see including James Bond Island and the fisherman village, Ko Panyee. A village located in middle of the ocean. A great place for some fish for lunch. The tour is really great because you'll have your own private boat and it's just charming and so old school and you don't have to waste time waiting on 20 other tourists to finish their pictures.
Full list of islands included:
Panak - full of caves with stalactite
James Bond - the famous rock from the movie Man with the Golden Gun
Panyee - fisherman village
Hong - similar to James Bond island - possible to Kayak around if wanted
Naka - relaxing beach
Another day, another island hopping tour. This one is quite different and I preferred the longtail boat. This time we went on a speedboat tour to the famous Koh Phi Phi found on triptophuket.com. The speedboat ride was not as pleasant as the other and you couldn't see a thing when sailing, however, the spots on the tour is really nice! There's beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise sea, snorkeling with funny fish, monkeys and the famous Maya Beach from the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach. Don't expect to get any of the spots to yourself - no matter if you hire your own transport or go on a tour. Everywhere is crowded with tourists. That's the downside of Phuket - it's famous a famous tourist spot in most of the world.
Here's whats included on the tour:
Bamboo Island - the most beautiful beach going all the way around the island
Phi Phi Don - the main island where everyone has lunch
Monkey Bay - bay where you're likely to see lots of monkeys, however, they can be find elsewhere as well
Phi Phi Leh - the most famous island, where you also can go and live for a few days on your holiday. On the tour you'll go to Maya Beach, swimming in the lagoon and snorkeling
Old Phuket Town
On Sundays between 4pm and 10pm there's a flea market on Thalang Road in Old Phuket Town. Thalang Road is the prettiest street in Phuket everyday with pastel coloured houses everywhere but on Sundays it really comes alive! The goods are mostly local and there's lots of street food to try. At night there's a different market, the Phuket Weekend Market, which is everything you can think of to a knock-out prize! It is the biggest market in all of Phuket and it takes place every Saturday and Sunday night.
If you want to go a market closer to Patong (where most tourists stay), there's lots of smaller markets in Patong as well. Just take a stroll around town at night time and you can't miss it. If you are looking for food then Malin Plaza in Patong is great street food and cheap prizes.
Drive a Scooter!
Last thing you must do in Phuket is to drive a scooter! Driving a scooter in Phuket is not as dangerous as many people believe. As long as you are precautious and wear a helmet, check if everything is working on your vehicle before renting and remember your international driver's license in case you are stopped by the police. When parking look for red and white marks somewhere, which means that you can't park here. Also remember that in Thailand they have left-hand traffic.
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