There are many Phuket attractions that you’ll want to explore, so let’s jump straight in and share our idea of what to do in Phuket.
Nai Harn Beach
In the South of Phuket is Nai Harn Beach, a relatively untouched beach that draws many visitors every year. Visit before it gets too touristy! There are some nice restaurants nearby, sheltered under trees and offering views of the crystal clear sea.
Big Buddha, Nakkerd Hills
All over Thailand, you can find massive Buddha’s towering over towns and cities and Phuket isn’t any different. Head to Nakkerd Hills to get an impressive view of the forty-five meters tall Buddha. You can also get a gorgeous view of the island once you have hiked to the top.
Karon View Point
This viewpoint attracts a crowd and for good reason. We love heading up here for sunset but any time of the day offers perfect views of the west coast beaches.
This beach is stunning and worth a visit but not for long. Many rich locals and celebrities prefer this area, making it incredibly expensive compared to the rest of the island.
Jui Tui Shrine
This Chinese styled shrine offers something different for Thailand visitors. It houses large statues of Chinese Gods and, because of it’s fairly new renovation, the colours are vibrant.
This intricate and vibrant temple is a popular attraction and a must for those visiting Phuket; especially if this is your first time in Thailand. The Wat includes a Grand Pagoda and decorated Buddha images.
Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
This tropical jungle is home to the tranquil Bang Pae waterfall. Visit in the rainy season to take a dip in the rock pools and check out one of the local restaurants in the park.
The Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
For anyone who loves rum, head to this distillery in Chalong Bay, Phuket. You can take a tour but also try your hand in a cocktail workshop. For a 30-minute guided tour, tasting session and Mojito, expect to pay 450 baht.
Explore Phuket Old Town
Wander along the colourful shophouses and temples of Phuket Town. The Old Town is unlike anywhere else I have seen in Thailand so far and is perfect for a stroll and traditional Thai lunch.
Thai Cooking Class
You can take a Thai cooking class all over Thailand but there is something wonderful about cooking then relaxing in the sun and eating the food you have created. There are many cooking classes available, often including a market tour too.
Gibbon Rehabilitation project
With thousands of gibbons being killed each year by hunters, this project looks after the sick and unwell survivors. You can volunteer here; feeding the gibbons, working in their souvenir shop or doing odd jobs around the research centre.
Toh Sae Hill (Monkey Hill)
For those who don’t mind being chased by monkeys (and can have a firm grip of their belongings) then head to Monkey hill. You can find a shrine at the bottom of the hill too.
If you can’t decide where to stay but you are on a budget, then Karon Beach is the place. You won’t find as many hostels here as Patpong Beach area but it is a much more relaxing, quieter area to stay in.
Shrine of Serene Light
Over 150 years old and often overlooked because of its location at the end of an alleyway, the Shrine of Serene Light is a tranquil escape.
Wat Tham Suwan Kuha
The Buddha Cave in Phang Nga Town is a great place to explore and see a large reclining Buddha. You can visit this cave independently by driving the northern part of Phuket and you will find very few tourists around.
A stunning viewpoint from the bay, this is perfect if you are looking for a romantic experience in Phuket. Definitely visit at sunset for some spectacular views.
With high-end bars and 8km long stretch of white sandy beaches, it is no wonder that this is the beach of choice for those that know about it. There is a very relaxed vibe here and it is worth a visit when exploring the island.
This beach has become incredibly popular from November to May when planes jet low over your head as they land. It is worth noting that is actually forbidden to stand under the pathway of the plane but the tourists don’t seem to care.
For an insight into the local fishermen’s lives, who live of the tourism in Thailand, head to Rawai beach. It is unlike any other beach in Phuket but is a great place to explore when you are scootering around the island.
Fly over the island
Take a helicopter ride over Phuket to appreciate the beauty of this Thai island. With trips from 10 minutes up to an hour, you can book a tour that suits your itinerary.
Phuket Jungle Bungy
For those looking for a thrill, try the Phuket Bungy jump over a tranquil lagoon. This is not one for me but friends have recommended this experience. You can also now book directly with the company, saving on tour agency fees.
Things to do in Phuket with kids
Splash Jungle Water Park
Head to Mai Khao beach for this popular water park in Phuket. With lots of water slides, rides and a selection of different pools, there is plenty to do to make this a fun, busy day out. If you are staying at the Centara Grand West Sands Resort, you can experience the park for free. If not, the Splash Jungle Water park ticket price is 630 baht for a child and 1305 baht per adult.
Phuket Trickeye Museum
Over the past century, Thailand has had many 3D art galleries pop up and this is an example of that. This museum offers 3D art, making it the perfect place for pictures and a good laugh with friends or family.
If you are looking for a more adventurous experience, explore the greenery of Phuket via zip line. There are different zip lines around Phuket to book with the Flying Hanuman, Zipline Phuket and Zipline Adventure all being popular choices.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Opt-out of the Elephant rides around the country and visit this sanctuary instead; the first ethical Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket. Book a trip directly on their website and enjoy meeting the Elephants as they go about their daily life, relaxing and bathing.
Surf House Phuket
Alongside the beach, you will find this flow rider activity, giving you and your family the change to learn the basics of surfing.
Rawaii VIP Villas and Kids’ Park
If you are visiting with very young children, this park is perfect for you. With indoor and outdoor play areas, water slides, climbing tower and contests, there is something for everyone at this popular and large water park.
Patong Go-Kart Speedway
For those with adventurous kids, head to the Go-Kart Speedway. Open from 10 am to 7 pm and located at the end of Patong Hill, this is a great place to let off some steam after exploring the local sites.
This upside-down house is a great way to get out of the heat and have a laugh with your family. Take some creative pictures and good luck trying to escape the ‘chamber of secrets’.
Most popular beaches in Phuket will offer a range of watersports for families to try out. Kiteboarding, snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boats and paragliding can all be experienced along the waterfront on Patong beach.
My husband loves all things fish related and we end up going to an aquarium in most cities and towns we visit. Phuket Aquarium is a great way to spend a day, especially when the heat is rising and you have young children.
This mini-golf course is adorable and is perfect for families and couples. We loved experiencing this course in Kata Beach late at night; the park is open until 11 pm and is quiet most of the evening.
What to do in Phuket at night
Phuket Town Weekend Night Market (Naka Market)
Not far from Phuket Town is this night market. Visited by both locals and tourists, this is a great place to get cheap local food, fruits, clothes and even animals.
Phuket FantaSea Show
As a big kid, I loved this show. This is entertainment to the max, with a 4000 seat buffet restaurant, gigantic theatre and carnival village selling trinkets and handmade crafts. Head to the theatre to watch a spectacular show; especially good for families.
If you are looking for a busy, loud night out, head to Bangla Road. You can move from bar to bar and enjoy the many happy hours and positive vibes. Just be wary of what you are drinking; always watch them make your drink or stick to bottles and watch them open the bottle.
For a more traditional Thai theatre experience, book tickets for this stag performance. Starting at 8 pm every night and with tickets starting at 1500 baht, this is a popular attraction for tourists and one I would recommend for anyone who loves the theatre.
Chillva Night Market
If you are looking for a more local experience, then this is the night market to visit. Constructer from painted shipping containers selling fashion items, this is a great place to people watch and try some local Thai snacks.
Ka Jok See
This is a lesser-known experience in Phuket but highly recommended. If you want a fun, exciting night but with a bit more class than the Bangla Road experience, this is the place to go. You can enjoy a cabaret show whilst taking in unlimited food and drink; win, win! It is a pricier experience and you will need to book in advance.
Visit Patong Beach in the area for some wild nightlife and bustling nightclubs. This is where the tourists congregate and it isn’t our favourite place to visit in Phuket but is worth a trip, even for just one night.
Simon Cabaret Show
This ladyboy show is a popular, well-visited performance and is a fun way to spend an evening in Phuket. This one hour spectacular includes different performers with tickets starting at around 870 baht.
Phuket isn’t the best place to watch a Thai boxing match; Bangkok offers better stadiums and matches. But, if you are only visiting Phuket or short on time in Bangkok, then check out the boxing in the Patpong Stadium.
Head up to Rang Hill for sunset and be treated to stunning views but better still, head to one of the restaurants for a romantic dinner over the twinkling city lights of Phuket Town.
Day trips from Phuket
Kata Noi Beach
Not too far from Phuket is the small bay of Kata beach. The scenery is simply stunning; it is everything you imagine from a Thai beach. You can also go to the Kata viewpoint to see Karon, Kata and Kata Noi.
Phang Nga Bay
This day trip is perhaps my favourite in Phuket. Visit the James Bond Island and kayak around the gorgeous limestone karsts. There are lots of tours available and we find we always get better deals by booking online in advance.
Expect clear blue seas and pristine white sandy beaches on the Similan Islands. This is ranked one of the best dive sites in the world, making it the perfect place for those wanted to explore the oceans and/or take their PADI course.
This small fisherman’s village is often overlooked but it makes for a great day out from Phuket. You can explore through the narrow ‘street’s and see the local homes on stilts above the water. Take a longtail boat early to visit the village before the tourists or you can opt to take a tour which includes a visit to the village.
Phi Phi Island
Everyone has heard of the Phi Phi islands but many people avoid paying the price to stay on it. However, you can book a tour to visit the beaches from Phuket and see the beauty that everyone raves about.
Outside of Phuket, Khaosok is a popular place to visit for those that want to experience white water rafting. As long as you are over 12 years old, you can experience this rafting activity which begins gently and gets progressively faster.
So that is our recommendations on what to do in Phuket, whether you are visiting Phuket with family or heading there for the first time as a solo traveller or couple. What Is your favourite thing to do on this tropical island? Let us know in the comments below!