Phuket is the gem of the Andaman Sea with golden-sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters and coral reefs rich with sea life. Surrounded by 32 smaller islands, all close enough to visit on a 1-day cruise, Phuket is a Mecca for diving, snorkelling and sun bathing. Experienced and novice divers can enjoy a variety of underwater landscapes with professional guides throughout the year where the water temperature always hovers at around +30 degrees centigrade (86 Fahrenheit).
Organized below is a list of Phuket’s most interesting places for travellers. Rent a car (or a boat!) for a couple of days and take your time to see all the island has to offer. If you would prefer a tour, there are guides and drivers available. We invite your feedback and questions, and hope to help make your dream trip to our beautiful island paradise a reality!
Beaches Phuket is best known for its beautiful beaches. During the peak season of November-January, European visitors migrate to these sandy shores to bath in the sun and play in the surf. Most are situated on the western side of the island and are great for swimming and windsurfing.
Patong: The most popular beach, teeming with all kinds of accommodations and activity all day all night (Patong is known as unsleeping town). Its southern neighbor is Karon
Karon: 20 kilometres from town, a popular sunbathing location on the long banana-shaped beach. It’s dangerous to swim because of a sharp drop off. There is a perfect sand beach, white flour have crackle underfoot.
Kata: 17 kilometres from town. The beach near Karon,compose Kata and Kata Noi. The east has small islets ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.And there are a lot of gallery, souvenirs shop and tailor.
Hat Nai Harn: Located next to Phromthep Cape about 18 kilometres from town. Although not so long (800 metre), the beach has white, clean sand. There is one of sunset view-pointing and nice for surfing. Beyond the beach is a swamp called Nong Han. Not recommended for swimming during May-October because of the Monsoon season.
Nai Yang Beach: Combined with Mai Khao Beach. See turtles laying eggs and watch baby turtles being released back into the sea during the Songkran Festivals (April 13-15) at Nai Yang Beach, an area filled with government regulated bungalows.
Phromthep Cape: 2 kilometre from Rawai Beach. Catch the most breath-taking sunsets at Phromthep Cape,Phuket's southernmost point. Be sure to get there early or else fight your way through throngs of tourists that converge at the cape daily.
Ao Chalong-Chalong bay: Between Panwa cape and Phromthep Cape, the main gate to the southern end of the island. Phuket's principal boat anchorage and the island's largest bay, is 11 kilometers south of the town. It is very picturesque but not suitable for swimming. Boats can be chartered to go to some small island south of Phuket. A number of restaurants are on the road leading to the bay. Can go there by local buses to Chalong intersection and then by motorcycle taxi.
Laem Ka: at the extreme southwest of Chalong Bay, is suitable for swimming. It is the local‘s beach and local people usually come to swimming here.
Rawai Beach: To the south, the palm-fringedRawai Beach about 17 kilometers from town hosts Phuket’s Chao Le people (sea gypsies). Several offshore islands have gleaming white beaches and dazzling underwater scenery which attract fishing enthusiasts and scuba-divers.
Ao Sen or Sen Bay: A small bay next to Nai Han past the Phuket Yacht Club is Ao Sen or Sen Bay, peaceful and picturesque with white- clean sand.
Mai Khao Beach: Located in the Nai Yang National Park, the longest beach in Phuket. It is a place full of peace and serenity but unsuitable for swimming. Mai Khao also serves as the egg-laying ground for sea turtles like Nai Yang Beach.
Nai Thon Beach : A quiet bay set on the rim of the south of Nai Yang. Both ends of the beach are protected by granite outcrops.
Surin Beach : Surin is local’s beach, beautiful but not recommended for swimming because of the very strong undertow, however good seafood available at beachfront restaurant and nine-hole golf course.
Leam Singh: A beautiful outstanding beach where a lot of competition guarantees quality restaurants so you will be sure that can find good food and good view here.
Kamala Beach : The Thai-muslim’s beach that undeveloped and has Thai village atmosphere than many of the other beach. At night, line of buses, coaches or minivan arrive for the amazing theme park “Phuket Fantasea”
Ecological Places Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and wealthiest province which provides a wide range of activities for visitors.
Apart from popular marine recreations, inland all visitors can be attracted by sightseeing among hills covered in lush tropical vegetation, paddies and plantations.
Khao Rang: a small hill northeast of the town, provides a pleasant view of town while dining, and has a Fitness Park, a series of hillside sculptural tableaux which enhance calisthenics. The restaurant you can see the view of Phuket is here.
Khao Phra Thaew Forest Park: Various forest mammals, reptiles and over 100 bird species live harmoniously together here, significant for preserving the last of Phuket’s primary rainforest. There are 2 spectacular waterfalls, Ton Sai and Bang Pae. See gibbons swinging in trees, the result of The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center in reintroducing domesticated gibbons into the forest to fend for themselves. Many of the forests in Phuket have been cleared for rubber plantations and tourism development. Khao Phra Thaew Forest Parkis the virgin rainforest remaining in Phuket.
The View Point: is located mid-point between Nai Han and Kata beaches. The scenic Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches, and Ko Pu can be viewed from this point.
Activities in Phuket
Waterfalls If you are looking for somewhere else different from beaches for your holiday, visiting to waterfalls could be creative alternative.
Even though it is not worth to visit waterfalls in dry season but it is great opportunity to find the best time to relax yourself in cool water at the tranquil place with your whole family. Besides, you can go hiking and explore the jungle around the waterfalls as well.
Ton Sai: Ton Sai waterfall is in Khao Phra Thaew Forest Park.Though relatively small, the gorgeous falls here deliver a great volume of waterduring the rainy season. The verdant trees, thriving watercourses, and pools nearby provide one of Phuket’s loveliest environments.
Kathu Waterfall: Kathu Waterfall is a pleasant location for a picnic and swimming among the mountains of central district of Kathu. At top beautiful is during monsoon.
Bang Pea: Bang Pea Waterfall is in Talang district. Another beautiful waterfall in Phuket you can swim and take a good viewing during rainy season.
Temples Phuket is one good place to live because charming, friendly and high morality of people here. There are many groups of people in Phuket: Thai, Chinese, Muslim, Chao Le-sea nomads-sea gypsy, European, Indian and Arab. Strongly adhering to Lord Buddha or Gods, they can live together in balance way of life as a melting pot of different culture.
Wat Chalong: Wat Chaithararam, or Wat Chalong is the most popular temple in Phuket. Built in 1837, a recent addition to the temple is a 61.4-meter high chedi containing the Phra Borom Sareerikatat relic, a piece of Buddha’s bones brought over from Sri Lanka. Combining the architectural styles from the Southern, Central and Northeastern Thailand, the chedi is the first in this region to house this holy relic.
Wat Phra Thong: Be enchanted by the mystery surrounding the solid gold Buddha statue half buried in the grounds (Phra Phut) of Wat Phra Thong. Legend has it that in the 18th century, an invading Burmese army tried unsuccessfully to unearth it and was driven away by a swarm of hornets. The revered statue has remained so ever since.
Wat Phra Nang Sang: In 1785, the Burmese invaded Phuket and the Battle of Talang was supposedly fought within the ground of the temple. Legend has it that the Burmese were after a religious manuscript, containing the whereabouts of buried treasure. Fortunately they failed in their quest. Apart from this manuscript, the temple also houses the word’s tree largest tin Buddha statues, dating from an era when tin was regarded as a semi-precious metal.
Wat Puttamongkol Nimit: On Deebuk Road is a large, Rattanakosin style Thai temple dedicated to Theravada Buddhism and had particularly finely carved door.
Wat Cherng Talay: This temple was built about 60 years ago. Back then it was a very simple collection of building as we were a small community of tin miners. There are the paintings depict various stories about biography of Lord Buddha since an Indian prince to his attainment of enlightenment.
Bang niew (Thep Rasi): On Phuket Road there is Chinese temple dedicate to the deities Hok, Lok and Siew (sign of Wealth, Happiness and Longevity). there is over 80 years old.
Jui Tui: On Soi Phutorn, Ranong Road there is another distinctively Chinese temple which attracts a steady stream of devotees anxious to have their fortunes read. There is over 80 years old.
Kathu: The old Chinese temple on Wichitsongkram Rd., Kathu District. The Vegetarian festival was start at here first.
Sui Boon Tong: Lorong or Sui Bun Tong is located Pattana Rd., Soi 4, Phuket Town. Lorong was founded in 1977 to share the burden of the other shrines.
Cherng Thalay: Located on Sri Soonthorn Rd., Thalang. The other place that people at Amphur Thalang come to join The Vegetarian festival.
Tha Rua: Located near the Heroines Monument, is also about 80 years old. It is dedicated to Ngo Chinyin, another Taoist god. It did not join the festival activities until 1968.
Put Jaw: The oldest Chinese temple in Phuket. The original, built 200 years ago, was renovated about 100 years later. It is dedicated to Chao Mae Koan-Im (Kuan Yin), the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. There is the temple’s guardian that will ring a little bell when you put the money in the box.
Samkong: Located on Yaowarat Rd., samkong village, Phuket. In Vegetarian festival there are many food booths along the road to Samkong Shrine.
Islands There are many interesting islands near by Phuket. The travelers can get there by Island taxis Boat know as long-tails “Reua Hang Yao” or speed boat for long distant island.
Ko Hae-Coral Island : Know as Coral Island , about 4 kilometers from Rawai Beach and can reach by boat from Chalong Bay. One of the most popular destinations of Phuket. Good for fishing , scuba diving , snorkeling , and other associated water sport cause of the colorful coral reefs surrounding the island and crystal clear water. You can take a day tour which includes snorkelling equipment or hire a local "longtail" boat from Chalong or Rawai. It‘s so busy during the day, especially in high season, but very quiet when the day-trippers leave around 3.30 p.m.
Koh Lon : Ko Lon is easily reach from Chalong Bay by ferry that departs between 8 and 9 a.m. and it is also easy by a long-tail boat too. (20 minutes to reach) Accommodation is available on here.
Koh Mai Thon : Cause of exotic coral , Ko Mai Thon is suitable for scuba diving and fishing. There are a few of accommodation here.
Koh Nakha Noi : 6 kilometers form Po Bay. (a small settlement at the north of the island) The situation of sea pearl farm where you can inspect the pearl farm , learn about techniques of pearl cultivations and buy it.
Koh Kaew : Ko Kaeo is an offshore isle about 3 kilometers out from Rawai beach and can be reached in 30 minutes by boat. It offers picturesque beaches and underwater scenery. There is also a symbol of the Holy Footprint on the island.
Koh Phi Phi : Phi Phi is the place of classic white sandy beaches, lapped by sunlit crystal water. They are two islands: Phi Phi Don (the larger) has the beautiful beaches and Phi Phi Ley has the wonderful snorkeling areas. The main beach where the boats dock is Tonsai Bay.
Koh Lanta : The new Thailand's destinations. There are mangroves, spectacular coral, beautiful beaches, surrounded by rugged mountains in this Island. Located in the Andaman Sea between Krabi and Phuket, near Phi Phi Island.
Koh Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi : Ko Yao is close to Phuket, consists of 2 long islands - Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai (Ko Yao Noi is more popular than the another). Both are covered by forests, beaches and rocky headlands.
Koh Raya - The Racha Islands : About 45 minutes from Phuket by speedboat. It’s the popular spot for snorkellers course of their clear water and close offshore coral reefs. There are two island Racha Yai and Racha Noi.
Koh Rang Yai : Close to Phuket's east coast. Lately this island has developed into an "activity island" offering kayaking, windsurfing, and mountain biking. Only 15 minutes by speedboat from Phuket.
The Similan Islands : Located north of Phuket close to the Burmese border, the Similan Islands are rated among the world's Top 10 dive sites. There are powder-like sand beach and clear water that attracts divers from all over the globe. It takes about 1 hour from Phuket by speedboat.
Koh Khai Nok : A fairly lonely isolated island off the south coast of Phuket with only one or two groups visiting a day. Uninhabited, the island has a lovely shallow coral reef which is good for novice snorkellers. Great place to spend a day. You can get there either by renting a local long-tail boat or go privately by chartering a speedboat.
Phang Nga Bay : Located north of Phuket Island. Spectacular limestone scenery rising from the sea, mangroves, sea caves with crystalline interiors and hundreds of tiny islands make up Phang Nga Bay, one of southern Thailand's most attractive areas.
James Bond Island : This famous landmark first found its way onto the international map through its starring role in the James Bond movie "The Man With the Golden Gun". And this is where they seem to take all of the tourists - all at one time. The entire area surrounding this island with its signature rocky pinnacle is indeed spectacular
Koh Pannyi (Sea Gypsy Island) : This is a remarkable village, the whole of it built out over water on stilts and with a giant rock monolith guarding its rear. Travelers come to eat and shop for handicrafts. As soon as the tourists leave, the community closes up its restaurants and trinket shops and transforms itself from a tourist trap into a quiet community of fishermen.
Koh Bon : Located 20 kilometers from Phuket. There is a 33 meters wall on its south side, facing a small cove, with a stepped ridge pointing west and down to over 40 meters. You can find Manta Rays and leopard Sharks in this island. Manta Rays are especially finding from April to May, but like this past year, you can catch them all year round. Leopard Sharks are common at the rim on the sandy flats below the wall, and White Tip Sharks can be seen roaming the depths off the edge of the reef. Good for swimming, snorkeling and diving.
Koh Pratong : There are a savannah, unspoiled white sand, nice accommodation and a variety of adventure beaches here. Travel around by car, boat, jeep and tractor. Good for swimming, snorkeling, diving, boating, or hiking.
The Surin Island-Mu Koh Surin National Park : Located in the Andaman Sea and covers an area of approximately 135 square km. close to the marine boundary between Myanmar and Thailand. There are five islets : Koh Surin Neua, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ri, Koh Kai and Koh Klang (declared a national park on July 9, 1981) Good for diving and snorkeling.
Other interested places Phuket can be listed as the most attractive places for travelers without regarding to beaches because there are many interesting places provide to land-lovers as well. Travelers can take time to sightseeing and drop in at tourist places around the town with knowledgeable guides and experienced driver throughout your dream trip.
Phuket town: Phuket town serves mainly as a dormitory and shopping centre. Splendid colonial style residences built by late 19th-century tin and rubber barons and shop houses from the same period provide distinctive character. View the spacious colonial-style residences built in the late 19th century by tin and rubber barons and distinctive shop houses with shaded walkways in the heart of Phuket Town. The town was founded by Chinese and Malaysian merchants and the Sino-Portuguese architecture still retain influences from both cultures, as evident by the Government House, Phuket's oldest public structure.
Saphan Hin: The public park near the sea (the only one sea in Phuket Town) at the end of Phuket Road. There is the Tin Mining Monument in the circle (shaped like a large drill bit) dedicated to the memory of Captain Edward Thomas Miles, the Australian who brought the first in dredge to Phuket in 1909.
Koh Si-rey: A twenty-square kilometer island, separated from the main island only by the small Thachin canal, is some 4 kilometers northeast of the town and hosts the biggest Sea Gypsy (Chao Le) village in Phuket. Can shopping souvenirs such as pearl, sea shell etc. at here too.
Phuket Aquarium: Phuket Aquarium is located at Cape Panwa, on the island's extreme southeast. Displays hundreds of exotic, grotesque and flamboyantly colorful marine species found in Phuket’s teeming waters. Open daily from 8.30 a.m. until 4 p.m. A local bus can be taken from the town’s fresh produce market. Called 0-7639-1126 for more information.
Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insect World: Phuket Butterfly Farm and Aquarium is about 3 kilometers from town via Yaowarat Road and the Sam Kong intersection. It has a fascinating collection of such tropical creatures as butterflies, insects, marine life all arranged in natural surroundings. It is open daily from 9 p.m.-5 p.m. Tel: 0-7621-5616, 0-7621-0861
Thai Village and Orchid Farm: on Thepkasattri Road only 3 kilometers from town, serves daily a typical southern Thai lunch that is followed by a spectacular cultural show including Thai dances, sword-fighting, Thai boxing southern customs and elephants. Can shopping handicrafts here too. Call 0-7621-4860, 0- 7623-7400 for details.
Phuket Zoo: located on the way to Chalong Bay, contains a collection of Asian and African mammals: tigers elephants, etc. Birds, elephants and crocodiles shows are performed daily. Call 0-7638-1337, 0- 7638-1227 for details.
Phuket Sea Shell Museum: Phuket Sea Shell Museum is located near Rawai Beach on the island's southwestern shores. The emphasis is on shells from every part of the world which are among the most sought-after by collectors. There are numerous rarities and freaks including the world's largest golden pearl (about 140 karats), large sections of sedimentary rock containing shell fossils, and a shell that weighs about 250 kilograms. The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tel: 0-7638-1266 or 0- 7638-1274
Thalang National Museum (Tha Rua): An interesting collection of local artifacts, and spend time to learn about the history and culture of southern Thailand. Open daily 08.30-16.00 except Public Holidays.
Phuket Fantasea: located on Kamala Beach. The Phuket Fantasea is a cultural theme park, the first kind ever, providing an immersion into Thai culture with fulfilled, elaborate magical and illusion shows. They also offer a dinner buffet in a cavernous dining hall.