When you picture paradise in your head, chances are you’re seeing something close to Phuket: the azure blue water of the Andaman Sea, soft white sandy beaches, lush mountains as the backdrop, and you, sitting under a parasol and sipping on cool, refreshing, coconut water. Phuket remains to be one of the most sought-after beach destinations in the world, with a wide spectrum of activities and attractions, suitable for all ages and tastes. Here are some ideas of what to do during your first-time visit to the island, fitted into one jam-packed, fun-filled itinerary.
Phuket Old Town and Patong Beach
Start your day off nice and early at Karon Viewpoint, which does not fail to deliver fresh, picturesque views of the mountains, beaches and sea.
Afterward, pay a visit to Phuket’s most revered landmark, the Big Buddha. A 45 meter-high image made of white marble and sitting atop the Nakkerd Hills, the Buddha can also be prominently seen from quite a distance.
Spend the afternoon at Phuket Old Town. With European-style colloquial buildings and quirky shops and cafes tucked away in narrow streets, it’s hard to recall that you are on an island famed for being a tropical beach getaway. One Chun Restaurant is a great option if you feel peckish exploring the town, with mouthwatering Thai treats and a lovely, vintage atmosphere.
Next, head over to Wat Chalong, one of the most important and beautiful temples in Phuket. The intricate detailing all over its exterior will leave you in awe.
Spend the remainder of your afternoon at Patong Beach, by far the most popular beach in Phuket. Lined with restaurants, bars, shops and massage parlors, there’s no reason to get bored here. Enjoy a delicious and authentic Thai meal at one of the countless seafood joints, and perhaps a post-dinner foot massage.
Notorious for its thriving bar scene, the pulsing Bangla Road is the spot for party-goers. Sweat it out at Banana Disco, Patong’s first ever dance club, or head over to Molly Malone’s Irish Pub for a beer and a relatively calmer atmosphere.
Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands
Spend the day at Phi Phi Islands, an archipelago that is world-famous for its phenomenal natural scenery, towering cliffs and gorgeous beaches. Tip: Why not travel to the islands in style on a luxury cruiser? Get picked up from your hotel in the morning and be whisked away on a boat for a day of outdoor adventures, complete with a delicious lunch buffet on the cruise. (The whole trip concludes at around 5:30PM.)
Once at Phi Phi Islands, don’t shy away from the sea – the crystal clear water and colorful coral and fish make snorkeling a real treat.
The main attractions at Phi Phi Islands are the islands themselves. Enjoy cruising around Maya Bay, famous for being the setting for Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’; Loh Samah Bay, a popular diving spot; and Monkey Beach, abundant in – you guessed it – monkeys!
If you consider yourself a daredevil, head over to Tonsai Bay, well-known for being a haven for rock climbers. The limestone cliffs that reach dizzying heights provide adrenaline junkies a true thrill.
View the islands from the perfect vantage point: Phi Phi Viewpoint is a short, 30-minute hike from the bottom to the top, and comes with spectacular, photogenic views of the bays, cliffs and sea.
Grab an early dinner at Blue Lagoon, where you get served exotic desserts, scrumptious Thai seafood delicacies and smiles from the very helpful and friendly staff!
Spa, Beaches and Shows
You’ve already seen the more touristy beaches; now it’s time to discover some of Phuket’s hidden gems! Go for a stroll at Paradise Beach or give jet-skiing a go at Surin Beach. Or, challenge yourself and go on a one-kilometer trek towards Freedom Beach, where you’ll be rewarded with soft, white, and almost untouched sand, as well as peace and quiet as you watch the sun set.
Wrap up the day with the Siam Niramit Show, a colorful, lively affair. The show takes you through the history and culture of Thailand in an expressive, awe-inspiring way, complete with impressive martial arts and acrobatics by the talented performers. The package comes with an exquisite dinner buffet that you can enjoy before the show.