As one of Thailand’s biggest islands, Phuket has always been a draw for tourists from all over the world. Big, beautiful beaches, enchanting sunsets, soft white sands and stunning views apart, Phuket is also known as a party destination with a vibrant night life. Nevertheless, it’s a great holiday destination for people who want to have a memorable holiday, irrespective of whether they are alone or with friends or families. Here’s a list of some of the fun things to do in Phuket.
The 2000 movie, The Beach, featuring Leonardo Di Caprio boosted Phi Phi Island to fame as it was shot here. Phi Phi offers you picturesque views that are straight out of a picture postcard of the best beachside holiday ever. Cerulean blue skies, turquoise blue waters, towering cliffs…there’s so much to see and love here. Although Phi Phi was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami, it has managed to limp back to normalcy now. A visit to Phi Phi is often so high in the list of must do things in Phuket for some people, that it is the only reason they even visit Phuket!
If you are entranced by sheer sizes, then a visit to the Big Buddha should be on your must do things in Phuket. Located on top of Nakkerd Hills, this is a peaceful and serene place to visit. The Buddha itself is 45 metres tall and looks out over Phuket and its neighbouring towns and bays. The statue is made of reinforced concrete with white jade marble. Sunlight glints across it, creating an amazing view while the golden Buddha next to it, a smaller version made of brass, is also entrancing. The Big Buddha is a religious site, so please remember to wear appropriate clothing while visiting.
One of the best things about Phuket is its proximity to all the beautiful islands. In fact, a visit to the Similan Islands should be on your list of must do things in Phuket. Similan Islands is actually an archipelago with a cluster of small islands. These islands are remarkable because of the many boulders that you can see on the shores. There are also stunning white coral sand beaches which will leave many a visitor speechless. But Similan is famed as being one of the most interesting dive spots in the world and indeed, it is under the water that a treat awaits divers. Spectacular coral growths and brightly coloured marine life makes diving here unforgettable.
The old town is one of the most interesting places to visit in Phuket. There are some excellent restaurants here along with really cool shops as well. The architecture of the buildings follows the Sino-colonial as well as Sino-Portuguese styles which are stunning and have an old world charm about them. As you saunter around the streets and stop by some quirky old shop, you’ll realise that it’s time well spent looking at a world gone by, although one which has been preserved rather well.
Stunning limestone formations jut out of the emerald green waters at Phang Nga Bay, where the two most famed spots are James Bond island and Koh Panyee. Tourists often flock to the former because of the movie, The Man with the Golden Gun. While it’s spectacular, it’s also very crowded. Koh Panyee is a fishing village that is almost entirely built over stilts. Tourists on the James Bond Island tour after often brought here for a tasty seafood lunch. There are other magnificent viewpoints offering panoramic views of the sea. It’s actually not possible to see everything in Phang Nga Bay in one day itself but a trip here is warranted as it’s one of the top things to do in Phuket.
For a contemplative moment to enjoy a different kind of peace, a visit to Wat Chalong is warranted. It’s certainly one of the interesting things to do in Phuket. While there are around 29 temples spread across Phuket, Wat Chalong is visited by locals and tourists alike. It’s a beautifully decorated temple, sumptuously appointed with a Grand Pagoda that apparently contains a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone. Inside the temple, the atmosphere is serene as is expected. Do refrain from wearing revealing clothes here as it would be considered impolite. Also, remember to remove your footwear before entering some of the buildings as well.
Tip: It’s advisable not to wear expensive shoes when visiting a Wat because it could easily get misplaced when you leave them outside a temple.
This extravagant larger-than-life show is one of the most fun things to do in Phuket. Phuket Fantasea is a theme park with a cultural bent. Shop at the special village for unique souvenirs and beachwear and settle down for the magnificent stage show that is held in the evening. The opulence of Phuket Fantasea has to be seen to be believed. It’s also renowned for the Golden Kinnaree Buffet restaurant which serves a superb selection of international and Thai food. The main event is the show at night with a performance from people and animals, that will leave you spellbound and dazzled.
Shopping enthusiasts can rejoice as there are plenty of night markets in Phuket. After all, shopping is one of the great things to do in Phuket. From cheap souvenirs to eye catching knickknacks, the night markets offer a variety of wares. If you’re not in the mood to buy anything, then sample some of the excellent food in the many street food stalls present there or simply snack on one of the many meat-on-a-stick options. Famous night markets in Phuket include Chillva Market, Phuket Weekend Market, Phuket Indy Market and Malin Plaza which can be found in Patong.