What’s on your Phuket itinerary? Phuket is a favourite among water and adventure sports fanatics because of its stunning network of sea caves that can be explored on kayaks, world-famous dive sites like the Similan Islands, and its range of surfing and wakeboarding options. Some Phuket hotel deals may offer discounts on these activities, so check with yours once you arrive (or beforehand).
Phuket is renowned worldwide for its exclusive collection of beach clubs and seaside pool venues, including the iconic Café del Mar and Dream Beach Club. But this tropical paradise’s appeal extends far beyond its exotic surface.
Phuket’s Old Town, offers a rare insight into the city’s tin-mining history. It’s become famous for its colourful Sino-Portuguese heritage buildings that line the street, some of which were converted into shops, cafes and restaurants. Phuket Old Town is home to colonial-era mansions and Phuket’s oldest hotel.
Foodies craving authentic cuisine are in luck as well, because local eateries and street vendors serving up Thai fares can be found virtually anywhere around the island. Those looking for Western foods will find the greatest range near Patong and other tourist spots.
Families will also be spoilt for choice with a plethora of holiday activities for kids like the Trickeye Museum, Surf House Phuket where grommets can ride artificial waves or ride water slides at the Splash Jungle Water Park. The island also has mini golf courses and flying trapeze attractions.
Phuket is celebrated for its revered but raucous nightlife and Patong Beach is where all the nocturnal fun happens. The main drag has some of the best beer bars, nightclubs, lounge bars and adult clubs, as well as street performances and live music venues, so there’s something for everyone.
1. Beach clubs are all the rage in Phuket
Relax under a private cabana with signature tropical sips, fine dining and the best poolside views, DJ on deck, and watch the sunrise in the most vibrant backdrop. There are also family-friendly beach clubs.
2. Sea kayak around Phang Nga Bay
Enter a mysterious world of sea caves, limestone karsts and secret lagoons. You can choose between self-paddled tours or let an expert guide do the work, while you take in the beauty. James Bond Island (featured in The Man with the Golden Gun) and Koh Panyee are famous spots in this bay.
3. Island hop to the Phi Phi Islands
The archipelago was made famous by the 2000 movie The Beach and has become a must-see in Phuket. Each island offers something unique, besides unspoilt white sand beaches, lush jungles and limestone cliffs. Monkey Bay, for example, is renowned for its brazen colony of monkeys who like to interact with tourists for a banana peel, while Phi Phi Don is the main hub with hotels, restaurants and other major attractions.
4. Experience the nightlife
Bangla Road on Patong Beach is Phuket’s party HQ where neon lights, thumping music and cheap watering holes attract all kinds of party-goers. Beer bars occupy most of the party strip’s length, but you’ll also find plenty of pubs, discos and nightclubs, as well as restaurants and street food stalls. The party usually spills onto the street, with performers and revellers getting amongst it.
5. Shop at a night market
Phuket is home to several nightly markets where shoppers can browse through stalls and strike a bargain with vendors on anything from souvenirs, keepsakes, local wares, clothes and accessories, to imitation designer items, furniture, artefacts and everything else in between.