The 10 must-do excursions in Phuket

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Phuket is theThailand's largest island, a real paradise of white beaches and transparent waters.
With a constant and mild temperature throughout the year, Phuket is very popular not only for its magnificent nature, but also for its culture, ancient temples, colorful cities, markets and nightlife.
In order not to miss anything of this extraordinary island during your vacation, let's start together to discover the 10 must do excursions in Phuket.


Index

  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Beaches and nightlife in Patong
  3. Phi Phi Islands
  4. Phang Nga Bay
  5. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
  6. Sirinat National Park
  7. Phuket town
  8. Wat Chalong Temple
  9. Big Buddha
  10. Southern part of the island: Karon View Point, Promthep Cape, Rawai Beach
  11. Phuket aquarium
  12. When to go: climate and best time
  13. User questions and comments
  14. Request a personalized quote

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: about 395.000
  • Capital: Phuket Town
  • Languages: the most widely spoken language is Thai, very popular is English
  • Local currency: the local currency is the Thai Bath (THB) / € 1,00 = THB 37,47
  • Weather: tropical, hot all year round, with heavy rains from May to October and a dry period from December to March; temperatures are high all year round, the average temperature fluctuates between 27 and 29 degrees
  • Time zone: + 6h compared to Italy; + 5h when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required; Vaccination for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhus is recommended
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months from the day of arrival; a visa is not required for tourist stays of less than 30 days, upon arrival a stamp is placed on the passport which has the value of an entry visa and allows stay in the country for 30 days
  • Safety info: visit the Thailand section on the Farnesina website

1 - Beaches and nightlife in Patong

Patong is a city directly overlooking the Andaman Sea, in the western part of the island of Phuket. Spending a day in Patong is an experience to live: during the day you can enjoy wonderful beaches, in fact the city offers more than 5 kilometers of white sand on shallow crystal clear waters.
Ti we recommend looking for a place in the northern part of the city, because towards the south you risk finding yourself in the crowds of the beaches.

Towards evening you can have dinner directly on the beach, Patong is full of small kiosks offering fresh seafood at great prices, then you can dive into the nightlife of Bangla Road, the main street of the city. There are numerous clubs, Thai boxing matches, but also markets open all night. It's a'highly recommended excursion for young people looking for a bit of nightlife, but also for the less young, to do some shopping and relax on the beach.




  • Cities / places concerned: Kalim Beach, Bangla Road, Bann Mon Hill
  • duration: a day
  • difficulties: easy, suitable for groups of young people
  • Average price: starting from € 30,00 per person

2 - Phi Phi Islands

During a holiday in Phuket, you cannot miss an excursion to the Phi Phi islands. There are numerous tours to choose from, you can just take the ferry to Kho Phi Phi, the main island, and then from there move to explore it, or choose an organized tour with speedboat transfer which can take you to the most interesting points of the entire Phi Phi archipelago.

Among these, for example, the viewpoint of Phi Phi Don, or the magnificent Maya Bay where the famous film The Beach was shot, on the island of Phi Phi Leh. There is also Bamboo Island, a little external compared to the others, but really beautiful: it is a stop on some tours, especially the private ones with transfer by speedboat. That at Phi Phi is a 'excursion that is not easily forgotten, however, the islands are quite wild and not suitable for everyone, but certainly perfect for sportsmen and adventurers.

  • Cities / places concerned: monkey beach, Maya Bay, Bamboo Island, Phi Phi Don
  • duration: a day
  • difficulties: demanding, not suitable for pregnant women or people with motor difficulties and back problems
  • Average price: starting from € 10,00 for the ferry only; to go up for excursions by motorboat, average price € 100,00 per person - book online

3 - Phang Nga Bay

This is the perfect hike to do early in the morning to escape the crowds of tourists that assails Phuket and its magical places. Phang Nga Bay is theiconic beach from the James Bond film, with the very high and narrow rock that rises out of the very green waters. Indeed, this series of islands feature numerous karst rocks and caves.

To visit them you can choose a combined tour departing from Phuket by speedboat and takes you to explore the caves of Koh Phanak, perhaps aboard a canoe, sailing among the mangroves. You can make stops at the beaches and swim in the azure waters, visit the island of Koh Yao, the island of Nok and Kudu, the floating village of Panyee. Even this excursion may require a bit of sporting aptitude, therefore recommended for families with older children and sportsmen.



  • Cities / places concerned: Panyee village, Koh Yao islands, Nok, Kudu, Koh Phanak caves
  • duration: from 8 to 9 hours
  • difficulties: demanding, not suitable for pregnant women and those with walking difficulties.
  • Average price: starting from € 55,00 per person - Book online

4 - Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

It is located within Phuket, to the northwest, and it is one of the green parks that shore up the island. It is home to numerous waterfalls, including Ton Sai, which is easily accessible because it is located near the park entrance. It is possible to make independent excursions, short and easy, of 1 or 2 hours in the forest, or longer, of about 4 hours, with a guide that you can find at the entrance, up to the most spectacular Bang Pae waterfalls.

It is a particularly interesting and fun visit also for children because, inside, this park hosts the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, a center for the rehabilitation of gibbons, the species of monkeys that unfortunately are often exploited and abused to entertain tourists on the beach. The center takes care of collecting them and giving them the opportunity to return to a peaceful life in contact with nature. You can talk to the volunteers and even interact with the little monkeys.

  • Cities / places concerned: Khao Phra Thaeo, Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, Ton Sai Falls and Bang Pae
  • duration: half day
  • difficulties: easy, suitable for families with children
  • Average price: starting from € 6,00

5 - Sirinat National Park

Here's another one beautiful park, this time overlooking the beach with 13 km of coastline. This is also located in the north-eastern part of Phuket, and in the interior it reaches the island's airport.

Here the phenomenon of the tides is really interesting and it is easy to see completely different landscapes from one point to another depending on the tide change. When it is low, small pools are created on the beaches where children have a great time. Be careful because it is not possible to swim everywhere, but the areas where it is allowed, as well as those where it is prohibited, are well signposted. Here, in fact, sea ​​currents are very strong.

Inside, in the lush forest, a river flows, which can be navigated by canoes in some places. There the protagonist of this park is of course the sea turtle, and who knows, if you are lucky you will be able to see it nesting on Mao Kao beach. It is an excursion suitable for the whole family, the advice is to go there early, especially in high season, to avoid crowding.



  • Cities / places concerned: Mao Kao beach
  • duration: half day
  • difficulties: easy, suitable for everyone
  • Average price: starting from € 6,00

6 - Phuket Town

Naturally you cannot miss the visit to the city of Phuket, of ancient origins. Just think that the sailors talked about it in the log books as early as the sixteenth century, when they stopped on the island during the first trade with China and India.

Today its particular architecture makes it unique in the world, it is in fact a combination of Portuguese and Chinese style, brought by the various conquerors of the island. The styles still coexist today and give that characteristic aspect that Phuket preserves and that distinguishes this corner of paradise. A must-see building is Governor's House. The advice is certainly to devote at least one day to visit this city, and, in case you have more time, also simply get lost in its streets full of scents and inspirations, for example inside the Chillva market, full of stalls of typical products and colorful trucks. The excursion is ideal for those who love to deepen the history, culture, architecture of the places they visit.

  • Cities / places concerned: Governor's House, the Chillva market
  • duration: a day
  • difficulties: suitable for everyone, of cultural and artistic interest
  • Average price: free

7 - Wat Chalong Temple

All over the island of Phuket are preserved as many as 29 Buddhist temples in good condition, certainly the most famous and spectacular is that of Wat Chalong. It is located 10km south of Phuket town. It is quite a large complex, encompassing various beautiful buildings and gardens. Its construction dates back to 1837, under the reign of Rama V.

This temple is very popular, especially by Buddhist believers, because inside, in one of the buildings called chedi, a bone fragment is preserved which is believed to have belonged to Buddha.

The appearance of Wat Chalong temple is truly superb: with gold decorations both outside and inside, the typical pointed roofs of Buddhist temples, and numerous paintings that adorn it. Outside the walls there are souvenir stalls and kiosks of various types. You can arrive at the temple on your own, or book one of the tours which also takes care of the transfer. The entrance to the temple is free and the visit is suitable for everyone, although it is not recommended to enter with large groups or with small children: it is still a place of prayer.

  • Cities / places concerned: Wat Chalong temple
  • duration: 3 hours
  • difficulties: easy; suitable for families with not too young children and small groups
  • Average price: free; the tours proposed for the transfer to Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha cost about € 40,00 per person

8 - Big Buddha

This excursion usually comes done together with Wat Chalong temple, the two attractions are close and some tours offer them on the same day. The Big Buddha is a 45 meters high white marble statue that was built in 2004 on one of the Nakkerd Hills south of the island of Phuket. In this part of the island, wherever you turn, you will be able to see it: it is there Thailand's largest Buddha statue.

It is possible to drive down the hill by car, park, and then climb the long staircase that takes you up to the Buddha. There are 94 steps, but the climb is not difficult, it is very wide and suitable for everyone. Once at the statue, the landscape that opens around is spectacular: you can see all the bays of the southern part, including, on the clearest days, that of Phang Nga. To go down it is necessary to pass from the side of the hill, there are guards to coordinate the up-and-downs and check that visitors are dressed appropriately. If not, they could hand them a Sarong asking to wear it. It is a spiritual place very dear to Buddhists, therefore it is not suitable for noisy groups or very young children.

  • Cities / places concerned: Big Buddha, on one of the Nakkerd Hills
  • duration: half day
  • difficulties: the climb is a bit challenging but still suitable for everyone, to be avoided with strollers.
  • Average price: free, an offer is welcome: you can add pieces of marble for € 9,00. The tours offered for the transfer to Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha cost around € 40,00 per person

9 - Southern part of the island: Karon View Point, Promthep Cape, Rawai Beach

To the south of the island of Phuket there are beautiful views, pristine bays and beaches that are absolutely worth seeing. If you have already visited the north with its parks, it's time to head south!

Promthep Cape is considered to be probably the most beautiful landscape on the island, and all around is full of view points, as is Windmill, so you could stop in each and always glimpse new points of view on the beauty of this wild place. Even on the hottest days, a refreshing breeze blows at Promthep Cape, it is the part of the island most exposed to winds, can be a great idea to escape the sweltering heat. Of course these are the best beaches for surfing! Here the sunsets are truly unique, however the viewpoints crowd into the evening; so you could plan to spend the day on the beach, in Rawai Beach, and then enjoy the last rays of the sun in one of the viewpoints, as well as Karon View Point which is to the north, returning to Phuket Town. It is an excursion suitable for everyone, does not require strenuous walks and there are kiosks at almost all the viewpoints and beaches.

  • Cities / places concerned: Promthep Cape, Rawai Beach, Karon Vieuw Point
  • duration: half day or one day depending on the time spent on the beach
  • difficulties: very easy, suitable for families, or for sportsmen who want to surf
  • Average price: free. Tour starting from € 20,00 - Book online

10 - Phuket Aquarium

Here is areally recommended excursion for families with children: the Phuket aquarium is located on the east side of the island, on Cape Panwa, surrounded by beaches and the sea. You could therefore visit the area on the same day and dedicate a couple of hours to the aquarium.

Here I am preserved native marine species inside large spectacular tanks, it is also possible to witness the feeding of the fish by the guides. Inside there is also a cinema that offers a free show, a documentary on the fish in the aquarium. An advice: taste the street food proposed inside the aquarium, it's really good. The aquarium is located in a small marina, the area is quiet and away from the most popular areas of the island, it can be an idea to escape the crowds with the whole family, and the entrance is very cheap.

  • Cities / places concerned: Cape Panwa, Aquarium
  • duration: half day, two hours for the visit
  • difficulties: suitable for everyone
  • Average price: starting from € 5,00

When to go: climate and best time

  • Weather: tropical, with a season of intense rains from May to November / December; the rest of the year has a drier climate; temperatures vary very little, ranging from a minimum of 18 ° in June / July, the wettest months, to a minimum of 22 ° in December, the maximums oscillate between 29 ° and 32 °
  • Best time: the best period, due to the high amount of sunshine and lack of rain, is from December to March; however, it may be more convenient to book a holiday at the end of November, when the rains have stopped
  • Period to avoid: June and July, with the greatest amount of rainfall; April and October, when cyclones could pass

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