Sometimes we are too tired to travel properly. The hustle and bustle of daily life in big cities makes us fly away somewhere far away from home, lock ourselves in a cozy hotel and spend our days basking in the sun, lying on the beach and listening to the sound of the sea nearby. And here you are, in Phuket!
Phuket is one of the most popular places in Thailand among tourists. This island is perfect for beach and sea lovers. It gives tons of opportunities to those who seek an intense night life as well. Whether you are a culture or religion explorer or a big foodie or shopaholic, I bet Phuket won’t leave you indifferent.
In the list below I am sharing with you 10 tips that will help you to have fun packed holiday.
1. Eat Well
You can’t say you’ve got acquainted with a new country without trying the local food. It would be a crime to come to Thailand and not taste Thai Food!
If you are not very accustomed to Thai Food and especially the Thai way of cooking this food, I would suggest that you should take it easy, and get your first plate of Thai food from a food court of some supermarket. We usually ate in Tesco Lotus Supermarket. Cheap, tasty enough, more or less clean (never mind running cockroaches around) and authentic.
Food from the street can be tasty as well of course, but you have to be used to it. If you are not a beginner in Asian Cuisine, then go ahead and find your plate from local stalls. Make sure to try the most popular (and my favourite) dish – Pad Thai.
When tired of local food, head to the places which offer dishes of Western cuisine.
The Tesco Lotus Supermarket can offer you more than local food. There you’ll find KFC and McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Black Canyon Coffee (which has a really good choice of hot and iced coffee), Pizza Company and others (depends on the Mall). So Tesco has a wealth of dining opportunities.
The same can be said about the Central Festival Mall. This shopping centre is more sophisticated and some of the restaurants here are better in my opinion. Here you can find the Wine Connection – a chain of Italian restaurants with tasty food, they do have small portions though. Don’t miss out on the Central’s bakery downstairs. They have really delicious bread, buns and sweets!
I would like to mention another 2 places in Phuket which we liked a lot.
The Flame. This is a restaurant of Asian and Western food. It’s very decent, not cheap, and the quality of food is good. They have a nice coffee shop and a bakery as well.
The Markinny Mate – the small simple restaurant of Thai and Western food, located in Phuket town. They have mouthwatering burgers!
2. Enjoy Beaches
Everyone knows that Phuket is a perfect destination for beach lovers. Here you will find long, mostly empty or half empty sandy beautiful beaches with very warm water in the sea all year round.
We’ve visited almost all beaches on the island and our favourite ones became Surin Beach, Layan Beach and Naiharn beach.
3. Enjoy the Sea
Though most of the beaches in Phuket are wonderful, not all of them are good for snorkeling. First of all none of them have crystal clear water as for instance we have in the Mediterranean. So you have to find one with more or less transparent water and fish as well.
The best option for snorkeling along the shores of Phuket island in our opinion is Naiharn beach. The fish here are very curious and friendly, they actually surround you and some might pinch at your feet (although they don’t hurt). Tip: take a small piece of bread with you and a camera, you’ll have some great photos to take back home!
4. Food for your soul and heart
Once you are in Thailand, whether you want it or not you will encounter local culture and religion. It is a beautiful thing to get to know the people and customs of different cultures and religions.
Make sure to visit at least one temple (Wat) on the island (you will find quite a few) and of course go up the hill (well just use a car or a scooter) to see the statue of Big Budda.
5. Stretch Your Legs
One can be tired of spending day after day at the beach. Head for a walk to Phuket town or hop on your scooter and drive to Promthep Cape. It’s a great viewpoint, perfect for photos. Don’t skip these attractions.
6. Need More Stuff? Shopping!
I think it’s almost impossible to resist shopping in a new country. Shopping in Thailand can be very entertaining once you opt for local markets, where the choice is vast: from accessories to clothes and souvenirs, mainly handmade.
Obviously in Thailand you will find a lot of products we are used to see in the west. Just head to a shopping mall, like Central Festival or Tesco and you will find things you need at a good price and standard.
7. Entertain Yourself
Thailand is very famous for its shows. I have to admit we didn’t have an opportunity to visit one. But we’ve heard a lot from tourists and locals that some of them are really good. From their advice I can suggest Siam Niramit Show, which is very popular and beautiful.
- Opening Hours: The show runs once a day, six days a week, and is closed on Tuesdays
- Show Time: 20:30. Theatre gates open at 20:00. Its attractions and facilities open at 17:30
- Location: Just off the By-Pass Road between Tesco-Lotus Supermarket and the Airport Road junction, Phuket Town.
I don’t think there are people who never heard about Muay Thai. It’s well known all over the world. Here in Thailand in any city or island you go, you will have an opportunity to visit one. Tickets are not expensive and the show is worth it (at least that’s what they say). I’ve seen how these boxers train, but have never been to a show…I don’t like these kind of things.
8. Explore New Places
If you are tired of staying in Phuket or just curious what is around, I suggest exploring nearby islands such as James Bond Island and Phi-Phi Island. You can get a one-day tour from any agent (there are a lot!). Prices are more or less the same. Just do some research on Tripadvisor to see if the company is any good.
If you have a car you can head to Krabi, the drive will take you around 2 hours. The road is very scenic and you will see amazing views. While in Krabi you can either enjoy the local beaches or take a tour to the islands around (you can go to Phi-Phi and James Bond Islands from Krabi as well).
9. Ride an Elephant
Beware! Though the elephant is an inalienable part of Thai Culture, please, don’t endorse elephant trekking or elephant shows. Don’t ride an elephant! All these activities are part of the abuse and exploitation of these cute and huge yet very vulnerable animals. They torture these noble creatures in order to provide some fun for humans.
10. Night life
It won’t be a problem at all to find a good bar/go-go bar here, or a night club, or just a party at the beach in the night. Simply go out and you’re bound to have fun!
Hope my tips were useful. If you have any questions or comments please let me know! I wish you awesome travels!
Hi Alyona. Just sitting on the Nathon Pier in Koh Samui and waiting for our ferry to Phuket. Another great post on things to do once we get there! Anna from groovytale.com
Thank you very much, Anna! Bon Voyage! 🙂
hi alyona, great blog. what was you favorite place for snorkeling in Thailand? Also how safe did you feel driving in Phuket or Krabi? From your post, it sounds like you preferred Koh Samui but I only have a limited time and just want to pick one to see – We like snorkeling, more tropical beaches with waterfall hikes and scenery rather than just a beach to lay on, which one of the islands will be better, we have 4 days all together in Southern Thailand – Finally, did you see the plankton in Maya bay? which tour did you do? Thank you
Hi Sima! Thanks for stopping by!
We didn’t really have an opportunity for great snorkelling in Thailand. As everybody says the best island for snorkelling is Koh Tao, which we didn’t visit. As you can see from the post the best place for snorkelling in Phuket was Naiharn beach. The amount of fish and visibility was much more and better than in the “best place” for watching sea life in Koh Samui. Koh Samui is not an island for diving or snorkelling for sure, but you can see a few waterfalls.
We didn’t see the plankton in Maya Bay.
All the places are great in their own way. If I were you I probably would go to Koh Samui with the possibility to visit nearby islands for snorkelling or hiking (Koh Phangan and Koh Tao). Otherwise you can go to Krabi and make short trips to different islands including Phi-Phi which is very good for snorkelling.
Hope it’s helpful 🙂
Really liked your blog. I had visited phuket recently and compiled this list of Things to do in Phuket. Do give it a read! Cheers!
Ami Egor says
Hi. Nice article and good pictures.
But I don’t agree about Elephant riding on Phuket and in whole Thailand. It looks like a new trend among bloggers to say that Elephant trekking is a bad thing to do. I am sorry, I see that many people left links in comments, but will add one more. Article here explains exactly what think about elephants in Thailand: http://phuketelephanttrails.com/phuket-elephant-trekking/
And don’t give up, keep writing.
By the way, could you write another article? “Advices for not native speakers how to start to write beautiful stories on English. )))
I will read it !!! And I think many others as well.
Hello Ami! Thank you for your comment. Yes, I am planning to write that kind of articles. Stay tuned!
Priscilla Govender says
Hello Alyona. I’m going to Phuket in June 2016. Firstly I would like to know if this period is good to visit. And secondly . Will I be able to visit phi phi and krabi whilst in phuket and What mode of transport would you recommend. Thank you.
Hello Priscilla, June in Phuket is ok. There are more chances of rain but you will of course have sunny days and surely it will be hot and the water temperature will be around 30C. If you have enough time it’s not a problem to visit Krabi or Phi Phi from Phuket. If I were you I would drive to Krabi, spend a couple of days there, and bought a tour/hire a private boat/ or just use a ferry to go to Phi Phi by yourselves without a group. It’s always better to go by yourself since you avoid crowds and take as much time as you want to. If you are short on time, buying a 1 day tour will be a good idea.
Edgar @ GarageGymPlanner says
Nice list. Love the beaches. Looking forward to visiting the place later this year:)
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, and arguably the most famous. Blue waters, sandy beaches, great food, and diving are all part of the attraction. For relaxation and adventure, you can know more about famous places in phuket by clicking here: https://www.ixigo.com/places-to-visit-see-in-phuket-lp-1139236
Hello Alyona ,
please i will pass my honeymoon in Phuket this June how can i pass the night in Phuket (places to go with my wife to celebrate )? and which places are not to expensive? and best places to eat ?
Hello Robert, I would recommend you to use Tripadvisor when choosing a restaurant in Phuket. Choose places based on reviews with minimum of 4.5 bubbles and see that the amount of reviews is sufficient. There are a lot of nice places to eat in Phuket but it really depends on your preferences and on the location. Enjoy your honeymoon!
Thanks for such a great page. It sure helped me for my upcoming trip to Phuket.
Any advice about Nai Yang Beach area…..I will be staying there to avoid the crowds of tourist
Hi Pete! I am glad you found the post useful. Nai Yang Beach area is really quiet and the beach is so long and nice. It’s one of my favourite beaches in Phuket.
Not much to here but I have been doing everything else everywhere…I liked the FantaSea show that was fun to watch……I had a city tour, Phi Phi Island too…..Next up a day long elephant trek.
Awesome article, I haven’t been to James Bond Island yet or Phi Phi Islands but would like to go there soon