Thailand is a very rich country with various landscapes, beautiful temples, islands and, stunning beaches. There are many amazing activities to do around Phuket in Thailand: surf, diving, snorkeling, visit an elephant sanctuary of visit an island near Phuket. Discover all the best activities to do! You can also read our full Thailand travel guide!
10 things to do in Phuket
1. Go surfing in Phuket
There are amazing spots to surf in Thailand. The most famous is Nai Harn Beach. Nai Harn attracts small groups of mostly local surfers, with decent waves ranging from a half-meter to 3-meter swells at each end of the beach. But also, Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Kalim Beach, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach, Bangtao Beach and Nai Yang Beach.
2. Eat traditional Thaï food
The traditional Thaï food is amazing and it is really easy to find veggie choices! We really loved green/ red curry and Pad Thaï. If you like Asian food, you will love these dishes! Be careful if you are not used to eating spices start with a red curry before a green lol.
You should visit Phuket old town. This Sino-Portuguese splendors and funky shops in the most unlikely places will surprise and delight you in the heart of Phuket. Phuket Old Town offers much more than you think, with some excellent restaurants and local sights. The unique blend of colonial and Chinese architecture, along with a tangible quaintness, makes for a fascinating and unforgettable afternoon spent sauntering around Phuket’s Old Town.
Also, you can visit Phuket night’s markets. Indeed, Phuket has an impressive selection of night markets to choose from. Each one has its own unique charm, but all of them offer interesting souvenirs at low prices. The markets are an excellent place to try local street food and snacks, and some also have street performances and music.
3. Visit Railey Beach in Krabi
Railey beach is a must to see. If you want to see beaches made of clear water, rock formations and long tails boats, you need to go there! To reach Railey beach, you need first to go to Krabi, 2 hours from Phuket by car. You can take a taxi for 90$. When you have arrived in Krabi, you need to go to Ao Niang. This is where you will take a long tail boat, you will be at Railey beach in 15 minutes. Ok, I will not lie to you, it is really crowded, there are many tourists, but it is absolutely stunning! This place so unique. If you are afraid of the crowd you should try to come really early! You will
To have more information about Krabi, read our post “visit Krabi in Thailand: the best spots“!
4. Visit an elephant sanctuary in Phuket
If you like elephants you need to boycott the circus and elephant riding in Asia! Instead of this, you should definitively visit an elephant sanctuary that is respectful to the elephants! You can spend a half-day or a full day with the elephants. You can feed them with bananas and watermelons it’s really fun! They are adorable and beautiful creatures. Please never ride elephants in Thailand, don’t go to elephant shows at a circus, or see elephant paintings.
There is a dark side to elephant tourism that many people just don’t seem to be aware of. In these places, elephants are chained and mistreated. They are struck to be subject and they collapse during rides because they are exhausted. Elephants are living beings, like us! They feel pain, joy, sadness and love and the lack of freedom! They worth to be well treated and they never should be in captivity.
These elephant sanctuaries rescue elephants mistreated and they offer them a place to be free to be an elephant and not an attraction. If you want to meet elephants, go to a sanctuary, you will help them to buy more elephants and offer to them a better life. The afternoon we have spent there was magical, there are no words to explain how it is to see elephants free, in their natural habitat. If you want to visit an elephant sanctuary, visit Phuket elephant sanctuary. To have more information, read our post about why you should visit an elephant sanctuary.
Note: Be careful before visiting any elephant sanctuary and make your own research. Indeed, several circuses and places where elephants are abused are now boycotted by tourists. So, they are now trying to also create fake sanctuaries that still abusing animals /!\
5. Explore the temples
These are the Wat Chalong temples. Locals come to pray and tourists come to discover the Buddhist culture. These temples are absolutely incredible and really worth a visit if you are in Phuket! You can park your car easily for free and take the time to visit the temples. It is open from 7 am to 5 pm. The exact location is 6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Rd, Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand.
6. Visit the Big Buddha in Phuket
The Big Buddha is beautiful and is definitively a must to visit in Phuket. This statue on the top of the city has a strong meaning for the locals, it symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith. Phuket’s Big Buddha is one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks on the island. The big Buddha sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and, at 45 meters tall. This place is easily reachable via a 6-km road leading from Phuket’s main artery route, it’s a must-visit island destination. You can park your car at the entrance of the site and walk around 10 minutes to the Big Buddha. It is open from 6 am to 7 pm. The exact location is Soi Yot Sane 1, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
7. Spend a day at Koh-Hong island
Koh Hong island is absolutely beautiful. It looks like Railay beach. To visit
8. Visit Koh Phi Phi islands
The Phi Phi Islands are Thailand’s superstar archipelago, particularly famous for Maya Bay’s role in the 2000 movie The Beach. It is the topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand. For some, it’s the only reason to touchdown in Phuket. Even if this place is crowded, it is absolutely beautiful.
You need at least 2 days on the Phi Phi islands because it will take you around 2 hours by boat to get there. To get to Phi Phi, there are two options: ferries and speedboats. The ferry is by far the most popular method of reaching the islands and the less expensive one. Ferries take about two hours from Phuket and 90 minutes from Krabi or Koh Lanta. The main departure/arrival port in Phuket is Rassada Pier, located in Phuket Town.
9. Have a flower bath/ a traditional Thaï massage
Have a flower bath was also an amazing experience, it was so relaxing and smelt so good! If you come to Thailand you should definitively try a flower bath! Also, traditional Thaï massages are amazing, if you come to Thailand you should have one!
10. Ride on a long tail boat
Have a ride on a long tail boat in Thailand is definitely an amazing experience! You can have a tour with these boats when you are going to the islands (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Hong…)
Hi, I was reading your lovely journal on the New Caledonia and Thailand and am looking forward to read more on your beautifully rich traveling experiences. I too possess passion for travel and visited many countries one of the was Thailand. I am originally from Sydney, though was not born there, currently living in the USA. Just like you I’ve always loved living on islands and my dream would be to retire only if I could find one. Well, time flies every so quickly and I am in my retirement already and realized if I don’t do it soon most probably it will never happen. So my question to you is: where do you think in Thailand would be your recommendation to look; We both English speaking.. I am looking for beauty, security and affordability. I had my eye on New Caledonia but after reading your notes, I think I’ve changed my mind. Also, I don’t speak French but would love to learn. I love France, Paris and course Provence and south of France. But it’s not an island life and I believe gets cold in the winter time. I’ve always loved Thailand, their kindness and food is just amazing. Living close to elephants, monkeys, palm trees. My dream too.. I admire your sprit and joy de vivre and that you’re from Paris. Your English is superb. Have you visited Samoa islands by any chance.? If you can please reply to my private email, that way I can find your reply Thanks so much in advance! Eve
Hello Eve, thank you for your comment! I will reply to you by email 🙂