11 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Phuket
While it may not be Thailand's biggest tourist destination, Phuket is undoubtedly the country's most laid-back island. Kicking off and landing right by the south side of Chumphon's Phang Nga Bay, Phuket is a very busy place in the hot and tropical season with around three million visitors each year, but the nights and days become a bit more calm when the tourist hordes have departed.
If you're only planning to visit a few things on your trip, the Phuket tour takes in all of the main destinations. The Island, Khao Lak, the Old Town, and Kata are all easily accessible from each other, and all of them offer something very different. A visit to the Khao Lak coastal area is about as Phuket as you'll get, with several unspoiled beaches, Phang Nga's best cave temple, and small villages scattered around.
If you're traveling with a more general idea of what you want to see in Phuket, here's a general overview of what you might want to do: the Wetlands, Phuket Old Town, Chalong Waterfront, Kata Beach, Patong, Khao Lak, and Khao Lak Prang.
Check out our recommendations and if you have something not included, add your favorite attractions in Phuket to our list!
An ideal setting for an all-inclusive beach experience on an island best known for its scenery is Patong Beach, which extends along the south coast of Phuket. Headless nymphs watch over the sea in a nearby temple, and traditional Thai women sell handicrafts while peddling postcards and snacks. While nearby Bang Tao is Thailand's premier scuba diving spot, Patong has a laid-back ambience and remains the island's main destination. To the north, the Rama 9, 10 and 11 islands are popular diving destinations, while the historic Old Town of Phuket features a collection of wooden houses, some with coral roofs. Thailand's main seaport, Phuket, is also a pleasant place to visit.
Karon Beach is a pleasant stretch of paradise on the northeastern coast of Phuket. Visitors to the beautiful area are charmed by the serene landscape of the verdant hills, the sunshine, and the sweeping beach, which is peppered with stilted restaurants and an abundance of clear water. The island of Phuket is part of Thailand's famous Andaman coast, which stretches from Krabi to Phang Nga in southern Thailand. This coast has many beautiful beaches, but Karon Beach is the most populated and easy to reach, with road access via both Karon and Rawai towns, and from Phuket Airport. There is a good selection of restaurants on offer, along with many small cafes and shops. This is a quiet area, and popular with Thai families, so bring your camera.
Phuket Old Town
An ancient and attractive Thai city with interesting architectural features, Old Town (Phuket) is located inland from Bangla Road. Inhabited by people since the Neolithic Age, the city's historical roots go back some 5,000 years. Phuket Old Town was destroyed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Many of the city's most interesting places are made up of old Bangkok buildings relocated here during the 1970s. They include buildings from Phuket's late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century heyday, such as the Thai Pavilion and Phang-nga Mansion, where the ruins of a Thai palace, dating from the late nineteenth century, still stand at the city's southern end. The Thai Pavilion, Phuket Old Town's most popular tourist attraction, is one of the island's most important cultural centers. It displays a large variety of Thai furnishings, textiles, and ceramics, as well as rare sculptures.
Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park, Phuket is part of a stunning arc of volcanic mountain peaks along the border of Phang Nga, Krabi and Phuket provinces. The park covers 22 square miles of mostly rainforest and contains one of the biggest intact swamps in Southeast Asia. The park has an impressive diversity of animals including the iconic Mekong Giant Catfish. A clear trail leads up to the park headquarters, where there is a natural spring water and viewing platform. A more challenging climb leads up to Khao Sok Falls (Khao Sok Ton), which drop 779 meters. The falls are home to much wildlife, including some of the rarest mammals in Asia including the Asian Elephant and the Sun Bear.
Wat Chalong is a major temple in Phuket, Thailand. Wat Chalong Temple is a very beautiful temple in Phuket that is very famous for its amazing view of the island. Wat Chalong has the highest standard Thai temple which is very spectacular. The temple has a six faced Buddha statue which is very impressive. Wats of Thailand are one of the best places to be in the whole world.
Phang Nga Bay
Named after the kingdom that built the massive limestone cave that lies at the heart of the Phang Nga Bay, this paradise of pristine coral reefs, swaying palms, translucent water and verdant lowlands is rightly famous for its tropical beauty. Phang Nga is often overlooked when people think of Thailand, but it's a paradise. While Phuket is the main focus for most visitors, the largest natural formation in the country, Nang Thong and the coral reefs of Hang Ao are no less impressive and cannot be missed.
Kata Beach is a small beach in Phuket that, despite its small size, is visited by a high number of people, as it's well known as a quiet and peaceful beach with a longboard wave. Many tour groups are organized every day that allow their visitors to visit and experience Kata's beautiful beach and peaceful scenery. The beach is in the south of Phuket island and is also a favorite with bathers from Phuket island's west coast. Access to Kata Beach is from the main Naiharn Highway (towards Talay Phuket International Airport) on the east side.
Hat Nai Yang
Situated just west of Phuket's eastern shore is this picturesque but very little visited little-in-thrift tropical island (or bungalow), situated in the Andaman Sea. The island boasts beaches, rolling waves, and glorious natural beauty, which, if you're looking for that secret away spot, makes it the perfect place to go. The whole island is covered by some of the most secluded bungalows and apartments available in the area, and with many property owners making their residences available for rent, this is the place to be. For those not looking to stay in Phuket, the entire island offers up beaches and an ample supply of dive shops, restaurants and bars in case you're into that sort of thing.
Similan Islands National Park
Ranging from sandstone cliffs to thickly forested mountains, Similan Islands National Park offers visitors a varied array of natural habitats and a variety of flora and fauna. The national park is in the Similan Islands in Phang Nga province, Thailand. It comprises seven islands, all of which are joined to the neighboring mainland by man-made causeways. The seven islands that constitute the park are Maha Nang, Ao Loh, Theerth, Hin Bun, Hin Lek, Hin Moo, and Hin Talat. The relatively easy day hike along the jagged coast of Ao Loh is one of the park's most popular attractions. The strong currents and submerged rocks can make for some tricky conditions along the seashore.
Located in Krabi province, the Railay Beach of Phuket is one of Thailand's most luxurious and scenic stretches of sand. Formerly the private property of King Rama VI (better known as Rama IX), today the Railay Beach resort is open to the public and is home to a string of small hotels and numerous shops and restaurants. The real attractions of the Railay Beach resort are the long stretches of unspoiled, powdery-white sand and clear waters of the Andaman Sea. The many resorts and hotels are just a short walk apart, offering easy access to shops and restaurants on the Railay Beach's palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea.
Phuket is Thailand's largest island, famed for its golden beaches, lush rainforests, beautiful karst limestone scenery and sophisticated nightlife. The southern portion is called the Andaman coast, and is home to the colorful and exotic island of Phuket. The island has a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere where you can find entertainment, shops, restaurants and beautiful beaches. Things to do in Phuket include white-sand beaches, diving, birdwatching, jungle trekking, sailing, hiking, snorkeling, boat trips and water sports, such as surfing, canoeing, and sailing.