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Top 7 activities in Phucket + Tips

activities-phucket

Selection of the best activities to do in Phuket

We are looking for what to do in Phuket. What to see and visit in Phuket? This island is an ideal base camp to explore different sites in southern Thailand and go on excursions. Our TOP 7 includes all the essential activities in Phucket: excursions, heavenly beaches, fun leisure activities, tourist attractions, and activities, etc.

What to do in Phuket?

Explore Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island at sunrise

Phang Nga Bay is a superb national park located north of Phuket. With its vast karst rocks sticking out of the water by the dozens, it looks like the famous Halong Bay in Vietnam. On many travel sites, you will see the term ‘James Bond Island’ more often, which corresponds to the most famous island in the bay (where a scene from the movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed ).

Tips & Practical Info

Most of the islands in Phang Nga Bay are wild and uninhabited. The best way to explore the bay is to join an excursion. These excursions differ from other islands since they do not offer snorkeling or long hours on paradisiacal beaches. Above all, they allow you to discover fantastic landscapes by boat, on foot, and even by canoe!

Please note the site is trendy and sometimes a victim of its success with many daily visits. To avoid the crowds, we recommend that you book a sunrise tour! 

Discover the paradisiacal sites of the Phi Phi Islands

A visit to Phuket with a stopover in Koh Phi Phi would be complete! Extremely popular, this archipelago made up of two main islands is one of the highlights of Thai tourism. Although there are often crowds, you should take advantage of them as the two islands are full of magnificent places. Moreover, by spending a night there or booking a tour with a departure before sunrise, you can avoid most other tourists and thus discover the riches of this natural space in the best possible conditions.

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Tips & Practical Info

To get to the main island (Koh Phi Phi Don), the cheapest option is to take the ferry from Phuket. You can then spend as much time there as you want and book a hotel on the island if you plan to stay there for several days.

The Phi Phi Islands offer many sites of interest, which you can discover in one day: lagoon, Maya Bay beach (observed from afar and nonstop because the site is currently closed), snorkeling session (diving with mask and snorkels) to observe many fish and even a small shark (harmless species), a beach full of monkeys (but not possible to stop because they can be aggressive), etc.

Relax on the beaches of Phuket: Kata Beach, Freedom Beach…

The beaches of Phuket are beautiful, but they are often much busier than those of the neighboring islands. We advise you to go there for good days of relaxation without devoting your entire stay to it. If you can visit other islands (such as Koh Lanta or Koh Lipe, for example), you will find quieter beaches, which ultimately seem a little more beautiful. Nevertheless, only leave Phuket after testing at least one of its beaches!

Tips & Practical Info

Freedom Beach is the quietest beach in Phuket (arguably the most beautiful). It is near Patong Beach, the island’s most “armored” beach. Why this difference? Because Freedom Beach is difficult to access! You must either take a boat from Patong or the surrounding area and pay 1000 to 1500 Baht or follow a steep and relatively long path through the forest to reach the beach. But once you arrive, the reward is worthy of the effort since the beach looks like a little corner of paradise on this (a little too) touristy island.

Other much easier-to-access beaches offer great relaxation and swimming opportunities, such as those of Kata, Kata Noi, Nai Harn, Bang Tao, or even Karen Beach.

Visit ethical animal sanctuaries: elephants, dogs, gibbons

You will often be asked to interact with animals during your stay in Phuket. Please be careful not to accept any offer; animals are often mistreated! You must, at all costs, avoid posing with tigers or riding on elephants. Also, beware of the word “sanctuary,” sometimes used only for marketing purposes. Fortunately, several ethical centers allow you to meet animals that have lived a life of suffering but are now cared for in much better conditions.

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Tips & Practical Info

Among the sanctuaries and meeting centers with animals, here are the most renowned:

  • Soi Dog Foundation: this center cares for stray cats and dogs and helps them find a better life. It’s harrowing, if somewhat sad; the tour is offered free of charge, but where donations are welcome.
  • Phuket Elephant Sanctuary: this elephant sanctuary in Phuket is quite famous. The founder of the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, the best sanctuary in the country, also supports him. On-site, it is possible to observe the elephants, feed them and interact with them in respect of the animal.
  • Gibbon Rehabilitation Project: This place aims to allow gibbons to evolve freely once again and in the wild in the forests of Phuket. These animals, unfortunately, disappeared from the island several years ago before being reintroduced, thanks to this project. The animals in the center are rescued animals that have escaped abusive tourist exploitation and whose center seeks to reaccustom them to wildlife. Thanks to them, more than 30 gibbons could find wildlife on the island!

                       – Avoid places exploiting wild animals: Please avoid all places offering extensive interaction with usually wild animals and “pictures shoots” with animals (tigers, monkeys…). These animals are exploited for tourist purposes and live in very precarious conditions. As visitors to this beautiful country, we believe these wildlife-destroying practices should not be encouraged.

Do a fun activity in Phuket: quad biking, rafting, zip lines…

Phuket is a very touristic island; there are plenty of pretty cool activities to explore the island in a fun and original way. To change from relaxing days at the beach, we advise you to try a quad-type activity, giant zip lines, or rafting. They are offered in beautiful sites and allow you a lot of fun.

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Tips & Practical Info

Some tours allow you to test several of these activities in Phucket to vary the pleasures simultaneously. If your budget allows it, it’s the best option for a good time of fun and relaxation.

Take a snorkeling trip to the Similan or Surin Islands

Even though it is possible to go diving in Koh Phi Phi or islands closer to Phuket, there are more beautiful places to discover underwater life. The most beautiful reefs are found at the level of the Similan Islands and the Surin Islands, in the northwest of the province, in the Adaman Sea. You can see beautiful corals populated by thousands of fish. If you like snorkeling (diving with a mask and tuba), this dive in crystal clear waters should please you a lot!

Tips & Practical Info

Be careful, the Similan Islands are very popular, and the number of tours still needs to be increased. It is, therefore, necessary to book several days in advance under the penalty of having limited availability once on site. So you can opt for an excursion to the Surin Islands, located further north. They are further from Phuket, which adds boat time, but according to locals, their corals are even more beautiful, and there are fewer tourists.

On-site, you can observe many underwater species and very colorful corals (and in much better shape than on Koh Phi Phi…). These are probably the most beautiful corals we have seen in Thailand. It is also possible to visit a Moken village, a nomadic seafaring people. It is an enjoyable visit in an authentic setting, where you meet many children, cats, and chickens!

Animate your evenings: shows, Muay Thai, or party on Bangla Road

Impossible to talk about Phuket without mentioning its incredible nightlife. If you come to a party, Bangla Road in the Patong district is a must. There are huge bars and nightclubs, and constant entertainment from 8 p.m. Suppose you want to occupy your evenings more calmly. In that case, you can go to one of the many shows (Fantasea, which is not recommended due to the excessive use of elephants, Siam Niramit, Simon Cabaret, or even Muay Thai matches). Finally, for a romantic moment, why not stroll along the beach in the moonlight?

 

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