Top 10 things to see and do in Phuket

By Derek Kirk

Family friendly attraction gibbons

Phuket's natural beauty, thriving international community and pristine beaches set it apart fro Thailand’s other resorts. Even after the tsunami of 2004, the communities consolidated efforts have succeeded in holding on to almost all of the former clout as a tourist hub. The tourist industry here is second to none, and visitors are always well catered for, no matter their preferences or background. Here’s our 10 recommendations, in now specific order.

Adventure sports
Adventure sports are top-notch in Phuket, and due to the island's status as one of Asia's top tourist destinations, the offerings and equipment are first rate as well. The adrenaline sports of Phuket are all about getting a new perspective on things. Nothing affords this better than perching on the back of an elephant and traipsing through the jungle or taking a plunge under the care of Thailand's only licensed bungee jump operator. There's also a shooting range on the island and it's possible to join guided ATV tours headed to remote beaches and into the hills on the island's interior. Less jostling go-kart rides can be taken in most of the major towns.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre
The Gibbon Fund is found on the Royal Reserve on the same land as the Bang Pae Waterfall. This project takes domesticated gibbons and makes every effort to reintroduce them into the wild. To date, three families have been successfully grafted back into their natural environment, and lucky visitors can catch sight of these primates among the trees.

Water sports
The beaches at Phuket are world-renown for their clear and calm Andaman waters. Visitors arriving on the island have the opportunity to enjoy water-related sports and activity which are central to a stay in Phuket. Diving and snorkelling present a wonderful vantage point on the underwater environment. To take in the vistas directly above sea level, there are mooring areas all over the island with the possibilities of sailing lessons, dinner cruises, fishing expeditions and kayaking. Those who wish to raise themselves high above the water can gain a new perspective on the island while parasailing. More on watersports.

An island tour should be on your ‘to do’ list

Island hopping
The Thai islands of the Andaman Sea are known around the world for their beauty and glamour. A couple of them have been featured in James Bond films, with another having appeared in the Hollywood film, The Beach. Boats can be chartered to every one of the islands in the archipelago, and some of them offer modern amenities and accommodation, while others remain remote and relatively untouched. Some of the most staggering views can be found around these more primitive islands and can be comfortably enjoyed from the boat, some of which are sleeper-equipped. Islands like Phi Phi have plenty of accommodation to offer guests. More on day trips.

The three major waterfalls of Phuket are all worthy of their own daytrip. Ton Sai is a picturesque waterfall surrounded by palm trees. Kathu Waterfall is located farther inland and many visitors choose to stop here and enjoy a picnic or a swim in its cool pools. Bang Pae Waterfall sits on the land of the Gibbon Fund and visitors to this stretch of land can enjoy the scenic waterfall along with the added possibility of catching sight of a gibbon in its natural surroundings.

Eating out
What better reason to travel to Thailand than to enjoy the endless supply of Thai food? The abundance of fresh seafood only enhances this draw in Phuket, where the tourist scene rolls out a full menu of possibilities ranging from Thai favourites to international specialties. Quality dishes can be found at the food stalls and small restaurants as well as at the resorts and five-star hotels. The most authentic food is found away from the beaches.

While Phuket's shopping scene is as exhaustive as the markets in Bangkok, there are still plenty of opportunities for bargain shoppers, antique hunters and more mainstream shoppers seeking souvenirs. Leather goods, ceramics, jewellery and clothing are in steady supply. It's even possible to get fitted by a tailor and have some clothes custom-made during your stay. More on restaurants in Phuket.

Wat Chalong offers culture away from the beach

Thai kick boxing
Muay Thai is Thailand's contribution to the martial arts scene. This form of kick boxing has been developed and honed in Thailand for centuries, recognised today for its highly effective moves. Exhibitions take place in Phuket Town every Friday night. Meanwhile, those who wish to study Muay Thai will find training gyms located in Phuket as well as at Rawai and Chalong.

There are a few Buddhist temples, or wats, on the island. Most of them are easily accessed from the main roads, and local taxi drivers will readily know them all. Shoes should be removed and shoulders and knees covered before entering a Thai temple. Some of the well-reputed temples include Pra Nahng Sahng, Pra Tong, Put Jaw, Jui Tui and Sanjao Sam San. Wat Chalong is probably the most popular with tourists, with its many murals, unusual design and modern pagodas.

Promthep Cape
Promthep Cape has been widely photographed over the years, mostly for its spectacular scenery and beautiful sunsets. It's also worth a visit to take a look at the peculiar shrine which locals adorn with miniature elephants as a means of making merit. There's also a statue that was built in honour of the Thai prince who modernised the country's navigational methods and founded a maritime school in the 19th century.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Phuket weather and Thailand exchange rates