Things to do in Phuket, Thailand – 5 Best Picks
Phuket is a beautiful destination with exotic beaches and amazing nightlife. Visiting the surrounding islands tops the list of “things to do in Phuket.”. The Islands which can be accessed from Phuket are considered to be among the best islands in this globe!
I visited Phuket with my 2 other friends. We stayed at Patong beach in Phuket and had a blast at Bangla Road. We also visited king size tigers and experienced the thrill to be with these gigantic animals. Below mentioned are the top 5 things to do in Phuket from my experience.
1) Visit the Tigers: Tiger Kingdom is one of the major attractions in Phuket. We stayed at Patong beach and hence it was very close to our place. We booked a Cab and paid him 200 Baht for a to & fro journey to reach the tiger kingdom. We were enthralled by what we saw. Gigantic Tigers were resting in peace and lurking at the tourists, but in a friendly way.
Contrary to the popular belief, these tigers are not sedated or drugged. They are trained in such a manner that they don’t mind the company of humans. In fact, they are accustomed to be around humans since their birth. Visiting Tiger Kingdom one of the exciting things to do in Phuket.
There are 3 type of tigers. Large, Medium & Small. The small tigers are playful and the large are lazy. The most aggressive ones are the medium sized tigers. To spend 10 minutes with the large tigers, you will have to shell out 800 Baht per person. There are various combinations of tigers for which you have to pay accordingly. You can go through a list before choosing and can select accordingly. I would recommend this experience as it is a unique experience in Phuket.
2) Visit Phuket Islands: The islands surrounding Phuket are considered to be heavenly. These are the best places to visit in Phuket. The water is so clear that you can see the fishes below the water with naked eyes. There are 2 major islands which you can visit from Phuket. Phi Phi Island & Phang Nga Bay Islands (James Bond Island).
Phi Phi Island is extremely picturesque and you can indulge in snorkeling here. The experience is amazing as the water is very clear and plenty of fish are visible! Phang Nga Bay has islands which offer beautiful views and limestone cliffs. You can take part in Canoeing here in which you will navigate through the limestone caves.
You can reach these islands by buying tour packages from the tour operators. There are boats which leave regularly from Phuket to these islands, but it is recommended that you book these trips with the tour operators. They will take care of your lunch and offer hotel pick up and drop. Moreover, you will get to interact with a lot of people who accompany you in the trip.
Now, for these trips, you can bargain and get the best price possible. When we started looking for day trip packages, we were first offered 4000 Baht per person for Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga Bay trip. But, after comparing with 20 other tour agents, we finalized the deal for both islands in 2150 Baht per person. One out of every 5 shops in Phuket can help you book a trip. So, take a nice evening stroll and compare 20 odd tour agents. At the end of day, you can choose the best offer. Phi Phi Island is better than Phang Nga Bay. Hence, you can choose either of these two trips. Island trips top my things to do in Phuket list.
You can also opt for Scuba diving at Ko Tao Island. The island is a flight away and near Koh Sumai. It is seriously one of the best things to do in phuket. You can also consider a full moon party here if your dates match.
Some tips before going to Island trips near Phuket
- Carry Sun screen cream. You will be exposed to the mighty sun all day long
- Wear comfortable swimming clothes. Don’t wear jeans and all. You will get wet through out the day trip
- The tour company offers fins in case you want it for snorkeling. Trust me you don’t need it. You will be provided with a life jacket which is enough. The rent for Fins was 100 Baht, which was wasted in our case. Fins are generally used while Scuba diving. Here, you will participate in Snorkeling where Fins are not required.
- Be ready in time or the morning pick up car will leave you. Don’t let you previous night hangover ruin your day trip
- Mingle with people around. Know people from how many countries are with you in the boat. Every one has an interesting story
- While booking the trip, prefer speed boat over cruise. The cruise are very slow and can take a couple of hours to reach the destination. A speed boat will help you save time in reaching the islands and you can spend more time on the picturesque beaches. Moreover, it will be fun when the guide will crack jokes on those who feel uneasy due to the speed boat bumping and jumping around while in the sea.
The tour companies which arrange these trips are quite professional and once you have booked your tickets, you don’t need to worry about anything else. Below mentioned are some of the pics of our island trips. We went to Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga Bay
The beautiful beach during Phi Phi Island tour (Things to do in Phuket) During James Bond (Phang Nga) Island tour (Things to do in Phuket)
Another snapshot from James Bond Island tour (Things to do in Phuket) Beautiful beach within James Bond Island tour (Things to do in Phuket)
With our sweet instructor during the Phi Phi island tour (Things to do in Phuket)
3) Explore the nightlife at Bangla Road: It’s time to meet devilish girls of the much notorious night clubs at Bangla Road! On both the sides, there are pubs and girls gyrating to the music beats. There are some really fantastic places where you can get high on music. The Bangla road in Phuket looks like a deserted site at 7 pm in the evening. At around 8 pm, you can see pretty girls getting dressed up in shorts and mini skirts which cover almost nothing. As the clock ticks towards 9 pm, more and more girls keep pouring in the streets and start adding glamour to the Bangla Road. But, be wary of the ladyboys who also sneak in along with these girls. Slowly after 9 pm, the party scene starts and it goes on till the first ray of sunshine. Out of all the things to do in phuket, you cannot miss this. Getting drunk can be one of the best things to do in phuket.
In the bars & pubs, the strippers and dancers will come at your table and ask you to buy them a drink. You can if you want to but consider one thing. It is their are job to get you drunk and increase their business. So, set your priorities straight and splurge Bahts accordingly. For more such money saving tips, read this post.
Some of the most recommended night life destinations on & around Bangla Road in Phuket are mentioned below
- Tai-Pan: Great place to start your night in Phuket. Here you will get amazed by the good music and plenty of dancers. With one drink you get a free shot. So, get high here before heading to another night life venue.
- Hollywood Discotheque: A main attraction at Bangla road, the entry fee is 300 Baht which includes a drink. The music here is deafening and great light effects make this place trippy. When you use the washroom, the staff will give you a quick massage and expect 100 Baht in tip. If you don’t want to tip, prefer not letting them put hands on you. Hollywood nightclub is a proper disc. So, don’t expect Phuket girls going crazy for you as it might happen in Tai-Pan.
- Crocodile Bar (Soi Crocodile): A ladyboy bar on Bangla road, this bar can really set your expectations high. This bar will be most crowded due to the crazy dance moves of Ladyboys. You can spend time here and judge how does a ladyboy look which can be helpful in rest of your trip.
These three spots were the ones we enjoyed the most. The list becomes long if I include the places which are in my “censored” category. Drop a comment here and I will provide you access to the uncensored version of Bangla Road nightlife.
Apart from these spots, you can head to Banana Disco & Bar, Seduction Beach Club & Famous rooftop nightclub for having a blast. In addition to visiting these best nightlife spots in phuket, I recommend a walk in all the nooks & corners of the road. You will discover stuff which you never imagined. Phuket can surely surprise you! Did you include nightlife in your things to do in phuket list yet?
4) Explore surrounding beaches: The coastline around Phuket has many beaches which can be explored by walking along the shore. These beaches are Rawai Beach, Friendship beach, Kata beach etc. The Patong beach itself is not very attractive. There are many things to do in phuket beaches. You can choose one activity and enjoy.
Relaxing at patong beach (Things to do in Phuket)
5) Get Rejuvenated: Thai Massage is one of the best things to do in phuket, after a busy day trip or to fight previous night hangover. There are various massages available. I took a Thai Oil Massage for 400 Baht which lasted 1 hour. There are various massage parlors offering you massages at different prices. If your intention is to stay away from shady stuff, choose a costlier massage in a swanky parlor rather than a parlor where girls are inviting you. If your intention is other way around, do exactly the opposite. Thai massages are well know for the relaxation it can give. You can get a massage everyday and would not regret it.
The above 5 things to do in phuket would be highly recommend. There are other things to do in Phuket apart from the recommended list. I have mentioned them below. However, I didn’t find these things to do in Phuket very interesting. So, I decided to skip these.
- Simon Cabaret show: With beautifully dressed ladyboys, this show will entertain you by various dance moves and glittering surroundings. An experience in Phuket if you want to sit back and relax while enjoying a glamorous show.
- Phuket Fantasea show: With elephants more than needed, this is a kind of a circus which is recommended only if you are with kids. Otherwise, we consider it not too worthy of time and Bahts
- Thai Boxing: Highly overrated and overpriced. Believe me, you are not missing anything sightseeing in Phuket if you are missing this. The entry charge is very high and unworthy of paying. If you want to experience Thai fighting, go punch a Thai local in his face and believe me, you would never want to experience it again.
- Big Buddha: Yes, a worthy attraction. But, you will see it from a distance if you are going for an island trip. No need to pay a special visit unless and until you have plenty of time to spend while in Phuket
- Shopping: Being a tourist destination, Phuket also has a lot of shops which will offer you a lot of variety. But, keep shopping for Bangkok as you will find better variety at cheaper cost.
- Water Sports at beaches: Not a major at Phuket. These water sports are highly overpriced and the Patong beach is not that spectacular. Don’t waste your Bahts here.
So, that’s all about Phuket. These 5 things to do in phuket will club together and create an unforgettable experience for you. Don’t forget to click amazing pics which will frame the memories in your heart forever. I consider myself lucky that I was able to plan out and execute this trip. Cheers to my friends, Naman & Gaurav!!
Posing with Natalie, our Guide for Phi Phi Island (Things to do in Phuket)