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6 Best Day Trips from Phuket

If you want to enjoy a relaxing evening, I invite you to get to know the surroundings of Phuket. The island is surrounded by paradisiacal bays and caves, with many entertainment options.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

6 Best Day Trips from Phuket

Phuket | Humphrey Muleba

Phuket is a very interesting and lively city, where you can spend the best vacations. If you want to live the full experience, you should get to know its surroundings. The best way to do this is with an excursion, which are usually done by car, coach or ferry.

An excursion is one of the best things to do in Phuket, as it takes you to the locations where famous movies were filmed. There are tours that take you to stroll through its caves, beaches and paradisiacal coasts. In addition, you can learn to dive, in areas with ideal conditions for this type of adventure.

1. Excursion to Phang Bay from Phuket

Phang Bay| ©Phuket@photographer.net
Phang Bay| ©[email protected]

Phang Nga Bay is one of the most photographable places in Thailand, offering crystal clear waters and limestone caves. It has about 300 islets, but most of them have no beach, only vegetation spaces. Thousands of tourists come here every year, but at the beginning of the year it is usually less crowded. Therefore, I recommend you to opt for the activities to do in Phuket in January.

In this bay is located the Ao Phang Nga National Park, home of James Bond Island. Several scenes of the saga titled under the same name were filmed here, so you can enjoy a tour of the filming areas. This scenic excursion will take you to discover paradisiacal sites as well as nearby islands.

Specifically, most scenes were brought to life on the tropical island of Kadu, where Phuket's most unique landscapes are hidden. By taking this adventure with a professional guide, you can discover its history and curiosities.

I recommend you take advantage of the activities to do in Phuket in October, as this month marks James Bond Day.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 115 € per person.
  • Duration: approximately eight hours.
  • Means of transport: includes round trip transfer.
  • Advantages of this option: it is an experience for small groups.
  • Disadvantages of this option: not suitable for pregnant women.

Book a tour to Phang Nga Bay

2. Excursion to the monkey cave from Phuket

Monkey cave| ©shankar s
Monkey cave| ©shankar s

Phuket is home to a variety of Thai monkey species, so there are sacred areas where they are honored and preserved. The Monkey Cave is a tourist magnet, as there are hundreds of monkeys playing outdoors. Remember that it is important not to touch them and to respect their habitat.

Keep in mind that it is a very visited destination, due to the fact that inside it houses a giant Buddha, striking jewelry and other mythical statues. In the surroundings you can walk along the cliffs, to enjoy the best views of the bay.

You can also go rafting, canoeing and zip-lining. For the more daring travelers, you can take an ATV ride through the forest and mangroves. Additionally, the tour will take you to the Ton Pariwat waterfall, a Thai wildlife reserve.

For your trip, I recommend planning activities to do in Phuket in November, as the weather is more pleasant.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 45 € per person.
  • Duration: about ten hours.
  • Means of transport: generally include round-trip service in a comfortable car, available free of charge to the central areas of Phuket. Transportation to other locations is at an additional cost.
  • Advantages of this option: travel insurance is usually included.
  • Disadvantages of this option: the quota of travelers is limited, so it sells out quickly.

Book a Monkey Cave Tour

3. PADI Certification Excursion from Phuket

Scuba Diving Day| ©Phuket@photographer.net
Scuba Diving Day| ©[email protected]

Thailand is an ideal destination for scuba diving, however many people miss this opportunity because they do not have basic knowledge. A PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification is the best way to explore the seabed, without risks or worries.

This type of excursions take you to know the sea at your own pace, since you have three days to learn the essential diving techniques. It is an activity that allows you to know the main beaches of Phuket.

Some of the beaches to practice scuba diving

  • Patong beach: it is a beach surrounded by bars and nightclubs, so it offers a variety of activities to do in Phuket at night. You must respect the swimming areas, so I recommend you to visit it with a group or a professional guide.
  • Kata Beach: if you are looking for activities to do in Phuket in October, this beach is the ideal destination. After your PADI lessons, you can surf and snorkel like a pro, taking advantage of the calm and crystal clear waters.
  • Karon Beach: one of the longest beaches on the island, it merges fun and relaxation spaces, so it is ideal for the whole family. Here there is a perfect viewpoint to rest and appreciate the city, besides the Big Buddha of Phuket.
  • Chalong Beach: if you want to try seafood, I recommend you to go to this area. Here is located the Phuket Botanical Garden, where you can observe a natural spectacle of butterflies.
  • Racha Yai Island: it is undoubtedly the best dive site on the island. Besides, it is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters, so it is excellent if you are looking for activities to do in Phuket with children.

By opting for a PADI course, you will be accompanied at all times by a professional safety team. In addition, you will do at least five dives, which will help you learn to dive.

It is important to remember that

For safety reasons, it is not advisable to take a plane before or after a dive. The waiting time is at least twenty-four hours, to eliminate nitrogen from your body. Therefore, I recommend you to plan a visit of at least 7 days to Phuket. This way, you will have enough time to explore and practice water sports safely.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 427 € per person.
  • Duration: approximately 3 days.
  • Means of transportation: round trip transportation in a comfortable car.
  • Advantages of this option: includes some meals, insurance and accommodation.
  • Disadvantages of this option: not suitable for short itineraries.

Book an excursion with PADI Certification

4. James Bond Island Excursion from Phuket

James Bond Island| ©Robert Padovani
James Bond Island| ©Robert Padovani

If you enjoy spy movies, this excursion is a great option. Much of the James Bond saga was filmed here, with the first coming out in 1962 and the last in 2021, resulting in 25 editions.

Specifically, the ninth movie, entitled The Man with the Golden Gun, was filmed in Phuket. Many action scenes took place on Bond Island. A curious fact is that before the filming, the island was known as Ko Tabu.

This type of excursion not only takes you to see the most famous scenes, but also allows you to experience snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding and jumping from water slides. During the tour it is very important that you wear your life jacket for safety reasons.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 122 € per person.
  • Duration: about eight hours.
  • Means of transportation: includes round trip transfers in a comfortable car, as well as the trip aboard a boat.
  • Advantages of this option: includes professional guidance.
  • Disadvantages of this option: not suitable for pregnant women.

Book an excursion to James Bond Island

5. Phi Phi Islands tour from Phuket

Phi Phi Islands| ©Corey Hamilton
Phi Phi Islands| ©Corey Hamilton

The Phi Phi islands are an archipelago in the middle of the Andaman Sea, surrounded by crystal clear waters. Its spaces attract thousands of tourists, so it is advisable to book in advance.

From here you can access by boat to Monkey Beach, which is full of playful monkeys camping on the island. The advantage of visiting this area with a professional guide is that you can learn about the rules of the island. Although the monkeys tend to approach people and accept food, it is dangerous to invade their personal space.

Additionally, The Beach, a 2000 movie starring Leonardo Dicaprio, was filmed on these islands. Specifically, most scenes revolve around Maya Bay. This bay is surrounded by cliffs, plus fun activities are organized in November.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 86 € per person.
  • Duration: approximately 10 hours.
  • Means of transportation: usually includes round trip transportation in a comfortable vehicle, as well as the sea transfer by catamaran.
  • Advantages of this option: may include breakfast and lunch.
  • Disadvantages of this option: usually cannot be done in case of bad weather conditions.

Book an excursion to Phi Phi Islands

6. Canoeing excursion in Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island from Phuket.

Phang Nga Bay| ©Phuket@photographer.ne
Phang Nga Bay| ©[email protected]

Canoeing is a water sport, also known as canoeing. In Thailand there are many entertainment options that include this adventure. During this kind of tours you can stroll along the sea, while enjoying the sounds of nature.

Between Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island, you should make a mandatory stop at Hong Island, as it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. It offers more tranquility, plus it has a little-known lagoon ideal for relaxing.

A guided excursion allows you to enjoy a buffet lunch, local snacks, live shows and a tour of the mangrove forest. In addition, this island is ideal for snorkeling or swimming in the sun.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 97 € per person.
  • Duration: about ten hours.
  • Means of transportation: usually includes round trip transfer in an air-conditioned minivan. In this case, you can depart from a private port.
  • Advantages of this option: this option may include local meals, vegetarian dishes, as well as entrance fees to the main attractions.
  • Disadvantages of this option: it is not recommended for people with back problems, as all travelers need to paddle to balance the raft.

Book the best excursions in Phuket

Tips for an excursion from Phuket

Sunscreen| ©Moose Photos
Sunscreen| ©Moose Photos

Here are some recommendations that will come in handy when making any of these excursions:

Beware of monkeys

The monkeys of the islands can be a bit naughty, they even tend to take cell phones. The best way to enjoy your visit is to respect their space. I also do not recommend feeding them, as it can be dangerous for them.

If you take a guided tour, your guide can guide you on what to do and what to avoid.

Choose the right destination

The most suitable excursion will depend on what you want to see in Phuket. There are scenic tours, which take you to iconic movie sets. You can also find rafting, zip-line experiences, hiking or scuba diving.

If what you want is to get to know the city in depth, the best Phuket tours take you to walk around the old town, monuments and other iconic spaces.

Check the weather report

Most island tours are not available during the rainy season, which runs from June to October. The sea usually has a strong and dangerous swell, so you run the risk of rescheduling.

From November to April you can travel and enjoy dry weather, with a low probability of rainfall.

Take advantage of local celebrations

I suggest you plan activities to do in Phuket in November, as this is when the Loi Krathong Festival takes place.

This is a ritual of thanksgiving, where boats are built from banana leaves in honor of the goddess of water. This activity takes place in all the islands of the country, including Phi Phi, James Bond and Phang Nga.

Avoid the crowds

The high season runs from December to April, at this time the island is full of tourists. Therefore, it is more difficult to find excursions and spaces without crowds. This is due to the good weather of the season, which is an advantage for water adventures.

However, in this season the prices of accommodation are high. On the other hand, the low season, from June to November, is ideal since you will find discounts on lodging and attractions. Again, November is the best month to visit the island as summer starts, but there are still not so many tourists.

Take out travel insurance

During your vacation it is important to travel with peace of mind. A full coverage travel insurance is the best way to cross out hundreds of worries. In case you get sick, you will have immediate assistance and save a few euros. Some tours include insurance, something you should check before booking.

The main risk of illness in Thailand, lies in the food. Some people may have allergic reactions to tropical fruits or spicy foods. It is something that cannot be predicted, but you can prevent it and travel with peace of mind with an insurance.

There are options from 2 € per day, which cover medical assistance up to 600 €, repatriation, theft and damage of luggage, among others.

Prepare your excursion kit

When planning a trip to the outskirts of Phuket, it is important to bring an excursion kit. I recommend packing comfortable clothes, sturdy sneakers, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, hydration and a map of the island.

Note that there are tours that return to Phuket the same day. However, some adventures last several days, so be well prepared.

Book the best tours in Phuket

A comparison of excursion options from Phuket

  • Excursion to Phuket Phang Bay from Phuket
  • From 115 € per person
  • Approximately eight hours
  • Advantages: Customized experience for small groups
  • Disadvantages: not suitable for pregnant women
  • Monkey cave tour from Phuket
  • From 45 € per person
  • About ten hours
  • Advantages: includes travel insurance
  • Disadvantages: quotas run out quickly
  • PADI Certification Excursion from Phuket
  • From 427 € per person
  • Approximately three days
  • Advantages: includes some meals, insurance and accommodation
  • Disadvantages: not suitable for short itineraries
  • James Bond Island Tour from Phuket
  • From €122 per person
  • About eight hours
  • Advantages: includes professional guide
  • Disadvantages: not suitable for pregnant women
  • Excursion to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket
  • From 86 € per person
  • Approximately ten hours
  • Advantages: offers breakfast and lunch
  • Disadvantages: cannot be done in case of bad weather conditions.
  • Canoeing tour of Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island from Phuket
  • From 97 € per person
  • About ten hours
  • Advantages: includes entrance to the main attractions
  • Disadvantages: not recommended for people with back problems