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Best Things To Do in Phuket

Phuket is an island paradise where you can enjoy Thai customs in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Discover the best things to do during your visit!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Best Things To Do in Phuket

Sunset in Phuket | Aleksey Kurepin

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, therefore it offers a variety of entertainment options. It is a city known for its architecture, gastronomy, theme parties, paradise beaches and sacred experiences.

If you plan to visit Phuket for 5 days, you will probably have time to plan many activities. From hiking, to water parks, animal sanctuaries and museums. Unlike Bangkok, here you can escape the crowds and experience a relaxing vacation.

1. Live a unique experience in Phuket's elephant sanctuary.

Elephant Sanctuary| ©Jamie Monk
Elephant Sanctuary| ©Jamie Monk

In Thailand there are many centers that allow you to interact with elephants, however some practices are unethical as they are stressful for the animals. For this reason, the experience at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is completely ethical, compassionate and sustainable.

Their premise is that people adapt to elephants, never the other way around. Most are rescued from circuses, hard labor and tourist rides. When they arrive at the sanctuary they receive veterinary attention and special care.

There are informative talks that will allow you to learn about their preservation and feeding style. In addition, you can walk through their habitat, at a safe distance. The tour will take you to the ponds and open fields, where you can see the elephants playing and leading a free lifestyle.

Buy tickets for the Elephant Sanctuary

2. Appreciate the marine life at Aquaria Phuket

Aquaria Phuket| ©Mike Rowe
Aquaria Phuket| ©Mike Rowe

In the heart of the city is located Aquaria Phuket, known as the largest aquarium in Thailand, an ideal place if you are looking for activities to do with kids in Phuket.

Keep in mind that Aquaria Phuket is a learning space where otters, penguins, rays, and even sharks are fed. Remember that only professionals are authorized to perform these practices, for safety measures.

If you are interested in this visit, you can get tickets from 17 €. Additionally, the aquarium is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. To get there you should go to Vichitsongkram Street.

Buy tickets for Aquaria Phuket

3. Visit AR Trick Eye Museum Phuket

3D Museum| ©Jamie Monk
3D Museum| ©Jamie Monk

AR Trick Eye Museum is an augmented reality museum, where the whole family can explore through the senses. It offers 4D artworks, exhibitions and activities. For around €13, you will have access to simulations of volcanoes, jungles and lagoons.

If you plan to visit Phuket for 7 days, I suggest adding this interactive activity to your itinerary. It is located in the Mueang district and operates from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

You can buy a joint ticket to the aquarium and the AR Trick Eye Museum, which will save you a few euros.

4. Sign up for a show at Simon Cabaret

Simon Cabaret| ©shankar s
Simon Cabaret| ©shankar s

If you are looking for activities to do in Phuket at night, you have to consider a cabaret show. It is a fun, colorful and very original attraction.

The Simon Cabaret show is performed in an intimate theater and includes acrobatics, dance routines and music. In addition, the costumes and set design are an expression of Phuket culture.

Simon Cabaret is a family-friendly activity, running Monday through Sunday from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Please note that after a certain time, some shows are not recommended for children.

Buy tickets for the Simon Cabaret Show

5. Certificate in PADI and do an open water dive.

Scuba Diving in Phuket| ©Phuket Dive Center
Scuba Diving in Phuket| ©Phuket Dive Center

Diving is an experience, especially on the island of Phuket. However, it is important to have basic knowledge before making a dive. During your stay in the city, you can enroll in a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification course.

Classes usually last about three days, so that you can prepare yourself properly. The PADI certification is valid internationally, it is ideal to start recreational diving in waters with little current. This way, you can become an expert and explore the wonders of the seabed.

Book a 3-day trip for the PADI Open Water Diver Certification

6. Take a guided bar crawl around Phuket

Phuket Pub Crawl| ©Kenneth Leung
Phuket Pub Crawl| ©Kenneth Leung

Thailand is a multicultural country and its cities are up to the task, so you can find plenty of things to do in Phuket at night. There are a variety of entertainment options, especially on the party street.

This street is known as Bangla Road and has free nightclubs, where you will be greeted with complimentary shots. One of the most famous bars in Phuket is the Café del Mar, a beach bar on Kamala Beach that offers DJs, live music and specialty cocktails at night.

These types of experiences can be done on your own, but you also have the option of joining guided tours, these activities can be found from 20 €. Fun until dawn is guaranteed!

Book a pub crawl in Phuket

7. Plan water adventures in Phuket

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

Phuket is an island surrounded by water plans, such as boat rides, canoe tours and underwater experiences.

Snorkeling on Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is a small archipelago, ideal for snorkeling. There are excursions that take you to know it, from 86 € per person. Here the emerald water will allow you to explore the seabed, in the best bays of the country. In addition, you can venture into a Viking cave, as well as the limestone cliffs.

If you want to arrive directly to live this experience, you can book transfers from Phuket airport, which will save you time.

Book a tour to Phi Phi Islands

Board a luxury boat to the James Bond Islands.

Phuket has options for all budgets, if you want an exotic experience, you can take a luxury boat trip to James Bond Island, so called because this is where the James Bond spy saga was filmed. There are different family activities such as paddle boarding, exploring the sea caves by kayak, or jumping on slides to explore the seabed.

The cost of the experience is around 122 € per person, the advantage is that they usually include escort, travel insurance, WiFi on board and other essential services to set sail comfortably.

Book an excursion to James Bond Island

Canoe through the mangrove forest

Phuket is a beautiful city, however in high season it is crowded. To escape the crowds, you can venture into the mangrove forest by canoe. Here you will see crocodiles and other marine life living in the mud.

You can stop for a walk in Khao Phra Tae National Park, home to gibbons, an endangered species of Thai monkeys. From this area, the sunsets are breathtaking. In addition, there are uncrowded beaches nearby. The cost of this experience is approximately 87 € per person.

8. Discover the gastronomic secrets of Phuket

Eating in Phuket| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd
Eating in Phuket| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd

The gastronomy of Thailand is very interesting, as it offers a mixture of flavors and smells. It is characterized by spicy dishes, seafood options and sweet and sour tastings.

Tour the gastronomy of Phuket's old town.

To make the most of your trip, you can walk around Phuket Old Town at your own pace, in search of the best street food stalls. It is quite an experience, as Phuket is considered the city of gastronomy in Thailand. The old town hides special places with exceptional culinary proposals.

Take the opportunity to eat at street vendors' stalls, as well as visit Phuket's central market. If you prefer, you can find guided experiences from 55 €, which usually offer professional guidance.

Book a food tour in Phuket

Participate in a Thai cooking class

If you want to learn how to cook Thai food, you should experience taking a class in Phuket.

These types of classes usually focus on the preparation of Pad Thai, chicken curry and other typical delicacies of the region. Generally, the class is personalized, as it is aimed at a small group.

The cost per person is around 57 €. Additionally, I suggest you take advantage of the activities to do in Phuket in December, as there is good weather, seasonal food and Christmas offers.

Book your Thai cooking class

9. Go ziplining and explore the monkey cave.

Waiting for the Zipline| ©Phuket@photographer.net
Waiting for the Zipline| ©[email protected]

Extreme adventures are a great entertainment option in Phuket. For example, you can go whitewater rafting, a recreational sport that involves descending down the river in a raft.

It is a safe activity, as these are experiences in which you are accompanied by a professional guide. In the area you can also jump on a zip line, have lunch at a local camp and take a ride on an ATV.

Additionally, you can visit the Sa Nang Manora Forest Park, to see its ponds, waterfalls and outdoor spaces. There are tours that take you to visit the Monkey Cave at the Suwan Kuha Temple.

For an unforgettable experience, I suggest you take advantage of the activities to do in Phuket in November. This is one of the months with the best weather conditions, offering little rain, longer days and moderate humidity.

Book an excursion to the monkey cave with rafting and zip line

10. Explore Phuket with a city tour

Phuket streets| ©Phil Whitehouse
Phuket streets| ©Phil Whitehouse

The best Phuket tours take you to see the island, from different perspectives. It is ideal if you want to explore the historical monuments, the old town and the Big Buddha.

Tour the main points of interest of the city

To get to know the nooks and crannies of Phuket and explore its points of interest, you can head to the main beaches. I also recommend you to take advantage of the charm of the old town. In addition, you cannot miss the Wat Chalong temple, one of the most important Buddhist sanctuaries in Phuket.

This type of tours can be done on your own, or you can join a guided tour that usually takes place in an air-conditioned car. You can find this type of tours from 32 € per person.

Discover Phuket in the afternoon

Going for a walk in Phuket in the afternoon is ideal to see the main monuments and discover the local life of the island without tourist crowds. You can take the opportunity to visit the Big Buddha, a statue that protects the city. It is located in the Nakkerd Hills.

To see precious stones extracted from the mines of Thailand, you can stop by Wangtalang Gems International. Also, don't forget to head to the old town, where Phuket's Chinese-Portuguese heritage is hidden.

These types of experiences are also available on organized tours, which cost approximately €21 per person.

Book the best guided tour in Phuket

Tour the old town

In Phuket there are routes ideal for small groups, you can hire a driver, or drive on your own. Some of the sites you should add to your map are the old town, the Big Buddha and Kata Beach.

The old city of Phuket is an area with Malay architecture, whose style comes from Malaysia. Through this tour you can know:

  • Sunday Walking Street Market: it is a street food market, ideal to insert you in the gastronomy of Phuket. It is a great option if you are looking for things to do in Phuket at night.
  • The Memory at On On Hotel: it is a very famous hotel, as it appears in Leonardo DiCaprio's movie The Beach. It has antique Thai mining artifacts, plus it is a budget accommodation option.

11. Have fun in Phuket's water parks

Splash Jungle| ©Ho Eddie
Splash Jungle| ©Ho Eddie

To cool off, you can plan an adventure at Phuket's water parks. If you plan activities to do in Phuket in January, you can take advantage of sunny days with little tourist crowds.

Blue Tree Water Park

Blue Tree is a water park that offers activities for all ages, ideal for a family plan. It has many slides and play areas and offers a child care system for children between two and seven years old. You can find tickets from 32 €.

Andamanda Water Park

Andamanda Water Park brings together the best of Thai culture, offering free-fall slides and challenging activities. You can also float down the lazy river or enjoy the live shows.

There are pools for children and adults, the entrance fee starts at 34 €.

Splash Jungle Water Park

Splash Jungle is a colorful oasis, which offers wave pools and family entertainment. The design is inspired by different cultures of the world, so you will find a variety of photographable spaces.

There is a hydrotherapy pool, carousel rides and Thai food stalls. Admission is around €25, but activities in the park may cost extra. Children under four and adults over sixty are free.

The island's theme parks are certainly a great choice if you are looking for activities to do with children in Phuket.

12. Stroll through the Phuket Botanical Gardens

Botanical Garden| ©Людмила Соколова
Botanical Garden| ©Людмила Соколова

The Phuket Botanical Garden is a sanctuary of tranquility, which is surrounded by air-conditioned plants.

Here you will find exotic collections of Thai species. There are bizarre flowers, tropical palms, aromatic herbs and fruit orchards. Admission is around 11 €.

13. Join the Carnival Magic experience in Phuket

Carnival Magic| ©Rita Alexandrea
Carnival Magic| ©Rita Alexandrea

Carnival Magic is a theme park where you can admire parades of floats, as well as light shows. Special parties, carnival games, traditional costume displays and musical offerings are held here.

If you are looking for things to do in Phuket in October, you will probably love the Carnival Magic experience. On Halloween the park prepares spooky shows, extravagant decorations and special activities.

There are experiences that cost around €48, including the cost of the rides and a buffet dinner.

14. Take advantage of the best excursions from Phuket

Jungle Trek| ©Travel Center UK
Jungle Trek| ©Travel Center UK

During your stay of 3 days or more to the Thai island you can take advantage of the best excursions from Phuket, which take you to see hidden corners as well as popular attractions.

Canoeing tour in Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island

Phuket is an island surrounded by the best bays in Thailand, so you can canoe and enjoy the local wildlife. The rock formations are a natural spectacle as they connect with the mangrove forest andcliffs.

Phang Nga Bay is located in the Andaman Sea and is a protected national park, which shares territory with Malaysia. Here you will find James Bond, a neighboring island where you can take a speedboat ride. The name of this island is inspired by the James Bond spy saga.

Book an excursion to Phang Nga Bay

Trek jungle excursion with lunch in Phuket

A trekking excursion is the best way to get to know Phuket at your own pace. You should consider that it is a high intensity trek, although there are 2 km and 4 km trails. You will probably encounter monkeys and other animals characteristic of the region.

In this area you can refresh yourself with Thai coconut water. Also, if you plan things to do in Phuket in August, you will have the opportunity to taste the best seasonal fruits.