A place that needs no introduction to any traveler across the globe has to be Thailand’s biggest Island. Being the best for its finest white sand beaches and lively towns, crowds throng to Phuket all around the year. The busiest time is considered to be January and February and rainy seasons spans from April through October, when travel and hotel rates are the lowest. Besides its famous beaches, there’s a lot more – including wild nightlife, live cabaret dances, events, museums, zoo, bird sanctuary, snake shows, aquarium, adventures and much more.
Places to visit in Phuket
(1) Patong Bangla Road (NightLife)
Soi Bangla road (Soi: Lane/ Street, a word predominantly used in Thai and English) is a home to various Soi’s such as Soi freedom, Soi dragon etc. The place is home to famous beer bars and nightclubs lined on both sides of the road. As the sun sets, it gets lively as traffic is closed for walkers to come by and experience the well-known open-front bars with loud music from each bar located next to each other, giving a mix of music with live street performances.
(2) Phi Phi Island (Best of the best beaches)
If you have seen “The Beach” (Starring Leonardo Di Caprio) and many other movies, this island is no surprise to you. The picturesque island is a famous getaway and touches down to various travelers in Thailand. The two main islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, where “Don” is known for being a larger and inhabited island, whilst “Leh” is the smaller and uninhabited island consisting of stunningly beautiful bays and beaches, including the world-famous Maya Bay, which had a film set for ‘The Beach’. The islands, when approached by boat, have a stupendous view from the sea giving way to a beach-fronted jungle.
(3) Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary (4-wheel drive and whitewater river rafting)
Discover the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary on a full-day excursion, combined with an exciting whitewater rafting adventure with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle through the rainforest, along with a delicious Thai lunch at a local restaurant. Travelers will be picked from the hotel to this unique adventure and a dropped back. Upon arrival at the location, a team of experienced boatmen will guide you through the unspoiled natural waters for a 45 minutes boat ride, maneuvering through steep gorges, huge boulders, and exhilarating rapids. After your rafting adventure, you can break for a mouthwatering Thai lunch at Songpreak Restaurant before making your way to a local rubber plantation. Next, hop aboard a 4-wheel-drive vehicle for an adrenaline-charged drive through the humid terrain of the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary. Stop by at a natural waterfall and take a refreshing dip if you like before returning to the park entrance.
(4) Phang Nga Bay (Canoeing Excursion)
A must try excursion in a Canoe across the serene waters of Phang Nga Bay along the amazing landscapes sailing through the atmospheric lagoons. You can paddle into the mysterious caves covered with magical rock formations. From the hotel, you are transported to the Laem Sai Pier in a cruiser ride boat to Phang Nga Bay and then depart in a larger boat and hop onto a small canoe with an experienced local guide who assists you in your paddling journey. A guide will lead you to fantastic views of the impressive rock formations up-close through various tunnels and lagoons as you paddle to hear the monkeys growl and birds chirping.
(5) Phuket Aquarium
Recently renovated with thousands of tropical, colorful and exotic marine creatures, the Aquarium is a big hit for travelers who enjoy marine life. Filled with over 30 tanks of freshwater and saltwater creatures this is definitely an amazing attraction for every traveler including families. The fascinating weirdness of the undersea world cannot be overstated, with cuttlefish looking like spaceships, razorfish looking like sinking sticks, and many other creatures. The diverse selection includes eel, crab, shrimps, sharks, and fish that range from brilliantly colored to the ones camouflaged in the background.
(6) 30 Minutes to Escape
To add on to the beach craze, many travelers find this an interesting event on a holiday in order to get out of the beach arena. The location is arranged to get locked up and you are given 30 minutes to Escape, which is an interactive puzzle-solving game that sees you play the part of a criminal on a mission, with just 30 minutes to get away. Great for families and groups of friends who get their own set of clues and puzzles that must be decoded in less than 30 minutes in order to win. The live-action game is filled with excitement and is a great way to engage in team building and puzzle-solving on a fun-filled holiday.
(7) Trickeye: 3D Museum
Although ‘museum’ sounds cliché for a few, this is a 3-D Museum which portrays an interactive 3D painting exhibition offering amazing photo opportunities and great fun for travelers. Located on the corner of Montri and Phang Nga roads in a large two-storey building (which used to be a popular movie theatre until 2002), now features a gallery of more than 100 paintings and sculpted scenes using Trompe-l’Oeil (French for ‘deceive the eye’) techniques, placing visitors in hilarious unreal world-like situations. See-it-believe-it type of experience is what the museum is known for.
(8) Tiger Kingdom
Different from the Phuket Zoo, the Tiger Kingdom is a new arrival on Phuket’s attractions scene. It allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal with several Indo-Chinese tigers of varying ages and sizes that have been raised by hand in captivity since birth. The Tiger Kingdom is an attractive, squeaky-clean setup located right next to the Go-Kart track in Kathu at the foot of Patong Hill. For starters, you’ll need to sign a waiver exonerating the Tiger Kingdom in case of an accident, as this is a standard procedure because it includes Bungie-jumping and a zip line passing through the jungle.
(9) Night Markets
The local markets are often a good place to find some great bargains and some weird and wonderful souvenirs. As the sun sets in, the night markets get to their job by giving a special festival feel to them, often being accompanied by street performances and music. Hot food vendors also do a roaring trade, so they can be a great place to have your evening meal, experience genuine Thai street food and shop in cool comfort, all at the same time. Popular night markets are Chillva market, Phuket weekend market, Phuket walking street, Indy market, and Malin Plaza Patong.
(10) Phuket Zoo
A major tourist attraction, the Phuket Zoo is home to a wide array of attractions to exciting animal shows. Watch monkeys playing basketball, elephants balancing on one foot or the famous ‘head-in-the-crocodile’s-mouth’ show, or pose for photos alongside these and other animals. The zoo is home to many camels, tigers, ostrich, emus and a collection of rare birds.