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Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)

Known for its luxurious, world-class resorts, mouthwatering cuisine, vibrant nightlife, hidden islets and beaches, and ancient rainforests teeming with wildlife, this Thai Island is undoubtedly a tropical paradise. In this guide, we’ll walk you through an epic voyage of discovery in Phuket Island from its marvelous white sand beaches & rolling green hills to a multitude of cultural highlights. And without further ado, here are the top 20 things to do in Phuket Thailand.

1. Take a trip at Wat Chalong

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
The tallest building on the grounds of Wat Chalong is a 60 meters tall stupa (chedi) sheltering a bone fragment of Lord Buddha. 

Wat Chalong, Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple is rich with sacred sculptures and imagery. The complex features sacred imagery, including sculptures and murals of the Buddha’s life. The holiest object is a bone fragment of the Buddha, now set in the Grand Pagoda. The temple is called Wat Chaitararam by royal decree, but everyone knows it as Wat Chalong.

2. Go crazy in Patong Beach

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
Patong Beach is the heart of Phuket and what makes it so popular to some is often what other people hate most about it.

Patong, the most famous tourist attraction in Phuket, features a wide array of adventures and great range of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. Many of the high-end resorts are sheltered enclaves with lush gardens and private swimming pools. The seemingly endless shopping options, wild entertainment venues, and range of daytime activities make Patong the ultimate high-energy playground.

3. Visit Khao Phra Thaeo Royal Forest and Wildlife Reserve

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
The Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary is the only virgin, untouched rain forest on the island of Phuket and is one of only a few spaces in the world like it.

This national park in northeast Phuket provides one of the last remaining natural habitats for exotic and endangered animal species on the island. Visitors can immerse themselves in the jungles that once covered much of the island as Khao Phra Thaeo offers pristine forest, raw hiking trails, and picturesque waterfalls. There is also a rehabilitation center where gibbons receive care and treatment, as well as plenty of rare plants, flowers, and trees.

4. Visit Sirinat National Park

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
Explore Phuket’s natural beauty and culture on this guided excursion. 

A rugged, pristine pine-lined strip runs along Phuket’s northwest coast and marks three largely undeveloped beaches: Mai Khao, Nai Yang, and Nai Thon. Although this landforms the Sirinat National Park, over three quarters of the reserve’s 35 sq miles (90 sq km) is marine territory. The clean waters feature large, healthy coral reefs, and Mai Khao Beach has become a well-known sea turtle nesting site. At the northern end of Sirinat is an unspoiled mangrove forest.

5. Naiharn Beach

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
The Nai Harn is an icon of Phuket, overlooking a pristine beach and bay.

Framing an idyllic bay on the island’s southwestern tip, Naiharn Beach remains one of Phuket’s most pristine waterfronts. This white-sand beach is flanked by green hills and lapped by turquoise waters. While nearby Naiharn village has been modernized with cafés, art shops, and guesthouses, the beach and surrounding hills still maintain a tranquil, noncommercial vibe, with hotels congregated along only one end. During the high season, a number of private yachts drop anchor in the bay, making Naiharn their temporary home.

6. Kata Beach

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
Phuket’s famous Kata Beach is actually made up of two main beaches, the Club Med dominated Kata Yai Beach and the Kata Thani dominated Kata Noi Beach.

Located just south of Karon, the scenic Kata Beach, comprising two bays separated by a small rocky headland, offers an ideal balance of tropical scenery and well-developed tourism infrastructure. Kata has a number of high-end resorts, making it a popular destination for couples and families. Palm trees fringe the white-sand beach, and the clear turquoise waters offer good swimming conditions throughout the year. Visitors can even swim to nearby Ko Pu, a small island, passing beautiful coral reefs along the way.

7. Visit Similan Islands National Park

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
Koh Hin Pousar – Known as Island 7 and famous for the Elephant head-shaped rock. Koh Similan – Island number 8, largest island with stunning views and hikes through jungle and over mountains (244m high) Koh Bangu – Christmas point scuba diving spot, also known as Island 9.

Soft white-sand beaches and emerald-colored waters are the foundations of this island paradise. Renowned as one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations, the underwater world here is stunningly beautiful, with magnificent corals, colorful fish, and dramatic rock formations. The nine Similan islands also offer remarkable snorkeling. Plan your trip with a tour operator based on the mainland – diving equipment is not available on the islands.

8. Visit Khao Sok National Park

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
 The largest national park in Thailand

With a landmass of more than 270 sq miles, this park is southern Thailand’s largest virgin forest. Older and more diverse than even the Amazon rain forest, Khao Sok is home to numerous exotic animal and plant species and has breathtaking natural scenery. Nature lovers will find inspiration in the park’s majestic limestone cliffs, its rough jungle trails, and its beautiful, placid waterways.

9. Phang Nga Bay

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
Phang Nga is one of the southern provinces (Changwat) of Thailand, on the shore of the Andaman Sea to the west and Phang Nga Bay to the south, It was declared a national park on 9 July 1981.

Just east of Phuket over 40 small islands dot the brilliantly azure waters of Phang Nga Bay. Wind and water have eroded these limestone karst islets into a variety of extraordinary shapes that tower above the water’s surface. This National Park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna that thrive amidst the crevices, arches, tide pools, caves, and coastal forests. Paddling a sea kayak amongst the grandeur of these soaring peaks is an experience to savor, but motorized boats can also transport you around the bay.

10. Take a tour in the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

Top 20 things to do in Phuket, Thailand (2020)
If you find yourself in Phuket, Thailand, I recommend checking out the Chalong Bay Rum distillery. The distillery tour is held every hour in the afternoons (between 2 and 6 pm), except on Sunday. It is 300 THB per person and takes approximately 30-45 minutes, and includes a Mojito cocktail and a rum sampling session.

For any rum connoisseur, the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery will certainly whet your appetite. The handcrafted white rum made here is distilled from sugar cane juice rather than molasses. There are lots to do when you arrive at the distillery, you start by taking a tour where you will learn about the way the rum is produced before taking a look at the work that goes on behind the scenes. The final part of the trip is in the cocktail workshop and bar, here you will learn how to make various cocktails that all include Chalong Bay Rum and then relax while you sample them.

11. See the Phuket Big Buddha

Big Buddha Phuket – is one of the most important and revered landmarks on the island. 

This 148-ft- (45-m-) tall Buddha (see p82) sits high atop Nakkerd Hill, with sweeping 360-degree views that stretch from Chalong Bay to the Andaman Sea. Carved from white Burmese marble, the Buddha sits cross-legged on a podium decorated with lotus flowers. This is certainly a peaceful, spiritual site.

12. Go Shopping at Phuket Town Weekend Night Market

Things to do in Phuket
Phuket Weekend Market is the island’s largest night market

With lower prices than in Patong, Kata, and Karon, the night market known by the locals as Naka Market, offers a similar selection of local foods, t-shirts, fisher men’s pants, and woodcarvings, as well as secondhand clothes and Thai music albums.

13. Hang Out at Tiger Kingdom

Things to do in Phuket
In Phuket Tiger Kingdom you can pet and give a piece of your love to friendly little tigers. And if you are brave enough, you can touch big stripy cats.

If getting up close to a tiger is one of your bucket lists, this is the place to do it. Phuket Tiger Kingdom’s hand raises Indochinese tigers in captivity from birth until their final days. The tigers typically get fed at around 19:00 hours but it is also worth a visit when they open first thing to avoid the crowds. This kingdom has two restaurants on-site should you be hungry, one of which allows you to look out at the tigers.

14. Take a Thai Cooking Class

Things to do in Phuket
 In Bangkok, the huge diversity of cooking classes means prices can run anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 baht per person. 

Learn how to make Thai curries and much more at one of the many cookery classes in Phuket. By taking a class you will learn about the ingredients as well as picking up the useful skills to continue cooking when you return home. Many places offer morning, afternoon or whole day packages and you always get to eat what you have cooked.

15. Phi Phi Island

Things to do in Phuket
The Phi Phi island is some of the loveliest in Southeast Asia

The Phi Phi Island is Thailand’s superstar archipelago, particularly famous for Maya Bay’s central role in the 2000 movie The Beach. It’s the topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand. For some, it’s the only reason to touchdown in Phuket. Even with all the hype, it doesn’t disappoint. Phi Phi’s beauty is a large chunk of the allure. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to a beach-fringed jungle. To most, it’s love at first sight.

16. Bangla Road

Things to to in Phuket
Bangla road is a great place where to spend the night with many bars and pubs and different kinds of entertainment.

You won’t find a setting more outrageous than the night scene on the infamous Bangla Road. At once seedy and harmless, this central vein of Patong is filled with beer bars, club promoters, and pleasure-seeking travelers from every corner of the globe. The streets coming off Bangla Road are home to even more entertainment venues.

17. Simon Cabaret Show

Things To do in Phuket
Phuket Simon Cabaret is a theatre offering an evening of live music, dance and comedic performances by a troupe of transgender entertainers. 

Indeed Phuket is the most popular cabaret features outrageous costumes and sets, along with a flamboyant cast of transvestite performers This show features a spectacular musical floor show performed by the world-famous ladyboy cast.

18. Flying Hanuman

Things to do in Phuket
Zipline adventure like no other on Phuket. Adventure Tours within the forest environment surrounding it.

Experience the Flying Hanuman in Phuket is a zipline adventure park where you can soar through the sky 40 meters above a jungle. This eco-friendly attraction lets you explore the hillsides of Phuket through several obstacle courses and sky bridges.

19. Hard Rock Café

Things to do in Phuket
 Hard Rock Cafe Phuket doesn’t need to be introduced anymore but when it arrived in Patong Beach a few years back, it was a pretty big deal.

This internationally known establishment is decorated with memorabilia from famous rock legends and has an excellent line up of performers. The restaurant has the capacity to seat 300 people at once, and along with the bar, is spread over two floors.

20. Snake Show

Things to do in Phuket
We all enjoyed the show, fantastic to see how they can kiss a king cobra.

Watch a deadly cobra have venom extracted from its razor-sharp fangs or a handler kiss one between its eyes. At a Phuket snake show, you can even also have your photograph taken with a massive boa constrictor.

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