Phuket is known for its crazy nightlife, go-go clubs, packed to the brim beaches and the wild neon-lit Bangla road. However, Phuket isn’t just full of touristy beaches filled with jet skis and crowded clubs. The island has plenty of unfrequented spots for travelers that want to get off the beaten path. Though these places are usually hard to find, we’ve made it easier for you to find them. Here are seven of Phuket’s best hidden gems to visit on your next trip:
Khao Kad Viewing Tower at Cape Panwa
Just a short drive from Cape Panwa, Khao Kad Viewing Towers offers some peace and quiet, plus some of the best panoramic views of Phuket and its surrounding islands. Admire the turquoise blue shades of Chalong Bay, the grandeur of the Big Buddha to the west and the famous Phi Phi Islands to the east. Rent a motorbike and enjoy more stunning views as you drive up the hill. To get to Khao Kad Viewing Tower, drive to the Phuket Aquarium in Cape Panwa until you see a sign on your right soon before the aquarium. The road should lead to the tower from there.
Ao Sane Beach
Skip the touristy beaches and head to one that’s secluded in solitude. Ao Sane beach is just a short drive away from the popular Nai Harn Beach through a tunnel under the Phuket Yacht Club. It’s so unfrequented that many tourists don’t know where to find it. Luckily, now you do! Explore three small sandy bays perfect for snorkeling, plus a nice beach restaurant where you can sit outside under shady palm trees. The turquoise blue views will be worth it.
A large beach that’s crowd-free is certainly a rarity in Phuket. If you want to experience one, head to Banana beach for some fun in the sun. Swim in shallow clear blue waters, lie under large shady palm trees and walk along soft fine grains of sand. This secluded paradise is hard to find if you don’t know where to look but starting from the airport may help you find it easier. Follow the signs to Naithon Beach and drive few more kilometers to get to Banana Beach.
The Buddha of Wat Srisoonthorn
The Buddha of Wat Srisoonthorn may not be as large as the 45 metre high “Big Buddha” of Phuket. But, its reclining position and intricate expression definitely makes this figure one of a kind. This statue, located in Thalang, adds a peaceful touch to the busy environment nearby where frantic traffic pours out Phuket International Airport daily. Admire its golden beauty.
Just a short longtail boat ride away from Rawai Beach, is a hidden gem with a crystal blue coast. Bon Island certainly isn’t as impressive as Coral Island or Similan Island, but it still has a few nice sandy beaches and hasn’t been invaded by tourists. Thatched roofs and a charming wooden restaurant even give the island a cool ‘castaway’ vibe.
Wat Khao Rang
Wat Khao Rang houses the original and first Sitting Buddha of Phuket built long ago on the hillside Khao Rang Hill. It’s definitely not as big as Phuket’s “Big Buddha”, but still has a discreet charm to it. Unlike the “Big Budhha” a trip to Wat Kao Rang feels more personal and less touristy. The temple is small, and many locals come here to pray on weekends. It’s the perfect peaceful place with amazing views of Phuket Town. Drive up a small side road near the Vachira hospital and make your way to the temple.