There’s really only one super-annoying problem with Thailand: there may never be enough time to explore all the magnificent vistas, thrilling party venues and fascinating cultural sites that this rich country has to offer.
The same can be said of Phuket Island. This sprawling little mound of earth is so packed with excitement, you may find yourself uncertain as to where you should start. We can help: start on a beach. And then put these top seven attractions onto your itinerary…
1- Phang Nga Bay
This excursion is on the top of just about any itinerary you’ll find. The bright bay with its colossal outcrops of rocks has plenty to offer tourists of any kind. Still most famous for its role in an old James Bond movie, The Man with The Golden Gun, many travellers seek out Phang Nga’s James Bond Island to see the exact place that the famed golden gun was wielded in the classic films. Other than its moment in Hollywood’s limelight, Phang Nga Bay is also a popular, and breathtaking, location for kayaking tours and hours of snorkeling in Phuket Island’s crystalline waters.
2- Phuket Town Weekend Night Market
Surrounded by the gorgeous and historical Phuket Old Town, the market is locally called Talad Tairot, or “boot car sales”. This should give you an indication of what to expect – you’ll find just about anything on these streets, but mostly really cheap copies of anything. Browse the stalls for items like handbags and shoes, wallets and watches, as well as music and movie media, but remember the price does indicate the quality!
As Thailand is renowned for its cuisine, the Weekend Night Market is no exception and tourists can find themselves sampling some of the local delicacies typically found in these kinds of environments. As the market becomes quite crowded in the evening, we recommend that you arrive in the late afternoon, before the sun sets. This also gives you plenty of time to move onto one of Phuket Island’s nightlife venues!
3- Rawai Village Beach
This humble beach is one of the few that remained somewhat untouched by the tourist crowds, and it offers a glimpse into the lives of fishermen who still live off the land and sea, taking nothing from the booming tourism industry. The people living here descend from the “Makong”, a tribe of sea gypsies who cling to their old ways of living. They’re quite used to tourists though, and some are even happy to have conversations with visitors who are curious about their traditional lifestyle.
This is a great destination to detach from the glitz and noise of Thai tourism and get a fresh look at some of Phuket Island’s true heritage.
4- Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
For a fun, fresh outing into Phuket Island’s farmlands, we recommend a short, sunny day trip to the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. The little facility is perched in the midst of lush sugar cane fields, making you feel like you’ve truly landed in the middle of nowhere. But what an oasis! The distillery runs 20-minute tours, once every hour, and otherwise offers a delicious lunch selection, and some fun cocktails to try out. You can even make them yourself!
The rum itself is made from sugar cane, not molasses, so it’s an authentic Thai alcoholic experience not to be missed.
5- Ka Jok See
You need a night out. Well, we recommend every night out, but you need a night out like this! A lot of mystery surrounds Ka Jok See, a hugely popular entertainment restaurant that puts out no publicity or marketing whatsoever. Paying a set price for an evening of unlimited food and drink, diners are treated to a cabaret show that’s been called classy, tasteful and endless fun! Of the cabaret show options available on Phuket Island, Ka Jok See is a top contender, for it’s charming element of surprise, as well as the actual quality of the show.
Since we’re talking about nightlife and cabaret shows, it wouldn’t be a trip to Phuket Island without an evening spent at the exciting world of Fantasea! Like a scene out of Las Vegas, Fastasea is all that’s glitzy and glamorous and gold, with that special flair that can only come from a place like Thailand!
This enormous, spell-binding facility invites visitors to enjoy decadent food, an enchanting theme park, and a glorious display of Thai culture and history demonstrated through dances and performances that go on late into the night.
7- Any Beach on Phuket Island
While Patong Beach is famous for its vibrant nightlife and a known tourist hotspot, why not go in search of the ultimate Instagram-worthy beach on Phuket Island? With soft white sands and lines of trees skirting the strands, these beaches are disrupted only by the rippling aqua waters that tickle your toes, and the occasional traveller or local who has discovered this secret spot, just like you did. You give each other a knowing look, the look that whispers, ‘Don’t tell anyone about this place!’
If you’re willing to make a little extra effort to reach these beaches, enjoy a tranquil visit to the likes of Freedom Beach, Haa Sai Gaew, and Surin Beach. They’re sure to take your breath away!
A Dozen Reasons to Return to Phuket Island
A list of seven excursions hardly does justice to the riches that Phuket Island has to offer… this glorious island destination warrants a second visit, a third and fourth…you get the point.
Rest assured that for every trip to Thailand, whether it’s your first or your hundredth, you can count on us to help you to find the very places that your soul desires to see.