Budget Travel in Thailand: 5 Things to Do in Phuket For Free (Or Cheap)

The Perfect 1 Day Itinerary in Phuket for Frugal Travelers

While Thailand is known as a cheap vacation spot, it can be pretty easy to go over budget (especially on your bar tab). Fortunately, we’ve got a black belt in getting that authentic Thai experience without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll go over some locations you can’t miss out on during your trip to Phuket. While these may seem like obvious choices to some, combining the items on our list makes for a great 1 day itinerary in Phuket. Make sure to rent a motorbike and you’ll be set. Budget travel in Thailand has never been easier!

Visit Phuket’s beaches by motorbike.

If you’re looking for things to do in Phuket and skip out on its amazing beaches, you’re absolutely insane. There are dozens of beaches in Phuket to choose from, including a few lesser known white sand beaches if that’s your cup of tea. We’ve narrowed it down to our favorite 3 beaches. They range from “quiet romantic picnic” to “always a selfie stick in sight”. Whatever kind of beach experience you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered:

  • Rawai Beach: Sometimes you can get lucky and have the entire beach to yourself. Located on the south side of Phuket, it’s a bit of a bike ride but not too far out. Rawai has a no swimming policy, but it’s a rad place for a picnic, as mentioned above.
  • Karon Beach: Karon Beach is the 2nd largest beach in Phuket, but not nearly as crowded as Paton Beach. It’s a quiet beach, but not as quiet as the Rawai.
  • Patong Beach: The most famous and largest beach in Phuket. We probably sound like a broken record for even mentioning it but it is worth mentioning. It’s walking distance from Bangla Road (and Slumber Party Phuket), so you won’t have to venture far off to enjoy a beach day.

Take in the beauty of Karon Viewpoint.

If you're looking for things to do in Phuket for free, drive a bike down to Karon Viewpoint.

Karon Viewpoint is scenic, to say the least. It gives you a perfect view of 3 beaches: Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon Beach. There’s not a ton to say about it other than that, honestly. It’s a great pit stop on the way to Promthep Cape. Take your photos and hop right back on your motorbike!

Capture the perfect Instagram photo at Promthep Cape.

Promthep Cape is locally known as Laem Chao, meaning Chao Cape. Located in the far southwest area of Phuket, Promthep Cape is famous for its breathtaking view. This place is insanely famous, possibly the most photographed spot in Thailand as a whole. At least, according to Instagram hashtag data.

Most people arrive, take their photos and leave but we’ll let you in on a little secret. The lighthouse on Promthep Cape is the best part of visiting! You can head up to the top balcony and see Phi Phi, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi in the distance. Did we mention the lighthouse is air conditioned too?

Explore the Sino-Portugese architecture of Phuket old town.

Phuket Old Town is one of our favorite things to do in Phuket.

Phuket Old Town is truly a sight to see. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or amateur photographer, the architecture here is incredible. You’ll feel like you’re the star of a Disney movie basking in the Sino-Portugese architecture. Sometimes called Chinese row houses, the dual influence here is incredible.

Watch the sunset from Patong Beach.

Watching the sunset from Patong Beach is the perfect end of a 1 day itinerary in Phuket.

No trip to Phuket is complete without a proper sunset! While there are a handful of other beaches you can likely get better photos out of, Patong Beach remains our favorite. And that’s mostly for its location, being so close to Bangla and restaurants. Watch the sunset, get out of there and put some spicy Thai dishes in your belly. The perfect night in Phuket, if you ask me!

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