Phuket - Best Tours & Trips 2019

71 trips to Phuket tours from 32 tour companies. 2 reviews. 5.0/5 avg rating.
Known for stunning beaches, and perhaps also for being the quintessential "twenty something backpacker" destination in Southeast Asia, Phuket is also a wonderful destination for classic Thai culture, cuisine, and art. Head here to begin or end your Thailand tour, and drink in the beauty and charm of Thailands idyllic landscape.
All Phuket tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

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Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Amazing Thailand & Phuket Island

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
17 days
$ 153 / day
$ 2,599
From : $ 6,297
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Explore fascinating Buddhist Temples (Bangkok)
  • Colorful tour to Floating Market (Bangkok)
  • Grand Palace (Bangkok)
  • See the gaint Wat Mongkol Borpith Statue (Ayutthaya)
  • Visit the Elephant Camp (Chiang Mai)
  • Visit fascinating Wat Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
  • Beautiful Phuket Island
  • “James Bond Island”
Visits:
Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Thailand
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Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 333 / day
$ 3,995
From : $ 4,028
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Explore Bangkok.
  • Visit Karen and Lahu villages and Wat Thaton
  • Discover Grand Palace, Klongs, Wat Po and Wat Arun.Evening visit to China Town
  • Visit the Floating Market, River Kwai and museum.
  • Explore Vachiratharn Waterfall
  • Visit Mae Yen Buddhist Temple
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Thailand
View Trip

Islands Of Thailand & Singapore

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 164 / day
$ 1,799
From : $ 2,294
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Have a chance to explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
  • Enjoy the clear warm waters and white sandy beaches of stunning Koh Phi Phi Island
  • Explore the activities on offer in beautiful Krabi or sample some of the area’s famous nightlife
  • Discover many highlights of Singapore on a city tour, including a visit to Merlion Park & Marina Bay
Visits:
Phuket, Singapore, Thailand
View Trip

Islands of Thailand

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,299
From : $ 2,699
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Have a chance to explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
  • Enjoy the clear warm waters and white sandy beaches of stunning Koh Phi Phi Island
  • Explore the activities on offer in beautiful Krabi or sample some of the area’s famous nightlife
Visits:
Phuket, Thailand
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Crazy Rich Singapore Culture & Thailand Beaches

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 192 / day
$ 2,299
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover the ‘Crazy Rich’ cultural heritage of Singapore
  • Soak up stunning city views from the observation desk at Marina Bay Sand’s Skypark
  • Take a fragrant stroll around the National Orchid Garden
  • Discover Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the city’s oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples
  • Explore the sights and sounds of Little India
  • Soak up the colonial magnificence of the Fullerton Hotel
  • Learn all about Peranakan culture in the bustling streets of Katong and Joo Chiat
  • Have a chance to explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
  • Enjoy the clear warm waters and white sandy beaches of stunning Phi Phi island
Visits:
Phuket, Singapore, Thailand
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Essential Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 179 / day
$ 2,199
From : $ 3,576
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy the colonial splendor and experience the lively atmosphere of dynamic Hanoi
  • Admire the scenery and dramatic rock formations as you sail on a traditional boat in Halong Bay
  • Visit the temple complex of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world
  • Explore the Wat Trimitr is home to a gigantic gold-plated reclining Buddha, in Bangkok’s Chinatown
  • Take in the atmosphere at the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
Visits:
Bangkok, Hanoi, Phuket, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
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Amazing Thailand Extended

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 150 / day
$ 1,599
From : $ 1,889
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Wat Trimitr is home to a gigantic gold-plated reclining Buddha, in Chinatown
  • Walk through the fanciful halls of the ornate Wat Pho temple in Bangkok
  • Admire the beauty of Marble Temple Wat Benjamabopit in Thailand
  • Explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
Visits:
Bangkok, Phuket, Thailand
View Trip

Amazing Thailand

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 178 / day
$ 1,499
From : $ 2,024
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Wat Traimit home to a gigantic gold-plated reclining Buddha, in Chinatown
  • Walk through the fanciful halls of the ornate Wat Pho temple in Bangkok
  • Admire the beauty of Marble Temple Wat Benjamabopit in Thailand
  • Explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
Visits:
Bangkok, Phuket, Thailand
View Trip

Treasures of Thailand with Phuket Option Summer 2019

Trafalgar
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 321 / day
$ 4,495
From : $ 5,529
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • CITY TOUR of Phuket Town
  • SEE the Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi
  • VISIT Baan Chinpracha and the Thai Hua Museum
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Thailand
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Sailing Thailand - Phuket to Ko Phi Phi

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 149 / day
$ 594
From : $ 802
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Snorkel in crystal-clear water
  • Sail through stunning southern thai islands
  • Feast on tantalizing thai cuisine
  • Relax on secluded beaches
Visits:
Phuket, Andaman Islands, Thailand
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Sailing Thailand - Ko Phi Phi to Phuket

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 149 / day
$ 594
From : $ 802
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore thailand's scenic southern islands
  • Savour tasty thai dishes
  • Unwind on idyllic beaches
  • Dive into blue waters
Visits:
Phuket, Andaman Islands, Thailand
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Sailing Thailand - Phuket to Phuket

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 165 / day
$ 1,154
From : $ 1,558
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Relax on the deck of the catamaran in the stunning southern thai islands
  • Eat delicious thai cuisine
  • Lounge on beautiful beaches
  • Swim and snorkel in quiet bays
Visits:
Phuket, Andaman Islands, Thailand
View Trip

Adventure & Relaxation in Thailand

Global Basecamps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 242 / day
$ 2,660
From : $ 3,032
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Thailand offers the experiences of a lifetime
  • Richly historic ruins
  • Flavors of the fresh cuisine
  • Exciting wildlife adventures
  • Tropical paradise on the Islands
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Thailand
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Cruising Thailand & Malaysia: Penang to Phuket

Peregrine Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 271 / day
$ 2,436
From : $ 3,289
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • See krabi's beautiful and bizarre limestone karst formations from the comfort of your small cruise ship
  • Wake up each morning to the clear azure waters of the andaman sea, which you’re free to swim in right off the back of the boat
  • Visit the iconic holiday islands of penang, langkawi and phuket, but also enjoy the natural beauty of turatao national park and ko yao yai
  • Ride the cable car to the highest point on langkawi for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the sea and surrounding islands
  • Spend an evening at an authentic thai homestay, enjoying home cooked specialties of the region
Visits:
Phuket, Malaysia, Thailand
View Trip

Total Thailand(Twin Room,Start Bangkok, End Phuket)

Contiki
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 183 / day
$ 2,929
From : $ 4,101
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Visits:
Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Thailand
View Trip
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Top Phuket Experiences and Attractions

Top Phuket Experiences

Exploring the many beaches around Phuket

Snorkeling in crystal clear blue waters

Wandering through the many markets and sampling delicious Thai street food

Taking a tour of the Chalong Rum Distillery

Take a ride in a longboat

Walking through the historic Old Town and observing the international architectural influences

view more

Phuket Trip Reviews

2 Phuket Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 2
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Tour Reviews Write a Review

You have a wonderful company

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Joseph,

I just wanted to thank you for your patience and assistance during my Islands of Thailand trip. You have a wonderful company and I am forever grateful for your help in getting me back on schedule and communication with hotels when I missed a flight. I will continue to use your service when traveling (and I plan on traveling much more in the future), and I will recommend you to everyone I know.  Once again, thank you and I had a trip of a lifetime in Thailand.

Read more
Operator Indus Travels

Phuket Tours and Travel Guide

Phuket Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Known for stunning beaches, and perhaps also for being the quintessential "twenty something backpacker" destination in Southeast Asia, Phuket is also a wonderful destination for classic Thai culture, cuisine, and art. Head here to begin or end your Thailand tour, and drink in the beauty and charm of Thailand's idyllic landscape.

Phuket (pronounced ‘poo-ket’) is Thailand’s largest island, and boasts over 30 beaches, plus several fantastic bars, and restaurants. As the most popular island for tourists, it does get quite crowded, but it’s definitely worth visiting. Many Thailand tours spend a few days here exploring the classic beaches and cultural sites.

The majority of food options on the island are not Thai, and the main beaches along the west coast are a dotted shoreline of resorts, hotels, and restaurants (though it is not impossible to still find more secluded beaches in Phuket! Read below to find out more).

Tours of Phuket will highlight the island’s history as it relates to mainland Thailand, explore the many beaches and markets, as well as allow time for exploring the ocean waters by snorkeling and kayaking.

Top Activities and things to see in Phuket

Phuket is home to some beautiful historical sights, nature, beaches of course, and many wonderful activities. Here are some of the top tour activities in Phuket:

1. Old Town - Phuket’s old town, is a great place to spend a day, wandering among beautiful architecture, cultural sights, shops and cafes. This is a great place to relax and learn a bit about Phuket’s history. The fine richness in the buildings and storefront facades are a legacy of the tin boom Phuket experienced, when Phuket was a valuable trading post for this commodity. Thus there are many international influences in the architecture interspersed with traditional Buddhist shrines and temples.

2. Chalong Bay Rum Distillery - Located in the south of Phuket, near Rawai, this is a very popular tour activity in Phuket. Take a tour to learn about the rum making process, taste some delicious samples, and learn how to make classic rum cocktails. This is the only working distillery in Phuket, using all locally grown sugar cane.

If you don’t want to do the tour, they also have a public bar where you can sample their high end rum in cocktails and enjoy the tropical island spirit.

3. White Buddha - Made of shimmering white marble and standing at an impressive height (147 feet), this beautiful statue is worth seeing up close, even though you can see it from many vantage points throughout Phuket. The area around the statue is serene and quiet, save for the lovely tinkling of bells and dharma music floating through the air.

You can walk or drive up to the Buddha, and try to go either early or late in the day to catch the magic hour lighting as the sun illuminates Phuket at your feet.

4. Wat Chalong - This beautiful temple complex in southeastern Phuket is a wonderful place to visit - locals often come here to worship and travelers can walk around to learn about Buddhism and its place in Thai culture. Built in the mid 19th century, Wat Chalong is the largest temple in Phuket. Notable for it’s beautiful grounds and mix of cultural architectural styles, the temples are brightly colored and some are decorated with wall paintings depicting the Buddha’s story.  

5. Night Market - Markets are a top must see attractions in Thailand, and Phuket some of the best. Phuket has several night markets and they are a quintessential experience. Overflowing offerings of fried crickets and other oddities are tempered by more recognizable food items. You can shop for more than just food here as well. You’ll weave your way through many stalls selling trinkets, clothing, and souvenirs.

6. Bangala Road - Another activity for nighttime, this street closes off to traffic in the evening and the bars open for a fun party atmosphere. Located in busy Patong, this is a very popular street for young backpackers and 18-30 travelers. Things can get rowdy and crowded, so families and older travelers may want to avoid the area.

7. Toh Sae Hill - Also known as “Monkey Hill” this is a fun activity for getting up close with one of Thailand’s more entertaining residents. The macaque monkeys are not afraid of humans nor are they aggressive, so you can get great photographs. Don’t get too complacent though, especially if you have small children with you. Toh Sae Hill is also a great place to go for views of Phuket, on the way up rather than at the very top where the view is somewhat obstructed. At the bottom of the hill, there is a small and colorful shrine to explore.

8. Phang Nga Caves - For a full day of exploration, hop in a kayak and explore the Phang Nga caves. This fascinating labyrinth of limestone doorways is a dizzying network, creating many small lagoons and hidden caves. Be sure to go with a guide who can direct you to the best spots.

Snorkeling in Phuket

The snorkeling around Phuket is extraordinary. The astonishingly clear bright blue water makes visibility a lot easier and the colors of fish and coral pop. This is a great place for underwater photography, so invest in accessories for your camera phone or point and shoot - you won’t regret it! You can even take a snorkeling tour for an inside scoop on the best places to go and certain species to look out for.

Here are some of the best places to go snorkeling in Phuket:

1. Banana Beach - A bit of an open secret, Banana Beach is still one of the least crowded beaches in Phuket, used by many locals. The waters are calm and safe - a great option for families with young children.

2. Ao Sane Beach - Very small and consisting of three mini coves, this beach provides a way to rent snorkeling gear with which to explore. The many rock formations in the water make for fun discoveries and picturesque underwater photographs. There are ample options for relaxing with food and drink, the beach is busy, but not usually overwhelmingly crowded.

3. Ya Nui - Another great beach for snorkeling photography due to the ample coral and rock formations. The beach itself is very small so you may have to put up with a bit of cramped space in exchange for the great snorkeling. Nearby Windmill Viewpoint is a fun hike to get spectacular views. Ya Nui is in the very south of Phuket, near larger Nai Harn Beach. There are not a lot of options for food and drink, so come with the expectation of very little choice in that department.

4. Merlin Beach - This beach is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea as it’s entirely dominated by the resort in the area. Those who are not guests at the resort are welcome to use the beach, but don’t have access to the snorkeling reef program offered through the resort, and will have a bit of a hard time finding it. The reason to come to this beach, however, is that is the only beach on Phuket with it’s own natural reef.

5. Coral Island - This island is roughly a half hour from Phuket by longtail boat, or 15 minutes by speedboat. The island can be very crowded, but the experience of getting there is a fun way to spend a day, and it’s possible to find more secluded areas on the beaches.

The party atmosphere can be prevalent here so if that’s what you’re seeking, this is a perfect option. There is a small cafe and a resort as well if you want to stay a few extra days and enjoy the true solitude once the last boat of tourists has left for the day.

Top Beaches in Phuket

Phuket is the land of beauty, temptation, sea, sun, and nightlife. Often all in the very same location - it’s beaches. World renowned for being luxurious and romantic as well as the perfect place to spend a day with family - the shores are shallow, the snorkeling ideal, and the sand soft - quite often devoid of frustrating debris that can cause cuts or scrapes.

Many Thailand tours feature an element of island hopping, where you can get a feel for the island lifestyle, but if you’d rather stay on Phuket there’s plenty of beach to choose from. Unless you really want “to say you’ve been there”, avoid Patong Beach. It’s terribly crowded and there are many more picturesque hidden beaches that provide a much nicer experience.

Here are some of the best:

1. Kamala

For the best combination of less crowded yet still good choice among amenities such as restaurants, shopping, and other activities, Kamala takes the cake. In peak seasons it will be among the more crowded beaches, but it’s just hidden and less well known enough that you may be surprised at the lack of people.

2.  Bang Tao Beach

Somewhat dominated by the well known eco-resort, Laguna Phuket, Bang Tao is still a lovely beach to visit in Thailand. For first time visitors to Thailand, it’s a great introduction to the Thailand beach scene. There are multiple food options, shop options, and accommodation options, and visiting the beach itself is about experiencing the mini villages and town as well as the sand and surf.

3. Layan Beach

Similar to Kamala, Layan provides a nice array of choices for meals and other amenities. It’s a great Thailand beach for families. Located at the northern end of Bang Tao Beach, Layan is spacious, quiet, and calm. There are some resorts nearby, but unlike Bang Tao, they are more removed from the fabric of the beach itself.

4. Laem Ka Beach

Hidden and tucked away, this is lovely gem is located in the very south of Phuket, near the larger and more well known Rawai Beach. Laem Ka needs a bit of hunting to find, but once you do you’ll be set for the day. A few venders are interspersed, but don’t overwhelm - available to sell simple snacks, beers, and of course coconuts.

The entrance to this beach is a “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of treasure. A great way to enjoy a sense of solitude without having to leave busy Phuket! BONUS: Check out the charming Shell Museum nearby.

5. Nai Harn Beach

In the low season Laem Ka Beach is closed, so instead you can head to nearby Nai Harn. Large enough to allow you to find a nice quiet pocket for spending the afternoon. There are multiple food options available, including fresh fruit stalls along the beach, two main hotels, and multiple shops. This is a great area for your souvenir shopping, and if you’re looking for and extended beach stay.

6. Banana Beach

If you want a very local Thailand beach experience, head here to Banana Beach. For many years this small beach was a very hidden secret, but with an advent of more adventurous travelers seeking beyond the more conventional Thailand beaches in Phuket, it has entered into the mainstream.

There is one small restaurant that has been there for years and retains an authentic vibe. Serving freshly caught seafood and traditional Thai dishes, expect to pay a little more than you might expect, but the views and ambiance are well worth it.

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