8 Things You Have to Do in Phuket
The lovely Thai island of Phuket has been delighting Aussie travellers for decades, and though airfares to Europe and the US have dropped over the years, we simply can’t get enough of this spectacular Asian country.
While most of us go there simply to laze by the beach sipping cocktails and watching the world go by, there’s plenty of other great things to do in Phuket. Don’t believe us? Read on!
1. Celeb Spot on Surin Beach
If you are going to laze by the beach all day, why not do it in style? Surin Beach, also known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’ thanks to its many luxury, high-end resorts, is a haven for celebrities. Pull up a beach chair and umbrella, don some shades and keep your eyes peeled for Hollywood’s finest!
2. See the Big Buddha
‘Big’ doesn’t quite begin to describe the enormity of Phuket’s 45-metre-tall Buddha statue. Perched atop Nakkerd Hill, the mammoth deity overlooks Chalong, Kata and Rawai and can be seen from many spots on the island.
3. Make Friends with Giants
If you come all the way to Thailand and leave without hanging out with some elephants, you’ve missed out on an unforgettable experience. Head to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary to spend some time with these gentle giants, all the while supporting ethical elephant tourism.
4. Learn Some Authentic Thai Recipes
If, like most Aussies, you love your Thai food, it’d be a waste not to take the opportunity to learn how to recreate some of your favourite flavours at home, right? Many resorts in Phuket offer their own Thai cooking classes, however there are plenty of independent cooking schools around, too. Pum Thai Cooking School and Phuket Thai Cooking Class by VJ are two of the most popular.
5. Shop Till You Drop
Got some baht to splash? Phuket is packed with unique shopping experiences, from massive shopping centres (such as Jungceylon Shopping Mall and Central Festival Phuket) to sprawling outdoor night markets like the Phuket Weekend Market (Talad Tai Rot) and the quirky, trendy Chillva Market. Prepare to haggle!
6. Island Hop in Phang Nga Bay
Home to around 40 small islands, including the iconic James Bond Island (Ko Tapu), Phang Nga Bay is one of those rare places that looks like a postcard from every angle. Sailing or kayaking through the emerald-green water and dramatic landscape is an absolute must for anyone visiting Phuket.
7. Enjoy a Night Out on Bangla Road
Not a fan of crowd? You probably won’t be a fan of Bangla Road - but for those that can tolerate some hustle and bustle, you’re in for one unforgettable night. This colourful, vibrant Patong street is lined with beer bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shops. Definitely not suitable for kids, but a must-do for fun-loving parents, friends and solo travellers.
8. Bliss Out with a Thai Massage
Experience the relaxation of a traditional Thai massage right at the source! While we recommend scoping out Phuket accommodation with an on-site day spa, there are plenty of luxurious day spas and even beachfront masseurs to help work out those economy class-induced aches and pains.