What to Do in Phuket Island

Known as the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island stretching for almost 50km in length. Indeed, Phuket is so vast that, in some spots, it is easy to forget you are on an island as you might be rarely surrounded by water (perhaps this is why Ko, meaning “island” in the Thai language, was dropped from its name).

But the island’s size plays greatly to its advantage. With an abundance of pristine beaches, forests and national parks, an electric nightlife, rich history and an intriguing culture to explore, the only thing you will find missing in Phuket is the time to discover it all. But if you’re thinking of heading there soon, or simply want to daydream about your next holiday in Thailand, here are some things you must see during your time in Phuket:

The Big Buddha of Phuket

Standing 45 meters tall atop the Nakkerd Hills, one of the highest points on Phuket Island, the Big Buddha is an unmissable sight – and quite literally too, because it is visible from half of the island. Built in Burmese alabaster, the Big Buddha is one of Phuket’s most popular tourist attractions not only due to the astounding grandness of the statue but also because of the exceptional views the mountaintop offers of the surrounding region. From here, you will be able to admire Kata’s perfect bay, peer into Karon’s sandy coast and spot the tiny channel islands along Chalong Bay.

phuket big buddha photo
Photo by gianlucasimonella

Enjoy the sun on the beach

Phuket is home to some of Thailand’s finest beaches and you will be truly spoiled for choice when deciding exactly where to lay your towel and enjoy the sun along the island’s seemingly endless coastline. From the laidback beaches of Kata and Karon to the trendy bar and restaurant scene along Kalim Bay and to the almost deserted stretches of sand at Mai Khoa and Layan Beach, there is something for all beach bums to enjoy in Phuket.

kata beach photo
Photo by Miyazawa Sei

Get adventurous

From surfing the warm ocean waves to kayaking into the sunset, scuba-diving in Patong or zip lining through ancient ficus trees at Khao Phra Taew Royal Wildlife & Forest Reserve, there is something for every kind of adventure-seeker in Phuket. You can even enjoy a half-day safari at Siam Safari complete with an elephant ride and a soothing canoe trip.

phuket elephant photo
Photo by Leone Fabre

Visit Old Phuket Town

old phuket town photoPhoto by gasdust

The Sino-Portuguese architecture that lines the streets of the charming Old Town of Phuket is enough to make you want to wander endlessly for hours. Along the way, you will want to stop at one of the many small cafes and bakeries for a quick bite to refuel your day of exploring.

Related: Best city to visit in Thailand

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