23 Incredible Things to Do in Phuket (2020 Guide)

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A detailed list of all the best things to do in Phuket, Thailand.

If anyone says “paradise” doesn’t exist, they haven’t been to the islands of Thailand.

Postcard-worthy beaches rest underneath limestone cliffs and the shining Southeast Asian sun.

Rich Thai culture complements the beauty of nature, with elaborate temples, crowded street markets and friendly locals inhabiting the land.

For the best introduction to the stunning scenery and warm culture of Thailand, visit Phuket, the country’s largest island.

At roughly 576 square kilometres, the list of things to do in Phuket is quite long.

For those who want to relax and soak in the sun, you can spend quality time with Phuket’s many beaches and dine out at the island’s best restaurants.

For those who want to experience authentic Thai culture, you can tour the Buddhist temples, take a cooking class or visit a local boxing match.

For those who want to have a little adventure and explore nature, you can go island hopping, swimming in waterfalls or hiking to a scenic lookout point.

READ MORE: Plan your perfect 3 days in Phuket with our itinerary!

There are so many things to see in Phuket that cater to any sort of traveller.

Phuket’s attractions can suit budget, mid-range and luxury travel styles, and Phuket also makes a great starting point for venturing out to Thailand’s other islands.

Cheap ferries and boat tours connect Phuket with the other islands in the Andaman Sea, so you can easily base yourself in Phuket and take day trips to the other surrounding islands.

Or, you could conveniently fit Phuket into an island-hopping extravaganza.

Either way, Phuket is definitely a must-see island of Thailand.

The Best Things to Do in Phuket

Whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday, a deep cultural experience, or an active adventure, Phuket deserves a place on every travellers’ Thailand bucket list.

So here are the 23 top things to do in Phuket, including religious sights, outdoorsy adventures, markets, cultural activities, and viewpoints.

1) Visit Wat Chalong

Phuket has 29 Buddhist temples, but Wat Chalong is the biggest and most popular.

The entire temple complex is very large, with landscaped gardens, golden statues, and stunning architecture.

Wat Chalong has a strict set of rules about dress code and respectful behaviour, as does every temple in Thailand.

You must remove your shoes before entering a temple, and wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.

  • Location: 6 Chaofa Road, Tambon Chalong, Muang Chang Wat Phuket 83130
  • Hours: 7 am to 5 pm, open every day
  • Cost: Free
Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is the most popular temple in Phuket!

2) Hike to the Karon Viewpoint

Also known as the Kata Viewpoint, this hilltop lookout sits just south of Kata Noi Beach.

It offers spectacular views of the turquoise Andaman Sea and the surrounding beaches and towns of Phuket.

The third name for this lookout is the “Three Beaches Viewpoint” because you can see the nearby Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches from the top.

If you want a bit of exercise, you can hike to the viewpoint from the Karon neighbourhood.

Most of the walk is just along the main road, and it takes usually 45 minutes to an hour depending on where you start.

Just ask the staff at your accommodation for directions.

  • Location: 4233 Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100
  • Hours: Open all day, every day
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE: Check out our guide to the best places to visit in Thailand!

3) Explore Phuket Old Town

In the southeast corner of the island lies Phuket Old Town, a scenic neighbourhood revealing remnants of the island’s colonial past.

Phuket used to have a thriving tin mining industry, so Sino-Portuguese, Chinese and Malay immigrants flocked here and became rich off of the popular metal.

Nowadays, the colourful architecture and elaborate mansions of the wealthy foreigners still stand, so travellers can catch a glimpse of the different cultures that planted their roots here.

Phuket Old Town has lots of Buddhist and Chinese temples, museums, boutique shops, cafes, and even an old red-light district.

The two main streets where most of the attractions lie are Soi Rommanee and Thalang Road.

Phuket Old Town
The colourful architecture of Phuket Old Town

4) Experience the Phuket Weekend Night Market

On the topic of street markets, this is Phuket’s largest night market.

Locally known as the “Naka Market,” The Phuket Weekend Night Market is massive, with an indoor section selling mainly clothes and souvenirs, and an outdoor, open-air section selling everything else.

You can find everything from second-hand shoes, to CDs and movies, to fresh fruit and stands selling corn on the cob and deep-fried insects.

Strolling around this market is truly an adventure, and you’ll probably see some crazy things.

Try to visit the market as early as possible because the crowds can get insane.

Also try and walk there if you can because there aren’t many places to park, especially later in the evening when it gets busy.

  • Location: 7 Wirat Hong Yok Road, Phuket Town, Muang, Phuket 83000
  • Hours: 4 pm to 10 pm, every Saturday and Sunday

READ MORE: Don’t miss out on all the great activities to check out in Ao Nang!

5) Parasail over Patong Beach

Patong Beach is one of the busiest and most touristy beaches on the island.

Though it isn’t the most peaceful beach, it is still beautiful and there are tons of tour companies offering fun activities like parasailing.

This water sport seems a little scary at first, but it is super fun for those who want an adrenaline rush.

You are basically strapped to a seat that hangs down from a parachute, which is tied to a motorboat by a rope.

As the boat accelerates, the wind catches the parachute, lifts you up and you glide through the air behind the boat.

Parasailing is an exciting way to experience Patong Beach.

Just make sure you ask for the prices at lots of different tour operators before booking so you can compare the costs.

  • Location: Patong Beach, Kathu District, Phuket 83120
  • Cost: Anywhere between 800 Baht and 1,300 Baht per ride
Soar through the air over Patong Beach
Soar through the air over Patong Beach

6) Admire the Big Buddha

Visiting the Big Buddha is definitely one of the top things to do in Phuket.

Made of white Burmese marble and standing at a whopping 45 meters tall, the Big Buddha is a magnificent landmark of the island.

Construction of the Big Buddha began in 2004, so it is a relatively new structure and is very well-maintained.

Sitting high on top of Nakkerd Hill, this spot offers lovely panoramic views of the island as well.

Try to visit the Big Buddha as early as possible to avoid the tour buses that stop here during tours of the island.

The road leading up to the Big Buddha starts at Chalong Circle and is a winding uphill drive, but there are plenty of signs to guide the way.

  • Location: Soi Yot Sane 1, Chaofa West Road, Chalong, Phuket Town, Phuket 83100
  • Hours: 6 am to 7 pm, open every day
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE: Skip the crowds and visit the nearby area of Trang instead!

7) Learn to Make Cocktails at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

Tasting and learning about local alcohol is a great insight into any culture.

Visit the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, one of the best Phuket attractions, to taste rum made from organic Thai sugarcane and learn about the rum-making process.

Between 2 pm and 6 pm, you can take a 30 minute guided tour of the distillery to learn about the art of making rum, and you’ll get to try a classic Chalong Bay Mojito.

To become even more of a rum expert, you can take a 2-hour cocktail workshop.

Held every day at 4 pm, the workshop includes a tour of the distillery, lessons on making 3 different cocktails, and tapas. Try to book this workshop in advance in case it sells out!

You can also just visit the distillery during their daily hours of operation and look around and eat at the restaurant if you don’t have time for a tour or a workshop.

  • Location: 14/2 Moo 2 Soi Palai 2 T. Chalong A. Muang, Phuket 83130
  • Hours: 11 am to 11 pm, open every day
  • Cost: 450 Baht for a guided tour, 1700 Baht for a cocktail workshop

READ MORE: Plan your trip to Thailand with our comprehensive Thailand Travel Guide!

8) Soak in the Views from Khao Khad Viewpoint

For an uncrowded viewpoint over the city, head to the top of a high and remote hill on the island’s southeast peninsula.

Here lies Khao Khad Viewpoint, also known as the Panwa Viewpoint because it’s located in Phuket’s Cape Panwa region.

This lookout provides gorgeous views over the turquoise waters and rugged outlines of Phuket’s southern coast.

You can see Phuket Town when you look north, and in the other directions, you can see various beaches and islands mingling with the ocean.

The lookout structure has two levels and you have to climb 200 steps to get there.

But there usually aren’t many tourists here, as it is less popular than Phuket’s other viewpoints.

  • Location: Sakdidet road M.8 T.Wichit A.Muang Phuket, Cape Panwa, Phuket, 83000
  • Hours: 6 am to 6 pm, open every day
  • Cost: Free

9) Beach-Hop Down Phuket’s West Coast

Of all the things to see in Phuket, the beaches are probably the best.

The sight and sound of turquoise waves rolling over the soft golden sand never gets old, so be sure to pack plenty of beach days into your travels around Phuket.

There are so many beaches on the island it seems impossible to visit them all, so here is a list of some of the best ones.

The most beautiful beaches are on the west side of the island, so this list will start in the north and list beaches heading south down the west coast.

Mai Khao Beach is located just north of Phuket Airport and is the island’s longest beach (11km long).

Nai Yang Beach is inside Sirinath National Park, so there isn’t much development to detract from the natural beauty and serenity of the area.

Bang Tao Beach has refreshing, clear blue waters and is pretty large at 8km long.

Surin Beach is lined with fancy hotels and ritzy bars and restaurants, so it has an exclusive, almost luxurious atmosphere.

Freedom Beach is quite small at only 300m long, but it offers great snorkelling and jaw-dropping scenery.

Kata Noi Beach is the smaller, less crowded neighbour of Kata beach. Both are incredibly beautiful with plenty of restaurants, hotels, and amenities nearby.

Karon Beach is one of the island’s more popular beaches, but it is quite spacious so it never feels too crowded.

Nai Harn Beach has only recently become known to tourists, so its rugged coastal scenery and relaxing local vibe remain intact.

Rawai Beach is actually on the southern coast of Phuket. It is one of the oldest beaches on the island and you can watch the local fishermen at work.

Nai Yang Beach in the north of Phuket
Nai Yang Beach in the north of Phuket

10) Stroll Through Chillva Market

Of all Phuket’s markets, Chillva Market is one of the newest.

It attracts a younger, local crowd with its trendy shops and quirky, bohemian atmosphere.

Old shipping containers house lots of the shops and colourful decorations and tea lights bring a vibrant energy to the market.

Chillva Market is also quite small compared to the other night markets in Phuket, so it feels more intimate and relaxed.

You can find interesting clothes, accessories, and shoes here as well as delicious local food and live music.

  • Location: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town
  • Hours: Shops in shipping containers are open every day from 5 pm to 10 pm. The full market is Thursday to Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm.

11) Venture to the Bang Pae Waterfall

This is one of the best things to do in Phuket for nature lovers.

Spend a day venturing into the lush forest near the eastern coast of the island and find the Bang Pae Waterfall.

Located in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, this is the biggest waterfall in Phuket, standing at 18 meters tall.

The rainy season (May through October) is the best time to visit the waterfall due to the increase in rainfall.

During the dry season (November through April), the rock pools may not be deep enough to swim but you can still take cool photos and soak in the serenity of nature.

Phuket’s second-highest waterfall, Ton Sai Waterfall, resides near the Bang Pae Waterfall in the same national park, so you could even see both in one day.

  • Location: Pa Klok, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
  • Hours: 8 am to 6 pm, open every day
  • Cost: 200 Baht entrance fee for the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

12) Take a Tour of the Surrounding Islands

Spending a day hopping from island to island is definitely one of the best things to do in Phuket, Thailand.

Thailand has over a thousand islands, and it would be very difficult to see them all but a half-day island-hopping tour by boat can help you at least catch a glimpse of the pristine beauty of the Thai islands.

Phuket makes a perfect starting point for an island tour because there are so many tour companies offering different packages for different prices that suit any traveller.

Most island tours stop at a few different islands and finish in the early afternoon, so just pick which islands you want to see and find a tour that hits those spots.

One of the most popular places to visit on an island tour is Phang Nga Bay, where the towering limestone rock formations were made famous by a James Bond movie.

Similan Island is another beautiful spot that is perfect for snorkelling.

Racha Island and Coral Island also have favourable snorkelling conditions and are great spots for diving or parasailing.

You can also take a full-day boat tour to the islands of Koh Phi Phi, arguably one of the most picturesque island chains in the Andaman Sea.

Phang Nga Bay
The famous limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay

13) Challenge the Mind at the Phuket Trickeye Museum

This interactive museum in Phuket Town is entertaining for people of all ages.

Full of detailed and realistic 3D paintings and scenes, people can pose in certain places and look like they are part of the painting.

You have to remove your shoes to keep all the paintings clean, as you will be climbing all over them.

Bring a camera and have a blast taking hilarious photos with these beautifully crafted scenes.

  • Location: 130/1 Phangnga Rd, Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
  • Hours: 10 am to 7 pm, open every day, the last admission at 6 pm
  • Cost: 450 Baht ticket

14) Take a Thai Cooking Class

If you’re even a little bit passionate about food, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Phuket.

Book a cooking class and learn how to cook all the irresistible and world-famous Thai dishes such as pad thai, curry, spring rolls, Thai iced tea, and desserts like mango and sticky rice or coconut fried bananas.

A cooking class is an amazing insight into the Thai culture and its famous culinary secrets, and you’ll get to taste all the delicious food you make.

There are lots of tourism companies in Phuket that offer tours to different cooking schools around the island.

But it’s always best to book in advance. Check out a half-day cooking class that includes a local market tour in Phuket Town.

15) Visit the Karon Temple and Market

Wat Karon is another magnificent temple in Phuket, and it is home to a bustling market every Tuesday and Friday.

So after checking out the temple, you can wander around and shop for local products while snacking on street food.

This market sells mainly clothes and accessories, including scarves, sunglasses, and handbags.

You can also find health products made from locally sourced ingredients, such as coconut oil, aloe vera and handmade soaps.

  • Location: Wat Karon on Patak Road, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100
  • Hours: Every Tuesday and Friday from 4 pm to 10 pm
  • Cost: Free

16) Go Diving

If you are a certified scuba diver, there are some incredible underwater sites around Phuket that you can visit as a day trip.

Book a day tour with any of the tourism companies on the island and go scuba diving in the Andaman Sea.

Most scuba diving trips leave from Chalong, so you’ll need to make your way to that part of the island first.

The best time for diving in Phuket is from November through April, during the dry season as the water visibility is the best.

But you can still go diving during the rainy season, May through October, as the water is still quite clear despite the frequent thunderstorms.

The water is pretty warm year-round and there are lots of aquatic wildlife including manta rays, seahorses, reef sharks, colourful fish, and fascinating coral reefs.

Some popular diving sites that may be included in a day trip include Shark Point and Anemone Reef.

King Cruiser is a shipwreck from 1997 that is cool to explore as well, and the nearby Racha Islands and Koh Phi Phi Islands also offer amazing diving.

17) Watch a Muay Thai Boxing Match

One of the most exciting things to see in Phuket is a Muay Thai Boxing match.

This combat sport is fast-paced and a favorite among locals.

Muay Thai boxing athletes are very impressive, with their lightning speed agility and skilful precision.

Patong Boxing Stadium is the local boxing stadium where you can watch a match or even take a Muay Thai training class.

Only take the training class if you’re reasonably fit, as it is a challenging day of fitness and learning hard self-defence moves.

A single Muay Thai session at Patong Boxing Stadium costs 500 Baht.

Otherwise, you can just attend a match and watch the professionals excel at their craft.

  • Location: 2 59 Sainamyen Rd, Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu, Chang Wat Phuket 83150
  • Hours: Matches are every Monday, Thursday and Saturday night from 9 pm to 11 pm
  • Cost: 1,300 Baht for a regular seat, 1,500 Baht for a ringside seat, and 1,800 Baht for a VIP seat
Muay Thai
Watch the local athletes practice their self-defence and combat skills

18) Visit Khao Rang Viewpoint

You may have noticed that Phuket has lots of viewpoints.

The island is so mountainous and scenic that one lookout point is simply not enough.

The Khao Rang Viewpoint, also called Rang Hill Viewpoint, is located pretty far inland but faces southeast so you can get an amazing view over Phuket Town and the distant sea.

There is a spacious viewing platform for taking photos, an open-air pagoda, and a few nice cafes and restaurants.

The landscaped gardens and thick jungle atop the hill make a cozy habitat for monkeys, so don’t be surprised to see some while exploring the viewpoint.

  • Location: 145/5 Thanon Patiphat, Tambon Wichit, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
  • Hours: Open all day every day
  • Cost: Free

19) Experience Bangla Road

Bangla Road, locally known as Soi Bangla and alternatively known as Patong Walking Street, is a 400-meter strip of excitement.

Located in the heart of Phuket’s Patong area, this bustling street is right next to Patong Beach and surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs.

Waking down this street is like an explosion of colour, with neon lights and colourful shopfronts crowding your line of vision.

Your senses may feel like they’re on a roller coaster, with the pumping music of clubs mixing with the aromas of street food and the visual chaos.

Bangla Road is pedestrian-only, so you don’t need to worry about vehicle traffic while exploring.

From the live music and street performers to the beer gardens and cocktail bars to the street vendors and restaurants, Bangla Road has everything you need for a fun night out in Phuket.

  • Location: Bangla Road in Patong, right across from the massive Jungceylon Shopping Center
  • Hours: Gets busy every single night, more so on weekends

READ MORE: Plan your visit with plenty of fun things to do in Bangkok!

20) Surf the Waves

Thailand is not one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations, but travellers can still catch a few fun waves along the Thai coast.

Phuket has lots of good surfing beaches, all of them on the island’s west coast which picks up more swell.

The rainy season (May through October) is the best time to surf as the currents can be a bit strong during the high season (November through April).

Surfers of every level can find suitable waves in Phuket, including first-timers who want to take lessons.

The best beaches for beginners are Patong Beach, Kata Beach, and Bang Tao Beach, all of which have surf schools and board rentals available.

Intermediate surfers should head to Nai Harn Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Kamala Beach, or Laem Singh Beach.

These beaches pick up a bit more swell and have faster waves that suit more experienced surfers.

Advanced surfers looking for a challenge can surf the reef breaks at Kalim Beach and Nai Yang Beach.

Beginner surfers are not recommended to surf reef breaks as the conditions are a bit more dangerous.

Stick to the sandy beach breaks and you’ll have an easy, enjoyable time on the water.

21) Visit the Jui Tui Shrine

Over 90% of the Thai population practices Buddhism, though there are religious minorities of Hinduism and some Chinese religions scattered throughout the country.

Phuket has quite a few Chinese immigrants and their Chinese religions are commemorated in various temples and shrines around the island.

One of the most popular and highly respected Chinese religious monuments is the Jui Tui Shrine.

Built in 1911, the Jui Tui Shrine complex has lots of different buildings and courtyards, most adorned with bright colours and images or statues of Chinese gods.

Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival is held here every October.

  • Location: 283 Soi Phutorn, Tambon Talat Nuea, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
  • Hours: 8 am to 8:30 pm, open every day
  • Cost: Free
Jui Tui Shrine What to Do in Phuket
The Jui Tui Shrine is an important Chinese temple in Phuket

22) Attend a Simon Cabaret Show

For a fun night of music and entertainment, head to the Simon Cabaret.

Established in 1991, Simon Cabaret has become one of the most popular entertainment venues in all of Thailand.

The Ladyboy shows are the most famous, where the local ladyboys put on a spectacular performance with elaborate costumes, impressive singing and dancing, captivating sets and a lively atmosphere.

The one-hour shows are even appropriate for families, and you can take photos with the fabulous performers afterwards.

  • Location: 8 Sirirach Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150 Thailand
  • Hours: Shows start at 6 pm, 7:30 pm and 9 pm, every day
  • Cost: 1,000 Baht

23) Watch the sunset from Promthep Cape

This viewpoint on the southern tip of Phuket offers some of the best views on the island.

Though it can get pretty crowded, it is worth coming up here in the evening to watch the sunset over the ocean.

There is also a Lighthouse Museum, a mini-market selling food and snacks and a few restaurants.

Check the sunset time before you come here, as the exact times change often and the sunsets are usually very quick.

But catching the view of the warm sun melting over the gorgeous ocean is one of the most magical things to see in Phuket, so definitely make a trip up here at least once during your stay.

  • Location: Rawai, Mueang Phuket District
  • Hours: Open all day every day
  • Cost: Free

Phuket Travel Guide

Now you know the best things to do in Phuket, here are some tips on where to stay, how to get around and what to eat on this beautiful island.

Where to Stay in Phuket

A few of Phuket’s major neighbourhoods have already been mentioned in this post.

Because Phuket’s attractions are all spread out, there isn’t one “best” place to stay on the island.

Every neighbourhood has its cool attractions, and you’ll need to venture out a bit to see everything the island has to offer.

Here is a brief overview of the four most popular tourist neighbourhoods to stay in.

They each have a different atmosphere, so you can decide which type of place suits you best.

READ MORE: Check out our dedicated post on where to stay in Phuket!

Patong

Location: Central, west coast of Phuket
Atmosphere: Touristy, crowded and busy, fun nightlife, bustling night markets, Patong Beach nearby

Karon/Kata

Location: Just south of Patong on the west coast of Phuket
Atmosphere: Relaxing and full of gorgeous beaches, a bit quieter than Patong but still quite developed and touristy

Phuket Old Town

Location: Southeast area of Phuket, inland
Atmosphere: Cultural centre full of museums and religious sites, a bit far from the beach but close to lots of markets, shops and viewpoints

Nai Yang/Mai Khao

Location: North, west coast of the Phuket
Atmosphere: Natural beauty, pristine and uncrowded beaches, national parks, close to the airport

Accommodation in Phuket

Phuket is quite touristy, so there are many accommodation options that suit every budget.

There are cheap backpacker hostels, cozy bed and breakfasts, and luxurious resorts.

Thailand is overall, a very affordable country so you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere comfortable to stay that is affordable and convenient.

Budget Hostels in Phuket: Slumber Party Hostel and Luna Airport Hostel

Because Phuket has so many hostels, here are two of the best ones that have very different vibes.

Slumber Party Hostel is without a doubt, a wild party hostel.

It has its own bar with cheap drinks and costs only 550 Baht per night for a dorm room.

The atmosphere is very social, with a super outgoing staff and lots of young backpackers so stay here is you are traveling alone and want to meet new people.

The hostel offers fun tours and bar crawls so you can explore Phuket with your fellow travellers.

Luna Airport Hostel is an alternative backpacker hostel for those who want a quieter atmosphere.

It is located a short 15-minute walk from the airport, so you can save money on public transportation when flying in or out of Phuket.

As it is so close to the airport in the north of the island, it is a bit far from touristy areas like Phuket Town, Karon, and Patong.

But up here you’ll get a calmer, more local vibe and you’ll be very close to the pristine northern beaches of Phuket like Nai Yang and Mai Khao Beach.

So Luna Airport Hostel is a great option if you want to stay near the airport and you want some relaxing beach days.

A dorm costs only 550 Baht per night and the rooms are super clean and cozy. There is also a kitchen and free tea and cookies available.

Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Phuket: Blu Monkey Boutique

Blu Monkey Boutique is located in Phuket Town, so it is very close to lots of the best Phuket attractions.

This small hotel only has 9 rooms, so it is very quiet and almost feels like a home.

The cozy atmosphere and classy blue and white decor make guests feel comfortable, but still well taken care of.

You get all the usual amenities of a hotel in Thailand, such as free drinking water, free wifi and parking, luggage storage and a laundry service.

There are deluxe rooms and suites available, with prices ranging from about 1,000 to 1,500 Baht.

Best Luxury Hotel in Phuket: Sri Panwa Hotel

The Sri Panwa Luxury Hotel is perfect for those who really want to feel like they’re on a tropical vacation.

This 5-star hotel offers airport transfers and free breakfast for guests, and the staff is known for being extremely friendly and accommodating.

You can also find swimming pools, a fitness center with a boxing ring, and a spa at the hotel.

Sri Panwa Hotel is set on its own little peninsula, so every room has a fantastic view of either the ocean or the landscaped gardens.

You can rent penthouses, single rooms for couples, or even entire villas with multiple rooms for the whole family.

The cheapest room goes for about 12,000 Baht.

How to Get Around Phuket

Phuket is a large island, so you will have to dedicate a bit of time and money to travel around the island to all the best attractions.

If you’re looking to book a private transfer from the airport, this is the best option you can book online.

Hire a Car or Motorbike

If you plan on spending a week or more in Phuket, hire a car or a motorbike.

That way you can abide by your own schedule and go wherever you want around the island.

Make sure you have a valid driver’s license and travel insurance before renting any sort of vehicle, just to make sure you are covered if any accidents happen.

Road traffic in Thailand can get crazy, especially with all the motorbikes zooming around.

Just do your research and make sure you feel fully comfortable with your vehicle hire, whether it is a motorbike or a car (4WD isn’t necessary for car rental, most of the roads are easily accessible).

Take Public Transport

If you’re only on the island for a few days and don’t want to go through the hassle of hiring a car or bike, Phuket has plenty of public transport options.

Tuk-tuks are cheap and convenient for travelling short distances.

They are three-wheeled, open-air taxis that zip through traffic and are quite affordable depending on how far you are travelling.

Make sure you clarify the destination and the cost of the ride first, to avoid getting ripped off.

You can find regular metered taxis as well, with similar prices to tuk-tuks.

Keep in mind that travelling long distances around the island using tuk-tuk or taxi can add up to be quite expensive, so try not to drive too far if you want to save money.

You can also take public buses in Phuket; they are pretty slow-moving but definitely the cheapest public transport option.

The buses run from roughly 7 am to 6 pm and just ask around at your local accommodation where the buses stop because there aren’t reliable, specific bus stops.

What to Eat in Phuket

After you’ve figured out where to stay and what to do in Phuket, pick where to eat.

There are so many different cafes, bars and restaurants around the island offering delicious Thai cuisine at cheap prices.

Because of the long coastline and active population of local fishermen, Phuket has some top-notch seafood so be sure to indulge.

You can also find all the classics of flavorful Thai cuisine, like spicy curries and refreshing spring rolls.

Here are some of the best places to eat in Phuket, according to budget, mid-range, and luxury price ranges.

A local fisherman and his boat
A local fisherman and his boat

Budget: Sabaijai Cafe.

If you’re looking to eat out on a budget and taste authentic local cuisine, visit the Sabaijai Cafe.

This place is loved by tourists and locals alike, and there are lots of classic Thai dishes made to perfection and priced cheaply.

Mid-Range: Mor Mu Dong Restaurant

Mor Mu Dong Restaurant is award-winning and Michelin recognized, but affordable and popular among locals.

You can sit in unique bamboo and wood huts known as “salas” sitting over the mangroves, but the humble concrete tables and plastic dishes make the restaurant feel comfortable and relaxed.

Luxury: Mom Tri’s Kitchen

For a nice meal with a view, visit Mom Tri’s Kitchen, a waterfront restaurant set on land owned by the Thai royal family.

You can gaze over Kata Noi Beach while sipping high-quality wine and tasting fresh local seafood.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

About the author

Gabby Boucher

After four years of working in hospitality, volunteering abroad and travelling for fun, Gabby has developed a knack for budget travel and admiration for different cultures. Her travels have taken her through the cloud forests of Ecuador, into the villages of eastern Europe, across the islands of Thailand, and to the beaches of New South Wales, Australia, where she is currently living with a working holiday visa. She plans to continue her adventures around the world for as long as possible. Follow her on her blog, and on Instagram.

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