Planning a holiday to tropical Phuket? Discover the island’s best attractions that won’t break the bank.
Phuket is a favourite holiday spot for many Australians because of its beaches, food and nightlife. It’s one of those affordable holiday destinations that suites both family vacations and pampered couples’ retreats.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to dive in the Andaman Sea, explore the surrounding islands or immerse yourself in authentic Thai culture – Phuket has so much to offer. Here are some of the must-dos when you’re holidaying in Thailand’s tourism capital.
James Bond Island, Phang Nga Bay
Yup, this isle is named after one of the James Bond films that was shot here in 1974. Situated 25 kilometres north-east of Phuket, you can join a day tour and cruise to Phang Nga Bay, which features towering limestone cliffs standing tall above the waters.
This picturesque landscape isn’t just made for photos; many of the cruises offer kayaking through hidden lagoons and tiny passageways. Make sure you duck when your guides tell you to! Many of these passageways have low ceilings and you don’t want to come back bruised.
Old Phuket Town
For those looking to explore the island like a local, head to Old Phuket Town. Located in the historic section of the Phuket township, you’ll find temples, shrines, and Sino-colonial buildings that have been restored and transformed into colourful shops and cafes.
Visit the area early in the morning or later in the day when it’s less hot, and make sure to wear comfortable footwear, sunglasses and a hat. The personality of the area continues to thrive at night, with many bars and restaurants that locals and tourists love.
Phuket FantaSea Show
The Phuket FantaSea Show is a must-see if you’re looking for something that will delight your senses. Inspired by Thailand’s rich and exotic heritage, it’s enhanced by innovative technology and special effects that are bound to charm.
The theatrical show is held at the theme park in Kamala Beach, which boasts a carnival village of handicrafts, games, shopping and a 4,000-seat restaurant where you can savour a smorgasbord of Thai and international cuisines. We recommend purchasing the show and buffet package – at an extra of approximately AU$15 for an adult, you’d be crazy not to fork out for the buffet.
You can’t visit Phuket and not swing by vibrant Patong Beach. Other places of interest include Kathu Waterfall, Patong Boxing Stadium, and Kathu Mining Museum.
If you prefer to spend time on the sand, this town has hidden gems like Freedom Beach. Although it can be difficult to access, Freedom Beach is surrounded by tree-filled hills and granite rocks and its 300-metre beach is starkly alabaster. Snorkelers, listen up: this beach hosts some beautiful sea life at the shallow waters of both ends.
At 45 metres tall, you won’t miss this iconic landmark sitting astride the Nakkerd Hills. The Big Buddha is six kilometres from Phuket’s main arterial road, and, when you get here, there are panoramic views of the island where you can enjoy the stunning Chalong Bay, Phuket Town and Karon beaches.
The Big Buddha was originally conceived when a group of friends chanced upon a location that boasted 360-degrees vistas during a hike through the Nakkerd Hills. They saw Kata and the Andaman Sea in one direction and Chalong Bay on the other, and, after several discussions, the friends decided to build a giant structure of Lord Buddha.
Popular with both Buddhist locals and tourists, this attraction brings in massive crowds, so be prepared. As it’s a religious site, avoid beachwear and inappropriate clothes.
Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket
If you’re planning a Thai holiday, Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket is eminently matched to your needs. Set on Patong Hill, the luxurious resort is an eight-minute drive or 30-minute walk to the famous Patong Beach.
Every room has a private balcony equipped with hot tubs; alternatively, you can upgrade to rooms that offer access to a semi-private pool. There’s also two restaurants on site and a total of eight pools, so you’ll never run out of places to swim or relax.
Phuket is a friendly, tropical travel destination that boasts activities suitable for all ages, and is always a great getaway any time of the year. If you’ve been chasing some sunshine and seaside fun, stop dreaming and book those flights today.