Phuket is a popular island destination located in southern Thailand, known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse cultural attractions. With its warm tropical climate, lush jungles, and rich history, Phuket offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the local markets, or discover the island’s unique history and culture, there is something for everyone in Phuket. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural attractions, the island also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, with an array of bars, restaurants, and entertainment options. Phuket truly offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern amenities that make it an ideal destination for travellers worldwide.
The best time to visit Phuket, Thailand is during the dry season, which runs from December to March. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny with low humidity, making it perfect for beach activities and outdoor adventures. The peak tourist season falls between November and February, so it’s advisable to book your accommodations and activities in advance. April to May is the shoulder season, and while the weather can be hot, it’s still a good time to visit, with fewer crowds and lower prices. From May to October, Phuket experiences its monsoon season, which brings heavy rainfall and occasional storms.
- Phuket is home to the famous Phi Phi Islands, which were featured in the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
- The name “Phuket” is derived from the Malay word “bukit,” which means hill or mountain. The island is known for its hilly terrain and lush vegetation.
- The island is a melting pot of cultures, with a mix of Thai, Chinese, and Muslim influences. This is reflected in its food, architecture, and cultural practices.
- Phuket has a rich history of tin mining, which was a significant industry on the island from the 16th to the 20th century. Many of the old mining sites have been converted into tourist attractions, such as the Bang Pae Waterfall and the Kathu Mining Museum.
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Phuket, Thailand:
After you check in at your hotel, step out to Phuket Old Town is a charming historic district that offers a glimpse into the island’s past. This part of Phuket is an ideal destination for those interested in culture and history, with its unique Sino-Portuguese architecture, narrow streets, and colorful buildings. Visitors can wander through the bustling streets and alleys, taking in the sights and sounds of the lively markets and street vendors selling everything from fresh fruits to handmade crafts. The town’s highlights include the well-preserved mansions of wealthy Chinese families, which have now been converted into museums and galleries showcasing the island’s rich heritage.
This stunning building was constructed in 1903 by the Chinpracha family, who was one of the wealthiest families in Phuket at the time. The mansion is considered to be one of the most well-preserved heritage houses in Phuket. The Chinpracha House is open to the public, and visitors can take a guided tour of the property to learn about the history of the mansion and the family who built it. The interior of the house is decorated with beautiful antiques and traditional Thai artwork, providing a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the Chinpracha family. The Chinpracha House is a must-visit attraction on your one day in Phuket for anyone interested in the history and culture of Phuket.
This enormous statue of Buddha stands at the height of 45 meters! It is perched on top of the Nakkerd Hills and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The statue is made of reinforced concrete and covered in Burmese white jade marble which gives it a serene and majestic look. The site also offers a beautiful temple with prayer bells and numerous smaller Buddha statues, which are considered to be very sacred among the locals. Overall, visiting the Big Buddha on your one day in Phuket is a must-do experience for anyone interested in Thai culture and history.
Wat Chalong is renowned for its stunning pagodas, intricate carvings, and magnificent golden Buddha statues. Visitors can learn about the temple’s history and significance, witness traditional Thai rituals and ceremonies, and pay their respects to the Buddha. The temple also houses a museum displaying a vast collection of Buddhist artifacts and offers various activities such as meditation and traditional Thai massage. The serene and peaceful atmosphere of Wat Chalong is perfect for spiritual reflection and relaxation.
The street food in Phuket is not only delicious, but it also offers a great insight into Thai culture and the daily life of locals. The best part is that street food in Phuket is usually very affordable, making it an excellent option for travellers on a budget who want to experience the local cuisine without breaking the bank. Phuket, Thailand is renowned for its vibrant street food scene, offering a wide range of delicious and affordable local delicacies that are a must-try for foodies visiting the island. The local street vendors, known as “hawkers,” offer a vast array of options, including fresh seafood, meat skewers, spicy soups, pad Thai, and fried rice.
Kata Beach, with its turquoise waters and powdery white sands, is a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling. Meanwhile, Karon Beach boasts a more laid-back vibe and is perfect for sunbathing and taking leisurely walks along the shoreline.
These beaches offer an incredible array of restaurants and bars, as well as local vendors selling traditional Thai street food, souvenirs, and beach gear. Whether you’re looking to relax, soak up the sun, or dive into the crystal-clear waters, these beaches are a must-see in Phuket. Try Thai massage – a unique style of massage that combines yoga-like stretching, acupressure, and energy work to promote relaxation and balance throughout the body.
Visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea as the sun sets over the horizon, creating a beautiful and romantic backdrop. As the sun begins to dip, the sky turns into a beautiful array of oranges, pinks, and purples, and the sea begins to glow with an orange hue.
The viewpoint at Promthep Cape is accessible by car or motorbike, and visitors can park their vehicles and take a short walk up the hill to get to the viewpoint. There are also several vendors selling local snacks and souvenirs, making it a great place to spend a relaxed evening with friends and family. Watching the sunset at Promthep Cape is a quintessential Phuket experience that should not be missed.
Bangla Road is one of the most famous destinations in Phuket, Thailand, and is located in the heart of Patong Beach. This bustling street is known for its lively nightlife and comes to life after dark with an incredible array of entertainment options.
Bangla Road is a long, narrow street that is closed to traffic in the evening, and the atmosphere is loud, energetic and full of excitement. Visitors can find a variety of bars, nightclubs, live music venues, and street performers throughout the road, with something to suit all tastes. The street is also home to an extensive selection of local and international restaurants, street food stalls, and shops, making it an excellent destination for foodies and shoppers!
Where to Stay in Phuket, Thailand
Xinlor House – Phuket Old Town
78 Dibuk Road, Talad Nuah, Amper Mung Phuket, 83000 Phuket Town
Xinlor House – Phuket Old Town is a 3-star hotel located in the vibrant area of Phuket Town, just 400 meters from Chinpracha House and 5.1 km from Prince of Songkla University. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and a private bathroom. With a terrace, this non-smoking property is located just 300 meters from Thai Hua Museum. Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box, and a kettle. Selected rooms come with a balcony, while some offer scenic city views. Bed linen and towels are provided in all rooms to ensure a comfortable stay.
154 Yaowarat Road Phuket Old Town, 83000 Phuket Town
This upscale accommodation boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a terrace, all available for guests to enjoy. The hotel also offers free private parking, a bar, a 24-hour front desk, and a concierge service. Free WiFi is available throughout the property, making it easy for guests to stay connected with friends and family. The guest rooms at Hotel Verdigris are designed for comfort and convenience, featuring air conditioning, a fridge, a minibar, a coffee machine, and a desk. The private bathrooms in each room are equipped with a shower, free toiletries, and a hairdryer. Some of the rooms come with a balcony, offering stunning city views. Bed linen and towels are provided in all rooms. Guests can start their day with a continental, Asian, or vegetarian breakfast served on-site.
16 Patak Road, Soi 24, Phuket, 83100 Karon Beach
The Pacific Club Resort is a charming boutique hotel located atop a hill and just a 10-minute stroll from Karon Beach. The resort boasts a unique design and offers stunning views of the surroundings from the private balconies of its spacious rooms. Guests can enjoy the resort’s swimming pool which offers a 360-degree view of Karon Beach, as well as a spa bath and a well-equipped gym. The resort’s spa offers massages and body treatments for ultimate relaxation. The Dining Room restaurant serves an international menu that can be enjoyed anywhere in the resort. The Pacific Club Resort – SHA Extra Plus is a fantastic choice for those looking for a peaceful and luxurious stay in Phuket.
Savour the opportunity to walk with your guide through the park and interact with the free-roaming elephants in a safe, sustainable, and ethical environment while feeding and touching them. Join the elephants in a healthy mud treatment session followed by a refreshing bath in a nearby river. You can also help bathe and brush the elephants while playing in the water. Capture precious memories with the elephants, and then change into dry clothes before heading back to your hotel!
Phi Phi Islands are a group of six stunning islands in Thailand known for their turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and towering limestone cliffs. Among them, Maya Bay is one of the most famous and picturesque spots! Maya Bay is surrounded by 100-meter cliffs on three sides, with a stunning turquoise lagoon and a long stretch of white sandy beach. It is an ideal spot for swimming, snorkelling, and diving to explore the rich marine life.
James Bond Island, also known as Koh Ta-pu, is a famous landmark in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. The island’s name was inspired by the 1974 James Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun,” as it was one of the film’s shooting locations. The island is a popular destination for tourists due to its unique shape and stunning natural scenery. It features a towering limestone cliff that juts out of the turquoise water, creating an impressive backdrop for photos. Visitors can take a boat tour to James Bond Island and explore the surrounding area, including the sea caves and hidden lagoons.
- Phuket has a unique tradition of vegetarianism, which is celebrated during the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival. During the festival, participants abstain from meat and perform various rituals to cleanse themselves and bring good luck.
- Respect the culture: Phuket has a rich and unique culture, and visitors should take the time to learn about it and respect the local customs and traditions. For example, visitors should dress modestly when visiting temples or other religious sites.
- Watch out for scams: Like any tourist destination, Phuket has its share of scams, so visitors should be wary of unsolicited offers or too-good-to-be-true deals.
- Learn some Thai: While English is widely spoken in Phuket, learning a few basic Thai phrases can help visitors connect with the locals and show respect for the culture.
- Plan ahead: Phuket can be busy during peak season, so visitors should plan ahead and book accommodations, tours, and activities in advance to avoid disappointment.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
Romi is a llama coach from Split, Croatia. This sounds made up but it’s true. She lived in Toronto, Canada for about ten years, give or take, but she wasn’t working with llamas. She was working in PR, restaurants, daycares, one yoga clothing store. She doesn't know how she got that job as she has never done yoga at that point. She taught English in Colombia and Vietnam. Traveled the world for two years. Then she got into writing. Actually, she was always writing, but then someone paid her to write. Then more people paid because they saw she was making them money. Then it became a thing she does for a living. And here we are now. Specializing in travel, real estate, and digital nomad guides, familiar with SEO, and always ready to learn something new so she can branch out and take over the world.