Stunning beaches and jungle, colourful markets and gigantic shopping temples, a dizzy nightlife and an island capital where the old quarter is being transformed into a lively open-air museum – no wonder Phuket is such a popular holiday destination. The whole world comes here. The island draws more than five million tourists each year. The super-rich anchor their luxury yachts, and regular holidaymakers too relax on Phuket, having a good time and learning from the Thais that life is nicer when lived with a smile.
Discover what unique experiences can be had with our list of things you can only do in Phuket!
Thailand has never been a colony, yet in Old Phuket Town you can definitely sense a colonial atmosphere. A stroll through this old quarter reveals many historic buildings in the Sino-Portuguese style. In Soi Rommani you will find one little gem after another.
Ride the waves
A trip across the waves from beach to beach or to an offshore island is an essential part of a holiday in Phuket. On Rawai Beach a whole armada of longtails awaits customers.
Breach the peace
Buddhist monasteries are generally tranquil places in Thailand. In Wat Chalong, however, noise is part of the experience. Visitors set off chains of fireworks – to express gratitude for wishes fulfilled. You too can make a bang in the monastery, as the fireworks are sold on site.
Sail in the Andaman Sea
The Andaman Sea is Asia’s number one sailing region, and nowhere will you see more yachts at anchor than off Phuket. Go on board! On the noticeboards of restaurants and bars in the bays of Ao Sane and Chalong, and on Nai Harn Beach, sailors post offers of trips on their private boats.
The centre of nightlife in Phuket is Soi Bangla on Patong Beach. Hundreds of bars are lined up one next to the other, most of them no more than a counter with a roof above it. No other place in Thailand presents such a lively, uninhibited scene at night, with a carnival atmosphere wherever you look.
It doesn’t hurt a bit
They stick spikes and hooks into their bodies and feel no pain. Pilgrims at the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket Town have entered a trance. Visitors from the West can’t exclude the possibility that it might hurt just to look.
Buy the Phuket Marco Polo Guide.