Things to do in Phuket
Big Buddha Phuket
Towering at over 45m tall, the Big Buddha is an unmissable Phuket landmark. Sitting on top of the Nakkerd Hills, it's possible to walk up there to get a closer view of the Buddha, but you'll also be afforded a magnificent panoramic view of the island. Entry is free, but you can get a blessing from the monks for a small donation.
The Big Buddha offers panoramic views over the sea of Phuket.
Phuket Island Day Trips
One of the best ways to see many of the beautiful places in Phuket is to take a boat and go on a day trip around the islands. You'll soon see why this location has been used in several Hollywood movies, and during the tour you'll learn more about Phuket and its brushes with fame. Take a yacht or a smaller fisherman's boast to get to areas such as Phi Phi.
There are countless day trips available off Thailand's stunning coastline.
Snorkelling and Diving Phuket
Some of the must-see places in Phuket are not on land but are underneath the Andaman Sea. You can check them out by snorkelling straight off Ao Sane or Paradise Beach. You can also dive off a tour boat while on a day trip to the Similan Islands. If you want to learn to scuba dive, there are several schools in Phuket.
Snorkelling in Phuket's clear waters is one of the best things to do here.
Phuket Spas and Retreats
There's nothing better to soothe your mind, body, and spirit than booking in for a treatment at a Phuket spa and retreat. Treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage, during which the therapist will not use oils. Instead, she will ask you to change into loose pyjamas before stretching and kneading your muscles.
Pamper yourself with a massage while in Phuket.
As the most important Buddhist temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong is an impressive example of Thailand's different architectural styles. Many locals visit the temple to pay their respects to several famed Buddhist monks, which you can learn about through an exhibit found inside the temple compound. This is also home to a bone fragment of the Buddha housed in the Grand Pagoda.
The strikingly beautiful Wat Chalong Temple, Phuket.
Thalang National Museum
The Thalang National Museum will start to give you an insight into Thai culture from the moment you see it, because it has been designed in the style of traditional houses in the area. Step inside to enjoy exhibits that represent the region's story, from early settlements to the devastating 2004 tsunami.
Wat Phra Thong
Located in the Thalang district, Wat Phra Thong is one of the oldest temples of Phuket. Inside you'll discover a half-buried golden statue of Buddha. Legend has it that anyone who tries to dig it out becomes cursed. The Wat Phra Thong buildings also house a small exhibit about the tin mining era with items donated by the locals.
Wat Phra Thong Temple is one of the most ancient temples in Phuket.
Phuket Thai Hua Museum
Housed in a beautiful Sino-Portuguese-style building, Phuket's Thai Hua Museum is a must-visit for anyone wanting to learn more about the Chinese settlers of Phuket. Spanning across two floors and the courtyard, see exhibits that represent their history, culture, and influence. Don't leave this one off your itinerary if you're interested in Asian history.
The Thai Hua Museum is one of the best maintained Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket Town.
Nagas (dragon-like snakes) and yaks (blue monsters) guard the Wat Karon, which is a popular attraction for visitors staying in Karon Beach. On Tuesdays and Fridays, a market is held inside the compound and here you'll find clothes, souvenirs, and street food – perfect for rounding off your visit to the temple.
The Buddhist Temple, Wat Karon, is also home to markets on certain days of the week.
Chyn Pracha House
If you want to see how the rich inhabitants of Phuket used to live, visit the Chyn Pracha House. Although privately owned, many of its beautifully preserved rooms are accessible to the public. You can tour the mansion and see the kitchen with its clay pots and brass pans as well as the bedrooms with lace-covered steel beds and wooden furniture.
Also known as Baan Chinpracha, this historic home gives you a fascinating a glimpse into Phuket's past.
Jui Tui Shrine
When it's time for a celebration, the locals of Phuket will drop by the Jui Tui Shrine. This colourful compound houses Chinese deities like Tean Hu Huan Soy, the god of artists and performers. At Jui Tui, it's traditional to throw firecrackers into a pot and light fortune sticks. It also hosts the annual Vegetarian Festival with its intimidating facial piercing tradition.
The colourful and sacred Jui Tui Shrine.
A small island connected by bridge to mainland Phuket, Koh Sirey is an attraction because it's home to the sea gypsies and a beautiful hillside temple. Visit Wat Sirey and you'll find many golden Buddha statues inside elevated rooms. The largest of these is a reclining Buddha. When you step outside, take a moment to enjoy great views of Koh Sirey and Phuket.
The main stairs leading to the replica of Phra That In-Kwaen Hanging Golden Rock at Sirey temple, Phuket, Thailand.