Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea, and is Thailand’s largest island with some of the best beaches, nightlife, and diving that the country has to offer. This three day itinerary will give you a good starting point for some of the variety of things to do in and around Phuket, but of course if you can do as little or as much of it as you like. Some people arrive in town, park themselves on a beautiful beach, and never move until their flight home…
Day One in Phuket
Start your visit by wandering around Phuket Town, admiring the Sino-Portuguese architecture and stocking up on things you may need once you hit the resorts and beaches of Phuket. Half-day sightseeing tours are an easy way to get acquainted with the island and tours can be arranged through your hotel or by haggling with the local tour companies. Most will be offering the same tours, so feel free to comparison shop for the best prices. The usual tours make stops at Wat Chalong (the island’s famous buddhist temple), Rawai Beach, and Promthep Cape at the southern tip of the island. Many will end by admiring the views at Khao Rang before returning you to Phuket Town or to your hotel if you’re staying elsewhere. There’s also a charming little Chinatown area near Talan Street to wander. Once you’re ready to head out to the beach, you’ll find a multitude of transportation options in town to get you wherever you need to go.
Get settled at your hotel and then give yourself time to head out for an evening meal, perhaps a romantic seafood dinner on the beach. (Phuket is known as one of the best places in Thailand for a honeymoon, after all.) It may be a bit of a tourist trap, but the Phuket FantaSea show bills itself as the ultimate cultural theme park, where you can enjoy a dinner buffet as well as entertainment on Kamala Beach. Or if you’re in the mood for the best nightlife, head to Patong, a hedonistic paradise.
Day Two in Phuket
For your second day in Phuket, sign up for a day trip. If you’re a diver and visiting during high season, you may want to consider the Similan Islands, which are open yearly from mid-November through mid-May. Some of the best snorkeling and diving can be found here with karst limestone cliffs surrounding pristine waters boasting excellent visibility.
Another day drip option would be to visit the islands of Kho Phi Phi, made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach in 2000. For this day trip, you’ll want to leave as early as possible, preferably at sunrise. Hire a longtail boat to get you there just after sunrise so that you’ll be able to enjoy the natural splendor before the throngs of day trippers arrive. The famous Maya Bay is on the island of Koh Phi Phi Ley but you may also want to consider a stop at Koh Phi Phi Don.
Phuket is surrounded by excellent diving and snorkeling so you may want to shop around for the day trip that suits your needs and time frame best. Phang Nga bay, Coral Island, James Bond Island, or Kho Hae Island are all excellent choices.
Day Three in Phuket
For your last day, soak up the sun and head out to explore Phuket’s beautiful beaches such as Hat Karon or Hat Kata. If you still haven’t gotten enough of the ocean, go for a swim, snorkel or scuba dive or perhaps just lay out and enjoy the beach. And although it doesn’t seem possible, if you’ve gotten too much ocean or sun, there are many land-based activities as well. Try a round of golf, an elephant safari or thai cooking classes. Some of the more unusual activities to be found on Phuket include a shooting range, bungy jumping, horseback riding, monkey or snake “shows”, and jungle tours. It’s a great time for some souvenir shopping or to treat yourself to a relaxing day at a spa.
And of course, many come to the beaches of Phuket just to simply slow down and just enjoy paradise. For day three, my personal choice would be to just relax at my favorite beach, paperback book in hand, cool drink in the other, and just enjoy the feeling of my toes in the sand and a cool dip in the ocean just beyond my beach chair. However you choose to spend your time here, you’ll probably want to return, so day three is also the perfect day to start planning for your next trip.