Wondering if Phuket is worth visiting? Here are 20 wonderful reasons to visit Phuket, the largest island in Thailand.
Most people know Phuket for its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and lush tropical palm trees.
But did you know that it’s also dotted with historical temples and a charming old town?
Phuket’s main draw is that it caters to everyone. Whether you’re traveling with kids, going for secluded beaches or looking for a party.
I’ve been to Phuket many times over the years, and Thomas and I even got married there. I really like that its so diverse with many fun things to do (especially island hopping, which is the best!).
Are you ready to be convinced to visit Phuket?
Let’s dive in!
20 fantastic reasons to visit Phuket
1. More than 40 stunning beaches
Many people don’t know this, but Phuket is not one beach, it’s actually more like 40!
When I arrived the first time, I was dropped off in Phuket town and had no idea which beach to choose. They’re quite different, and many of them have a theme.
For instance, Patong beach is for partying, Karon beach is great for families, Kata is for yoga and surfing, and the beaches up north are more secluded.
The best beaches in Phuket for swimming and clear waters are:
- Freedom Beach (hidden gem)
- Paradise beach (hidden gem)
- Bangtao beach
2. The Big Buddha
Phuket isn’t all beaches, though.
You’ll also find The Big Buddha, which is a popular tourist attraction you can visit on your own or on a half-day tour (⭐ 4.5/5) with Viator.
This 45-meter tall statue sits atop Nakkerd Hill with stunning panoramic views of the island. It’s a great spot to take some photos and watch the sunset.
3. The Karon viewpoint
The Karon Viewpoint, also known as the Three Beaches Hill, is another popular spot in Phuket with a stunning view of the coastline and the island’s lush greenery.
You can rent a scooter to get there or take a taxi. There are also plenty of vendors selling shakes and souvenirs nearby.
4. Amazing Thai food
Ah, Thai food. Thailand is one of those places I would travel to just for the food, and Phuket is no exception.
You’ll find a variety of delicious food here, from fresh seafood, and international cuisine at various restaurants to street food stalls.
Make sure to try:
- Pad thai
- Fried rice with chicken and cashew nuts
- And don’t miss out on the red curry with rice and shrimps. Yuuum!
If you love Thai food as much as I do, you can also join a Thai cooking class. I highly recommend taking a class, it’s so much fun and a great way to meet new people.
5. Lots of water activities
Phuket’s crystal clear waters are perfect for water activities, and there are plenty of options for all skill levels and interests.
Snorkeling? Yep. Scuba diving? You bet.
There’s lots to do both above and below the Andaman Sea.
6. Phang Nga bay
A visit to Phang Nga Bay is a must-do when you’re in Phuket. This beautiful bay is known for its towering limestone cliffs and crystal-clear green waters.
You can take a guided tour (⭐ 5/5) and explore hidden caves, lagoons, and even James Bond Island, which was featured in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area and learn about its history and culture.
7. Phuket old town
Old Phuket Town is a great place to explore if you’re interested in the island’s history and culture.
The area is known for its well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture, colourful street art, local markets, and cosy cafes.
You can wander around the streets, take in the sights, and sample some of the local food. Phuket Old Town is located about 40 km from the beaches, but you can take a tuk tuk or taxi there.
8. Great nightlife
If you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Patong beach is the place to be!
Known as the island’s party hub, Patong is a crazy, lively area with an insane nightlife on Bangla Road. We’re taking about beer bars, neon lights, and Thai girls in hotpants.
If you’re young and single, this is the perfect place to go.
9. Luxury at unbeatable prices
One of the best reasons to visit Phuket is that it’s so affordable.
You can stay at a 5-star hotel with infinity pool, like The Surin (⭐ 9.4) , which costs the same as one night at a basic hotel in Copenhagen.
I mean, come on.
10. Island hopping
Phuket is the perfect starting point for island hopping.
You can explore nearby islands like Koh Phi Phi (from The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio), Koh Yao Yai, and Koh Racha, and they’re each unique!
Day trips to these islands are a must-do on your Phuket itinerary, and there are plenty of tour operators that offer guided excursions, like this exclusive trip to Phi Phi islands (⭐ 5/5) with Viator.
You can relax on the beautiful beaches, go snorkeling in clear waters, and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Andaman Sea. There are plenty of activities.
11. Promthep cape view point
One of the best view points in Phuket is Promthep Cape.
Here, you’ll get a stunning panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and surrounding islands while you watch the sunset and nearby lighthouse.
This is a must-visit destination in Phuket.
12. Easy to get to and from
Phuket has a great International airport, which means you can fly here directly from other Asian countries, and even Europe.
Phuket is also the perfect base for visiting the islands, so many people come here and use it as a starting point or a base for exploring the area.
13. It’s child friendly
Phuket is a great destination for families with children.
The island has so many beautiful beaches where kids can play and swim safely, and there are also fun attractions like water parks, animal sanctuaries, and adventure parks for the whole family
The friendly locals are welcoming to families (Thai people truly are the nicest in the world!). Many hotels and resorts offer special amenities like kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and family-friendly restaurants.
14. Warm and sunny year-round
The warm and sunny weather year-round is one of the top reasons to visit Phuket.
With an average temperature of around 30°C (86°F), the island has the perfect conditions for swimming, tanning, and outdoor activities like kayaking and island hopping.
15. Beautiful temples
Phuket is home to at least 30 temples (known as wats in Thai).
Some of the temples are easy to find and have beautiful ornamentation, like the famous Wat Chalong.
16. Great place to meet new people
Phuket is a great place to meet new people from all over the world. The island is a popular destination for travelers, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make new friends.
You can join group activities and tours or hang out at local bars and restaurants.
I’ve met many people on cooking classes or island hopping tours, some of which I’m still friends with today.
17. It’s cheap
While Phuket is more expensive than other parts of Thailand, it still gives you great value for money.
You can find affordable hotels, food, and activities that won’t break the bank.
Even if you’re traveling on a small budget, you can still have an amazing time without spending too much. On the other hand, if you have more money to spare, you can enjoy luxurious hotels, cruises, and parties on a tropical beach.
18. Join the festivals
If you want to experience Thai culture, make sure to visit Phuket during its festivals.
The country is known for its colorful festivals, including the famous Loy Krathong (the festival of light) and Songkran (the water festival).
19. Beautiful waterfalls
If you love nature, you’ll love Phuket.
You can plan a great day by starting with a morning hike and then cooling off in one of Phuket’s best waterfalls in the afternoon.
Bang Pae, Kathu, and Ton Sai are the most popular waterfalls in Phuket and are definitely worth a visit.
20. Phuket is safe
Phuket is a safe destination, which is a huge plus. The two main safety concerns are:
- Swimming during the low season
- Driving a motorcycle
You’ll get far with common sense and by following the basic travel safety tips, though.
Where is Phuket?
Phuket is an island province in the southern part of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea.
It’s the largest island in Thailand and is connected to the mainland by two bridges.
How to get to Phuket
There are several ways to get to Phuket, so it’s up to you how you prefer to go. Here are the most common ways to get to Phuket:
Phuket has an international airport, Phuket International Airport (HKT), which is served by many airlines from all over the world.
You can fly directly to Phuket from major cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and many others.
If you’re traveling from Bangkok or other cities in Thailand, you can take a bus to Phuket. The journey takes around 12-14 hours, depending on the departure point and the bus company.
There is no train station in Phuket, but you can take a train to Surat Thani, and then transfer to a bus or minivan to get to Phuket. The train is much more comfortable than the bus, and you’ll be able to sleep in a bed and have dinner on the train.
If you’re coming from nearby islands like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, you can take a ferry to Phuket. There are also ferries from Krabi and Phang Nga.
Once you arrive in Phuket, you can take a taxi, minivan, or bus to your final destination on the island.
Best time to visit Phuket
The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April, during the dry season.
During this time, the weather is sunny and pleasant, with low humidity and little rainfall. The temperatures are also cooler, making it a great time to explore the island and enjoy outdoor activities.
The peak tourist season in Phuket is from December to February, when the weather is at its best. However, this is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.
Why is Phuket famous?
Phuket is famous for its stunning beaches, including popular destinations like Patong Beach, as well as its scuba diving and snorkeling, fun nightlife, and natural beauty like Phang Nga Bay.
What are the top attractions in Phuket?
Some of the top attractions include the Big Buddha, a massive statue overlooking the island, and the historic Old Town Phuket, known for its beautiful architecture.
You can also head to Phang Nga Bay for stunning views of the unique limestone formations.
Don’t forget to visit Karon Viewpoint for panoramic views of Phuket’s coastline.
What are the must-visit beaches in Phuket?
Phuket has more than 40 beaches!
Some of the must-visit beaches include Patong Beach, known for its wild nightlife, Kata Beach, a popular spot for families and surfers, and Nai Harn Beach, which offers a tranquil setting with lush green surroundings.
If you’re looking for peaceful beaches in the north, Mai Khao Beach and Bang Tao Beach are excellent choices.
Which are Phuket’s best activities?
Phuket has so many exciting activities for you (and your family). For adrenaline-seekers, you can try snorkelling, scuba diving, or surfing.
If you prefer a more relaxing experience, enjoy a traditional Thai massage or take a cooking class to learn how to create delicious Thai dishes.
What are Phuket’s cultural highlights?
Phuket has a rich cultural heritage, which you can explore through its many temples, historic sites, and museums.
The beautiful Wat Chalong temple is one of the most significant Buddhist temples on the island, and the Phuket Thai Hua Museum shows the island’s history and the impact of the Chinese community.
While walking through the vibrant streets of Old Town Phuket, you’ll notice the Sino-Portuguese architecture and colourful shophouses.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the delicious local cuisine, including the renowned seafood dishes and street food available throughout the island.
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