From generic to unique, I have compiled 5 of my must do activities to do in Phuket, Thailand.
Phuket is a fairly large island and if you are willing to step outside of the boundaries of Patong Beach and your hotel, there are some pretty incredible things to do whilst staying at Phuket.
If you don’t know much about Phuket, the hub of the island is situated in a very Bangkok like mini city called Patong. This is also where the main beach Patong Beach is located and filled with tourists from all around the world.
I am not a fan of Patong Beach at all. It’s congested, the water is dirty and they charge you a ridiculous rate to sit on the beach. Which if I wanted that type of experience at the beach (but in cleaner water), I would stay home and make a day trip to Bondi.
However, the island itself does have a lot to offer; as long as you do your research before you go and not decide on activities from brochures when you get there.
Like most countries you travel to around the world, tour agents see rookie travellers coming a mile away and they will book you into ridiculous tours, where you get to feed Elephants in horrible environments, have your photo taken with a Tiger who has been drugged or even visit a floating island which is populated by south-east Asians; who aren’t that kind to westerners. Sorry to be brutally honest, but you need to know, as these are the things they won’t tell you.
So, to help you get started on a few ideas on what to do in Phuket, I am sharing with you five of my top things to do there; along with recommendations – you’re welcome, starting with an exploration of Phi Phi Island.
Phi Phi Island:
This is probably the best tour for Phuket, as they take you on a beautiful boat ride out to the the island, where the water is blue and clear, the people are super friendly and you can relax on the beach; after exploring the island on foot, with a Pina Colada served up in a juicy pineapple – delicious.
This is something I really wish I had done with my partner; booked a few nights stay at Koh Samui. Phuket is so heavily congested it was truly hard to experience any downtime and although the hotel we stayed at (Kee Resort & Spa) was absolutely beautiful, it was located right next to ping pong alley (if you don’t know what that is, look it up eek!) It was quiet in the day, but at night – terrible.
I would highly recommend you stay in Phuket for four days to experience the culure, the small beach like city and the tours which come with staying in Phuket. But then, make the move to go stay somewhere more relaxing to end the vacay, with a two night stay on Koh Samui.
Elephant Riding and Feeding:
Before travelling to Phuket, I spent some considerable amount of time online researching the most ethical Elephant Safari there is and found one.
Here the elephants are not chained down to a pole of a night time, but rather kept in an open air containment and no harsh tools are used in order to allow humans to ride the elephants. They are well treated in beautiful enclosures, right in the middle of the Jungle of Phuket Island.
And, as you ride the elephants, they are allowed to take any path they wish. Ours decided to separate from the pack and we ended up alone on a single path which eventually lead back to the same place as everyone else.
There are few ethical elephant safaris on the island, so do check their ethical rating and review to determine which is the best one for you.
Khao Phing Kan (Bond Island):
Of course, it isn’t a complete holiday to Phuket, without a visit to the famous Bond Island, aka: Khao Phing Kan, where the famous James Bond movie was filmed; Man with the Golden Gun. Which is how the place got its name: Bond Island.
On this tour, there is an inclusion where you are taken to a floating village on the water not far from Bond Island. You are given refreshments and lunch and the choice to either return back to your boat to relax or wonder through the village.
I would highly recommend that you go back to your boat. My partner and I were absolutely shocked at the state of the island. It was filthy and stuck, the water the village was floating on was disgusting and the people were not friendly at all. The entire community has been converted to Muslim and now surrounds a floating mosque, which is nothing spectacular. I’d like to mention here, that I have no issue with Muslims and spent 19 days in Egypt with my dad, where I fell in love with the people. But they are very different from South East Asia – trust me. It was a very unpleasant experience to wander through the village.
Watch a Lady Boy Show:
Don’t be turned off by the name, these shows are WILD and super spectacular to go and see. We were very hesitant in the beginning to go and watch a show, but after speaking with a few people in the hotel (strangers, not staff) we soon found out they are very entertaining and not sleazy at all to go and watch.
I would definitely do you research online first, before leaving for your holiday and book tickets. As there are still many dodgy ones around, which are super sleazy and gross to go and see.