Cost: It costs around $100 USD to enter the Elephant Sanctuaries.
If you are looking to interact with elephants in a respectful way (which means absolutely no riding), you can visit an ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and Tree Tops Elephant Reserve are two that we recommend. By visiting these sanctuaries, you can learn all about the elephants and how you can further support ethical elephant tourism.
Diving & Snorkeling
Cost: Diving/Snorkeling tours are around- $75-$100+ USD.
Phuket is truly a great spot for diving and snorkeling. The clear blue Andaman Sea is home to some of the world's most beautiful and lively reefs. Most beaches in Phuket will have several diving instructors and tours for you to choose from. Koh Racha Yai, Shark Point, Hin Daeng, and Koh Dok Man are our favorites.
See The Big Buddha Up Close And Personal
One of Phuket’s top attractions is the Big Buddha. This 45-meter tall marble statue sits perched on top of Nakkerd Hills and is a great vantage point for beautiful panoramic views of the island. The Big Buddha is also entirely free to visit. However, donations are accepted.
Hang Out At The Less Crowded Beaches
Beach lounging is undoubtedly the most popular activity for tourists in Phuket. To get the most out of this experience, we recommend heading to a less crowded beach. Here’s a great list of 10 quiet beaches in Phuket.
Visit Different Temples
Cost: Visiting the temples are FREE, however there are donation boxes that help with the upkeep of the temples.
If you want to skip the beaches and instead absorb Thai culture, you can visit the many temples scattered across the island. If you only have time to visit one, then Wat Chalong should be your choice. This is the most renowned temple in Phuket and has been open to visitors for over a century. It’s said that the Grand Pagoda of Wat Chalong actually houses a small splinter from the bone of Lord Buddha.
Old Phuket Town
Taking a stroll through Old Phuket Town is a great way to change pace from bustling beach life. This area was once settled by thousands of Chinese immigrants which is made evident by the stunning Chinatown and colonial Chinese architecture. While in Old Phuket Town, you can also visit the Phuket Cultural Centre and Butterfly Farm. There are also several museums, temples, and markets for you to explore, including the famous Walking Street market.
Party On Bangla Road
Cost: It's FREE to enter Bangla Road. You can buy beer for $1.50 USD and liquor usually starts at around $8 USD.
Bangla Road is without a doubt the heart of Phuket’s nightlife. This bustling 400-meter strip is loaded with beer bars, go-go bars, nightclubs, live entertainment, and so much more. After dark, Bangla Road is raunchy, raucous, and perfect for anyone looking to have a wild night.
Along with the Big Buddha, Karon Viewpoint is a popular spot in Phuket to soak in views of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding beaches. Karon is known for being a photo-op favorite for tourists.
Chilva Night Market
Cost: You can get amazing street food in Phuket from $1-$3 USD.
There are many great night markets scattered around the island, but Chillva is the best! This colorful market targets a younger, more hip crowd, and instead of selling counterfeit goods, Chillva houses stylish local brands. The bars and restaurants here are trendy, there’s always live music, and everything is super affordable. Oh also, the street food is delicious!
Island Hopping In Phang Nga Bay
Free: There are island hopping tours that range from $40- $100+ USD.
No visit to Phuket is complete without taking a day trip to Phang Nga Bay. Made famous by the James Bond Film “The Man With the Golden Gun”, Phang Nga Bay is a beautiful mix of limestone cliffs and pristine water perfect for snorkeling. Hop on a speed boat and enjoy your day exploring the tiny islands surrounding Phuket.
Enjoy A Muay Thai Match At Patong Boxing Stadium
Cost: Mauy Thai matches start at around $50 USD.
For a uniquely Thai experience, head over to Patong Boxing Stadium for a live Thai Kickboxing match. Muay Thai is by far Thailand’s most popular sport and you are likely to see matches advertised all over the island. However, if you want the best experience, and even a little personal training, Patong Boxing Stadium is where you want to go. Fights take place on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday night.