When you hear someone say Thailand the first things that come to mind is the famous tropical Phuket. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand which can be accessed from the mainland by crossing over a bridge. Over the years Phuket has developed into a city and become Thailands main tourism hub. Phuket is famous for its beaches, surrounding islands, markets and nightlife. Here is our Travel guide for Phuket, Thailand:
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Things to do in Phuket, Thailand
1. Soak Up the Sun At Freedom Beach
Freedom beach is a 300-meter long strip of white soft sand and clear blue water. The beach is located in a beautiful bay that is surrounded by rocky cliffs covered in lush jungles. There are no water sports, loud music and massive crowds which is perfect for relaxing. It’s challenging to get to Freedom beach, but it’s worth trying and making your way there. If you aren’t up to the demanding walk it takes to get to this beach the only other way you can get there is by taking a longtail boat from Patong beach. It will take only 10 minutes and cost around 1,100 to 1,500 baht for a roundtrip.
❥Also Read: 5 Wonderful Things to do in Hua Hin, Thailand
2. Experience Spirituality at The Phuket Big Buddha
With the majority of Thai people being Buddhist, there are many temples and statues to see but this one is by far the most impressive. Standing 45 meters high and made out of marble, this incredible big buddha is a must-visit. It’s located in Nakkerd Hills which lays between Chalong and Kata. Once you climbed up the hill, you will also be treated to a beautiful panoramic view of Phuket island. Close up to the Phuket Big Buddha itself, the atmosphere is very peaceful. Next to it, is a smaller Buddha statue of a gold colour, however, it’s made of 20 tonnes of brass. Since Phuket Big Buddha is a religious site, it’s disrespectful to come here in anything that is see-through or doesn’t cover the shoulders and knees. Also, try to avoid T-shirts with offensive texts or images. You can visit Phuket big buddha from 06:00 to 19:00.
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3. Have a Fun Night Out at Bangla Road.
Bangla Road is the most popular street in Phuket and comes to life after sunset. Its located close to Patong Beach and is packed with bars, pubs, restaurants, clubs and markets. It’s the perfect place for a night out, however, it can get extremely crowded. During the day Bangla road has some delicious places to eat and some typical Thailand markets and it’s the perfect place for singles, couples and families. However, after sunset Bangla road is not very family-friendly.
❥Also Read: 11 Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand
4. Learn to Cook Like a Pro by Taking a Cooking Class.
Thai food is delicious. When it comes to Thai food there is no better place to learn how to make Thai food than in the land of smiles. There are so many different cooking classes available in Thailand. The best will be to look around a bit and then find a cooking class with the dishes that you would like to learn how to cook and a cooking class in your price range.
Click here to view some of the cooking classes available in Phuket Thailand.
5. Explore Phukets Islands by Taking a 1-day Boat Tour.
The best way to explore all of the islands around Phuket is by taking a one day boat tour. Your tour package will depend on the company that you decide to do your tour with, however most of the time these kinds of tours work similarly. These tours include pick up and drop off from your hotel, snorkelling equipment, towels, light breakfast, coffee and tea, lunch and fruit. The price of the tour will depend on the places you want to visit and the company that you use. This is a must when you are in Phuket. It’s one of the best ways to see the beautiful attractions around Phuket.
6. Watch a Muay Thai Boxing Match
Muay Thai is also known as “Thai boxing”. This is a form of martial art and combat sport that uses techniques such as stand-up striking and clinching. Muay Thai is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins. These boxing matches can be viewed all over Thailand but Phuket and Bangkok are the most popular places for tourists to visit these matches. You can also visit a Muay Thai boxing gym and learn how to do some Muay Thai.
7. Phuket Elephant sanctuary
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers a home to sick, old and injured elephants that are unwanted. This sanctuary borders the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park and is 30 acres of the lush tropical jungle. Elephants come here to be rehabilitated and live their best lives like they are meant to. Here they can roam around freely.
When it comes to elephant sanctuaries it’s important to ensure that these sanctuaries operate ethically. Riding on elephants are damaging to their backs and it should be avoided, please. As far as we know Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is ethical but if you observe that they aren’t please report them.
Click here to read more about the Phuket elephant sanctuary.
⚠ Please say no to elephant rides. ⚠
8. Phuket Old Town
If you are looking to do something more traditional and less touristy, head over to Phuket’s Old Town. Once here, you will find a laid-back atmosphere full of character. The buildings are brightly coloured and have a beautiful colonial style to them. This scenic town also has a walking street where you can try traditional Thai cuisine. You can also shop for souvenirs, gifts and authentic handicrafts.
❥Also Read: Travel Tips for First Time Travelers
9. Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is an iconic Buddhist temple in Phuket Chalong Bay. For many years, the Thai locals have used this temple for praying almost every day while tourists come here to learn more about the Buddhist religion. If you are interested in experiencing some of the Thai religion and culture then this is the place for you.
Must-try dishes in Phuket, Thailand
1. Mango and sticky rice
Mango and sticky rice, known as Khao Neow Mamuang to the locals. This is one of the most popular Thai desserts among tourists visiting Thailand. This is a very basic dessert to make but delicious. It’s made up of sticky rice, mango, coconut milk, sugar, salt and yellow mung beans. Mango and Sticky rice is a must-try when you are in Thailand.
2. Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
Tom Yum is a sour and spicy soup that is commonly cooked with shrimp. The best way to describe this dish is that it’s earthy. The soup contains a lot of different herbs and vegetables that are perfectly selected to complement each other. The soup can be enjoyed by itself or eaten with rice if you prefer.
3. Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Som Tam is a favourite here in Thailand. This is the perfect side dish to almost any meal here. Som Tam means green papaya salad since the main ingredient is shredded unripe papaya. Some of the other ingredients include palm sugar, roasted peanuts, garlic, chilli, lime and tomatoes. There are many different varieties of Som Tam. Some include fermented fish sauce and pickled crab, others include eggplant, bamboo shoot and even rice noodles. However, the most basic one is our favourite.
4. Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)
Another must-try dish in Phuket is Stir-fried Chicken with cashew nuts. This is exactly what it says in the name, Chicken, stir-fried vegetables and then the star ingredient cashew nuts which are normally cooked in a sweet or sour sauce. It’s normally enjoyed with some rice.
5. Massaman curry
Massaman curry is a fusion of Thai curry and Indian-style curry. Its most commonly made with red-style curry paste (Thai influence) and dry whole spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg (Indian influence). Another essential ingredient is roasted peanuts. These curries can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans
If you are planning on travelling to Thailand right now you must keep an eye out for any travel restrictions. The Phuket sandbox has a lot of requirements that need to be met before you can travel to Phuket now. You can find all of the information about the Phuket sandbox right here.