Going to Thailand and need the perfect I-THAI-NERARY.. erhm.. need to know what to do in Phuket? Sorry for that pun, but let’s move beyond that. My favorite thing about traveling to new places is all of the things you can explore while you’re there, but my least favorite thing about traveling is feeling like you overdid it and need another vacation from the one you just got home from. So, particularly when traveling abroad, I try not to cram TOO much into my days so I don’t wear myself out before we’re even halfway through a trip. Day one is always free to explore, lounge at the hotel, maybe enjoy a local cocktail or seven. Day two is when the excursions start and we (and cry to ourselves that we must return to the real world far too soon).
What to Do in Phuket: The Short Version
What to Do in Phuket: The Long Version
Day 1 – Relax at Hotel / Beach Day
We did a full day of relaxing by the beach and checking out the area around our beautiful hotel, the Thavorn Beach Village Resort and Spa. We ended up getting crazy sunburnt because we bought sunscreen from the hotel and we’re pretty sure we accidentally bought lotion. So, hot tip? Make sure you recognize the brand to guarantee it’s sunscreen. Or buy it from an actual market/shop. But other than that this hotel couldn’t have been more perfect and I still dream about waking up with that view.
Where to stay in Phuket:
Day 2 – Phi Phi Islands Sunrise Tour
We started the day REAL early with a Phi Phi Islands sunrise tour which departed from Phuket and then spent the day boating around the Phi Phi Islands, with multiple stops along the way. I can tell you that this was for sure one of my favorite days in Phuket. Dying to know more? Here’s my review.
Day 3 – Half Day Private Temple Tour
We hired a driver for pretty cheap to get ourselves a half-day private driving tour of the island. Technically we could go wherever we wanted, but we knew we wanted to check out some of the famous Buddhist temples of Phuket. We spent a good amount of time at Big Buddha and Wat Chalong, roaming the grounds and soaking it all in. It was super educational and we learned a lot while we were there. If you want more details, check out the full details of our day touring Phuket temples.
Day 4 – Eat and Drink Your Way Through Bangla Road
After a day at the beach, we decided to venture away from our hotel area and go out for the night. We got dinner and then everything was so good we walked down the street for a second dinner. I am not exaggerating, we went full hobbit-mode, ha. But with full bellies, we moved along to some of the bars on Bangla Road. We had a blast playing Connect 4, and also getting full-on sharked, so be careful because they are very good and bet drinks. Enjoy all of the different types of bars up and down the street and plan for a relaxing day following because you will likely be nursing a hangover. Bangla Road is wild but a great time and super fun.
Day 5 – Phang Nga Bay (James Bond Island) Tour
Spending the day kayaking through caves, making my dad jealous I get to see the evil lair of the man with the golden gun, and eating at a floating Muslim village on stilts was amazing. No, I’m not totally sure how this the stilted village worked but it was incredible. If you want the full breakdown of the tour, check out my blog on it.
Day 6 – Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Spending a half day at the 100% ethical Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a must-do for any animal-lover in Phuket. I learned so much about how horrible the tourism industry is for elephants in Thailand and it has shaped my perspective on how I travel. So many sanctuaries claim to be ethical and aren’t, but rest assured Phuket Elephant Sanctuary truly is. My day at the sanctuary was magical and a “what to do in Phuket” list would be missing without it.
There are a few different types of tours you can do at this elephant sanctuary, that you can book either on the sanctuary site or from TripAdvisor. I personally did the half day morning, but here are the tours you can book below:
- Full day tour on the ground with the elephants
- Half day morning tour on the ground with the elephants
- Canopy walkway tour
So there you have it. Our trip was incredible and the only thing I would have changed is to not have drank so much on Bangla Road to enjoy that next day a little more, ha.
Enjoy planning your trip now that you know what to do in Phuket, and if you need me for questions, holler!