Phuket Highlight Attractions
What to see and do in Phuket
Phuket has a wide range of attractions, with something for practically every kind of traveller. If you like history and culture, Phuket has it in spades. If you like excitement and entertainment, Phuket delivers the goods. If you like to get close to nature, Phuket has large areas as yet untamed by humankind. If you're a shopaholic, Phuket has a great mix of unique stores and big-name brands.
With this list of the Phuket highlight attractions, you can get an idea of the wealth of opportunity available to you during your stay on the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Take a look through what is on offer and decide which are the absolute unmissable parts of Phuket to suit your own tastes. This will mean that every minute of your holiday is spent doing or seeing something you love, making for a truly unforgettable trip.
Beaches & Viewpoints
Karon Viewpoint or Sam Ao Viewpoint literally translates as "three beaches" viewpoint and, true to its name, this stunning panorama takes in three distinct and beautiful coasts: Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches. These three strips of white sand are rated as some of the island's finest and the ability to see all three from one location makes this a really special place. It is convenient and easy to reach, making it possible for everyone to enjoy.
Phuket's most famous and most photographed view, nothing quite compares to standing at Phromthep Cape for yourself. The southernmost point of the island quite a rugged, rocky place, but easily accessible, making it a very popular place to visit, particular as the sun is setting. With waves crashing around the islands out to sea and the coastline painted orange by the dying light of the day, it is a really breath-taking sight to see.
Khao Rang Viewpoint
Situated just to the north of Phuket Old Town, the panorama from Khao Rang Viewpoint takes in that as well as the rest of the island's capital city, then stretches all the way down to the Big Buddha and beyond. It is probably one of the most expansive views on the whole island, showing all that Phuket has to offer in terms of bold mountains, vibrant towns, glittering seas and pristine shores.
Culture & Heritage
Phuket Old Town
Location: Phuket Town
Phuket's provincial capital grew rapidly in the tin mining boom of the early 19th century, with a diverse selection of cultural influences. The result is a unique collection of well-preserved mansions and shophouse-lined streets, each as fascinating and remarkable as the last. Many are still in operation as great local restaurants, boutique hotels and family-run shops. Phuket Town is a piece of living history with many museums and attractions to discover among its narrow streets and alleys.
Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong)
Location: In Chalong District
Hours: Daily 09:00 - 18:00
Wat Chalong is the largest, most famous and most sacred of Phuket's many temples and shrines. It was the residence of respected monk Luang Po Cham, whose striking statue has pride of place in the main hall. He is famous for having helped the local people during the Chinese Coolie Rebellion in 1876, during the reign of King Rama V. Many locals and visitors direct their wishes and prayers towards this statue and burn firecrackers by it when their wishes come true. Other visitors come to marvel at the temple's beautiful architecture and the intricate details in its design.
Phuket Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)
Location: On top of Nak Kerd Hill in Chalong District
Hours: Daily 09:00 - 18:00
The 45-metre-tall marble-covered Big Buddha is one of Phuket's best-known attractions and it shines in the sun overlooking Kata Beach from its position high on Nak Kerd Hill. It is highly revered by locals for its religious significance while being popular with visitors for its striking appearance and remarkable views. The temple is also home to a number of smaller likenesses of Buddha, with more temple buildings still under construction.
Location: 98 Krabi Road in Phuket Town
Hours: 09:00 - 16:30. Closed on Sundays.
Stepping through the doors of Baan Chinpracha is like taking a step right back to Phuket's hayday at the peak of the tin mining boom. It is a beautiful, perfectly preserved Sino-Portuguese mansion with much of the original furnishings and fittings. The kitchen is particularly noteworthy for its original stoves, clay cooking pots, brass pans and kerosene lamps while the central courtyard is a stunning sight to behold. The house has even been the setting for historical TV shows and movies.
Jui Tui Shrine
Location: Next to Put Jaw Shrine on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road in Phuket Town
Hours: Daily 08:00 - 20:30
Jui Tui Shrine, being among the most significant Chinese shrines in Phuket Town, is the centrepiece of Phuket's famous Vegetarian Festival. Its impressive grounds feature three large alters venerating various characters from Chinese mythology, with Tean Hu Huan Soy - the god of dance and performing arts - being the most prominent. The shrine's buildings are very elegant with their intricate designs and vivid colours, making it a fascinating must-see place.
Phra Thong Temple
Location: About 20km north of Phuket Town in Thalang
Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:30
There are several myths surrounding the remarkable Luang Po Phta Phut statue at Phra Thong Temple. Its name translates as "Buddha that emerges from the ground" because the statue is indeed half-buried. While there are plenty of conflicting ideas about why the statue is this way, everyone agrees that it would be very bad luck to dig it up! Instead, a temple was built around the head of the statue. It is regularly visited by locals and visitors for its religious significance and its curious story.
Phuket Thai Hua Museum
Location: 28 Krabi Road in Phuket Town
Hours: Daily 09:00 - 17:00
With its long history as a trading hub dominated by the local Peranakan Chinese community, Phuket Town is home to many interesting artefacts with fascinating stories behind each. Many of these are housed in the 1930s British-colonial-style mansion of the Phuket Thai Hua Museum. The 16 galleries of the two-storey museum show the Chinese influences in Phuket Town's ancestry, growth and prosperity.
Phuket Sea Shell Museum
Location: on Viset Road, Rawai
Hours: 08:00 - 18:00
Shell World Museum is home to the private collection of the Patamakanthin family, who have been collecting rare and unusual sea shells from around the world for over half a century. Notable exhibits include a mountain of giant clam shells weighing over 200kg, which is worth millions of dollars.
Thalang National Museum
Location: Next to the Heroines Monument on Pa Khlok Road
Hours: Daily 09:00 – 16:00 except holidays.
Thalang National Museum is probably the most comprehensive exhibition of Phuket's long and colourful history, featuring artefacts from as far back as the very first inhabitants of the area. There are also galleries devoted to the Battle of Thalang, the development of the island following mass immigration from China and an exhibition looking at the people who now call Phuket home. The museum honours Thao Thep Krassattri and Thao Si Sunthon, the two sisters who played a pivotal role in organising the island's defences and driving off Burmese invaders during the Battle of Thalang.
Phuket Mining Museum
Location: On Kathu-Nakoh Road in Kathu
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays from 08:00 – 16:00, closed on Sundays
One of the island's most fascinating museums, the Phuket Mining Museum is located in the midst of the landscape formed by the intensive tin mining which brought the island much of its early prosperity. Alongside artefacts and models showing how the tin was extracted, it shows some of other changes to the island which the mining boom brought, including a recreation of an opium den.
Recreational & Entertainment
Splash Jungle Water Park
Location: Soi Mai Khao 4, Mai Khao, Thalang
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00
Phuket's biggest and best water park is located in the grounds of the Centara Grand West Sands Resort and features internationally-inspired areas, with an impressive selection of slides and attractions. Gently float along the Lazy River, catch some surf in the Wave Pool or slurp down the giant plug hole of the Super Bowl - there's plenty of excitement and fun for the whole family, all with close supervision and safety as a priority.
Splash Jungle Water Park start from
Location: 89/16 Moo 6, Soi Namtok Kathu, Wichitsongkram Road, Kathu
Hours: 08:00 - 17:00
A jungle-swinging adventure, Flying Hanuman allows you to dodge between the trees on high-speed ziplines, stopping at safe and secure platforms in the forest canopy to look at the fascinating resident flora and fauna. Designed to be as safe for the forest as it is for those exploring it, the route gives you excitement, fantastic views and a fascinating lesson about Thai rainforests and mythology.
Flying Hanuman start from
THB 3,490 THB 2,640
Tiger Kingdom Phuket
Location: Next to the Go-Kart in Kathu
Hours: 09:00 - 18:00
Hand-raised entirely in captivity by expert trainers, the resident attractions at Tiger Kingdom Phuket are very gentle for their size and majesty. This park allows you to have a close encounter with these beautiful creatures, including stroking, cuddling and playing and posing with cubs, youngsters and even adult Bengal Tigers. Much of them money made by the park goes into captive breeding programmes to protect the species.
Phuket FantaSea Show
Location: Kamala Beach
Hours: 17:30 - 23:30, closed on Thursdays
The first and still widely regarded as the finest stage show on the island, the Phuket FantaSea Show theatre seats 4,000 people for a huge Las Vegas-style entertainment showcase, featuring dramatic performances by humans and even animals! The show features death-defying acrobatics, state-of-the-art light and sound systems, jaw-dropping set designs and much more. The specially-designed park it is performed in also features a huge buffet restaurant and an impressive shopping village.
Phuket FantaSea Show start from
THB 1,800 THB 1,550
Phuket Simon Cabaret Show
Location: Patong Beach
Hours: 18:00 - 22:30
Thailand is famous for its cabaret shows featuring stunningly beautiful ladyboy dancers and the Phuket Simon Cabaret Show is the best on the island. Featuring skilful performances, stunning costumes, great music and dramatic set design, the delightful show would really not look out of place on the Las Vegas Strip!
Phuket Simon Cabaret Show start from
THB 800 THB 495
Siam Niramit Phuket
Location: On Chalermprakiet Ror 9 Road
Hours: 17:30 - 22:00, closed on Tuesdays
Featuring over 100 performers in lavish costumes and on stunning stage sets, Phuket's Siam Niramit show is one of the largest and most remarkable shows on the island, bringing Thai culture to life in a most vibrant and exciting way.
Siam Niramit Phuket from
THB 1,500 THB 1,300
Phuket Trickeye Museum
Location: Phuket Town
Hours: 10:00 - 19:00
The first 3D interactive painting Museum of Southern Thailand located in Phuket Town. Phuket Trickeye Museum is an interactive painting using super-realistic images to confuse your vision, creating optical illusions which you can then step inside, letting you become part of the art. It's a fun day out for family and friends.
Phuket Trickeye Museum ticket with best deal from
THB 500 THB 258
Kok Chang Elephant Trekking Safari Phuket
Location: On the way to Karon Viewpoint
Hours: 08:00 - 17:30
Kok Chang Elephant Trekking Safari in Phuket offers breathtaking views of the wild jungles of the island, as well as its sparkling coastline, from the back of a majestic elephant. A real natural adventure, the experienced guides and mahouts and their gentle giants can carry you and your family along a choice of jungle routes along tropical jungle trails on a 20-, 30- or 50-minute tour of Phuket's hilly southwest countryside and coast, stopping to enjoy and photograph the stunning scenery along the way.
Prices start from THB 600 include free round-trip hotel transfer from Karon, Kata, Kata Noi, Nai Harn and Rawai.
Location: 23/2 Soi Pa Lai, Chalong District
Hours: 08:00 - 18:00
Phuket Zoo is home to an impressive selection of creatures, from mighty crocodiles and elephants to flamboyant tropical birds and cheeky monkeys. It is the style of zoo which specialises in exciting animal shows and the chance to have your photo taken with your favourites, with three or four performances of each of the special shows each day.
Location: Laem Panwa
Hours: 08:30 - 16:30
Phuket Aquarium boasts a remarkable exhibition of underwater life in over 30 large tanks designed to recreate their natural environments. Get close to some of the creatures which inhabit the various habitats in and around Phuket, including sandy beaches, rocky shores, coral reefs and mangrove swamps. With dozens of species to see, it is a really remarkable experience.
Dino Park Mini Golf
Location: Karon Beach
Hours: 10:00 - 23:00
Quite a unique take on your usual mini golf course, the obstacles at Dino Park include primeval swamps, a 12-metre-tall waterfall and a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex! A family-friendly game in a fun and whimsical setting, it provides an entertaining distraction and some unique memories.
Phuket Botanic Garden
Location: Chalong District
Hours: 09:00 - 17:00, closed on Wednesdays
Featuring more than 30 unique gardens featuring exotic plants from around the world, the Phuket Botanic Garden is a beautiful and peaceful day out. Explore areas devoted to orchids, cacti, ferns and even butterflies or visit themed gardens based on English, Japanese and Balinese styles. The centre is also involved in fascinating research into rare plant species and plays an important role in protecting the area's unique horticultural heritage.
Location: In Thalang
One of Phuket's more striking natural waterfall is found in the midst of a beautiful rural area largely unaltered by modern civilisation. While not particularly big, the idyllic setting makes it a sight worth seeing while the shade of the surrounding forest and the cool water of the plunge pool makes it a pleasant place to take refuge from the heat of the day and see natural Phuket at its finest.
Patong Go-Kart Speedway
Location: Next to Tiger Kingdom, Kathu
Hours: 10:00 – 19:00
An exciting 750m racing circuit, the Patong Go-Kart Speedway offers high-octane excitement behind the wheel of one of the 35 vehicles available, ranging from 140cc up to 400cc, capable of anything from 40 to 110km/h! The track and vehicles are all well-maintained can carefully supervised to ensure the maximum safety as well as fun and excitement.
The beating heart of Phuket's nightlife, Bangla Road is about 500m of street in the centre of Patong where very nearly every building is a bar, nightclub or restaurant. Different parts of the road and its various side streets have different vibes, giving you a wide variety of fun evenings. The street is busy absolutely every evening and has a fun and lively atmosphere.
Dream Beach Club
Location: Bangtao Beach
Hours: 11:00 - 24:00
Phuket's leading beach club offers chilled out days on a cabana or sun lounger with the finest food, drinks and tunes by the pool or the beach, as well as lively parties in the evenings. Situated right by the beautiful Layan Beach, Dream more than lives up to its name.
Xana Beach Club
Location: Angsana Laguna Phuket on Bangtao Beach
Hours: 10:00 - 01:00
A fun and lively pool and beach club on Bangtao Beach, Xana is presented by Singaporean nightlife experts Attica and provides great beats and a fun atmosphere throughout the day and night. Situated right on the sand in the midst of the Laguna resorts area, you can be assured of a fun-loving crowd at any time.
Central Festival Phuket
Location: On Chalermprakiet Ror 9 Road, Phuket Town
Hours: 10:30 - 22:00
Arguably the finest shopping destination in the entirety of South Thailand, Central Festival Phuket is a huge mall close by Phuket Town. Combining top-class designer label stores with local products and souvenirs, it offers something for everyone. Its impressive range of restaurants - also featuring international brands and local heroes - is unmatched in Phuket, making it entirely possible to spend an entire day there, if not longer!
Location: Patong Beach
Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
Patong's international shopping and leisure destination, the sprawling Jungceylon Shopping Centre is located right in the middle of the town, close to Bangla Road. It is home to practically everything, from shops and spas to restaurants, a supermarket, a cinema and an impressive musical fountain. Both stores and eateries range from internationally-renowned names to local brands and independent entrepreneurs, giving a wide selection of wares and prices.
Phuket Weekend Market (Chao Fah Variety Market)
Location: Wirat Hongyok Road, Phuket Town
Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 16:00 - 21:00
Phuket Weekend Market or Chao Fah Variety Market is probably Phuket's largest and almost certainly its most popular, attracting tourists and locals alike for its staggering selection of fresh and cooked foods, clothes, accessories, pets, souvenirs, electrical goods, Thai crafts and more. Also known locally as Naka Market, the hundreds of locally-run stalls sell practically everything, with exceptional bargain prices available.
Premium Outlet Phuket
Location: On Chalermprakiet Ror 9 Road
Hours: 10:00 - 21:00
Premium Outlet Phuket is one of the largest shopping centres on the island, with 300 brandname stores housed in 18,000m2 of retail space, featuring remarkable western-style architecture. Most impressive of all is the scale of the savings available. You can find discounts of up to 80% off even world-famous brand goods.
Location: 16/3 Chaofa Road East
Hours: 08:30 - 19:30
See really striking local clothing designs created by resident craftspeople for truly one-of-a-kind souvenirs and fashions at Phuket Batik. The store sells shirts, suits, dresses, skirts and much more, decorated using traditional artistic styles and techniques. The prices for these wearable masterpieces are surprisingly low for the sheer quality and uniqueness of them, making them a perfect souvenir of the island.
Location: On Thepkasattri road, Koh Kaew
Hours: 08:30 - 19:00
The stunning jewellery available at Phuket Pearl features gems harvested sustainably from a local pearl farm in order to create unique pieces, some of which have even adorned the heads of beauty pageant winners (nearly outshining them in the process!). They are presented in a glamorous showroom, which is itself quite a remarkable sight to see.