Swimming, snorkelling, diving, yachting, jet-skiing and parasailing are the most popular activities on the island. Other activities include Freediving, windsurfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding and deep sea fishing. Popular kite surfing locations include Nai Yang in summer and Chalong Bay in winter season. Sea Canoeing is a popular activity in the Phang Nga Bay, as many grottoes are only accessible by canoe.
One day tours to the islands around Phuket
There are several small beautiful islands around Phuket such as Phang-nga bay, Phi-Phi island, Khai island, Racha island, Hae island or Coral island, Maiton island.etc. It is possible to charter boat to those islands from Rassada pier or Chalong pier, but may be too much expensive, so to buy the one day tour is a good idea.
Many tour agencies sell all-inclusive day tours from all over Phuket, and most everywhere else on Phuket Island. Prices for join group tours range from 900 baht/person to 3,900 baht/person. Quality and safety seem to match the prices paid.
The cheaper speedboat tours take approx. 30-35 passengers per 2-engine speedboat and 50-60+ passengers on 3-engine speedboats. Very cheap tours take over 100 people in a speedboat.
The higher-end tours take approx 15 to 18 passengers on 2-engine speedboats. Insist on knowing the exact number of guests that will be on the boat. Keep in mind that tour desks will tell you anything to get your money, as they receive up to 65% commissions from the lower-end tours. It is always best to contact the company running the tour directly to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.
The more people on the boat the longer it takes to get on and off at each stop, decreasing the time one gets to spend off the boat. A packed boat is not very fun or safe when there are large waves.
Private companies providing small group tours are few (currently only 3 - 1 is listed below). Full day tour prices range from 3,200 baht to 3,900 (no discounts are offered; can only be booked direct). The tours include stops at all the major sights, higher quality lunches (from picnic to seaside sit-down restaurant meals), full sets of snorkelling equipment,Kayak or canoe, minibus and miniboat transport, fresh tropical fruits, snacks & drinks on-board, foreign owner / guide, small groups, attention to safety, and national park fee. Prices vary based on services, amenities, and extras that are provided.
Swimming, sun bathing and surfing
Most beaches on the west coast are wide, containing white sand and clear waters, especially after the monsoon season (November-April). It is suitable to swim or sun bathe. You can do those activities in front of your hotel. Those who stay in town, can reach the beaches by local bus, rental car or motorbike. However,there are big waves during the monsoon season. It is too dangerous to swim at that time. Only surfing is advisable.
Phuket is the beating heart of diving in Thailand and has recently become the center of activity in the emerging Southeast Asian Freediving scene. It is also the home of the area's only AIDA Instructor Training Center.
Most freediving trips go out with SCUBA dive boats to the well-known dive sites, but some freediving off the beach is also possible. The local operators are usually very happy to find like-minded divers and will happily give pointers.
Snorkeling can be enjoyed in sheltered bays all around Phuket. It is particularly enjoyable at easily accessible reefs at Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. Fins, mask and snorkel can be rented on a daily basis from shops all over the island. Full and half day trips are available to the islands surrounding Phuket. Most popular are Ko Hae, Ko Racha Yai, Ko Khai (a hidden gem in the Phang Nga Bay), and Ko Phi Phi. There are many tours available at very cheap rates and the speedboats will be filled with up to 65 people. Research your options before signing up for any tour.
If you don't mind travelling further, try the Similan Islands (a Thai / Malay dialect word for "Nine", since there are nine islands in this island group). They are situated about 68km from the west coast of Phang Nga province, which is just north of Phuket. It offers just about the clearest waters in the region, ideal for snorkelling. Fishes are plenty and easily seen, though the corals are not very pretty. Similan Islands have been considered one of the top places in the world to snorkel. Book from any travel agent in Phuket (ask around - prices vary quite a bit, and avoid the big shops - they charge more. Go to a small roadside agent, who can give you lower prices). A minibus will pick you up from your hotel. The travelling time ranges from 1 to 2.5 hours for Phuket to the Phang Nga pier. Here speedboats make the 1.5 hour trip to the islands. You'll visit 3 to 4 islands, depending on the schedule and traffic. Full snorkelling gear is provided in the price. The downside is the travelling time there and back to Phuket, which can come to 7 to 8 hours in total.
If you're really into snorkelling, you might want to consider staying in Khao Lak in Phang Nga province instead, where access to Similan Islands is easier.
Individual articles should be placed in the area of Phuket where they belong.
Phuket has some decent dive sites and is the centre of diving in Thailand. Most dive sites are off nearby islands, but distances are fairly short and there are dozens of dive shops and boats to cater to your needs, mostly based near Chalong Bay. The reefs around the area are in a healthy condition with both solid hard corals and colorfully soft corals. There is also an abundance of marine life. Most of the dive locations are suitable for all levels of divers but there are also some that are quite deep.
The most well-known dive site in the Phuket area is Racha Yai with its sloping rocky reefs and its plenitude of solid coral forests. It is home to Ter Bay where there is an exciting wreck in the depths of 25-35 meters. The island south of Racha Yai, Racha Noi, is a haven for experienced divers as the depths are greater and the currents stronger. The overall topography is strikingly different from Racha Yai with huge granite boulders. The diving in Racha Noi compared to Racha Yai is definitely more challenging but the rewards are far greater.
Just off Phuket, is the limestone island of Ko Doc Mai that soars vertically from the sea-bed. It is home to a diversity of fish and offers the opportunity to view leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles. Phuket can also function as a base for dives further afield, such as Ko Phi Phi. Diving in Phuket's warm clear blue waters is best from mid-October to May, when the calm seas and rain free days make Phuket diving a truly unique experience.
is the safest and easiest way to try diving on holiday in Phuket. Popular in Hawaii, the Carribbean, Mexico, and Japan, Snuba gives an introduction into the world of diving. No certification required, children 8+, just like scuba diving except easier. SNUBA trips go to most Phuket dive sites. No heavy equipment to wear, no long classes, maximum depth of 7 meters, professional dive guides accompany each group.
Sailing and yachting
Individual articles should be placed in the part of Phuket where they belong.
Phuket has become the sailing and yachting center of Thailand and adjacent countries. It's the home of Six the Senses Phuket Raceweek , King's Cup Regatta , Phang Nga Bay Regatta , the Phuket International Boat Show (PIMEX) , four marinas, two yacht clubs, Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC)  and Phuket Yacht Club (PYC)  and some well-sheltered anchorages which are teeming with yachts. The marinas are all located at the eastern side of the island which makes them an ideal starting point to explore the natural wonders of Phang Nga Bay. An entire fleet of traditional junk-rigged boats is located there, offering day trips. But as well real sailing yachts are on offer for this.
Phuket has sailing yachts of virtually every size and for all budgets on offer to explore the surrounding beautiful islands on a yacht charter. With the recent increase in Phuket's popularity as a tourist destination, the range of companies offering sailing trips and boat charters have increased as well. It is recommended to chose an established, reputable charter company with a good safety track record.
Small sailing craft like Hobie Cats and Lasers are available at most of the tourist hot spots on the west side, e.g. Patong and Kata.
Individual articles should be placed in the relevant part of Phuket Island.
It is no exaggeration to note that Phuket is now one of the most popular spa destinations in the world, home to secret oasis of comfort and pleasure that are difficult to leave when the time comes. Everything is available here for those into the spa and wellness scene, be it a one-hour massage down the street for US$10, or two weeks at one of the most exclusive spas in the world.
- Oasis Spa - this chain has a spa in Kata, Kamala, and Laguna.
Getting married in Phuket
Phuket has become a sought after destination for people getting married. Undeniably romantic with an abundance of stunning locations not just necessarily on the beach but also in luxury ocean view villas and resorts. Combining both the stag or hen do, the wedding ceremony, party and honeymoon all in one Island location has proved that Phuket continues to grow in this market.
Two Heroines Monument (อนุสาวรีย์วีรสตรี),
is a monument in Amphoe Thalang, a memorial statue of the heroines Thao Thep Kasattri (Kunying Jan) and Thao Sri Sunthon (Mook), who rallied islanders in 1785 to repel Burmese invaders. As the island's governor had just died, the organization of Phuket's defense against the Burmese invasion of 1785 was conducted by his widow, Thao Thep Kasattri. With her sister's help, they assembled what forces they had, then disguised local women as male soldiers, a ruse to swell the ranks of the defenders. After a month's siege, the Burmese invaders became exhausted and withdrew. King Rama I awarded Kunying Jan with the royal title of Thao Thep Kasattri.
Thalang National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ถลาง)
is near the Two Heroines Monument. In 1985, on the 200th anniversary of the Thalang War, the Thalang National Museum was established. The museum contains a permanent exhibition of life in old Phuket, ancient artifacts, remains discovered on the coast, and materials used during war with Burma.
Hat Patong (หาดป่าตอง) (Patong Beach)
is Phuket's most developed beach and is 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)-long. It is 15 km from Phuket town. Patong is mostly made up of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions. Daytime activities are primarily centered on the beach with watersport activities. Patong is equally well known for its nightlife, centered on Soi Bangla. The northern end of Patong Bay is called Kalim and is a popular place for viewing the sunset and for surfing between April and September each year.
Hat Karon (หาดกะรน)
is the second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches, approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) from town. Large resort complexes line the road behind the shoreline, but the broad beach itself has no development. The southern point has a coral reef stretching toward Kata and Poo Island. There is also its sister beach, Karon Noi.
Kamala Beach, Hat Kamala
is a large beach approximately 16 km (10 mi) north of Patong Beach. The beach is undeveloped with coral reefs on the north side and surfing in the low season. It is a tourist beach in the high season and a sleepy seaside Muslim village in the low season. There is a market on Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as a weekly Saturday market.
View Point (จุดชมวิว)
is located midway between Nai Harn and Kata Beaches. Kata Noi, Kata, Karon, and Ko Pu can be viewed from this point.
Laem Phromthep (แหลมพรหมเทพ) (Phromthep Cape)
is a headland forming the extreme south end of Phuket. "Phrom" is Thai for the Hindu term "Brahma", signifying purity, and "thep" is Thai for "God". Local villagers used to refer to the cape as "Laem Chao", or the God's Cape, and it was an easily recognizable landmark for the early seafarers traveling up the Malay Peninsula.
Wat Chalong (วัดฉลองหรือวัดไชยธาราราม)
is where stands the cast statue of Luang Pho Cham, who helped the people of Phuket put down the Angyee, or Chinese Coolie Rebellion, in 1876 during the reign of Rama V. There are also statues of Luang Pho Chuang, and Luang Pho Cham, abbots of the temple during later times.
Phuket Pearl Farm
located about one kilometer offshore from Phuket's east coast close to coconut island. Can be visited only by boat.
Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre (สถานีพัฒนาและส่งเสริมการอนุรักษ์สัตว์ป่าเขาพระแทว)
is a center for study of the environment. Its duty is to promote and distribute wildlife within Khao Phra Thaeo wildlife park. The park is forested and also conserves a number of wild animals that would otherwise have gone extinct in Phuket.
The Big Buddha of Phuket, ( พระพุทธมิ่งมงคลเอกเนาคคีรี ) ( Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri or Ming Mongkol Buddha )
is on the peak of a mountain near Muang Phuket, or Phuket town (ภูเก็ต). The image is 45 m in height and covered in white Burmese marble.
Big Buddha, Phuket
Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World, ( สวนผีเสื้อและโลกแมลงภูเก็ต )
is one of the very few remaining butterfly gardens in Thailand.
Old Phuket Town
in Phuket town, around Thalang, Dibuk, Yaowarat, Phang Nga, and Krabi Roads. The architecture is Sino-Portuguese-style.
is the only public aquarium in the wider region. It is recognized as a major destination on Phuket Island for both foreign and local tourists and attracts around 300,000 visitors each year. You find it easily at the southern part of Cape Panwa on Phuket Island surrounded by breathtaking scenic bays and islands. Phuket Aquarium was established in 1983 as part of the internationally renowned Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), a research and monitoring station within the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR). The aquarium provides means to communicate research results and to promote environmental awareness. Open hours 8.30 – 16.30.
Many of the outlying islands are very popular destinations for tourists, divers and snorkelers, including the Phi Phi Islands and the Similan Islands.
Event & Festival
Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon Fair (งานท้าวเทพกระษัตรี - ท้าวศรีสุนทร)
is held on March 13 every year to commemorate the two great heroines who rallied the Thalang people to repel Burmese invaders.
Vegetarian Festival or Nine Emperor gods Festival (Hokkien Chinese language: 九皇勝會，Kiú-Hông Sēng-Huē or 九皇爺, Kiú-Hông Iâ)
Phuket Chinese people Call 食菜節，Tsia̍h-tshài (เทศกาลกินเจ(กินผัก-เจี๊ยะฉ่าย)) is held on the first day of the 9th Chinese lunar month (end-Sep or early-Oct). Phuket islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet, a form of purification believed to help make the forthcoming year trouble-free. The festival is marked by several ascetic displays, including fire-walking and ascending sharp-bladed ladders.
Ghost Festival or Phóo-tōo Festival (Hokkien Chinese language: 普渡節）
Full name is Û-lân-phûn Sēng-Huē (Hokkien Chinese language: 盂蘭盆勝會）
is held on the middle day of the 7th Chinese lunar month. Intrinsic to the Ghost Festival is ancestor worship. Activities include preparing food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mâché form of material items such as clothes, gold, and other goods for the visiting spirits. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian) are served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving direction to lost souls.
Phuket King's Cup Regatta (งานแข่งเรือใบชิงถ้วยพระราชทาน)
is held in December. The Kata Beach Resort hosts yachtsmen, largely from neighbouring countries who compete for trophies.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon (ลากูน่าภูเก็ตไตรกีฬา)
is held each December. The triathlon (a 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) swim, a 55 kilometres (34 mi) bike race and a 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) run and a 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) fun run) attracts athletes from all over the world.
Phuket Travel Fair (เทศกาลเปิดฤดูการท่องเที่ยวจังหวัดภูเก็ต),
starting 1 November, is usually called the Patong Carnival, from the place where celebrations occur. Colourful parades, sports events, and a beauty competition for foreign tourists are major activities.
Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival (งานประเพณีลอยเรือชาวเล)
falls during the middle of the sixth and eleventh lunar months yearly. The sea gypsy villages at Rawai and Sapam hold their ceremonies on the 13th; Ko Si-re celebrates on the 14th; and Laem La (east of the bridge on Phuket's northern tip) on the 15th. Ceremonies, which centre on the setting small boats adrift similar to the Thai festival of Loi Krathong, are held at night and their purpose is to drive away evil and bring good luck.
Phuket Bike Week
is the biggest motorcycle event in Asia that is held since 1995. Motorcyclists with their motorcycles and visitors from many countries join this event in every year. The event highlights include Motorcycle Exhibition, Bike Parades “Ride for Peace”, Custom Bike contests, Live Entertainment, Miss Phuket Bike Week competition, Bike accessories and Apparel from local and international venders.
Sources Details from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Photo from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Details from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Photo from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel