Phuket really has it all. Thailand's largest island is also the busiest, and those looking for comfort and convenience will love its wonderful tourist infrastructure - but there are also some hidden corners for those planning to get away from it all, if you know where to look. A Phuket day charter is the answer for those looking for paradise bays and unspoiled beaches - local operators will know where to take you, and you'll understand why Phuket is frequently cited as one of the best Thai islands. Here's our guide for all those who want to go sailing in Phuket - not to be missed sights and attractions on the island, what to explore on a day charter, and many reasons to love Phuket - when you visit, I'm sure you'll agree with us!

Looking for an unforgettable holiday?
Get in direct contact with local operators!
Receive and compare multiple offers today!


People of Phuket

As soon as you land in Phuket, you'll understand immediately why Thailand is known as the 'Land of Smiles'. You'll be surrounded by smiles and sawadee-ka/sawadee -krab, the local greeting, everywhere you go. Since tourism is so important to the island's economy, people working in hospitality are very well used to dealing with visitors - Phuket is really not the kind of place where you'll feel lost in translation, and there's always someone ready to help.  The population of Phuket is approximately 500,000, swelling to double that in high season (Nov-Feb). The majority of inhabitants are Thai Buddhists, but there is also a Muslim minority, also including descendants of the Chao Le, indigenous people that lived their lives almost entirely at sea. There are also many people of Malay, Chinese and Peranankan descent, as well as expats from many countries in Asia and the West.

Places in Phuket


Patong

Few spots on the island are as well known as Patong, the centre of everything tourism-related in Phuket. Naturally, it’s always crowded, however thanks to its large size, it rarely feels suffocating. Its sandy beaches are often mentioned among the best in the island, and the nightlife is absolutely fantastic. Patong does have a bit of a seedy reputation, and incidents have happened in the past - it's worth being cautious. One of the best activities to do in Patong is shopping, as the markets and the shopping malls are amazing – you’ll be able to find just about whatever it is that you need, be it a designer's outfit or Thai souvenirs. Places like Bangla Road along with its many restaurants and bars are also a great nightlife destination, and a good place to head to for those who want to enjoy mainstream 'Phuket vibe'.


Big Buddha

As one of Phuket’s premier landmarks to visit, the Big Buddha definitely is a sight that shouldn't be missed. It’s quite easy to reach, and unless you're visiting in high season, it's a very peaceful place. The statue itself is really exquisite. It’s 45 meters tall and 25 meters across, and even though it’s an enormous statue it never feels 'oppressive' - not to mention, it makes for an excellent photo stop! It’s also surrounded by many smaller statues of Buddha, like a golden one that’s actually made from brass, not gold.


Old Phuket Town

Thailand is ripe with culture and history, and that’s evident in its provincial capitals. In Phuket Town there's a very special charm to be found simply by walking down its streets. Exploring its many historic buildings is always a treat, like the numerous preserved shophouses, old cafés, and even printing shops, as well as its amazing museums. The old part of town is filled with majestic colonial mansions from Phuket’s golden age of wealth and power, and seeing what the town has to offer with your own two eyes is always a fantastic experience - it's worth spending a day away from the beach!


Wat Chalong Temple

In Thailand, religion is part of everyday life. Since most Thais are Buddhist, there is a large number of Buddhist temples everywhere called Wats, sacred places meant to further spiritual relaxation. One of the most popular and important ones in Phuket is Wat Chalong Temple. It’s a gorgeous place, with numerous statues of abbots made of exquisite craftsmanship. The architecture is breathtaking, the atmosphere relaxing, and the Grand Pagoda even has a splinter of a bone from Lord Buddha himself. 


Phang Nga Bay

This bay is one of the most breathtaking places to see on a Phuket day charter. You'll be surrounded by some of the best seascapes in Phuket, and everywhere you go you’ll be treated to incredible sights. The best part about Phang Nga Bay is that most of the time you’ll be away from other tourist groups exploring old limestone caves and fascinating forests - local operators will know where to take you! Some of the most popular spots include James Bond Island, which is actually called Koh Ta-Pu, but was immortalized by the Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Samet Nangshe is also an incredible spot which allows for some of the best views in the region, especially around sunset.


Koh Panyee

What was once a simple fishing island, today is regarded as a popular day trip from Phuket. Those flying to Phuket usually pass over this fantastic little island, and if they manage to look down they’ll be treated to views of splendid natural treasures. Indeed, the entire island is gorgeous, and the only village there is tiny, with barely over a thousand inhabitants. But the island’s perfect nature and stunning views and activities are more than enough reasons for visitors to go to Koh Panyee, and about 50% of the village is dedicated to greeting visitors and being hosts.


Karon Viewpoint

Thailand is undeniably a destination with stunning views everywhere, and Phuket is absolute proof of this. Which is why it’s no surprise that one of Phuket’s most popular spots is a viewpoint that overlooks large portions of the island. Karon Viewpoint, originally called Kata Viewpoint, is located on Khao Saam Haad, which means Three Beaches Hills. From the viewpoint, you have a breathtaking view of Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon Beaches, which is especially impressive at sunset.


Kata Noi Beach

The entirety of Phuket is filled with some of the world’s finest beaches, and these include Kata Noi Beach. It’s located just south of the main Kata Beach, and this is a spot that’s filled with all sorts of luxurious retreats. If you’re a fan of perfectly clear waters in combination with an excellent climate, this relatively small bay of the western part of the island will be perfect for you. It’s a very peaceful and relaxing place, and it has a lot of bars and restaurants to lounge in when you’re not swimming, snorkeling, or diving in the wonderful waters.


Nai Ham Beach

This spot used to be one of the best local secrets in Phuket. Nowadays it’s a much more popular spot that is often filled with tourists, but unlike many beaches in Phuket, it’s never overflowing. That’s because even though it is now well known, there are still relatively few resorts on Nai Ham Beach, so this is a very tranquil spot to rest at. The waters are great for about half of the year, but from May to October they become somewhat turbulent as currents gain in strength and speed. Otherwise, it’s a perfect spot that deserves a visit or two at least.


Pleasures in Phuket


Phuket Night Markets

The warm climate in Thailand means that most of the day can be very hot. This is the main reason why it's easy to find night markets everywhere in the country, including Phuket! They are always filled with a vast array of goods, like clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs, and other trinkets. The food is also something to look out for, with lots of excellent street food to be served at night markets. Markets like the Chilva Market, the Weekend Market, Phuket Walking Street are all great spots to experience the festival-like wonder that are the Phuket Night Markets.


Sunset in Phuket

Phuket is breathtaking, so practically every spot is amazing come sunset time. There are several locations in Phuket that allow you to see sweeping vistas, or lounge on quiet beaches as you gaze at the evening sky. Spots like Kata Beach, Nai Harn Beach, or Surin Beach are excellent choices for to enjoy sunset with a drink and a party vibe, as they’re generally filled with people doing the same. Chalong and Karon Viewpoint are ideal for those seeking a more tranquil setting where you observe the rest of Phuket from a tall vantage point.


Phuket Nightlife

While nightlife is to be found pretty much anywhere on the island, no other place is as vibrant as Bangla Road in Patong. It’s the de facto go-to place to experience Phuket’s nightlife, and there’s an enormous variety in what is offered. You have regular bars that are open until late, as well as excellent nightclubs, some of which also offer shows. Good nightlife options include Illuzion Discotheque, with its impressive audiovisual displays and energetic music, as well as Simon Cabaret, which is a Las Vegas-esque show that also features ladyboys, the local term for transgender women who put on flamboyant shows. 


Do

Do spend one day checking out the many sights island away from the beaches and resorts - rent a scooter and go exploring, or ask your accommodation to arrange a driver for you. Do hire a private charter for a day, and spend it cruising Phang Nga Bay or visiting the smaller islands surrounding Phuket.


Don't

Don't be an inconsiderate tourist, and be aware of Thai cultural norms. Dress modestly away from the resorts, avoid touching people (even children) on the head, and never have your picture taken with an image of Buddha. Read this post to know more about how to behave in Thailand. Don't just visit Patong or stick to the confines of your resort. Patong is a fun place and worth a visit, but Phuket is so much more than that.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Phuket in terms of weather is between November and February, when the island is dry and cool (relatively speaking, of course) - average temperatures vary between 23 and 30 °C. The Christmas period is incredibly busy, and it's best avoided unless you're planning to use the island only as a base to rent a private charter. The period between March and May is still dry, but very hot - April is when the famous Songkran Festival takes place, when people throw water on each other. From mid-May onwards all the way through October it's monsoon season, with September and October being the wettest months - but also the cheapest!


Best way to go

Most people traveling to Phuket make their way to the island by plane, since Phuket airport offers direct connections to a variety of cities in Europe and Asia at very convenient prices. The island is connected to the Thai mainland via a bridge, so it's also possible to travel to and from other places in Thailand by bus or car. From Phuket there are also ferries heading to and from other islands in the Andaman sea, including Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta, and mainland locations like Railay and Krabi.

Looking for an unforgettable holiday?
Get in direct contact with local operators!
Receive and compare multiple offers today!

Tags
Thailand
Phuket