Day trips & tours

Thailand's largest island Phuket covers a land mass of approximately 576 km² and is therefore a convenient size for exploring the exciting range of attractions on offer. It is also surrounded by dramatic limestone karsts and islands making it the ideal location for taking to the water on a speedboat, larger tourist boat, or more traditional longtail boat. Whether on dry land or out to sea, there's something for everyone in Phuket.

Here you will find a selection of the most popular, interesting and inspiring sights that you can experience while based on the island;


   Wat Chalong (Wat Chaiyathararam)

Wat Chalong

Located in the south east of the island, Wat Chalong is the largest temple of its kind on Phuket and certainly the most visited. Within the complex can be found many golden statues of Buddha, intricately painted depictions of the life of Buddha on the walls and ceilings, and most importantly, a fragment of bone said to belong to Buddha. Climb to the top floor terrace for great views of the temple complex.

It is important to observe the dress code at this temple as with all Buddhist temples in Thailand. Both sexes should make sure that shoulders and knees are completely covered but covering the ankles is also very much appreciated. Consider wearing long trousers or skirts on the bottom, and a t-shirt, blouse or shirt on top. Scarves/sarongs can be used to cover shoulders or create a long skirt. Visitors must remove their shoes so it's a good idea to bring some socks with grip as the shiny stone floors and steps can get incredibly hot in the sun. 

   Phuket Big Buddha

Big Buddha

Described as 'The Buddhist Treasure of Phuket', Big Buddha sits in the south of the island in a prominent position on Nakkerd Hill so visitors not only come to see the white jade marble statue and pay their respects, but also to admire the panoramic views.

Construction on the statue began in 2004 and finished in 2018 with the completion of the base. The Buddha is an impressive 45 metres in height, making it the third tallest statue in Thailand.

   Old Phuket Town

Old Phuket Town

Located with the city of Phuket, the old town is the cultural hub of the island. Visitors flock here for the grand and colourful Sino-Portuguese architecture that has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Amongst the vibrant streets can be found quaint cafés, interesting shops, museums and galleries, street art, and even ice cream parlours along with a whole host of tantalising food stalls to get the mouth watering. Thalang Road is a particular hotspot.

It is also home to the Weekend Night Market, the largest on the island, and a great way to spend the evening rubbing shoulders with the locals, bargain hunting, and trying out the sizzling street food.

  Speed boat trip around Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands

A visit to Phuket would not be complete without a trip around the idyllic Phi Phi Islands, made famous as the film location for The Beach (2000) starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

There are many local tour companies who offer different kinds of trips here, some even getting you there for the splendid sunrise - a truly magical sight - but all have similar inclusions such as swimming and snorkelling through the coral reefs of Pileh Lagoon, and a big buffet style lunch, and stop offs at Monkey Island and Viking Cave.

Most companies will include hotel pick-up, lunch, admission fees and snorkelling gear in the trip price but do check with your chosen provider before you set off.

   Cabaret Show


Thailand is famous for its cabaret shows and in Phuket, there are some sound choices that deliver glitz and glamour, with spectacular performances by its cast of mostly transgender stars. The shows are tastefully done and suitable for the whole family (yes, really) with dance sequences inspired by pop culture, Disney, and even homages to the different nationalities of tourists that visit Phuket every year. Each show is approximately 1 hour long and is a visual feast with exquisite costumes, perfect lip-syncing and stylish and fun routines, mixed with a dash of comedy for a truly memorable evening. 

The Phuket Simon Cabaret, Simon Star and the Aphrodite Cabaret Shows all offer a similarly great experience. 

   Laem Prom Thep

Laem Prom Thep

On the southern most tip of Phuket lies Laem Prom Thep, the perfect spot to enjoy the sun setting over the sparkling Andaman sea. There are also a couple of points of interest here; an uncanny concrete lighthouse shaped like a crab, and an elephant shrine adorned with flower garlands. For the most part it's a peaceful spot, but the crowds descend at sunset so consider taking the old fisherman's trail downhill and find a quieter spot to enjoy the natural spectacle.

   The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project

Gibbon Rehabilitation Project

The legacy of the gibbon in Thailand is a sad tale, as the species were poached to extinction some 40 years ago. Traded illegaly in captivity ever since as pets or questionable tourist 'attractions', The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project has stepped in to try and change the future for these beautiful creatures. Through years of research and practice they are exploring ways of rehabilitating gibbons to their natural behaviours with a view to repopulating the rainforested areas so that they may live freely and thrive once more in the country.

Book a visit with the centre to learn about the important work that the project is undertaking and hear some of the stories of the residents.

   James Bond Island, Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island

James Bond Island is actually a series of limestone karst towers that jut dramatically from the azure waters. Their iconic status was set when they appeared in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Belonging to the Ao Phang Nga National Park, this area is protected so boats are not allowed too close. Local tour operators offer day trips to the islands either on big boats, speed boats, or longtail boats, and day-trippers then have the chance to switch to a kayak so that they can get closer to these natural wonders, as well as exploring nearby caves. Hotel pick-up and lunch are usually included but please check with your provider at the time of booking.

   Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctuary

This ethical sanctuary was the first of its kind to open in Phuket and provides a safe and natural environment in over 30 acres of land for elephants that have previously been exploited in the tourism and logging industries.

From a safe distance, visitors are able to observe the elephants as they interact with each other and express their natural behaviours, and while doing so are informed by the guides of the importance of these gentle giants and gain valuable insights in to their fascinating lives. 

You can find out more about their history and initiatives, as well as booking a visit here.

   Phuket Thai Hua Museum

Thai Hua Museum

This beautiful Sino-Portuguese building on the Krabi Road, Old Phuket, houses collections that tell the story of the Chinese influence that shaped the island. Visitor can learn about the Phuket-China connection through multi-media and artefacts in a series of exhibition rooms.

The 1934 building is typical of the period and has an impressive internal courtyard that airs the property as well as a garden to enjoy. Visitors can also enjoy refreshment at the coffee shop that makes up the complex.

   Monkey Hill

Monkey Hill

If you want to get up close and personal with monkeys then Monkey Hill located on the edge of Old Phuket is the place that you need to head to! At the bottom of the hill there are street vendors selling nuts and fruit that you can buy to feed the monkeys. The top of the hill is a steep 3.5km hike in the humid heat so most people opt to take a taxi up. Once you arrive, the monkeys will be waiting for you and expecting some edible treats. Be cautious as the monkeys are very cheeky and although used to human interaction, are still wild animals and will snatch and even steal food from visitors. It can be very entertaining! There is a short steep climb to a viewing platform from here which will provide incredible views across the island and is particularly nice at sunset so plan your visit carefully.