Discover Phuket In A Day
Phuket is one of Thailand’s most spectacular cities, and it’s virtually impossible to pack all of the fun options into one day. However, you can stuff in quite a few thrills if you plan wisely.
Early mornings in Phuket are just as lively as any other time of the day and make for a great opportunity to explore the local beaches. Head over to Karon Beach for a nice, family-friendly setting with beautiful views and lots of exciting opportunities. You can usually find locals along the shores selling short parasailing or jet skiing trips for under 2000 baht.
Phi Phi Islands
From there, you’ll want to book a trip to Phi Phi Islands. These gorgeous plots of land in the middle of the sea are some of the most breathtaking sights in the world and the entire reason many people head to Thailand. The crystal clear waters are so warm you’ll barely notice a change in temperature when you hop in, and the jagged, rocky bodies of land popping up from the water are enormous spectacles begging to be put on a postcard.
Most trips will let you spend a couple of hours traversing the beaches here, so pull out a hammock and bask in the rays or hop around and spend a few baht on trinkets at the local huts and shops.
It might be in your best interest to seek out a tour that’ll take you through the Phi Phi Islands and also along James Bond Island, an enormous rocky precipice that stands alone in the middle of the sea. This large rock is unique because it starts out small at the bottom and increases in size as it goes up toward the sky. It looks like it shouldn’t be able to support itself, but it certainly does.
Travelers interested in taking a peak at some of Thailand’s local wildlife can grab a tuk-tuk and head to the nearby tiger sanctuary, Tiger Kingdom. The sanctuary provides tigers with an opportunity to escape from the growing poaching problem facing the area, while also creating a much-needed breeding program to help bring them back from their endangered status.
While there you’ll be able to buy tickets to get up close and personal with tigers ranging in age from just a couple of months to full grown adulthood. Visitors are able to pet and pose for pictures in a safe environment with well-trained tigers. They’ll even provide you with a nifty CD with all of the photos after you’re done.
Statues and Souvenirs
Of course, you can’t very well visit Phuket without noticing one of it’s most remarkable landmarks – the Big Buddha. This monstrous, towering effigy of the country’s famous deity is 45 meters tall and can be seen from most parts of the southern area of the city. Getting there is a simple task as any local transport will take you for a few bucks. You’ll wind through some seemingly rural areas of Thailand on your way up to the peak of Nakkerd Hills to be treated with a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of the city and surrounding beaches.
Afterwards, make your way back to the heart of Phuket and take a stroll through Old Phuket Town where you’ll find rows of souvenir stalls lining the streets among a blend of of Chinese and colonial architecture. Be sure to pick up some gifts for your friends!
Once nightfall begins to set in, it’s time to head up to Patong Beach. This area is home to some of Phuket’s best bars and shopping, as well as a few carnal sins, if that’s your thing. Indulge in a Thai massage when you first arrive—you’ll find shops offering them every few feet. Afterwards, spend a little time shopping at the popular Jungceylon shopping center to find great deals on authentic Thai silk and jewelry.
Finally, it’s time for some after hours fun along Bangla Road, where there are plenty of bars every few feet. Truthfully, this isn’t a place for families—you’re more likely to find dancers and ping-pong shows than karaoke. Still, there are plenty of bars here where you can peacefully sit down and relax for a few cheap drinks.
Once you’re ready to call it a night, taxi bikes and tuk tuks line the streets ready to safely transport you back to your hotel.
Phuket is best enjoyed over the course of a few days, but if you’re only passing through and want one fun and wild 24 hour adventure, the above activities should quench your thirst.