Beautiful landscape with traditional boat on the sea in Phi Phi Lee region in Phuket, Thailand
FUN IN PHUKET

Cruise to Phuket, Thailand

The island of Phuket (pronounced "Poo-ket") is often called the Pearl of Thailand — and once you set foot on pristine beaches and see its crystalline blue water, you'll understand why. Cruise to Phuket, Thailand and start your day by diving right in — literally — at Kata Noi Beach, a smaller, more secluded spot where you can soak in the sun and sand and unwind. Then, head to the nearby Karon Viewpoint for unparalleled views of the Andaman Sea and the area's lush mountainous landscape. In town, see the Big Buddha of Phuket — the white marble likeness of the holy figure stands 45 meters tall. Then, see the elaborate temple of Wat Chalong and its Grand Pagoda, where it's believed a splinter of bone from the Buddha himself resides.
National Language Thai
Currency Accepted Thai Baht (THB)

Things To Do in Phuket

Exotic mountain rocks coming out of the ocean in Phuket, Thailand

Big-Screen Islands

Exotic mountain rocks coming out of the ocean in Phuket, Thailand

Exotic mountain rocks coming out of the ocean in Phuket, Thailand

Big-Screen Islands

Pha Nga Bay has several karst islands that can be explored by longtail boat, including the sheer cliffs of James Bond Island, featured in "The Man With the Golden Gun." Some islands are shaped like doughnuts with shallow calm water inside, only reachable at low tide. Popular Phi Phi (pronounced "pee-pee") Island was featured in the movie "The Beach."

Snorkeling at Phi Phi Island, Phuket, Thailand

Get Underwater

Snorkeling at Phi Phi Island, Phuket, Thailand

Snorkeling at Phi Phi Island, Phuket, Thailand

Get Underwater

The waters surrounding Phuket have great snorkeling and scuba diving, thanks to the bay's warm, clean waters and lively marine ecosystems. Snorkel off the beach at Ao Sane, next to Nai Harn Beach, at Kata Noi or near Patong at Paradise Beach. Drift past anemones, parrot fish and various types of coral.

The big buddha statue at the temple, monastery in Phuket, Thailand
The big buddha statue at the temple, monastery in Phuket, Thailand

Big Buddha

Above Nakkerd Hills is a 147-foot-tall white Buddha statue, which you can see from many parts of the island — hike up to the statue itself, which is surprisingly uncrowded. It's covered in Burmese white jade marble, and next to it is a smaller Buddha made from brass. The trek also comes with the bonus of breathtaking views down to the sea.

Colorful thai food in bowls with shrimp pad thai and bowls of rice
Colorful thai food in bowls with shrimp pad thai and bowls of rice

Local Cuisine

Sample Thailand's famous cuisine at street stalls or sit-down restaurants. If you're not sure what to order, ask for pad kra prao — stir-fried meat (usually chicken or pork) prepared with chili peppers and Thai holy basil. The level of spiciness can be tailored to your taste, and adding in a fried egg is optional — though highly recommended.

Traditional buddha souvenirs sold in Thailand
Traditional buddha souvenirs sold in Thailand

Shopping

Silks are always a good buy in Thailand; choose from scarves in every color, pillowcases or clothing. Cruise to Phuket and pick up a carved elephant in wood, metal or stone. At home, place it facing a doorway for good feng shui.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Negotiate carefully for transportation on longtail boats and taxis — writing down the agreed upon price can prevent disputes.
2 Wat Chalong Temple is an active place of worship: Cover your shoulders while inside as a gesture of respect.

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