Phuket has the honor of being Thailand’s largest island. It’s approximately 29 miles long and 13 miles at its widest point. Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea and is one of the heaviest touristed regions of the country. In fact, many people the world over visit Thailand just to spend time on Phuket. You’ll find plenty of things to do on the island, as well as restaurants to eat in, beaches to visit, and resorts to stay at.
If you’re trying to make the most of your four days on Phuket, then look for further. Here are some suggestions, broken down by day.
Day One – Western Phuket
The western side of the island is the most heavily visited. You’ll find plenty of beaches, most of them crowded, although the stunning views and good surf making spending a day here worth it. If you’re looking for something to eat, check out the restaurants located near the resorts. You may not find completely authentic Thai cuisine, but the people watching will be quite entertaining.
The biggest party beach in this area of Phuket is Patong. It has plenty of nightlife and beach front bars. However, if you want a little more peace and quiet, spend some time on Kata and Kata Noi, as well as on Kamala. The areas of Surin and Mai Khao are both under development, and you might find some hidden gems. However, if you only have one day to spend in this area, go surfing on Kata, relax on Kata Noi, party on Patong, and then spend the night in one of the new resorts in Mai Khao. This will give you full touristy Phuket experience.
Day Two – Phang Nga Bay And The Small Island Region
Now for something completely different. Once you’ve gotten your touristy island experience out of the way, it’s time for a more relaxing day. The small island region of Thailand is known for its limestone cliffs, mangrove forests, national parkland, and pearl divers.
Yes, you heard that right. Pearl divers, as in the gemstones. You can purchase a necklace, bracelet, or ring made from pearls found right there in the water. Talk about a unique experience! Places to visit in this area include Ko Mai Thon, Ko Naka, Ko Hae, Ko Bon, Ko Lon, and Ko Panyi. All have clear water, fishing villages, coral reefs, and even caves.
You can spend the day hopping from one island to another or choose a single one to visit. This will be a nice, peaceful day, as opposed to the busy one spent on the western side of Phuket.
Day Three – The Southeastern Coast
This area of Thailand is filled with people who speak basic English, although they will appreciate any attempts you make at speaking Thai. The area is split between small beaches that are very quiet and areas that cater more to tourists. If you know how to ride a motorbike, then you can rent one for the day and use that to explore the more off the beaten path areas of the Southeastern Coast.
Consider stopping at the Big Buddha. He’s almost as tall as the island is long, so you won’t be able to miss him. There are also several spas in this area, including Senses Detox and Atsumi Retreat Healing. You could spend an entire day at one of the two. You’ll come out completely relaxed and able to focus. If exercise is more your idea of fun then consider signing up for a Muay Thai class. One single class won’t make you an expert, but you’ll enjoy learning.
You could also visit Cape Panwa, home to the Phuket Aquarium. If you can’t swim or don’t want to spend any time snorkeling or scuba diving, then this is a great way to see the types of sea creatures that exist in the waters in and around Phuket.
Day Four – The Interior Region
For your final day in Phuket, you’ll want to go even more off the beaten path. The interior portion of the island is not visited by tourists very often and it consists of several national parks. One of these parks Phra Taew National Park is filled with mangrove forests and waterfalls.
On your way there, you’ll pass shrimp farms, pineapple plantations, and rubber plantations. Yes, this area is home to people who live in Thailand year-round – the ones who don’t cater to tourists or rely on them to make a living.
Although you’ll run into friendly faces and have little problem getting around, you do need to remember that you’re seeing a part of Phuket that many visitors don’t. In fact, many of them stay only on the western side of the island where the party is. This is a much more authentic experience.
Author Bio: This guest post is a work of Paul Young in support of Phuket Ferry. If you wish to know in-depth about Phuket – the nightlife, the cuisines, the beaches, safety considerations etc. don’t forget to check out the Phuket Ferry Blog for regular updates.