Phuket is well-known for two things: beaches and nightlife. The only place you need to visit for the best Phuket nightlife is Bangla Road. Heading here is also one of the best things to do in Phuket for bachelors. Located in Patong, other things to do in Patong include visiting the beach and Jungceylon Shopping Center. For more of the best shopping in Phuket, visit Central Phuket or Naka Market.
Other Phuket things to do at night include checking out a show at either Phuket FantaSea or the Phuket Simon Cabaret. As for things to do in Karon Beach, visit the beach and the Karon Temple Market. Here are more ideas for things to do in Phuket.
1. Phuket FantaSea
Phuket FantaSea is the island’s ultimate nighttime destination. The 60-acre cultural theme park is home to a 4000-seat dining facility with two buffet restaurants, the Festival Village Shopping Street, the Tiger Jungle Adventure Theatrical Safari, Similan Entertainment Center’s underwater-themed arcade, and a 3000-seat state-of-the-art theater. The theater hosts the Fantasy of a Kingdom Cultural Illusion Show, which is a Las Vegas-style production with magic illusions, acrobatics, special effects, and pyrotechnics with a strong Thai theme.
2. Karon Beach
Quieter than neighboring Patong, Karon Beach refers to both a beach and the adjacent township. The beach offers a wide stretch of sand surrounded by trees. As you enter the beach, you’ll notice locals renting sun lounges and umbrellas, and selling drinks and their massage services. There are also water sports facilities available at Karon Beach. Take your pick, as you can go kayaking, parasailing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, or just float away on an inflatable bed!
3. Wat Chalong
A historic landmark, Wat Chalong is a Buddhist temple located in Chalong Bay. Officially called Wat Chaitararam, it’s the most important temple of the 29 found across the island. Locals have been coming to pray at Wat Chalong for centuries, as it’s known for its miraculous qualities. When visiting the temple, don’t miss the main pagoda’s intricate wall paintings depicting Buddha’s life and the exhibition hall. Visitors should also respectfully cover their shoulders and legs.
4. Big Buddha Phuket
Sitting atop Nakkerd Hill near Chalong, the Big Buddha Phuket is a 148-foot tall Maravija Buddha statue. Made from white jade marble that shimmers in the sun, visiting the Big Buddha is definitely one of the top things to do in Phuket. Accessed via a winding 3.7-mile road, from the top of the landmark you can expect to be greeted by sweeping 360-degree views of places like Phuket Town, Karon Beach, and Chalong Bay.
5. Phuket Simon Cabaret
The island’s best cabaret show, Phuket Simon Cabaret offers an evening of spectacularly glamorous entertainment. Established in 1991, the cabaret show effortlessly blends a musical theme with flamboyant costumes, live music, clever dance choreography, and comedic moments. From the comfort of your seat, you’ll be taken on a journey through Egypt, Latin America, China, and Thailand. The 70-minute show is also family-friendly, so head to their website to book your Phuket Simon Cabaret ticket now.
6. Kamala Beach
Kamala Beach is a relaxed sandy beach and fishing village backdropped by forested mountains. Quieter than its counterparts, Kamala Beach still offers the same clear and calm waters in the high season. Once you get peckish, its southern end is home to several beachfront hotels with onsite restaurants, while there are hawker stalls serving traditional Thai cuisine to the north. Besides swimming and sunbathing, visitors can go jet skiing, parasailing, or snorkeling from Kamala Beach.
7. Freedom Beach
Located around the corner from Patong, Freedom Beach is quite the hidden gem, due to the fact it takes a little bit more effort to reach its pristine sandy shores – via a longtail boat or a steep track. But seeing as it’s one of the island’s prettiest beaches, it’s worth going the extra mile. Situated in a bay surrounded by jungle-covered hills, the beach’s clear waters make it a great spot to go snorkeling.
8. Phang Nga Bay
Protected as part of Ao Phang Nga National Park, this world-famous destination is located between Phuket and mainland Thailand. It’s characterized by limestone karsts rising out of the azure water, as well as mangrove forests, coral reefs, caves and lagoons, and picturesque islands. Some of its most popular sites include James Bond Island (previously used as a filming location), Koh Panyee’s remarkable floating village, the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, and Wat Suwan Khuha’s golden reclining buddha.
One of the best things to do in Phuket on a rainy day is to visit Jungceylon – a shopping mall with a difference. It’s home to local department stores Big C Extra and Robinson Department Store, as well as international brands like Coach and Superdry. For souvenirs, check out That’s Siam and Thairapy. As for entertainment, there’s the Molly Fantasy indoor amusement park, Froggy Phuket trampoline park, Strike Bowl, and a nightly water show.
10. Karon View Point
Karon View Point is undoubtedly home to the island’s most famous lookout. Located at the top of a mountain just south of Kata Noi Beach, it looks out over the Andaman Sea and towards three main beaches: Kata Noi, Karon, and Kata Yai Beach. It’s the quintessential Phuket view, featuring turquoise ocean, white-sand beaches, and the island’s jungle-covered hillsides. Karon View Point also has a sheltered gazebo and locals selling accessories, snacks, and cool drinks.
11. Bangla Road
Bangla Road is the island’s nightlife district and a must-visit destination after dark when it becomes a 1300-ft pedestrian street filled with vibrant lights, street performers, and loud music. It’s overflowing with bars selling cheap beer, restaurants with live music, and nightclubs offering all sorts of iconic Thai entertainment. Popular spots along Bangla Road include Aussie Bar for people-watching, pool playing, and sports watching; and either White Room Nightclub, Illuzion, or Tiger Nightclub for dancing.
12. Kata Beach
Located on the west coast, Kata Beach is one of the island’s most popular beaches (sitting just behind the overcrowded Patong Beach). Featuring nearly a mile of sandy beach, mesmerizing blue water, plenty of shady trees, and an island located just off its shoreline, Kata Beach is a great place to watch the sunset. Conveniently surrounded by local shops, restaurants, and several hotels, next door you’ll also find the beautiful Kata Noi (‘Small Kata’) Beach.
13. Patong Boxing Stadium
Owned by a local family, Patong Boxing Stadium is the place to visit to see an authentic Muay Thai fight. Translated, Muay Thai literally means Thai boxing. World champion Muay Thai fighters from around the world take to the ring at Patong Boxing Stadium on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights. Visit their website for more information and to purchase tickets. This is definitely one of the more interesting things to do in Phuket at night.
14. Promthep Cape
Located on the southernmost tip of Phuket’s main island, Promthep Cape is a prominent headland jutting into the Andaman Sea. It’s one of the island’s most-visited and most photographed locations, particularly at sunset. While at Promthep Cape, step into the lighthouse to see the historic maritime artifacts on display. As you can imagine, Promthep Cape Restaurant is a popular dining option, where you can enjoy a delicious Thai or seafood dish alongside sweeping ocean views.
15. Patong Beach
Patong Beach is unquestionably the heart of the island. As the main resort town and beach – home to the aforementioned Bangla Road among other attractions – Patong Beach is visited by millions of people annually so expect crowds, especially in the high season. Let’s talk about the beach though, which stretches for nearly two miles. Head north for fewer crowds, plenty of shady palm trees, clearer sea, and locals selling fresh fruit and snacks.
16. Naka Market
Naka Market (also known as the Phuket Weekend Market) is a large nighttime bazaar open on weekends only. You could easily spend hours walking through the immense amount of stalls, which sell a combination of clothing, souvenirs, secondhand goods, and food. Take a chance and try a selection of interesting snacks at the Naka Market, including spicy sausages, exotic fruit, and deep-fried insects! Head there when it opens at 4 pm to avoid the crowds.
17. Green Elephant Sanctuary Park
One of the most heartwarming things to do in Phuket is to visit Green Elephant Sanctuary Park, where abused elephants are given a second chance at life. At the moment, it’s home to four adult and two infant elephants. Green Elephant Sanctuary Park offers a morning and afternoon ethical elephant experience. Visitors get the opportunity to feed the elephants, wash them in the freshwater pool (elephant trunk showers included), and then enjoy a Thai buffet.
18. Phuket Trickeye Museum
If you’re searching for the island’s most family-friendly attractions, head to the Phuket Trickeye Museum. As the name suggests, this is a museum filled with about 100 interactive 3D paintings. Some of the optical illusions involve an inflated Mona Lisa, getting punched in the face by Mike Tyson, taking part in Spain’s annual Running of the Bulls event, and sharing a subway with zombies. On average, families spend about two hours inside the Trickeye Museum.
19. Paradise Beach
Located in a cove along the coastline from Patong Beach, Paradise Beach may be small but it’s just as beautiful as its counterparts. However, one big difference is that you need to pay 200 baht (about $6) to access the beach. But on the other side, you’ll find a white sandy shore, granite boulders, lush greenery, and azure water. Visit the Paradise Beach Phuket Club to rent snorkeling equipment, a kayak, or a stand-up paddleboard.
20. Central Phuket
Central Phuket is a spacious air-conditioned shopping mall with over 400 stores. It’s home to many luxury brands – including Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci – which sit next to the likes of Zara, H&M, and Topshop. Besides shopping, the mall also has an aquarium and Tribhum, a fantasy adventure theme park. For a dining experience with a difference, head underwater at Andasi Phuket or visit the Thai Floating Market and Food Paradise.
21. Phuket Zoo
Surrounded by tropical gardens, Phuket Zoo is another local family-friendly attraction. It hosts daily monkey shows with its resident short-tailed macaque monkeys, as well as thrilling crocodile shows and elephant shows. Visitors also have the opportunity to take photos with animals like macaws, Burmese pythons, and elephants following each show. The zoo is also home to a bird park, a large orchid garden, and an aquarium, which you unconventionally enter through a large crocodile’s mouth.