Thailand's most popular and largest island Phuket has a nightlife the stuff of legends, crystal clear Andaman Sea waters, pristine shores, and cultural delights that make it the most ideal all-round tourist resort in Southeast Asia.
Airport: Phuket International Airport Airport to Phuket Town/Patong/Kata Beach/Karon Airport to Phuket Town Bus shuttle service: Large bus-90 baht Airport to Phuket Town/Patong/Kata/Karon minivan: 100/150/180/180 baht Airport to Phuket Town/Patong/Kata/Karon metered taxi: 400/550/650/650 baht on average Public Transport: Bus, taxi, tuk tuk Average taxi rate: 50 baht/2 kmand 7 baht/per additional km Phuket Town to Patong/Surin/Kamala Local Bus (Song Taew): 15 -25 baht
ABOUT CONTIKI From quick breaks to epic journeys, Contiki exists to connect young travellers with the time of their lives. See more about Contiki
Head Out to Phuket Town
There's something out there for everyone in Phuket Town. Known for its Chinese influences and architecture, you could head out to the 45-metre high Big Buddha or visit the Jui Jui Shrinex and listen intently as the shrine's oracle parts with some words of wisdom. Looking for something totally different? Head out to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project - a consolidated effort to protect and rehabilitate small apes or gibbons by returning them to the wild. It's time for some relaxation, and what better way than to cool off at the nearby Bang Pae Waterfall.
Enjoy Phuket Beach
Make your way to the beach a bit early to pick your own spot on the soft sands. Relax or try some of the water sports available out here. A great way of exploring the island and gathering panoramic views of the coastline from the sea is to take a trip on a sea canoe. The guided tour takes you along dramatic coastlines and through exotic caves. If you're looking for a longer trip, visit Ao Phang Nga National Park otherwise known as James Bond Island, as it was the venue for one of the James Bond movies. You'll also come across Ko Tapu and an unusual limestone karst.
Hit The Bangla Road
Get into overdrive and hit Patong's party scene at Bangla Road, as it comes to life when the sun sets. Decorated with neon lights and glitter all along the 400-metre pedestrian road, it is the most happening place after dark resonating the phrase "don't worry, be happy" in every sense. You may be in for a surprise, as the beautiful girl you just befriended might turn out to be one of the famous Phuket ladyboys. There are pubs, discos, street performances, and ping-pong shows all around.
Try Delicious Phuket Food
The best way to get into the groove and understand how locals enjoy life is to head out to the same local den and try popular Thai dishes. Right from Pad Thai to mouth-watering red and green curries, you're in for a feast. Just find your own little local bar, kick back, relax over a beer, and tempt your taste buds with exotic Thai cuisines. Your trip manager is always there to offer some great ideas to get you started.
Watch The Astonishing Simon's Cabaret
One of the island's biggest draws, Simon Cabaret is just what you would expect in a cabaret show with glitter and cornball, the same inviting music and dim lights; except, when the curtain goes up, you see ladyboy shemale transsexuals perform the cabaret acts for you. The fabulous costumes, exotic background sets, and clever choreography will keep you in a trance for the entire show.
Things to do in Phuket
Kata Beach Surf House
If you're looking for a totally different surfing experience, head out to Surf House Phuket where weather conditions play no role at all. The innovative concept uses a sloping pool with a 4-inch high-pressure sheet of water flowing up the slope. Beginners can hold on to a guiding safety rope while professional dudes do away with the divider and perform fancy tricks. And if you fall, you're only going to be pushed up and not down.
Some consider it extravagant, while others think it's spectacular, but you just can't miss out on a visit to Phuket FantaSea, the island's biggest show with over a hundred performers, exotic animals, and trapeze artists all performing to an extremely graphic storyline that blends tradition and fantasy. And then you have a theme park to enjoy shopping opportunities, carnival games, Palace of the Elephants, and not to forget the biggest theme-park buffet in Asia.
Widely accepted as one of the most popular martial arts spectacles on television, Muay Thai comes to you live every night at Patong Beach. Check out from close well-trained boxers exchange furious punches, avoid lethal kicks with artful feints, and bring in a crushing elbow strike out of the blue. There's much fanfare before and during the match, and you can see spectators furiously betting over their favourite fighter completely oblivious to the high-pitched music playing in the background.
The vibrant nightlife has created a scene where cool dudes flock to the many bars in Phuket hosting live music performances in high season. Concerts are organised on the beaches, and nightly performances take place at happening places like Bangla Road. If you're into rock and pop, head out to Rock City. Irish pubs at the Patong Bay will entertain you with the blues and Irish folk songs. And if you fancy jazz music, there's the famous Thai restaurant Baan Rim Pa.
Shopping In Phuket
The Old town in Phuket is not just a place to explore Portuguese-inspired architecture; it's also a place where locals set up stalls along the streets of Yaowarat and Phang Nga selling handicrafts and textiles. Phuket Walking Street, held on Sundays, is more organised where you can also try culinary specialities from southern Thailand. Just for the convenience, order tailor-made clothing. By the time you're ready to leave Phuket, your new and affordable wardrobe is ready.
Top Attractions in Phuket
With so much on offer in Phuket, planning your itinerary can be daunting. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and picked the best attractions and experiences.