Here is my list of 7 Cool Things to do in Phuket
This is our second time to Phuket. It’s a fantastic place to unwind and party. The people are lovely, the beaches are beautiful. There are lots of places to eat and drink. With lots of things to see and do.
With a variety of of beautiful beaches you can relax and unwind on the many beaches. Phuket is blessed with some magnificent beaches.
Karon Beach and Patong Beach in particular can get really busy.
We stayed in Chanalai Gardens which is near Kata Beach. Kata Beach is quieter than Karon and Patong but still gets busy.
There are plenty of sun loungers available for around 100 baht per bed for the day.
The only problem is. If you opt for the sun loungers in the central part of the beach. You will find yourself lying next to strangers with very little room.
We hired loungers from the vendors near the Ska bar which are spread out and can be moved around.
You can also hire a moped and go further afield. My wife was worried about the roads which are a bit crazy but you can find quieter beaches.
#2. Water Sports
There are plenty of options if you enjoy water sports and the like.
You can snorkel direct from Keta Beach. With crystal clear sea water. I saw plenty of fish next to the rocks. near the Ska Bar. I hired a snorkel masks for a few hours for 100 baht from the local vendors.
You can also scuba dive if you have the training straight from the beach. There are plenty of diving clubs along the beach who can teach you to dive as well.
There are kayaks and surf/body boards for hire. You can para-glide and hire jet skies. It all depends how daring you are!
There are lots of diving trips that can be booked with the nearby travel agents. Krabi Island and Phi Phi are fabulous.
We all like to eat on our jolly’s and touring Phuket we where spoiled for choice. There are so many places to dine, ranging from cheap eats to fine dining. With excellent choices for all tastes and cuisines.
You would struggle to go hungry here.
We often found the classier the restaurant appeared, the level of service diminished.
Last year for instance. We went to a beautiful restaurant called “Heaven” with spectacular sea views. I booked a table 3 days in advance. On arrival we where informed that we hadn’t booked. We argued and finally got seated. But we where constantly interrupted by customers taking pictures next to our table. When we got our meal. We got our starters and my main at the same time. My wife’s main meal came out later by which point we cancelled. Very strange.
Here is a list places we ate.
We love Two Chefs .There is one in Kata Beach, Karon and Patong
They have live music and special deals on different days of the week. Most of the food we ate there was really good. My wife enjoyed the mash and beef signature dish. The prices are reasonable and they serve local and imported IPA beer. They also have a wicked selection of cocktails.
We ate in The Tavern, 4 times during our 2 week stay. We also drank there several nights. It’s ran by an English bloke who is very friendly. The food is really good and excellent value for money. All the staff are friendly and its a mixed crowd of ex-pats from UK, Australia, USA and Thailand. Its a sports bar and a cool place to visit when you just want to chill out drink and eat. The only downside is that its hard to find.. It at the end of the street where Veranda Restaurant is.
The Boathouse is a funny one. I cannot fault the location its beautiful right overlooking Kata Beach. The service was okay. I say okay because it felt rushed.
Its pricey compared to the other restaurants in the area but its very classy so that’s why. We don’t have a problem with splashing out. Wine is expensive in Phuket. But I didn’t feel like it was value for money. The highest price we paid in most places was around £70.00 for a meal and wine. We paid around £100.00 here. I had a lamb shank which whilst very nice just tasted no better than the ones that you can microwave in a bag!
We only found this place with just 2 days left which we where sad about. Its beautiful. We walked past the sign almost every day as we went to the beach. The sign gives no indication of it being a restaurant and its very easy to miss. If you follow the small signs for Kata Rocks or Bella Vista you will find it. If you are lucky you will get one of the golf buggies to pick you up. Its huge. Its a combination of a resort and residential property.
It has an underground car park cut into the rocks. The restaurant has amazing views and it was so laid back. It wasn’t very busy compared to Heaven. Maybe this is one of the reasons why it has little advertisement. Its amazing and well worth a visit. We paid around £70.00 for a main meal each and a bottle of Prosecco. Which is a good price compared to The Boathouse mentioned above.
We ate here twice and also arranged for a take-away. Its not the nicest looking restaurant. We love Indian food and this places delivers. The staff are friendly and the meals are reasonable. We often find when we are abroad that Indian restaurants can be hard to find and good ones even harder. We struggled to find any in Las Vegas.
There are plenty of other places to eat. Such as the fore mentioned Bella Vista (be warned the Swedish lady who runs the place is a little eccentric). We also ate in the Hard Rock Cafe in Patong (over-priced but good entertainment)
As well as having many places to eat there is a good selection of bars in Kata and Patong.
The Ska Bar was one of our favourite bars on Kata Beach. Its so laid back. As the name implies they play a variety of reggae and Ska music all day long. The bar seats are the rocks. The local beer is cheap and so are the cocktails. A couple of nights during the week they have a fire-show which is cool.
The Surf House is a cool place to chill if you want a break from the sunshine. The drinks are cheap. They have showers and clean toilets. Best of all they have a massive surf machine. Big enough for 2 people to use. I wasn’t brave enough to use because I have a severe lack of balance, but it was good fun watching people face plant.
The majority of bars are in Patong. As mentioned before the Hard Rock Cafe is worth a visit just for the bands that play each night. Its next door to Hooters if that floats your boat.
No trip to Phuket would be complete without seeing elephants. Don’t go to any of the elephant shows or elephant trekking unless you have no morals. These are cruel and nasty practices. I have no idea why grown men feel the need to ride elephants for pleasure. I have no issue with the Mahout because that’s part of Thai culture. Although I do object to using hooks to control them.
The message I am trying to convey is to read the reviews to see if they are ethical or not?
This year we chose The Green Elephant Sanctuary. We managed to get there for a reasonable price.
We went to one last year which we booked through the tour-operator TUI. This was twice the price and around 2 1/2 hour drive away. It was great when we got there because there was around 4 elephants and a smaller group.
The only problem I had with this Sanctuary was that the groups where bigger. Around 20 people. The advantage was that they have more elephants and you are not rushed.
We met a mother elephant and her 3 week old baby which was beyond cute. We was not allowed to touch the baby and they where fenced in for their and our protection. The mother elephant can be protective and rightly so.
The elephants where introduced to us. We met a one-year old elephant which was also very cute and a little excitable. Everyone in the group obviously swarmed around the younger elephant. But the staff made sure everyone got an opportunity to spend time with all the elephants,
We followed them into a mud bath and applied a mud pack to the elephants which was ace, but smelly. We then followed them into a pond and washed them down with buckets of water.
Finally you join them in the massive showers and wash them down again.
Basically its spa retreat for elephants. The elephants must be laughing.
One of the best features about the sanctuary is that, they have a photographer who follows the group around to take pictures. The pictures are then published on their Facebook page free of charge a couple of days later.
All in all I would recommend the sanctuary as the elephants are well looked after and seem to be happy.
There are plenty of bars for having fun. Kata Beach is quieter than Patong which isn’t a bad thing. There is the aforementioned Ska Bar which is good for chilling and drinking. And The Tavern Bar for watching Football or whatever sports that you like.
The best place to party in Phuket is Bangla Road. Its like Bangkok on a smaller scale. Its nuts. During the day its an average road with the bog standard tourist shops but come 6.00 pm it transforms into heaving cesspit of depravity and madness. Fantastic!
There are lots of Go-go bars with many ladies dancing on bars. Be warned that if you play some of the bar games, such as Connect 4. You could easily end up out of money because if you lose you have to but the bar staff a round of shots.
The place is designed to suck the money from your pockets. Its like there is a conveyor belt of vendors selling shit. We sat outside one of the bars and every 3 minutes we had someone trying to sell us a variety of crap.
Its a great place for people watching.
There are lots of people with boards advertising Ping-Pong shows which are just weird but funny. Imagine a variety of items being shot from a ladies foo-foos and that sums it up.
Its not all sex. There are some really good clubs and bars along the road. There are a few rock bars with live bands that are great. The drinks are cheap. Our favourite was Lion Live Rock Bar.
#7. Island Hopping
With over 1400 islands, Thailand has so many islands to choose from. They are an amazing sight to see when you travel via a speed boat. We found that we got a better deal booking through local vendors than our tour rep.
Last year we stayed over in Phi Phi Island which was an experience and we managed to get to Koh Phi Phi Le early in the morning to beat all the crowds. This was where they filmed “The Beach”. It gets really busy later on during the day, so try to get there early.
As part of the same trip we also visited “James Bond” island the iconic lime stone rock as seen in “Dr No”. The only minor gripe with both of these islands is just how busy they get,
We also visited Monkey Beach, last year which was interesting. The island is home to a bunch of macaques. We took pictures and watched them for a while. You get the odd idiot trying to annoy the monkeys. The monkeys can be curious so be cautious and watch your phones and purses, etc
This year we visited a different set of islands including Koh Poda Island. The spectacular Koh Tap Island as well as several other islands.