With stunning beaches laden with white sand, lush green tropical forests, the nightlife at Patong and exciting boat tours, Phuket is truly an irresistible spot for those who love nature. While some the attractions in the island are not worth your time, there are certain places that you must definitely visit, if you are planning a trip to this beautiful island. Here is a list of attractions in Phuket beyond the Patong beach that will make your vacation an unforgettable one.
• Wat Chalong: The Wat Chalong temple in Phuket is the one of the largest and most important of the 29 Budhist temples in the island. Plenty of visitors come to the temple every day. While the locals come to pray, tourists mostly visit the place to learn about Buddhism. There are lot of things to see here, the most important being the Grand Pagoda that contains a small splinter from the bone of Lord Buddha. The walls of pagoda are beautifully decorated with the images of Buddha and mural pictures that depict the story of Buddha’s life.
• Big Buddha: One of the must-see attractions in Phuket is the Big Buddha, a 45 meter tall statue of the Buddha made with white marble. Sitting on top of the Nakkerd hills, nestled between Chalong Bay and Kata Beach, it is truly a wonderful sight that can be seen from anywhere on the southern part of Phuket. The 360 degree view of the island from the top of the hill is breathtaking, which makes it a favorite spot for many visitors.
• Karon View Point: The Karen view point, previously known as the kata view point is one of the most frequently visited spots in Phuket. Located between Nai Harn and Kata Noi beaches, the place is usually crowded with tourists on a daily basis. The northern panoramic view from Karon features the best of Phuket with scintillating blue sea, white sandy beaches, lush green hillsides and the nearby island (Koh Pu). So if you are visiting Phuket, this is one of the places that you shouldn’t miss.
• Naka Market: For foodies and those who love shopping, the Naka market in Phuket is a paradise. Located just outside Phuket City along Chao Fa West road, near Naka Temple, this lively market offers just about anything you need. The place is full of food stalls, where you get to sample some great street food. Even if you are not planning to buy anything, the Naka market is a place worth a visit.
• Tiger Kingdom: The Tiger kingdom is another attraction in the Kathu region of Phuket, where you get the chance to get up close with real live fully grown tigers. Located next to the Go-Kart race track, just before the hill leading to Patong Beach, this large, clean and well organized place offers several exciting options to the visitors. You can take photographs with different sizes of tigers but the options don’t come very cheap. Everyone who enters the Tiger kingdom will have to pay the full price, irrespective of whether they want to take pictures with the animals or not.
• Bangla Road: Soi Bangla or the Bangla road is the heart of nightlife in Phuket, an absolutely entertaining place and the reason why most tourists keep coming back. As the sun sets, the Bangla road will be closed to traffic and the place transforms into a party hub. There are bars lining both sides of the road and side roads that leads to many entertainment sites with loud music, neon lights, sexy girls, and beer. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Bangla Road is where you should head to.
• Phang Nga Bay: The amazing limestone karsts jutting vertically out of the emerald-green waters of the Andaman sea is the most distinctive feature of Phang Nga Bay, which makes it a must-see place during your Phuket trip. With lagoons, caves, secluded beaches and stunning landscape, the beauty of the place is bound to capture the hearts of nature lovers. James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are the two most famous spots, where you can make boats trips and enjoy the dramatic scenery along the way.
• Phuket Old Town: Phuket Old Town, the provincial capital of Phuket is a historically important town with an abundance of temples, museums, shop-houses, small printing shops and restaurants. Although the town is not very huge, there are plenty of things to see and it is best to explore the town on foot. The town also has a large selection of restaurants where you can stop for something to eat.
• Freedom Beach: Although one of the least accessible of the beaches, the Freedom beach is the considered the best beach in Phuket. With beautiful clear water and soft white sand, the place is surprisingly peaceful and quiet even though it is located very near to the Patong beach, which is the most populated beach in Phuket. Freedom Beach is only accessible by longtail boat, and during the high season months from December to June. If you wish to spend a day relaxing and enjoying the sunny weather, Freedom beach is the right choice.
• Banana Beach: Stunning and almost deserted, Banana Beach, also known as Banana Rock Beach in Phuket is relatively isolated and hence not known to many people. A large beach with shallow clear blue waters, beautiful sand and large palm trees, it is quite surprising why it hasn’t developed like the rest of the island. Banana Beach has fabulously clear water for swimming from November to May but is not suitable for swimming the rest of the year. There is only one restaurant in the beach and it serves some amazing food, the prices are a bit high though.
• Surin Beach: Surin beach, which was once very popular has become a totally desserted beach these days. It used to be a busy spot with numerous restaurants and great beach clubs lined up along a beautiful beach with soft white sand and crystal clear blue water. However, the quality of the beach still makes it one of the must-see places on the island.
• Kata-Noi Beach: If you want to escape from the bustling tourists spots of Phuket and soak in some amazing scenery, then head to the Kata Noi beach. Located just a few minutes away from the Kata beach, the Kata Noi beach is blessed with incredible clear blue water and white sand. There is not much going on around Kata Noi Beach, except for the beach itself and two resorts. You can relax on the beach, take a walk along the soft sands, snorkel, or swim. Come monsoon season (May to October) and the place transforms into a popular spot for surfers, although swimming can be dangerous during this period.
• Nai Harn Beach: This is yet another beautiful beach nestled between the tiny islands and grassy hills. This comparatively peaceful place, which is a popular anchorage for luxury yachts and sailing boats during the high season has only a few hotels including the The Royal Phuket Yacht Club, All Seasons and Le Meridien. A great place for swimming during November to April, you can find Ya Nui further south, which is a sandy cove that attracts snorkelers and divers.
Phuket is an amazing island which offers you a mix of everything, and where you can spend your vacation away from the crowds and enjoy the beauty of nature. For the shopaholics, the island offers numerous shopping centres and department stores, in addition to the roadside stalls and markets. Enjoy your stay in Phuket and make sure you visit all these attractions.