Things To Do Around Phuket
What to do in Phuket, on your non-diving days? If you'd like to be out on the water, there are many options for exploring the beautiful islands around Phuket. Avoiding the 'obvious' tours to James Bond island and Phi Phi means that you will get away from the crowds and therefore discover hidden coves and beaches. You will pay a little more for the best experience, but you won't regret it.
Maybe you'd prefer to stay on dry land, or if the weather makes that a necessity, you can still have a fabulous day. From taking a hike up Big Buddha hill, to marveling at the most beautiful lady-boys at Simon Cabaret, Phuket certainly has something to offer everyone!
Please avoid any attractions or activities that involve animal cruelty. If you're not sure, please feel free to contact us for our opinion. To open our contact page in a new window click here.
Here is a selection of our favourites.
Boat Tours for Sightseeing, Snorkeling and Relaxing
There are countless boat tours sold through tour desks around Phuket. Many of them visit the same spots, at the same time and leave you feeling like just another tourist in the crowd. If you want something different, a day to remember for years to come, a different perspective on Phuket, then La Moet are the people you're looking for.
Their boat, named, naturally, Champagne, is comfortable and cute, and runs some really well thought out itineraries to Phang Nga Bay, Phi Phi and around Phuket itself. Their crew are second-to-none for fabulous service, enthusiasm and local knowledge.
For a special occasion you can charter the boat for a reasonable price.
Contact La Moet directly by clicking on the picture here to go through to their website.
Explore Phuket by Stand Up Paddle Boarding SUP
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has become more and more popular around the world in recent years. Phuket is perfect for this nature-lovers' activity, for beginners and experienced paddle boarders alike.
There are so many diverse ecosystems here. You can explore mangrove forests in Phang Nga Bay, without the noise of engines to scare away wildlife. Around Phuket there are countless jungle-fringed beaches and dramatic boulder-strewn islands to to discover.
Paddle Phuket offer a variety of destinations and itineraries to suit your experience, or lack of it! They require a minimum of two people to confirm a booking and they will tailor your trip to you.
Contact Paddle Phuket directly by clicking on the picture here.
Snorkeling Around Phuket’s Beaches
Just about every beach around Phuket can be great for snorkeling.
Most beaches will reward you with beautiful fishes and even some corals if you stick to the fringes. Walk to the very end of the beach and just follow the rocks into the water. It's a safe bet that you'll start to see colourful fish even when you're only in up to your ankles!
The best snorkeling is at the North end of Kata beach, but it's not as easy to find the reef here as it is on the other beaches. You do need to know how to find it., but once you know, it's easy! We can explain it in minutes.
If you'd like to check out some of the islands around Phuket, take a longtail. Our favourite half day snorkeling and beach time trip is at Koh Bon. This is a small island off Rawai. Take a taxi to Rawai pier and find your longtail there. It will take about 20 minutes to reach Koh Bon where you will find a restaurant and hardly any body else on the beach.
Remember to agree a price before getting in the boat. And don't pay your longtail captain until you get back to Rawai!
If you don't already own your own snorkeling equipment, you'll find vendors on many beaches renting out masks and snorkels. But if you want decent quality, it's best to buy your own.
Animal Sanctuaries, NOT Animal Shows
If you're a little unsure about whether something involves cruelty, look for the word "show". That generally means that the welfare of the animals is not the first priority. Anything that involves tigers is no longer considered ethical. It's now understood that elephants should not be ridden, dolphins do not belong in tanks and the critically endangered slow loris belongs in the wild, not on a selfie.
Happily there are people on Phuket who are putting the animals first by doing amazing work rehabilating and providing a sanctuary. Many of these animals have spent a lifetime in appalling misery, being used to entertain uninformed tourists.
If you're going to visit anywhere that involves animals, there are only two that we recommend: Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. They are both doing fantastic work. They both need and deserve support. Please support these fantastic initiatives.
A spectacular display of glamour, comedy and choreography, Simon Cabaret, opened in 1991 and is still going strong, with shows every evening.
It's a must-see while you're in Phuket and you can buy tickets at any tour desk, anywhere on the island.
Accommodation: Hotels and Guesthouses in Kata/Karon Beach Phuket
There are so many booking sites for accommodation these days, so it can seem daunting finding the right place for you. Online reviews can only go so far to giving you an accurate picture of the place you're booking. And to add to the confusion, accommodation in Phuket is an ever-changing market, therefore the guesthouse that you stayed in last year may have changed management, and the quality might have gone downhill fast.
We work hard to keep up with these changes. We listen to our divers' opinions of the places they stay. So we keep an up-to-date picture of what's going on in the market.
We've put together a list of the most noteworthy hostels, hotels and guesthouses based on real experiences of real people.
These are around Kata and Karon beaches on Phuket Island, conveniently near our dive center at 143/3 Patak Road in Kata.
If you have any questions, or would like our opinion on somewhere that you're looking at, please call +66 848 504 314 or use the quick contact form below:
Hostels and Guesthouses
|Fantasy Hill Bungalow||Kata||+66 76 330 106|
|Kata Beach Homestay||Kata||+66 93 574 8586|
|Camp Hostel||Kata||+66 64 765 6558|
Medium Range Guesthouses/Hotels
|Da Bungalows||Kata||+66 89 288 8214|
|Two Chefs Inn||Kata||+66 76 284 155|
|Rico’s Bungalows||Kata||+66 76 333 459|
|Kata On Sea Bungalows||Kata||+66 61 990 4645|
Top Range Hotels/Resorts
|Centara Kata Resort||Kata||+66 76 370 300|
|Sawasdee Village||Kata||+66 76 330 979|
|Karona Resort & Spa||Karon||+66 76 286 406|
|Mövenpick Resort & Spa||Karon||+66 76 396 139|
|Beyond Resort Kata||Kata||+66 76 360 300|
|Marina Phuket Resort||Kata/Karon||+66 76 330 625|