As I was planning for our trip to Phuket, I realised that it was really hard to find information about Phuket that did not include a beach of some sort. As someone who doesn’t enjoy sun tanning, my mission was to explore Phuket with as little ‘lazing around the beach’ as possible. Here’s what I did during my 4 days 3 nights trip in Phuket, hope this helps!
Phuket Travel Information
Connectivity in Phuket
If you want to save on roaming charges and stay connected during your trip to Phuket, I would highly recommend getting a Thailand sim card when you arrive. Book yours online and pick it up when you arrive at the airport at the counter. The sim card only costs 6.50 SGD for 3GB of 4G data during the whole trip. You also get credits to make local calls which can come in handy in case of an emergency.
Getting around Phuket
The best way to get around Phuket, if you are travelling in a group, is to rent a car. We pre-booked our car rental from Skyscanner and picked it up at Phuket airport when we arrived. The pick-up process was easy and we got our car in less than 15 minutes.
The only challenge we faced was parking. It can be quite difficult to get parking spaces if your accommodation does not provide free parking. It was even more difficult for us because we stayed at Patong area where the roads are small and there are close to zero parking lots on the streets. So do check with your accommodation before renting a car in Phuket.
Places to visit & where to eat in Phuket
Day 1: Kata Beach, Karon View Point, Promthep Cape and Patong Street
After checking in, we went straight to our first stop, Kata Beach. Yes, I did say that I didn’t want to laze around on beaches in Phuket, but a trip to Phuket would not be complete without visiting at least one beach on the main island. Still, we ended up staying here for only about 10 minutes. Kata Beach is less crowded compared to Patong Beach so it was not as bad as I thought it would be.
After our short stop at the beach, we drove up to Karon View Point. Even though the space was rather small, this viewpoint gave us a nice view of Kata and Patong Beach. It was also easy to get to with our rented car.
Right before sunset, we moved on to the next viewpoint where we wanted to catch the golden hour – Promthep Cape. Promthep Cape is a popular spot to catch the sunset and I would advise you to come and secure a spot at least 30 minutes before the sun actually sets. We arrived about 20 minutes before and we barely managed to get a good spot. If you want to sit comfortably, bringing a picnic mat would be helpful too. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy on the day that we visited and we did not really get to enjoy the amazing sunset Promthep Cape is known for.
We chose to eat at No 6 Restaurant for dinner on our first day. We have heard of No 6 Restaurant prior to our trip but we saw a few ‘No 6 Restaurants’ along our drive back. We weren’t exactly sure which one was the ‘right’ restaurant but the one we decided to try was the one with the longest queue near the entrance of Bangla Street.
Most dishes were around 100 to 150 THB (4 to 6 SGD) which was pretty cheap. I wouldn’t say the food tasted amazing but it was definitely good Thai food. What stood out to me was their garlic fried pork and seafood tom yum soup.
After dinner, we took a stroll through Bangla Street all the way to Patong Beach. Bangla Street is the perfect spot for those who want to experience the wild nightlife in Phuket but it wasn’t our cup of tea. As we walked past the street, there were many promoters trying to bring us to their ‘shows’ or into the clubs around. We simply ignored them and walked straight to the end of the street before heading back to our hotel to call it a day.
Day 2: The Pad Thai Shop, Big Buddha, Wat Chaithararam and Siam Niramit Show
We started our second day by feasting on some Thai food at The Pad Thai Shop. This food stall may seem unassuming with but don’t judge the shop by how it looks.
In fact, the meal we had at the Pad Thai Shop easily became the best one we had for our whole trip. In fact, we came back for the second time on our last day in Phuket. Not only is the food delicious, but it is also really affordable, starting as low as 50 THB (~2.10 SGD) per dish!
Some dishes that I would recommend trying are the beef or chicken krapow with rice (basil beef or chicken rice), the pad thai and their noodle soup with braised chicken. They also provide free flow soup for everyone to enjoy.
With our happy & filled tummies, we drove to our first stop of the day, the Big Buddha. This iconic spot in Phuket can be seen from many locations around the southern area of the island as it is located on top of a hill. Aside from the nice city view, you can also expect to enjoy cooler temperatures up here. PS, you will need to use the provided scarf to cover up if you’re wearing sleeveless tops or shorts.
Our Thai cultural journey continued at Wat Chaithararam, also known as Wat Chalong. Wat Chaithararam is Phuket’s largest temple that was built in the 1800s. The intricate design & architecture makes it a perfect spot for your gram.
We ended our cultural exploration day with a bang at Siam Niramit. Siam Niramit is not just any cultural show, audiences get to learn & experience the Thai culture for themselves as they walk through the Thai Village which is part of the show’s entrance. You can also enjoy a great selection of international dinner buffet before the show starts. Check out my full review of the Siam Niramit show here.
Day 3: Island hopping tour
Island-hopping is also a must-do when travelling to Phuket. There are many island-hopping day tour providers in Phuket offering trips to Phi Phi Island and other islands around Phang Nga Bay like James Bond Island. While you can book from the tour providers along the streets, we felt it was better (and safer) to book the tour in advance. After contemplating the options, we decided to go for the James Bond Island tour by speedboat. You are able to book the tour online via Trazy or Klook ahead of your trip.
Day 4: Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, Phuket Old Town and Phuket Sunday Market
We started our last day really early at 3am with a drive to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, north of Phuket Island, where you can see the sunrise & beautiful views of the islands at Phang Nga Bay. We came across this location from a video on Youtube and decided to add it to our list of things to do in Phuket. The drive from Patong area took around 1.5 hours, so it’ll be hard to get there without your own car.
After the long drive, we embarked on a short hike up to the viewpoint. The walk up took around 20-30 minutes to complete so it wasn’t really intense but it will be good if you come prepared in comfortable shoes. I would also recommend applying some mosquito & insect repellent before you start.
The view at the viewpoint was quite rewarding. The sun slowly rising behind the islands, illuminating the sky slowly. I only wished we prepared some snacks for breakfast at the top.
After a quick meal at The Pad Thai Shop (I wasn’t kidding when I told you we went back) and a few hours of rest back at the hotel, we continued our day at Phuket Old Town.
Phuket Old Town is home to many unique cafes and one of them is Torry’s Ice Cream Boutique. We tried out one of their signature dishes, the A-Pong with coconut milk ice cream (95 THB). It was tasty and unique, so if you have some time to kill, try it out!
Thankfully we came on a Sunday and at 4pm, Phuket Old Town’s main street was transformed to a jam-packed night market. The Phuket Sunday Market is the largest night market on the island. There’s a huge variety of stores selling goods, street food and art services. I would highly recommend visiting this market if you are around on a Sunday.