Places of Interest
Phuket Interesting Places
Thailand’s tropical island paradise,
draws large crowds into South East Asia with its alluring
combination of breathtaking natural beauty, inspiring temples,
renowned hospitality, mouth-watering cuisine and ruins of
mysterious ancient kingdoms.
is home to more than 20 scenic white-sand beaches, clear
sea waters, jungles with whispering waterfalls cascading
into rock pools, coral reefs rich in marine life as well
as dozens of inviting islands waiting to be explored. All
these have made Phuket a popular water sports destination
where adventurers can indulge in scuba diving, yachting,
waterskiing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and parasailing.
The island’s excellent weather patterns and mesmerising
landscape are the main reasons why many movie directors
have used its magical shores to shoot their blockbuster
films. Phang Nga Bay, situated to the north-east of Phuket,
was the preferred filming location for two James Bond stories.
Apart from its stunning beaches, Phuket
boasts paddy fields, rubber plantations and orchid farms
carpeting the countryside. The city streets are dotted with
quaint shops, colourful department stores, a few flea markets
and even Sino-Portuguese shop-houses, remnants of the island’s
heritage. Phuket bubbles with exciting activity, ranging
from horse-riding, jungle-walking, dancing, elephant-trekking
to playing golf. Several deluxe Phuket hotels offer ‘in-house’
entertainment options, including the above as well as their
own gymnasiums and saunas. Enjoying Phuket is not only for
the rich and famous, but for everyone. Phuket invites the
world to experience the delight of a holiday in the paradise
of South East Asia.
Patong has suffered from a lot of
negative publicity in recent years for being over-developed
and its hedonistic party scene. However, the majority of
visitors to Phuket still choose to spend their time in Patong
and for good reason. Patong has much to offer and despite
its reputation for naughty nightlife, Patong is also very
popular with families.
Patong Beach is the most popular beach in Phuket. Patong Beach is almost
long and has a beautiful white sand and crystal clear water
to swim in. Patong Beach it
self is in a oval formation set in the middle of two green
Patong is the most famous - some would
say infamous - beach resort on Phuket.
With its wide variety of activities and nightlife, Patong
is an ideal place to party and play.
Visitors hoping for a glimpse into the exotic East will
likely not find it here among the McDonald's, KFC, Boots
and Starbucks outlets, though the steaming hot streets,
neon lights and chaotic atmosphere of Patong can be overwhelming
for the new arrival. The key to full enjoyment of the place
is to pace yourself, drink
lots of water and learn the meaning of 'mai pen rai' - which
translates roughly to 'It doesn't matter' or 'Don't worry,
By day, Patong's curved sandy bay is a hive of activity
with parasail and jet-ski operators, boat drivers, beach
vendors and masseuses all vying for the attention of the
many visitors relaxing on the beach chairs.
Those looking for more to do than sunbathe can try their
hand at diving, sailing, elephant-trekking, ATV-riding,
Harley Davidson tours, sea canoeing, bungy jumping, water-skiing
and more, all of which can be arranged at the many tour
desks set up around town and in the hotels. And those needing
some pampering can indulge themselves with a relaxing massage,
spa or beauty treatment.
Activities on the beach include
Thai traditional massage, parasailing, water jets and sailing.
Take a longtail boat tour to Freedom Beach and enjoy the
snorkelling. The longtail boats depart from the south side
of Patong Beach.
There are all types of accommodations available in Patong
all from cheap guesthouses to 5 star hotels. The number
of hotels and rooms are growing rapidly so does the city
The nightlife is what most people think about when they
think about Patong you can find any thing here you can be
sure on that their will always be some place that suites
you and your evening, nightlife interests.
is a Muslim fishing village north of Patong. Tourist development
on the beach much of which is covered by a Muslim graveyard
and a police outpost has been slow in coming.Buffalo herds
still come down to the beach to cool off in the afternoon.
The beach is beautiful and about 2 kms. in length. There
are accommodation ranging from guesthouse to international
class, and a number of small
Thai restaurants specializing in seafood for
the tourist. Kamala is the perfect place to get away from
it all and has a little to offer in the way of entertainment
for that go across the mountains to Patong. Regular bus
service to and from Phuket Town during daytime; tuk-tuk
service available to Patong, 5kms. away on the new road.
This well-enclosed bay and fishing
village surrounded by forested hills is one of the
most beautiful beaches in Phuket.
Tranquil and calm, the pretty white sands of Kamala beckon
most people by day, but if you're seeking more than sunbathing
on a perfect beach, there are other options. Hire a long-tail
boat and go snorkeling at the north end of the beach, explore
the neighbouring beaches of Laem Sing or Surin, or take
an island tour.
Karon, featuring an incredibly long
stretch of squeaky white sand, is less hectic than Patong
but it still offers a full range of facilities, dining and
activities. While it's a fast-growing area, Karon is nicely
spread out and rarely feels crowded.
At 4km, Karon is one of Phuket's
longest beaches. Although there are a few
large resorts and hotels, they are spread out and the area
feels very relaxed. As in Patong, the hotels
are separated from the beach by a road.
However, unlike Patong, the beach is always fairly quiet.
The beach itself is quite exposed, with little or no natural
shade. The sand is so fine and powdery that it squeaks when
you walk on it.
Karon is concentrated around three main areas. In the Karon
Plaza area on the south end there a number of budget guesthouses,
restaurants and bars. The side sois are worth
exploring, particularly the one that leads to a small art
community, where some budding Thai painters have built a
complex of huts, pubs and art galleries in which they live
and work. Nearby, on the beach road leading to Kata, is
the newly opened football stadium, which hosts both local
and international sporting
The sprawling grounds of Thavorn Palm
Beach Resort and the Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa dominate
much of the central part of Karon, then just north of these
is Aroona Plaza. Aroona, which opened a few years ago, houses
a range of nice handicraft shops, good restaurants
and cafes, a few bars and a hotel modeled after the Sino-Portuguese
architecture of Old Phuket. The nice, wide avenue is ideal
for taking an evening stroll and doing some shopping.
The north end features the Karon Circle, which has sculptures
of workers commemorating Phuket's tin-mining and agricultural
past. The busy Patak East Rd leading back from the circle
is a jumble of bars, restaurants,
all kinds of shops and small hotels. While Karon's nightlife
is more subdued than Patong, the bars along this road can
get lively and loud in the evenings. Just north of the circle
is a small lake, around which a public park and outdoor
theatre are being developed.
Unlike Patong Beach, big-name restaurants
and fast food chains have yet to arrive in Karon, but it
is by no means lacking in dining options. The restaurants
of the larger resorts offer gorgeous settings and fine food,
while the streets are clogged with a range of seafood,
Thai and Western restaurants. For a spectacular sunset view,
drive just a few minutes' north of the beach and stop in
at one of the cliffside restaurants
up the hill.
The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few
minutes south of Karon Beach, entices many with its white
sands and clear waters.
The monsoon season of May-October
can make for rough swimming conditions, but it's this time
of year that the surfers come out. The south end of the
beach is the best place to watch, or join in on, the surfing
action. Rentals are available for those who leave their
boards at home.
Late in the year as the waters turn calm, Kata bay becomes
populated with beautiful
yachts, which arrive from all over the region to compete
in December's King's Cup
Regatta, Asia's premier sailing event.
While Club Med takes up most of the beachfront, a shaded
footpath along the road fronting the resort makes for a
pleasant stroll. Continuing on through the village, walkers
will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir
and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-11 and local mini-marts,
to name brand fashion stores. There are also plenty of dive
shops and tour operators to assist those looking to explore
beyond the beach..
Steak and seafood
seem to be the most common offerings of Kata's many restaurants.
Most roadside restaurants display their
selection of lobsters, tiger prawns and plump fish right
in front of their shop for all to see - and for diners to
handpick. There's no shortage of Thai restaurants, and for
international fare there's Scandinavian, Tex-Mex, Indian
and Italian places to choose from, just to name a few.
Among the hotels and bungalows available in Kata, Mom Tri's
Boathouse boutique resort offers the most elegant option,
not to mention an award-winning wine cellar at its restaurant.
Rawai Beach is 17 kms south of Phuket
Town along Highway number 4024, site of a Chao
Ley or Sea Gipsy village, a community of formerly nomadic
fishing folk with their own language. Many of the young
man have changed to land-based employment. Rawai Beach is
a great place to dine tasty sea food at 1 of the many out
door restaurants along
the beach. Their are many shell handicraft shops and hand
painted batik shops.
The waters are okay for swimming, snorkelling on the reefs
off shore. Rawai Beach is
somewhat rocky and inferior to the cleaner beaches at Karon,
Kata and Patong, but Rawai
Beach is safe to swim all year around since their is no
riptides or undertows during the
monsoon season. Rawai beach is popular with Thai families
and it is many foreign scuba enthusiasts.
Rawai is 7 km west of Chalong Circle. Along the beach road
their are many restaurants
serving good seafood to even better prices! This is a perfect
place to spend a late afternoon having a dinner looking
at all the movement on the beach. You sit under some trees
so you have shadow and a light breeze from the Andanamen
...In the days before Phuket became a popular holiday destination,
Rawai Beach was where locals from Phuket Town would come
to enjoy the seaside. These days, the beach itself is not
that nice with many small boats anchored off the shore,
although it is safe to swim all year round due to its position
facing Phang Nga Bay.
On the other side of the cape from Nai Harn beach is Rawai
Beach, a very casual place with only a few bungalow operations,
and smaller resorts along the main beach.
Rather than a place to sunbathe and swim, Rawai is a launching
point for island excursions. Many longtail boats available
for hire line its shores, where you can arrange a trip to
Coral Island, Koh Lone or Racha Island,or a fishing or snorkel
Rawai was once a popular spot for beachfront dining,
but all the open-air restaurants have now been cleared away.
Some are still open, but they are set back opposite the
road that lines the beach - so it's more difficult to enjoy
the view. Nikita's restaurant and bar still remains on the
beach, tucked into one corner. Good place for a cool drink
in the afternoon or evening.
Just west of Rawai is Promthep Cape (Laem Promthep) a small
peninsula that provides a great sunset viewpoint over the
ocean beyond. Great views over the whole area can be seen
from The Mangosteen Resort, located in an elevated area
Bang Tao Bay
is a large open bay with one of Phuket's longest beaches.
It was once used for tin mining, but has since been developed
into a luxury resort. Most of it is occupied by the Laguna
complex, a massive five-hotel development with golf course.
There are, however, accommodations available outside Laguna
at the bay's south end. Dry season swimming is excellent,
and at the bay's north end is a smaller bay, almost completely
enclosed, at the mouth of which is some fine coral. Plenty
of places to eat,
tour companies, and other tourist facilities available either
at Laguna or in the nearby town of Cherng Talay.
Bang Tao is a study in contrasts, with the luxurious resorts
and villas along its
8-kilometre stretch of beach just a few minutes' away from
the town of Cherng Talay,
where many villagers still make their living as their ancestors
did - by fishing, farming and rubber tapping. The northern
tip of the beach, so far untouched by development, is still
an area where visitors might find that they have the beach
A wide range of activities - including a ropes course and
rock climbing, windsurfing, elephant riding and kids' sports
- is available for guests of Laguna's Sheraton Grande, Dusit
Laguna, Laguna Beach, Allamanda and Banyan Tree Phuket resorts,
and some are open to outside visitors as well. Play a round
of golf at the Laguna Phuket
course, practise your swing on the driving range nearby
or go horseback riding along the beach. Afterwards, indulge
in a massage and spa treatment at the world renowned Banyan
Tree spa or at other retreats nearby.
Some of the island's best finds for antiques and other treasures
can be found at Laguna's Canal Village and in the rows of
shops just outside the Laguna entrance. The open-air village
markets are also worth visiting, if only to take in the
sights and sounds of a typical Thai bazaar. While there
are many fine dining options within Laguna's resorts, a
decent range of bars and restaurants have also sprung up
down the road in recent years to cater to the increasing
number of visitors to the area.
Other Interesting Places
Old buildings of Sino- Portuguese or Chinese architecture
town. Build by the Chinese merchants during
the tin mine booms of the 19th century this town has old
charms and lots of history that dates back way before the
early Chinese and Portuguese traders entered Phuket. Some
of these structures are privately owned and off limits to
visitors. However a number of the old buildings are open
to visitors including old public places such as the Provincial
Hall, Phuket Courthouse, and the Nakhon Luang Thai Bank
Phuket's main aquarium has recently undergone an extensive
renovation which took about two and a half years.
One of the highlights of the new aquarium is a 10 metre
long underwater glass tunnel.
The aquarium is quite small and you'd be hard pressed to
spend more than an hour there, though you get your monies
worth as the entrance fees are very low. Nevertheless, its
well laid out and the labels and information
are in English as well as Thai. If you are interested in
diving, a trip to the aquarium will provide a good introductory
course to the marine life found in the waters around Phuket.
As Thailand's major marine biological research station,
the centre conducts research on tropical reef ecosystems,
commercial fisheries, and other projects. The centre also
hatches and breeds species of endangered sea turtles
in order release them back into the sea.
08.30 am - 04.00 pm
Adults: 100 Baht
Children: 50 Baht
The Mokkens or Chao Leh, (sea-gypsies) to this day lives
along the coastal areas in the village of Rawai and Sapam.
They are said to be among the earliest permanent residents
of Phuket. An annual event
called the Boat Floating
festival takes place during the middle of the
sixth and eleventh lunar months yearly. This event sole
purpose is to chase away evil and bring good fortune to
the sea-gypsies. The sea-gypsies of Rawai and Sapam hold
their ceremonies on the 13th day. The ceremony takes place
at night and is highlighted with the setting adrift of small
boats, similar to the Thai festival of Loi Krathong.
Built in a southern architectural style, Phuket's national
museum possesses and display ancient artifacts from Phucket's
as well, display details of the famous Battle of Thalang.
It also holds a considerable amount of
information about daily life of the early Phuket
inhabitants, their culture and belief. Located just east
of the two Heroines Monument on Pa Khlok Rd. Open daily
from 9.00am till 4.00pm. Close on national holidays.
09.00 am - 04.00 pm
Phra Nang Sang
The temple enshrines a most respected and valued Buddha
image called Phra Thong or the golden Buddha, the only solid
gold half image Buddha in Thailand. The Buddha image was
covered over with plaster after invading Burmese troops
unsuccessfully tried to dig it up. There is also a museum
on the temple ground, which exhibits a collection of historical
objects. Wat Phra Thong is just passed Talang off Thepkasatri
road. Proper clothing must be worn when visiting Wat or
temples, no short shorts, no reviling clothing and remember
to remove your shoes before entering.
Phra National Park
The National park is actually Phuket's virgin rain forest,
which is positioned in the northern part of the island.
It sustains an amazing variety of plants birds and animals.
Take pleasure in a leisurely walk in the park, as an 8-kilometer
trek from Bang Pai goes all the way through to Ton Sai or
visit Tonsai waterfall.
Guides are readily available in the park to escort upon
request. A small museum and
information center are situated close to the
waterfall. This is a great opportunity for nature lovers
and those wishing to experience the forest and all its beauty.
Opening hours are from 6.00am till 6.00pm Take note: Close
shoe is highly recommended when visiting the national park,
do not wear sandals or open shoes.
06.00 am - 06.00 pm
by Tourism Authority of Thailand