Phuket really does have something to offer everyone, whether you’re looking to get close to nature, just relax and take it easy, or get a spiritual fix, it’s all here. A little bit of planning will help to make the most of your time here, so you can divide your time between activities. Half-day tours are a great way to do this, especially if you’re only here for a short period of time, or maybe you have a late flight home and you’d like your last day to be special.
An organised trip is a great way to cover a lot of ground in a short space of time, especially if you choose carefully, as those in the know can steer you clear of the crowds, it’s a popular place after all. So whether you’re after a look at some history and culture, or you want to check out the amazing nature of the place, let’s have a look at the list of the best half-day tours in Phuket I’ve put together for you.
Thailand’s got loads of stunning places to visit, and Khai Nui is definitely one of ’em. If you’re planning a trip, make sure you take a dip in the sea at Khai Nai and see what kinda creatures you can spot! Got a waterproof camera? Bring it along and snap some pics of the underwater wildlife. It’ll be well worth it!
Visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary is a must-do when in Phuket. Interacting with these magnificent animals will be a highlight of your trip. Visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket offers a unique opportunity to learn about elephant behaviour and the significance of elephants in Thai culture. Additionally, you can get to know the personal stories of each elephant and understand how they came to be living in the sanctuary.
Coral Island, also known as Koh Hae or Ko He, is a tropical paradise located 3 km southeast of Phuket. The island boasts two main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach, both offering unique experiences. Snorkelling at Banana Beach is a must-do activity, while the coral reef at Long Beach is a sight to behold. The island is tranquil at night but can get crowded during the day, but quieter areas can be found at the ends of both beaches. Visitors can rent deck chairs and sun loungers, but these are often provided on day tours. Coral Island Resort typically includes lunch on their day tours, while solo travellers can find several restaurants on the island.
Wat Chalong is a big ol’ temple in Phuket that lots of people like to visit, whether they’re there to worship or just have a look around. It’s got a really interesting history and there’s even a special religious relic on the grounds. It’s a pretty important place for both religion and for being patriotic. The Big Buddha Phuket is pretty hard to miss, right? It’s built on a bit of untouched rainforest on Khao Nakkerd Hill, which is pretty high up on Phuket.
It’s a massive statue, standing at 148’(45 m) tall and it’s one of the most famous landmarks on the island, you can see it from most places in the south. And when you’re at the base of the statue, you get an awesome panoramic view of Chalong Bay and Phuket town. On top of that you can visit the Windmill Viewpoint and Phromthep cape. The Windmill Viewpoint is situated between Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches in South Phuket, close to Phromthep Cape. It boasts several tall, white windmills as part of the Promthep Alternative Energy Station. From this hilltop location, you can enjoy similar west-coast views as Phromthep but with less crowds.
Phuket Town is the main hub of the Phuket province and it’s pretty cool in its own right. Even though it’s grown a lot since tourism took off in the late 20th century, it’s still managed to keep a lot of its local charm (apart from the odd traffic jam). The best bit of Phuket City is definitely the Old Town – it’s a 400,000 m2 area, bordered by Dibuk Road to the north, Thepkasattri Road to the east, Rassada Road to the south, and Patiphat Road to the west. The Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market, known as ‘Lard Yai Market’ by locals, is the most sought-after attraction in Phuket Town. This 360 m-long street market has been an instant hit, bringing a much needed event to the historical district of Phuket Town.
The Sunday Market is open every Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm (and sometimes beyond), Thalang Road transforms into a bustling street market.
Tha Chat Chai Phuket Marine National Park Research Center in Mai Khao, located north of Sai Kaew Beach, may appear as just a government office at first glance, but the park offers an exciting tour of its mangrove forest. The park is home to a diverse array of marine and plant life and features informational stands throughout the tour. Visitors can explore the area on their own or book a kayaking tour and learn more about the park by contacting the local officers in advance. On top of that, if you are feeling hungry, Rimpan Seafood is a classic restaurant situated right by the sea. In the past, there were many similar restaurants like this one, featuring a few bamboo huts on the sand, shaded by coconut trees, and a gentle breeze coming from the bay.
Although it may not be the ideal beach for swimming due to the rocky terrain, you can still enjoy walking in the water.
Phuket boasts captivating views that would inspire any landscape painter to grab an easel and brushes. The best part is, you don’t have to travel far to experience them. From sunset viewing spots to 360o panoramas of the southern island, vistas from the top of Phuket Town, and lush tropical views, all can be easily accessed with transportation. On the other hand, Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a sport that has been present in Phuket for a while, but it remains one of the world’s most popular water sports due to its versatile recreational applications.
Learn to cook authentic Thai dishes in Phuket with classes that cater to all skill levels. From basic introductions to intensive master classes, experienced Thai chefs will teach you about ingredients, techniques, and flavour balance. Take home the knowledge of Thai cooking as a lasting souvenir from your Phuket holiday, and enjoy classes that are available year-round and are suitable for the whole family.
So there we go, now you can fill every last minute here with something amazing to do to round off your visit to this beautiful island that I’ve chosen to call home. Obviously lazing on the beach has its place but as you can see there’s so much more to do here than that. And like I said, going on an organised tour is a great way to avoid the crowds, a bit of local knowledge goes a long way!