Phuket Tours

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The 10 Best Phuket Tours

1

Phuket's Big Buddha Tour

The famous Big Buddha is included on many Phuket city tours. This seated Buddha is made from dazzling white marble and at 45 meters tall it's enormous. The Buddha is one of the top attractions in Phuket and should be at the top of your to-do list.

Big Buddha sits on a ridge in Kata overlooking the Phuket province – the 360-degree views from here are incredible. To reach the statue you can drive up the hill or hike along a steamy jungle trail if you fancy an adventure.

Once at the statue, your guide will share some of the history of Big Buddha. It was built through donations from benefactors around the world and took 14 years to construct. Keep an eye out for the seven golden Buddha statues at the base – one for every day of the week.

Phuket tours to Big Buddha often take in Wat Chalong and the scenic Karon viewpoint too. It's a long day out but you'll pack lots of sightseeing in.

2

James Bond Island Boat Tour

There are lots of Phuket boat tours to enjoy if you want to explore the islands and coast around the province. The most famous destination is James Bond Island. It was used as a filming location for "The Man with the Golden Gun" back in 1974.

James Bond Island is known locally as Khao Phing Kan and lies in the northeast of Phuket in Phang Nga Bay. It's a small islet, with striking limestone cliffs that are covered in lush forest foliage. You'll also see the towering rock pinnacle of Ko Ta Pu nearby.

On your boat trip, you'll cruise around the island before landing on the beach. There will be plenty of time to explore – just don't expect to find the secret door to Scaramanga's lair.

You'll also have the chance to visit other picturesque spots in the region, including Hong Island and the Koh Panyee fishing village. These Phuket tours are some of the most popular around, so be sure to book well in advance.

3

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary Experience

For centuries, elephants have been an integral part of Thai life, but unfortunately, they have not always been well treated. As a result, several sanctuaries have sprung up across the region, to care for the animals who have worked so hard.

The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is one of the most ethical and a great chance for you to see the animals interacting in the wild. You can get hands-on with feeding the elephants while learning about their hard lives in the logging and tourist trades. 

Visits to the sanctuary can last between 1.5 hours and a couple of days, depending on how long you want to stay. Most people visit on an organized tour. You'll find out about the conservation efforts being carried out across Thailand while you stroll through the grounds with your guide. 

Some of the longer tours include a delicious Thai lunch. At the end of your visit, you might even be allowed to wash the elephants. Make sure to bring a dry set of clothing!

4

Snorkeling Day in Phi Phi Islands

Snorkeling is one of life's greatest pleasures, and there's nowhere better to do it than in the Phi Phi Islands. Several Phuket tours leave each day by boat for these dreamy islands, which are among the prettiest in the region. Lying between Phuket and the Straits of Malacca, Phi Phi comprises six islands that are teaming with life both above and below water.

On these Phuket snorkeling excursions, you'll discover colorful coral reefs and shoals of tropical fish swimming around this enchanting underwater realm. No snorkeling experience is needed, so it's great fun for all the family. 

You'll do some beach and island hopping, stopping to snorkel in several different spots. Highlights include Maya Bay, with its turquoise water and limestone cliffs. These shores were made famous by "The Beach" movie which was filmed here back in 2000.

You'll be treated to lunch on the boat between your snorkel sessions, with the island scenery as a backdrop. Alternatively, you can choose to eat at one of the Phi Phi hotels instead. 

5

Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay

Get close to nature and explore under your own steam on a kayaking tour around Phang Nga Bay. This is a relaxing and beautiful way to explore the limestone islands and beaches in the Phuket region. Don't worry if you haven't been in a kayak before, you'll be with an expert guide throughout your trip. 

Your day begins with a boat ride out into the bay. These excursions often stop at places like James Bond Island before the adventure truly begins. It's now time to jump into that kayak and start exploring.

You'll paddle alongside the limestone cliffs, feeling the gentle sway of the deep blue sea. Watch your head as you glide through caves where you can admire an impressive collection of stalactites. Mangrove forests are next on the itinerary and seeing them from the water level is a mesmerizing experience. 

Before the end of your mini-expedition, you can stop at the Koh Panyee floating village to learn about life in this traditional fishing community. Enjoy a swim to cool off in the afternoon sun. 

6

Coral Island Cruise from Phuket

Just a short distance from Phuket lies a tiny island known for its coral reefs. You can reach Coral Island by boat on one of the many Phuket tours that leave from the mainland. This trip is all about the ocean, so be prepared to get wet!

After a short boat ride through the bay, you'll arrive at your destination. You can travel by speedboat for a fast journey, or by catamaran for something a little more leisurely. Longtail boat trips are also available for an authentic local experience. 

Famous for its water activities, Coral Island is the place to go for snorkeling, parasailing and even sea walking. Banana boat rides are also on offer if you're looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush. 

If you prefer to just swim in the crystal-clear waters and soak up the sun, that's fine too. Loungers are set up on the beach so bag your spot for the afternoon and settle in. Lunch is served on board the boat before the return journey to Phuket.

7

Hanuman Zipline Adventure

Fly like a bird through the Hanuman rainforest and see Phuket from a new vantage point. This one's for the thrill-seekers who feel the need for speed and want a close-up look at nature at the same time.

Hold on tight as you make your way along the treetop walkways and zoom along multiple ziplines through the forest canopy. Ziplining in Phuket isn't for the faint-hearted but professional guides make sure it's family-friendly.

There are 16 zip lines to navigate at this state-of-the-art park, which is the biggest of its sort in Thailand. You'll climb to high platforms before launching yourself off into the forest. Don't forget to admire the views as you hurtle past.

Want to test your bravery even more? Then take on the High-Speed Roller Zipline which propels you at speeds of up to 40 kilometers an hour on a gravity-defying ride. You can have a go at abseiling too and enjoy the forest panoramas from up on the Sky Walk.

8

Scuba Diving in Racha Islands

If you're into scuba diving or want to give it a go for the first time, these Phuket tours will show you a good time. The Racha Islands are famed for their superb diving conditions, with plenty to discover beneath the ocean waves. 

The two Racha Islands are located just 30 minutes by boat off Phuket's coast. Despite their proximity to the shore, the islands feel a world away from the bustle of the resorts. Sandy beaches and lush vegetation make the Racha Islands a dream to explore. 

Marine life in the Racha Islands is abundant, so if you have an underwater camera, do take it! The calm waters around Koh Racha Noi are perfect for beginner divers who want to swim with multicolored fish. This will be your first stop. 

Fuel up with lunch on the boat before heading to Koh Racha Yai for another dive. Experienced divers can descend deeper than novices. Down in the depths you'll discover shipwrecks which are now home to a vibrant array of marine life. 

9

Khai Islands Day Trip from Phuket

If there's one thing that Phuket is good at, it's islands! On these Phuket tours, you'll be exploring three different islands – Khai Nok, Khai Nai and Khai Nui. This trio is known for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters and exotic sea life. 

You'll head out to the Khai Islands on a boat trip from Phuket, armed with swimming gear and snorkels. Both half- and full-day tours are available.

First up is Khai Nok, which has a big beach and plenty of clear water for enjoying a dip. Relax on the shore, buy souvenirs or wander along the sandbank and soak up the rays. Next is a visit to the larger Khai Nai, which is a picturesque spot for a swim and a sunbathe. 

Then it's on to Khai Nui, which is known for its thriving coral reef. You can jump in the water for a snorkel session to discover the magical marine world down below. It's a small island but one of the most beautiful in the region. 

10

Phuket Thai Cuisine Cooking Class

One of the reasons why visitors love Thailand so much is the food. The cuisine here is much more than just Phad Thai and fried rice, and you might be surprised at what you discover during your trip.

If you want to dig deeper into the Thai food scene, then taking a cooking class is a fun way to spend a few hours. You'll learn traditional recipes from an expert chef and enjoy an immersive introduction to local dishes. Just make sure you go with an empty stomach.

Some experiences begin with a trip to the market to buy fresh ingredients. You might even get to taste a morsel or two while you wander around. Then it's time to head to the kitchen and begin the hard work.

During your lesson, you'll prepare a whole meal from scratch, following the guidance of your tutor. Expect to be rustling up things like Thai green curry and sticky mango rice. And the best bit? Eating your creations at the end – yum!

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Guide

Planning your visit to Phuket

Discover our complete guide to visiting Phuket.

About Phuket

Lying around 725 kilometers south of Bangkok, Phuket sits on the Andaman Sea and is the largest island in Thailand. The Phuket province is one of the most popular destinations in the country, rivaling Bali in Indonesia for pole position in the tourism stakes. Phuket is well-placed for adventures in the wider region, including island hopping and beach breaks.

Good to know before arriving

Most people stay at a beach resort in Phuket, although there are accommodation options in the town too. Kata Beach is popular with couples and families looking for great facilities and a relaxed vibe. For a bit more peace, head to lesser-known beaches like Bang Tao or Nai Thon. 

Places and experiences that cannot be missed

Unmissable Phuket tours include visiting James Bond Island, making new friends at the Elephant Sanctuary and popping over to beautiful Phi Phi. You can also visit some of the traditional restaurants or take a Phuket food tour to get a handle on local cuisine. Snorkeling and scuba diving in Phuket are great too and should be on everyone's travel itinerary to the area.

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