The Best Phuket Daily Tours

Top 10 Phuket Daily Tours

What are the best daily tours of Phuket? The good thing about Phuket is that there is a lot of things and places to explore. Most of these places are easily accessible. Some thought might require one to engage the services of boats or bus rides. So, for such trips, some planning needs to be done before doing the tours.

Phuket is located amid the world’s most stunning scenery. There are lavish limestone peaks that pop from the bright green Andaman Sea. They also appear in the dense jungles and on land which make Phuket one of the perfect places in Asia that has very great options for day tours.

The famous day tours ones are multi-island boat tours. During these tours you can enjoy the rides in the clear waters in a speedboat or traditional longtail as you feast your eyes on the archipelagos.

Some of the best rated Phuket day trip tours are in Phang Nga Bay which at times also incorporate Phi Phi and Similan Islands which are nearby. At Phang Nga Bay lies a distinguished pinnacle which gained its fame through a James Bond film. The Similan Islands are perfect for diving. All these islands attract lots of tourists.

Besides visiting the beaches and island hoping, Phuket daily tours sometimes include visits to Big Buddha, Chalong Temples and the old streets of Phuket Town. If you are one that loves exploring nature, there are some tours that offer eco adventures to places like Khao Sok National Park where one can see elephants, canoe in the SoK River, take nature walks through the jungle and see monkeys, gibbons, tigers and bears.

Popular Daily Tours of Phuket 

Let’s check out some of the best day trip tours that you need to consider when you visit the Island. 

Phang Nga Bay

When in Phuket, a tour to Phang Nga Bay is a must do. The place is fantastic. The tour can ger pretty busy here and the place is big. There are lots of limestone formations jutting above the waters. The more common island here is the one commonly known as James Bond Island which got its name after a huge pinnacle was featured in the 1974 film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. Most boat tours make a stopover for lunch at the Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee. There is swimming at Naka Island and kayaking. Leave early if you plan to enjoy any of these Phuket Daily Tours peacefully.

Phi Phi Islands

There are six beautiful islands here with dramatic limestone karst formations that jut above the emerald waters. Some of the popular spots here on a phi phi island boat tour are Maya Bay which was made popular when the Leonardo DiCaprio film ‘The Beach’ was filmed there. Koh Phi Phi Don is the other one, packed with resorts. Snorkeling is popular Laem Thong and you can see macaques of Monkey Beach.

Similan Islands

These small islands have beautiful archipelago in the Andaman Sea making the very stunning and this is one of the daily tours of Phuket where you don’t need a professional photographer to take stunning photos. Much as most people prefer day trip tours, a 2-day trip is more ideal as it’s a bit far from Phuket town. That way you can have the morning to enjoy the beaches. At the Similan Islands you can also climb the giant boulders and do some snorkeling. 

Khao Sok National Park

Located 150 km from Phuket, the park is parked with lush greens vegetation, waterfalls, dark blue lakes and waterfalls popping in the planet’s old rainforest. Nature lovers will definitely have a blast here as they enjoy the Sok River, lakes, elephants, kayaking, canoeing and exploring the caves full of bats and many other and many other animals and bird species. 

Coral Island

The locals call it Koh Hae, and its located 6km southeast of Phuket. The place is perfect for snorkelers and beach enthusiasts. You will the Long Beach and Banana Beach with a long stretch of soft, white sand. The people who come for Phuket daily tours to the Coral Island generally feed fish and kayak too. 

Racha Islands

These two islands, Racha Yai and Racha Noi lure big crowds. Racha Yai is the most popular and has a horseshoe-shaped bay and luxury villa-style resort called The Racha. There is a bay, Ao Siam that’s quieter with people snorkelling, swimming and basking. Much as Racha Noi has no tourist infrastructure, it’s perfect for diving.

Khao Lak

With silky golden-sand beaches Khao Lak was affected by the 2004 tsunami. It has been refurbished now and has many upscale resorts and is perfect for families. One of top things to do on such daily tours of Phuket is basking on the beaches lined with lined with coconut palms and rustic cafés. There is a beautiful backdrop of green mountains. It also has 3 national parks to explore as well as bamboo rafting trips.

Mu Ko Similan National Park

This Park hosts eleven uninhabited islands. Its perfect for experienced divers and those who want to get away from the crowded islands. The scenery is stunning so when taking a Similan Islands tour, you can pop in there. It has beautiful turquoise water, smooth granite boulders on the shows and has hiking trails. In the sea are sharks and other fish. Go when the waters are calmer as the winds can get choppy. 

Koh Yao Yai

This is one of the Phuket daily tours that you take a longtail boat. Its oozes a traditional Thai ambience and has quiet, secluded white-sand beaches, Loh Paret and Laem Had which are great for swimming. What gives it the local feel are the rubber plantations, rice fields and coconut trees with the most popular modes of transport being motorbikes and bikes.

Koh Yao Noi

This is a sister island to Koh Yao Yai but it’s slightly more developed. An hour away from Phuket by long tail boat, you get to enjoy the view of Phang Nga Bay. Locals live a traditional life farming and fishing. Visitors come to get away from crowds, learn the local culture and relax on the beaches.

Phuket City Tour

Lately, the city has become fascinating with several historical style streets, ancient Sino-Portuguese mansions – both refurbished and some run down. You can visit local markets and Thai temples. The picturesque streets have shops and small cafes. Its a great exploration experience when the weather isn’t great for the each and you can walk from landmark to landmark as its small.

 

Tachai Island – a Divers Dream

Tachai Island – A divers dream

Koh Tachai is an island in the famous Similan national park in south-west Thailand. The park is popular with tourists and divers – who will still have access to a few dive sites in the area. The place is amazingly full of rocks covered in beautiful corals. Currents are a bit strong and is highly recommended if you are a diver. There are lots of beautiful photography areas.

The shallow waters fringing Tachai have little interest to the many Similan liveaboards that visit the island. Off the south of the island is one of the best dive sites and the dive boats tend to dock there. This means quiet, secluded locations to conduct snorkel activities. The Tachai island is also an important aggregation site for migrating Manta rays which are sometimes spotted off the northern point of the island. If you know where to go, there is a chance to detect other larger marine creatures. In the quieter areas you will sometimes spot reef sharks. A scary thought, but these sharks are afraid of people and pose absolutely no danger.

A Thai Rangers’ camp with basic facilities like toilets and a restaurant allows tourists to enjoy some least amount of comfort. Most of the visitors to Koh Tachai stay on and off the beach to sunbath, swim and snorkel, while the most adventurous try to reach the viewpoint on the west coast of the island that can be reached via a steep path located toward the northern end of the beach.

There are two amazing dive sites at Tachai island, the plateau to the south and the eastern reef. Off the eastern coast, the sheltered shallow waters make for good night dives. Most liveaboards will tether here for the night.

Tachai plateau

It is about 1km southeast of the island. It is named so because it is ringed by a ridge-like coral plateau crowned with hard corals, scattered boulders, sloping from 12 – 35 m to the sandy bottom.  Some of the boulders to the west have formed swim throughs and to the east many smaller rocks covered in sea whips and hard corals. It is best to pay close attention to a dive master’s guide as Koh Tachai island plateau can be challenging at times although the swim-throughs provide shelter from the strong currents. This site is for the experienced diver. Towards the end of the dive, you may see coral-eating Hawksbill turtles, groups of batfish or even the banded sea snake.

Tachai pinnacle 

This is usually done as a drift dive. The strong currents enable the barracudas, sharks etc. to hunt easily for smaller prey. Whether there are current or slack tides, this dive site can be a magical place to find large and small marine life and is often listed as a favorite among the dive professionals. Early morning dives can waken you up from your slumber quite quickly as it can sometimes be a feeding frenzy and you may not know where to look as there are so many fish. Visibility varies on the month and the amount of plankton in the water, between 10-30m. Small frogfish and nudibranch are known to grace these waters.

How to get to the island

The easiest way to get to Tachai island is on a Thailand liveaboard trip to the Similan or Surin Islands, which will depart from either Phuket or Khao Lak. It is worth checking what port you prefer to depart from. Khao Lak is about 100km north of Phuket and can be reached overland. There are international flights into Phuket and / or domestic flights from Bangkok to Phuket. Reachable from Khao Lak in one hour you may find other day boats in the area.

Is Maya Bay open in 2021?

Is Maya Bay open? Maya Bay, which is the most recognizable landmark within the Phi Phi Islands, is one of the most popular and gorgeous beaches in the world. It acquired its fame after the movie by Danny Boyle, “The Beach”, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed there in the year 2000. After the movie was launched, the beach could bring over 5000 tourists every day. 

Why did Maya Bay close?

The movie “The Beach” elevated the status and popularity of Maya Bay as well as the Thai tourism industry as a whole, increasing Maya Bay tours. That said though, such popularity also came with its disadvantages. With lots of tourists visiting the bay for like 19 years, the beach eventually became damaged as it could not sustain the massive tourism.

It was unfortunate when Maya Bay closed temporarily because that severe damage to the bay’s environment. A lot of the coral as well as plants died because of that drastic rise in visitors. So, the Thai authorities were forced to close it to allow for the recovery of the ecology. 

Delays in reopening 

The initial plan was that the bay be closed from 2018 to October 2018. Those few months wouldn’t have been enough for complete rejuvenation of the bay and the park. The marine required more time to recover from the pollution and littering that had been done for years by tourists and boats. The coral on the other hand grows about a centimetre in a year so for the bay to become fully restored, it will take a number of years. Luckily that temporary closure has brought about some positive results. People have started sighting blacktip reef sharks swimming at the bay. 

So can you visit Maya Bay in 2021? 

Is Maya Bay open to the public in 2021 as it had been expected? First off, one of the things that Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat advised the department of National parks in Thailand is that once the bay reopens, it would be prudent to limit the number of visitors and probably ban boats from anchoring at the bay waters.

The proposition is that the visitors access the bay from Loh Samah Bay and trek through Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. There are also plans underway to construct a new Pier on Phi Phi Lee to be the drop off and pick up spot for visitors.

One of things that may have really helped when Maya Bay closed was the COVID-19 travel restrictions to as tourism dropped. As it seems, the bay is still closed. Unfortunately, seeing as the locals heavily rely on the tourism industry, the closure has really put a strain on their livelihoods. Wattana Rerngsamut, head of the local tourism association is proposing a public hearing so that the local people can resume their normal way of earning their living through Maya Bay tours.

The thing is, Maya Bay used to generate about 400 million Baht a year. Much as tourism is a large part of Thailand’s economy as well as for the locals, the ecosystem usually suffers in the process. So, this strain on the ecosystem didn’t really come as a surprise. Maya Bay isn’t the first beach to be closed in the region and it probably won’t be the last either because of excessive tourism.

The thing is, tourism and nature have to compliment one another. So, Thailand authorities are doing their best to strike a balance between preserving nature and tourism. That is why May Bay closed. But the thing is, locals don’t really understand how to conserve the environment and they are not very happy about the closure of the beach.

Top officials are contemplating reopening this famous beach in the country because they have realized that the reopening will give the country’s tourism industry the boost that it requires. The proposal is to limit the number of visitors to say 350 a day. Before the final go-ahead of the reopening is given, the government is consulting environmental experts.

Cause for Optimism 

Is Maya Bay open or opening anytime soon? The thing is, since its closure Maya Bay has recovered tremendously. Conservationists’ efforts have really paid off. The coral nurseries that they planted really thrived in the undisturbed waters during the closure. The fish population has also increased by like 200% in comparison to 2018 and seabirds like egrets and herons have come back to the bay. Much as the beach still remains closed to visitors and boats forbidden from entering the protected turquoise waters of the bay, it’s the hope of both the locals and the Thai authorities that they will open soon and Maya Bay tours resume. 

Golf in Phuket

Golfing in Phuket

If you are planning to golf in Phuket, then you need to know which the best golf courses are because they have very beautiful golf courses. The main issue is which one to golf at. You will definitely be spoilt for choice. 

One thing that makes the golf courses on the island great is that they are designed in a way that gives one a great golfing experience as you enjoy the tropical climate of the island and unique scenery. 

The thing that makes Phuket the best destination for golfing when on holiday is that they have world-class golf courses. Believe me when I say, Phuket is a golfers’ paradise. The golf courses are well manicured. To add more effect to their beauty are the waters and the tropical trees. Most of the golf courses are near hotels so if it’s a family holiday, you don’t have to worry. They can bask on the beach or by the swimming pools. Your only worry should be where to play golf in Phuket?

Luxurious and top-notch customer service come with the golf packages. The standards are set very high. The green grass and vegetation are super green and the holes offer the well needed challenge for experienced players. Some of the ones that are on our list of the best golf courses have hosted world championships and international competitions. So, if you are a golfer on holiday, then Phuket will offer you a memorable golfing experience. 

Check out our best 7 golf courses and choose one that will suit you best.

Red Mountain Golf Club

If you are wondering about where to play golf in Phuket and are looking for the best of the best, the Red Mountain Golf Club has been rated by the people who have played here as Phuket’s number 1 golf course when asked to pick which one was the best course they have played in. Why? The scenery is just breath-taking with the most unique layouts in Thailand. One thing you have to know is that it is also the be the most expensive. But if you can afford it, the golfing experience you will get here is worth every penny and the view alone is breath-taking. The name came from the fact that the course meanders between hills, lakes and ponds.

Blue Canyon Country Club – Canyon Course

This one is a famous championship golf course that hosted the prestigious Johnnie Walker Classic twice where the infamous golfer Tiger Woods won. It is the one of the best golf courses and it has the best layout in Phuket. If you are looking for a challenging course then this will be great for you.

Much as it has the best layout, the conditions aren’t always great. So better check it out first before making a booking.

Blue Canyon Country Club – Lakes Course

The Blue Canyon Country Club, Lakes Course is a sister course to the challenging Blue Canyon Country Club – Canyon Course. This one is the easier one and is perfect for players of all levels. So, if say you are new to golfing and are wondering where to play golf in Phuket you should consider this course. That said though it is also has enough challenges for average golfers too. Compared to the Canyon Course, this one is always in good condition. As the name goes, it has plenty of water hazards, canyons, and ponds. You will also have to avoid some rubber trees when playing.

Laguna Golf Phuket

This is the most popular resort golf course. It is located in the middle of Laguna hotel and resort complex near Bangtao beach. Initially it was quite boring and flat but after some remodelled and re-designed it now provides golfers the much-needed challenge for golfers of all levels with enough bumps and hollows.

It’s not a very long course and its main defence are the strategically sited bunkers and water hazards and the newly shaped greens which have plenty of bumps and hollows which makes putting a challenge. The course has superb facilities and friendly staff.

Phuket Country Club

This is one of the oldest best golf courses in Phuket. Compared to the newer ones, it is pretty short but tremendously popular to both locals and visitors alike and very ideal for experienced handicappers. Initially people used to walk but these days they have buggy tracks for buggies. The landscape is varied – flat mid-section, undulating fairways and with holes closer to the jungle.

Mission Hills Golf Club 

This one was designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus. It is that is the only golf course that has holes beside the sea.  As picturesque as the course is, this can be a bit of a disadvantage during strong winds. There is a fabulous clubhouse with facilities that will meet your expectation. The maintenance of the course has been a challenge and drainage poor during heavy rains. Its best to check its condition before playing.

Loch Palm Golf Club 

If you are looking for where to play golf in Phuket in the easiest way possible. The course is situated in a valley overlooked by jungle-covered hills. There is a huge lake surrounded by the first few holes. Once you are through with the first holes or can avoid them, things get easier. Most holes aren’t so exhilarating but they are exciting enough for most local golfers.

Phra Nang Cave Beach

Phra Nang Cave Beach

Phra Nang Cave Beach is one of the beaches that is set against a backdrop of beautiful limestone cliffs – perfect background for taking pictures. They also provide some good shade from the sun. For those people who don’t like the crowd this is the perfect beach to hang out in as it is a secluded cave beach.

The beach is located south of Railay Peninsula. There are three other beaches in this peninsula but of the four this one has the cleanest, clearest and calmest waters. The sand is also soft and Phra Nang Beach is perfect for swimming as well as just relaxing as you enjoy the stunning view of Krabi. You can also see the views of Poda, Chicken and Tub Islands from a distance.

What’s great about this cave beach?

Phra Nang Cave Beach bordered by bright green seas on all sides. The beach is a stretch of about 450 meters. The sand is white and very soft for just relaxing as you enjoy the shallow, calm as you soak up the sun.

There is a lot that you can do here. Besides the relaxing and swimming in the shallow waters, travellers as well as locals enjoy other activities such as swimming, snorkelling, and rock climbing. Most people walk to an island called Happy Island which is a great snorkelling spot. There are also the caves to explore.

The locals normally visit Phra Nang Beach mainly because of the Princess Cave (Tham Phra Nang Nok). This is because the cave is apparently home to a Goddess of fertility. There are lots of penis statues. Locals come here to present offerings like flowers and incense.

If you want to experience Thai cuisine, this beach won’t disappoint you because there are many long tail boats anchored at the shores which serve various foods and snacks. And if you want the view of the entire beach, there is off-beat route which leads to amazing viewpoints.

What to watch out for…

When you visit here, expect lots of monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Knowing how cheeky monkeys are, you need to be careful with your things and food as they have a reputation of snatching things from visitors’ hands.

The other thing you need to beware of at Phra Nang Cave Beach is that most of the times, the bay has small jellyfish so swimming or paddling becomes a challenge. Oh! There are no toilets either making it hard to visit for an entire day.

Where to stay…

If you are planning to spend the night, the only accommodation available here is a luxurious 5-star beach resort called the Rayavadee Resort. The hotel is perfect and is located at the perfect spot. It is perfect for a romantic getaway, honeymooners and wedding venue. So, seeing as it’s a 5-star resort, you definitely have to have money to afford a stay here.

The other options available near Phra Nang Beach at the Railay beach.  Much as these hotels have a tropical feel, they still exude the atmosphere of a local village.

How to get there

There are longtail boats from Ao Nang which go directly to the beach. The ride takes between 10 and 15 minutes. If you are coming from West Railay you may have to walk to East Railay and walk along the beach towards Rayavadee Resort up to the beach.

Lampi Waterfall

Lampi Waterfall Khao Lak

Lampi Waterfall Khao Lak is surrounded by a very beautiful mountain side with several waterfalls around it and a breathtaking countryside. Between July and December is the best time to explore the waterfalls since this is the rainy season and the waterfalls will be the biggest.

Sunlight adorns this waterfall that is located 30 minutes south of Khao Lak. It is one of the most popular waterfalls in Thailand. It is located within the Khao Lam Pi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park. It is a 3 level waterfall with the main pool directly accessible from the car park after a couple of minutes’ walk. By the car park you’ll find a café/restaurant as well as a rudimentary souvenir shop.

The water in the Lampi waterfall is refreshingly (or bone chilling) cold. It is certainly colder than the average Thai shower. The waterfall is quite impressive with multiple levels of cascades tumbling out of the jungle. The hills to the east of Lampi Waterfall Khao Lak are about 500m high, almost the same as the highest point in Phuket.

The Lampi Waterfall Khao Lak is great for swimming. The main pool is wide and deep, perfect for swimming around. Nearby you can also go and explore the Thai Mueang beach which has nice restaurants along the beach. The beach drops quickly so beware as the pool will be very deep. While the flowing water looks calm, you may not feel the same peace when you try to swim in the main pool because of its depth. There is also a 1 km nature trail which follows the stream to its peak. Meals, drinks, and souvenirs can be purchased at several small stalls near the waterfall.

Entry to Lampi Waterfall

Entry to the Hat Thai Mueang National Park is about 100 baht per person. There are plenty of awesome tours, day trips and excursions to do at Lampi Waterfall Khao Lak.  Nevertheless, the most beautiful part is located near the parking lot and so this waterfall is also suitable for those, who do not really don’t like hiking. You can visit this waterfall on your own (taxi, scooter) or with a guided waterfall tour from Khao Lak. For hiking lovers, Khao Lampi Nature Trail is a 2.1 kilometer loop trail located near Thai Mueang, Phang Nga, Thailand that features Lampi waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

Samui or Phuket

Samui vs Phuket

Samui vs Phuket? This must be the question on your mind if this is your first time visiting on of the infamous beach holiday counties in the world; Thailand. I have been back and forth on the internet looking for information about these two holiday destination, it can get a little confusing that’s for sure especially with the loads of information highlighting the best of both worlds. Now between the two islands, which one is really better than the other?

The thing with trying to choose between Phuket or Samui is its not like making choices between two fruits, say orange and banana. The thing with these two islands is that they are both stunning. So, when it comes to trying to make a choice, then you need to go with your preference. Ask yourself, what you want to experience while on your holiday.

So, Samui Island or Phuket Island where should you really go? Well let’s hope that this article will assist you in making that choice.

The overview of both Samui and Phuket

Phuket

If you are looking for a more developed holiday destination as you head on to Thailand, then Phuket is your best bet. You will have more things and activities to engage in as well as more spots to visit. If you are looking for a shopping experience, Phuket is the choice. First off, they have several modern malls and shopping options.

Between Samui vs Phuket, you will experience better dining experiences and there is more history and culture to learn a lot about. Let me not forget to mention the Phuket Old Town which is perfect for exploration, despite the age of the visitor.

You can do a lot of island-hoping in Phuket too. There are marinas where you can go there and charter a yacht that can shuttle you from the most popular islands like Similan Island and Phi Phi Island. You can even get your own private charters since there are 4 marinas here.

Tourists watch the very popular sunset cruises. For those who love the party scene, there will be no much confusion about Phuket or Samui because there are over-water all night parties.

Koh Samui

One thing makes Samui different from Phuket is that there are more beach clubs there and lesser bars. If you are one who loves street food, then Samui is lined with them every corner of the island. That said, it means that there are lesser shopping malls. You will find more restaurants on the beach and lesser dining spots in the main parts of towns.

There are no marinas at Samui. Like I said, depending on what you want to experience, the choice between Samui Island or Phuket Island can be quite easy. Now it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy chartered yacht hare. There are fewer options but there are options alright. You can charter a private yacht and still and move around Samui in style.

Compared to Phuket, Samui has more water-based adventurous activities to partake in with it being popular for having the best diving spots in Thailand. Phuket’s adventurous activities are more land-based.

The islands may differ a bit but if you are still wondering between Samui vs Phuket, one thing I can tell you for sure is that both islands have great places to visit. Seeing as both are surrounded by waters, you will definitely find something to do if you are one that enjoys water sports and other water activities. Hiking and trekking on both islands are options too. As for martial arts fanatics, there are Muay Thai events to keep your self busy with. Both islands offer cooking classes and great Thai cuisine experiences.

So let us analyse these two islands further based on what you can find here and activities…

Beaches

Phuket or Samui – which island has the best beaches?

There are more beaches in Phuket, with more family friendly options to choose from. Basically, there is something for everyone. The beaches have different atmospheres. For instance, Mai Khao Beach is more secluded compared to the party atmosphere of Patong Beach.

On the other hand, at Koh Samui, there are lesser beaches. But much as they are lesser than Phuket, the beaches at Samui are better in quality with softer and whiter sand and clearer, calmer waters. There are more bars and clubs on beaches. So, if you are traveling with kids, Phuket’s beaches will be much better for you.

Accommodation spots

Between Samui Island or Phuket Island, Phuket has by far the largest and hotel industry. There are more than 1200 properties. Do you want 5-star beachfront resorts or do you prefer simple guesthouses. The variety here is amazing and even if you are traveling on a budget, you will something. Seeing as the hotel industry is booming, there is definitely lots of competition which makes accommodation here pretty affordable even during high season.

The accommodation scene in Samui is that it has more beachfront properties, hence more beachfront resorts. Most of the hotels will be found on beaches.

That said, both islands have plenty of private villas.

Cuisine

Comparing Samui vs Phuket in terms of flavours, there has been lots of multicultural influences over the years in Phuket so the cuisine here is more colourful and more flavourful. But if you prefer travelling like a local, Patong or Kamala will offer you the real tastes of Thai cuisine.

Samui on the other hand offers more convenient eating and dining experience. There is a main street of restaurants behind the beach with restaurants offering foods from all over the world. So, when you are there, even if you don’t fancy the Thai options, you should be able to find more palatable and conventional options without having to look for them too far.

Culture

If you are looking for the cultural spots, between Phuket or Samui, Phuket is a better option. As mentioned earlier, there are lots of spots that are rich in history and culture. With places like the Old Town to Big Buddha, you will have a great experience learning the culture of the Thai people by exploring their museums and temples.

Samui on the other has more unique – some you might even call bizarre sites. In Samui has the most unique cultural spots in the whole of Thailand. Places to focus on are Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks that are surprisingly shaped as genitalia. The other place to check out is the mummified monk of Wat Khunaram,

Weather

One thing that you may not have to worry about when deciding which one of these two islands to visit is the weather. Both have warm weather all-year-round. The best ties to visit both islands are the months of April to August.

That said though, Koh Samui gets more monsoon season compared to Phuket. Expect rains between September and November and in Phuket from September to October (not too big a difference though.)

Whichever island you choose, Samui Island or Phuket Island, we hope that this article has assisted you in visiting the best one that will suit your holiday needs. Activity wise, Phuket is better and more family oriented with options for all ages. Samui is more suited for couples with more relaxed taste.

In conclusion, they are both great. The decision relies on you and your taste.

Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple

Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple

Constructed more than 500 years ago, the Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple is the oldest Thai temple in Phuket. Much as it is said that the temple dates back over 500 years, one cannot really say with certainty that this is its real age because there have been some renovations and rebuilding that has been done over the centuries. So, it will be more accurate to say that it has been on the grounds that it’s perched on for more than 500 years.

Most people claim that this temple is quirky.  This quirky temple was constructed when at the time, the main city of Phuket was Cherngtalay in Thalang. The quirky bit comes from the fact that it looks like its forever under construction with unfinished buildings that no one is making an effort to complete.

Stories behind Phra Nang Sang temple

There are various stories that have come up about why the Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple was constructed.  One of them claims that some powerful ruler from southern Thailand built this temple for his wife. The other says that it was built to honour a princess who had been sentenced to be executed. Sadly, she was innocent. She had just been framed. Because of her innocence, she oozed white blood which showed people how pure she was. Because of that myth, the temple also goes by the name, Wat Luad Khao which translates to ‘White Blood Temple’.

Here is more… When the Burmese invaded Phuket in 1785, the people who fought them off were led by two sisters. The people of Phuket gathered at front of the temple to watch the battle. Every year in the month of March, this battle is celebrated at the Phuket Heroines Festival that is held in Thalang.

What you will find at Phra Nang Sang temple

The temple grounds have quite a number of main buildings. Most of the buildings are decorated with lots of elaborate ornaments, surrounded by lots of statues of various origins hence they don’t have a similar theme. However, most of the things you will find here have been influenced by a mixture of Chinese and Thai mythology.

The central building at the Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple has a more traditional style, excessively ornamented with gold. Red is the main colour of the building. It also has a lot of paintings that somehow tell a story of Lord Buddha’s life and major historical events.

As you move further through the complex, you will find a human size stature of a police man next to a lion and a tiger. The policeman statue doesn’t have an arm. So, if you are the type to draw conclusions then you will probably think these concrete figures are telling a story of how a cop’s arm was eaten by the lion or tiger.

On the grounds of the temple are statues of Thao Sri Sunthon and Thao Thep Kassatri. There is a larger statue at the Heroines Monument which is located on the main road between Phuket City and the airport. As you drive from Phuket airport, you can see the front part of the temple from the road.

As you go behind the red and gold building at Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple grounds, you will find another building that looks totally different in terms of its style. The gates of the building are guarded by god warriors armed with automatic weapons. There is also a small reclining Buddha which is way smaller compared to the huge one that can be found at Wat Sri Sunthon, towards the south of Thalang area. There are also two Buddha heads made from tin.

A temple with such diverse attractions is definitely worth a visit.

Best areas to stay in Phuket

Is it your first time in Thailand? Then you definitely want to know what are the best areas to stay in Phuket. Lots of questions must be running through your mind. You are probably wondering which hotel to book or which beach has the best resorts to stay at. So many questions… So many places to choose from.

If Phuket is your next holiday destination, then the place you will choose to stay at will definitely impact on your holiday experience. There are lots of beaches and hotels. Each one of them have their own distinct ambiance. So, if the plan to have a blast in Phuket, then you need to choose one that will suit your needs, preferences and personality. So don’t rush your search for places to stay in Phuket because this can make or break your holiday.

Now it all depends on what you plan to get out of your holiday. Is it a family holiday? Do you want to party all night or you are looking for a good escape away from the crowds? Are you just there to laze around on the beach or you want places where you can easily go snorkeling? The great thing about Phuket is that you will always find a place that is suitable for whatever activities you plan to engage in.

This is why we are bringing you this comprehensive guide so that it can help you choose the best areas to stay in Phuket based on your preferences. We will highlight the main destinations for you. So, lets dive in. Remember when choosing, to select a place that suits the kind of traveler that you are based on the facilities provided, together with the ambiance.

For Family and Couples

North or South Patong

This is one of the busiest and most commercialized places to stay in Phuket. For people who plan to shop, there are lots of places to venture to. Plus, if you get tired of shopping they also have plenty of bars and restaurants.

Much as it is a lively place, it is ideal if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life without sacrificing on the comfort that the city life has to offer.

There is Patong beach which is just a trek away. And if you are looking for places to stay in Phuket that are surrounded with beautiful beaches, North or South Patong is ideal.  You will have accessibility to fantastic beaches such as Kata, Karon, Kamala and the Laem Sing beach.

It gets crowded though because tourists love the place. But one can survive. The hotels we recommend that are affordable are Sea Sun and Sans Resort and Spa, The Bliss Hotel. For the high-end best areas to stay in Patong, try the Nap Patong Hotel or Kalima Resort & Spa.

For Singles and Party People

Central Patong

For the party hoppers, this is the place to be. It’s the busiest spot in Phuket and the centre of all nightlife in Phuket. The Patong beach is quite close too and is near the craziest street, Bangla Road which is also the party hub of the island. During the day, the street is pretty polite and dramatically transforms at night. Cheap liquor, blasting music, neon-lit bars, you’ll get it all here. Plus, if you are looking for some adult entertainment, you will get it here too. So, if partying is your thing, you will have enough clubs to do your party hopping.

The Swiss Palm Beach Hotel and Patong Beach Hotel are our affordable hotel options. For the premium spots, The Millennium Resort and the Holiday Inn Resort are the options we’d go for.

For couples, families and honeymooners

Karon and Kata Beach

Here, there is the beautiful golden sands of Karon or Kata Beach to feast your eyes on. The places you will find here are pretty polished and there is plenty to do on Karon Beach. The resorts, bars and restaurants are plush. Kata is the smaller beach here. What makes it beautiful is that the beach is lined with palm trees. Don’t get us started on the crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches.

So, if you are looking for places to stay in Phuket with a serene ambiance, but not too far from the city, head on to Karon and Kata. The nightlife is a bit laid back, the beach bars are fantastic and you can just laze around with your drink as you enjoy some mellow tunes in the background. You can also do some good shopping here.

If you want value for your money, go to Hotel De Karon or Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort. For the high-end options stay at Karon Sea Sands Resort or Centara Karon Resort.

For History and Culture Lovers

Phuket Old Town

Phuket old town is full of historical European architecture. The streets have Sino-Portuguese buildings, shops and cafes and the buildings are certainly old-fashioned and highly photo-worthy. If you are looking for best areas to stay in Phuket away from the urban setting life, Phuket Old Town is where you should be heading. The place is famous for night markets selling clothes and souvenirs. Musicians and performers entertain shoppers.

For hotels, the affordable ones are the Memory at On On Hotel or Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel Phuket.

For Luxury and Privacy

Bang Tao Beach 

If you are looking for places to stay in Phuket that are on the high end, then Bang Tao is the place for you and it has Bang Tao beach, a beautiful beach that is lesser known. The white sand stretches 6 km and you can lounge on sunbeds and under umbrellas.

The reason you would want to stay here is because the place offers both luxury as well as complete isolation from the busy city. You can get very luxurious high-end villas with private pools which cover a large area of the Bang Tao beach. Here, full room service will be provided.

It’s far from the city so there isn’t really much to do here other than enjoy your hotel stay or lounge at the beach.

The luxurious places that we recommend for your stay are Banyan Tree Phuket and the Dusit Thani Laguna Pool Villa for luxury and elegance.

Phang Nga Beaches

The Beaches at Phang Nga

Have you ever visited the lush, white sandy Phang Nga beaches? Well, you need to if you are looking for a gorgeous, serene place to relax. Lucky for you, these gems can be accessed easily as part of a Phang Nga Bay & Beyond tour.

Phang Nga Bay Beaches are very active too with lots of activities for visitors to indulge in. There are lots of restaurants and they are also great for swimming, snorkeling, doing boat rides and tours. Plus, if you are one that prefers peace and tranquility, there are also some quiet beaches where you can relax and simply stroll along the sand. We can safely and confidently say that if you are looking for a place where there is something for everyone, then you should be headed to the beaches in the Phang Nga region.

The best ones lie from just south of Takua Pa all the way to opposite Phuket. Some of the places are totally untamed with little or no development. Before the 1980s one could practically walk along the stretches of beaches without seeing a hotel in site.

Now that we have given you a little description about Phang Nga,  let’s dive in and talk a little more about some of the main Phang Nga Beaches on the mainland. Let’s start with Khao Lak Beach.

Khao Lak Beach

Khao Lak Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach that you will come across when you will come across as you approach the coastline of Phang Nga Province. Actually, the entire seaside area, 30 km up north, from Khao Lak Beach to end at Takua Pa is actually what is named Khao Lak.

This is one of the Phang Nga Bay Beaches that is perfect for swimming. There are beautiful and eye-catching rocks of different shapes and sizes. The other things that make this place tranquil and perfect for relaxation are the majestic pine trees as well as the majestic pine trees

There is a shrine by the name Chaopho Khao Lak that locals really hold dear and respect.

Satellite businesses are also coming up which have made Khao Lak Beach less dependent on far businesses, hence making the beach more self-sufficient. There are several bamboo-and-thatch seafood restaurants, an Italian food joint, a few bars and shops. That means guests have enough options at their disposal. The one restaurant that you must visit is the Siam Turmeric which is just at the beginning of the road towards Khao Lak Beach.

Bang Lut Beach

Another one of Phang Nga Beaches is the secluded Bang Lut Beach on the west coast. They have a fishing village that has a petite fishing pier. There is no development on the beach giving this powdery beach a serene aura. There is a plush concentration of palm trees and casuarina trees surrounding the beach.

Natai Beach

This one is one of the clean, serene and untamed beaches that are perfect for relaxation. The waves are calmer here and offer a perfect calm backdrop for taking pictures. This sandy beach is perfect for walks on the shores or to the pier. You will love the sunsets here. Plus, its perfect for picnics and soaking the evening sun. It’s not ideal for swimming but it’s safe enough. This could be the reason that you might not find lots of resorts.

Thai Mueang Beach

This is one of the beaches at Phang Nga Bay that has clear waters snuggled against a white sandy beach. The beach slopes up to forests and mangroves as you get to the Tableau Naval Base. It’s also beside the highway making it easily accessible. What makes it special is the sea turtles that come to the beach to lay eggs between November and February. Locals host an annual “Sea Turtle Releasing Festival” in March when the turtles hatch.

Sunset Beach

Another one of the Phang Nga Bay Beaches with clear beaches, soft golden sand and low tides is the Sunset beach. There are beachfront resorts that cover the entire beach have a gorgeous view of the waters. Snorkelling is on the table here if you want to enjoy the great variety of fish and plants.

Khuk Khak Beach

This is one of the beaches at Phang Nga Bay that are alive and lined with resorts. The clear waters extend for a while and there is a small fishing village where visitors can watch the fishermen fish. There are also some eateries, shops, market and a bus station meaning accessibility isn’t an issue. There are small lagoons behind the beach.

Bang Niang Beach

This is one of the main holiday Phang Nga Beaches. It is the perfect beach for families as well as couples. The waters here are shallow enough and perfect for swimming any time of day. You can take a barefoot stroll on the fine sand that has no rocks as you hunt and collect seashells.

As I mentioned that this is a holiday beach, tours can be arranged for visitors by tour agents and there are lots of bars, restaurants and shops to keep you busy while on holiday. The whole beachfront is lined up with hotels. Its more upmarket with luxury hotels and residential homes.

Wakeboarding Phuket

Wakeboarding in Phuket

Wakeboarding Phuket is one of adrenaline rushing sports that involve gliding the waves. Some people might be a bit sacred of trying it out but it is surprisingly easily enjoyable. First, its quite easy to learn and you will get so much pleasure with every wave you catch.

Where to wakeboard

There are wakeboarding parks throughout Phuket where a person can get their adrenaline rush. Much as it is a relatively new sport in Phuket, people are warming to it quickly. Lucky for Phuket, there are of beaches where one can enjoy their wakeboarding adventure. But a lot of Phuket Wakeboarding actually used to take place at custom built Wake Parks. This included the Phuket Wake Park which is between Kata Beach and Phuket town, and before one could also go to the Anthem Wake Park which is near Patong Beach. Unfortunately, the Anthem Wake Park is now permanently closed.

The great thing is that at Phuket Wake park, whether a beginner or expert, you can still enjoy the Wakeboarding sport no matter the weather. The lake has 2 Sesitec Cable systems. One for beginners which is shorter and a longer one that goes around the lake basin. It opens all year round and becomes busiest during the monsoon season. This is because the waters of the beaches get too rough for swimming.

You could still try out the IWP International Wake Park which offers family-friendly wakeboarding and this could very well be your kid’s highlight of their vacation. All these wake parks are near the inland waters of Phuket Island.

How much does it cost

The cost of Wakeboarding Phuket starts at 750 Baht per hour. But you can get cheaper options. If you are new, you can get an instructor to train you. This is quite an intense sport so if you think the cost of 750 Baht per hour is too high and are new to wakeboarding, you might not even finish that hour session. Luckily after all that, you can go to the spa for some pampering or get a beach massage.

If you don’t carry your own, wakeboards, life vests, helmets and gloves can be rented at a small cost. There are professional instructors who do offer private trainings for those who are interested in trying out the sport.

What else can you experience?

At Phuket Wake Park there is a swimming pool, shower and also a restaurant which serves Thai, Russian as well as European cuisines. There is also a bar which is located on the top floor of the park building. It has a great view of the lake, rental shop for the wakeboarding equipment and clothes. And if you want to stay overnight or a planning to spend your vacation Phuket Wakeboarding, the Phuket Wake Park has you covered with their 28 hotel rooms.
At the IWP International Wake Park the terrain is diverse which you can take advantage of.

There is some surfing you can enjoy too at thee IWP’s flow rider. There is also paddle boarding and kayaking for those who want to enjoy some relaxing time at the manmade lake. While Wakeboarding Phuket at this park, they also have 2 swimming pools that have steams. Food is available at their restaurant. In public areas of the wake park, they also have Wi-Fi so if you don’t feel like wakeboarding, you will still be sorted.

To book a session, head on to the local vendors in Patong, Kata, and Phuket Town. They could be a bit pricier though. So, if you want to get good prices, visit the website of the park you want to visit and book through the site.

In Conclusion

The thing is Phuket has always been hailed as the heart of Thailand’s water sports. And Phuket Wakeboarding should be on top of your list if you are an adrenaline junky and are planning a trip to Thailand. The Phuket Cable Water Park is the most accessible one as it is at the centre of the island. Great thing is that the two spots that we have recommended, have other activities you can engage in. So, if you find yourself in the midst of adrenaline junkies, you need not worry much. With restaurants and swimming pools where you can leisurely swim, we’re sure that you will enjoy yourself.

Windmill Viewpoint

The Windmill Viewpoint in Phuket is a panoramic hill which sometimes people also refer to it as the wind turbine. It is located at the southern side of Phuket Island between the popular Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches. So, when you are on the hill top you get to enjoy the birds eye view of these two beaches.

The Viewpoint isn’t far from Promthep Cape. So, it is no wonder that it houses a number of thin, tall, white windmills that are the property of Promthep Alternative Energy Station.

There isn’t a lot to enjoy here besides the covered sala where one can sit and enjoy a cold drink, some ice-cream or buy some jewellery.

The View from the Windmill

One thing we got to hand to this relatively small Windmill Viewpoint Phuket is the all-round marvellous views. To the north is Nai Harn Beach and Koh Man opposite it, to the south is Ya Nui Beach and further south we have the view of Phromthep Cape.’ The beauty of the sea, sun and sand at these beaches can be captured from this remarkable viewpoint. From here you get to see the deep turquoise sea, smooth white sand and the seasonal yachts that come to these beaches. The view is spectacular.

You can also get the view of long-tail boats as well as fishing boats as they sail into the Andaman Sea. There is a lot of sea activity here, even mega-sized cruise ships and oil tankers heading to and from Singapore.

Model aeroplane enthusiasts and parasailors who operate the tropical thermals usually meet up here as they make their landing at Nai Harn Beach.

The viewpoint is a premium spot for enjoying the sunset. The sunset isn’t the only thing that makes it a great spot. It still is attractive all day through.  The sea is bright and colourful especially at midday.

This spot is very popular with photographers because of its panoramic views. Most couples use it as romantic background for memorable pictures. So, most couples come here to take pre-wedding pictures, honeymoon pictures, you name it. You can also capture he panoramic view of the Phuket town from this point. It is worth taking the shot.

Even with all this air activity, the Windmill Viewpoint Phuket isn’t such a crowded spot especially with the fact that it has a tiny parking area.

How to Get to the Windmill Viewpoint?

If you are going to the viewpoint from Kata Beach, simply go south past another viewpoint called Karon Viewpoint. This one is a bit more famous. Anyway, keep driving up to Nai Harn Beach.

Small as it might appear, the good thing is that this viewpoint is easy to spot. This is because the enormous white windmill that sits here can be spotted from quite a distance. So, if you are visiting Nai Harn Beach, you definitely won’t miss it. All you need to do is just look for the path that leads to the windmill and you are there.

From Nai Harn continue on like you are going towards Promthep Cape. It’s not too far a distance. Just drive up a small street after the lake and you will get to a sharp left turn. You will find a thin dirt road immediately and a few meters of driving will get you to the Windmill Viewpoint Phuket.

You don’t have to drive there. The Viewpoint can also be easily accessed via bikes or motorbikes. These can be found near the main road. That said, just make sure the weather is good and dry enough for the ride up the viewpoint.

However you get there, this viewpoint will offer you the most breath-taking view of Thailand.