A gentle breeze, comfortable weather, and an eco-friendly environment are all we could imagine when planning our next vacation. Phuket is one of the first places that comes to mind when tourists explore the marine beauty of the Andaman sea (4).
Sounds great doesn’t it, but what is Phuket famous for?
Phuket is well known as Thailand’s largest island. Famously rewarded as a crystal blue treasure, watersport activities, culture, sandy beaches, and Thai cuisines make it a popular destination. Whether for relaxation or adventure, the island will keep you entertained through your glorious stay.
You could be a sucker for historical knowledge or a workaholic on the lookout for a beach day out. Either way, Phuket will not disappoint when it comes to friendliness and comfort.
What Is Phuket Famous for?
1. Culture and History
Phuket is firstly well known for its unique past. Phuket Town is located on the southeastern coast of the island. Also, the picturesque bay is crowded with restaurants, massage parlors, hotels, and tourist attractions. Moreover, the architecture of Phuket Town takes inspiration and influence from Chinese immigrants and Portuguese aesthetics (4).
The more you walk down the streets, you will notice shophouses, Sino-Portuguese mansions, shrines, and temples. Phuket Town is also famous for its Phuket Trickeye Museum, an interactive 3D art gallery. Whatsmore, you can pay respect to the Jui Tui Shrine, a colorful Chinese temple (4).
Phuket Big Buddha:
A historical monument worth your visit is the Phuket Big Buddha. It sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata. Known as one of the country’s most famous landmarks, it also has a 360-degree view of the island. The statue also has a long history, having been constructed in 2004. It is a peaceful place to sit down and pray, as well as to take a hike up the six-kilometer road (4).
Out of Phuket’s 29 temples, Wat Chalong is the largest and most popular. Arguably called the most beautiful in the region, the temple was dedicated to two highly respected monks – Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. The temple even has life-sized wax figures of the monks in the exhibition (4).
Futhermore, the Grand Pagoda also has a fragment of Lord Buddha’s bone; it depicts his life story. As you walk through the complex, you will discover the hidden truth behind Buddhist tradition and the golden Buddhas (4).
Wat Phra Thong at Thalang:
This is another famous temple located in Phuket. The temple houses a half statue of Buddha, which was broken during a Burmese invasion. The backstory of the incident takes on an exciting tale of a young boy (4).
There is a legend that a boy minded a water buffalo tethered to a piece of metal from the ground. When the boy suddenly passed away, he told his father about the piece of metal in his dream. Later on, the father began to dig for the metal while discovering a statue of Buddha in pure gold (4).
2. Patong Beach
Patong beach is known as Phuket’s longest beach. It has only recently turned into a bustling hub for tourism and retreat. The famous area is crowded with beach parties, bars, and neon lights. While the beach may be over the top, it’s excellent entertainment.
Here are some exciting places to visit on the beach (2, 3):
This air-conditioned mall is full of fast-food, fancy restaurants, and shopping. Consisting of the best things to buy in Thailand and top international stores’, with brands like Samsonite and Rip Curl. There are also many choices of cuisine from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai restaurants. For example, Fuji and Le Siam. The top floor has a bowling alley, a kid’s play area, and a cinema.
Bangla Boxing Stadium:
Another popular attraction in Patong is Muay Thai, also known as Thai traditional boxing. This takes place at the Bangla Boxing Stadium, right behind Jungceylon mall.
Banana Boat Ride:
Patong is also well known for its entertaining variety of watersports. The banana boat is popular; it is tied to a speedboat and takes you around the Andaman sea. Moreover, the ship has space for 6 to 8 people, including the instructor. While catching waves, the ride is also economical and safe.
The beach is also famous for the newest of watersports such as flyboarding. This is very intensive motorsport for adventure junkies. You can hover over the sea with the help of a powerful jet spray attached to your feet.
Phuket is particularly known for providing thrilling watersports among the tropical weather and lovely coastline. Here is a list of the top activities for adventure enthusiasts (2):
This is regarded as one of the easy watersport activities that anyone can try. The calm waters of the Andaman sea make it ideal for snorkeling. You dive into marine life and explore the sea life, fishes, corals, and other sea animals. The bright side of this sport is that you do not necessarily need to know how to swim. The Similan Islands, Patong, Ao Sane, Kata Noi, Paradise Beach, and Laem Singh offer snorkeling spots.
Another popular sport that is at a manageable level is sea kayaking. It is an excellent way for sightseeing around the different water regions in Phuket. You kayak around nearby islands and into caves. Moreover, there are also guided tours available where the guide can paddle you around as you enjoy the surreal views of the islands. Sea kayaking is extremely popular in Phang Nga Bay, Hong Island, and James Bond Island.
Amongst the most try-worthy watersports is scuba diving. While enjoying the surreal views of marine life, you can swim with brimming corals, fish, sea turtles, barracudas, stingrays, and sharks. Moreover, PADI and SSI-certified diving centers can help you learn how to enjoy the experience properly. Scuba diving is most popular on Racha Noi Island, Similan Island, Patong Beach, and Phi Phi Islands.
Although surfing is not the most popular water sport in Phuket, it is gaining the admiration of new tourists. The activity is mainly enjoyed around April to October, with high-speed waves and affordable surfing lessons.
One of the most popular yet challenging water sports activities in Phuket is windsurfing. This is a thrilling experience to challenge yourself amongst enormous waves. This sport is mostly done on Rawai Beach.
Another popular sport is kitesurfing, the ability to balance yourself on a soft board attached to a steerable kite, where you can glide amongst the waves. This sport is challenging and requires the right weather conditions and monsoon winds. Kitesurfing is mostly done on Kalim Beach, Kata Beach, Muang, and Chalong Bay.
Famous on Kata and Kamala beach is jet skiing- simply motorbiking but on water. You can rent a motorized water vehicle and mash amongst the waves for an exhilarating experience.
Another challenging yet adventurous sport in Phuket is wakeboarding. Before heading onto the actual water, wakeboarding parks allow you to practice the sport beforehand. Thalang, Kathu, Karon, and Patong beach all offer the sport.
One of the most aesthetically pleasing activities is parasailing. You can experience the joy of flying high in the sky as you are attached to the back of a speedboat. This takes you along the coastline as you hover over the sea.
This has become a recognized sport in Phuket over the past few years. Stand-up paddleboarding is the perfect sport for physical fitness. You can rent equipment and paddle amongst the waves for exercise.
If you are looking for some activity, sportfishing is an exciting thing to try. You can go to fishing spots in Racha, Surin, and Similan Islands. Interesting fishes include the blue and black marlin, trevally, sailfish, dorado, reef sharks, rainbow runners, dog-tooth tuna, razorfish, mackerel, swordfish, jacks, and bottom fish.
4. Thai Cuisine
Another famous fragment of Phuket’s fame is derived from the rich Thai cuisine. There are an infinite amount of local street food vendors and fancy restaurants that offer excellent deals and delicious options.
Here are the top five Thai restaurants you should check out in Phuket (1):
Mom Tri’s Kitchen:
Address: 12 Kata Noi Road, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Located in Kata Noi, this is a famous restaurant situated at Villa Royale. It offers a fine-dining experience with the finest wine cellars in the region. The restaurant has two executive chefs for both the Thai and Western sides. While you enjoy a som tam (green papaya salad), you can also go for a porcini mushroom and roast vegetable dish.
One Chun Restaurant:
Address: 48/1 Thepkasattri Road, Talat Yai, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
This is authentic Thai cuisine with southern dishes at highly affordable prices. With vintage decor and a calm environment, you can taste local dishes in peace. The most popular dish at the restaurant is crab meat curry in coconut milk.
Ka Jok See Restaurant:
Address: 26 Takuapa Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Known for a nightly party vibe. Ka Jok See is a well-prepared and high-fi Thai restaurant that serves portions for sharing. You will get exceptional dishes and see live performances.
Address: 48/1 Dibuk Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
This is the perfect place to experience Phuket’s Old Town. Alongside Sino-Portuguese architecture, you can taste signature dishes such as crab meat curry, prawns, sea bass, and pork belly.
Kan [email protected]:
Address: 44/1 Wiset Road Moo 5, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Kan [email protected] has an extensive menu with several fusion options, mainly known for its coconut-husk-fired grills. With a scenic outdoor ocean space, you can enjoy your meal in peace.
All in all, Phuket is a dream vacation famous for its various historical attributes and adventurous qualities. Firstly, you will be astonished by the beauty of the old towns, villages, and temples that inhabit the city. Patong beach is another attribute, a party island vibe, boxing, and mall culture that will leave you in awe.
Let’s not forget that Phuket is known for its unique sports culture and Thai cuisine that will have your mouth watering all night long.
1. Audiger, Stephan. 10 Best Thai Restaurants In Phuket. Go Guides. [Online] [Cited: March 11, 2022.] www.hotels.com/go/thailand/best-phuket-thai-restaurants/.
2. Tripathi, Akancha. Thrilling Watersports In Phuket For Adventure Enthusiasts. Holidify. [Online] [Cited: March 11, 2022.] www.holidify.com/collections/watersports-in-phuket/.
3. Hulme, Kyle. Top Things To See And Do In Patong, Phuket. Culture Trip. [Online] September 23, 2021. theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/top-things-to-see-and-do-in-patong-phuket/.
4. Hastings, Karen and Hynes, Casey. 15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things To Do on Phuket Island. Planetware. [Online] June 23, 2021. https://www.planetware.com/thailand/phuket-island-tha-pk-pkp.htm/.