Things to do in Phuket

Itineraries for Your Trip to Phuket

Phuket locals share their perfect days.
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2 Days in Phuket for First Timers

Curated by Zoë SmithZoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

Phuket is Thailand’s flagship beach destination, benefiting from year-round sun, sandy beaches, and lush jungle. With two days to explore, there’s time to cruise the coast, explore the islands, and take in the highlights of the mainland. Here’s how to spend two days in Phuket.

Day 1: Morning

Start early to avoid crowds and watch the sunrise from Promthep Cape on the island’s south coast. Continue to two of Phuket’s most popular attractions—the hilltop Big Buddha and temple of Wat Chalong—either independently or on a tour with the ease of a guide to lead the way.

Day 1: Afternoon

Kata Beach and Karon Beach are two of the best beaches on Phuket. Grab lunch and cocktails at a beachfront restaurant; take part in water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, or stand-up paddleboarding (prebook for a seamless experience); or relax on the beach.

Day 1: Night

Continue sightseeing into the evening on a sunset cruise around Phang Nga Bay, which typically includes dinner as you sail around islands off the coast of Phuket. Alternatively, head to Naka Night Market, held on weekend evenings in Phuket Town, where you can dine on Thai street food and shop for souvenirs.

Day 2: Morning

Set sail on a day trip to Phang Nga Bay by speedboat and discover some of Thailand’s most beautiful islands. Depending on the tour itinerary, visit the Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay, where Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed; cruise to James Bond Island; or swim and snorkel around Racha Yai and Racha Noi islands.

Day 2: Afternoon

After a day at sea, head to Patong Beach to browse the shops along Bangla Road or relax with a cocktail at a beachfront bar. The beach town is also home to numerous spas, where you can get a traditional Thai massage or reflexology foot massage.

Day 2: Night

Spend your final night in Phuket watching a show or cabaret. The Siam Niramit show tells Thailand’s history through a music, dance, and theater production. Alternatively, the Simon Cabaret is one of Thailand’s most popular and longest-running cabarets, with transgender performers taking to the stage for a Las Vegas-style extravaganza.

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