Phuket is one of Thailand’s top tourist attractions in the south of Thailand, and a little less small than the city state of Singapore. Especially, in the peak season from October throughout to March, that’s when the island’s white and sandy beaches become lively, and full of sun bathing visitors. If you’re on a hill, you’ll see sparkly blue waters on warm sunny days, when sunlight shines over the ocean water, and thus, that is why this beautiful island is known as “The Pearl of the Andaman Sea.”
Besides laying on the beach with a book in your hand in your sun tan lotion, or going for a swim for hours at Ya Nui Beach. Also, you might not be a big fan of bar hopping and hitting the streets of the hustle and bustle and having crazy night outs on Bangla Road in Patong. Instead, you’re here to explore more of the REAL Phuket, as the island has a lot to offer from sight-seeing to outdoor and recreational activities. Even if one had been living in Phuket for several years, there are always countless things to do on the island.
How about checking these top 5 things to do in Phuket Island?
- Mountain Biking
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or looking for an action-packed holiday, mountain biking is one of the top things to do in Phuket. The whole island is full of dirt trails, and there are tons of steep hills to challenge your downhill skills. If you’re looking for designated trails just for mountain biking, check out Bang Wad Dam where serious downhill mountain bikers go perfect their hops, and turns.
For visitors staying around Laguna, Thalang Victory Fields has a hidden mountain bike track. You need to explore a fair bit to find the trails. There are signs and ribbons indicating where to ride, and how to pull off your turns at some banks.
If you need some guidance, there is a mountain bike tour operator that takes you off the beaten tracks. Check out the Amazing Bike Tours, that has been taking cyclists out for rides, and they’re also mentioned on Lonely Planet.
Hit the trails with Amazing Bike Tours URL: https://www.amazingbiketoursthailand.asia/
- Road Cycling
Phuket is also known for triathlon, and road cycling races. The public roads of Phuket are well paved, and the island is a paradise to road cyclists. The terrain range from flat to very hilly, and as Phuket can get very sunny, getting rehydrated is the key to pulling off those climbs.
The west coast of Phuket is filled with steep, and yet fun hills if you’re looking for some intense cardio.
The east coast is perfect for those who’d like to work on their speed, and also a bit of a relaxing ride.
If you’d like an intense morning fat burn, start cycling from the southern tip to Phing – Nga Café, which is up on the mainland of Phang – Nga. Lots of cyclists love to stop by there for their morning coffee, and dim sum.
Phuket is covered in green hills, and forested with tall trees. Hiking sounds like a good idea for another recreational and outdoor activity on the island.
One of the most popular trails to hike on is the Big Buddha hike. This is one of the easiest hikes, and there is no way you can get lost. A long the paths, there are houses of locals and you’re most likely going to meet other hikers as well. This is a 8 Kilometer hike if you start hiking from Patak Soi 14 in Kata area.
The hiking trail from Ton Sai Waterfall to Bang Pae Waterfall in Khao Phra Taew National Park is very challenging, and you’re most likely going to get lost if you don’t have a hiking app or a local guide. A lot of the paths aren’t designated for hiking, and there are barely any signs, a lot of visitors have gotten lost while trying to find their way to the other side of the national park.
- Scuba Diving
As conventional as it may sound, scuba diving is one of the most popular activities in South East Asia in general. People from all around the world come to Phuket to learn and get certified for scuba diving. Phuket is very affordable for scuba diving. Once you’re certified as an Open Water Diver, you’re able to go do your beach dives at Kata Beach, and spot some Mimic Octopuses.
It’s in a lot of scuba divers’ bucket lists to come across whale sharks, if you’re looking to go diving around Phuket, this is your luck, because around December throughout January is the season to swim and dive with these gentle giants. According to the IUCN, they are currently endangered, and Thailand has been stepping up their game to conserve endangered marine species.
If you’re a little more advanced, there are some exciting wreck dives for you at the King Cruiser Wreck.
Last but not least, kayaking is also a very popular activity around Phuket island. You can rent a kayak yourself for 100 Thai Baht per hour at Ya Nui beach. You could also kayak to a couple surround islets nearby from Ko Man to Koh Bon if you’d like to be a bit extreme.
There are couple of tours that go out to the pristine sea caves of Phang – Nga. Phang – Nga is where the famous James Bond movie was shot, and if you’re also a Star Wars fan, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith was filmed there.
If you’d like to have a local guide paddling for you, you could book a tour with John Gray’s Sea Canoe.
Check out John Gray’s Sea Canoe here: https://www.johngray-seacanoe.com/
For Rambo fans, Paddle Asia is the tour you must book. They offer some bush craft activities, and multi-day tours in kayaking. Go Rambo with Paddle Asia: https://www.paddleasia.com/
If you’re looking for an active holiday, these are the top 5 things to do. The natural surroundings of Phuket are still pristine, and it’s more than it meets the eye. Even though, Thailand is known for cooking classes, and temple hopping, these 5 activities shouldn’t be missed.