When you book a Phuket tour package, it’s almost an automatic thing to go to the beach. Who can help it, really? Phuket truly has some of the most beautiful beaches and island destinations in Thailand—and even the world. Patong, Kata, and Karon Beaches are some of the most popular ones, with their lively parties and the plethora of activities for the flocks of tourists to enjoy. However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, Phuket can definitely deliver. Here are some surprising things you can see and do in this popular Thai island province.
If you’re the type who really can’t eliminate beaches from the itinerary, don’t fret. Phuket actually has several “secret” beaches that are either quite far from the most touristy areas or can be difficult to access. Still, the effort of finding and going to these beaches are worth it. Most of the time, you’ll be the only ones on the beach or share with only a handful of fellow tourists. The most “popular” one is Freedom Beach, mostly due to its proximity to Patong. Other places you can go on an adventure to find include Ao Yon, Laem Sing, Haad Sai Kaew, and Panwa Beaches.
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
For photography enthusiasts or simply those who love a good view, Phuket’s viewpoints are a blessing. They provide the most breathtaking sights that you simply can’t get from other areas. One of these viewpoints is Samet Nangshe, sitting on top of a hill that you can access by veering off the main road somewhere in Phang Nga. Samet Nangshe Viewpoint was discovered by a Thai photographer, and the location remains practically a secret until this day. What’s great about this viewpoint is that there are plenty of sights even until nighttime. The sky is so clear here, with barely any light pollution, which is perfect for stargazing. If you’re in luck, you might even see the Milky Way!
Radar Hill Viewpoint
For excellent views of Patong Beach, head on up to Radar Hill Viewpoint. The highest of all of Phuket’s viewpoints, Radar Hill is a little difficult to reach. Still, the climb will be worth it. You won’t be able to catch better views of Patong Beach from anywhere else. Radar Hill takes its name from the military weather station located at the very top. The guards are quite strict, so don’t wander too close to the radar tower with your camera in tow.
Kathu Waterfall is, in fact, the most-visited waterfall in Phuket. However, most people don’t find the “real” falls, which is further up the hill, past the bridge on the right of the falls. When you reach the destination, you might be surprised to discover that Kathu Waterfall actually has a series of drop pools. The one at the top is where most people swim, although you can also take a dip in the other drop pools. Of course, the cascading waters and rock wall are perfect subjects for photographs.
If you want to interact with monkeys and observe them up close, you can go to Monkey Mountain. It’s one of the many natural attractions in Phuket, although it’s mostly locals and expats who visit. Prepare a handful of fruits or other food for the monkeys because it’s inevitable that more will come when you give one a treat. No matter how friendly they seem, however, remember that the monkeys here are still wild. They’re also very playful and can get aggressive. Make sure to hold on to your valuables because the monkeys might decide not to give it back.
Phuket Town Street Art
When you go to Phuket Town, the focus is usually on architecture and well-preserved heritage buildings. However, in recent years, Phuket Town has also become a haven for street art. Some of the best streets to visit are Krabi Road, Phang Nga Road, and Thalang Road, although more and more murals and artworks are popping up as time goes by. Who knows what new art you’ll be able to find the next time you visit?
Are you looking for authentic Buddhist amulets? You can find plenty of them at Rassada Road in Phuket Old Town at the Thai Amulets Markets. The ones sold here aren’t mere trinkets that you can buy for a few baht. Some of the items you can find here can fetch prices of up to hundreds of thousands, thanks to their cultural and religious value. There are also some pendants, Buddha figures, and other kinds of tokens for sale here. Beware of fakes, however, especially for antiques that can fetch the highest amounts.
It might be a little difficult to see past Phuket’s image of a beach destination, because the beaches are really quite beautiful. Still, there are other facets of Phuket that some people don’t really get the chance to see. Use this list as a guide to discover more sides of this paradise. Happy travels!