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Tourist Places To Visit In Phuket
Phuket is an island down in Thailand, in the Southeastern region of Asia. Its vast stretches of beaches with pristine waters promise a lot more than just adventure sports. There are many touristy things to do in Phuket Town that will take your breath away. Like the Upside Down house where you will feel as if you are treading on the ceiling, or the Trickeye museum where the paintings come to life. The walks down the Weekend Market will make you shop till you drop and the stunning James Bond island will leave you in paradise. Here are some more things you can look forward to when in Phuket Town.
Phuket Weekend Market
If you are looking at shopping in Phuket, hold your horses before going to a mall. The town convenes every weekend in the Weekend Market or the Talad Tai Rot on Wirat Hong Yok road to shop and eat. You can do the same and visit this market on a Saturday or a Sunday to buy everything from clothes to jewelry, trinkets to pirated stuff. Antiques are especially famous, as are the live animals. You can gorge on local delicacies like satay, kebabs and steaming dim sums. If you have the stomach for it, do try the fried insects and a bit of coloured cakes for the sweet tooth.
Khao Rang (Rang Hill)
Khao Rang or Rang Hill is the second highest summit in the town of Phuket. The lush greens of the hill call for a leisurely picnic, overlooking the city and its many islands. You can see the lights of the world on one side and charm of the turquoise waters on the other. Rang hill is also the home to Phuket’s first Buddha installation in the Wat Khao Rang temple. It is a golden sitting idol. There are three main cafes to eat, namely Tung Ka Café, Khao Rang Breeze and Phuket View.
Phuket Trickeye Museum
There is a whole Museum dedicated to the art of illusion in Phuket. Trickeye is based on the art of trompe-l’oeil (‘deceive the eye’ in French), which is a painting technique that creates the illusion of three dimension on two dimension. This is the funkiest place to get photos for your holiday with more than a 100 paintings as backdrop, from classics, historical scenes as well as movies. You will travel geographically as well as in time when you visit this museum. Nothing like a day out here with friends or family.
Location: At the crossroad of Montri and Phang Nga.
Siam Niramit Phuket
Want to see the history of Phuket narrated in a seamless story? Head to the Siam Niramit to watch a theatrical show related to Thai history, art, culture and belief systems. It is a magnificent performance set up by professionals in Siam Niramit Phuket complex, just off the By-Pass road. The three acts boast of song and dance, mixed with martial arts to entertain you. The show is nothing short of spectacular, leaving you educated about the vibrant line of Thai history. Some touristy things to do if you come early for the show include a look at the thai houses, floating market and picking up a few souvenirs at the shop in the complex.
Show details: One show per day, closed on Tuesday.
Show Time: 8.30 p.m.
The Upside Down House
This is Phuket Town’s very own Wonderland. You will feel like Alice in the rabbit hole, with everything upside down in this house. It is a relatively new tourist attraction in the town and boasts of a three-storey building leaning on its roof. All bits and pieces of furniture in this place are upside down, including the fish tank and the fishes inside. You’d feel you are walking on the ceiling and that’s some experience! The garden of the house is not upside down (yet), but has a maze that you are bound to get lost in.
Location: It is located on the By-pass Road, 1 km after Premium Outlet Phuket.
Jui Tui Chinese Temple
Jui Tui Temple is the place you should go to for some insight into the spiritual side of Phuket. It is a Chinese temple and is very significant during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. The interior houses three large altars with statues of Chinese deities. The idol of the god is Tean Hu-Huan Soy who is the god of performers and dancers. He has been regarded as patron by Chinese Opera. You will learn this and a lot more about Chinese trivia and tid-bits as you venture through this temple. Keep your cameras handy to capture the stunning interiors.
Location: Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road, near main market
James Bond island
This island gets its name from its reference to the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ which was shot here. The main attraction of this place is the limestone cliffs jutting out of pristine aqua waters, making it a picturesque setting to go boating, canoeing or just find a lonely spot and enjoy. It does get crowded during the tourist season of December to March though.
The Nemo Dolphins Bay is a theme park that hosts high energy marine life shows. The main attraction of this park is that you get to interact with dolphins closely. They put up a fantastic show with international standards and leave you wet with all the splashing water, gasping for more. Bring the children here for a live show of their favourite water animals and take lots of videos and pictures.
Phuket’s Big Buddha is a very popular tourist site. It is also highly revered by the locals all over Thailand and hence marks a busy spot. You will have to hike up Nakkerd Hills to reach this tall statue that is 45 m in height and visible from most other parts of Phuket. The soft chime of bells and hymn-like music impart an otherworldly aura to your visit.
Wat Chalong is another Buddhist site, this one an ancient shrine in Phuket. The people of town visit here to pray daily and tourists come here to see the religious and spiritual aura of Phuket. They say that the big pagoda of the Wat houses a piece of Buddha’s bone, hence making this temple more sacred than others. You can peruse the paintings and colourful artworks on the walls and ceilings that depict the life story of Lord Buddha, or enjoy a walk through the exhibition halls.
Kata Beach, all crystal blue waters and powder soft sand, is a place of paradise. When in Phuket and wanting to avoid all wild frat parties and mad crowds, visit here. You get the beauty and swaying palm trees and seaside restaurants, but without all the noise. Surfing is a coveted sport here between May and October, and November onwards the beach warms up in high sun. You can also enjoy open markets, shacks selling souvenirs and street food here.
A famous beach of Phuket, Patong is crazy crowded due to its fashion street of a market! The stalls, shops and little boutiques that line the street parallel to the beach attract shopaholics like honey to bee. Bar hopping is a coveted sport here, dive bars and music pubs teeming with beautiful sounds as the sun sets. You can also enjoy the street life and night life, drink copious amounts of fresh coconut water if you are not a fan of beer and get massages. Party mongers — this is the THE place for you.
Aptly named after the monkey god of Hinduism, Hanuman World is the best place in Phuket to zipline and enjoy other adventure sports. It is really an eco-adventure park in the midst of thick jungles, with rides that defy gravity and take you flying across all that evergreen tropical greens. Their roller coaster zipline ride is to die for, and brings your heart to your mouth!
The Tiger Kingdom
The Tiger Kingdom of Phuket is one of those patent Thai nature parks where you can pet tigers and take photos with them. The tigers are tamed and under expert supervision, and you can enjoy some cuddles with their cubs or the tigers themselves. Since these tigers have been surrounded by humans ever since they were born, they do not consider them a threat or a prey.
Phuket Bird Park
Home to hundreds of exotic birds, painted in vivid colours and patterns that nature knows best, the Phuket Bird Park presents a marvellous experience to you. This is a huge park, built atop 12 acres of beautiful land ripe with trees and shrubs to make a natural home for the birds. Some of them have been imported from North Asia, some from Africa while others from South America too. Bird lovers will find themselves riveted with species like flying ostriches, parrot Marcos, hornbills, and more.
Animal lovers, the marvels of Phuket just don’t end for you. The Phuket Zoo is another feather in the town’s hat, with its wide range of animals living their day-to-day life on tropical forest gardens in expert human care. Going to the zoo in any new city or town is a unique experience, always for its local species. And here there are many that are exotic too. There is also an aquarium where fishes from all over have been conserved and living happily. After you are done touring, you can grab a bite at the cafe and enjoy their delicious deserts and ice creams!
FantaSea can be termed a cultural theme park that was created on the culture and legends of the island. There is a theatre here where shows are put up every night, with sounds and light and special effects. There are acrobats, magic shows, animal shows and spellbinding aerial performances to stun you. And after you have had a great night watching the theatrics, the restaurant opens to serve you authentic local Thai dinner.
Surf House Phuket
Surfers and those interested in learning the sport, visit Surf House Phuket. While the place trains new comers in the art of surfing, you can also visit to rent equipment and go for a surfing-sesh with like-minded surfers. And when you are done braving and conquering the waves, an afterparty awaits! The sea by Phuket is not always surfing friendly, so for off-seasons, Surf House Phuket has simulators that emulate waveforms. The Double FlowRider is one of their best rides to surf.
Tha Rua Shrine
If you are curious about Buddhism in Thailand, want to see some very beautiful carved dragons and traditional paintings in Chinese, then visit here — Tha Rua Shrine. It is one of the ancient-most shrines in the four island area of Phuket. The colour scheme of Tha Rua is decidedly reds and golds, with a stroke of emerald green. The place honours the goddess of mercy Kwan Yin, among other deities.
Phuket Old Town
Want to take long walks and people-watch? Want to enjoy the quaintness of Phuket’s everyday life in a very chic European way? Then visit Phuket Old Town.
The old town is a historical district and rich since time immemorial, home to shrines, monument-like homes, cute shops and even palaces. There are also cafes, printing shops from the old era and museums where once red-light area prevailed. The architecture is a mix of colonial and traditional Thai. You can shop here, eat at one of the cafes or visit sacred temples. And by nightfall, you can enjoy the nightlife which is not vulgar or over the top, but serene and calm.