Looking for a guide for the best Phuket itinerary for 5 days, tips on things to do in Phuket in 3 days or even places to visit in Phuket in 4 days?
I got you! Exploring the ‘Pearl of the South’ as Phuket is sometimes referred to is a must when considering places to visit in Thailand.
With a long history, Phuket is rich in cultural history, tasty food filled with flavour from all those that have passed through the island.
Phuket has a vibrant nightlife making it a magnet not only for singles and those looking for cool places to visit in Phuket for bachelors and bachelorettes but also perfect for hopeless romantics looking for honeymooning hideaways or the perfect place for a couple to chill and relax.
The Phuket itinerary below, although a Phuket itinerary for 5 days, you can also cut it down to do 4 days in Phuket or even at a minimum spend 3 days in Phuket.
Phuket is a fairly large island with plenty of must-do activities in Phuket, so I would highly recommend at the very least 3 days on the island.
You will most likely want to do a day trip to the bays when you visit. This only leaves you 2 days to explore Phuket.
For those looking for what to do in Phuket for a week, this itinerary is perfect as it leaves you an additional 2 days to independently explore other corners of the island that are not included in the itinerary.
Also, visiting Phuket for a week means that you have plenty more time to explore the many amazing and pristine beaches in Phuket.
Thailand is a land of tropical beaches and historical spots not to miss in Phuket. Below a is an epic 5-day trip to Phuket island of Thailand with additional tips shared in my Thailand 3 week itinerary as well as the post on things not to miss in Phuket.
- 1 Phuket Itinerary 5 days With Option For Phuket Itinerary for 3 days
- 2 What To Do In Phuket At Night
- 3 Phuket Travel Tip And Tips For Getting Around The Phuket
- 4 How To Get From Phuket International Airport To Old Town Or Hotels
- 5 What To Pack For Phuket | Essential Items To Pack
- 6 Best Time To Go To Phuket On Holiday
- 7 Where To Stay In Phuket
Phuket Itinerary 5 days With Option For Phuket Itinerary for 3 days
Stunning beaches, beautiful resorts and luxurious spas, grand shopping markets and a vibrant nightlife. It’s not hard to see why Phuket is so appealing as a holiday destination.
There are plenty of things to do and see in Phuket, Thailand. If you are planning 3 days itinerary in Phuket Thailand you will more than likely start plotting your return almost as soon as you arrive.
Hopefully, the pictures of Phuket in the post do the place justice as the island is simply stunning!
Phuket is one of the best places to visit in Thailand, an amazing place to unwind, for adventurous experiences or if you are into your nightlife there is a whole section on Bangla Road clearing the dance floor awaiting your arrival as I write this.
We were lucky to have explored other parts of Thailand during this trip. Phuket also offers an amazing opportunity for those wanting to do a Bangkok and Phuket itinerary as well as addition Krabi or Koh Samui.
Below is a suggested Phuket itinerary for 5 days based on our adventures in Thailand. Check out these tips if you are visiting Phuket with kids.
Day 1 In Phuket
Day 1 in Phuket is an easy day of exploring Phuket’s old town and surrounding sights.
Exploring Phuket On Day 1
The Phuket town is a culturally rich district of Thailand out of all others. It has got the personality and aura, undiscovered in others. It is the capital city of the Province of Phuket.
Along its historical streets, a number of shrines and temples of Chinese and Buddhist origins can be located. Eloquently adorned shops accompanied by a range of cafes, private & public museums, and a mini ex-red light district can be found along the cobbled streets of Phuket.
Old Town of Phuket
The most attractive and historical place of the city is the Old Town; spread on an area of 400,000 sqm neighbored by Dibuk Road to the North, Patiphat Road to the West, Ratsada Road to the South, and Thepkasattri Road towards the East.
The Memory at On On Hotel
The entrance is adorned by the theme of the movie “The Beach”. The place is packed with artifacts from the tin booming era of Phuket. The hotel is open for booking and has got a historical taste.
China Inn Cafe
Furniture Store, Café lounge, and Chinese inspired backyard are decorated with Chinese Lacquer work, cloth printing, and traditional hand fans. Grab a cup of coffee before heading out to explore the area. Location: Krabi Road Phuket.
Thai Hua Museum
A beautiful colonial building, the place is a center of old Sino-Portuguese culture. As the Chinese are the main exotic nation in Thailand, so the museum is dedicated to Chinese artifacts and culture. Open daily Monday to Sunday from 9am – 5pm. Location: Krabi Road Phuket.
Phra Pitak Chinpracha and the Blue Elephant
Amuse yourself with Thai cuisine by stopping at the door of the mansion. Mansion cum school is housed in the heart of Old Town. Blue Elephant has the honor to serve delicious Thai-China food in the company of regal dark wood and blue colonial aura along with elephant decorated furniture. Location: Krabi Road Phuket.
Independent and Free Exploring Early Afternoon
Free exploring to check out places to eat in Phuket Town before heading to Karon Beach in the afternoon.
Best Places To Eat In Phuket
- Tunk-Ka Café
- Mee Ao Ke
- Boonrat Dim Sum
- Tu Kab Khao
- Andaman Fishball Noodle
- Coffs & Burgh
- Torry’s Ice cream
Later Afternoon To Evening
Head toward Karon Beach…There are plenty of things to do around Karon beach beside the beaches.
Previously known as Kata viewpoint, it is called locally as “Khao Saam Haad” (Three Beaches Hill). Officially, it is known as Karon Viewpoint. It is located on the south of Kata Noi Beach and faces the Andaman Sea.
The most photographed Northern Side encompasses blue sea, snow-white surf, sand beaches, the nearby island of Koh Pu, and deep-green hints of hillsides. A large gazebo is here to provide food and shades.
Karon Night market
Located right in the heart of Karon Beach, it is a popular shopping location. Wat Karon’s compound hosts a charged market twice a week (Tuesday & Friday). The market starts late in the afternoon and is a great exhibition of local food and local culture.
The exhibition is mostly tourist-oriented, ranging from Singha beer sleeveless T-shirts, Thai-styled bags, scarves, swimsuits & beachwear, flower embed soap carving, watches, jewelry, and souvenirs to gift to your loved ones.
Thai handicrafts are also part of the place. Natural skin treatment tonics like Aloe Vera and virgin coconut oil along with cosmetics can be located at the Karon Market.
Day 2 Phuket Day Trip Exploring Phang Nga Bay And James Bond Island
Phang Nga Bay is among the must-do activities in Phuket. Take a day trip from Phuket to explore the hongs, caves and check out the serene islands surrounding the bays.
I have shared a post on our day trip to Phang Nga Bay and James Island. You might want to get an early night as these tours pick up super early depending on where you are located in Phuket.
Collection can be as early as 6am.
The province is located on the shore of Andaman Seato the west and Phang Nga Bay to the south. Phu Kao Chang is the belt of mountains which can be viewed in the background.
Take a day trip to the Phang Nga and take a chance to admire the charismatic scenes spread along its belt.
The Phang Nga bay is the most popular destination in Thailand. Catch a boat and cut through the stunning viewpoints on the bay.
Sail through the shimmering waves, patches of mangroves and experience ancient rock paintings on the trip.
James Bond Island
Officially known as Koh Tapu, accompanied by the neighboring ledge of Koh Ping Ghan is the most iconic viewpoint of Phuket.
Limestone island with a sheer split wall is paid homage by the emerald color water. Several caves and nooks occupy the place. Small fish can be spotted in the deep water.
It is a floating sea village shadowed by limestone rocks. Experience the local living style by wandering along the streets. You will find several gift shops, a Mosque, a school, and a floating football pitch.
Phang Nga is surrounded by a number of caves, found both on dry land and sea. Kayaking is available there to add some adventure. Some interesting rock patterns can be located here. Hidden lagoons and secluded waterways can be found underneath the passages of the cave.
Things To Do In The Evening On Day 2
The tour usually returns guest back to their hotels. You have the option to return to your hotel or you can take a taxi from the port to check grab dinner in Phuket Old Town or if you are up for something more upbeat you can head back to your hotel from the tour to refresh.
After freshening up you can head to Bangla Road and work your way through Patong. For more detail on nightlife see below.
Day 3 Exploring Phuket Markets And Phuket Beaches
Morning To Early Afternoon On Day 3 in Phuket
Depending on your preference, you can do the beach of your choice in the earlier part of the day. Chill for lunch and then do Old Town Phuket markets or the other way round.
Start with the markets and the beach in the later afternoon. Explore the Old Town, there are shops, cafes, super cheap massages and more. Insider Tip: Get a massage in the evening for even better relaxed and restful sleep.
Late Afternoon Exploring In Phuket
Old Town Markets
Phuket Town Central Market & Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market are the most celebrated out of all others. The Central Market on Ranong Road is the commercial hub of Old Town.
Clothes, food, and raincoats can be found here. Sunda Walking Street is a welcoming spot to all foodies out there. Filled with all sort of Thai food, it is located by Thalang Road.
The place also known as Chalong Temple and Wat Chaiyathararam is the most historical temple among 29 Buddhist temples in the town. It is regularly visited by tourists to pay homage and admire its beauty. It holds a bone splinter of Buddha.
Various paintings and statues of Buddha’s life history are filled upon the walls and interior. The building is 3-storey. By climbing to the upper floor, one can have a captivating view of the surroundings.
Phuket Big Buddha
Big Buddha is the most revered landmark of the town and a must-see among Phuket attractions. The 45-meter tall, white marble statue sits in the top of the Nakkerd Hills right between Chalong and Kata. It is easily visible from Phuket Town and nearby Karon Beach.
Its official name is translated as “Happiness on the top of Naked Mountain”. The ledge of the mountain is the best place to amuse you with a 360-degree angle of the island below by evening time. It can be approached by the road from Phuket’s main artery route. Entrance is free.
Day 4 Day Trip To Phi Phi Islands
Visit Phi Phi Island From Phuket
Phi Phi Island has been in the limelight since it’s featuring in “The Beach”, the hit-film of Leonardo DiCaprio.
Its scenic beaches, stunning bays and glittering water invites the people to fancy a break at this enchanting island. One cannot visit Phuket and not visit Phi Phi Islands!
So how long from Phuket to Phi Phi? A meer 45-minute speedboat or a 90-minute ferry boat from Phuket.
The best way to explore is by chartering your own boat so you can skip the crowds and arrive before or after they leave the main stops in the area.
You can also visit as part of the many tours to Phi Phi islands leaving from Phuket on a daily basis. Phi Phi Island’s towering limestone cliffs are as much a crowd-pleaser as the soft powdery sandy beaches are.
Beautiful sights and paradise beaches with stunning crystal clear turquoise waters perfect for snorkeling. Many tours have pre-arranged stops with time for food as well as exploring markets and other activities.
Below is suggested Phi Phi island itinerary on a day trip, many of the tours will have a combination of the place below on their itinerary but you can also opt for a more customised tour as well.
You can read about our tour to Phi Phi Island and Loh Somah Bay on the blog.
The beautiful beaches with soft sand and crystal-clear sea accompanied by a bar are there to serve you a cocktail or allure you with an ice-cold beer.
The parties on the beach are full of fire shows, dazzling lights and booming bass lines along Ao La Dalam.
Move towards Ao Lo Moo Dee or Ao Toh Ko to have some serene surroundings. Koh Phi Phi offers snorkeling and dolphin spotting to millions of visitors around the year.
Visit Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
Koh Phi Phi is shaped like the alphabet ‘H’- with the main village situated on the horizontal bar. A land piece of 100 meters is spread between Dalum Bay to the North and Tonsai Bay to the South.
The two mountainous vertical bars of H are inhabited by thick forests.
Phi Phi viewpoint is located eastward to the flat strip of sand. It hardly takes 20-40 minutes to reach the cobbled streets of the place. Some snacks and a refreshing drink are available at the top. The scenery is best to take some mesmerizing pictures.
Note: Maya Bay is no longer included in the tours to Phi Phi islands.
Diving is one of the must-do activities while at Phi Phi. Discover Scuba Diving to Divemaster is the professional dive center to assist you in the process.
The famous diving spots of the place include Shark Point, Anemone Reef, and King Cruiser Wreck, Koh Bida Nok, and Nai.
All of the captivating sites can be approached in 40 minutes’ drive from Koh Phi Phi Don. The diving adventure offers one of the best underwater tastes in the town letting you experience various sea plants and animals underneath the thick belt of water.
Shark watching tour is the most hit one out of snorkeling tours offered by Koh Phi Phi Don. The thick waters of Phi Phi host a number of inoffensive black tip leopard sharks. The tours start early in the morning at 6 and last till noon.
Complete professional care is available along with snorkeling equipment. “Shark Point” located some 800 meters from the Long Beach is the most visited shark sighting spot. The tour is informative, yet exciting and thrilling.
Day 5 In Phuket Optional Free Day Plus Alternative Itinerary
For day 5 in Phuket, you have the option of doing one or two of these. You can do the cooking class and an evening show or you can do a day trip to Thai Muang and explore that area. This will like take half a day to early evening.
Splash Jungle Waterpark
One of Thailand’s impressive waterparks, Splash Jungle Waterpark comes with lots of waterslides, a Lazy River, Boomerango and Super Bowl. There is also a spa on site if you fancy something more chilled out.
Explore this part of Thailand that not many tourists get to see. Thai Muang is a small coastal town on the Andaman Coast between Phuket and Khao Lak with beautiful beaches with no crowds, national parks, waterfalls, and a Sea Turtle Sanctuary. Located about 90 minutes from Phuket.
Phuket Thai Cooking Class
By now you would have tasted the food, while in Phuket you have the opportunity to pick among the many Thai cooking classes in Phuket on offer.
Get introduced to the art of Thai cook, which includes a morning visit to the local mark to buy your ingredients, then head to the cookery class to prepare your Thai lunch.
Thailand Evening Show
Thailand is known for its popular evening shows and Phuket has plenty of places for evening entertainment.
Two such shows to check out in the evening are Fanasia show and Evening Siam Niramit Show.
The show takes you on a journey of enchanted Kingdom of Siam, showing you highlights from their glorious past and history as well as the many Thai traditions.
What To Do In Phuket At Night
Bars and Party – Nightlife In Patong Phuket
Another one of the must-do activities in Phuket is checking out the nightlife on the island. The thrilling nightlife tied with Patong is magnetic.
It is much hard to resist wandering down the Bangla Road. The bars are in full swing with neon lights and dancing music to let you have a buzzing eve.
In this small area, there are hundreds of bars, pubs, clubs are packed and guarantee is the quality time. Here are a few must-visit places of the area:
- Soi Seadragon
- Soi Tiger
- Soi Freedom
- Soi Gonzo
- Soi Hollywood
- Soi Lion
Patong Beach is one of those places Phuket is famous for. Rich with a vibrant nightlife, mix of bars and restaurants, night clubs, live music and carbarets it never fails to impress. There is something for everyone, whether you are a high roller or looking for a night out on a budget. Patong is the most inviting beach spot in Phuket and is the true heart of Phuket. The place is big, bold, loud, crowded, and charged. The Northern part is more serene with a number of Palm trees accompanied by fresh fruits by vendors.
Phuket Travel Tip And Tips For Getting Around The Phuket
- While using ATM in Phuket, remember that money comes first followed by the ejection of the card. Do not forget to collect your card in the hurry.
- The credit cards are accepted in malls and restaurants. But for local expenses like taxis & bazaar, you will need local currency.
- Booking a hotel in advance in the Phuket is often cheaper. You must choose your lodging at a point which is nearer to your planned visit spots. Patong (crowded) and Mai Khao Beach (quite) are two of the recommendations.
- While moving around the Phuket, renting a car or bike is a much cheaper option. Read a local drive guide to avoid unnecessary accidents. Always make sure you have travel insurance coverage for your activities.
- Suntans and Sunburns are quite common in the bright daylight of the Phuket. Always fancy sticking up some sunblocks to protect your skin.
- Taxis are the a cheap transportation option but they turn on the meter. They will overcharge you as per their choice. Keep an eye on the meters.
- Tuk Tuks are a fair choice but ask for the price before starting the journey. It is not safe to ride on it by night. They are convenient and everywhere.
- Water change often causes stomach upsets so stick to bottled water and ease into tap water slowly especially if staying in Phuket for a long period. Otherwise, stick bottled drinking water. Tap water is not recommended. However, ice is safe as they use filtered drinking water.
- The temperature in Phuket is warm all around the year. It varies from WARM to TOO HOT. The best time to visit it is from December to March. September to October occupies the rainy season. April and May should be avoided as they are the hottest months.
- Phuket Safety – Overall we felt pretty safe exploring Thailand and Phuket in general. In the markets, you just have to be wary of people trying to pull scams. Most of these tend to be somewhat obvious but just keep that in mind and some common sense and you will be fine. If you are worried, an added precaution is taking with you an anti-theft backpack too.
How To Get From Phuket International Airport To Old Town Or Hotels
- If you arrive at Phuket International Airport then for your knowledge, it is situated 30-km north of Phuket Town.
- You can travel there by Taxi which will charge you nearly 800 Baht. One option is to travel by shared minibus which costs around 600 Baht for 2 people.
- Bus Schedule is quite fixed and is often reliable. Buses and vans can be spotted with orange “AirPort Bus” logo. The bus charges 90 Baht and takes 1:40 hours to drop you to the town. Vans take about 1:20 hours while charging 100 Baht for a ride. The trip from the airport ends at Bus Stop 7 at Phuket Bus Station 1 near Royal Phuket City Hotel or Phuket Bus Station 2 opposite to Super Cheap Store in the Town. There is no prior booking of the ticket.
What To Pack For Phuket | Essential Items To Pack
I have shared tips on Thailand packing list essentials on the blog but as far as what to pack for a Phuket holiday itinerary, bearing in mind the day trips, beach exploring and checking out markets.
I found that packing midi dresses and maxi dresses to be easier. You can go from the beach to the market or restaurant easily.
Straight from the beach with bikini underneath you can pop your summer dress own and be modestly dress for temple exploring as well as further exploring in the town.
Additional items to pack for your trip to Phuket should include items in the list below as well as those in the widget below. I have also shared tips on the best travel-sized skincare kits for every skin type.
- Sun Hat
- Sun Screen
- Haircare and Skincare kits
- Beach Kaftan
- A couple of dresses and skirt
- Linen or cotton tops
- Beach bag
Best Time To Go To Phuket On Holiday
Just like my home country Phuket, mainly has two seasons. The dry season and the wet season. The dry season starts from December to April.
The monsoon season is from May to October. The other in between are wet seasons before the monsoon really kicks in. The beauty of Phuket weather is that the temperatures even during the wet season remain consistent.
So what is the best time(month) to go to Phuket? The best time to visit Phuket is between November to February. We visited Phuket in December and the weather was perfect!
November – February – The weather is cool with manageable warmth perfect for sunbathing and exploring. Temperature is in the mid-20s but usually under 30°C. This is the busiest time in Phuket with most visitors to Phuket visiting during this time. Not surprising as this is this period offers the best weather to visit Phuket.
March – May – The weather is mostly hot but by end of may you are starting to see the start of the wet season. This is the hottest time in Phuket. Temperatures between March and Mary are in the 30s.
May – October – This is the wet season and monsoon season. Expect plenty of rain. There are some gaps in the rain with the temperature still above 25°C.
Where To Stay In Phuket
Regardless of budget, Phuket has something for everyone. As we were in Phuket for some time I managed to sample budget accommodation at Gold Diggers Resort, a mid-range priced hotels at Ikon Hotel and Luxury at Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa where we had our very own pool villa with stunning private beaches just meters from our villa.
I have linked to my post on all these places. Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa is located on the beautiful Mai Khao beach, perfect for those looking for a relaxing experience. Its also only 15 minutes from the airport.
I loved strolling on the beach at sunrise. This was my favourite place during our visit. There are a variety of accommodation options including Oceanfront Pool suites with their own private 18-square meter infinity pools.
For more on where to stay in Phuket, I have shared a guide on the best areas to stay in Phuket with details of the hotels in each of the beaches in Phuket.
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