Phuket is one the most famous beach vacation destinations in South East Asia. But there are not only beaches and palm trees to see. We found some places which are different but really worth to visit on the main island of Phuket. Of course you can also take a ferry or speedboat to the many nearby tropical islands. But in this blog post the focus is only on the best things to do on Phuket island. You will find the best to do things combined with practical information! 

When to go to Phuket?

Between November and April is the dry season, so that’s the best time to visit Phuket.  

How to get around in Phuket?

A rental scooter or car is the best way to get around in Phuket. Make sure to have an international drivers license and always wear your helmet! Compared to a car, driving a scooter gives you more freedom to get around to all the best places to visit in Phuket at your own time and pace. You can drive along traffic and parking a scooter is easier than parking a car, especially in the city or old town. A scooter will also let you sense the environment much better. The roads in Phuket are well maintained and pretty easy to navigate. But if you don’t feel comfortable driving a scooter or car, you can of course also easily get a private driver or taxi to help you around in Phuket.

Phang Nga Bay sunrise viewpoint Samet Nangshe

This beautiful bay can be found just a little north of Phuket island on the east side of the mainland. It’s a perfect sunrise spot and our favorite to do in Phuket! Characterized by limestone cliffs and rock formations, as well as mangrove forests and small islands it is a breathtaking place, especially in its morning glory. A must visit when you’re in Phuket and also the BEST photography location in Phuket, especially with sunrise. Let the pictures speak for itself!

Getting there: With a scooter, rental car or taxi. To see the sunrise in the bay you have to go by boat of course, but if you want to go to this viewpoint you have to go with own transportation. Typing in “Samet Nangshe viewpoint” on Google maps will take you to the right spot. 

Entrance fee: 50 baht per person.

Best time for photos: Sunrise for sure. You will see the beautiful colors just before sunrise if you arrive on time! Also the fog will still be visible around the rock formations which gives a wonderful extra touch to your pictures.

Photo tip: With a drone you can get a completely different perspective, but also with your hand camera you can have the most amazing shots! Use an ND filter when the sky gets too bright.

Read in this complete guide everything about Samet Nangshe viewpoint.

Phang Nga Bay was our favorite sunrise point on Phuket island


Promthep Cape for the best sunset

With its elevated location and few small islands nearby, the Promthep Cape is certainly a nice place to see the sunset and the sea. But this location is well known, so if you want to avoid the crowds, walk all the way down to the end of the cape. You are then at the most southern tip of the main island of Phuket. A lot of tourists come here to take their sunset photos which makes it the best-known photography location in Phuket. Therefore it might get very busy, but if you read the photo tip you will know where you have to go 😉 

Getting there: With a scooter, rental car or taxi. It is one of the most famous spots to watch the sunset in Phuket, so keep in mind that it might be busy! But we have some tips for you..

Entrance fee: Free of charge

Best time photos: Sunset! The best place to watch the sun go down into the sea.

Photo tip: If you want to avoid the crowds, walk towards the gate where you can enter the rocks from Promthep Cape. There you will see a path going down. Follow this path until the end of the cape, it’s a 10 min walk. Here you will have the best spot to watch the sunset without too many other people. Below are the photo’s we took at this spot.

Read here everything you need to know about Promthep Cape Phuket.


Big Buddha

Of course this one can’t be missed if you’re in Phuket. The Big Buddha can be seen from almost every location on the main island. Situated on the peak of Mount Nagakerd you will have a wonderful 360-degree view over the southern part of Phuket island.

Getting there: With a rental scooter, car or taxi.

Entrance fee: Free.

Best time photos: Sunset! It will be more quiet with tourists than during the daytime and it is beautiful to see the sunset behind the Big Buddha.

Photo tip: It’s hard to get a photo without other people in it, but you can try a long exposure to fade away the people. Another option is to make the photo dark, like I did. Now you can’t see the people who were standing on the stairs. Another option is to photoshop all the people away, but you must have a lot of patience or great photoshop skills for that 😉


“Secret” beach at Naithon beach

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Phuket, you need to go to the north of the island. Fewer tourists and therefore less crowded beaches. The absolute secret beach we found is part of Naithon beach, but is separated by some rocks in the sea and on the beach. Most likely that’s also the reason not many people visit this part of the beach, but if you want an almost private beach and the perfect tropical beach shots, you have to go here. Surrounded by beautiful palm trees and sand as soft as powder, this is truly a paradise!

Getting there: With a rental scooter, car or taxi. You can enter the beach using the wooden stairs as seen on this picture. You’ll find the stairs at the opposite of a rental and sales residence.

Entrance fee: Free of charge.

Best time photos: Sunset for sure. You will see the beautiful colors and soft light over the sea.

Photo tip: At this place you can take several pictures with each a different view. You can make it look like they are not made at the same spot! Especially with a drone you can get completely different perspectives of this beach. Get creative with the surroundings, the palm trees, rocks and the stairs.


More Thailand travel inspiration

We definitely recommend visiting Phuket and hope this guide helped you figure out what to do in Phuket. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments or send us an email!

For more inspiration about Thailand, read these guides:

Best things to do in Phuket

Samet Nangshe viewpoint – The best sunrise viewpoint in Thailand

Things to do in Chiang Mai

Koh Phangan best things to do

Best things to do in Koh Samui

Koh Tao things to do