We ended up spending 1 week in Phuket, but really figured out the best stuff to do. So if you only have few days here – you’ll be able to hit all the highlights!
8am- Rent a Car.
You can pickup a car most placed for around 1,000 Baht (~$30) for a day. Be sure you’re comfortable with driving on the left side of the road (and are okay with motorbike mayhem).
10am – Visit the Monkeys on Monkey Hill
As mentioned in our previous post, you can get up close and personal with wild monkeys.Purchase peanuts before reaching the hill, if you would like to feed them.
Noon – Street Food Lunch
It is EVERYWHERE! Our rule of thumb was if you see locals eating there, it is probably a safe bet. Know your stomach it takes a bit to build up tolerance. Plan to pay between 50-100 Baht (~$1-$3) per meal.
2pm – Go up and see Big Buddha
Giant 150 foot tall marble statue on the top of a large hill with 360 views of the island. An awesome sight. Their were monks leading a chant under the base of the Buddha, guests are encouraged to join! You can also purchase a gold bell or leaf to write a message and leave your own mark on a gorgeous site.
6pm – Visit Chillva Market.
This is a great spot for miniature desserts and small bites. It feels much cleaner then the street food you will see at other markets. The shopping is different here with more handcrafted goods and unique accessories we didn’t see anywhere else. The market is made out of old shipping containers, and reminded me a bit of a trendy place we could potentially see in the States.
Morning – Book a day trip to Phi Phi islands.
There are dozens of charter options leaving out of the southern cape and some will even shuttle you from your hotel to the docks. Trip time to the islands is about 2 hours and many trips include meals (be careful not to eat too much if you could get sea sick, David made the mistake of shoveling in breakfast only to be feeding the fishes shortly after).
When you see sear rock edges and the lush greenery you’ll know you have arrived. These islands look like they are straight from an tropical movie (and they actually do appear in several). You can enjoy the beach, snorkel, or scuba. The underwater scene here is pretty fantastic.
Evening – Come back and walk the lively streets of Patong Beach.
The downtown comes alive at night with options for tourists. Have a drink at many of the bars who offer happy hour all evening or enjoy some authentic street food right outside of Banzaan Market.
Disclaimer – after visiting several other cities in Thailand, Phuket felt a lot more touristy by comparison. The Thai culture did not feel as genuine as it did in places like Chiang Mai. An okay spot to visit still, but definitely not our top spot in Thailand.