Top 10 Must See Attractions, Phuket, Thailand

Set high on Nakkerd Hill between Kata and Chalong, the majestic Big Buddha towers over the south of Phuket. The 45 metre sitting Buddha known as Phraputthamingmongkol Eaknagakiri in Thai, has become a popular attraction not only for spiritual and religious reasons, but also because of the stunning 360 degree panoramic views that stretch from east to west coast in one sweeping view. It's easy to reach the Big Budha site from the main Chao Fa West Road not far from Chalong Circle. The glittering white statue made from Burmese marble is best visited in late afternoon or morning when the heat of the day is at its lowest, as there are some steps to climb which can be uncomfortable in the midday heat.

This picture postcard scene is probably to most famous image of Phuket. The strip of land protruding into the sea dotted with palm trees is a tropical landmark not to be missed. Located in between Naiharn and Rawai, Promthep Cape has a viewing platform with a small maritime museum with a look out tower. There is also an elephant shrine where you can pay respects by burning incense and candles. The view out to sea is stunning with the gorgeous blue waves of the Andaman Sea surrounding small green and rocky islands.

You can actually descend the hill and walk down to the tip of the cape to reach the most southerly point in Phuket. This scenic view point is popular all year round especially at sunset, so be prepared to meet with the crowds.

When Phuket was a busy industrial tin mining island, the centre of town was an important place for trade and was where the majority of the Chinese mining community lived. The wealth of the island over 100 years ago began to flourish which is reflected by the architecture left behind from this era. Take a stroll around Phuket Old Town and visit the beautifully restored Sino-Portugueuse shop houses which today are quaint cafes, restaurants and boutique stores. Drop by the China Inn Café, or Dibuk Restaurant and Thai Hua Museum.

The magnificent governor's mansion has also been restored to become a Blue Elephant Thai restaurant, which has some lovely original features. Phuket Heritage Trails offer a guided tour of the Old Town by historians who provide background to Phuket's cultures of past and present.

Visitors to Thailand are often curious about 'lady boys' which is perhaps why the Simon Cabaret show is so appealing. Guests will be amazed at the line up of talented and beautiful performers that sing and dance and keep you entertained with amusing shows and impersonations. If you didn't already know the performers are all men, you will get a surprise at the end when the ladies welcome you to get a little closer for a photo opportunity. This is a thoroughly enjoyable night and unforgettable show.

Phuket Fantasea is a cultural theme park located in Kamala, not far from Patong, that enjoys great success in Phuket for its amazing show with animals, in particular the amicable elephants. The well established show is enjoyed by the whole family and tells the story of ancient times in Phuket when elephants and men lived along side each other. The park has several sections with a walking street of shops for souvenirs, children's play zone and aquarium to name a few.

The organisers will pick up guests from hotels throughout the island, there is also a choice of having a ticket with or without a buffet dinner. The show is compared to a Las Vegas production and although the tickets may seem expensive it is well worth it to see the cultural performance and animal acrobatics.

The most popular temple in Phuket, Wat Chalong is located south of Phuket Town and is visited by many pilgrims each day who pay their respects to Buddha and two highly revered monks that once resided there. Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, helped care for the sick and injured during the tin miners rebellion in 1876 with their knowledge of herbal medicine. Placing gold leaf on the monk's statues at the temple is said to bring good fortune. There are several temples in the grounds of Wat Chalong, with ornate roofs and glittering gold decoration, a site worth seeing.

Phuket is famous for its unique nightlife that offers something for everyone. Patong is the centre of all the action at night and the place to be is Bangla Road. The pedestrianised street comes alive with pumping music, lights, street vendors, entertainers, pole dancers, bar girls, lady boys and more. Every night crowds are drawn to witness the crazy scene that is worth witnessing at least once if you are in Phuket, it will certainly be an eye opener. The street is crammed with many different bars and discos you can drink and dance the night away.

On the mountain road leading from Kata to Naiharn is a stunning view point that offers a sweeping view of the west coast beaches. Ascend the small flight of steps to the viewing platform where the breathtaking image of Kata Noi Bay, Kata and Karon Beaches as well as tiny Crab Island, open up in front of you. The beautiful scene shows the white sandy beaches and aqua marine colours of the Andaman Sea. This must see attraction is a perfect place to stop by for a 10 minutes and take some fantastic photographs. Also known as the Kata View Point, the viewing platform is situated at the bend of the road with ample parking, toilets and refreshments.

Without a doubt, the unique Phang Nga Bay, with its thousand or more islands of jutting limestone, is an unmissable site when visiting Phuket. Take a trip by traditional long tail boat and wind through the mangrove passageways and enter the bay's emerald green waters surrounded by amazing rock formations, or hop on a speedboat and explore the many islands, cave and lagoons. See the world famous rock that featured in the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" and visit an amazing floating sea gypsy village called Koh Panyee.

Just an hour and a half away by ferry, and less than an hour by speedboat, Phi Phi Island is easy to reach, but not easy to forget. The main island Phi Phi Don is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and has wonderful soft white sand. The island is so small no motor vehicles are allowed, in fact it only takes 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other. The surrounding waters are crystal clear, perfect for scuba diving or snorkelling. We recommend you also take a trip to nearby Maya Bay where the filming of The Beach took place. A truly wonderful must see destination.

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