Derived from the Malay word bukit, or hill, Phuket was long known to European traders as Junk Ceylon, and a rich source of valuable tin. After an attack by the rival Burmese navy in 1785, which was repulsed by forces commanded by a local widow and her sister, Phuket rose to prominence as a regional administrative center, charged with running the southern provinces of Thailand.

Today, Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, and sports fine beaches, constant sunshine, and an enviable proximity to a multitude of attractions and dive sites - among them the Similan Islands, Koh Phi Phi, and the limestone peaks of Phang Nga Bay. While Phuket was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, it has since repaired the damage, and, thanks to its tourism revenue, become the wealthiest province in the country.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

Koh Kai Nok

Have a lovely picnic lunch on a secluded white sand beach on Koh Kai Nok, and relax as you watch the waves roll in.

Old Town Tour

Stroll through the Old Town of Phuket along Thalang Road, where you’ll discover beautiful buildings built in a Sino-Portuguese style, including the Standard Chartered Bank, Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion and Thai Hua Museum. As the style suggests, these buildings were influenced by Chinese architecture when they were built over 100 years ago and were later infused with Portuguese elements.

Phang Nga Bay

Spend a day cruising through Phang Nga Bay, where hundreds of limestone karst peaks thrust up out of the sea in a variety of formations, towering over the turquoise water.

Phi Phi Islands

Cruise to the Phi Phi Islands, where "The Beach", starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed, or to James Bond Island, which was a location for the action epic, "The Man With the Golden Gun." Stop at snorkel and dive sites and observe local marine life in crystal-clear waters.

Similan Islands

Take a speed boat to the Similan Islands, considered the top scuba-diving and snorkeling spot in Thailand and world renowned for their coral reefs and diversity of tropical fish. The eleven islands, which comprise a national park, are home to rare species of flora and fauna, such as the Nicobar pigeon, flying lemur and bottlenose dolphin.

Sunset Visit to the Big Buddha

At sunset, visit the big Buddha on a hill. At 135 feet high, this large white landmark sits on top of Nakkerd Hills, one of the highest points in Phuket where one can see an almost 360-degree view of the island. Made of white Burmese marble, the statue is known as Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri, and it is one of Phuket’s most notable sites.

Temple Tour

Visit local Buddhist temples, such as Wat Chalong, Wat Khao Rang and Wat Phra Thong. Wat Chalong is famous among Thais for its reputed healing powers. Khao Rang houses a large golden seated Buddha statue, while Phra Thong is known for its half-buried golden Buddha, Poh Phra Thong.

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