Thailand is well known for images of crystal clear waters and white sand, but where are the best beaches to be found?
Freedom beach is one of the Ii’s most recommended beaches for two reasons:
- It does not get as busy as some of the more popular beaches;
- It has beautiful clear waters and white sand – perfect for snorkelling.
To get there, take a longtail boat from the southern end of Patong beach.
Mai Khao Beach is 11 km long and is one of the most peaceful beaches in Phuket, partly because it is far away from the main areas of the city. It is well worth escaping the crowds at the more popular beaches, such as Patong.
Another quiet yet beautiful beach is Haad Sai Kaew. It is located to the far north of Phuket and once again because it is far from the city’s main attractions does not get crowded.
Once you have picked which beach you intend to visit, don’t forget to pack your snorkelling gear! Of course, if you are bit more adventurous, there are a number of scuba diving schools. Some of the sea life you can expect to encounter include manta rays, turtles, leopard sharks, eels and clown anemone fish (real-life Nemo!). Coral Island, Bon island and the Similan islands are popular locations for scuba diving.
3. Phang Nga Bay
A must see natural wonder while you are in Phuket, Phang Nga Bay is something you would only expect to see in movies. Limestone cliffs and rocks dot the bay, along with over 88 species of bird, coral reefs and archaeological sites. You can book a speedboat tour of the bay or, if you like to take things more slowly, hire a sea kayak for a more personal exploration.
4. Phuket Fantasea
A theme park like no other you have visited, Phuket Fantasea promises to provide you with a new cultural experience. Perfect for an evening out, Fantasea has trapeze artists, a troupe of dancing elephants and performing goats. The theme park has a popular restaurant buffet – The Golden Kinnaree – that has a halal section.
Adults: 2200 baht for entry and buffet, 1800 baht without buffet.
Children: 2000 baht for entry and buffet, 1800 baht without buffet. Kids under 4 go free but will not get a theatre seat.
Thailand is world famous for its wonderfully refreshing and relaxing spa treatments, and take the lethargy out that travelling brings with it. If you want daily access to spa facilities, the Royal Paradise Hotel and Spa offers halal food and is therefore a great option for Muslims. For a truly indulgent experience, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia resort and spa offers a half-hour body scrub with sesame and honey, followed by a 1 hour massage with wild herbs and aromatic oils. If this all sounds too self-indulgent for you, Thai massage is a great way to ease aches and pains and stimulate blood circulation.
6. Cookery class
For a truly authentic cultural experience that all the family can enjoy, sign up for a half day Thai cookery class. The Pum Thai Restaurant & Cooking School offers halal food – when booking your slot, be sure to confirm that your food will be halal.
The best bit is you can choose what you want to learn, whether it is the classic Thai dishes such as green curry, or your own personal favourite Thai food.
Prices range from 500 baht – 7500 baht depending on your choice. Classes run daily and the slots are 11:00, 16:00 and 18:00. For the address click here.
7. Old Phuket Town
A great place to soak up some of the area’s history, Old Phuket Town is what remains of the profits the city reaped from its tin-metal boom over a hundred years ago. If you have visited Penang Island in Malaysia, you may notice some similarity between the colonial buildings in Georgetown and those in Old Phuket Town. The tin mining attracted Chinese, Malay, Nepalese, Indian and of course European entrepreneurs and workers looking to make their fortune. The mixture of these cultural influences has left its imprint on the town’s architecture and mixture of shops. Start at Phang Nga road.
8. Phromthep Cape (Sunset Viewpoint)
Phuket has many beautiful viewpoints where you can enjoy a beautiful Thai sunset. Phromthep Cape has the added benefit of a lighthouse that visitors are invited to enter. The lighthouse is also a museum and offers viewpoints of the Phi Phi islands.
Getting there: There is a car park if you are coming with your own car. Alternatively, many tour buses stop at this viewpoint.
9. Phuket Upside-Down house (Baan Teelanka)
A must-see while in Phuket, the upside-down house will turn your senses upside-down with it! It is located on Bypass road – the website instructions are that it is 300 metres before IKEA, between Premium Outlet and Siam Niramit.
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Entrance fee: 150 baht for kids, 250 Adults.