Travel Phuket

Tourist information for Phuket, Thailand

Must see sights in Phuket

Travel Phuket

Whether you have two days or two weeks to spend in Phuket, you won’t want to miss these three famous attractions. Read on to discover what locals and travel experts commonly call the must see sights of Thailand's largest island.

Big Buddha

Visitors will have a hard time missing Big Buddha, a stunning 45-meter high statue that's visible from over half of Phuket. Seeing Big Buddha from a distance and experiencing the statue up close, however, are two different things.

Big Buddha sits atop Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata. Reaching the statue requires traveling up a winding country road bordered by terraced banana groves. Near the base is a one-ton bronze bell and a temple area with photos of the statue’s ongoing construction.

The plateau along Big Buddha's base offers breathtaking views of the Chalong harbor, Kata Bay and Karon Beach. Behind the statue sits a smaller brass Buddha, dwarfed by the larger statue but still an impressive 12 meters high.

Old Phuket Town

The 10 blocks that comprise Phuket's Old Town are home to some of the most diverse attractions on the island. Southern Chinese merchants settled the area over 100 years ago when they came to work for European tin mining companies. Today, the meticulously restored Sino-Portuguese architecture provides a scenic backdrop for offbeat shops, quaint cafes, art galleries and fashion boutiques.

Most attractions sit along Thalang, Phang-Nga, Yaowari, Rasada and Dubuk roads, though visitors will find plenty of charm in the area's many small alleyways. The Shrine of the Serene Light, for example, lies practically hidden in a narrow alley off of Phang Nga, but houses a breathtaking Chinese shrine with elaborate murals and numbered prayer points.

Visitors can find a map to this and other attractions in the Phuket Town Treasure Map, available at numerous locations in the Old Town area.

James Bond Island

Phuket has a number of small islands but none so famous as Khao Phing Kan, or James Bond Island. Featured in the 1974 spy film The Man With the Golden Gun and the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, Khao Phing Kan is Phang Nga Bay National Park's biggest tourist attraction.

Khao Phing Kan translates to "hills leaning against each other", a name derived from the enormous wall of limestone that appears to have toppled sideways. On one side of the island, another limestone formation sits in a shallow bay. Called Ko Tapu, the rock is about 20 meters tall and 4 meters in diameter.

Khao Phing Kan and surrounding islands have a number of beaches and grottos to explore. Visitors can browse souvenir stalls or take one of numerous hiking trails to viewpoints overlooking the bay.