Exploring the quaint Phuket Town, dining in one of the island’s most popular restaurants or checking out the vibrant nightlife scene of Phuket has its charms, but it’s worthwhile straying off the beaten path to discover the hidden gems of Phuket. We dig out under-the-radar attractions and activities that you can easily fit into your travel itinerary:
1. Explore the mansions of Old Phuket Town
Take a stroll off the beaten path to explore the mansions of Old Phuket Town. Vacationers with an eye for traditional architecture and intricate design elements will enjoy taking in the sights of the beautiful, sprawling mansions tucked away further along Thalang Road.
There are a number of these mansions scattered across the old town. Some, like the Phra Pitak Chinpracha mansion have been converted into glamorous establishments. Tthe mansion now hosts the renowned Blue Elephant restaurant. Others have retained their traditional charm while doubling up as a dining or sightseeing venue. Raya on Phang Nga Road is a great option for lunches and dinner, while Baan Chinpracha serves as a home and museum. A handful of mansions like the Limpanon House (set at the intersection of Bangkok Road and Phang Nga Road) have been left abandoned.
2. Enjoy a lush waterfall
Credit: Jeff Gunn
Soak up the serene vibes, scenic surroundings and soothing sounds of a cascading waterfall! The waterfalls in Phuket may not be large nature attractions, but they do make for a relaxing hangout.
Consider making a stop by at Bang Pae Waterfall (set within the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, it is the longest waterfall on the island), Ton Sai Waterfall (this is also a great birdwatching site within the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park) or Kathu Waterfall (containing a total of four plunge pools, this site is great for taking a refreshing dip to cool off from the tropical heat!).
3. Indulge in a sumptuous seafood feast
Who can say no to a scrumptious seafood feast? There are plenty of luxury restaurants in Phuket, but there’s also a charm in discovering local venues that dish out mouthwatering fare in a fuss-free, traditional setting. We’ve only heard good things about places like Mor Mu Dong, a hidden gem of a find boasting thatched roofs pavilions set over a mangrove swamp and delicious fare, as well as Kru Suwit Seafood Restaurant – a venue set right above the sea waters!
4. Visit a secluded coast
The beaches of Banana and Kata offer some of the most stunning coasts on the island. However, with droves of vacationers peppering across the shores, these places are not quite ideal for those hoping to spend a quiet morning by the sea.
Avid beach-goers won’t mind the effort needed to access Freedom Beach. The coast here is rather remote due to its inaccessibility – it takes a one-kilometre trek over a thick jungle or a boat ride to arrive on the shores. Can’t be bothered to make the journey? Opt for more accessible venues like the northern end of Bangtao beach, Natai beach or Panwa beach.
5. Take in the picturesque sights from Radar Hill Viewpoint
Enjoy uninterrupted vistas over the island from Radar Hill Viewpoint. The west side looks out to bustling Patong and the Andaman Sea. If you ascend a small hill on the east you’ll set sight on Chalong Bay and Phuket Town.
The ride to the hilltop is equally scenic, with roads that take you through villages and vast rubber plantations. Best of all – unlike other viewpoints in Phuket, like Rang Hill or Big Buddha – Radar Hill doesn’t draw hordes of travellers. You won’t have to battle the crowds.
6. Embark on an island escapade
Credit: Del Adams
Set close to the southeastern shores of Phuket, Koh Bon is easily accessed by a speedboat from any of the main beaches in the area (with Rawai beach being the closest to the island). The shores here are rather remote, with most vacationers coming by for a leisurely lunch or a relaxing day spent sunbathing, kayaking or snorkelling.
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