Hello travel fans and welcome to the whimsical world of travel in Phuket, Thailand! Tell me, are you super stoked for this ULTIMATE 3 day Phuket itinerary?
And if you’re not, I kind of get it.
Because let’s be real:
Phuket, Thailand isn’t exactly a hidden gem.
Couple that with the fact that this island has been somewhat overrun by Russian tourists and you have a slew of once pristine beaches that are now overcrowded beyond belief.
Add in some traffic congestion, a bit of trash, a few shady characters, and a beyond chaotic nightlife scene, and you have the stuff that modern-day travel nightmares are made of (Brokedown Palace anyone?).
It’s not ALL bad! Because if it was, then I definitely wouldn’t be telling you to visit as you solo travel Thailand!
Go beyond the chaos and overcrowded beaches of Patong and you really can find some beyond beautiful places that aren’t overflowing with beach chair stealing, selfie stick-wielding hooligans (AKA tourists who definitely need to learn a thing or two about packing for a tropical beach vacation).
Some of these oases of solitude can be a tidbit tricky to find, which is why I’ve created this handy dandy, Phuket itinerary for you!
You’ll learn where to go, what to do, where to stay, and how to get around, as you savor every single minute of your very Phuket vacation.
If you’re ready to swan dive into this bad boy of a post, then grab you’re nearest rainbow, unicorn floatie because it’s gonna be one hell of a ride!
Dear reader, since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high probability that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Starting Your 3 Day Phuket Itinerary: Getting To and From the Airport!
You’ve arrived at Phuket airport and want to know what to do next as you begin your three or possibly one day Phuket itinerary.
Well, I got you!
Because there are THREE different ways to get into the city center from the airport.
You could either:
Bus it, hire a taxi, or take a Grab.
The cheapest of the above options is obviously the bus since it costs just 115 baht ($4) per person.
And while the bus does take a while (like an hour and a half to be precise), it will EVENTUALLY drop you off in Phuket Town
And to find the bus stop:
Just walk to the left of the airport arrivals terminal and look for an orange sign that says “airport bus” on both the front and back.
It’s well-marked and not at all hard to find (But if you’re directionally challenged like me, you can always ask someone for directions).
You could always just take the SmartBus directly to the beach.
Sadly, it takes FOREVER. So, I guess it all just depends on how much you wanna go to the beach.
If you’re not really a huge fan of the bus, you can always take a local taxi instead.
And while this option is a bit more expensive, it’s a great choice if you’re short on time or traveling as part of a group.
Taxis are also incredibly easy to find since they literally EVERYWHERE, once you step outside the airport, with official airport taxis being yellow and red in color.
A taxi from the airport to Phuket Town will cost you anywhere between $17 to $25, depending on whether you negotiate a price with the driver or use the meter.
Do be aware of the fact that there is a 100 baht ($3) surcharge, per taxi, for using a meter when departing from the airport.
That being said:
Many of the taxis in Phuket are actually controlled by the Thai Mafia (Crazy right?).
And while this WILL NOT affect your safety, it does mean that the taxis in Phuket can be particularly expensive, especially for Thailand.
A taxi will be able to get you to Phuket Town in JUST 45 minutes and can drop you off right at your hotel/hostel.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always take the airport “limousine” instead.
It’s really not all that fancy and is basically just like a regular taxi, except that they are a bit more expensive and offer patrons a smoother ride (You can find the prices listed at the taxi stand in the arrivals area).
I would just skip the taxis altogether and order a Grab instead.
I really do love Grab, which is essentially Southeast Asia’s version of Uber.
First, make sure that you have access to either data or WIFI.
Download the app to your phone, select your final destination, and BAM, that’s it!
And added bonus?
Grabs are not only WAY cheaper than cabs, but they’re also comfier/faster than buses, come right to you, and drop you off right at your hotel/hostel.
Once you finally do get to Phuket Town, you can use either a taxi or Grab to get around since, not surprisingly, they’re EVERYWHERE.
The taxis in Phuket are WAY more expensive than they are in the rest of the country.
I’d highly recommend using Grab, your new best friend, instead.
You could also opt for a tuk-tuk, rent a motorbike, or take the bus.
But not gonna lie:
Outside of getting to and from the airport, I never really figured out the buses in Phuket, and as a result, didn’t really use them.
And per usual:
Always negotiate the cost of your ride BEFORE getting in any tuk-tuk and always make sure that any taxi you take puts on the meter.
***If you have extra time after your 3 day Phuket itinerary, you can always plan a visit to the beautiful island of Koh Phangan – a paradise for digital nomad families.***
3 Day Phuket Itinerary: Day 1
Today will be a little bit different than your other two days in Phuket since I am FORCING you to get up at the crack of dawn
Like Nike says, JUST DO IT!
Day one will also be uniquely wonderful because it’s all about self-indulgence and beach bumming like a total boss.
I mean, let’s be honest.
You can’t really come all the way to Phuket without enjoying the beach, now can you? Especially since this place is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand!
Exactly! I’m so glad you agree (BTW, I’m assuming that your silence means total agreement. Because yes, that’s exactly how I roll).
1. Sunrise at Promthep Cape
Being up this early SUCKS…BIG TIME.
I am most assuredly, NOT a morning person!
Sometimes, sacrifices need to be made, especially since the sunrise at Promthep Cape is mind-blowingly wonderful.
If you go at sunrise, rather than sunset, you can avoid the crowds and basically have the place all to yourself.
Which I for one am all about.
Now, while you’re here, you obviously can’t miss the view!
You’ll also want to visit the nearby lighthouse, which is just a ten-minute walk from Laem Phrom Thep and another, lovely, Buddhist temple (Both of which are beautiful and well worth a visit).
***If you decide to come back for sunset, then catch the view from Laem Phrom Thep temple instead of Promthep. Because while both places have equally stunning views, the view from Laem Phrom Thep temple is a WHOLE lot less crowded.***
Address: Laem Promthep Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: Open 24 hours a day but stop by at either sunrise or sunset for the best views.
How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Promthep Cape is by taxi or by Grab since they should be able to take you all the way up there.
How long to spend: After sunrise, you won’t need to spend more than an hour here if you want to see the temples. Otherwise, it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to wander around and see the lighthouse.
2. Be a TOTAL Beach Bum at Nai Ham Beach
It isn’t breakfast time just yet!
Because the place that you just HAVE to try isn’t open until 9:00 AM.
No one likes to swim on a full stomach!
And if you do arrive early enough:
You’ll BASICALLY have the beach all to yourself, which is the ultimate goal of any 3 day Phuket itinerary.
Because let’s be honest:
Phuket is KNOWN for its crazy party scene.
It’s kind of rare to find anyone on the beach THIS early in the AM.
I’d head to Nai Harn Beach and SOAK UP THE SUN; especially since Nail Ham is considered one of the cleanest beaches in Phuket and usually fills up quickly as the day progresses.
But, if you need a break from the beach:
You can always check out the beautiful, Buddhist temple that is just a few minutes away from the beach, on foot.
Have I mentioned just how beautiful all the temples in Thailand are?
Well just in case I haven’t, they’re all totally gorgeous!
Is it the most impressive temple I’ve ever seen?
But, it’s definitely worth a quick look if you’re in the area.
And before your visit:
Do remember to dress appropriately, which means that you’ll need to cover both your shoulders and knees (And if you want to wear something revealing, then be sure to carry a scarf so that you can easily cover up).
I was super surprised to find out that A LOT of the tourists at this beach are Russian!
Nai Harn really is home to an odd little enclave of Russian tourists.
Weird AF? You betcha! But totally true.
If this beach is for some reason, crowded AF, then you can always just go to the coast and find yourself a nice little, secluded, ’mini’ beach where you can sit and hide away from all the tourists.
Address: Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: 24 hours
How to Get There: The easiest way to from Promthep Cape to Nai Ham Beach by taxi or Grab since the ride will only take about ten minutes.
How long to spend: By now, it should be around 7:30 am. So, if you want to stay on track for the rest of the day, then plan to spend between two and 2.5 hours here (This all kinda depends on how hungry you are). This is just enough time to enjoy the sun before it gets TOO intense!
PS: DO NOT forget your sunscreen and water!
3. Breakfast at Macrobiotic World
And full Confession?
I actually had to FORCE myself to go somewhere else for breakfast since the food at this cozy and inviting restaurant is THAT good!
Unless you’re hanging out on the south of the island, this place is definitely a bit out of the way.
Macrobiotic World is worth the trip since this veggie/vegan haven features an assortment of Thai-Western fusion dishes that are all absolutely DELISH.
I’m actually getting insanely jealous just knowing that you’re headed here (Excuse me while I grab a moist towelette).
And while they serve a variety of fantastic smoothie and muesli bowls, my personal faves include the Theobroma (Cooked oats with cacao powder, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and tahini) and the Thai Omelet (an egg omelet with tomato, onion, avocado, tofu, and salad).
Yup, both are YUM with a capital “Y”.
And even though this place definitely isn’t the CHEAPEST restaurant in Phuket, Macrobiotic is by no means expensive.
Because most of the dishes here will only cost you between $3 to $6.
Which is totally fine by me for a huge, tasty, organic meal like this.
If you want to come back for lunch or dinner at some point (and I can’t blame you!), then I can enthusiastically recommend it ALL.
I am SUPER OBSESSED with their Pad Ka Quinoa (Quinoa with tofu, onion, Thai basil, and chili).
Address: Highway 4233, 14 /93-94 Moo 1, Rawai, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
How to Get There: This place is just a 5-minute walk from Nai Harn Beach. And If you’re elsewhere, just order a Grab.
4. Phuket Seashell Museum
You probably didn’t think that a museum would be on the agenda for today.
I love this little hidden gem!
It’s UBER quirky and perfectly fits in with the theme of today (i.e. beach bum and chill.)
I just had to add it in here, so that I can guarantee you the best 3 day Phuket itinerary possible!
If you love museums just as much as I do, then you’re probably always on the lookout for something a little different. And this place is definitely that.
Because believe it or not:
The Phuket Seashell Museum is home to over 2000 different types of shells that have all been collected by the owner, Somchai Patamakanthin, and his family.
And while you can find shells from all over the world here, a majority of them are, of course, from Thailand.
Of particular note is one shell here that weighs OVER 250kg (And if you’re like me and have no idea how much a kg is, that’s over 550 pounds)!
Imagine trying to haul that bad boy out of the sea!
I’m getting Sciatica just thinking about it!
Address: 12/2 Moo 2, Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Admission Fee: 200 baht ($6.60) per adult, 100 baht ($3.30) per child
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
How to Get There: To get to the Seashell Museum from Macrobiotic World, it will be about a ten-minute Grab ride.
How long to spend: It’s surprisingly big, but it won’t take too much time since it’s mostly just admiring the different shells on display. That’s why I only spent about 45 minutes here. But, If you’re really into shells and want to read everything, it could take longer.
5. More Beach Bumming
You’re not sick of the beach yet, right?
Because you have two awesome options available to you!
You could either head back to Nai Harn OR find an entirely new beach.
I’d head to Kata Noi Beach since it is a whole lot less touristy than some of the other beaches in Phuket.
It is by no means devoid of tourists, so be prepared!
You could always visit Karon or Kata beach since both are nearby, quite popular, and have good reputations.
Just whatever you do:
Stay FAR FAR FAR AWAY from Patong!
I’m talking about nightmare levels of tourists and trash.
AVOID this place at ALL costs.
For where we’re headed next on our itinerary, Karon Beach is probably the furthest north that you’ll want to go.
And from here?
Well, enjoy yourself because GOSH DARNIT, you deserve it!
If you find yourself getting a bit sick of the beach (it happens, I’m not judging), then skip this part of the Phuket itinerary and head straight to Wat Chalong!
It’s your holiday and you really don’t have to follow this 3 day Phuket itinerary to a TEE.
Address: Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: 24 hours
How to Get There: To get to Kata Noi Beach from the Seashell Museum, it should take you about twenty minutes via Grab.
How long to spend: This will be a somewhat quick visit, so you really shouldn’t plan on spending more than 1.5 hours here (an hour would be ideal). If you can though, try to get to the restaurant by 2:00 pm, otherwise, you won’t have enough time to visit Wat Chalong.
6. Lunch at Kataturk Turkish Restaurant
You’re in Thailand and you want to eat delicious Thai food!
And I don’t blame you. But:
This place is SO GOOD, and you’re already in the area.
It is my duty as a travel-loving blogger to at least recommend Kataturk Turkish Restaurant to you.
In all honesty though:
I do have an ultra-soft spot in my tummy for Mediterranean food and nearly jumped out of my Grab as I drove past.
And you know what:
I’d do it again. I’d jump from a moving vehicle just to eat here.
Okay, okay, that might be a tad hyperbolic.
But you know what I mean.
Because the food here really is THAT tasty and provides a nice break from Thai food, at least if that’s all you’ve been eating as of late (Plus you actually CAN get Thai food here if you really want it. I mean, I’ve heard great things about their chicken satay).
Now, being the die-hard vegetarian that I am:
I devoured their hummus and borek (a baked, Turkish, phyllo-dough pastry that is filled with savory items, like spinach, YUM!).
Because in all honesty:
The bread here was so fluffy that I kind of wanted to weep tears of joy.
You HAVE to try the baklava! They’re like little sweet, syrupy, pockets of heaven…in my mouth. SOOO good.
This place can be a bit on the expensive side, but I think it’s totally worth it.
And while You COULD spend a lot here:
I was able to stuff my face, to the point of ALMOST feeling ill, for less than $10.
That’s not TOO bad, especially when you compare it to the price of dinner back at home.
Address: Khoktanod Road, Kata Beach, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm.
How to Get There: This place is about a 15-minute walk from Kata Beach and a 30-minute walk from Kata Noi Beach. Otherwise, as always, take a Grab!
7. Wat Chalong
Wat Chaitararam, which is more commonly known as Wat Chalong.
And while there are twenty-nine different Buddhist temples on Phuket island, Wat Chalong is actually considered to be the most important of them all.
So it’s gotta be impressive, right?
Well, hell to the yeah it is.
Because this temple of awesome is definitely worth your time.
And If you read my 3 Day Bangkok Itinerary, then you know how much I love my Thai temples.
You’d think I’d be totally over them by now but nope. I adored Wat Chalong.
I couldn’t in good conscience leave it off this 3 day Phuket itinerary.
Even if you’re sick of temples, I recommend that you check this one out.
Because believe it or not:
Many locals actually swear that miracles happen here.
And while I myself cannot attest to this, I figure it doesn’t hurt to visit, just in case!
Legend here dictates that the grand pagoda was actually built using a splinter from a Buddha’s BONE!
How AMAZING is that?
Because if that’s true, it would certainly explain all the miracles!
***To visit Wat Chalong, both men and women MUST wear proper attire. This includes shirts with sleeves, pants/skirts/dresses that fall below your knees, and nice shoes (No flip flops! And if you do wear sandals, you must wear socks since bare feet are NOT allowed). However, if you do arrive improperly dressed, you can always rent/buy clothes from a nearby vendor. FYI, you also cannot wear shoes inside the temple and MUST tuck your feet behind you when sitting in front of the Buddha icons since pointing your feet at Buddha is offensive to worshippers.***
Address: 70 Village No.6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Road, Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free! (But consider leaving a donation in one of the donation boxes)
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
How to Get There: It will be about a 15-minute Grab ride from the restaurant to the temple.
How long to spend: Again, the next stop is a food stop (or at least a coffee break, depending on how your tummy feels) so it all really depends how hungry you are. But, I wouldn’t spend more than two hours here. So, plan on leaving by later than 2:30 pm.
8. The Big Buddha
You are backtracking a bit to get here from Wat Chalong.
Due to closing times (and sunset), this is still the best order in which to see everything.
Oh and yes:
You MUST make sure that you get here by sunset!
Because the views here really are STUNNING.
And while you definitely won’t be the only one here, this place is so pretty that it won’t even matter.
In addition to the beyond epic panoramic views, the GIANT Buddha statue on the hill is also pretty damn impressive.
It’s 45 meters tall, or 147 feet for my non-metrics minded, American brethren.
So yeah, flipping GIANT!
And like with most religious sites in Thailand:
Demonstrate proper respect while you’re here and ALWAYS dress appropriately.
Because not only is this a very important Buddha in Thailand, but it’s also one of the most revered religious sites in all of Phuket.
So, like with Wat Chalong:
When visiting, fully cover both your knees and shoulders. You also CANNOT wear flip flops, so be sure to rock some closed-toe shoes instead.
And if you do forget to cover up:
Don’t panic because you can always rent a sarong here, for FREE.
Please do NOT take any selfies in which your back is towards the Buddha since showing your back to the Buddha is seen as incredibly disrespectful (The only slightly acceptable selfie is one where you’re facing the Buddha and your back is to the camera. But even then, you really shouldn’t be taking any photos with the Buddha at all).
And when exiting the temple:
Try and walk backwards towards the exit first, before turning around and leaving the temple.
Because to be as respectful as humanly possible:
You really want to put as much distance between you and the Buddha, before turning your back to exit the temple.
Address: Soi Yot Sane 1, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free! (But consider leaving a donation in one of the donation boxes)
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: To get from Wat Chalong to the Giant Buddha, it should be about a 10-minute Grab ride.
How long to spend: Hang out until sunset. Because I promise, it’s totally worth it. And if you arrive AT sunset, then stay until you’re ready to eat and shop because the night market is up next!
9. Night Market (& Dinner)
No 3 day Phuket itinerary would be complete without a visit to a night market.
This place is so awesome, that you might even find yourself going back… more than once.
If you stop by on a Sunday, then be sure to Phuket Walking Street, a popular night market that runs through Phuket Old Town.
BE PREPARED because it can be HELLISHLY busy, especially since this market is ONLY open on Sundays.
I guess the crowds are all just a part of the experience (Definitely not this anti-social introvert’s fave part of the market but that’s a story for another post).
You can embrace your inner shopaholic and buy as many souvenirs/gifts as humanly possible (Think handmade t-shirts, intricately carved soaps, painted lamps, custom made flip flops, and more!).
Also check out the area’s charming, Sino-Portuguese architecture and stuff yourself silly with some of the delicious street food that you’ll find here (There are some great open-air stalls that serve delicious, deep-fried seafood)!
This IS my food rec for dinner, so don’t be shy and make sure that you eat until your stomach screams, “Please sir (or madam), no more!”.
Address: Thalang Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free to go in, but you’ll have to pay for whatever treats and souvenirs you want.
Hours: Open on Sundays from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
How to Get There: Catch a Grab and ask for ‘Thalang Road’
How long to spend: Until you get bored, tired, or full!
And if it’s NOT a Sunday:
Then you can always visit Chillva Market instead.
Not just your average night market:
This HIP and HAPPENING place is overflowing with a multitude of different stage acts and street performers (It’s all in Thai though so don’t expect to know what’s going on) that have a distinctly chilled out, Bohemian vibe.
If the uber-cool vibe doesn’t excite you, then the less touristy feel of this market will.
Because this place is located just outside the city center and is, as a result, much more popular with locals than tourists.
This also means that…prices are lower (Think 130 baht for high-quality t-shirts, 100 baht for sunglasses, and 30 Baht for handmade beauty products)! HOORAY!
Like with any good night market, don’t forget to haggle!
While you’re here, feel free to eat (you’ll find funky pubs, cafes, ice cream parlors, and a ton of street food), watch some performances, enjoy the ambiance, and bring home a souvenir…or twenty (I promise, I’ll never tell).
Address: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm (closed on Sundays).
How to Get There: Grab! They should know where to go if you say, “Chillva Market”.
How long to spend: Until you’re ready to head home!
3 Day Phuket Itinerary: Day 2
Day 2 is my favorite day of this 3 day Phuket itinerary.
Because guess what?
You get to explore my fave part of the island: Kathu!
But first, some very necessary real talk.
Even though Kathu is one of my fave areas in all of Phuket it’s also home to some not-so-nice things like Tiger Kingdom, a popular, local animal park with, DUH, tigers.
And while I have never been:
I for one do not ever plan on going. Because even though this place is advertised as an “ethical” animal sanctuary, I have heard from fellow travelers that the tigers here are actually chained up.
Which is sad, but kind of unsurprising since unethical animal tourism is a real problem in Thailand.
So, moral of the story?
Please please please, ALWAYS do your research before you visit an animal attraction and do your best NOT to support the unethical treatment of animals.
There, mom size lecture over, for now… (insert ominous evil laugh here).
1. Breakfast at Ketho Cafe
You get to sleep in today!
And by sleep in, I mean not having to wake up in time for sunrise.
Unless of course, you want to.
Just don’t sleep in too long or you might miss out on some of the amazing things that I have planned for today.
And that would be a real shame! But first:
We need copious amounts of sustenance before we do anything at all.
Head on over to Ketho Cafe for some BEYOND delicious dim sum that is sure to quell the HANGRY beast within!
Be forewarned that this place is POPULAR AF and gets CRAZY BUSY!
Do not be surprised if you encounter a bit of a wait.
Because, I pinkie promise, it’s totally worth it.
Now, if I’m brutally honest, I’m not really sure what I ate while I was here.
But it was all SUPER GOOD and cost me just a few dollars!
The owners here are friendly, accommodating, and speak a little English.
They were able to help me order some delicious, totally veggie-friendly, dim sum of awesomeness.
And just in case you’re a veggie like me:
I was told by my hostel that “mai sai nuea” is Thai for “don’t put meat in”.
You could always say“Kin jay” instead, which means “Buddhist vegan.”
I was a bit wary of using this second phrase since it also means that you don’t want any garlic or spice in your food.
Two things that I absolutely love.
Address: 48 2 Vichitsongkram Rd, Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm.
How to Get There: I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be advising you to use Grab all day!
2. Kathu Museum
I SWEAR this place really does exist. I just can’t find any evidence of it online!
But I promise I’m not crazy!
Because I actually found this museum purely by chance, while I was walking around after breakfast.
And being the BEYOND curious traveler that I am:
I just had to go inside and see what this white, colonial building with lime green awnings/shutters was all about.
I was beyond delighted to discover that this museum is dedicated to the history of spices and food in Thailand!
We all know how much I LOVE food, so this place was a real treat.
The total nerd in me did a little, uber-excited, happy dance.
Since this place, apparently, doesn’t exist online (I’m not crazy!!), you probably won’t have to do battle with any selfie-stick wielding tourists while you’re here.
Feel free to explore the various food-related exhibits amidst relative solitude since I was, literally, the only one here when I visited!
Address: Located right across the street from Ketho Cafe, in a white building with green trim.
Admission Fee: I think it was 100 baht ($3.30) when I went, but I’m not sure and can’t check online!
Hours: Again, no trace online, but I am hoping it’s open daily from around 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: You can walk here from breakfast since it’s just across the street and slightly further down the road.
How long to spend: I spent around an hour, but I’m a nerd. 45 minutes is probably sufficient since this place isn’t very big.
3. Kathu Waterfall
Are you ready for a hike?
Well, I hope so!
Because we’re headed to Kathu Waterfall and are gonna work off some of that dim sum that you just inhaled this morning (And no judgment, because I did the same thing)!
Kathu Waterfall Is a fairly popular destination in Phuket.
In my admittedly limited experience, it RARELY gets busy; especially since it really only attracts people who love the outdoors and who are looking for a break from the beach.
You should probably wear/bring something that you don’t mind getting wet.
Because then, you can just jump right in when you get here!
I also recommend wearing a bit more than just your bathing suit.
If locals are here when you arrive, you won’t feel uncomfortable about jumping in with just your bathing suit on!
Because trust me:
After a 45-minute hike to the falls, you’ll definitely want to cool off!
And while it isn’t ALL uphill, this trek definitely involves A LOT of stairs.
So, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Now, even though this definitely isn’t the most beautiful waterfall that I’ve ever been to (not even just in Thailand!), it’s still a picturesque place (and hike) to visit.
Sometimes, it’s just nice being outside!
Before you go, there a few things you should keep in mind.
Because in case you’re unaware:
Thailand is HOT. Like, surface of the sun hot. Which means that this hike can get a bit grueling.
Bring lots of water to keep hydrated. You’ll also want to pack some sunscreen since the path to, and the area around, the waterfall is not completely protected from the sun.
And depending on the season of your visit:
The waterfall itself may not be all that impressive since the flow of the water here is a bit more intense after the rainy season, which is between September and October.
As a result:
The waterfall here can sometimes dwindle in size as the year progresses.
Even if the waterfall itself is a bit lackluster, you can still cool off with a nice, leisurely swim in the lake.
Address: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: 24 hours (but don’t go after dark since I definitely don’t want you to get lost in the forest!)
How to Get There: Take a 15-minute Grab ride to the base of the hike. Then, follow the path North for about 45 minutes.
How long to spend: Plan on spending between 2.5 and 3 hours here.
4. Lunch at Zurich Bread
You’ve probably worked up quite the appetite after all that hiking.
Am I right?
So, if you’re feeling a burning hunger from within, then head on over to Zurich Bread for some super tasty bread and pastries.
This place is a bread-lovers paradise.
And while it is a bit on the expensive side (especially for Thailand), it’s so worth it!
Because as a self-proclaimed bread lover (and lover of any and every type of carb imaginable), I just could NOT in good conscience leave this place off this 3 day Phuket itinerary.
But wait, just how expensive is it?
Well, a meal here will cost you upwards of $5 (I spent about $12 on my breakfast here).
They do ALL DAY BREAKFAST! Which is basically like all of my gastronomic dreams come true.
Which is why I went hog wild and got the smashed avocado on toast.
AND then chased in all down with two, gloriously delicious pastries (An almond croissant and a fruit danish that was exceptionally good).
I know, I have no shame.
But you know what? I regret nothing!
They also have bagels too.
But since I’m a native New Yorker and a total bagel snob, I didn’t want to risk ordering one since I am beyond picky when it comes to bagels (I have heard good things about their bagels though).
Address: 46/3 Kathu Business St, Tambon Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
How to Get There: I think it’s safe to say I’ll be advising you use Grab all day! But the ride should take about 12 minutes.
5. Thai Hua Museum
So this place technically isn’t in Kathu.
It’s currently the HOTTEST part of the day and you’ll definitely want to be indoors!
Off to the Thai Hua Museum we go, a place that is dedicated to the preservation of Phuket’s cultural heritage.
You’ll hear all about the history/development of the island and learn all about the area’s close connection to nearby China.
The museum itself actually sits inside what was once the first Chinese language school in Phuket; a beautiful, Sino-Portuguese building that all my fellow architecture lovers will LOVE!
Address: 28 Krabi Road, Talad Nuea, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Admission Fee: 200 Baht ($6.60)
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
How to Get There: Grab! They should understand Thai Hua Museum and the ride should take about 15 minutes.
How long to spend: Plan to spend about an hour here. You might also want to grab a drink in the cafe afterward since it’ll still be pretty hot outside.
6. Bang Wad Dam
You’ll definitely be going on another mini-hike
I tried to put this activity near the end of the day so that it won’t be UNBEARABLY hot.
Most of this trail is directly in the sun (Cough, be sure to apply copious amounts of sunscreen, cough).
It’s still a beautiful, not terribly strenuous, 30-40 minute hike along a local reservoir, to a quieter part of the island.
And once you get to the dam:
You can admire a lovely, scenic view away from the hustle and bustle of Old Town Phuket.
If you can though:
Do try and time your visit around sunset. Because although the view wasn’t MINDBLOWING, it was definitely beautiful (aren’t all the sunsets in Phuket?).
There was hardly anyone else here!
I heard it can get busy on weekends, so plan accordingly!
Address: Bang Wad Dam, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand (Near Phuket Country Club)
Admission Fee: Free!
Hours: 24 hours (I wouldn’t go TOO late, though, but felt totally safe walking back after sunset)
How to Get There: It will be about a 30-minute Grab ride to the trail near the dam. You will need to walk about 30-40 minutes from the base of the trail to the dam.
How long to spend: Until you’re hungry!
7. Dinner at Rabbit Coffee x Pad Thai Kathu
This place has a giant yellow rabbit wearing sunglasses outside and I couldn’t NOT go in!
Now, while I was initially just planning on getting a milk tea, I ordered a last-minute curry too.
And real talk?
I was not disappointed!
Which is why:
You absolutely MUST stop by and try their Massaman Curry with mixed veggies.
SO FLIPPIN’ GOOD!
AND it only cost me 69 baht (or $2) for a big a$$ bowl of food!
So yeah, #winningatlife. PS:
The milk tea was also HUGE and delicious and cooled me right down after a long day in the sun.
The decor here is STUNNING since basically everything is covered in their adorable, rabbit in sunglasses logo!
Instagram lovers of the world, feel free to rejoice.
Address: Vichitsongkram Rd, Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
How to Get There: Call a Grab to this nifty little place and the ride will take about 15 minutes.
8. Cabaret Show
Phuket definitely isn’t as well known for its ladyboy cabaret shows as Pattaya.
If you’re not headed to Pattaya, then you’ll for sure want to catch a show while you’re here.
If this isn’t for you, feel free to go do something else this evening!
Because in truth:
Lady Boy Cabaret definitely isn’t everyone’s thing.
If you ARE looking to see a cabaret show during your 3 days in Phuket, then I HIGHLY recommend Simon Cabaret since it’s well known and family-friendly!
No gross ping pong shows here! In case you were worried. Because I know I was, at least before I saw this show.
You’ll get singing, dancing, and just straight up, pure entertainment, that is perfectly combined with true, Thai hospitality (It has the epic glitz and glam of Las Vegas show, only even more fun! If that’s possible.)!
To see this show, you WILL have to head into Patong at night.
And while this place is busy during the day, it ’s absolutely MENTAL at night.
I tried my best to avoid Patong and this was the one and only time that I went there.
And that was enough. However:
If you like the scene here, you’ll get no shade from me!
It was all just WAY too overwhelming for me.
And I’m from New York! So yeah, that’s saying something.
Address: 8 Sirirat Rd, Pa Tong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Cost: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!Tickets start at $30per person.
Hours: Shows start every night, at 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, and 9:00 PM, with each show lasting about 70 minutes.
How to Get There: Grab, of course!
3 Day Phuket Itinerary: Day 3
I know you’ve had to deal with me harping on and on about ethical animal tourism.
That’s only because IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT!
Day 3 of this Phuket itinerary is ALL ABOUT ethical conservation!
So, get pumped!
Because we’re about to see some animals…Crocodile Hunter style!
Today’s activities are WAY tamer than that since Ranger Rick I am not.
1. Breakfast at The Neighbors Cafe
Rise and shine campers (Anyone get the Groundhog Day reference? Or am I the only old fool quoting that movie? Right…AWKWARD) because it’s breakfast time!
Your stomach will thank me since we’re headed to The Neighbors Cafe, a quaint little eatery, attached to a hostel. that came HIGHLY recommended!
And for good reason!
Because I cannot praise this place enough. I mean, everything from the food to the service to the charming interior was over the top wonderful.
I’d embrace the glutton within and order the pancakes, with a bit of seasonal fruit and muesli on the side, just to make this meal feel the tiniest bit healthy.
And random aside.
Why is the fruit in Thailand SO DELICIOUS?
Like, I’m over here drooling, just thinking about it.
I never knew fruit and muesli could be THAT good.
Oh, and because this place can get quite busy, be prepared to fight, to the DEATH, for a seat!
However, it does get busy so you may have to wait!
Address: 93 Phang Nga Road Tambon Talad-Yai, 83000 Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Price: Dishes here typically cost between 175 and 250 Baht (So between $6 ahd $8.50)
How to Get There: If you’re staying in Phuket Old Town, you can walk, otherwise Grab it all the way!
2. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
I’ll admit it.
I was SUPER on the fence about visiting an elephant sanctuary while I was in Thailand.
I just wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a place that really took care of their elephants and that let them do their own, blissfully adorable, elephanty things.
A friend of mine actually recommended the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary to me and it was everything I wanted…AND MORE!
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary was the first elephant sanctuary to open up in Phuket and has a proven track record of ethical animal treatment.
I have even heard some people say that it is the ONLY ethical elephant sanctuary on the entire island (I don’t know that for a fact but that’s just what I heard).
Which makes sense since this facility is co-run by Lek Chailert, one of the founders of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, another, world renowned animal sanctuary that has a stellar reputation when it comes to the ethical treatment of its animals.
The reason this place is so ethical is because people are NEVER allowed to ether ride the elephants or bathe with them.
Visitors are treated more like welcome guests, who are allowed to observe these animals as they roam around in their semi-natural habitat.
During your visit here, you will ONLY be allowed to do things like feed the animals, take pictures of the animals, and pet the animals (when permitted by an employee); all of which is done while learning about the history of the park, and the elephants, from your personal, park guide (FYI: Your guide is always with you while you walk through the animal’s enclosure).
Be sure to do your research and choose the right elephant sanctuary for you!
Because while many other places may claim to be ethical, yeah, they really aren’t.
Address: 100, Moo 2, Paklok, Thalang, 83110, Thailand
Admission Fee: 3000 baht ($100) for adults, 1500 baht ($50) for children up to age 12. Spaces fill up fast though, so be sure to guarantee your spot by booking ahead on their website. Prices listed are also only for a half day trip.
Hours: Open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, but you need to pre-book your morning, afternoon, or all day visit in advance.
How to Get There: For an additional 500 baht ($16), you can arrange for the Elephant Nature Park to pick you up and drop you off, back at your accommodation (which is why today’s breakfast was at a hostel!).
How long to spend: I’d recommend either the morning trip (9:30 am to 1:00 pm) or the afternoon trip (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm), both of which include a lovely, lunch buffet.
3. The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
I told you that today would be all about the animals!
Why the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project?
Well, throughout the 20th century, gibbons living in Phuket were actually hunted until the point of local extinction.
As a result:
Gibbons were tragically absent from the island for more than forty years, a fact that had devastating effects on the local ecosystem.
Passionate locals started to rescue Gibbons from other parts of Thailand (where they were being illegally kept as pets or mistreated in zoos) and brought them to Phuket’s Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, where they could (hopefully) be rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
As you explore this fantastic place, you’ll be able to get an up-close and personal look at just how amazingly resilient these little creatures are!
And while you won’t be able to see any Gibbons that will be released back into the wild (Project members want to increase the chances of a successful reintroduction by limiting interactions with humans), you will be able to see gibbons that are permanently in captivity, as the result of either severe trauma or abuse.
They look like these adorable little teddy bears that are forever swinging through the trees.
Address: 104/3 Moo 3, Paklock, Talang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Admission Fee: While it’s free to enter the project, you will need to pay a fee to enter the park, which is 200 baht ($6.60) for adults and 100 baht ($3.30) for children.
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
How to Get There: It’s about a 30-minute walk from the elephant sanctuary. But, you may be able to get a free ride here if other people are going back to their hotel.
How long to spend: I would spend about two hours here.
4. Explore the rest of Sirinat National Park
I was exhausted after my two previous visits to the area, so I can’t really speak too much about what else there is to do here.
Since you’ve already paid to be here, why not explore the nearby Tonsai or Bang Pai Waterfalls?
I’ve heard great things about both places, with the Bang Pad Waterfall sitting incredibly close to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project.
Whatever you do though:
Be sure to follow the marked trails (Trust me, you do not want to end up on an episode of, I Shouldn’t Be Alive) and don’t stay out too late!
Because unless you’re Bear Grylls:
You really don’t want to be lost in the rainforest when the sun goes down.
5. Dinner at The Moon Thai Food
Is there anything more tasty than Thai food?
And the correct answer to that question is no, at least not when you’re in Thailand.
Walk inside this adorable, sparsely decorated, open cafe and you’ll find nothing but friendly staff and food that is PACKED with flavor.
Why is Thai food ALWAYS good?
I ordered the vegetable spring rolls and Pad Thai, which cost me just 250 baht ($8.30) for everything, including a drink.
Tasty and affordable! Two of my absolute favorite things
Address: 88 Yaowarat Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 10:30 pm.
How to Get There: If you organize it ahead of time, the Elephant Sanctuary may be able to take you back, at a later time, to the center of town (probably not this place specifically), as long as you’re back at their office before it closes. It really all just depends on how many people they have to take back to town. But, it wasn’t a problem when I was here. Otherwise, just use a Grab.
That’s it for today unless you wanna explore another night market or party the night away like the anti-granny that you are.
I’ll be in my bed, watching Harry Potter movies and popping TUMS like they’re the finest candies I’ve ever tasted (If you’re not old(ish), please disregard this comment).
I am totally NOT a partier and have ZERO nightlife recommendations since and Phuket was a bit too overwhelming for me.
Where to Stay in Phuket!
1. Hugger Hostel (budget)
Don’t worry, you won’t be accosted with hugs everywhere you go!
Although the staff at Hugger Hostel are super friendly and totally chill.
I always appreciate a place where the dorm beds have a contemporary feel and come with curtains, giving you that extra bit of privacy that is essential for doing uber-magical things in your dorm bed, like getting out of your bra.
Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!
Minus the dudes of course. Although if you have been there, that’s totally fine.
No judgment here!
Anyway, quickly moving on. Because guess what?
This place is also located right in the center of Old Town, meaning that the location really couldn’t be any better!
And like with almost every Thai hostel out there:
Both female-only (at $9 per night) and mixed-gender dorm rooms (at $8 per night) are available for you inhabit (Some even come with super snazzy balconies too!).
You could go always totally balls to the wall luxe and just book a private double room, with an ensuite bathroom, for just $26 per night.
We call this living the dream, especially since there’s a communal kitchen right down the hall.
What are you waiting for? BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW!
Address: 64/4 Moo 4 Rasada Road Tambol Talad Neun Mung Phuket, 83000 Phuket Town, Thailand
2. 12month Hostel (budget)
Love the hostel vibe, but want your own space?
Dude, I am SO right there with you!
Because let’s be honest. It can get BEYOND exhausting to undress behind a curtain while simultaneously trying to look MILDLY presentable day after day.
If you love hostels and meeting new people, but still sometimes NEED your own space, then you’re going to love the 12month Hostel!
You’ll adore their studio room with a view.
Because for just $17 a night, you get an entire, studio “apartment” to yourself, with a loft bed, PRIVATE bathroom, a desk, and a couch (Go on, book this awesomeness for yourself, right here right now!).
Like WTF? And I mean that in a super good way.
These studios can supposedly accommodate up to four people (for the same cost!), but I think that three would probably be the limit if you’re thinking of sharing.
And did I mention that this place is right in the Old Town?
It also has this very rustic, almost RV feel to it, that the “trying too hard to be cool” hipster in me loved.
Yup, this place is pretty perfect!
Address: 156/60 Phangnga Road, 83000 Phuket Town, Thailand
3. Baba House Hotel (Mid-range)
I felt like a GODDESS when I stayed at the Baba House Hotel.
For $70 a night I got a GIANT bed, a desk, a private bathroom, and a room big enough to run across (Not that I actually run, But I could have if I wanted to.)
And as if that wasn’t enough:
My room also opened out onto a pool!
It wasn’t a private pool. However, if I had wanted to go swimming at midnight, it was there waiting for me, just a few feet away.
All the rooms here have A/C, offer a pretty decent view of the neighborhood, and include a private balcony (even if they’re not poolside).
Breakfast can also be purchased for a small, additional fee if you just wanna roll out of bed and have food waiting for you.
Go now, BOOK YOUR ROOM, and be happy!
Address: 33/28 Thep Anusorn Rd, Wichit, Phuket 83000, Thailand
4. The Royal P Phuket (Mid-range)
Wanna get all Lourdes on me and really live like a royal for the evening?
Then The Royal P Phuket will be your new favorite hotel.
Because for just $60 per night:
You get to unwind in an EXECUTIVE SUITE with a comfy AF king-sized bed and a private balcony.
You also get access to a swimming pool that is sadly, not private.
WOMP, WOMP, WOMP.
While I was here though, I totally took advantage of their super snazzy, on-site lounge, where I pretended to get some work done.
So, yeah, The Royal P Phuket for the WIN!
And yes, I may or may not have raided the free mini-bar.
Address: 106/1-2 Pattana Road Mueang, Talat Nuea, Phuket Town, Thailand
5. WOO Gallery & Boutique Hotel (Luxury)
If you’re looking for somewhere with a little luxe level charm, then this boutique hotel is for you.
Located in the heart of Phuket Old Town:
WOO Gallery & Boutique Hotel sits inside a historic building, where all the rooms are decorated with traditional, Chinese-style furniture.
The owners are also kind and friendly and only too happy to show you around the hotel, where you can see all sorts of family heirlooms and artifacts.
Rooms here also start at $100 per night and include a terrace, A/C, a flat-screen TV with satellite, private bathroom, a desk, and most importantly, a large, comfy bed.
Some of the rooms EVEN come with their very own fireplace (I don’t think they actually work though)!
Guest here can also enjoy a delicious, à la carte breakfast every morning, which makes for the perfect way to start a perfect day.
Address: 43/1 The Old Town Phuket, Phangnga Rd., Talad Yai, Muang, Phuket, 83000, 83000 Phuket Town, Thailand
5. Novotel Phuket Phokeethra (Luxury)
Located just a stone’s throw away from Phuket Old Town:
Novotel Phuket Phokeethra is a chic, modern, upscale, hotel where rooms start at $110 per night.
Every room here is also outfitted with A/C, free WiFi, a flat-screen satellite TV, an ensuite bathroom, a desk, a safety deposit box, coffee-making facilities, and a minibar.
If you don’t want to drink alone (and who does?), you can always head up to the hotel’s sky lounge and enjoy some enchanting, PANORAMIC views of the city!
There’s even an all-day restaurant here that has multiple cuisines for you to choose from, all of which are served to you either buffet or á la carte style.
Fill up on breakfast and come back later for dinner!
Whenever you eat WAY too much delicious food, you can always just head to their on-site fitness room and work off all those excess calories.
The struggle is real. Especially at Novotel Phuket Phokeethra.
Address: 40 Chanajaroen Road, Tambol Talad Yai, Amphur Muang, Phuket, 83000 Phuket Town, Thailand
DON’T FORGET TO PRINT OUT YOUR FREE, 3 DAY PHUKET ITINERARY NOW!
SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT. THE NOT-SO-EPIC FINALE TO MY 3 DAY PHUKEY ITINERARY (SORRY, NO JAZZ HANDS TODAY!).
BECAUSE HONESTLY? THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING THINGS WAITING FOR YOU IN PHUKET, THAT YOU REALLY DO NEED TO START GETTING READY, LIKE ASAP!
SO, IF YOU FOUND THIS POST EVEN MILDLY USEFUL, THEN PIN THIS NOW AND READ IT AGAIN LATER!