Phuket is the southern province of Thailand, it is about 2/3 the size of Singapore, with an area size of 576km2. Phuket was badly hit by the 2004 tsunami on Boxing Day. By December 2006, 22 tsunami-detection buoys were placed around the Indian Ocean. Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destination and is frequently voted the best destination. Check out the 7 wonders of Phuket.
#1. Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is one of the most popular landmarks in Phuket. Located on top of a hill in Chalong, the 45 metres high white Buddha statue overlooks the beaches of Karon Bay, Kata Noi Bay and even the Phang Nga Bay at a clear distance. The views from the top are amazingly breathtaking, especially on a clear-sky day. About 40 mins to 1-hour drive from Patong, Karon or Phuket town, the best and safest way to reach here is by hiring a taxi as the road uphill is prone to accidents. The more adventurous folks can rent a motorbike and drive all the way following the frequent signages.
Useful tips: Avoid visiting there during mid-day or the afternoon as the heat gets crazy. There is no entrance fee to this place, however, a small donation towards the ongoing maintenance works wouldn’t hurt.
#2. Promthep Cape
The southernmost point of Phuket, this is a much sought-after location for people who wish to spend time gazing at the vast ocean and watch the waves hit the rocky shores beneath. This place is best visited during the late afternoon just at the brink of sunset when the place comes alive with tourists. During the daytime, it is equally beautiful and comfortable as there is a cool steady sea breeze flowing which along with the magnificent views makes for a memorable experience.
Useful tips: Hire a taxi driver who has good knowledge of the place and its surroundings as the roads leading to here to have quite a few hidden viewpoints. There is no entrance fee to this place.
#3. Rawai Hill
Not many people know that there exists a particular viewpoint on Rawai Hill just a couple of kilometres away from Promthep Cape. Because it is off the road along the mountain, it mostly stays hidden. The views and the ambience of this particular place are so rewarding that you won’t mind driving around that extra bit to find this place. Once there, you are free to explore and find a spot for yourself anywhere along the grassy slopes of the hill.
Useful tip: Either hires a motorbike and drive there yourself on the way down from Promthep Cape to Rawai beach or hire a taxi driver who is really aware of this spot.
#4. Karon Beach
This is my favourite and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in mainland Phuket. Devoid of the excessive commercialization and millions of jet skis of Patong beach, Karon beach boasts of a much-relaxed vibe. Clear waters, clean sand and lesser crowds make this beach a perfect place to just watch the day pass by. Oh, and you’re treated with some of the most beautiful sunsets.
Useful tip: If you are not staying in Karon area, then drive down to here. It is a 5-10 mins drive from Patong.
#5. Karon Viewpoint
Yet another landmark that is one of the most popular viewpoints of Phuket. From here you get to take in and photograph an impressive scenery of the three west coast beaches of Phuket nestled within the greenery of its hillsides. Flocked by tourists all over, this place is a photographer’s delight during any time of the day.
Useful tips: The viewpoint is a 10-minute drive from Kata beach. There is plenty of space for parking outside this place.
#6. Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is a beautiful Buddhist Temple located in Chalong area. This 200-year-old temple is the heart of Phuket’s Buddhist Community and holds great significance to the Thai people. The Grand Pagoda inside the temple is believed to contain a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone which in itself underlines the importance of this place when it comes to Buddhism. Architecturally, this is a beautiful structure with hues of red and gold all over.
Useful Tips: This place is a 40 minutes drive from Phuket town and an hour drive from the west coast of Phuket. Although there is no entrance fee, donations are always welcome. Follow the normal temple etiquettes while entering the premises. Avoid exposing your shoulders, legs and belly – dress accordingly.
#7. Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is located to the NorthEast of Phuket and is 40 minutes to 1-hour drive from central/west Phuket. This place is a gateway to many limestone cliffs that cut vertically up from the crystal clear waters dotted in the Andaman Sea. The floating villages of Koh Panyee and the unique limestone rock of the James Bond island are the two major attractions here. A leisurely boat trip to Phang Nga Bay with activities like canoeing through limestone caves and ending with a beautiful sunset over the sea makes for a fulfilling experience.
Useful Tips: Do take a stroll through the floating villages of Koh Panyee. It is a different feeling to see how the people live and thrive there. A boat trip should cost you around 2000 Baht including lunch. The boats are generally safe.
The 7 Wonders of Phuket is written by Tamshuk. Tamshuk quit his high paying corporate job at 30 to travel the world and to help others. Follow Tamshuk at Tam Explores, Facebook and Twitter.
Have you visited Phuket? What are the places that you have visited in Phuket that you feel should make into the list of 7 wonders?