On July 1st, 2021, Thailand reopened to international travelers in Phuket! We are thrilled to share with you all the hidden gems that this extraordinary island has to offer. From white sand beaches to exquisite local experiences, Phuket is a destination you will quickly fall in love with.
While you may be familiar with Phuket and its epic nightlife and shopping streets, there are many more hidden gems to see on every corner. Let’s take a look at some Phuket hidden gems to add to your travel itinerary this summer!
Ao Sane Beach
A little out of the way on Phuket’s southwestern coast, Ao Sane Beach is a hidden gem that is often overlooked, making it a tranquil getaway for those looking to just relax. Fine, soft sand dots the beach, meeting clear waters making it perfect for snorkeling.
Dense jungle surrounds the beach, offering a lovely shade while you lay back peacefully. After resting on the serene beach, explore the waters in one of Phuket’s best snorkeling spots. If you’re new to diving, take snorkeling lessons with experienced divers. The marine life is something you won’t want to miss!
Shrine of the Serene Light
To get away from the hustle of the city, visit the Shrine of the Serene Light, a serene and colorful gem with a mystic feel. In Phuket Town, the Shrine of the Serene Light is one of the oldest Chinese shrines that boasts distinctive architecture and heritage with Hokkien Chinese shrines with terracotta-tiled roofs.
Founded in 1891 by the descendants of the Tan Luan Jen family, this extravagant shrine is surrounded by tall buildings located in a small courtyard. Visitors can admire gorgeous murals stained by burning candles and incense.
Adventure seekers will love this hidden gem in Patong, Phuket. Made up of drop pools, Kathu Waterfall is best experienced during the green season. To get to the very top of the falls, you’ll have to be ready to take a challenging climb with stone stairways and shaded rest stops along the way.
Two areas divide the falls. One side is a natural pool perfect for swimming and the other is a steep climb to the extravagant waterfall. Along the way, explore the tropical vegetation of dense green forest. Be sure to have shoes that are good for hiking as there are lots of slippery rocks and paths covered in moss.
Ao Yon Beach
A charming, sleepy beach town surrounds the sandy beach of Ao Yon, where locals relax, and few tourists visit. The cove is often occupied by boats and yachts floating around the crystal blue water. Overhanging coconut trees sway in the breeze painting the perfect vista of an island getaway.
Locals love to relax, and children are seen playing on the western end, where a stream flows down from the hills and meets the ocean. You can hire a long-tail boat from beach residents to explore the gorgeous waters up close.
The Reclining Buddha of Wat Sri Sunthon
About fourteen kilometers (8 miles) north of Phuket Town is an incredible Buddhist Temple in Thalang known as Wat Sri Sunthon. The sleeping Buddha stands 29 meters (95 feet) high and lays in a quiet property perfect for reflection and meditation.
The sleeping Buddha position represents the Lord Buddha in the dreaming stage, where Buddha had a dream leading him to realize he had reached the stage of enlightenment. Climb atop a small bell tower where you can see a beautiful view of the temple.
For panoramic views of southern and eastern Phuket, head to Panwa Viewpoint on the road to Cape Panwa. The two-story tower offers two viewpoints. On the first level, you can see turquoise seas and lush greenery across the hills. On the second level, you’ll see even farther views of Phuket’s coast.
The climb is not for the faint of heart, but the scene is rewarding with 360° views of crystal blue waters, Chalong Bay, and the Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hills.
More to See and Do in Phuket
There are many more fun and exciting activities to do and hidden gems to see in the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. For the month of June, Thailand Insider is taking you on a journey through Phuket with the monthly issue of ‘On Thai Time.’ Let’s take a look at some of Phuket’s hidden corners for you to add to your travel wish list!
Take an adventurous climb down to this secret gem known as Banana Beach. The turquoise waters are kept clean and pristine, offering a serene environment for you to truly enjoy. Located between Nai Thon Beach and Layan Beach National Park, Banana Beach sees fewer crowds, making it the perfect spot to just relax.
With clean and clear waters, Banana Beach is a great place to swim and explore the marine life below the sea. After taking a dip, dry off on soft sand with the sun shining down on you.
Feel like you’re on top of the world at one of Phuket’s best viewpoints. Laem Krating is one of the best spots to see Phuket’s bright orange sunset. Cross the rocky hills and climb up a steep slope that will get your thighs burning. Atop the hill is green grass and blue sea, creating a vibrant color contrast worthy of a photo moment.
Windmill Viewpoint overlooks a quiet and serene landscape of Ya Nui Beach and Phromthep Cape. Below the tall slim windmills, sit and take in the sea where long-tail boats and fisherman sail across the turquoise sea. You may even catch a glimpse of parasailers gliding across the sky until touching down on Nai Harn Beach.
‘On Thai Times’
There’s much more to see, do, eat, and explore in Phuket! Check out more Phuket hidden gems in the June issue of On Thai Times here to find out more.
How to Get There
The best and most time-efficient way to travel to Phuket is by plane. Domestic flights come to Phuket from Bangkok daily. From Bangkok, the flight is 1.25 hours. There are multiple carriers that fly to the island, or you can fly directly in with Singapore Airlines and Qatar.
For a more affordable option, take the express bus from Bangkok for around $19 minimum. You may also rent a car or hire a driver to Phuket for a 10-hour road trip through Thailand’s hidden gems, hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
We Can’t Wait to Welcome You to Phuket!
Now that you know all about Phuket’s best-kept secrets, it’s time you start planning your vacation to the Pearl of the Andaman Sea! The island is taking preventive measures to ensure your stay with us is safe and enjoyable. Stay up to date on Phuket and travel to Thailand here. See you soon!