Are you looking for the perfect Phuket itinerary for your five-day vacation? You’ve come to the right place! Phuket is one of Thailand’s most popular destinations, and with so many activities, sights, and experiences to enjoy, it’s easy to see why.
Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.
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I was finally able to visit Thailand when TBEX Asia 2022 was held in Phuket. TBEX is a travel conference for content creators and I am the North America Conference Director.
Even though I was there working I was able to spend an additional 5 days exploring Phuket after the conference was over.
I have outlined the exact 5-day Phuket itinerary of my first trip to Thailand.
Discover all the best things to do, things to see, and beaches to explore if you’re planning to spend 5 days in Phuket.
From stunning beaches to vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone. In this post, we’ll share our top tips for the best activities in Phuket so you can make the most out of your 5-day Phuket itinerary.
5-Day Phuket Itineray
Day 1: Explore Big Buddha and Chalong Temple
- Visit the Wat Chalong temple, one of the most important Buddhist temples on the island
- Learn about Thai culture and traditions at the Phuket Cultural Center
- Explore the Big Buddha, a large marble statue overlooking the island
Welcome to the beautiful city of Phuket! Upon your arrival, take a break and relax for a few hours. After all, you deserve it after a long journey!
Start off your time in Phuket by indulging in some delicious local cuisine and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the city.
If you aren’t too exhausted from traveling I suggest spending the day exploring the Big Buddha. What Phuket itinerary would be complete without a day trip to see the stunning Big Buddha and Chalong Temple?
Big Buddha is situated on the highest peak of the island, the 45-meter-high Big Buddha offers breathtaking views over Phuket town and the surrounding areas.
Visitors can climb up the steps to the top of the temple and admire the statue up close. Adjacent to the Big Buddha is Chalong Temple, one of the most important and respected temples in Phuket, which dates back to the 19th century.
It’s definitely worth spending some time here exploring the beautiful grounds and taking in the tranquil atmosphere.
Day 2: Explore Old Town Phuket
- Visit the colorful Sino-Portuguese buildings and cafes of Old Phuket Town
- Check out the local markets and street food scene
- Visit the Thavorn Museum to learn about the island’s history
- Simon Cabaret and the Lady Boys
- Take a cooking class and learn to make some delicious Thai dishes
Start your day by exploring the vibrant and bustling streets of Old Town Phuket, where you can find some of the best souvenirs, markets, and restaurants in Thailand.
Spend the morning wandering through the colorful streets and taking in the culture of this incredible city. Then, take a break for lunch at one of the delicious local cafes before heading out on a day trip from Phuket.
If you partake in cannabis make sure you check out the cannabis cafes. I stumbled across a luxury cannabis cafe that offered both a lil something to smoke and delicious food as well.
Take a Thai Cooking Class
Simon Cabaret and the Famous Lady Boys
Simon Cabaret is a popular cabaret show located in the Patong Beach area of Phuket, Thailand. The show features a variety of performers, including transgender women, who perform choreographed dance routines and lip-sync to popular songs.
The show has been running for over 25 years and has become a popular attraction for tourists visiting Phuket. The performers are known for their elaborate costumes, makeup, and stage presence, and the show is known for its high production values.
If you are interested in seeing the Simon Cabaret show, it is recommended to book tickets in advance, as the show often sells out.
The show is typically performed twice per evening, with shows at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and each show lasts for approximately one hour.
It is important to note that while the Simon Cabaret show is a popular tourist attraction in Phuket, it is also controversial within the LGBTQ+ community.
Some activists argue that the show perpetuates harmful stereotypes about transgender women and reinforces gender norms. It is important to approach the show with an open mind and be mindful of the broader social and cultural context in which it is performed.
- A once-in-a-lifetime show experience that you will remember forever!
- Tickets are THB 600 ($18,83).
Day 3: Visit Phi Phi & Phang Nga Bay
- Take a boat tour to Phi Phi Islands or Phang Nga Bay
- Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters and admire the stunning limestone cliffs
- Relax on the beaches and enjoy the scenery
Phi Phi Islands are some of the most beautiful and popular spots in Phuket. Located just an hour from the mainland, these gorgeous islands are home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.
The best way to experience them is by taking a day trip from Phuket. There are many tour operators offering a range of packages, but all typically include round-trip ferry transfers, snorkeling, and sightseeing activities.
The first stop of your day trip will be Maya Bay – the iconic beach made famous by the movie The Beach. Here you can take in the beauty of the surrounding limestone cliffs and tranquil blue waters.
You will also have plenty of time for snorkeling and kayaking around the nearby coral reefs.
The second part of the day will be spent at Bamboo Island, a small uninhabited island with powdery white sand and lagoons surrounded by mangroves.
Relax on the beach and go snorkeling in the shallow turquoise waters.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wild monkeys on your day trip! Don’t forget to bring your camera so that you can capture all of your amazing experiences. By the end of the day, you will have created memories to last a lifetime!
Visit Krabi Island
- Enjoy deep caves and gigantic limestone cliffs with a hidden lagoon.
- Wat Tham Sua, or the Tiger Cave
- Check out the mangroves in Ao Thalane.
Krabi is a beautiful island located in southern Thailand, known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, limestone cliffs, and tropical scenery.
Krabi is famous for its scenic view and breathtaking Beaches and Islands. Its coral reef vistas are also one of the world’s most beautiful, which makes the City a great spot for coral diving.
Attractions include hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs, exotic marine life, and limestone cliffs that draw rock-climbing enthusiasts from around the world.
National parks include the island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.
If that wasn’t enough, Krabi features some of the most photogenic sunsets in Thailand, often accompanied by spectacular displays of cloud-to-cloud lightning, that are best enjoyed from a beachside bar or Restaurant.
Overall, Krabi is a beautiful destination that offers a range of activities and attractions for travelers of all ages and interests. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Krabi is sure to have something for you.
Day 4: Spend a day at the beach
- Spend the day at one of Phuket’s beautiful beaches, such as Patong Beach or Kata Beach
- Swim, sunbathe, and try some water sports like surfing or paddleboarding
- Enjoy a beachside massage or indulge in some local cuisine at a beachfront restaurant
On your fourth day in Phuket, why not spend the day soaking up some sun and sand? Whether you’re looking for a lazy beach day or an action-packed adventure, Phuket has something for everyone.
If you’re after some serious relaxation, then a day spent on one of the island’s gorgeous beaches is perfect. From Patong Beach and Kata Beach to the lesser-known Ao Yon and Laem Singh, there are plenty of stunning beaches to choose from.
Spend your time here lounging on the sand, taking a dip in the ocean, or just admiring the views.
Alternatively, if you’d like to explore further afield, then day trips from Phuket are easy to organize. Hop on a boat to nearby James Bond Island and explore its limestone cliffs, or take a trip to Koh Yao Yai and enjoy its quiet coves and lagoons.
There are also opportunities to explore the waters around Phuket with snorkeling and scuba diving trips. Whatever you decide to do, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable day.
If you are tired of hanging out at the beach exploring the different Islands I suggest going to the Andamanda Waterpark.
Andamanda Phuket is an immense new water park near Phuket Town, passed Kathu when coming from Patong Beach.
This massive park covers a staggering 100,000 sq.m. and 25 attractions, including many impressive waterslides, a 10,000 sq.m. swimming area with artificial waves, and the longest lazy river in southeast Asia (550 meters!).
Andamanda is divided into 5 main theme zones, all decorated with Thai mythology themes: The Pearl Palace, which is the reception and shop.
Coral World is mostly dedicated to the young ones. Emerald Forest, The Great Andaman Bay, an immense swimming pool with a replica of the famous James Bond Island, and Naga Jungle, where the most adrenaline-pumping drops are.
Because some of the rides are very long and some drops are vertiginous, each ride comes with specific information: thrill level, minimum height, and maximum weight requirements.
Day 5: Depart from Phuket
The last day of your Phuket adventure has arrived. Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time for one more activity. If you have a few extra hours, there are plenty of day trips from Phuket that you can take.
Take a day trip to Khao Lak National Park or even Similan Islands, where you can explore some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand.
If you’re not interested in leaving the city, you could also spend your last day exploring one of the many markets or shopping centers in Phuket.
Before you know it, you’ll be saying goodbye to the beaches and nightlife of Phuket and heading home with plenty of memories and photos to remember you’re incredible vacation!
Where to stay during your Phuket itinerary
Thailand is so cheap that you can stay in a 5-star hotel for a little of nothing and with hundreds of chic hideaways and all-inclusive resorts, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Here are my picks of the best luxury hotels in Phuket and the nearby island of Koh Yao Noi.
1. Como Point Yamu
COMO Point Yamu is a stylish luxury resort located at the tip of Cape Yamu overlooking the Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay.
Interiors by Italian designer Paola Navone offer a unique expression of contemporary Thai luxury, alongside a COMO Shambhala wellness retreat and two world-class restaurants for Thai and Italian cuisine.
Its location above the Cape, overlooking Phang Nga Bay, affords 360-degree spectacular Andaman Sea views, but there is no direct beach access.
However, the resort does have a private COMO Beach Club on a small island, 40 minutes by complimentary boat shuttle from the hotel.
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2. Anantara Layan Phuket
Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa is a charming tropical sanctuary in a tranquil bay setting on Phuket’s stunning western coast.
The resort opens onto a private stretch of beautiful Layan Beach, where soft white sands are gently lapped by the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea.
There are 30 rooms and suites, as well as 47 pool villas in nine uniquely impressive styles, all combining pure indulgence with Anantara’s renowned hospitality.
Guests here spend lazy days at the shoreline pool, plunge into a new adventure with thrilling and relaxing water sports, or unwind into signature Anantara Spa journeys.
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Curving shapes and highly unusual architecture are the inventive dwellings of Keemala, an all-pool villa wonderland nestled well away from the Phuket crowds and overlooking Kamala Village and the Andaman Sea.
Shaded by an enchanted canopy of rainforest and connected together by a network of jungle walkways, the resort’s 38 villas are designed for guests wishing to experience a rustic, yet lavish, escape.
Some villas are built in the canopy, featuring two floors complete with a private pool, an upper-level master bedroom, and a large lounge and dining area on the lower level.
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4. Banyan Tree Phuket
Encircling the sparkling waters of a saltwater lagoon, Banyan Tree Phuket is a tropical fairytale where the roads are lined with casuarinas and palms, the fields are bright with Allamanda blooms and the Bang Tao Bay always sparkles in sapphire brilliance.
The hotel is a glorious spread of elegant Thai architecture complemented with every modern amenity imaginable.
The hotel is cradled within Laguna Phuket’s exclusive community, a 400-hectare former abandoned tin mining site that includes 3 km of sandy shores and is home to more than 30 restaurants and bars (with free use of inter-resort transportation by shuttle vehicle or lagoon boat).
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This timeless retreat on the west coast of Phuket is in harmony with its idyllic setting.
Ancient Ayutthayan architecture determines the design of its pavilions and villas, which overlook lush vegetation, a gorgeous white beach, and the pristine Andaman Sea.
Interspersed throughout a mature coconut plantation, the Thai-style Pavilions and Villas are approached by elevated walkways, and all have a private outdoor sala (room) for dining and relaxing, shaded by tropical flora.
Sloping roof lines frame soothing, spacious interiors, furnished with Thai textiles, art, and antiques.
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6. Rosewood Phuket
At an exquisite location along a 600 m (2000 ft) beachfront at Emerald Bay, Rosewood Phuket is a tropical beach hideaway akin to an ideal ocean village.
Innovative design with subtle Thai influences blends organically into a lush natural landscape, while sun-weathered shores and glistening, crystalline waters help celebrate luxury island living.
Featuring 71 pavilions and villas, the resort offers a secluded island escape and celebration of the brand’s ‘A Sense of Place’ philosophy, taking inspiration from the natural landscape, diverse cultures, and unique sensibilities of this distinctive southern isle.
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7. Trisara Phuket
Trisara, in Sanskrit “The Garden in the Third Heaven,” is one of Phuket Island’s most special resort experiences.
Wrapped in a tropical forest and exotic gardens, the 48 spacious ocean-facing pool villas and 2-6 bedroom private residences all embrace a lovely bay on Phuket’s sophisticated and natural north-western coastline, just 15 minutes from Phuket Airport.
All pool villas, suites, and residences are designed with rich interiors and enjoy a wonderful sense of privacy.
Attention to detail defines the experience throughout the property, including unique natural grey marble infinity pools in all villas and suites which overflow toward the Andaman Sea.
8. The Sarojin
Not far from Phuket and the eminently explorable coastline of Phang Nga, The Sarojin is a secluded boutique resort that strives to satisfy every wish and whim.
With 10 acres of trimmed and tailored tropical gardens surrounding its ancient ficus tree, this extravagant hotel offers pampered privacy against a beautiful leafy backdrop.
9. The Racha
Luminescent turquoise water and a powdery-white beach on a tiny island south of Phuket create a classic postcard backdrop for boutique hotel The Racha.
Pared down and eco-chic, this modern oasis has been built in low-rise harmony with its environment, with serene whitewashed villas for clutter-free cool.
10. Six Senses Yao Noi
Six Senses Yao Noi boutique hotel can’t help but appeal to your inner child. Staying in one of the island resort’s private pool villas feels like residing in a plush tree house.
Perched on a cliffside, with jaw-dropping views over Phang Nga Bay’s fantastical limestone pinnacles, they’re built using local teak, topped with a palm-leaf roof, decked out in stylish bright linens and simple mango-wood accessories.
This is a rustic, cozy escape in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. Soul soothing is guaranteed.
Best Time to Visit Phuket
December through February is the peak season and the best time to visit Phuket. The climate at this time is dry and chilly. Phuket’s tropical position ensures that the island is warm throughout the year.
This period is when you should come if you care about the blue sky and suntan and plan to spend a lot of time on the beach or take those amazing Instagram photos to make everybody jealous.
Whether you’re traveling with your bestie, celebrating your honeymoon, or anniversary, or solo traveling to Phuket you find something that everyone will enjoy.
The Phuket weather is typically sunny during this period, providing a great atmosphere for relaxation and exploration. There are plenty of interesting things to do in Phuket during this time, from beach hopping and snorkeling to exploring the local culture and cuisine.
So if you’re looking for an idyllic beach holiday experience, then this is the best time to visit Phuket.
Avoid the rainy season?
I personally have not traveled to Thailand during the rainy season. In fact, I visited Phuket in November and it rained every day for a few hours.
It wasn’t just a light shower but I mean it was torrential rain so I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like in the rainy season.
While the prices are probably cheaper I just wouldn’t take any changes
Thailand, including Phuket, is a devoutly Buddhist country, so please respect local customs by dressing appropriately when visiting temples.
Make sure you cover your shoulders and knees and take your shoes off before entering a temple. If you do not bring a shawl to cover your arms and shoulders you can purchase a shawl right outside of the temples for a few dollars.
Getting around Phuket
Getting around Phuket is relatively easy, as the island is served by many private and public transportation options. Most of the resort areas are small enough to walk around, with popular resorts and hotels located close to the beach, restaurants, and shopping areas.
If your hotel isn’t on one of the main beaches, taxis or tuk-tuks are some of the best ways to get around.
If you prefer exploring Phuket on your own, there are plenty of places to rent cars or motorcycles.
You can also take the local bus. Songtaew refers to blue open-air buses that run between Phuket Town and the main resorts, while air-conditioned minibusses service the Phuket Town area.
Is Phuket Safe
While Phuket is safe to visit it is good to take precautions no matter the destination. The only thing you might encounter will probably be scammers that prey on travelers.
Be sure to watch your surroundings and if you are traveling solo don’t drink alone or walk the streets at night by yourself, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and do not buy drugs.
Although Phuket’s main beaches have lifeguards and the waters are fairly calm accidents still happen.
If the beaches are lined with red flags, these are a warning of strong waves and undertow, so that’s how you will know to stay out of the sea.
What currency is used in Phuket?
The currency of Thailand has been the Thai Baht, both coins, and bills are being used, and it is the only currency accepted when making payments in the country (so no US dollars!).
Be sure to exchange your money at the airport or at a local Thai bank, as USD is not accepted anywhere!
At the time of writing this 1 USD= 36,65 THB, but please remember exchange rates are constantly changing, so it’s best to check it yourself again before traveling to Thailand.
The best tip we can give you: Never purchase Thai money in your own country as it will be unnecessarily expensive. You always get a much better rate at the local Thai banks and exchange booths!
Thai Visas for Americans
U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa. We strongly recommend that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Thailand to avoid possible denied entry.
If you decide to travel to Thailand:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Thailand.
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
I think most people have questions about where to go for medical care in an emergency. First, I should note that if you’re on spring break, chances are slim that you’ll be needing emergency care.
Still, better safe than sorry! The good news is that some of the most beautiful cities in Mexico—like Cancun and Playa del Carmen—also happen to be home to some of the best hospitals and clinics in Latin America.
I can’t say this enough but please get insurance when traveling to Mexico! Even if you are only going on a short trip, you should always travel with insurance.
Have fun while visiting Mexico, but take it from someone who has racked up thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you need it.
Make sure to get your insurance before you head off on an adventure!
I highly recommend Travelex Insurance.
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
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ADDITIONAL ARTICLES FOR EXPLORING PHUKET
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