Best way to spend a day in Phuket

From Muay Thai to market tours, there’s more to Phuket than sunbaking and sleep-ins.

Chefs chopping vegetables on a round chopping board
  • Carla Grossetti
  • March 2018


Phuket’s western coast rewards those who rise with the sun with painterly expressions of the sky, swirled with pink and daubed with orange. Hire a vessel – such as a paddleboard or catamaran – and ride the currents out to the Andaman Sea. If you want to go further afield, book a long-tail boat to explore secluded beaches and soaring limestone cliffs around Koh Phi Phi. opens in new window


Boat Avenue, a large street mall stacked with colourful shipping containers in Bangtao, northwestern Phuket, is aimed squarely at expats and travellers. Try the breakfast mainstays such as bacon and eggs at Waya Cafe or a better-than-decent brew and a few sweet treats from nearby Bake. Enjoy natural yoghurt with fruit salad or banana pancakes with maple syrup and order a few paninis to go.


Participate in a training class of Muay Thai at Suwit, a Phuket gym that has been putting visitors and locals through their paces for the past 20 years. Whether you’re a beginner or a master of the sport referred to as ‘the science of eight limbs’, there will be a class to suit. Note: every Friday is fight night and open to the public.


Learn how to cook some of Thailand’s celebrated staples with chef Woropoon Ninthom at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort’s Dee Plee restaurant. The cooking class begins with a local market tour followed by a lesson where you will learn to make dishes such as tom yum goong and Chiang Mai noodles. The class is capped off with a five-course feast of the fare you have mastered. The cooking class and restaurants at Anantara are open to the public but bookings must be made in advance.

Top view of Phuket's sandy shore line
Aerial view of the water over Phuket


A savvy way to see the sights is to fly in a helicopter over Phuket. The joy ride offers passengers a bird’s-eye view of the island, clad in jungle and surrounded by sparkling sea. Marvel at the little people and mini fishing boats below.


Be sure to book ahead for the seafood buffet at Edgewater Beach Bistro at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort. Arrange your posse in one of the al fresco zones overlooking the pool and choose from beautifully presented platters piled high with oysters, prawns, crabs and salmon, as well as an array of inspired seasonal vegetables spiked with Thai flavours.


Forget the hubbub of Patong Beach and bunker down in the swanky Siam Supper Club alongside a motley crew of expats. Ask the bartender to muddle up your favourite, then stay perched at the bar, tapping your toes to tinkling jazz.