I recently took a trip to experience a totally different side of Phuket – one that isn’t entirely centered on a stay on the beach. Instead, it’s designed with active, thrill-seeking travelers in mind. I had such a great time that I decided to share this three day Phuket itinerary with you. It includes what to do, where to stay, and what to eat. Plus, I’ve added a map and all the details so you know exactly where everything is and how to make it all happen.
Day 1 | Zip Lining, Floating Restaurant, & Mixology Cocktails
After flying into Phuket and taking a van from the airport, my first stop was a full afternoon of zip lining. After that, I checked into a historic hotel, ate an incredible seafood dinner, and was blown away by several specialty drink creations.
Zip Lining with Flying Hanuman
Just had an extremely good time zip lining through the jungle at the @FlyingHanuman. Staff was professional, funny, and safety was always their first priority. #Phuket #Thailand #Travel 🌴🐵🤙 pic.twitter.com/MkqnACKILv
— Tieland to Thailand (@TielandThailand) July 24, 2018
There’s only been one other time I’ve been zip lining in Thailand, and the Flying Hanuman surpassed my expectations. Located about two-thirds of the way down the center of Phuket, I had fantastic treetop views as well as views of the Andaman Sea from a few of the platforms. Zipping through the forest, crossing a sky bridge, and abseiling down a large tree was a full-on adrenaline rush. The English-speaking instructors were extremely enthusiastic and made sure to make the experience fun and memorable for everyone.
For a country that has varying levels of safety standards, The Flying Hanuman’s number one priority was safety. I was impressed with the lengths that my instructor and assistants went to ensure my group members and I were properly harnessed before each round. They gave me gloves and a helmet to wear and the equipment and platforms were in great shape.
There’s an onsite restaurant that serves Thai food, beer, and some delicious fresh coconuts. There’s a gift shop, too. Also, there’s an onsite photographer/videographer. You can purchase a video or photos of your experience at the end of the tour if you’d like to capture your reactions.
Phone: (076) 323-264
Hours: 8 am to 5 pm every day
Price: Begins at 2,300 baht per person for 16 platforms (goes up to 24 platforms). There are additional costs for photo and video packages.
|NOTE: Trekking to the first platform requires roughly 15 to 20 minutes of strenuous walking. If you’re not healthy enough to withstand the heat or the walk, then this activity might not be for you.|
The Memory at On On Hotel in Phuket Town
I stayed at The Memory at On On Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in Phuket Town. Although Phuket Town bit of a drive from the nearest beach, this part of the island has a great vibe and is easy to explore on foot. Its streets are lined with old-style Sino-Portuguese shops and hotels and the historic town has an array of classy restaurants and cocktail lounges.
One of this boutique hotel’s distinguishing characteristics is its entranceway, which is filled with brightly lit red lanterns dangling from the ceiling. I specifically remember walking along the sidewalks in Phuket Town, seeing its entrance, and snapping a photo of it the first time Angela and I were in Phuket.
The lobby area has interesting photography from decades past, eclectic antiques on display, and intricate mosaic tiles on the floor. There’s also a beautiful central courtyard in which the hallways and rooms are designed around.
This hotel has dorms (mixed and women-only) and several private rooms. The Noble Junior Suite, which I stayed in, was bright and spacious and had its own patio balcony with wrought iron furniture. I was very happy with my bed, the rain shower in the bathroom (with steamy water and excellent water pressure), and the strong AC. I appreciated the amenity kit as well as the French press in the coffee room featuring Angela’s favorite Phuket coffee brand, Hock Hoe Lee.
KruVit Raft Floating Seafood Restaurant
KruVit Raft (Paekruwit or แพครูวิทย์) is Phuket’s only floating seafood restaurant. Located between Phuket’s eastern coastline and Coconut Island, I took a 2-minute trip on a free shuttle boat from the Laem Hin Pier (ท่าเรือแหลมหิน).
I dug into an awesome seafood dinner at this open-air restaurant on casual picnic-style tables. It has a great view of the mainland (and the sunset if you’re lucky!) from its wooden decks.
The restaurant has live wells of fish and shellfish and crabs ensuring that whatever you eat is incredibly fresh. A few of my favorite dishes were squid with salted eggs, steamed crabs, and tamarind rock shrimp. My group also ordered raw oysters, whole fish, and a special tangy southern Thai curry called gaeng om.
Phone: (086) 687-0892
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm every day
Z1mplex Mixology Laboratory
I’ve never been to a cocktail lounge where my drinks were made with such precision and finesse in front of my eyes as the Z1mplex Mixology Laboratory (pronounced Zimplex). Inside the glowing purple bar room, I met Khun Tom, the brain behind these drinkable creations.
Khun Tom concocted stunning shooters and cocktails, swirling and suspending special lab liquors that created incredible visual effects. The drinks resembled space galaxies, nuclear fallouts, and jellyfish. I had the Acid Ginger, Palau Jelly Fish, Stratosphere, and Pearlanakan. Tom also frequently changes the drinks. So, if you’re a regular, you have new creations to look forward to. This is definitely worth a visit as a way to start (or end) a night out!
The menu is also a work of art and lists the ingredients and alcohol level under each drink. Also, if you order three drinks, you can “unlock” a different drink menu.
Hours: 8 pm to midnight every day
Price: Shooters begin at 250 baht
Day 2 | Helicopter Ride, Wellness Resort, & Flying Trapeze
My second day began with a helicopter ride over the southern half of Phuket. Then I visited an incredible health and sports resort and wrapped the day up with learning the basics of becoming a flying trapeze artist – no, really!
Helicopter Ride with Skydance by Advance Aviation
I’ll admit, I was hesitant about going on a helicopter ride in Thailand. I’ve had experience as a passenger on Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters back when I was in the US Army. Heck, I’ve even jumped out of a few airplanes, but this was a totally different experience. There was just something about the idea of sitting in a small helicopter cockpit watching the ocean pass by hundreds of feet below me that caused my stomach to flip. However, flying in a helicopter with Skydance was probably my favorite event of the entire trip. Somehow, I was even able to Periscope and Facebook Live most of my experience.
Phone: (076) 327-130
Price: Starting at 10,000 baht per person (6 passengers)
Tour of Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort
Health specialists, elite athletes, celebrities, and Phuket expat families go to Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort for its incredible sports facilities, health clinics, professional therapists, and delicious spread of health food. During my time at the resort I made sure to treat myself to the Thanyapura Spa Signature Massage. It encompassed a range of powerful movements, combining both sport massage and classic Swedish massage techniques. It was just what I needed after my zip lining adventure the day before. Next, I was invited to lunch at the resort’s popular raw vegan buffet. It felt good to fuel my body with clean food in preparation for the other activities we had planned for later in that day.
The Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort has it all:
- Medical Centre
- Intravenous infusions
- Nutrition Consulting
- Treatments (hormone, Botox, etc)
- Mind Centre
- 50m Olympic swimming pool
- 6 Plexi-cushion tennis courts
- Fitness Centre (Two 2-story gyms)
- 500m cushioned track
- Beach Volleyball & Soccer Courts
- 5 Spa therapy rooms
- Rugby and soccer pitch (int’l standard)
- 2 Yoga studios
This resort also has an award-winning restaurant with all-day dining for people adhering to popular diets such as paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, and ketogenic, among others. They went above and beyond, even serving alkaline water at the resort!
Phone: (076) 336-000
Cost: 700 baht (day pass) or 3,000 baht (monthly pass)
Mid Air Circus Arts (MACA)
I can say, without hesitation, that I’ve never experienced anything quite like the Mid Air Circus Arts (MACA).
Permanently set up on school grounds of the British International School in Koh Kaew, MACA teachest people of all ages how to flip and fly through the air. Climbing that ladder and swinging from the trapeze certainly takes you out of your comfort zone by challenging your fears (especially if you hate heights). It’s exhilarating, builds confidence, and dare I say it’s addicting.
The expert instructors are passionate teachers and are there every step of the way. Their passion and love for the art is apparent from the moment you arrive. A typical class begins with stretching and then you learn how to do all the moves on the ground first with a harness. Finally, you try the techniques you just learned … but in the air! If you’re confident enough you may even be asked to dismount with a backflip or attempt a mid-air catch. Your instincts will be screaming at you to stay on solid ground, but you’ll walk away happy that you didn’t. Trust me – it’s something that I’ll never forget.
MACA has a summer camp (June – August) and after-school lessons for students (4+ years old) during the school year. There are both adult and children 90-minute group classes (no more than 10 people) as well as private lessons.
Phone: (086) 954-0699
Prices: 990 baht per class (single lesson) or 850 baht per class (term payment)
|TIP: Wear long pants (stretchy legging type) or be sure to chalk up your hands and the area behind the knees to avoid getting skin burns like I did!|
Day 3 | Dim Sum, Golf Club, & Upscale Thai Restaurant
I immersed myself among the morning breakfast rush of chatting locals chowing down on dim sum, toured two impressive golf courses, and dined at one of the most prestigious Thai restaurants in Phuket Town.
Dim Sum at Juan Heang 2
— Tieland to Thailand (@TielandThailand) July 26, 2018
This is the place to go for a dim sum breakfast if you’re in Phuket Town. Juan Heang (จ่วนเฮี้ยง สาขา 2, pronounced joo-wahn hee-yahng), This restaurant has two locations. I visited the one on Phoonpon Road, which is not far from the original location on Chanacharoen Road.
Packed with hungry customers, I was the only foreigner dining here on a Wednesday morning, which tells you that it’s highly approved by locals. I managed to get a table with my group, ordered 20+ small dishes, and dug in. My favorite items were seaweed-wrapped shrimp, pork wrapped in taro, fried fish, and the green noodles. Definitely go. You won’t find this on anyone else’s (English) blog.
Phone: (076) 210-795
Hours: 6 AM to 11 AM every day
Loch Palm Golf Club
I’m not a golfer, but I could appreciate the Loch Palm Golf Club, which self-proclaims to be “the most relaxing golf course in Phuket.” Centrally located in Kathu, the club is 400 rai with 18 holes par 72. It’s designed around Phuket’s largest lake, Crystal Lake, which doubles as the driving range with floatable golf balls. There are panoramic views at the signature par 3 14th hole and even the men’s bathrooms have great views. There’s also a shop to buy clothing, accessories, and equipment as well as a clubs and shoes available for rent.
Phone: (076) 321-92934
Price (18 holes): 4,800 baht (green), 400 baht (caddie), 700 baht (golf cart)
Red Mountain Golf Club
Once a tin mine, this award-winning golf course now twists and turns scenically through Phuket’s red clay mountains, leaving the natural landscape untouched. Its 18-hole course is spread over 1,400 rai and features excellent views and a level of privacy unmatched by other golf courses. Their signature par 3 17th hole is also particularly thrilling. They have a shop that provides clubs, shoes, umbrellas, and golf chair rentals as needed.
Phone: (076) 322-001
Prices (18 holes): 6,000 baht (green), 400 baht (caddie), 700 baht (golf cart)
Tu Kab Khao Restaurant Phuket
This high-end colonial-style Thai restaurant is my kind of place. I’ve heard a lot about this restaurant, which has really made a name for itself in Phuket. It’s easily recognizable by its blue and white chinaware, antique wooden furniture, and pastel-colored walls. The food is an Instagrammer’s dream come true, too.
The food was delicious. My favorite dish was the gaeng bpoo crab curry. I also really enjoyed the coconut ice cream dessert with its pairing of delicious Thai toppings (the pumpkin is a must). Replacing all of the calories I had just burned was the perfect way to end my three-day Phuket itinerary. I’ll definitely be taking Angela here on our next trip to Phuket.
Phone: (076) 608-888
Hours: 11:30 AM to 9:45 PM every day
Perfect Three Day Phuket Itinerary Map
Getting to Phuket
Assuming you’re already in Thailand, Phuket is one of the country’s top destinations, so there are many ways to get there. It’s easy to book airline, bus, and train tickets online. That was not the case even a few years ago!
The most convenient way to get to Phuket is to fly into Phuket International Airport (HKT). There are more than a hundred flights per day serviced by a variety of boutique and budget airlines. There are also some surprisingly comfortable VIP buses available if you can spare a few extra hours. If you want to ride the train, you can’t go directly to Phuket. However, you can take the Southern Line (red) from Hualamphong Station in Bangkok to Phun Phin Station near Surat Thani. Then, catch a bus from there to Phuket.
Once you’ve arrived in Phuket, many hotels offer shuttle services. Additionally, you can rent a car from the airport or do a quick Google search for rental cars in Phuket for the company nearest to you.
If you’re looking for more things to do and places to go in Phuket we’ve written a roundup that has a little bit for everyone. However, if it’s thrills you’re after, the activities above will certainly give you what you’re looking for.
Disclosure: This trip was sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This post contains some affiliate links. There’s no extra cost if you click one, but in doing so you help us cover the cost of operating our blog. Thanks!