The Best 8-Day Trips in Phuket (and Tourist Traps to Avoid)

Discover the best day trips in Phuket, including James Bond Island, Similan Islands, and more. Explore Phang Nga Bay and Khao Sok National Park (and tourist traps to avoid). Plan your perfect day trip now!


2min read

Published 16 January 2024


Discover the best day trips in Phuket, including James Bond Island, Similan Islands, and more. Explore Phang Nga Bay and Khao Sok National Park (and tourist traps to avoid). Plan your perfect day trip now!

Thailand's stunning island, Phuket, offers a plethora of sensational day trips and mouth-watering activities for visitors to its shores. However, as is the case whenever a traveller arrives in a foreign country, it is vitally important that you always have your wits about you. Fortunately, the Internet has a lot of information that the wise traveller will refer to before embarking on a trip to foreign places.

While your jaw might drop at the stunning destinations on offer, there are just as many traps out there that you may not be aware of. With that in mind, we take this opportunity to give you some insight into the best day trips you may enjoy while visiting Phuket and highlight various common negative aspects that can ruin what had promised to be an idyllic holiday. For your convenience, we list below some of the best day trips in Phuket and follow this up with some great tips on avoiding common tourist traps.

In this blog

What are some of the best day trips in Phuket?

Some of the best day trips include visiting James Bond Island, exploring the Similan Islands, and touring Phang Nga Bay.

How can I avoid tourist traps in Phuket?

To avoid tourist traps, be cautious of overpriced tours and carefully negotiate with local vendors.


James Bond Island

Visit Phang Nga Bay, home to the iconic James Bond Island (Koh Tapu), featured in the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun." You can take a kayak tour to explore caves and limestone karsts (naturally created tunnels).

Similan Islands

Ideal for divers and snorkelers, the Similan Islands offer some of the best underwater experiences in Thailand (if not the world!). The vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life are must-see.

Phuket Old Town

Explore the historic Phuket Old Town, known for its charming Sino-Portuguese architecture, vibrant street art, and unique boutique shops and cafes.

Phang Nga Bay

Embark on a day trip to Phang Nga Bay and explore its stunning limestone cliffs and emerald-green waters. It's a popular destination for sea canoeing.

Elephant Sanctuary

Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary, such as the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, where you can interact with rescued elephants responsibly and sustainably.

Phang Nga Elephant Park

For a more intimate elephant experience, consider visiting the Phang Nga Elephant Park, where you can feed, bathe, and learn about these majestic creatures.

Big Buddha

Pay a visit to the Big Buddha, a 45-meter-tall statue that offers panoramic views of Phuket. It's a cultural and spiritual landmark worth exploring.

Khao Sok National Park

Nature lovers can't miss Khao Sok National Park, where you can stay overnight in a luxury boat or explore its pristine rainforests.

Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands, a paradise nestled in the Andaman Sea, is an absolute must-visit during your Phuket adventure. These stunning islands, comprising Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, boast crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and dramatic limestone cliffs that have graced the silver screen in movies like "The Beach." A boat tour to these islands offers not only the chance to bask on white sandy beaches but also to explore the vibrant underwater world while snorkelling in the colourful coral reefs. Maya Bay, a highlight of Phi Phi Leh and the filming location for "The Beach," is a captivating stop on your journey. Phi Phi Islands are a tropical paradise, and their natural beauty is bound to leave you in awe, making them an essential addition to your Phuket day trip itinerary.


Can you do a day trip to Phi Phi island from Phuket?

Yes, you can absolutely do a day trip to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket. Many tour operators offer full-day excursions that depart from Phuket and take you to Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don. These day trips typically include stops at picturesque spots like Maya Bay, snorkelling opportunities in the coral reefs, and time to relax on the beautiful beaches. While a day trip allows you to experience the Phi Phi Islands' beauty, keep in mind that staying overnight on the islands provides a more immersive experience.

What is the best part of Phuket to stay?

The choice of where to stay in Phuket largely depends on your preferences. Patong Beach is known for its vibrant nightlife and a wide range of entertainment options. Kata and Karon Beaches offer a more relaxed atmosphere and are great for families. If you seek tranquillity and luxury, resorts in the northwestern areas like Kamala Beach and Surin Beach are excellent choices. Phuket Town provides a taste of local culture and cuisine, while Rawai Beach is perfect for those who prefer a quieter setting. Ultimately, the best part of Phuket to stay in depends on your desired experience.

Which is better Krabi or Phuket?

Choosing between Krabi and Phuket depends on your travel preferences. Phuket is larger and more developed, offering a wide range of activities, entertainment, and accommodation options. It's ideal for those who want a mix of nightlife, shopping, and cultural experiences. On the other hand, Krabi is known for its stunning natural beauty, with attractions like Railay Beach and Ao Nang. It's a quieter and more nature-focused destination, perfect for travellers seeking a tranquil escape. The choice between the two destinations ultimately comes down to your travel style and what you wish to experience.


What are the Best Day Trips from Phuket?

Phuket offers an array of fantastic day trip options. Some of the best day trips include visiting James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, exploring the Similan Islands for exceptional diving and snorkelling, discovering the historic charm of Phuket Old Town, and embarking on a journey to Khao Sok National Park for a nature-filled adventure. Other popular day trip destinations include the serene Surin Islands, the vibrant Coral and Racha Islands, and cultural attractions like the Big Buddha. These day trips provide diverse experiences, ensuring there's something for every traveller to enjoy while in Phuket.

What is the best way to explore Phang Nga Bay?

Exploring Phang Nga Bay is best done through boat tours, offering you the chance to discover hidden gems like James Bond Island.

Are there any hidden gems in Phuket worth visiting?

Yes, some hidden gems include Miang Island and the Viking Cave, offering white sandy beaches and unique experiences.

quote position image

Expert tip

Known for its diverse and rich marine life, Thailand is one of the best places to try scuba diving. Hop on a liveaboard boat for an experience you will never forget!


Travel Expert


Additional Phuket Day Trip Options

For those seeking adventure, consider exploring the beautiful islands of Hong Island, Coral Island, and Naka Island. Phuket tours offer various options for island-hopping, snorkelling, and relaxation.

  • Phuket Tours and Activities

Discover the beauty of Phuket through boat tours that take you to the most breathtaking locations, such as Phang Nga Bay, Coral and Racha Islands, and Khao Lak National Park.

  • Exploring Phang Nga Bay

The best way to explore Phang Nga Bay is through boat tours, allowing you to discover hidden gems like James Bond Island and the serene Donald Duck Bay.

  • Local Flavors and Culture

While on your day trips, savour the authentic tastes of Thailand with a Thai lunch provided by tour operators. Don't miss the opportunity to visit local villages and explore rubber plantations.


What are Popular Day Trip Destinations?

Surin Islands, Royal Phuket Marina, and Coral and Racha Islands are all popular day trip destinations that offer unique experiences and beautiful beaches.

Visiting Phuket

Phuket Island is a dream destination for beach lovers. Its white sandy beaches, clear waters, and vibrant marine life make it a must-visit.

Nature Lovers and Adventure Seekers

Adventure awaits in Khao Lak National Park, where you can explore lush jungles and pristine landscapes. Nature lovers will be captivated by the diversity of marine life and beautiful islands.

Cultural Attractions

Don't miss the opportunity to explore Phuket Town with its charming old town area, Chalong Pier, and the iconic Big Buddha.

Tourist traps to be on the lookout for and to avoid

Be always ultra-cautious and very aware of your surroundings and arm yourself with knowledge to avoid the various traps and ambushes that the local population has up its collective sleeves. Here are a few top tips:

How can I avoid being overcharged by street vendors in Phuket?

Politely bargain and compare prices before making a purchase.

What should I do before renting a jet ski in Phuket?

Thoroughly inspect the equipment and document pre-existing damage to prevent disputes and excessive repair charges.


Tourist Traps to Avoid

  • Tiger and Other Animal Attractions

Avoid places that offer tiger selfies, elephant rides, or any other attractions involving exploited or mistreated animals.

  • Overpriced Tours

Be cautious of tour operators who charge exorbitant prices for day trips. Research and book with reputable companies to get the best value for your money.

  • Street Vendor Scams

Some street vendors may overcharge tourists for items. Bargain politely and compare prices before parting with your hard-earned cash.

  • Jet Ski Scams

When renting watercraft like jet skis, thoroughly inspect the equipment and document any pre-existing damage with the individual or business renting out the equipment to avoid disputes and excessive repair charges upon return.

  • Overcrowded Beaches

Popular beaches like Patong can get rather crowded and noisy. If you prefer a more tranquil experience, explore less-visited beaches like Freedom Beach or Paradise Beach.

  • Fake Goods

Be cautious when shopping for branded goods in local markets, as many items may be counterfeit. Shop at reputable stores if you're looking for genuine products.

  • Tuk-Tuk (three-wheel scooter taxi) Scams

Negotiate prices with tuk-tuk drivers in advance to avoid being overcharged. Always agree on a fare before starting your journey.

Now that you know the best day tips in Phuket (and tourist traps to avoid) why not book your trip to this island right away? Flight Centre’s knowledgeable and professional travel experts are just a phone call away, and they will do everything in their power to get you on your stress- and hassle-free journey to this corner of earthly paradise.

Flight Centre

© Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd. Registration No. 1994/000253/07.

*Prices are in ZAR and subject to availability. Please refer to specific product’s terms and conditions.