This article on the best Phuket itinerary for 5 days is intended to help you with a hassle free trip to this beautiful Thai city.
If you’re from an Asia-Pacific nation and are planning your first trip abroad, there are high chances that you’ve considered a trip to Thailand. Phuket city, located on Phuket Island is one of the most popular places to visit beyond Bangkok and Krabi. Located at a 90-minute flight from the capital city of Bangkok, it’s a vibrant beach city exuding Portuguese vibes offering multiple tourist attractions in and around. You can also reach here by a 12-hour road journey or by a combination of rail and road.
The currency used here is Thai Baht. For Indians, immigration is done via Visa-on-Arrival (VOA) process. If you wish to save some time and avoid long queues, consider getting e-VOA at a small additional fee, which can be taken from one of the Visa facilitation companies. In this itinerary, you only need to make 1 hotel booking as all of the listed places can be visited by day trips from Phuket. Let’s check out how you should spend your 5 days here!
Table of Contents
Day 1: Arrival, check-in and Pa Tong Beach visit
In most of our itineraries to island nations such as Bali, we recommend checking into your hotel upon arrival and relaxing for the rest of the day. But why relax in a hotel room when a beach is right at your doorstep?
Pa Tong beach is the most popular beach in Phuket and is located close to the main area. It is easily reachable either by walk or by free shuttle rides offered by the hotels. Once you’ve checked in, put on your beach shoes and hop on to one such shuttles to the beach. You can either indulge in any of water activities like Jet Skiing or Parasailing, or just choose to relax on one of the beach recliners available on a full day rental basis. Order a pint of beer or some juices and enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean and the greenery around before taking a quick nap!
You can find plenty of restaurants and cafés right across the road including some multinational franchises. Evening can be spent with a walk down the popular Bangla Street; but to get the best out of it, let’s keep it for day 3. Before heading back to your room, we recommend making bookings for the day 2 to day 4 tours in our Phuket Itinerary. This can either be done either from one of the countless roadside shops or, at your hotel reception or, online before arriving in Phuket.
Day 2: Phi Phi Islands day tour
Phi Phi Islands is an archipelago located an hour and fifteen minutes away from Phuket and can only be reached by a boat. You need to start early for the day as the pick up vehicles usually arrive no later than 7:00 – 7:30 AM. Upon reaching the pier, you’ll be briefed about the tour along with all the do’s and don’ts. You then hop on to your catamaran and get ready for a bumpy but exciting sail ahead.
The tour starts with Koh Phi Phi Leh island with the first pit stop being Maya Bay, made popular by Leonardo Di Caprio’s 2000 movie The Beach. This exquisite bay welcomes you with clean turquoise waters and white sands. While swimming is currently prohibited, you can take a walk down the beach and find yourself a cozy place on the rocks to sit and relax.
The water begins to turn emerald as you progress. You’re taken to a spot conducive to Snorkeling. The kits come complementary with the boat ride to explore colorful aquatic life and sea urchins.
Next, the boat moves past the Viking Caves located at the bottom of large limestone cliffs supported by fragile scaffoldings. While entry for tourists is prohibited, it is said to have wall paintings by the Vikings when they took refuge in this cave.
The next pit stop is Monkey Beach which is home to many troops of long tail macaques. Depending upon the tide, you can also set foot upon the island and get up close and personal with the monkeys.
After the halt for lunch, the boat heads to Bamboo Island popular for its white, clean sand with numerous seaside stalls and shops. You might witness a movie shoot if you’re lucky.
Day 3: Phuket half day city tour
There are endless things to see and experience in the city ranging from water parks to cobra shows. Since it’s impractical to think of covering all of them, we recommend the 4 best for you.
Start with Asian Elephant Ride. Thai elephants are bigger and stronger when compared with their cousins. While elephant riding is a common experience in many tourist destinations, these elephants take you on a mini trek rather than a ride. You can also choose to feed them at a small additional cost.
Next, visit Tiger Kingdom to interact closely with the big cats and their cubs. This is interaction in literal terms! You get to get inside the case and touch, caress and even hold them while being photographed.
The penultimate point on this city tour is Dolphin Show where you get to see the acts of acrobatics and arts performed by dolphins, seals and their trainers. If you bid high enough, you also get to take home one of the artworks as a memento.
Finally, you visit the Big Buddha which is a 148 foot tall statue of sitting Buddha overlooking Chalong bay. The complex also houses an educational gallery on Buddhism and presents a panoramic view of the bay and the city. You can also choose to purchase some souvenirs near the entrance.
Head back to your hotel to relax for a few hours and visit Bangla Street once it’s dark outside. It’s Phuket’s most happening party street filled with sports bars, lounges, restaurants and live music. You’ll regularly be touted to visit one of the strip-clubs like ‘Ping Pong Show’ which we leave up to you to opt for.
Day 4: James Bond Island day tour
The island hopping modus operandi for this day tour is pretty similar to that of Phi Phi Islands, just that you start from a different pier.
The first point of interest on this tour is the famous James Bond Island, known locally as Ko Khao Phing Kan. Right off the shore lies the 20 meter tall islet called Ko Ta Pu which was featured in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. Don’t forget to get photographed in the James Bond pose as was shown in the movie!
The next pit stop happens to be a camouflaged Phang Nga Cave which can be entered on foot. You’re supplied with head gear from the boat operating company to protect yourselves from hanging limestone formation. The cave is open at the other end is makes it a unique experience in this best Phuket itinerary for 5 days.
You are then taken to a canoeing site in the beautiful emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay. You get to canoe through a cave known as Ice Cream Cave due to the vertically hanging limestone formations resembling popsicles. You are murkily photographed by a photographer sitting atop one of the islets which you can collect on your return journey.
Finally, you end your tour at Panya Beach amidst white sands and clear waters. It makes an excellent site for Jet Skiing and to hop on to one of the freely available swings.
Day 5: The last leg in the best Phuket itinerary for 5 days
Bid adieu to Phuket after this short and sweet trip with lots of memories. I’m sure you’ll make a promise to yourself to come back to Thailand and explore its other destinations.
Is Bali the next trip on your mind? Do check out our extensive 7-day itinerary here.