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Best Trips from Phuket in 2024: Half-Day, Full-Day, and DIY trips

In this guide to trips from Phuket, we go over all the top half-day, full-day, multi-day and do-it-yourself trips you can do from this fantastic island.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Best Trips from Phuket, Thailand: Half-Day, Full-Day, and DIY trips - best tours and excursions, day trips and experiences
Going snorkeling in Surin Islands is one of the best day trips from Phuket.

About doing trips from Phuket

Phuket is the best starting point for trips to the many extraordinary locations of Southern Thailand, like Maya Bay, Similan Islands, Surin Islands, and more.

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Phuket Travel Guide

There are many different platforms you can book your trips from Phuket at, but we highly recommend one of the top 3 ones in Thailand. You can read traveler reviews and see a detailed overview of each trip so you know what to expect.

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How to get to Phuket

Phuket is easily reachable from all over the world with frequent direct flights from Europe, Australia, and other Asian destinations, as well as connected flights from the US and elsewhere through Bangkok. It’s really well-connected.

We recommend checking flight deals on Kiwi and booking your bus or train travel on 12go (the best booking site for trains, buses, transfers, ferries, and more).

From popular nearby southern Thai destinations like Krabi, Phi Phi Islands, and Koh Lanta, you can catch a speedboat or ferry to Phuket, which is often the fastest and most convenient.

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Best day trips from Phuket

Phuket’s proximity to so many amazing places in Southern Thailand makes it the perfect base for day trips. So you can get picked up in Phuket in the morning, have a full day out, and return in the late afternoon/evening.

We’ve personally done a lot of day trips from Phuket. And even though Phuket itself has many fabulous spots, the trips made our stay in Phuket even better.

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1. Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands day trip

The most popular day trip from Phuker is definitely the day trip to Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands. You visit the famous Maya Bay as well as some other great spots in Phi Phi Islands like the Pi Leh Lagoon and, depending on the trip, Bamboo Island or Khai Island.

Best day trips from Phuket to Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands - beach at Maya Bay

Highlighted trips:

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Beautiful beach at Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands, Krabi

Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands day trip

2. Phang Nga Bay day trip

With its emerald waters and towering limestone cliffs, Phang Nga Bay offers breathtaking natural beauty.

Phang Nga Bay is best visited on a day trip from Phuket, as you can do a lot in the bay in a day, from exploring the hidden caves and lagoons to visiting the famous James Bond Island, taking a boat through the mangrove forest, and much more!

Best day trips from Phuket - Phang Nga Bay

Highlighted trips:

Another great island to explore in Phang Nga Bay is Koh Hong, but unfortunately, there are very few tours going there from Phuket. It’s closer to Koh Yao and Krabi and mostly visited from there. So if you’re also visiting Koh Yao, you can check out the Koh Yao to Hong Island long-tail tour.

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White sand beach with limestone cliffs, Hong Island, Krabi

Koh Hong: Phang Nga Bay’s Best Island

3. Similan Islands day trip

One of the best day trips from Phuket is a day trip to Similan Islands, a group of some of the best islands that Thailand has to offer. You can explore the beautiful beaches, hike up the famous viewpoint, and snorkel the beautiful coral reefs, which are full of life.

Highlighted trips:

Best day trips from Phuket - Similan Islands

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Crystal clear waters of Similan Islands, Thailand

Similan Islands Day Trip

4. Surin Islands day trip

You can have some of the best snorkeling in Thailand by going from Phuket on a day trip to Surin Islands. It focuses a lot on snorkeling and a visit to the local Moken people.

Highlighted trips:

Best day trip from Phuket - Surin Islands Best Snorkeling in Thailand

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Street in Moken Village, Surin Islands

Surin Islands

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5. Koh Yao day trip

A great day trip option from Phuket is to the nearby, quiet islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi, which are much less populated and less crowded than Phuket.

You can hop on a speedboat to Koh Yao and explore it on your own. Or you can book a Yao Island Cycling and Beach Day Trip where you cycle the 22km loop on Koh Yao Noi, visit the countryside and secluded beaches, and enjoy a Thai lunch.

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6. Racha and Coral Island day trip

Another great option not too far away from Phuket is a day trip to Racha and Coral Island.

Racha Island is a captivating destination known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. It is perfect for relaxing on the beach or scuba diving and snorkeling.

Koh Hey – Coral Island, known for its Banana Beach, is a stunning island near Phuket. Its crystal-clear waters and pristine white sand make it the perfect destination for beach lovers. There are also many water sports and activities to enjoy.

Highlighted trips:

Klook.com

7. Khai Islands day trip

A more budget-friendly way to explore some nearby islands and go snorkeling is the day trip to Khai Islands. The islands are really close to Phuket, so even a half-day tour can be enough for most.

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8. Khao Sok trip

One of the best nature experiences you can have on a trip from Phuket is on a Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake Tour, where you can take a boat tour on the lake and stay in a floating raft house. And if you’re lucky, you can maybe even see some wild elephants on the lake’s shore!

There are two different areas you can explore in Khao Sok National Park, the area of the Khao Sok village and the Cheow Lan Lake.

Highlighted trips:

Best trips from Phuket - Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park
Floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake

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Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

9. Diving trip

As a certified diver in Phuket, you have plenty of fun dives available, with the best being the scuba diving trips to Racha Yai and Racha Noi and even to Phi Phi Islands and the private island of Maithon.

Highlighted trips

Best trips from Phuket - diving trips, fun dives

DIY – Best Do It Yourself trips from Phuket

Phuket is a great starting point for DIY, do-it-yourself trips by renting a car or motorbike or simply using convenient transport options like speedboats between Phuket and nearby destinations.

So even without booking a tour, you can do plenty from Phuket.

1. DIY trip to Phi Phi Islands

It sounds crazy, we know, but going on a day trip to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket by yourself is a common thing. Yes, you won’t have that much time there, but if you’re pressed for time, it’s a great way to explore one more awesome place in your own way.

As Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island, it’s going to be your arrival port when you take a speedboat or ferry to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket.

FAST FACTS

  • Earliest arrival: 9:30
  • Latest departure: 16:00
  • Things to see: Phi Phi Viewpoint, Viking Beach, Long Beach

Now if you add a night in Phi Phi Islands and make it an overnight trip, you can have a full day there, plus a night where you can see a Muay Thai fight or watch a fire show. Or simply relax with a cocktail at sunset.

2. DIY trip to Railay Beach in Krabi

A great option for a day out from Phuket is a trip to Railay Beach in Krabi, which is only accessible by boat and is famous for the Phra Nang Beach and Cave.

The easiest way to get there is to take a speedboat to Railay East, and then you simply head down from the port to Phra Nang Beach and maybe even enter the Bat Cave for some cool views of Railay West Beach.

FAST FACTS

  • Earliest arrival: 10:15
  • Latest departure: 15:45
  • Things to see: Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, Bat Cave

If you add a night in Railay Beach, you can enjoy the beach in the morning before anyone arrives, check out the Diamond Cave, or even hike up the East Railay Viewpoint.

3. Private boat charter in Phuket

The perk of Phuket being the biggest island in Thailand is also that you can find amazing options for a private boat charter in Phuket, so you can pick your own itinerary and go where you want to go, and in a much more relaxed way than on shared boat tours.

These trips do cost significantly more than shared tours. But if your budget permits or if you’re traveling with a group or bigger family, it’s absolutely worth it!

You get to customize your trip with local experts, and on the day you travel, you are joined by a competent skipper (captain) and a knowledgeable guide.

Highlighted charters (fully customizable by local experts):

Where to stay in Phuket

The best place to stay in Phuket depends on what you want from your stay, as there are many distinct areas on the island offering different experiences.

In Phuket, Karon and Kata are the best for a fantastic beach experience, Kamala for luxury stays, Nai Harn to be away from the crowds, and Old Town for history, food, and architecture.

Depending on where you stay in Phuket, tours and excursions you book might not provide a complimentary transfer from your hotel. Instead, you will likely have to pay an additional fee.

However, if you’re staying in places like Old Town, Kata, Karon, and Patong, you will be fine, as they are almost guaranteed to be covered.

Best areas to stay in Phuket:

  • Phuket Old Town – main city, history, architecture, food
  • Kata – gorgeous beach, lovely area full of restaurants and hotels
  • Karon – great beach, quieter and great for families/couples
  • Surin – beautiful beaches with nearby luxury stays
  • Kamala – relaxed with a great beach
  • Patong – extremely touristy, famous for nightlife
  • Bang Tao – incredibly long beach, lots of space, all-inclusive hotels
  • Mai Khao – longest beach in Phuket, peaceful, nice resorts, nearby airport
  • Rawai – more local area, great nearby beaches, boats leave here for the south islands

Below are the top-reviewed stays in each area worth checking out for your Phuket visit.

Phuket Old Town

Hostel: The Z Nite Hostel | Black Panther Hostel | Capzule Bed
Hotel: Alleyhill Phuket
Upper-end Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott

Kata Beach

Hostel: Nonnee
Hotel: Kata White Villas
Resort: Sawasdee Village

Karon Beach

Hostel: Fishtail Hostel
Hotel: Kata Tranquil Villa
Resort: Mandarava Resort and Spa

Surin

Hostel: ChillHub Hostel
Hotel: Pen Villa Hotel
Resort: Outrigger Resort

Kamala Beach

Budget: B3 House
Hotel: The Umbrella House
Resort: InterContinental Phuket

Patong

Hostel: Hip Hostel
Hotel: The Villa Residences
Resort: Holiday Inn Resort

Bang Tao

Hostel: ChillHub Hostel
Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn
Resort: The Pavillions Resort

Mai Khao

Budget: Mai Khao Beach Guest House
Hotel: Mai Khao Beach Residence
Resort: Anantara Vacation Club

Rawai

Budget: Good 9 at Home
Hotel: Wyndham La Vita
Resort: Navatara Resort

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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