48 Hours in Phuket: A Snapshot of Thailand’s Tropical Paradise

July 4, 2024

This is obvious, but it needs to be said: Phuket will take your breath away. This island, in the Andaman Sea, is singularly identifiable due to the turquoise, clear water of its beaches and its hilly and rainforested terrain, which makes way for the most stunning views of Phuket town and nearby islands.   

Having been part of a major trading route between China and India and seeing the docking of ships from countries like Portugal, France, and the Netherlands, Phuket’s architecture in the old parts of town harks back to these historic influences, which are meticulously preserved for visitors. Additionally, a significant number of Phuket’s current inhabitants are of Malay and Chinese ancestry (including Peranakans) which further affects and influences the delectable cuisine and culture of Thailand’s largest island.  

With that small history lesson out of the way, let’s dive into what a 48-hour itinerary could possibly look like here. However, bear in mind that Phuket is the very definition of an island paradise and that if you have extra days to spare, you should absolutely extend your trip and make the most of your time here.       

First things first, since you will have no time to waste after reaching Phuket, freshen up at your accommodation before we head out on an epic five-hour food tour to experience the flavours of Southern Thailand. First, you will visit a unique donation-based barbershop and a Chinese temple which is greatly revered by the locals and looks resplendent against the setting sun.  

Tourists explore Phuket Old Town

On our our first food stop, try Khanom Chin – a popular southern Thai dish featuring thin rice noodles that locals enjoy with their curry of choice, accompanied by free, fresh condiments and spices offered at the restaurant. After this fitting first course, we whisk you away to the viewpoint on Khao Rang Hill to enjoy the city’s magnificent vistas at sunset. 

Next, we head to Phuket Old Town to try Oh Aew, a shaved ice dessert. After cooling down with this sweet treat, wander along Thalang Road, admiring the classy blend of Chinese and European-style architecture and exploring the many boutique shops. Finally, head over to a bustling night market to hunt for more delicious local dishes, from sticky mango rice to spicy satay skewers. The tour ends on a celebratory sweet note against the backdrop of live music playing at the market.  

The next two days are devoted entirely to the sun and the sea and exploring the numerous islands that surround Phuket. On Day 1 we spend eight hours revelling in the glory of the Phi Phi islands and travelling in style on a Discova-owned Deluxe Speedboat. Along the way, we stop at picture perfect places to swim in the crystal-clear waters and try snorkelling to catch a glimpse of rich underwater life.  

Sunset in Phuket

One of the showstoppers of this trip is a visit to the stunning Maya Bay, made globally famous by the Leonardo Di Caprio movie The Beach, following which you get to swim in the gorgeous Pileh Lagoon, surrounded by limestone cliffs. A restaurant lunch will be served at Phi Phi Don, and then guests spend the afternoon relaxing, before heading on to a secret location to enjoy the beautiful sunset while sipping on a cool beer.  

After experiencing island life under the bright tropical sun, it is time to head out to the sea to explore its many wonders at dusk on your second day in Phuket. First, we head to Panak and Hong Island for sea canoe exploration to see rock formations and hidden lagoons before enjoying a sunset dinner. Panak island is also well documented in pop culture and immortalised on the silver screen in Roger Moore’s The Man with a Golden Gun, leading it to be called the James Bond Island. 

Canoeing near Hong Island

As darkness falls, prepare to witness the incredible natural wonder of bioluminescence. Subject to weather conditions, tiny organisms in the water light up with a blue-green glow in the Phang Nga Bay area, creating a mesmerising spectacle that will leave you in awe, as you head back to Phuket on your final night. 

When the time comes to say those bittersweet goodbyes, it may seem as though the last two days passed by you in an instant. But we have a feeling that you are far from having your fill of Thailand’s Southern shores and will be back soon to take it low and slow and languidly move through the various beaches, viewpoints, temples and towns of Phuket. And you could count on us to show you some more hidden gems and must-see attractions to make your stay just as memorable as the last time.   

Want to know more?

Connect with a Discova agent to book your trip today!

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