Credit: Trisara Resort
Credit: Trisara Resort

How to Spend an Adventurous 48 Hours in Phuket, Thailand

Add This Thailand Itinerary to Your 2022 Travel Bucket List

Famed for its pristine palm-fringed white beaches and turquoise-hued seas, the pretty island of Phuket in Southern Thailand has entranced adventurers and artists since the late 1960s. Closed for more than a year to international travel, “The Pearl of the Andaman” is open and welcoming visitors back to explore and enjoy its many treasures—think glittering Buddhist temples, bustling morning markets and dreamy resorts and spas, plus a creative food and drink scene—all without the crowds.

 

Rise and Shine at Trisara

Credit: Trisara Resort

 

A hillside retreat with jaw-dropping views, Trisara lives up to its Sanskrit name, which means “Third Garden in Heaven.” Luxury also meets sustainability, thanks to the Michelin dining concept PRU and sister restaurant Hideaway by Jampa.

 

9:30 a.m.

Hang Out With Elephants

Credit: Credit: Trisara Resort

Learn all about Thailand’s treasured national animal and meet a herd of retired and rescued female elephants who now get to roam, forage and bathe in the lush rainforested grounds of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.

 

Noon

Explore Old Town

Credit: Tourism Authority Thailand

Thanks to local boutiques, coffee shops and a darling ice cream parlor, Phuket Old Town is well worth exploring. The Sunday Walking Market and Sino-Portuguese architecture along the Soi Romanee side street are both major highlights.

 

2:30 p.m.

Rum-Making 101

Credit: Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

Learn about the rum-making process with a private tour at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery before sitting down to a fun cocktail-making class at this Insta-worthy spot. Follow it with appetizers at Suay restaurant next door.

5:30 p.m.

Serenity Now

Credit: Tourism Authority Thailand

Next, stop by The Great Buddha of Phuket (whose name means “Happiness on top of Nakerd Mountain”) for Insta-gold photo ops and some of the best views on the island across Kata Beach and Chalong Bay.

 

6:30 p.m.

Dinner Cabaret

Credit: Tourism Authority Thailand

Prepare for a wild ride at the eclectic Underwood Art Factory, whose bi-monthly Southeast Asian and western culture-inspired dinner cabaret features everything from a dominatrix dance routine to a musical riff on the movie “Titanic.”

 

11 a.m.

All Aboard

Live your best “Below Deck” life on a day yacht cruise to hidden-gem spots like Banana Beach on Koh Hey island. The cruise also includes a sail-around Phuket’s famed sunset spot and southernmost point, Promthep Cape.

 

5:30 p.m.

Cocktail Hour

Stop by Phuket Town’s hippest cocktail spot, Dibuk House, where mixology gets molecular with creations like the Subterranean (inspired by the lifespan of a stag beetle), for a quick drink before the trip back up north.

 

6:30 p.m.

An Enchanting Evening

Credit: The Slate, Phuket

Get spirited across a hidden lagoon on a hand-pulled raft to Black Ginger, the show-stopping signature restaurant inside The Slate hotel, where the sensational Phuketian-style dishes by Chef Piek are cooked to perfection.

About the author

Keri Bridgwater is a freelance writer covering travel, culture, and lifestyle. Her work has been featured in Beyond Ordinary Guides, DISfunkshion Magazine, Roam Magazine, Modern Luxury, and Eater San Diego, among other outlets and publications.

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