Natural wonders and holy sites in Phuket
Phuket is the place to be to when you want to be in awe of nature and spirituality alike. Split your time in this luscious part of Thailand between nature activities and ancient holy sites. With a bit of planning and some insider tips, you might even find yourself escaping the crowds.
Beaches with peace
If you are willing to head out a bit from your hotel there are some great beaches with a chilled-out vibe to explore. The somewhat isolated Banana Beach is one of the area's absolute gems with amazingly clear water. If swimming is what you are after you will be pushed to find a better spot.
The services on Banana Beach are limited to a single restaurant and a couple of masseuses but frankly, it is unlikely you will miss anything. The beach is slightly hidden but can be found between Bang Tao and Nai Thon beaches with a little map inspection.
If you want to be able to do water sports as well, you could make Lanyan Beach, the northern end of Bang Tao beach, your destination. It is mostly popular with locals as well as expats in the know. The water is great for some swimming, snorkeling or other activities.
The beach is shaded by tall pine trees making the stay pleasant even without a parasol.
There are also some decent small restaurants and bars along the beach, so lunch is also a good idea.
When you need a break from beach life a good option is to check out some of the sites of natural beauty Phuket has to offer. Kathu Waterfalls offer a feast for the eyes as well as a challenging climb up if you feel like seeing the waterfalls from the top. Once you are up, there is a pool where you can have a little swim. Along the way up there are a couple of drop pools and resting spots.
From June to November the monsoon water fills the rock pools, and the experience is at its best. There are snack vendors, a restaurant, and on-site parking for visitors.
You could also enjoy a different view altogether visiting Black Rock Viewpoint. It offers a great place to see the south of Phuket from a different angle. The viewpoint is located on a terrace above a cliff where the views are completely uninterrupted.
The trek up is quite steep and not the easiest but definitely worth it for the memorable views. So, pack some water and snacks – and most of all be prepared to be wowed.
Phuket has several temples and holy places that help you quiet your mind even if you are not a practicing Buddhist. The most famous of the holy sites is the Big Buddha, 45 meters tall, seated Buddha statue situated in a national forest.
If you would like to visit a traditional Buddhist temple, and see where the locals do their worship Wat Khao Rang is a good option. It houses an impressive large golden Buddha statue, and even the temple buildings are ornate and beautiful. There are a lot of fine details to see, such as traditional wood carvings.
In a slightly different style Wat Chalong is a temple but also a historical landmark. The architecture is stunning and there are several interesting religious statues and wall paintings to see. Locals believe that visiting the site might bring with miracles to your life, so you would not want to miss that.
Before entering a temple remember to wear appropriate, non-revealing clothing, remove your shoes and respect other's time of worship.