Now hopefully the sun will have his hat on all the way through your catamaran sailing holiday in Phuket, but it is best to be prepared for a little rain. As well as keeping an array of board games to play below deck when yachting in Phuket, you will want to know all about the best things to do inland too. So we have compiled a list for you of some of our favourites…
Go to the interesting places…
Wat Chalong, also known as the Phuket Temple is hailed as the most important of the 29 Buddhist temples in Phuket. It is also the largest, and most visited. The temple is located in the Chalong Subdistrict and is there to honour two highly distinguished monks who led the citizens of the district against the Chinese rebellion of 1876. They were revered for their knowledge of herbal remedies which helped many of the afflicted during the conflict. There is a large market that extends to the grounds of the temple which is also worth a visit. As with all Buddhist temples there is a strict dress code – shoes are never allowed, and women are expected to cover their shoulders and wear long bottoms. You are also expected to speak in a quiet voice and be generally respectful throughout your visit.
Situated within the beautiful and historic streets in Phuket Town this 1917 museum is a hidden gem. The building itself is of stunning design and is of high quality for the area. The best thing about this museum is that there is not too much difficult language – it’s not academic but set up for visitors who often like things easier to read. At this museum you can find artefacts and information on all of Phuket’s greats, including a number of Chinese families who are still held in high regard today. You will also learn about what it was like to trade in the area in centuries gone by. There is a large section dedicated to the Sino Portuguese architecture with scaled models. There is also an area dedicated to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival which started in 1825. The museum is on Krabi Road and is open daily from 9 until 5.
This is an especially great place to visit on a rainy day if you have some little ones in tow or if your break is of a romantic nature. The museum is also known as the 3D museum. There are similar museums in Pattaya, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. The museum is quite sizeable, and it boasts up to 100 different large paintings for visitors to enjoy. It is a place for some quirky silly fun for sure. With exhibits such as a flying carpet, a boxing TV, and a rickety bridge which makes you feel as though you are above the clouds – there is no end of entertainment. The staff are friendly and helpful. In some areas visitors are asked to remove their shoes to protect the old floors. Situated on Phang Nga Road, the museum is open from 9am until 9pm.
Phuket Mining Museum
Also known as the Kathu Mining Museum, this museum is in a remote location (which means it is less crowded than some of the other museums) behind a golf club in the hills and so it does make for a nice day out on a sunny day too if you can tear yourself away from the boat! This museum gives you a great example of what Phuket was like in the famous tin mining era. Designers did a great job of making this place feel like you are back in time, with the architecture of the building and the exhibits all emulating the passion Phuket has for that era. The scaled model of the mine is not to be missed. If there is a break in the rain you also may want to explore the park and grounds around the museum. It is open from 9am until 4pm.
The old town is a magical experience for many reasons. Not least the amazing Sino Portuguese mansions that litter the area. Thaland road is the most popular place to walk around but the big beautiful old houses are located a little more off the beaten track. Pra Pitak Chinpracha mansion is now the Blue Elephant Restaurant – but it does retain a lot of the original features and so is an interesting place to visit. Limpanon House was built 100 years ago and is occupied at present – it is thought of as one of the most mysterious houses in town so worth going past. Dibuk mansion is strangely being used by a gas tank company but is still an impressive piece of architecture. Baan Chinpracha is another privately owned mansion which doubles up as a museum so you can get in for a peak around. Raya House is like it is frozen in time, as another restaurant it is the perfect place to stop off for something authentically Thai. There are lots more around this area so perfect for a drive around in the rain.
Situated in Cape Panwa, the aquarium is the perfect rainy day activity. You have the chance to see lovely sea creatures such as baby turtles, seahorses, clown fish, and the weird long horn cowfish, or the boxfish. The bigger tanks have sea turtles, leopard sharks and moray eels too. Beware of the Piranhas! The tunnel is of course the main attraction, and will have the little ones in stunned silence as they experience being under the water!
Although the aquarium is a bit of a drive from Phuket Town it is well worth a visit. You can definitely spend half a day in this very well run underwater world.
Phuket Upside Down House (Baan Teelanka)
Officially named Baan Teelanka, the upside down house is a real treat. One of the most surprising attractions in the area, and it is exactly what you would imagine – an upside down house! It kind of gives you the feeling that a giant child had been playing with it, and left it strewn on the lawn. You enter the house through the roof and get straight into the attic. From there you work your way up (down? Up? Who knows?) to the main living area where everything is stuck to the ceiling – it takes a while for the mind to adjust! There are even real fish swimming upside down in the aquarium. Mind blowing. It is incredibly well designed, and you will spend quite some time in there in awe. Make sure your camera is charged up! There is also a maze in the back garden which is another attraction all together – so take your rain macs too! You can visit this attraction 10am until 6pm.
Go and shop…
The Jungcelon Shopping Mall is the perfect place to shop as though you are back home. You can find all the big brands here in Robinson Department Store, as well as the Apple Shop and a few sports shops. The top floor is the place to go for electronics (in the second building). Central Festival Phuket built in 2004 is another mega mall, and is perfect for a drizzly day. Here you will also find a five level department store, a food hall, and a shopping gallery. You will also find the ‘eduplanet’ area for the kids as well as the token Starbucks.
There are so many markets in Phuket, you simply won’t be able to avoid them. The water market along Phuket’s longest canal is great for a truly authentic experience, and the night markets give you a real buzz. There is also the Banzaan Market at Patong Beach, Phuket Town Central Markets, Kata Market on Kata Beach, and Kamala Village Market which are all great choices.
Go to get entertained…
Another attraction also available at Jungcelon is the 12 lane bowling centre. This is an entertainment venue in its own right, with bright lights, booming music, and an array of other things to keep you busy such as pool tables, pinball machines, video games, and even karaoke boxes!
This is the island’s biggest show. You will see absolutely everything here from trapeze artists, performing animals, and a theme park! There are lots of opportunities to shop here too, if you don’t get lost in the fantasy of it all. Weird and wonderful architecture, and mind boggling costumes all add to the sense of wonder. The attraction builds itself as the world’s largest ‘cultural theme park’. The people there will
certainly make you feel welcomed, entertained, and fed! Of course make sure you stick around for the main show for which the theatre opens at 8.30pm. You can get photos with some of the animals on show there and also witness theatre puppets, dances, and doves!
Phuket cabaret shows
Phuket does cabaret well. There are many different shows to choose from, and so keep your eyes peeled for the best deal. You can experience the infamous Lady Boy in some of these shows, as well as the more traditional variety. They are a fun evening out for couples.
Watch a movie
The SFX Cinema 6 is also found in the Jungceylon and in the Central Shopping complex. There is also a 4D Mini Movie Theatre where you can experience all the benefits of 3D along with added motion and effects. The cinema is a great way to kill a few hours in adverse weather conditions.
Most of the films are shown in English and expect to see the new releases before your friends in Europe. Cinemas in Phuket match the quality of cinemas in any western country.
Go and play Sport…
There are many options for the more active traveller in Phuket. You can access general fitness gyms, try your hand at surfing (although that is best left for the nice weather), or get into the Thai spirit and try Muathai – Thai Boxing. It is serious business and so great for those who already have boxing experience. There are lots of sessions available from 1-3 hours and you can also get some one on one coaching.
Take a cooking classes…
There is Pum’s school in Patong which is great if you want to have a fun cookery class experience. Mom Tri Boathouse, Organic Thai Cooking, and Phuket Thai Cooking Academy also offer classes. Some schools take you along to the local market to help you gain a deeper understanding of Thai food culture. Courses can range from simple introductions to get you going with the basics of many of the famous dishes, to the most elaborate classes for the more experienced chefs.
Beautify yourself and relax…
In Phuket you can find many treatments. There are body spa treatments, nail treatments, foot massages, beach massages, Thai massages, fish massages, and more! There are also many spas where you can relax in a hot tub, enjoy a sauna or a steam room, and all the other things you would expect to find.
So there is really no need to fret should the heavens open whilst yachting in Phuket. You literally have no end of things to keep you busy and happy!
Photo Credit: info.dla.go.th, khaolakemeraldresort.com, holidaysguidephuket.com, phuketdragonmuaythai.com, lagunaphuket.com, phuket.com