48 Hours in Phuket – 2 Day Itinerary

Phuket, Thailand, has become one of the top tourist destinations for travelers in search of a tropical paradise. It’s easy to see why: with its blue lagoons and white sandy beaches, Phuket is an ideal place to spend your vacation. But what if you’re short on time and only have 2 days to explore this spectacular island?

The good news is that there are plenty of activities to fill up your 2 day itinerary for Phuket so that you can make the most of your trip. From visiting the famous Big Buddha to exploring the many temples and enjoying some shopping or beach-hopping around Patong Beach, there’s something for everyone.

Additionally, as someone who lived in Thailand for a few months I can attest that there is an abundance of delicious local food to be found!

If you’re looking for a combination of culture and relaxation during your 2 day stay in Phuket then I would highly recommend taking a guided tour around some of the more popular attractions. This way you can get a better understanding of the area while also getting some insider tips from locals who have been living here for years.

Samet Nangshe viewpoint over Phang-nga Bay scenic, with mountains in Andaman sea, near Phuket, Thailand.

Phuket is a province situated in Southern Thailand and is also the gateway to the Andaman islands, Koh Phi Phi, Similan Islands, Koh Lipe and Koh Lanta are just a boat ride away.

The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a popular tourist destination for beach lovers as it boasts over 36 beaches, the name “Phuket” means “mountain jewel” in Thai because 70% of the island is covered by mountains.

Getting to Phuket is easy as there are regular flights from Bangkok; alternative methods of transportation include minivan and bus for those on a tight bu

dget. Being on the tourist trail you will find that many people speak English and that travelling in Thailand is generally very safe, also for female travellers. The thing to be most aware of is of being pickpocketed and buses and touristy areas are prime areas to be wary and vigilant.

Tourists typically head to the beaches and Kata, Nai Haan and Karon beaches are among the most popular destinations for beach holidays, however, Phuket city also has much to offer and you can see a more authentic side of Thai living in the city itself, where you can explore markets and take in the atmosphere of Southern Thailand.

Phuket or Krabi - Choosing the Perfect Destination for your Thailand Trip

If you’re wondering how many days in Phuket is ideal, well it all depends on what your plans are? You could easily spend 2 weeks in Phuket or 2 months and still not see or do everything.

Below is a great guide on what to do in Phuket for 2 days because sometimes 2 days in Phuket is all you have, especially if you’re going over on a cruise or you’re short on time and want to be able to tour some of the other areas within Thailand.

48 hours is plenty of time to explore Phuket before heading onto the islands. This guide is perfect for those who only have 48 Hours in Phuket – A 2 Day Phuket Itinerary. We will show you what to do in Phuket, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether its a weekend in Phuket Thailand or just a quick trip.

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Best time to visit Phuket

Phuket’s climate is tropical: hot and humid. Temperatures don’t vary too much throughout the year however it is worth remembering that on the East coast the Monsoon season is between May and October, the opposite to the West coast of Thailand.

November to February are the most popular times for tourists to travel to Phuket, and it is best to avoid December and January, which is the peak of tourist season and prices for accommodation double and beaches become very crowded.

PHUKET, THAILAND- Crowds of tourists at Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is a popular destination famous for its beaches.

How to get around Phuket

There are many methods of public transport in Phuket, these include Songtaew, taxi, tuk-tuk, motorcycle taxi and motorcycle rental.

Driving in Thailand is not like driving in the Western world and is best navigated by a local, motorcycle rental is very common among tourists but I would advise against it as Thai drivers are quite aggressive and the rate of motorbike accidents in Thailand, with over 24,000 people dying annually from road accidents, 24 times the road accident death rate in the United Kingdom!

There are also numerous scams for tourists renting motorcycles and then having them “stolen” and having to pay out a huge sum of compensation.

There are safer methods of transportation such as the Songtaew, which is a kind of open bus without fixed stops. You normally hail down a Songtaew, tell the driver where you want to go and negotiate the price and hop on. It helps to know the name of the street in Thai.

Tuk-Tuks and taxis are also good methods of getting around but make sure to negotiate your price before you even get in as often you will find yourself being charged “tourist prices”. Finally, there are motorcycle taxis for those who don’t mind this hair-raising form of transportation.

Phuket Thailand - Many taxis (tuk tuk) parking on street in Phuket Thailand. The island is Thailands largest at 48km in length and 21km at its widest.

Things to do in Phuket

Explore Old Phuket Town

Phuket Town is a colourful city full of hostels, cafes, restaurants and markets. The architectural style of the city is Sino-Portuguese, the Old Town was established many years ago when metal was a highly prized commodity and the town has a lot of charm and style.

As you wander the streets you will find excellent cafes in Phuket Town and boutique hostels that are contemporary and trendy. Phuket Old Town is home to numerous Chinese and Buddhist temples.

It is worth visiting the Chinpracha House in Phuket Town, which was a historical home from 1903 built by Prapitak Chinpracha. The home was built when the architect was only 20 years old and is built in the Sino-Portuguese style. Chinpracha House is open every day except Sunday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Entrance is ฿150.

One of the most picturesque streets is Soi Rommanee, a favourite with photographers. This is also the location for many a wedding photographer and you will often see brides and grooms strolling down the peaceful lane to have their photographs taken.

If you want to enjoy a great coffee and cake, some of the best cafés can be found in Phuket Town. Pay a visit to Tunk Ka Cafe, Macchiato House, Cakebox, or Bookhemian, the boho, art gallery and coffee shop.

Tour Pick
PHUKET, THAILAND -Phuket town, Thailand: Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style restoration is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket.

Old Town Food Tour

  • 4 hours 
  • Max of 8 people 
  • 14+ food tastings
PHUKET, THAILAND -Phuket town, Thailand: Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style restoration is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket.

Shop at the Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market)

The Phuket Weekend Market is open on Sunday evenings and a trip to the market stimulates all your senses, here you will find souvenirs and food hawkers selling Thai street food and you can spend hours just wandering and shopping at the various stalls.

PHUKET THAILAND -Thai food stall with spice fruits on weekend night market in Phuket town.

Catch some sun at the beach

The main attraction of Phuket is its many stunning beaches. Though Patong Beach is the most popular among tourists, there are quieter and more pristine stretches of beach around Phuket Island.

Take a visit to Laylan Beach, Bang Tao, Surin Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach or Paradise beach to catch some rays and lounge around in tropical paradise.

PHUKET THAILAND - Popular Surin beach with sunshade parasols on clear sand with calm blue sea

Swim at Bang Pae Waterfall

Bang Pae waterfall is situated in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park and in the wet season or during monsoon you may see a rushing waterfall, which dries to a trickle during the drier months.

You can swim in the pool below the waterfall, and be sure to bring food and drinks so that you can spend a half-day enjoying the park and the waterfall. The entrance fee to the park is ฿200.

Beautiful nature of Bangpae waterfall at Phuket province Thailand.

Inside the park, you can visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre where you can learn about the rehabilitation project which helps to rescue and rehome Gibbons.

Over 3,000 gibbons are killed yearly in Thailand and hunters often take babies from their mothers, the babies are then sold on to Thais who charge money to tourists to take pictures with the gibbons.

If you do see this practice whilst you are in Thailand, please don’t be tempted to take a picture with the gibbons! This practice encourages animal cruelty and we should all try to discourage it.

Male white-handed gibbon eating leaves in the jungles of Phuket Thailand.

Have a Thai Massage

Indulge yourself by having a strong Thai massage in one of the many massage parlours.

Thai massage typically is a little rougher than Western massage and is meant to ease stress and muscular aches and pains, some massages involve the massage therapist walking up and down your back!

Enjoy as many massages as you can as its incredibly cheap at only around ฿200 per hour.

Thai Masseuse doing massage for lifestyle woman in spa salon. Asian beautiful woman getting Thai herbal massage compress massage in spa.She is very relaxed. Healthy Concept.

Learn to cook Thai cuisine

Phuket has an abundance of cooking schools; this is the perfect place to learn how to make your favourite Thai dishes as well as learning useful skills to continue your passion for Thai food when you return home.

Tour Pick
PHUKET THAILAND -Thai food stall with spice fruits on weekend night market in Phuket town.

Thai Cooking Class

  • 3.5 hours 
  • Max of 10 people 
  • Market tour included
Close up cooking Pad Thai noodles, Thai street food in the market popular Thai Food Bangkok Thailand

Places to visit in Phuket

The Big Buddha

On the top of Nakkerd Hill you can find one of Phuket’s most famous landmarks. Standing at 45 metres tall, the Big Buddha can be seen from afar and it is the perfect place to see the panoramic vistas of Phuket Island.

The statue is made from white Burmese marble and catches the sunlight, shining white. Enjoy the gentle tinkling of bells and the sounds of Dharma music and the silence at the Big Buddha whilst taking in the incredible views.

Tour Pick
scenery aerial photography sunrise at Phuket big Buddha. Phuket Big Buddha is one of the island most important and revered landmarks on Phuket island.

Phuket Half Day City Tour

  • 6 hours 
  • Max of 10 people 
  • 2 dishes at Punte
blue sky and blue ocean are on the back of Phuket Big Buddha statue.white Phuket big Buddha is the one of landmarks on Phuket island.

Visit one of the many viewpoints in Phuket

Karon Viewpoint is situated just South of Kata Noi Beach. This viewpoint is popular among tourists and looks out onto the Andaman Sea offering stunning views of the coast and the beaches.

In the Northwest of the city you can find Khao Rang viewpoint, there are many bars and restaurants and panoramic terraces for you to capture the perfect panorama shot.

Kata Karon tropical beach viewpoint at Phuket island, Thailand

Take in some temples

There are many temples and shrines in Phuket, the most famous being Wat Chalong. The temple complex includes the impressive Grand Pagoda which supposedly is home to a splinter from the bone of Buddha himself and the temple is ornately decorated with scenes depicting the life story of Buddha.

Beautiful pagoda in Wat Chalong or Chalong temple at Phuket town, Thailand. It's most popular thai temple in Phuket Thailand.

Another shrine worth visiting is the Chinese shrine of Jui Tui, which houses three large statues of Chinese gods including the statue of Tean Hu Huan Soy, god of dance and performing arts.

There is also a firecracker house where locals throw firecrackers during festivities and celebrations.

Another shrine to visit is the Shrine of the Serene Light, built over 150 years ago and tucked away in a narrow alleyway.

This Taoist shrine has elaborate etchings covering all the walls and has been recently renovated on the outside. Inside you can smell the heady scent of burning incense and fresh flowers.

Bright day at chalong temple in phuket

See Macaques at Monkey Hill

Toh Sae Hill, also known as Monkey Hill is the tallest hill in the town and is home to 400 free-roaming Macaque monkeys.

Here you can visit the shrine that honours three holy spirits: Toh Sae Dang, Toh Sae Dam and Toh Sae Kaow, this is where Thais come to ask for lucky lottery numbers and blessings. Be careful not to bring food in your bag and keep an eye on your possessions, as the monkeys are incredibly cheeky!

Monkey with a baby at Monkey Hill, Phuket, Thailand

Party in Patong

Phuket has a seedier and sleazier side, known as Patong. Patong is famed for the beach and its wild nightlife and there are dozens of touts trying to lure you into ping-pong ball shows or ladyboy shows.

This area is popular for its nightclubs and outdoor bars full of bar girls and for the curious traveller who wants to see another side of Thailand, this is one place you don’t want to miss.

PATONG BEACH, THAILAND -Patong night street in phuket, Thailand

Where to stay in Phuket

Phuket has incredible luxury hotels and boutique hotels for people with big budgets to those travelling on a shoestring. 

For style and value we have gathered some of the best budget boutique hotels in Phuket for you! We have also written an extensive guide on Where to stay in Phuket.

Cascades Resort Phuket

Just five minutes from Rawai Beach is a little contemporary resort with spacious reasonably priced rooms. The hotel is perfect for couples and has an outdoor pool and in-house restaurant.

Anchan Private Pool Villas

This newly built hotel with private pools will give you a sense of privacy and luxury in Chalong Bay. This hotel is a four star one with air conditioned rooms, wifi and excellent location.

Cloud 19 Panwa

For a luxury option at a steal, this hotel on Cape Panwa is right on the beach and has a stunning swimming pool for those sunset swims. Rooms are spacious and clean and the hotel has excellent facilities.

PHUKET, THAILAND - Oriental Architecture of Crest Resort and Pool Villas and Resorts is the latest luxury intimate gems an eco friendly resort Phuket island in Thailand.

Tours to do in Phuket 

Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

If you love rum then a visit to Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is sure to tickle your taste buds! The famous white rum is world-recognised and during the tour you will learn how rum is distilled, the tour ends in a cocktail workshop where you will learn how to make cocktails and afterwards enjoy the fruits of your labour.

fragment of copper alembic for making alcohol

Phang Nga Bay

There are numerous tour operators offering trips to Phang Nga Bay, 40 small islands full of lagoons, mangroves and caves. This excursion is usually a full day trip as there is so much to see!

A unique way of visiting Phang Nga is to take a Sea Kayak, which allows you to explore the limestone formations, and caves up close, discovering secret lagoons inaccessible by larger boats.

Tours by a bigger boat wil take you out to Phang Nga and include visits Hong Island, Panak Island and James Bond Island. Once out there you will be transferred to kayaks where you can explore the coves and bays at your leisure.

Beautiful View of Phang Nga Bay in Samed Nang Chee Viewpoint, Phang Nga, Thailand

48 Hours in Phuket

Day One in Phuket

Start your morning with a hike up to the Big Buddha where you can see the impressive panoramas from one of the best viewpoints on Phuket Island, pay a visit to Wat Chalong, and climb up to the roof so you can get a bird’s eye view of the temple complex.

After building up an appetite, head down to Phuket Town and wander the alleyways to find some wonderful cheap eats, street food is tasty and cheap and you can find meals for under ฿50.

If you are worried about hygiene, head to the busiest stalls with the most customer turnover that has an open kitchen, that way you know that the food is fresh.

A lot of cases of food poisoning actually come from more western style restaurants or places with enclosed kitchens. Plastic tablecloth and napkin holders are usually a good sign of a great authentic street restaurant.

Enjoy the delicious satay, Thai fish cakes, spicy soups, curry and roti as well as the heavenly sticky rice and mango dessert commonly found around Thailand. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a Phuket Street Food app, which you can download to find the best places to taste the local specialties.

After filling up you can wander the streets of Phuket Town and enjoy the Sino-Portuguese architecture whilst getting lost in the Old Town.

After a day of walking, stop in a massage parlour for a Thai massage to ease your weary and aching muscles, try a reflexology massage for your tired feet, it works wonders!

When the sun starts to set head to Bangla Road in Patong if you are looking for some crazy nightlife or if you prefer something more chilled, head to one of the laid back beach bars on Kata beach, sip a cocktail, feel the sand between your toes and enjoy the glorious Thai sunset.

PHUKET, THAILAND - Yaowarad Road. Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket, Thailand.

Day Two in Phuket

After all the drinks from the night before, a beach day is in order! Either head to one of the stunning beaches where you can lounge around, do water sports such as paddle boarding or surfing or enjoy some snorkelling amongst the colourful tropical fishes of the Andaman Sea.

For quieter beaches head to Karon, Kata or Kamala beaches where you can enjoy a stretch of sand just for you and avoid the crowds.

If you’re feeling more lively and adventurous, head out to Phanga Nga for a kayaking adventure where you can swim, snorkel and kayak to your hearts content, exploring the secret coves and bays and taking in the looming limestone formations of the islands.

End your 48 hours with another spectacular sunset at Promthep Cape, the Southernmost point of Phuket Island, though it may be full of tourists, the ultimate sunset shot is worth it. Finish off with another beachside cocktail as you bid farewell to the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket.

Recommend Phuket tours:

Landscape view point of Laem Phromthep Cape at sunset sky.

FAQs About 2 days in phuket itinerary

is 2 days in phuket enough

Two days in Phuket, Thailand is enough time to see some of its most iconic sights and enjoy a few of the activities the area has to offer. For those who are short on time, two days is just enough to get a taste of the beautiful beaches, blue waters, and lush jungles found throughout the region.

In two days, you can visit some of Phuket’s most famous attractions like Wat Chalong Temple or explore Patong Beach or Kata Noi beach.

You can also take a boat tour out to the nearby islands for snorkelling, diving or simply relaxing in the sun. Whatever your preference is, two days in Phuket will leave you wanting more.

is krabi or phuket better?

Both Krabi and Phuket have a lot to offer travellers! Each destination has different attractions that make them unique and worth visiting.

Krabi is well known for its stunning beaches, limestone karsts, jungle hikes, and kayaking tours. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, like Railay and Koh Phi Phi.

Phuket also offers breathtaking scenery with its impressive caves, hidden lagoons, pristine national parks, as well as world-renowned tourist spots such as Patong Beach and Big Buddha. It’s a great place for families or groups looking for an action-packed holiday.

So which one is better? That really depends on what you’re looking for in your trip – whether it’s peaceful beach getaways or high energy nightlife – both Krabi and Phuket have something to offer! Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what activities you’d like to do on your vacation.

where to go in thailand for 2 weeks

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, and there are plenty of great places to visit in two weeks. Bangkok is the first stop for many tourists, and its vibrant nightlife and bustling streets make it a must-see.

For something more nature-oriented, head to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand for stunning mountain scenery and amazing hikes.

Coastal towns like Krabi offer breathtaking beaches, while cities like Phuket have some of the best seafood restaurants in Thailand. No matter what you’re looking for in your two week vacation, Thailand has something for everyone!

Final Thoughts: phuket in 2 days

Phuket is a wonderful destination with an array of activities, attractions and adventures to be had. Your two day itinerary will give you a taste of this paradise island and all it has to offer.

Mix and match the itinerary to suit what you want to do with your time in Phuket – join a tour or two, spend some time at the beach, or explore different attractions – it’s up to you!

No matter what you decide, make sure that you create memories that will last a lifetime in Phuket. So book your flight now and prepare yourself for the perfect getaway!

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