A golden reclining Buddha

7 great outdoor adventures around Phuket

The lands around Thailand’s largest island are filled with all kinds of incredible experiences

Jagged mountains, tropical jungle, rubber tree plantations, and rushing rivers are waiting in the wilderness, giving you the chance to find whatever kind of adventure. You can meet an elephant or charge through the jungles on an ATV, visit an ancient Buddhist monastery or take to the rapids in an inflatable raft. If you’re looking for some things to do in Phuket that take you beyond the city streets, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

  1. It’s bicycle time. Phuket Island is more or less the perfect size to explore by bicycle—big enough to have all the terrain you’d want, from grassy plains to jungle and mountains, and small enough that you’ll have time to get there. You can hit up the sights of Phuket City with an electric bike courtesy of EXO Travel, or you can apply some real pedal power out on the country roads. The team at Amazing Bike Tours can lead you out on the dirt roads and grassy trails for a sightseeing adventure that runs right through the island’s natural beauty. Waterfalls, beaches, and plantations of rubber and pineapple trees are just waiting for you to cycle through.

 Two people riding bikes in Thailand Jungle

  1. Go off-roading with an ATV. With double the wheels and—no offense—a lot more horsepower than you can get out of the bicycle, there’s a level of excitement that you can only find on a 4-by-4. Tour East has you covered there, with a tour that takes you way off the roads as you motor through swamps and jungles all the way to the sea. Don’t let the rough ground on the most out-of-the-way trails hold you back as you try one of the most remarkable things to do in Phuket Island’s wilderness.

People riding ATVs in a Thailand Jungle

  1. Get some air in the jungle. If speed is what you’re after, even an ATV can’t beat the rush you get from riding a zipline through the tangle of rubber trees in the middle of the island. The courses at Flying Hanuman offer up plenty of ways to plot your own adventure through the jungle, complete with sky bridges and hundreds of platforms built among the woods. Take some time to admire the views when you aren’t abseiling down from the treetops or zipping through the air.
  1. Take on the wildlands in Phang Nga. Just across the Sarasin Bridge on the mainland, the Malay Peninsula has all kinds of adventure waiting for you. The rivers that drain out of the mountains might as well have been made for whitewater rafting, and are not to be missed if you like charging through rapids between rocky, tree-lined shores. Thrilling Thai Tours has put together a full day of excitement that lets you try out your options for adventure, from rafting to ziplines to the wildlife.

Group walking across a bridge in a Thailand jungle canopy

 

  1. Get to know the Big Buddha. If you’re after some of the island’s best views, you’d do well to hike out to the monuments, temples and monasteries that fill the country. The giant white Buddha on top of Nakkard Hill looks down over the whole southern end of the island, and the brilliant gold-trimmed temples show off some real Southeast Asian grandeur. Diethelm Travel has picked out some of the grandest attractions for a day trip that explore Nakkard Hill.

A golden reclining Buddha

  1. Befriend some elephants. The jungles of Thailand are some of the liveliest places on Earth, so you’ve got a chance to see nature on a whole new scale. The folks at CBS Travel can introduce you to the largest land mammals in Asia at an elephant camp on the mainland, where you get some time up close with some of the continent’s most famous residents. And Thrilling Thai Tours can pair a trip through the wilderness with a visit to a shelter that finds new lives for stray dogs and cats, for a look at one of the country’s most adorable causes.
  1. Go exploring. In between the sandy beaches, tree-covered mountains, thick jungles, and lush plantations, Phuket Island packs a whole lot of sights. If you want a hand getting around to the sights, the guides have put together plenty of options. You can join Travstore Travel Management for an outing that takes you into the island’s grandest monastery and one of the best viewpoints in Phuket City, or let Asian Trails introduce you to the world of cashew nut farming and Chalong Bay rum, along with a great view at sunset.

River boats in Thailand

What’s your perfect Phuket Island adventure?

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Expedia Local Expert

Insider tips, locals-only insight, and tried-and-true travel expertise—Expedia Local Expert® is the ultimate reference for making sure that you get the most out of your trip. Whether you're nibbling croissants on the banks of the Seine, skipping the line for the must-ride roller coaster at a California theme park, or sailing between remote tropical islands in Fiji, Expedia Local Expert is your resource for booking any activity, anywhere. We can help you organize your trip in advance with online bookings, or get you situated in person once you're on the ground thanks to our concierge desks in major destinations such as Oahu, Orlando, and New York City. Our blog posts are designed to make sure you spend more time having fun, exploring, and living like a local and less time trying to figure out the logistics on the go. We share our pointers for maximizing your time and stretching your dollar, offering suggestions, ideas, and advice for attractions, activities, and itineraries. Pick up advice for planning your days, learn what to see and what to skip, and figure out how to navigate new places. Our writers are lovers of travel who know these destinations like the back of their hand and are eager to share their know-how with you. Read on, and travel better!

Latest posts by Expedia Local Expert (see all)