Offbeat Phuket- comprehensive 3 day bike tour itinerary - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Offbeat Phuket- comprehensive 3 day bike tour itinerary

If you’re visiting Phuket in Thailand, best way to explore around is on a rented bike. If you don't rent a bike and go for conventional way of taking a package tour, you will be spending more and will be limiting yourself to much lesser and very popular tourist attractions only missing several off-beat attractions.Try bike rental instead. Bike rental is cheap, gives you lots of flexibility and freedom of movement and helps you explore more spots in less time and expense, compared to any other option such as tuk tuk, taxi, package tours operated in minibuses/big buses etc. For one day, rent is around 200-250 baht onwards (for cheapest scooters like Scoopy) and for 100 kms, you will need about 2 litres of petrol that is about 50 baht- together, for a day, assuming 150 kms usage, you will need only INR 650 (rent + fuel).  Compare this with a package tour- a half day excursion in a minivan that includes only 3 spots (an elephant safari, Big Buddha temple and another temple/beach) can cost around 600 baht onwards per person).

You can read my Bike Rental experience in Phuket in a separate post. Now, assuming you've a bike and you’ve 3 full days in Phuket at your disposal, what would be the best way to explore Phuket? I’ve given a itinerary below you can refer. Feel free to adapt/customize as per your needs. If you have more days, I suggest you spend 2-3 days visiting Phi Phi island and Krabi.

Day 01: South Phuket- Beaches, viewpoints, adventure and temples. -120 kms approx. 
If you don't have full day, you can do this in 2 sets- like all western points in half day and eastern attractions next day, or you can skip some beaches.

Day 01, Part 1- South Phuket Western Corridor
Below map shows several attractions on the western corridor of south Phuket. I've given a brief summary of attractions below.

1 Patong Beach: Closest beach to town, usually crowded, hundreds of restaurants n shops around. Watersports like parasailing, jetski etc are available here. You can visit this beach anytime, so if you're getting late skip n proceed to next.

2. Freedom Beach: Freedom beach is just outside of town, a not so good road leads you to the entry point where 200 baht fee will be collected if you wish to enter the beach area, since they claim it is private property. A bird was also sitting on the fens- it had some sort of wire on its legs- I guess it is a pet bird kept there for tourists to pose with it for money.

We opted not to go into the Freedom beach- partly due to entry fee partly due to time and we had no intention of swimming/doing beach activities, so proceeded further and got below view of the freedom beach, from a vantage point nearby. If this excites you go inside, else skip.
3, 4: Karon and Kata beach: Nothing extraordinary, but much less crowd. Few adventure activities may be available. If you're interested in some para sailing or other watersports, my suggestion would be to try here in Kata beach istead of Patong, because it will be less crowd and you can bargain better.
 A parasailing buy was waiting for customers at Kata beach
5. Karon viewpoint: Free entry, you can pose with some pet birds here.
6. Elephant Camps: You will find several elephant camps on the way. You can take a ride on elephants, play with baby elephants and indulge in any other experience the centre may have on offer- like feeding/bathing elephants etc. Fee will be usually around 500 baht onwards.

 Pricing information for elephant rides in Phuket
Few baby monkeys were allowed to play with tourists- they did somersault, tried to grab food and did other stunts- watch a video here if interested
7. ATV Rides: There're several ATV adventure centres adjacent to the highway, some charge insane 1400 baht for a 15 min ride (INR 2800/USD 40). Some have private tracks, most take you for a tour on the main road itself. No fun riding ATVs on main road. Also most spots have cheap 200cc Chinese models with thumb press accelerator, which will be hurting your fingers on prolonged use. Be wise while selecting ATV ride- unless you've checked their review online and know that the track and vehicles are good and price is reasonable, you should simply avoid. [The one we had in Bali was amazing]

8. More beaches: You will find lots of beaches on the way. Few are good for photos, if they have an accessible rock few meters into the sea.

9. Windmill Viewpoint: Do not miss this one. Very scenic spot. Check photos below.

Noticed the small rock closer to the shore in above picture- that's where we stopped next
9A. Small rock near windmill viewpoint
10. Prompthep Cape: Could be easily best spot of the 10 items listed so far. Has breathtaking views, a long walking trail if you wish to go till the edge, a small temple and shops nearby if you wish to refresh. Plan to spend an hour or so here, totally worth. I did miss my 300mm and DSLR.

Prompthep Cape has shopping area and is a good point to refresh yourself before proceeding or returning.

All these are some 40 kms from Patong area. Will take around 3-4 hours in total assuming you will stop for fair enough time at key attractions on the way. The curvy roads are a fun in itself to ride.

Assuming you've full day/some more hours to spare, I will resume from Promthep Cape. If not, reschedule to suit your needs

Day 01, Part 2- South Phuket Eastern Corridor & Old Town
This is another 75-80 km ride covering eastern corridor. Takes about 4 to 5 hours if all places are visited and some minimum required time is spent. You can skip a few which is far/not interesting and focus more on places that interest you.

Click here for link or refer map below

1. Rawai Beach: Rawai is a spot from where most boat trips begin. It is more of a harbor than a beach. You can have a quick stop here. Boat tours to nearby islands can be had from here. If you wish, you can hire an entire speed boat and go for a joyride as well.

2. Big Buddha Phuket: Phuket's latest attraction- a giant Buddha statue located on top of a hill. Closes by 6.30/7 PM. View of the town is great. I have a separate post on Big Buddha Phuket for further details.

3. Wat Chalong: A popular temple in the area, nice complex. Was dark when we visited.
4. Phuket Zoo: If interested. We didn't visit. Will eat up time, skip unless very keen

5. Phuket Aquarium: Is open for limited hours n far- can be skipped if you're not very keen. I didn't go inside. There was an Indian restaurant nearby.

6. Saphan Hin Park: A nice place to walk around and look at the ocean.

7. Phuket Trick Eye Museum: 500 baht entry fee, opens at 10 AM, closes at 6 PM, needs an hour or two to explore. Can be skipped if you've been to similar places elsewhere. [Like Alive Museum Singapore or 3D art gallery at Hua Hin etc]

8. Phuket Old town- around the trick eye museum is Phuket old town- some old buildings and streets. I found a tender coconut wholesale shop, where each tender coconut was being sold for 10-15 baht (regular street price 50 baht)

9. Monkey Hill: A small hill adjacent to Phuket Old town, hardly spotted any monkeys here, but many dogs were present. View is ok-ok (refer below)

10. Rang Hill: Another view point- a good but expensive restaurant exists, view is nice.

11. Phuket Off road: If you're interested. 1500 baht for 5 rounds in an old 4x4 Gypsy- read detailed experience here

12. Tiger Kindgom: Again, if interested. Takes few hours. Skip if not interested

These places will easily keep you engaged for about half a day- together your one day exploration of South Phuket will be complete. Customize as per your preference, available time etc.

Day 02- Phang-Nga area 200-250kms long ride

Leave from hotel very early. Ride north. Feel free to stop at any temples/beaches that interest you, else ride non stop to Serasin Bridge. Then proceed to Samet Nangshe view point, Phung Chang Caves,  Sra Nang Manora waterfalls, Raman waterfalls and so on. I have a detailed post already live on what and how to explore Phang Nga National Park area. From here you can also visit James Bond island on your own, without having to take packages. This will take full day and you can return to your hotel in Phuket by late night.

Day 03 – Relaxed day for attractions around Phuket and any spot couldn’t be covered on previous days
There're many lesser known waterfalls and offbeat places to try. Refer map link here or see below

You can either begin from Patong area or Phuket Old town. I'll proceed assuming you'll begin from Old town. If beginning from Patong area you can follow in reverse direction.

1. Upside Down House, Phuket
Opens at 9.30 AM, 350 baht entry fee applies and photography is not allowed inside. If you're interested worth a quick stop..

2. Ton Sai waterfalls
This waterfalls is ticketed (200 baht). If short of time I would suggest it can be skipped. If you're visiting during monsoon/post monsoon will be worth visiting

3. Wat Phra Thong
A temple nearby, worth a short diversion if you're visiting Ton Sai waterfalls

4. Bang Pae waterfalls
Another waterfalls on the other side of the forest/hill, so needs a detour. I would say worth a visit though nothing super impressive- very less crowd and no entry fee. Check photos below. You will save some 20-25 kms if you skip this waterfalls

5. Sirinat National Park
Closer to airport, and closer to beach, nice place to relax

6. Beaches along the coast- Once done with Sirinat National park, you can ride down parallel to the ocean, with great views at regular intervals. Banana beach, Surin Beach, Kamala beach etc are all lined up one after another along the coast. You can divert to  Phuket Fishing Park and Phuket Fantasea if interested (Phuket Fantasea is a theme park with shows involving animals- opens in the evening and goes on till dinner time- ticket price begins at around 40 USD onwards.

You can also visit Kathu waterfalls and try some adventure at flying Hanuman. Once done proceed to your hotel.

Hope this was useful to you. Have great time in Phuket.


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