How to Spend 48 Hours in Phuket, Thailand

Go for a sunset swim by Kamala Beach in Phuket, Thailand
Go for a sunset swim by Kamala Beach in Phuket, Thailand | © Jason Knott / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kelly Iverson
4 September 2021

It’s a race against time. You have 48 hours in Phuket, and you are not sure what activities and top sights you should see. With so many top things to do in ‘insert city here’ articles, it can be hard to pick and choose the seemingly best items on these itineraries and add them to your own. Look no further, as we have created an itinerary as to how you should spend 48 hours on Phuket.

Head to Phuket Town

The first spot on our itinerary is Phuket Town. The architecture here cannot be beaten, with colorful shops, hostels, and cafés lining the streets. Many of these buildings are Sino-Portuguese style, and it is considered one of the most attractive areas of Phuket. Some of the best cafés in Phuket Town include Tunk Ka Cafe, Macchiato House and Cakebox, and Bookhemian, a coffee shop, bookstore, and art space in one. There are also a variety of unique accommodation options, including a plethora of boutique hostels that are both trendy and adorable. Some of the best hostels in Phuket Town include Phuket 346, which is located right on one of the cutest streets in the entire city: Soi Rommanee. There are also some souvenir shops scattered throughout the city that are a bit more upscale than what you would find in Thai markets and shops.

Street art in Phuket Town | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Browse Chinpracha House

If you have the time and consider yourself a history buff of sorts, take a short time to browse Chinpracha House in Phuket Town. This historical home was built in 1903 by Prapitak Chinpracha. He built the home when he was 20 years old, drawing upon both Chinese and Portuguese architecture. The furniture within the house belongs to his ancestors, originally from China. Throughout the years, the house acquired furniture from Holland, Italy, and other European countries. Chinpracha House is open every day but Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is a ฿150 entrance fee.

Chinpracha House | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Take a Stroll Down Soi Rommanee

Amateur photographers and professionals alike need to visit this quaint stretch of Sino-Portuguese style buildings, shops, and hostels. The soi (road) is unlike any you will normally see in Thailand. It is quiet and attractive, and you will oftentimes find brides and grooms to-be making their way down this lovely lane in order to take some pre-wedding pictures. The street connects Thalang Road with Dibuk Road.

The pink street in Phuket Town | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Relax at Saphan Hin

Avoid the messiness of the sand at one of Phuket’s beaches by visiting Saphan Hin, a small, green space found in Phuket Town. This park is perfect for eating, exercising, or just relaxing for a few hours before taking on the nightlife in Phuket. It is here you will find many Thais congregating around communal lunches, sitting oceanside and enjoying one another’s company. You will find a mangrove forest just adjacent this green space, with a slender walking path for you to meander down while taking in Phuket’s lovely views of the water.

Visit Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market)

The Phuket Weekend Market is only open on Sunday evenings. After the sun sets, the market overflows with a variety of different Thai dishes and snacks as well as an abundance of souvenirs. This market is incredibly diverse, and visitors can browse it for hours without having seen it in its entirety.

Phuket Town Weekend Market | © Courtesy of

Go Out on Bangla Road

Not all of Phuket is thriving before the sun goes down. While the majority of the city calls it a day after dark, Bangla Road is just getting started. It is here you will find a plethora of go-go-bars, head throbbing nightclubs, and enough ‘sexpats’ and liquor to make you go crazy for an entire evening. There are plenty of outdoor bars just waiting for you to pull up a stool and lose a game of Jenga to one of its bar girls. If you love going out and having an evening you will not remember, this is the stretch of road to visit.

Bangla Road in Patong, Phuket, Thailand | © Courtesy of Nicolas Lannuzel/Flickr

Head for the Beach

One of the main reasons to visit the island of Phuket is to lounge on one of its many beaches. While Patong Beach is certainly the most popular amongst foreigners, there are plenty of other sandy paradises found throughout the island. Some of the best beaches to check out on the island of Phuket include Laylan Beach, Bang Tao, Karon Beach, Surin Beach, Paradise Beach, and Kata Beach, just to name a few.

Paddleboarding off Paradise Beach | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Visit Bang Pae Waterfall

The reviews are out on the Bang Pae Waterfall in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. Some claim it is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Thailand, while others are left less than impressed. This is true of all waterfalls in Thailand, however. Head to one of these naturistic landforms during the dry season, and you can expect a weak trickle from the usual flowing fall. The best time to visit is during the monsoon or wet season, which is from July to October. This waterfall has ample space beneath for swimming and hanging out before you go explore the rest of the surrounding area, including a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre in the national park. Bring food and drinks, and you can spend an entire afternoon lounging at this waterfall and park. Entrance into the park is ฿200.

Bang Pae Waterfall | © Courtesy of Jeff Gunn/Flickr

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