Experiences

14466 04 Jul 2021

Here’s Anantara’s Top 10 Things to See and Do as Phuket Opens for International Travellers

Now the island is ready to welcome back visitors from around the world from July 1st and Anantara has put together a top ten unmissable things to experience on a visit to Phuket.

For decades Phuket has been one of the most popular island destinations in Thailand, attracting millions of visitors each year. With the disappearance of international tourists for the last 18 months, the islands stunning beaches have once again become pristine, the azure waters teeming with an abundance of sea life and the surrounding islands rejuvenated with lush greenery unseen before. Now the island is ready to welcome back visitors from around the world from July 1st and Anantara has put together a top ten unmissable things to experience on a visit to Phuket.

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1. Go on a walk-through history.

Phuket has come a long way from its beginnings as a tin-mining settlement, but with a little imagination you can almost see the merchants of yore arraying goods inside the ornate Sino-Portuguese shophouses in Phuket Town. Converted into trendy restaurants, guesthouses and boutique hotels, they have since received a new lease on life; many restored to their former glory.

(Pic: Phuket Town)

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2. Insta-float amongst giant lilies.

If you like your nature to come with a side of strange and unusual, you will love the Ma Doo Bua caf. A must-visit destination for botanists and Instagrammers alike, this lakeside eatery is home to a colony of giant water lilies strong enough to hold the weight of a child (or a very light adult).

(Pic: Giant Lillies)

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3. A bridge to the heart.

Ask any older resident of Phuket and they will recount the story of the islands very own Romeo and Juliet who met their untimely end on the Sarasin Bridge. Connecting the mainland of Phuket and Phang Nga in southern Thailand, the bridge opened in 1967 and is considered by some, the most beautiful bridge in the country. In 1987 it entered the collective memory when the tragic romance between two young lovers was made into a film titled "Saphan Rak Sarasin" (Sarasin, The Bridge of Love). Whether you come here to reflect on life, love or have a photo shoot at the pretty pergola overlooking the river, Sarasin Bridge is guaranteed to make an impact.

(Pic: Sarasin Bridge)

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4. Take part in a sea turtle release.

Five of the worlds seven existent species of sea turtles Leatherback, the Loggerhead, the Olive Ridley, the Hawksbill and the Green turtles can be found in the waters of the Andaman Sea. All are classified as either endangered or threatened. Mai Khao beach is one of the few Phuket beaches that continues to welcome nesting turtles, thanks to the efforts of Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation that focuses on enhanced nest protection and improved incubation conditions. Anantara Mai Khaos Annual Turtle Release takes place around the Songkran holiday in mid-April and brings the entire community together.

(Pic: Turtle Release)

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5. Tipple on the islands own rum.

To explore a more contemporary side of Phuket, head to the award-winning Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. Plan to spend a few hours here as you tour the facilities learning the centuries-old French technique of using copper stills, before joining a cocktail-making workshop centred on Chalong Bays pure sugarcane juice rum. Distilled and bottled in Phuket and packed with local botanicals, it skillfully showcases the terroir of the island.

(Pic: Chalong Bay Rum)

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6. Experience local life.

Koh Panyee is a small fishing village built on stilts a 20-minute longtail boat ride from the main island. The local Muslim community are always welcoming and ready to show you around their unique home in the shallow waters. The floating village has a school, a mosque, small souvenir shops, and restaurants. The community are also football mad and have their very own floating football stadium and their love of the game has made them one of Southern Thailands best football teams.

(Pic: Koh Panyee)

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7. See gibbons ethically.

Gibbons were poached to the brink of extinction in Phukets jungle over 40 years ago. Today, they are illegally kept as pets or used as props in tourist photos feeding the demand for baby gibbons. But there is a way to engage with these gorgeous creatures in an ethical way. Phukets Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, a research division of the Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF), rescues gibbons and rehabilitates them so that they can be reintroduced into their natural habitat. Visit the centre to learn about the work the centre is doing, as well as observing the animals at the designated viewing areas.

(Pic: Gibbons)

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8. The Man with The Golden Gun Layan Experience.

Your mission if you choose to accept it is to enjoy the Golden Gun experience at Anantara Layan Residences. Catch a private jet from Bangkok to Phuket, be whisked by chauffeur-driven limo to the 8-bedroom, Villa Similan, the largest and most luxurious of the resorts residences. Enjoy martinis (shaken not stirred) by your own private butler before being presented with THE actual golden gun from the 1974 movie. A glamorous yacht cruise around Phang Nga Bay, where The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed, with free-flowing Krug champagne tops off the Bond experience.

(Pic: The Residences Layan)

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9. Shop till you drop.

Phukets famous Sunday Walking Street Market on old Thalang Road has something for everyone from secondhand goods, clothes, souvenirs and the best part of it is the amazing array of local food to sample. Even if you arent looking to buy, the electric atmosphere and historic setting is guaranteed to charm.

(Pic: Sunday Walking Street)

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10. Get back to nature.

Take a hike to the islands last virgin rainforest Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. The rainforest is known for its wide array of birds and wildlife, but the main attraction is the Bang Pae waterfall offering a cool spot to swim after a long hike.

(Pic: Khao Phra Thaeo)

Click here for more information click here for Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas https://www.anantara.com/en/mai-khao-phuket and here for Anantara Layan Phuket Resort. https://www.anantara.com/en/layan-phuket Tel: +66 2 365 9110 or email: reserveanantara@anantara.com

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About Anantara:

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the worlds most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 40 stunning hotels and resorts located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Portugal and Spain, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts Spas, please visit www.anantara.com.

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