Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is full of activities to keep you occupied. If you have already been island hopping, you may have bathed an elephant or shot a high caliber rifle. But if you’re avoiding organized tours, you can explore the island by yourself.
Getting around Phuket by motorcycle is a great way to hit all the best places. From Big Buddha to sunsets on the beach, here are few interesting routes.
1. Around Chalong Bay: Big Buddha and Wat Chalong (60 km)
During this road trip, you will see the most famous landmarks on the island and must-visit island destinations, such as Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, and Old Phuket Town. The route begins in Chalong Bay, a natural harbor that brings in sailors from all over the world. You will see many yachts docked there, and you can stroll down the pier to get a great view of the bay. Next, the route will take you up to the Big Buddha, a 45-meter tall Buddha statue. The Big Buddha looks towards the Chalong Bay, and the view is absolutely stunning. After making your way back down the mountain from the Big Buddha, you’ll head a short distance to Wat Chalong, the island’s biggest temple. It is a great example of the beauty of Thai religious architecture. Apart from religious architecture, you will have an opportunity to admire some colonial architecture and remnants of a European settlement. The historic quarter of Old Phuket Town offers quite a few shops and restaurants with a Sino-Portuguese style. HINT: Have breakfast at the lighthouse in Chalong Bay.
Detailed Route: Chalong Bay – Big Buddha – Wat Chalong – Old Phuket Town – Patong – Karon – Kata – Chalong Bay
2. Avoid Crowds on the West Coast Beaches (25 km)
This route runs through the beautiful, lesser-known beaches of the west coast of Phuket. This route is great if you want to escape from crowds of tourists and enjoy beautiful nature and peace.
It begins in Sirinat National Park, which aims to preserve natural resources such as coniferous forests, coral reefs, and beaches as places for sea turtles, mole crabs, and seashells. The 13 km coastline of the national park covers many beautiful beaches with white sand.
Heading south from Nai Yang Beach, the road takes you through a village and then into a lush green valley before reaching Nai Thon Beach. As you approach the next destinations, the narrow road will lead through some of the island’s last remaining virgin jungle, and it winds along a coastline that rivals the Cote d’Azur in its brilliant beauty.
You can end your trip at Kamala Tsunami Monument, which remains a piece of sad history of the Island.
HINT: Take your time while exploring Phuket by motorcycle and plan at least half a day for this route.
Detailed Route: Nai Yang Beach – Nai Thon Beach – Banana Beach – Surin Beach – Kamala Beach
3. Famous Beaches of the West Coast (50 km)
If you have not decided which beach in Phuket is the best, this route will help you decide. Following the west coast to the south, you will pass the most famous beaches of Phuket, each with its own unique identity and personality.
Your ride starts at the busy Patong Beach. When heading towards the southern tip of the island, make sure you hug the coast, which means turning right off the main road. You will pass by Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and tranquil Nai Harn before you reach the south of the island and Rawai Beach.
Heading south, you’ll notice that beaches become less crowded with far fewer tourists and become quieter the further you get from busy Patong, from where you started. You will pass the Kata View Point, which offers a wonderful vantage point to view the beaches you just visited.
HINT: Bring your bathing suit and a towel so you can take a dip in the water at some of the world’s best beaches.
Detailed Route: Patong Beach – Karon Beach – Kata Beach – Kata View Point – Nai Harn Beach – Rawai Beach – Chalong – Patong Beach
4. Phuket Andaman Coast Loop (95 km)
This picturesque motorcycle route runs through the southern part of the island and along the west coast, where the most beautiful beaches of Phuket are located. The ride also includes a loop around Ban Wad Reservoir, Phuket’s largest source of freshwater and a large artificial lake in the Kathu hills. You will pass interesting places, such as the Phuket Mining Museum, which is great for those who are interested in the history of Phuket. The Royal Phuket Country Club is also along the route. It’s located between Phuket Town and Patong Beach, smoothly rolling through a valley of hills, forests, and limestone cliffs.
The route mainly consists of flat sections, but there are steep and winding parts, especially on the west coast as you pass from the beach to the beach. Plan this route for the whole day—it’s 95 km!
HINT: To avoid heavy traffic on Chaofah Road and around Patong Beach, go early in the morning after breakfast.
Detailed Route: Ban Saiyuan, Rawai – Hayaek Chalong – Honda – Muang Chaofah Rd – Kathu – Royal Phuket Country Club – Ban Wad Reservoir (1 Lap) – Kathu – Loch Palm Golf Course – British School Loop – Monument – Nong Bang Cho Loop – Surin – Kamala – Patong – Karon – Kata – Karon View Point – Saiyuan
5. North Phuket Loop (87 km)
While Phuket’s south coast offers the most popular beaches, the north is more tranquil and quieter. This route runs through the northern part of the island and covers part of the east coast and the beautiful beaches on the northwest side of the island: Naithon and Banana Beach. It begins in the beautiful and popular resort destination Laguna Phuket. You will drive around Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, Phuket’s last significant virgin rainforest, which is home to a number of wild animals, including gibbons. Apart from that, you will also have an opportunity to be in an unseen and largely untouched part of the Island, Laem Khat.
Detailed Route: Laguna Phuket – Wat Thep Kasattri – Ban Reang Rd – Wat Muang – Ban Manik – Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club – Laem Khat – Phuket Coastal Aquatic Animals Development Center – Ban Malik – Asian Shooting Range – Naithon Beach – Banana Beach – Laguna Phuket