Fun and leisure activities for the whole family
For the ultimate in sheer Phuket Entertainment for the family, head down to the south coast of Thailand, where the welcome sign is always on. Pleasure and joy are the only prerequisites allowed at this lively seaside resort. Nothing is short of exhilarating with so many fun and leisure activities for you to enjoy. There are also physical enterprising ventures for you to indulge your every whim.
FantaSea Theme Park
FantaSea cultural theme park at Kamala beach is truly a spectacular all-around entertainment. This magnificent park is inspired by Thailand’s rich and exotic heritage and has a fantastic fun theme to go. It’s a must-see for the whole family.
Kids can literally go crazy in the vast show grounds while entertaining themselves with so many different forms of amusements. And with all the exciting features going on here, kids will be able to keep themselves busy for hours on end. It’s just like being at the carnival with plenty of fun stuff to do including loads of gaming arcades to participate in.
The Palace of the Elephants Theatre
The Palace of the Elephants Theatre is definitely the highlight of the evening’s entertainment at FantaSea. This Las Vegas-style theatrical show should certainly take your breath away as it did mine.
Once seated and as the show begins, you’ll witness some magnificent elephants as they make their way to the stage. This truly spellbinding show combines Thai culture with amazing illusions that are almost beyond belief. I have taken many a friend to FantaSea and still manage to have plenty of fun each time. It’s Phuket entertainment at its very best.
The show is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes long with two shows nightly. It may be advisable to pay the little extra for the VIP seats should you want a better view of the performances. It is unfortunate (or fortunately) that you are not allowed to take any photos inside the theatre so I cannot show you any but seen above is a photo taken outside at the entrance to the elephant theatre.
The Similan Entertainment Centre
The Similan Entertainment Centre is a kind of undersea arcade at FantaSea which kids will just love and where they can join in the fun and games with all the friendly sea creatures around. In fact, everyone of all ages can join in and test their skills with all these new and exciting games on offer.
The Tiger Jungle Adventure
The Tiger Jungle Adventure is another not-to-be-missed form of entertainment at FantaSea for kids where they will be able to see loads of gentle creatures in a sort of theatrical safari. This is a concept that will take you on a journey of 12 mythical and exotic scenes. Apparently inspired by ancient Thai folklore/legends and starring local animals, coupled with a special cutting edge visual and audio effects. Take a look at the video above for these and other exciting attractions.
Elephant Rides are available for leisurely strolls around the grounds as well as plenty of local handicraft talent to inspire all ages. Kids will have their hands full while trying to absorb all the thrills and spills.
I’d try to get an early tour bus to take you there even if you go to the later show at the Elephant Theater. If you have your own transport, even better. From Patong beach, a trip by car takes about an hour.
The Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant ~ 4.4 Stars
The Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant is a 4,000 seat buffet restaurant at the Fantasea Entertainment Center offering both Thai and international cuisine. I must say that I was both highly impressed with the magnificence of this place and the genuine hospitality of the Thai hosts.
The wonderful vegetarian spread that I was able to indulge in was especially welcome and should I add quite, delicious. I’m sure you too will be truly impressed as I was. The meals at this restaurant are included in the price of your ticket to the theatre.
Patong Go-Kart Speedway
Patong Go-Kart Speedway is a Phuket entertainment enterprise for you if you love the thrill of go-karting. You will find this 600-meter track at the base of Patong Hill. The speedway is open daily from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm.
If this is not enough, then you could always go and explore the island’s forests and rubber plantations. Why not hire an all-terrain vehicle and go off-road. Perhaps even better, why not simply go on an ATV tour.
Aquarium (With Zoo)
The Phuket Aquarium and Zoo in Phuket may not be nearly as big as the one in Bangkok but it is nevertheless, a great place to take the kids. In any case, tourists who fly in and out this island paradise do not necessarily need to go to the big cities anyway so a trip here would be a special treat. You will find this aquarium at the southern end of the island on Cape Panwa which is approximately an hour by car from Patong.
The Aquarium has lots of fresh water marine life as well as sea water creatures. Look out for the spotted sting ray and the sea turtles, the latter being bred here and later released back into the sea. The Aquarium is open daily from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. And there is an admission fee of around 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for kids.
The Monkey School
The Monkey School is at the same venue and another great place to take kids. There is no extra cost. Kids will just love the shows and they can participate in some of the action too. You will see the monkeys all dressed up riding tricycles while performing various tricks and you will even get to see monkeys swimming. This 30-minute show will have you and the kids laughing with delight and don’t forget to let the kids feed them bananas afterwards while you take photos of the primates.
The Phuket Zoo
The Phuket Zoo is situated a mere fifteen-minute drive from Phuket Town near the north end of Chalong Bay. The entrance fee is 500 Baht for adults and 300 Baht for children. A little steep considering locals pay only about 100 Baht. Unfortunately, as a foreigner, you will find this kind of payment plan wherever you go in Thailand.
And it matters not should you be an expat living here permanently either. There is a price for locals and another for foreigners. Consider the entrance fees as an extension of your heartfelt generosity and kind nature. It would be worthwhile knowing that the extra tip is going to a worthy cause and not into a corrupt back pocket.
The highlight of this outing are the three shows displayed during the course of the day. There’s a monkey show, an elephant show and a crocodile show. It’s a bit like going to the circus. You will, of course, see this all over Thailand, but if you are only going to Phuket, then do take the kids here and enjoy yourselves.
Temples and Monasteries
Wat Chalong Temple
Wat Chalong Temple is the biggest and the most visited of all the 29 Buddhist temples or monasteries found in Phuket. The vast grounds consist of several buildings and important Buddhist statues.
As you stroll around you will notice many paintings depicting the life of Buddha. While westerners may be curious for knowledge about Buddhism, the locals come here to pray, light incense and candles and sometimes even help with applying gold leaf to some of the statues.
In the west hall of the temple is one of the most important Buddhist statues called Poh Than Jao Wat. There is a legend stating that two of the statues of an elderly gentleman by the name Ta Khee-lek, seen nearby, was a famous local who had won several lotteries after consulting the Poh Than Jao Wat statue.
Though this temple is worth a visit, the best time to go is in the early morning or perhaps at best, the late afternoon in order to avoid the heat and crowds. This would allow you lots of free time to perhaps go to one of the beaches and or any of the neighbouring islands.
The temple is situated in the northern part of Tambol Chalong approximately eight kilometres south-east of Phuket town. To get there from Phuket town, you’d drive along Vichit Songkram Road to the Bypass Road after which you turn left before continuing a short distance to find the temple on Chao Fa West Road.
Wat Phra Nang Sang
Wat Phra Nang Sang is the oldest temple in Phuket dating back as far as the 18th century. The site was once the setting of a famous battle fought between locals living here and the Burmese armies who had invaded the island in 1785.
The Burmese army was desperately trying to locate an ancient manuscript showing the location of some royal hidden treasure. Perhaps Hollywood used a similar concept when making the movie, National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage.
There is also the legend concerning a princess who had played a significant part in the construction of Wat Phra Nang Sang. At some stage, she was found guilty of a felony and as she was being executed for her crime, she shed white blood. Some say she had been framed and was innocent of any wrong-doing.
The shedding of white blood indicated her purity so as an act of remembrance, an ordination hall in the temple is dedicated to her. Famed for its immense history, this attraction is well worth a visit. You will find the temple near the centre of Thalang Town which I believe was once the principal town in Phuket.
If you’re looking for activities that are are kid friendly in Phuket then these options are definitely worth your while. I’ll also like to mention the best beaches for kids can be found by visiting this Phuket Beach Guide.