Considering how much it rains from May to October you would think Phuket would have a few more indoor activities. There are surprisingly few indoor activities so here we list in one place a few suggestions for things to do when it is raining.
Well you are going to want to do some shopping so you might as well do it when it is raining. Check out our shopping guide for full details on the shopping options in Phuket.
There are three multiplex cinemas in Phuket.
SFX Cinema, Central Festival – This seven-screen multiplex is a westerner friendly cinema. It is on the third floor of Central Festival shopping mall. It has all the major western movies with English soundtrack and Thai subtitles. It also has English subtitles for most Thai movies. Normal seats cost from 80 to 120 baht. There are sofa seats in the back row which cost 300 baht for two people. There is also a VIP screen which costs 500 baht per person for a sofa seat with snacks and soft drinks included.
Paradise Multiplex, Ocean Plaza – This multiplex is in Phuket Town on Tilok Uthit 1 Road. It does not screen so many movies with English soundtracks and does not often include English subtitles for Thai movies. Normal seats cost 80 baht.
Jung Ceylon, Patong – The new shopping complex in Patong now contains the newest cinema in Phuket which only opened in October 2007. This multiplex is strongly aimed at the tourist market so there are plenty of English soundtrack movies. Seats cost 120-baht.
There is something very restful about watching a storm rage from the comfort of a nice bar or restaurant, especially if you have a great view. There is no rush to go anywhere so relax over your food and drink while the rain buckets down and lightening occasionally illuminates the sky. There are lots of great eating-places around the tourist resorts or check out our restaurant guide.
No trip to Thailand is complete without a Thai massage. Some people are concerned about the connection with the sex industry but do not worry – there are lots of genuine massage parlours offering traditional Thai massage. They range from simple massage salons to up-market spas offering a complete pampering service. Salons offer massage from 200-baht an hour, beachside massages cost around 300-baht an hour while you can spend several thousand baht for a full days pampering at one of the top spas.
Traditional Thai massage is a vigorous kneading and stretching routine designed to release tension and activate pressure points to leave you feeling loose and rejuvenated. Some of the actions are distinctly painful but the final result is worth the effort. If you want something more relaxing, try an oil massage. The masseur uses warming massage oils to loosen the muscles and lubricate the kneading action for a totally relaxing experience. Or why not try a foot massage. While working over your foot ankle and calf the practitioners claim to activate pressure points that relieve stress and restore energy flow throughout the body.
Ten-pin bowling has a following through much of Asia and there are several bowling alleys in Phuket. Devotees of the game seem to be able to play for hours. For the rest it can provide an hour or two of amusement while the rain falls.
Rock and Bowl, Soi Kepsub 2, Sai Nam Yen Road, Patong.
Jung Ceylon Bowling, Patong.
CS Bowl Centre, Top Floor, Big C, Chalermprakiat Road.
Pearl Bowling, Montree Road, Phuket Town.
Ocean Bowl, Ocean Shopping Mall, Tilok Uthit 1 Road, Phuket Town.
Thalang National Museum
Drive north up Thepkrasattri Road (Airport Road) and turn right at Heroines Monument circle on to road 4027. The museum is almost immediately on your right. It is a simple but pleasant museum covering the history of Phuket from prehistoric times to today. You can learn about Phuket’s geology, earliest inhabitants, battles with Burma, the tin mining industry and rubber plantations. The museum is another institution that practices two-tier pricing but with an entrance fee of 30 baht for foreigners and 10 baht for Thais, it is hardly worth worrying about.
Phuket Seashell Museum
This is a seashell shop with a museum downstairs. The museum is small but contains an impressive array of shells and fossils. Entrance is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. Entrance to the shop is of course free and you can buy some nice souvenirs. You will find better prices at some of the small seashell shops in Rawai.
Phuket Sea Shell Museum is on Wiset Road just north of Rawai.
At the end of Cape Panwa is Phuket Aquarium. It is a small aquarium and will take a maximum of an hour to explore. There is a nice range of aquatic life and the final two tanks have some impressive big fish.
The aquarium is open from 08:30 to 16:00. It is a publicly owned facility and practices two-tier pricing. Entrance for foreigners is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. Entrance for Thais is 50 baht for adults and 20 baht for children.