Sports and Activities in Phuket
As Phuket is a beach lover’s Shangri-la, most of the activities are water-based. Facilities are there for many water sports like boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking, parasailing and jet skiing. Other activities that do not involve water are also there. The most prominent among them are Thai kickboxing, elephant rides, trekking, climbing, jungle hiking, ATV rides and cycling. White water rafting facilities are available in nearby Phang Nga.
Water Sports in Phuket
With the calm, crystal clear Andaman Sea, caressing the beaches of Phuket, no wonder that Phuket has developed into a major tropical tourist destination. Phuket is an important center for sailing, yachting, kayaking and boating activities. Here there are many clubs offering facilities, lessons and gear for these activities. Sport fishing is popular both close to land near the mangrove estuaries and coral reefs, as well as in deep-sea area, where fishes such as Black Marlin and Sailfish are found.
Guided boating trips during the daytime are available for visiting nearby small islands and Phang Nga bay. Else, you can rent a kayak or a canoe and venture on your own. If you like speed, jet skiing is ideal. You can enjoy this at Patong or Kata beaches. Whirring past with water spray on your face is very exciting. Another thrilling sport is parasailing using a high-speed motorboat. This is also there on Patong and Kata beaches. Remember to behave sensibly, as the enforcement of safety rules is lax in Thailand.
Snorkeling and Diving
Most tourists coming to Phuket engage in diving
or snorkeling. It is very popular here due to the right conditions for both the activities, like calm sea, crystal clear water with good visibility, teeming colorful tropical fishes and abundant coral reefs. In most of Phuket’s beaches, guided expeditions are available with lessons thrown in for beginners. One such is Openwater I, which is cheaper as well. If you are short on time and do not have much experience in water sports, snorkeling near the land is the best for you. There are many day tours offered to safe and exotic spots near beaches and islands in Phuket. This is more rewarding than trying you luck in deep-sea areas.
Phuket has unique identity as a golfing vacation spot among golf-aficionados, with around six international standard 18-hole golf courses spread over the island. The additional attraction of Phuket is its bewitchingly beautiful landscapes, tropical forests, lagoons and clear aquamarine sea lapping the shores – all lying adjacent to the golf courses
. While playing in these courses, you not only get to enjoy the game and the scenery, but also have a relaxing time. You can hire high standard gear and caddies. The greens fee comes to around 2000 baht, with hire charges extra. Most of the time, you can find luxury villas for rent
near Phuket golf courses.
You will find biking tracks all over Phuket’s beautiful landscape. The jungle tracks are the most preferred by tourists for obvious reasons. Many smaller islands surrounding Phuket have only cycle as land transport. Cycles are offered for hire in most beaches. However, the bikes seen here are not suitable for hilly terrain. So cycling around for sight-seeing is out of question. You can do it with some extra effort and guidance from a local biker.
Thai kickboxing or Muay Thai is a unique martial art of Thailand, developed long ago to protect the region form invaders, especially Burmese. Now, Muay Thai is being practiced all over the world as an effective fighting and self-defense technique. Many come to Thailand to learn this martial art. The training is exacting and difficult. It focuses on stamina, concentration, coordination, confidence and flexibility. Facilities for training are available in Phuket Town, Chalong and Rawai, some even providing accommodation for the trainees. If you have come to Phuket especially for this, an all-inclusive package at one of the gyms is the ideal. They take in people of all physical condition for training.
Adventure Sports in Phuket
Phuket is bestowed with picturesque tropical rainforests full of exotic birds and wild animals. The unique vegetation seen here also attracts many tourists. Among animals, none is more popular than elephants. Elephant safari is a novel way to enjoy jungle trails. This way you get to watch other wild animals at close range. ATV is another way to explore the country, where the roads are not proper. You can either set out on your own or join one of the guided tours. Cycling is also popular, but you can do this only where the land is of even elevation. Another problem is that on Thai roads, rules are flouted and cyclists are treated shabbily.
For high adventure, Jungle Bungee Jump at Kathu is recommended. This operator has proper license and insurance coverage and is the only one having these in Thailand. Here, you can bungee jump 50m over the Jungle Lagoon. For shooting ranges, head to Chalong. The staff here is very helpful and even beginners start shooting well fast.
Sports activities in Phang Nga
Phang Nga, located close to Phuket, has many unique outdoor activities that prompt tourists to go for day trips. Mountain biking, rock climbing and white water rafting are some of the adrenaline-pumping sports offered by Phang Nga. There are several package options for different skill levels and ages.