Phuket is a beautiful archipelago of islands off the west coast of Thailand. It has long been loved by travellers worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous location boasts rugged mountains, lush rainforests and the deep blue waters of the Andaman Sea. Of course, relaxation is a big part of a trip to Thailand, but there are also plentiful adventure activities in Phuket to spice up your days; here are a few of our favourites.
COOL ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES IN PHUKET
Off-road ATV rides in the jungle
All Terrain Vehicles are a fantastic way to explore the stunning landscapes of Phuket. These exhilarating rides will take you through lush rubber tree forests, into the Phuket range of mountains, and close contact with the local wildlife, flora and fauna.
The views that will reveal themselves to your delighted eyes are simply breathtaking. The sapphire sea stretches out below, and you’ll enjoy a few moments of peace when your group switches off their engines to take it all in.
This trip is a real adventure, and you’ll need to be confident enough to drive your ATV safely off-road. But if you’re an adrenaline junkie or a petrol head, you’ll love these 30- or 60-minute rides into the countryside.
Choose the longer option, and your guide will take you to see the imposing Great Buddha of Phuket (also known as Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Eknakir or the Big Buddha Temple). This is an excellent opportunity to take close-up photos of the 45-metre white marble deity sitting high above Phuket on top of Nekkerd Hill.
White-water rafting in Phang Nga
White-water rafting on the 5km of turbulent rapids that run through the Jungle of Phang Nga is an excellent way to spend the day. And if you’ve still got the appetite for adventure once off the water, there’s the option to ride All-Terrain Vehicles through the trees, fling yourself across the leafy canopy on a zip-line or spend time bathing the local elephants.
Every trip will include visiting Wat Suwan Kuha, a mystical cave home to a giant golden reclining Buddha. It’s also called, The Monkey Cave, thanks to the mischievous creatures that demand attention and food from visitors.
Phang Nga is just 90-minutes from Phuket, and your thrill-packed day will be well worth the journey. You’ll be looked after by a professional water guide and given a full safety briefing, have plenty of time to practise the skills you’ll need, and be provided with all the appropriate kit. White-water rafting on Phang Nga River is a must on a visit to Phuket.
Go Scuba-Diving on nearby islands
The azure seas of Phuket are a brilliant location for scuba diving, and people of all levels of experience are welcomed into this awe-inspiring underwater world.
If you’re a beginner and want to meet the local sea life but don’t want to dive, there are some fabulous snorkelling trips to experience in Patok Bay. There are nine convenient pick-up locations in Phuket, and you’ll be driven the 45-minutes in an air-conditioned bus.
Patok Bay is an idyllic location, and with just a mask and snorkel, you’ll be able to view a wide variety of colourful coral and abundant marine life just 5-metres below the calm surface.
If you’re interested in earning PADI qualifications, Thailand is the perfect place. Achieving your Open Water Diver and SSI certification will take three absorbing and exciting days. First, your course will include comprehensive theory lessons, learning the basic skills in a swimming pool. Then you’ll have a day of open water diving to a depth of 18 metres at two fantastic dive sites, demonstrating what you’ve learned and discovered the joy of experiencing a beautiful new world.
If you’re already a qualified diver, it’s easy to hire kit and boat transport to take you to some of the best dive sites in the world. Diving in the deeper waters off Phuket’s southeast coast island, Racha Yai Koh, will reveal vast coral reefs and fascinating fish species such as barracuda, monkfish and tuna. The sea off the east coast of Phuket has shipwrecks to explore, and the towering limestone rocks in the water off Koh Phi Phi Island draw a world-class variety of underwater life.
Take your PADI Free-Diving Course
Free diving is the next stage in a qualified diver’s journey, and it requires a high level of skill, fitness and the ability to hold your breath for one minute and 15 seconds. It’s an intensive course, but the rewards are incredible, as the ability to swim independently to 25 metres opens a whole new level of underwater freedom.
Theory and practical skills in a swimming pool are followed by trips to Racha Yai Island and paddle boarding from Koh Pu Island beach before freediving, unencumbered by kit, into the sapphire depths and onto the Kata Reef.
Learn how to surf
Thailand is a haven for surfers, and if you’re new to this exhilarating sport, it’s a great place to learn. Private surf lessons and small group starter sessions operate from most of Phuket’s beaches.
The professional and friendly instructors speak excellent English, are super patient, adept at teaching the required skills, and will make your lesson fun. You’ll be riding the waves before you know it!
Many surf schools include a photography package, which means that your tentative first hops onto the surfboard, dramatic falls and the delighted look on your face as your catch your first wave will be remembered forever.
Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary
Elephants are miraculous creatures, and spending quality time making friends and caring for them is a beautiful way to spend a day. The Elephant Wildlife Sanctuary in Phuket looks after these gentle giants and allows tourists to come and learn about them as part of their Save and Care Program.
Some elephant experiences can feel disrespectful to these dignified animals, but this isn’t one of them. There’s no riding, and the elephants can roam around the sanctuary. Instead, you will feed them with bananas, sugarcane, and corn, shower their magnificent bodies and give your new friends a cooling and healing mud spa. You may also be lucky enough to walk alongside them through the lush forest or swim with them in the lake.
Horseback riding on the beach
Horse riding on Phuket is an activity that both beginners and experienced horse people can enjoy. Couples will adore the romance of a gentle evening canter along the beach that gently dips into the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. The tranquil views, sunset colours and the company of well-trained horses will make a memorable afternoon.
If you’re a confident rider, consider booking a morning ride. You’ll be thrilled at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trot into the sea and then swim with your horse. The afternoon is then spent at the picturesque Layan National Park.
Ziplining at Hanuman World
Hanuman World is the ultimate adventure playground with 16 zip lines connected by a network of treetop platforms, spiral staircases and sky bridges. After a safety briefing and being equipped with a state-of-the-art kit, it’s time to fly above the jungle canopy at high speeds.
The guides at Hanuman World are professional, knowledgeable and reassuring. Despite the heart-stopping activities, this would be a great day out for adventurous families. It’s also heartening that the health and safety of the trees you’re playing in were considered when the course was designed and built.
HOW TO PLAN THE BEST PHUKET TRIP
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