Diving Around Phuket
Phuket offers Great Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Phuket is an excellent place to base yourself for day-trips to the many beautiful dive spots that surround it. Its also the departure point for a large number of liveaboard dive trips that visit places such as the fabulous Simillan Islands and the Mergui Archipeligo.
There are many 5-Star Padi dive operators most with tour offices in Patong but wherever you stay on the island you'll usually be able to arrange a day trip through the hotel's own tour counter if there is no dive store nearby.
Most trips depart from Chalong Bay which is about 25 minutes drive from Patong. Pick-up and return transport to your hotel is normally included in the dive price.
The dive season in Phuket runs from November to April. Outside of this period operators still run trips including liveaboards though the visibilty and sea state tends to deteriorate dramatically and good diving conditions are far less likely.
The Island Has Many to Choose From
Phuket is blessed with a large number of beautiful white sand beaches. The most popular is Patong due to its proximity to the island's busiest tourist centre. Although its a pleasant 2.5km stretch of sand it can get quite crowded so many people prefer to head to one of the even nicer and less populated ones that can be found all the way along the western coast of the island.
If you like to spend a lot of time basking on a beach then it may be worth considering a hotel outside Patong in Karon, Kata or near Surin Beach.
On most of the main beaches there's a good range of activities on offer such as jet skis, banana boats and paragliding. The water is a lovely clear turquoise with a temperature of around 30° C. throughout the high months.
A word of warning when renting jetskis : they are likely to be uninsured and you may be asked to pay for any damage incurred so be sure to point out to the operator any existing blemishes on the ski before setting out. Additionally, be sure you are clear of the swimming zones at all times as you could feel the full force of Thai law if injury or death is caused to others. Most people manage to come back safely and without problems but the skis are powerful machines and unfortunately they prove very attractive to show-offs whose ego exceeds their ability.
Phuket Nightlife & Bars
Phuket Really Comes Alive at Night
When darkness falls on Phuket the lights go on and the party starts or at least it does in Patong. All around the Bangla Road area the bars turn the music up and the streets fill with holidaymakers out for some fun. While many of the bars are undoubtedly aimed at attracting single male tourists there's just as many less rowdy establishments to cater for others including family groups and couples.
If you are staying ouside the Patong area you can usually find at least a small set of late night bars and restaurants nearby. Only the most secluded hotels do not have this but often they will offer their own of in-house entertainment.
For those staying in the smaller towns of Karon, Kata, Kamala and Rawai there's the same sort of entertainment as in Patong but on a much smaller scale with a more relaxed atmosphere that some people prefer.
Phuket Sightseeing Tours
There Are Many Tours on Sea and Land
Visit one of the many tour counters in Phuket's and you'll find you have almost unlimited choice of sight-seeing tours.
For land based tours you can elect to take one of the scheduled island trips in an air-conditioned mini bus or, if you prefer, you can negotiate a private tour with one of the local taxis usually at a very reasonable price. Often the reception at your hotel can provide helpful guidance but as they sometimes organise their own tours it would pay to visit at least one tour counter to compare prices.
Phuket has many small islands within easy reach by boat including the world famous Phi Phi and Phi Phi Ley. You can choose to go with the scheduled trips or negotiate with one of the local boat operators that can be found near the beach to take you to one of the attractive little beaches on nearby islands. If you are staying in Rawai, traditional Thai long-tail boats specialise in ferrying tourists to the nicest spots.
Bungy Jumping in Phuket
A Great Setting for "The Leap of Faith"
Just over the hill from Patong in Kathu is the Jungle Bungy Jump. Located in a very attractive setting next to a small lake surrounded by dense jungle its a great place to spend a few hours. You can choose to do single or tandem jumps with or without a dunking in the water.
Jumpers launch themselves from a platform 50 metres above the lake but some prefer the "catapault" where you start on the ground and are pulled into the air at very high speed.
The Jungle Bungy is run by New Zealanders to New Zealand standards and has been operating since 1992. Insurance cover is provided as part of the jump price.
Great Fishing for Both Novice and Expert
Though better known for its lovely beaches and great nightlife, Phuket is also a fisherman's paradise with a fantastic variety of fish populating the surrounding seas from big gamers such as the blue and black marlin to the just plain good to eat trevally.
Tours are available to suit both the casual fisherman looking for a nice relaxing day on the water with a few tasty fish to take home or the serious game fisherman looking for trophy fish. Prices are reasonable although the big-game boats rigged to chase the likes of marlin will seem very expensive to all but afficianados of the sport.
Golf on Phuket
Phuket is a Golfers Paradise
There are six world-class golf courses to choose from on the island. They are :
Phuket Go Karts
Top Class Karting at Great Prices
Just around the corner from the Jungle Bungy Jump is the Patong Gokart Speedway where you choose from a range of vehicles to race around their impressive 750 metre race track.
The karts come in range of power configurations to suit the all skill levels with the fastest being capable of 110 km/h. There are also in-line twin-seaters karts available which are great for dads to take the kids out in.
Thai Cooking Lessons in Phuket
Learn to Cook Real Thai Food
Cooking courses for Thai cuisine are plentiful and very popular in Phuket. Many of the hotels and especially the large luxury resorts offer in-house classes but if the style or format does not suit there's plenty of private classes to choose from.