Cycling in Thailand has been growing in popularity for a number of years and is becoming a popular trip for holidaymakers looking to discover a unique side to Thai life. Phuket is blessed with a fantastic variety of terrain suitable for cycling and as a result, a number of cycling tour companies are located around the island offering a number of services from road cycling tours in Phuket and the surrounding provinces, a specialty of Siam Bike Tours, which is within walking distance of the villa, to half day mountain biking trips in the Phuket countryside and multi day trips combining on and off road cycling, as offered by Amazing Bike Tours. Prices generally start from 1,000 THB for a half day trip which includes bike and equipment rentals as well as refreshments.
There are plenty of facilities for gym enthusiasts in Phuket, most gyms will allow you to pay per visit or join as a member, generally the best gyms are found in the larger hotel complexes on the island. There are several local gyms, in particular in Phuket City with basic but very cheap facilities. If you are short on time then a fantastic beach run is less than 1km away from the villa. There is also a local Muay Thai gym within walking distance from the villa, again guests can pay for a single session or negotiate a weekly fee. The gym is suitable for both adults and children.
World class facilities and training coaches are on hand at Thanyapura, located close to the airport and a short drive away from Pandan House. A wide variety of activities are offered such as triathlon clinics, tennis, sports massage and physio. The world class facilities also include cardio rooms, weight training, fitness and yoga. There is also a fantastic restaurant on site serving delicious and healthy brunches. Often groups will meet up in the afternoon for a swim in the ocean so if you are a fitness fanatic then you cannot miss out on Thanyapura.
Although not on the top of everyone's to do list when in Phuket, kayaking can offer a unique perspective of the region. Petroglyphs, spectacular karst scenery, beautiful lagoons, squeaky-clean beaches, tropical wildlife, coral reefs and stilted Thai fishing villages await you, many areas off the beaten track and away from mass tourism. Specialized companies can offer day trips as well as custom expeditions lasting anything from several days to several weeks exploring the best of Southern Thailand. Some beaches will rent kayaks by the hour and so if you just want to explore the local beaches and headlands, then this is another option.
The Andaman coast offers scuba diving enthusiasts an abundance of locations with great conditions for diving and snorkeling. Day trips are also possible to the Similan islands, generally regarded as amongst the best diving destinations in the world. Dive shops are dotted all over the island offering a range of activities from discover diving courses for first timers, to multi day courses for the more advanced scuba diver. Thailand Divers is a long established scuba diving company located in Patong on the West coast of Phuket.
Being an island surrounded by azure warm seas, naturally there are plenty of places for swimming in Phuket, and of course you have the villa pool to enjoy or for something different you can check out one of the many international hotel pools, some of which are 30-50m in length. The West coast is the best place for swimming, Layan, Bangtao, Surin, Kamala, Patong, Karan and Kata beaches being the hubs of the tourist areas with the best beaches. As in any sea, you should be aware of the warning flags for the sea current conditions and be aware of rip currents.
Yoga is a popular activity for many visitors to Phuket, many of whom are looking to escape the stresses of modern life and want to unwind whilst improving body and soul. 5 minutes drive from the villa is Hot Yoga Evolution which offers fitness classes and facilities at the Royal Phuket Marina. This is popular with locals, especially parents dropping their children off at the nearby British school. There are also several other popular Yoga schools in Phuket, including the Bliss Hot Yoga Center in the Central Festival mall and Ora Zen & Yoga in Phuket city.
Generally most tennis courts are found in large hotel complexes, which are only available for guests. Some hotels will allow non-guests to play for a charge however. There are some tennis clubs around Phuket, notably the Phuket Lawn Tennis Club (PLTC), which operates six outdoor courts on Surin road and are open between 4.30pm – 9pm and priced at 50THB for a non-member. There are also sports centres which have tennis courts, the Saphan Hin Sports Center has 4 tennis courts open from 6am – 9.30pm. The price is a very reasonable 30 THB for non-members.
With 8 golf courses on Phuket island, golfing fans will be spoilt for choice during their visit. Golf courses in Phuket are regarded as amongst the finest in Asia, some of which have hosted famous international golf competitions. Blue Canyon, Laguna, Loch Palm and Red Mountain are just some of the renowned golf courses that attract people from around the world. Several golf courses are located within a short disance of Pandan House making the villa a perfect place to base yourself if you are visiting one of the amazing courses.
You can walk into one of the many salons in Phuket hot and disheveled and emerge feeling relaxed and refreshed. There are dozens of spa and beauty salons as well as nail salons within walking distance of the villa and the surrounding area. Prices vary greatly depending on the establishment, however standards are generally very high on the island. If you encounter a language barrier you can find a picture from a magazine to show the stylist. Many salons in Phuket will offer a variety of products and services at affordable prices to re-invigorate you.
The majority of visitors to Phuket come for the amazing beaches on offer and with dozens of beaches around the island, there is something for everyone. For those looking for some peace and solitude, Layan and Bangtao beach is a favourite whilst for people looking for an abundance of water sports, dining and bars, Patong beach is considered the epicenter of the tourism industry in Phuket. Beaches on the East coast, whilst not your traditional tropical beach with white sand and azure waters offers wildlife enthusiasts a different perspective on this remarkable island with numerous bird species and the last mangroves being a feature on the East coast.
Whilst Phuket is world famous for its great beaches, few people realize that world class fishing and angling is possible with blue and black marlin, sailfish, jacks and sword fish being amongst the big game fish caught in the waters around Phuket. There are a number of charter companies that can take groups on half day or full day fishing trips and with the fishing community’s catch and release policy, fishing is a popular and also sustainable activity for visitors to Phuket.
Despite Thailand not being renowned for the surfing conditions, various times of the year sees a swell forming on the West coast bringing with it waves ranging between 2ft – 5ft with the best breaks off Kata beach towards the Southern end of Phuket. Although there are no dedicated surf shops, locals will have a number of surfboards available for rent on the beach. As with all water sports you should be careful of rip currents at certain times of the year.
Phuket is blessed with an abundance of wind, wide open beaches and beautiful warm seas – a winning combination if you are a kitesurfing enthusiast. Kite Surfing Phuket is a leading kitesurfing operator based in Chalong bay in Southern Phuket. Kite Surfing Phuket can offer one on one tuition by certified professionals and also offer equipment rentals and sales. If you have never tried kitesurfing then fear not as beginners as well as dedicated professionals are welcome at the kiteboarding establishments on the island.
The Patong Go Kart Speedway has been operating since 1991 and is rated amongst the best go karting tracks not only in Thailand, but also the world! Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the Patong Go Kart Speedway is suitable for children and adults, with karts ranging from 140cc to 400cc, all of which are well maintained by professional staff.
For adrenaline junkies, zip lining in Phuket is an exhilarating way to experience one of the last remaining rainforest areas in Phuket. Ziplining tours let you soar from tree to tree giving you a bird's eye view of the jungle below and get’s you amongst the wildlife of Phuket. Ziplining can be a great way not only to experience an adreneline rush and have a great day out, but also to learn about the local eco-system and initiatives to protect the flora and fauna in Phuket.
Phuket offers much in the way of shopping, from small local markets to large Western style shopping malls. The largest shopping malls are Central Festival in Phuket town and the most popular being Jungceylon in Patong, which offers everything from the latest designer brands to international eateries as well as a great atmosphere to spend an evening. There are also some boutique shopping areas at Surin Plaza and shops at all beach areas and tourist destinations.
Phuket is a food lovers paradise with restaurants to suit every taste and budget. The variety and quality of food in Phuket is one of the major attractions of the island, with the seafood in particular being known for its freshness and exotic flavours. You don't need to break the bank to enjoy amazingly fresh food in Phuket, just join in with the locals and eat at a street side food stall for delicious Thai noodles or rice dishes, with prices as little as 2 USD. Or you can treat yourself to one of the famous establishments offering the finest ingredients and exceptional views of the Andaman sea.