Specialist Holidays

1. Scuba Diving

The Andaman Sea offers stunning underwater scenery teeming with colorful fish and reefs, as well as crystal-clear waters. Day excursions and live-aboard boats for multi-day trips, depart for popular dive sites, including the Similan Islands.prac_infoScuba Cat Diving • 94 Thaweewong Road, Patong • 07629 3120www.scubacat.com

2. Cycling

An ideal way to explore rain forests, mountains, and countryside villages, cycling holidays traverse some of Phuket’s prettiest back roads and offer an intimate way of experiencing local lifestyles. Tours leave from Phuket to Khao Lak and Khao Sok National Park.prac_infoAmazing Bike Tours Thailand • 07628 3436www.amazingbiketoursthailand.asia

3. Sailing

Sailing enthusiasts throng Phuket for the annual King’s Cup Regatta and The Bay Regatta. During the rest of the year, Phuket is a popular hub for sailors who want to explore Phang Nga Bay. Marinas, chartered boat tours, and yacht clubs provide a range of daytrips and overnight journeys.prac_infoPhuket Sail Tours • 199/20 Moo 5, Srisoonthorn, Thalang • 087 897 0492www.phuketsailtours.com

4. Wildlife Watching

The national parks of northern Phuket, Khao Lak, and Khao Sok provide sanctuary to many exotic bird and animal species. Several tour companies offer itineraries geared toward spotting elusive creatures in the wild.prac_infoPaddle Asia • 18/58 Radanusorn • 07624 1519 • Birding day trip: 6:30am–2:30pm daily • www.paddleasia.com

5. Culinary

From simple sidewalk food stalls serving basic Thai-style fried noodles to upscale white-tablecloth restaurants overlooking the sea, Phuket represents a veritable foodie paradise in Southern Thailand. The island also offers a number of schools where you can learn to cook Thai food.

6. Kayaking

See the wonderful lagoons of Phang Nga Bay by kayak – visit enchanting aquatic grottoes, or join an overnight trip where you camp on an uninhabited island. Some tours explore the mangrove forests along Phuket’s coasts.prac_infoJohn Gray’s Sea Canoe • 124 Soi 1 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town • 07625 450507625 450607625 4507www.johngray-seacanoe.com

7. Spiritual Vacations

Although not generally considered a “spiritual” destination, Phuket does have plenty of soul-seeking opportunities. Many high-end hotels offer yoga classes, while meditation retreats are held at local centers. Watch monks at Buddhist temples perform timeless ceremonies, or join a meditation retreat.

8. Family Vacations

Many hotels in Phuket hotels are child-friendly – they feature special kids clubs, pools and supervisors. With its numerous beaches, golf courses, water parks, tennis courts, and venues such as Phuket Fantasea, the island is a great place for family travel.

9. Honeymoons

As a honeymoon destination, Phuket boasts spectacular beauty: white sand beaches, palm trees, emerald waters, and an extensive choice of resorts, bungalows, and private villas. Few places in the world offer as much romantic possibility, coupled with such good facilities, as Phuket.

10. Rock Climbing

Whether you are an amateur or a veteran cliffhanger, the limestone rock formation on Ko Phi Phi has scenic routes for climbers of all levels. The routes are well-maintained and there is a climbing course for beginners.prac_infoSpidermonkey Climbing • Loh Dalum Bay, Ko Phi Phi • 07560 1026www.spidermonkeyphiphi.com

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