An introduction to Phuket
Phuket Island's Sports Facilities
|O ne of the major assets
of Phuket as a flourishing vacation resort is its abundance of diving
destinations both in its vicinity and off islands several hours
away, all offering a fantastic underwater world.
||From Phuket, all sorts of diving tours are organized lasting
from half a day to 2 weeks. The nearest are sites off the west coast.
There are good close-up photo opportunities with dives up to 35
||Much more popular are trips to
islands lying to the south and east of Phuket about 30 minutes
to 2 hours away by motor boat, including Coral Island (Ko He) which
offers a dive all year round; Ko Racha, which has dives up to 30
m.; Shark Point, a favourite sleeping spot of leopard sharks and
stingrays; Ko Dok Mai which offers a series of cave dives; and Ko
Phi Phi where you can see white-tip sharks, stingrays and moray
eels besides colourful reef fishes.
|Truly world-class diving sites are located farther a field,
including Ko Samilan, Ko Surin, Ko Tarutao and Burma Banks. Tours
to these diving sites are organized by some agencies in Phuket regularly
during the dry season. Burma Banks, being the farthest and newest,
is in the best condition as a diving site.
||There are no less than 10 dive schools in Phuket,
all staffed with qualified instructors who are members of PADI
or NAUI, and provided with all sorts of modern equipment.
|A n important
sports event took place in Phuket early in 1991. That was the 13th.
Asian Game Fishing Tournament . It took place from 21st. to 24th.
February , with Chalong Bay (near the southern end of Phuket) as
||The event pointed to the fact that Phuket is fast becoming a
top game fishing destination in Southeast Asia. Indeed, the list
of fighting fish species available in the Andaman Sea around Phuket
is as long as one to be found in a game fisherman's handbook.
||The available fishing grounds in the Phuket area
extend far beyond the nearby waters. In fact, annual game fishing
contests have been held in Krabi since 1982. Krabi is a province
about 75 km. to the east of Phuket and Phi Phi is a part of it.
To the northwest of Phuket, the Similan Islands offer the sport
fisherman an almost untapped potential. Phuket's own west coast
is a good fishing ground and is a starting point for fishing tours.
|Several companies have sprung up in Phuket, Krabi and
Phi Phi in the last few years, offering boats and equipment
for hire, including professional flying-deck boats.
the needs of foreign tourists, especially those from Europe who
enjoy horseback riding, riding clubs have been set up in Phuket.
Instructors are available for beginners. And those accomplished
riders can walk their horses to admire the natural beauty, or seek
adventure by riding at a canter through the forests, along the beaches
or over the hills.
||Thailand has rapidly
become an important
of Asia, boasting well over
100 golf courses scattered throughout the country.
The rapid booming of golfing facilities in Thailand has been
attributed to several factors: the healthy economic development
with a high GNP growth rate for several years successively; the
favourable weather conditions throughout the year with hardly any
long-lasting rain even in the rainy season; and the comparatively
low green fees and caddy fees.
Some of Thailand's best golf
courses are in Phuket.
|The Andaman Sea around
Phuket is emerging as the newest addition to the foremost yachting
regions of the world. An annual event, the King's Cup Regatta, first
held in Phuket in 1987 as a 60th. birthday tribute to His Majesty
King Blumibol Adulyadej, who is a gold medal sailor himself, has
taken place in Phuket with great success each time.
||The regatta has attracted more and more yachting
enthusiasts from neighbouring countries every year and is now one
of the prime yacht-racing fixtures in Asia. In 1991, it was joined
by several world-class participants in the Europe 92 Round-the-
World Rally who had arrived just in time for the event.
||The rapid development of sailing activities in
and around Phuket has been due to several factors: the natural beauty
of the area, the warm climate throughout the year; and the availability
of equipment and facilities for the sport in Phuket.
|I t has long been known
that some islands in Phang-nga Bay and the sea off Krabi, such as
Ko Thalu, Ko Hong and Ko Phanak, contain caves accessible through
small openings which are immersed in seawater at high tide but which
are just a few feet above water when the tide is at its lowest.
||Until a few years ago, nobody had dared to go inside
these undersea caverns for fear of unseen dangers. Then, finally,
attempts were made by some adventurous people. To their pleasant
surprise, they found that there is another big and amazing world
inside worth exploring.
||To help tourists find out these secrets of nature,
polyester canoes have been imported by some tour companies and used
as vehicles to pass through the narrow entrances conveniently. And
undersea cave exploration tours have been organized regularly.
|When making such a tour, the canoe is always paddled by a professional
assigned by the tour agency. As a sport, you can also paddle it
yourself, not to get into a cave, but to get a close look at the
rocks and plants of the islet.
Ever wondered how it would be like to float with no gravity while being able to breath? If yes, then Scuba Diving in Phuket is the adventure that awaits you!
|F or adventure-seeking
tourists, Phuket provides different kinds of exciting activities.
Trekking through the natural environment with a wealth of
tropical flora and fauna is a great adventure. Elephant trekking
is another form of enjoyment for visitors to the island. An
even more challenging activity is rock climbing in the limestone
mountains where the adventures can experience world class climbing
opportunities. And to sea lovers, sea-walking is recommended.
They can view the colourful underwater lives closely by walking
under the sea.