Blessed with a stunning coastline and tropical weather, Phuket is the perfect place for an active adventure in the open air.
Known as the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island. Located on the country’s southwestern coast, it is a magnet for outdoor adventurers and beach-loving tourists. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy the outdoors here, though – here are the best activities for everyone to enjoy in Phuket, and the best seasons in which to do them.
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The legendary Phijittra is a unique three-storey boat decked with Chinese dragons and exquisite Chinese art. It whisks visitors off for a three-hour cruise to enjoy the sunset over the Andaman Sea, and there is no other boat like it on the island. For many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests can enjoy a delicious seafood barbecue buffet and a variety of drinks, while watching the vibrant hues of red, blended with oranges and purples, disappear into the darkness. The dragon boat experience is an excursion that runs year-round. However, there may be some cancellations between the rainy season months of April through to November. The Phijittra boat departs from the quiet port of Chalong Bayon on Phuket’s south coast every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5pm. An adult ticket is £54, children get on board for a reduced price and those under six go free.
This sanctuary was the first ethical tourism experience to be developed in Phuket. Set in 30 acres (12 hectares) of tropical jungle, it is the final resting place for many elephants. One of the sanctuary’s primary purposes is to rescue sick, injured and abused elephants and rehabilitate them. Visitors can enjoy an eye-opening experience with the gentle giants in many ways, the most popular being to spend a morning or an afternoon touring the sanctuary. The tour lasts for three hours, and guests are given the opportunity to feed the elephants and walk side by side with them in their natural habitat. It is important to note that the wellbeing and protection of the elephants is the sanctuary’s top priority, therefore they do not offer rides or trunk hugging. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is open daily all year round. Tickets for kids are half price and children under six get in for free.
A bungee jump in Phuket is an adventurous yet memorable experience. Let yourself plunge 50 metres (164ft) over a lake surrounded by jungle and feel the exhilaration while witnessing an amazing view over the whole of the island. Just a fifteen-minute drive from the lively resort of Patong Beach lies Jungle Bungy, managed and run by a professional team from New Zealand. They offer the choice of five different jumping styles, including a standard bungee, a backwards bungee and a catapult bungee. The best time to attempt a bungee jump is in the dry season from November through to April. Prices start from £54, and participants must be aged over 18.
Note: January and February are the peak months for travel to Phuket, so if you’re not a fan of crowds, it is best to avoid this time. Thailand is famous for its rainy season, and it visits Phuket from April through to October, but if you can deal with a daily evening downpour, this is the best time to bag yourself a bargain. The flight and hotel costs are low, and the beaches and attractions are less crowded.
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