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MANATHAI Surin Phuket
MANATHAI Surin Phuket
MANATHAI Surin Phuket

Top 5 Things to Do in Phuket

In some ways, the island of Phuket doesn’t feel like an island at all as it is so huge – 49km long and the biggest in Thailand. Branded the ‘pearl of the Andaman’, this is Thailand’s original benchmark of tailor-made fun in the sun. Phuket’s nightlife centre’s around Patong, where every type of entertainment is on offer and everyone is welcome. Phuket Town has become an artsy, culturally rich capital, with coffee shops and galleries lining the streets. Rawai on the island’s southern tip remains blissfully laid-back. The west-coast beaches of Kata and Karon reel in those who seek total R&R. Things quiet down even more up north in Sirinat National Park and Khao Phra Thaew reserve.

Ultimately, the island caters to all tastes and budgets, from deep-sea diving to high-end dining and everything in-between, here anything is possible. We’ve compiled a little list of our Top 5 Attractions for friends, families and couples to get you started.

THAI THERAPIES

The Spa at MANATHAI offers an alluring menu of world-renowned Thai massage therapies, perfected over hundreds of years and performed by skilled local practitioners to revitalise the body, soothe the mind and inspire the soul. One of Thailand’s oldest and most effective wellness therapies, the herbal compress massage, is a health and wellness highlight at MANATHAI Surin Phuket. The massage uses acupressure techniques and light stretching followed by the application of powerful natural herbs through a cloth ‘bolus’ to help detoxify the body and boost the immune system. Natural Thai ingredients include camphor to cool and invigorate the skin, lemongrass to help clean the skin, turmeric to soothe and cleanse irritations, Prai to relieve muscular aches and pains, plus kaffir lime to tone the skin.

*The Spa is open from 10:00am – 10:00pm daily and reservations are recommended.

SURF’S UP!

This is every surfer’s dream: a place where you can ride the waves every day no matter what the weather conditions! Located at Kata Beach, Surf House is centered on a high-pressure wave-generating machine that throws a four-inch-deep sheet of water up a sloping ‘pool’. Beginner surfers hold onto a guiding safety rope and the bottom and sides of the pool are lined with padded vinyl to soften any falls. In this way it’s eminently suitable for all ages, from children to adults. Apart from the pool area there’s a trendy bamboo-themed café/restaurant to while away the day at. If you’re looking for a California-style aqua adventure in the company of a young international crowd, then Surf House Phuket is just the vibrant place to be and hang ten.

*Open from 10:00am – 10:00pm daily; an hour will cost you Bath 800 (plus Baht 200 registration fee).

CAVE CANOEING

Phang Nga Bay is without a doubt Phuket’s most fascinating landscape; truly out-of-this-world scenery you must absolutely see with your own eyes. The best way to explore it is in a silent canoe (kayak) slowly gliding among giant cliffs and lush mangroves. These exciting trips offer couples a full-day journey into the scenic world of the mysterious hongs (‘room’ in English), by paddling through the amazing landscape up close and personal. As informative as it is fun, experienced and witty guides will point out the sights while providing the muscle power needed to propel the canoe through the otherworldly scenery. Throw in a tasty Thai lunch and all the little things done right, and it all adds up to a memorable day in one of the world’s most unique locations. As far as memorable tourist trips go, this is up there!

*There are several companies on the island that offer canoe tours, ask the hotel Tour Desk for advice.

GO-KARTING

Patong Go-Kart Speedway is a fun and rip-roaring activity for the whole family located at the foot of Patong Hill. The racetrack is 750m long and has a series of sharp curves, smooth bends and a long straight start/finish lane allowing acceleration. The main building with its front desk, bar-restaurant and garage is situated in the centre of the track and it’s a refreshingly cool area to watch the karts racing around. Anyone with a passion for motor racing should definitely check out this place. The speedway has four types of kart: 140cc kid’s karts (up to 40kmh), 200cc standard karts (up to 70kmh), 270cc two-seater karts (up to 60kmh; take along kids too young to drive), and 400cc race karts (up to 110kmh!). Patong Go-Kart Speedway is a great place to spend some speedy times with friends and family.

*Open from 10:00am – 7:00pm daily; prices start from Baht 600 / 12 minutes.

FANTASEA SHOW

The Phuket FantaSea Show is inspired by Thailand’s rich and exotic heritage, and not only showcases the charm and beauty of Thailand, but also highlights cutting-edge technology and special effects. Come prepared to see acrobatics, illusions, pyrotechnics, stunts, aerial performances and more on a 40-metre-wide stage. It involves a cast and crew of over 400 people, 44 elephants, three tigers, 40 goats, 40 chickens and 400 pigeons. This is really the Thai version of Cirque du Soleil! The 4,000-seat theme restaurant offers a grand buffet of Thai and international cuisines (optional, see below details) and a breathtaking Las Vegas-style theatrical show. This wondrous extravaganza certainly makes for a great ‘date night’ with your partner and is a night-out not to be missed when in Phuket.

*Phuket FantaSea dinner buffet is served from 6:00 – 9:00pm and the show is from 9:00 – 10:15pm. The show alone costs Baht 1,800, the show and dinner buffet is Baht 1,950.