around neighbouring islands, as well as further afield, notably to
Mu Ko Phi Phi, in Krabi, some 2 hours east of Phuket, and
Mu Ko Similan, which lie in Phang-nga some 110 km. north-west
of Phuket. Several dive shops are concentrated in Hat Patong,
Hat Kata and Hat Chalong areas. These dive shops also have
Thai and expatriate dive instructors who are qualified to provide
expert tuition. All diving equipment is available for hire.
This form of ecotourism, exploring islands and marine caves
that are accessible only by canoe, has become extremely
popular in recent years. Day tours and overnight camping trips,
mostly in Phang-nga, are offered by various sea canoe
companies, with full details being available from
TAT’s Phuket office.
Sailing Yacht Charters
Yacht charters, either with or without crews, as well as sailing
courses are available. Contact TAT’s Phuket office for names of
charter companies and full details.
Small boat sailing is popular, especially at Hat Nai Han, Hat
Patong and Hat Kata. Toppers and Dinghies are found at Hat
Patong, while Catamarans, Hobie Cats and Top Cats are avail-
Thao Thep Krasattri & Thao Sisunthon Fair
able at Hat Kata.
Held annually on 13 March, the Fair commemorates the Two
Heroines who rallied the people of Thalang to repel Burmese
invaders in the 1
Popular at Hat Patong on a half-hour or hourly basis. Cable
water-skiing is available at Phuket Waterski Cableway, located
Loi Ruea Chao Le Tradition
behind the Loch Palm Golf Course in Amphoe Kathu.
In the middle of the 6
lunar months, Chao Le (Sea
Gypsies) celebrate a time-honoured tradition in which they float
Deep Sea Fishing
model boats in a symbolic gesture of banishing bad luck.
Daily tours, departing early morning and returning late after-
noon, cruise around the smaller offshore islands for game fish.
Phuket’s biggest and most exciting annual celebration, the Vege-
tarian Festival takes place over the first nine days of the 9
You can enjoy swimming throughout the year with good condi-
month (usually October). It is a time when Phuket islanders of
tions in most locales. However, there are undertows off certain
Chinese descent follow a vegetarian diet as a form of purifica-
beaches, especially hazardous in the rainy season. It is best to
tion in order to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It is
seek local advice regarding safety.
marked by colourful processions, and by devotees performing
amazing acts of self-mortification, including fire walking and
piercing the body with skewers.
This can be enjoyed at many sheltered bays around Phuket, the
most readily accessible spots being Hat Patong, Hat Kata and
Hat Karon. Fins, masks and snorkels can be rented on a daily
During October and November, the triathlon (consisting of a
basis from numerous shops around the island.
1. km. swim, a 55 km. bike race and a 12 km. run) attracts top-
class athletes from around the world.
Dive boats regularly leave Phuket for expeditions of 1 to 7 days
Tourist Season Opening Festival
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