Apart from bathing, snorkeling and diving, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy yourself on the water around Phuket. Here are a few suggestions for fun activities to get you out on the water.
Fishing can be a great day trip. Even if you do not catch anything, a day boating around the Andaman Sea is a pleasant experience. Sunbathe on the deck, maybe knock down a few cold beers and hopefully pull in a few fish as well. The most common catch around Phuket is tuna. In fact, this is all many day trips pull in. However, there is also some big game around such as sailfish and marlin.
Daytrips – You can rent a fishing boat from as little as 10,000 baht for up to 4 people or 14,000-baht for up to 8 people. The fishing boats set off from Chalong Pier and usually head off to the waters around the Racha islands. Here you will trawl the waters pulling in mostly tuna but occasionally you catch a big game fish.
The trips usually stop for lunch in one of the Bays around the Racha islands. Here you can do a bit of snorkeling while the crew cooks up the morning’s catch. When lunch is finished, you will go back out for some afternoon fishing before heading back to port before sunset.
Long Range – If you are serious about catching some big game fish you need to consider a long-range trip on a liveaboard. These will head out into open sea perhaps going as far as the Similan islands.
Longtails – A cheaper alternative is to rent a longtail for an hour or two and just hand-jig for bottom feeders.
Phuket is a great location for sailing. The myriad of surrounding islands offer endless exploring opportunities. Deserted beaches, coral bays and stunning scenery await. There are lots of anchorages and marinas.
There are plenty of charter companies that can provide crewed or bareback yachts.
You can also get sailing lessons or rent small sailboats at picturesque Ao Yon Bay with Topper Sail.
You can rent kayaks at several beaches. They are a great way to explore around the headlands or even get out to some of the closer islands. Even in the dry season, you should wear a life jacket if you plan on venturing out into the open sea.
Kayaks are available at a lot of the quieter beaches such as Yanui, Nai Harn, Ao Sane, Tri Tra, Paradise, and a few others besides. The best deal we know is at Yanui Beach. Here you can rent a single-seater for 100-baht an hour or a two-seater for 200-baht an hour. There is plenty to explore around this area.
During the rainy season, it is not advisable to kayak on the western side of Phuket. The big waves and currents are too hazardous. However, you can still find some great kayaking on the sheltered east side of the island. Phang Nga Bay and Koh Rang Yai are good locations. There is also some fabulous kayaking along the streams that run through the mangroves from Bang Rong Pier at the northeast of Phuket. Kayak rental here costs approx 150-baht an hour.
Kayaking around the limestone cliffs and hongs (open-air caverns) of Phang Nga Bay is a fantastic all-year round experience. There are several companies where you can rent kayaks. You can make your own way to the bay or book an organised kayaking tour. Click the photo below.
Jet-skis can be a fun way to zip across the water and explore the bays. You can rent them at most of the major tourist beaches. Prices can vary from beach to beach but expect to pay around 800 baht for 15 mins or 1500 baht for 30 mins.
You probably will not be able to negotiate the price. You might think that the various jet-ski renters would be competing against each other but that is not really the case. They have a mutual agreement to keep the prices standard across the beach so they can all maintain their healthy profit margin.
There is one other problem with renting jet-skis. The renters sometimes try to pull a scam where they claim you have damaged the jet-ski and must pay for repairs. They will then try to bully the customer into paying an extortionate sum. If you rent a jet-ski, you should always check for damage before you start and then make a point of showing the renter the jet-ski is still in the same condition when you return it.
Sad to say, until the authorities make a serious effort to put an end to this scam, the safest option is just not to rent jet-skis.
This is a thrilling way to get a birds-eye view of the beach. You will be strapped into a parachute with a guideline attached to a speedboat. The speedboat will pull you, sending you soaring into the sky for a ride around the bay.
A Thai guide usually accompanies you on the trip. He will acrobatically hang on to the parachute and flip himself up above your shoulders. From there he will steer the parachute by leaning to the side and pulling the cords. He is there to make sure you negotiate the turns and land safely back on the beach.
Prices can vary from beach to beach but expect to pay around 1000 baht. Like the jet-skis, the prices are not negotiable.
This is a quick bit of fun for a small group of people. Up to six people can sit on a big, floating, inflatable banana. A speedboat drags the banana across the water. Everybody hangs on as the banana bounces across the waves. The operators will often finish the ride with a final sharp turn that will throw everybody into the water.
You will pay around 500 baht per person. Again, the prices tend to be un-negotiable.
Phuket is not the best surfing location. Even during the rainy season, the waves tend to break too late to give a long ride. However, they are good enough to attract a few surfers. The two most popular surfing beaches are Kata and Kata Noi. They both have shops where you can hire surfboards.
During the dry season, the sea is calm and there is no chance of surfing.