Josie is a travel and lifestyle writer who enjoys telling her own experiences, as well as discovering new ones. She has previously written for the likes of The Huffington Post, The Times, London's Metro and anywhere else that will have her!
You might think of Thailand as a picturesque and tranquil retreat, unbeatable in its relaxing qualities. But what if, by the time the weekend swings around, you're feeling too relaxed or – dare we say – bored? Never fear! Phuket has plenty to offer in terms of white-knuckle watersports to get your heart racing and your blood pumping. Here we explore a few of our favourites.
With Phuket providing great conditions for both beginners and enthusiasts, Patong is the number one place to head. The area has a plethora of windsurfing shops along the beach, with boards and rig for hire and lessons available for beginners. The best time of the year is during the monsoon season of November to May when steady winds combine with the flat seas. Couple that with the clean, clear water and superb scenery and you'll have an unbeatably intense experience. It's worth remembering however that from mid-May until late October, heavy seas off the Indian Ocean can make the sport ill-advised for less experienced.
Sailing The best base for exploring the Andaman Sea, Phuket is fast becoming a sailing paradise. As with the similarly popular windsurfing, the conditions of the November to May monsoon season provide the kind of flat seas and steady winds that sailors will rejoice over. What could be more relaxing than a gentle sail along the picturesque and crystal clear waters that Thailand has to offer? If you're a keen seaman and have the confidence to charter your own, then there are a plenty of options to hire a bareboat yacht with your family and friends. Alternatively, you can rent a skipper or a fully crewed boat, sit back, and watch the world go by.
Fishing It might surprise you to hear it but Phuket offers some simply world class angling. With everything from blue and black marlin, sailfish, dog-tooth tuna, giant trevally, jacks and even swordfish having been caught in the waters surrounding Phuket, the catch-and-release policy of the fishing community helps to make sure that the sport will carry on for many generations to come. Make like a local and fish off the pier at Rawai beach or hire a boat for the day and head out to sea – there are many excursions available if you fancy some company.
Scuba diving & Snorkelling Rating among the top 10 scuba diving destinations in the world, Phuket offers amazing options not just for scuba diving but for snorkelling as well! With beautiful reefs, stunning rock formations and a spectacular assortment of marine life, Phuket is a great place for both complete beginners and advanced divers to enjoy. Once you get there, there's an abundance of days trips, dive points and there's even opportunities for you to complete your PADI dive course if you so wish.
Surfing You might not think of Thailand as a surfing destination, compared to the likes of Australia or California, but don't give up hope! The storms brought on by the monsoon season can provide some truly worthy waves that you don't want to miss, with the beach at Surin rated in CNN Travel's top 50 surf spots in the world. A favourite with the locals, the beach of Kata Yai is pretty consistent and the northern Kata Noi is great for beginners. For the more daring, head to Surin but be careful, especially after an epic storm.
Kite surfing Classified as an extreme sport, you can go faster on a kiteboard than any other form of wind powered watersport. Phuket is a perfect destination for all levels of kitesurfers: the gentle breezes of the south-east of the island prove ideal for beginners, with the coast of the north-west providing a challenge to the more advanced. As fun as it looks, don't forget that kitesurfing can be dangerous – especially to the inexperienced – and ideally, it should only be done through a certified kitesurfing school. Don't worry though because there are loads of them nearby, such as Kite School Phuket.
So there you have it, top notch adrenaline rushes in some of the most beautiful surrounding in the world – what better way to spend your weekend? Thailand is renowned the world over for its budget-friendly lifestyle, with beachside accommodation often costing no more than a few hundred baht. To get you there in the first place, there are a number of great deals to be had on flights to Phuket with companies such as Expedia. Don't hesitate for a moment longer and you could be pushing your boundaries on crystal clear waters sooner than you think!