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2007/07/17

Holidays in Thailand - Phuket in 10 exciting days



In spite of the tsunami of 2004, Phuket has steadily rebuilt much of its infrastructure so that it now holds as much of its previous glamour as before. Its beautiful beaches foster excellent diving conditions, and the ever-clear Andaman waters never let divers down. The nightlife is thriving and there's always something to get on board with, so you'll never find yourself without something to do.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre At this time, at least three families of rescued gibbons have been introduced back into the wild and currently live on the Royal Reserve. Their distinctive calls can be heard in the forest, and visitors who catch a glimpse of these animals are always glad they came. A stopover or maybe even a quick swim at the nearby Bang Pae Waterfall makes this trip twice as appealing.

Adventure sports Phuket is loaded with activities to get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping. The island is home to Thailand's only licensed bungee jump operator who, on top of those credentials, is the only operator in all of Asia to insure this activity. Those wishing to dive into the forests and hills on the island can do so on the back of an ATV or strapped to a lumbering elephant. A shooting range in Chatong has safe and reputable facilities, and go-kart tracks are easy to find. No matter what your preference is, there's an outlet for the adventure seeker on vacation.

Island hopping The archipelago of islands that extends past Phuket is known around the world for its beauty. Chartered daytrips can be arranged to almost any of these Andaman Islands, where passengers can enjoy sightseeing, snorkelling and depending on availability, overnight accommodation. You may have seen a few of these islands in feature films like The Beach or a James Bond movie. A few of the more outstanding islands are Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Coral Island, ,, Similian Islands and Sirey Island.

Water sports Water sports at Phuket are multi-faceted. Parasailing over the Andaman offers a great perspective with the coast on one side and the horizon on the other. Scuba diving and snorkelling in the famously calm, clear waters is a fun activity that the whole family can participate in. For those with a penchant for sailing, there are dinner cruises to enjoy, sailing lessons in which to enrol and fishing trips on which to embark.

Waterfalls Phuket's waterfalls are great places to take a swim or enjoy a picnic. Kathu Waterfall is the farthest inland and offers inviting, cooling pools for a quick dip. Ton Sai is often photographed due to its pools and tall palm trees. The island's Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre is home of the island's third waterfall, Bang Pae, and those who venture here are also afforded the opportunity to glimpse one of these rare animals.

Shopping Shopping is a popular pastime anywhere in Thailand. Shoppers in Phuket will find the whole gamut of traditional souvenirs. Silk, cotton and custom-made clothing can all be found at attractive prices, as can leather, jewellery and antiques. Patong is home to many of the markets and due to the everyday tourist scene, shoppers do well to come prepared ready to bargain for a price that both parties can agree on.

Eating out Restaurants in Phuket cater for every palette with international and world-class Thai cuisine available all over the hottest tourist districts. Fresh seafood is in seemingly endless supply, and most dishes are tailor-made to satisfy tourists--not too spicy without a specific request. Authentic Thai food is easier to find the farther inland you go, where the crowds of tourists give way to legitimate Thai villages and communities.

Thai kick boxing Visitors who come to Thailand specifically to study martial arts will not be disappointed in Phuket. Phuket Town, Chalong and Rawai are all home to open training gyms where students learn the ancient martial art form of Thai kick boxing, or Muay Thai, which has increasingly gained world recognition for its highly effective combat style. Its popularity is evident in the droves of spectators that gather every Friday to watch the fights hosted in Phuket Town.

Promthep Cape Promthep Cape is one of Phuket's most photogenic spots, a fact to which the crowds of tourists testify. On-site is a popular merit-making shrine covered in miniature elephants. There's also a statue erected in honour of a 19th century prince well-known for founding a Thai school of navigation. The cape is a great place to take spectacular photos, especially at sunset when the evening light bathes this southernmost point of the island.

Temples Wat Chalong is the most visited Buddhist temple on Phuket, due largely in part to its unique design and d├ęcor, spacious grounds and modern chedi (pagoda). Other well-known temples include Pra Tong, Put Jaw, Jui Tui, Pra Nahng Sahng and Sanjao Sam San. When visiting any temple, locals will appreciate it if you practice proper etiquette--namely covering your legs and shoulders, taking off your shoes and maintaining an air of reverence when inside the sacred buildings.

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