6 awesome activities in Phuket besides its wonderful beaches!
No trip to Phuket would be complete without gracing its gorgeous shores. But Phuket has more to offer than seaside attractions and underwater activities. From colonial townships to one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, go beyond its pristine beaches and towering limestone cliffs to discover another side of Phuket you never knew existed.
Learn to make a wicked cocktail with the island’s homemade rum
Bond over booze at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery and take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the art of rum production. Keen drinkers can join in the cocktail workshop and bar to concoct exotic cocktails and alcoholic beverages with their award-winning rum!
Flaunt your inner Masterchef with a cooking class
Love eating and interested in making traditional Thai dishes on your own? Sign up for a culinary lesson at the many cooking schools in Phuket to up your cooking cred. Apart from signing up with your big players, you can benefit the locals by choosing a home-based school. The local chefs are more likely to bring you around local wet markets to shop for the freshest ingredients, before adjourning to their homes for the actual class!
Spend the day with happy villagers on a floating village
Koh Panyee contains a floating village that was developed near to monolith limestone cliffs, but what really stands out are the hundreds of huts, shacks, restaurants and houses floating on stilts, which is also where the happy villagers build their life around. There’s even a floating soccer field right within the village! Take a leaf out of the villagers’ book and learn how to chill out and live happily, while enjoying a fresh seafood lunch!
Horse riding by the ocean
Horse riding is something, but horse riding right by the beach? We have a winner. No worries if you’re a beginner. The trainers will bring you through the whole process, like learning how to sit properly on the saddle, how to steer, stop, walk, trot and more. Once you’re comfortable, you will be cantering across the pristine beaches in no time at all! Best of all, prices start from an extremely affordable 1000 baht (less than SGD$50) per hour for the experience of riding off into the sunset, quite literally!
Chill out and shop with the locals at Chillva Market Phuket
Opened last April, Chillva is one of the newest, if not hippiest market to hit Phuket. Geared more towards local Thais than tourists, you’ll get a more local experience on top of cheaper products for sale. Some of the stores are housed in colourful shipping containers, while tents and hawker stalls come to life every weekend. You can also expect presentations and music on a small stage in the heart of the market.
Get away from the hustle and bustle and into a luxurious sanctuary
The Naka Phuket Villa is one of the newer and fancier lodge to hit Phuket. This 95 pool villa resort is located in Kamala Bay and hidden in an ancient valley on the western edge of Phuket.
Accessible via an isolated mountain road, the resort provides exclusivity and peace, but it is also not far away from the action, as the villa is only a 20-minute drive away from Phuket City. Visitors will get to stay in steel-framed matchbox form) and seeing the spectacular blue of the Andaman Sea.
Feeling that familiar sense of wanderlust? Save money even as you travel with affordable airfares at AirAsia, so you’ll have more to spend on activities, food and more!
7 magical experiences from Malaysia that are so incredible, you’ll want to book your flight immediately!
Malaysia is no stranger to interesting and astounding locations. Wish you could be whisked away to these magical destinations right now?
THE TOP@KOMTAR — Penang
Experience new heights when you venture to THE TOP of Penang’s iconic urban peak to take in the breathtaking views of George Town. Watch the world go by from the comfort of the air-conditioned Observatory Deck at Level 65 and enjoy a cocktail from at the rooftop bar. Daredevils can put their fear of heights to the test on the open-air Rainbow Skywalk, situated a thrilling 249-metres above ground.
Ask any seasoned divers about their top five dive sites and Sipadan will almost always come up. Malaysia’s most famous diving destination is where you can meet the ocean’s most exotic creatures. Giant mantas, barracudas, turtles and varying species of sharks are just some of the aquatic marine life that roam beneath the water’s surface.
Soak in the pristine reefs and underwater biodiversity at this island paradise before sweeping your leg up in a luxurious beach resort by the water’s edge.
Tusan Beach — Miri
Tusan Beach is a local sanctuary that is far more pristine and untouched than Miri’s more popular beaches, but that’s not its only selling point. Imagine wading into the warm unpolluted ocean, only to see blue lights shimmering all around you like your personal fairy tale. Due to the presence of an algae called ‘Dinoflagellates’, which produce a blue glow when disturbed by motion, the beach is also a great place for photo enthusiast to try out their low-light photography skills!
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre — Sabah
Get a chance to meet Borneo’s most fascinating primates at one of the largest and oldest orangutan conservation centres just 25km north of Sandakan. Learn how these injured and orphaned apes are nurtured back to health before returning them back into their natural habitat.
Check out the little ones from the nursery viewing area as they sharpen their swinging skills on the branches above, visit the outdoor platform during feeding time (10am and 3pm) where the apes congregate for milk and bananas, or embark on a guided forest walk through the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve and be charmed by its huge trees, tropical plants and thriving wildlife within. Doesn’t get wilder than that!
Mere 1.5 hours away from Kuala Lumpur, fertile soil has blessed this tiny beach side village with an abundance of yield, covering the land in a sea of endless green paddy fields that stretch as far as the horizon. Capture the verdant views up close, visit the Paddy Processing Factory and Paddy Museum for a lesson in rice agriculture, or indulge in a seafood feast along the popular ‘Seafood Street’.
Any of the 104 islands in the Andaman Sea – Langkawi
There’s nothing quite like a great beach vacation to relax and recharge. Now think about having 104 islands to choose from. Yep, 104 shades of azure, white sand and sky to show off beach bods of every size. Langkawi is basically an underrated Maldives, and with such an attractive exchange rate, there really is no excuse not to book a flight there right now!
You might want to check out AirAsia for flight details to these awesome locations mentioned above. You’re welcome!
Corals are the ultimate hybrids; each individual consists of a symbiotic pairing between plant and animal. They can photosynthesize during the day (as the purple and gold one doing) and then filter feed on nutrients during the night. Corals that depend more heavily on the latter tend to live in areas with moderate to strong currents - photo taken in the South Andaman Sea
'They hit us, with hammers, by knife': Rohingya migrants tell of horror at sea
Up to 8,000 are believed to be stuck off Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian
coasts, and those who made it to shore describe violence and starvationUp to 8,000 are believed to be stuck off Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian
coasts, and those who made it to shore describe violence and starvation
Crowded under tarpaulin tents strewn with rubbish and boxes of water,
the Burmese and Bangladeshi migrants speak of horrors at sea: of
murders, of killing each other over scarce supplies of food and water,
of corpses thrown overboard.
“One family was beaten to death with wooden planks from the boat, a
father, a mother and their son,” says Mohammad Amin, 35. “And then they
threw the bodies into the ocean.”
Amin, an ethnic Rohingya Muslim, first boarded a boat from Burma
three months ago. Now he is among 677 migrants who are being housed in a
makeshift camp by the harbour in Langsa, Indonesia, after spending months in the Andaman Sea.
Getting to the camp was an epic struggle. As governments around the
region have refused the migrants entry, and their navies have pushed
them back, it was eventually down to Acehnese fishermen to rescue the
boat on Friday, towing it to shore in Langsa.
But at least now they are on dry land. Between 6,000 and 8,000 more
are believed to still be stuck off the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia and
Malaysia, with limited water and food, in a situation the UN has warned
could fast become a “massive humanitarian crisis” because no government
in the region is willing to take them in.
Mohammad Rafique, 21, says that when the boat he was on first floated
into Indonesian waters last week, the navy gave them provisions of food
and water. “After that they asked us, ‘Where you go now?’” he explains,
“We said, ‘We are going to Malaysia.’ The Indonesian navy said, ‘Go to
Malaysia,’ and they take us to the Malaysian border.”
In Malaysia they were met with the same response.
Men are fed intravenously at a makeshift hospital of the refugee camp in Langsa, Indonesia.
Out back in the hospital wing in Langsa, a row of men lie on
stretchers with their emaciated limbs hooked up to intravenous drips.
The back of one shirtless man is marked with deep red lashes.
“They hit us, with hammers, by knife, cutting,” says Rafique,
recalling onboard violence between the different groups of migrants. He
presents his only possession – a Rohingya identity card from the United
Nations high commission for refugees in Bangladesh.
Mother with child seek respite from the sun at the Langsa refugee campMother with child seek respite from the sun at the Langsa refugee camp
Many of those on the ships are from northern Burma’s persecuted
Rohingya minority, who have been denied citizenship and voting rights,
even though many have lived in the country for generations.
Many do so by boat using people smugglers but a recent crackdown by
the Thai government is believed to have led to some boats - and their
human cargo - being abandoned at sea.
In Langsa, Amin, a former farmer in Burma,
tells of how his village was set alight in a violent attack several
years ago. His mother, he says, was burned to death because she was too
old to escape.
“The government is torturing us,” says Zukura Khotun, a mother of three who fled Burma’s Rakhine state and boarded a boat in the hope she could be reunited with her husband in Malaysia.
Others in the camp from Bangladesh are also quick to identify
themselves as ethnic Rohingya Muslims, some saying they were travelling
to Malaysia for work, to get married or to join their family members.
No one can say exactly how many people passed away on board. Rafique,
who says he spent his whole life in a refugee camp in Bangladesh until
starting on the sea voyage, claims that up to 200 people died during the
But it is impossible to immediately verify or corroborate their stories.
Sayed Oestman, head of the Langsa development committee says there
are still palpable tensions between the two groups of migrants who are
divided at the camp after the vicious fighting at sea.
“So far we hear the Bangladeshi, they are the workers planning to go
to Malaysia,” says Oestman, “The Rohingyas from Burma are saying they
are fleeing conflict in their country.”
More than 1,000 people have arrived on Aceh’s shores on dilapidated vessels over the past week.
Inside the tents at Langsa women nurse their children while sipping
water or small cartons of warm Milo in the afternoon heat as wafts of
burning plastic blow over them from the fires being used to burn
Indonesian volunteers are tacking up toilet cubicles out of thin
plywood and a mountain of second-hand clothes has been dumped in the
grass. Oestman says there is an urgent need for medication and vitamins
at the camp. Twenty-five migrants have been admitted to the local