underwater attractions

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

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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

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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

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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! 

Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Armed Forces/ Taking Liberties, 1978

‘I was commissioned by Bruce Bernard, picture editor of the Sunday Times magazine, to shoot a feature about Elvis Costello and the Attractions. I flew to LA and stayed at the famous but horrendously cheap Tropicana Motel with the band; the diving board inner sleeve photograph I shot at a record executive’s house up in the Hollywood Hills. The underwater swimmer is Attractions drummer Pete Thomas’

Photo: Brian Griffin

Mer!Viktor lives near one of the piers close to a Marine Rehabilitation Centre. Beneath said pier, Viktor sleeps in a bed of seagrass with Makkachin. It’s a soft bed that tickles Viktor’s skin and comforts him after a long day. A collection of fish bones tied to a pier leg, floating along the underwater breeze to attract bigger monsters lurking in the deep and Viktor is on the attack. Defending his territory a few times a week so that he could be a proper merman.

Because merfolk fight, but Viktor is alone on the beach with no one. Besides Makkachin and an occasional shark. If he doesn’t bear his scars, the merfolk would do it and they’ll leave more than just bruises and faded scars. He could die, and Viktor has brushed Death more times than a merman or Human could ever count. The horror is that Viktor doesn’t remember these moments well, and he’s doomed to repeat these experiences until he finally snaps.

Slapping his tail against a pier leg and wondering who he should be. Is he more Human? More of a mer? What can he do? Makkachin gives Viktor kisses and little pokes, but she knows when to swim away when Viktor lies in his bed of seagrass and tries to sleep. Tries to understand why, why this happened to him.

He didn’t ask for a second life, but did he have a first to begin with?

But then he hears footsteps up above and a pair of feet and legs swing over the edge of the pier. The filtering light above the water blinds Viktor as he swims up. Makkachin close to his side, ready to puff if she sees a threat. Beads of water roll down Viktor’s skin.

The Human doesn’t notice him. Words caught in the back of his throat, not sure what to say.


Viktor dives down just as the Human’s legs cross. They’re speaking on a phone.

Viktor concludes that he’s not exactly Human either.