Phang Nga Bay looks enticing enough when viewed from the villa, but its towering limestone islands and calm waters are even more dazzling when seen up close. Charter a yacht to discover the bay in style, or join a sea kayaking tour and paddle through hidden tropical lagoons and caves dripping with sparkling stalactites.
Much of Phuket’s east coast is a green maze of mangroves and what better way to explore these than with a standup paddle tour? Paddle Phuket offers day trips for small groups of SUP enthusiasts that take you around scenic inlets and coastlines near Ao Po, with board rental included.
Enjoy some wildlife encounters the ethical way with a tour of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary or by visiting the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. Find out more about these organisations’ rescue efforts while watching beautiful creatures go about their day.
Venture further into the jungle with a mini-trek to Bang Pae Waterfall. The waterfall is in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, a protected area of pristine tropical forest. Longer hikes to Tonsai Waterfall are possible, though it’s recommended to hire a guide for this one.
Try a round of tropical golf at Mission Hills – an east-coast golf course with amazing views – or travel a bit further to Laguna Phuket Golf Club or Blue Canyon Country Club.
Discover Koh Yao Noi, an island of scenic rural landscapes and breathtaking coastlines, just a short boat ride from Ao Po. Cycle along quiet roads past buffalo fields and pineapple plantations, have a picnic lunch on a remote beach accessed only by long-tail boat, and learn more about the island’s traditional way of life on a guided day tour.
Shop and stroll in Phuket’s Old Town, its streets lined with colourful Sino-Portuguese shophouses, tasty local eateries and cute cafes. Stop in at the Thai Hua museum to learn more about the history of the island’s Chinese community, or spend a Sunday evening exploring the weekly Lard Yai street market, bustling with great local food shops, artists and handicraft sellers.
Enjoy a day on the sand at one of Phuket’s peaceful northern beaches. Nai Yang is the nearest to the villa, with soft sands to relax on under the shade of casuarina trees and a few beachside restaurants. Standup paddle board rental and kite surfing are among the popular activities, while part of the beach is a protected national park. Go to the northern end of Nai Yang or up to Mai Khao Beach to enjoy some plane spotting, with jets flying in and out of nearby Phuket airport all day, sometimes right over the beach for a dramatic sight!
Try some wakeboarding at Anthem Wake Park, with cable-ski facilities to suit all ages and abilities as well as an inflatable aqua park for kids to bounce and splash around. Attached to the park is Rebel Rock Climbing, with a well-designed climbing wall offering some fun challenges for those wanting to test their strength and agility. A good rainy-day activity.
If you love Thai cuisine, you might want to learn how to recreate your favourite dishes so you can enjoy them at home. Thai cookery classes are available at many restaurants and resorts around Phuket, including the Como Point Yamu resort in Cape Yamu, and at the popular Suay Restaurant in Cherng Talay, where Chef Tammasak “Noi” Chootong, known for his finesse with Thai and fusion food, shares some of his secrets.