Top Tours To Do While Visiting Phuket

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Any time of year, rain or shine, you’re spoilt for choice in Phuket. With an abundance of beaches, parks and forests to explore, a rich history and culture to discover, and fantastic dining and nightlife choices, the only thing you’ll find lacking is the time to see all that the island has to offer.

The range of activities in Phuket continues to grow in sophistication and variety, offering visitors of all budgets, tastes, ages and abilities something to enjoy.

Full Day Phi Phi Island Tour by Speedboat

Our Number One tour gets you away from it all to one of the world’s most beautiful islands and its surroundings in a matter of minutes. While everyone else is on their way to Phi Phi you’re already there, island hopping, dropping in on the monkeys at Ao Ling, snorkeling the crystal clear waters in Hin Klang, and enjoying a fabulous lunch buffet on Phi Phi Island itself.

After lunch relax for an hour of two, get some shopping in and then check out beautiful Maya Bay, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed and also where tropical fish swarm around you as you swim among them.

Sea Kayaking – Phang Nga Hong by Starlight

The best of both worlds; Phang Nga Bay is rated tops in the ‘Wow’ factor by day but just imagine exploring it by night… Head off after lunch to discover the unforgettable sights of this scenic wonderland.

Dine on board your ‘mother ship’ and as the sun goes down paddle silently into the ‘hongs’ or caves of this magic domain and discover just what Mother Nature gets up to by night. Access to these hongs is only possible at certain levels of the tide so put yourself into the experienced hands of John ‘Caveman’ Gray and take it all in.

Whitewater Rafting and Elephant Trekking

The watery arteries of lush Phang Nga Province, just north of Phuket, gush down from the mountains from June to November each year and this is when you can experience the thrill of your life by whitewater rafting.

Everyone knows that elephants are gentle creatures and what better way to get to know them than by gently riding through the jungle on the back of one? You’ll be amazed just how dainty a powerful pachyderm can be!

Phuket Eco Extreme by ATV

What’s better than learning fascinating facts? Learning fascinating facts while having loads of adventurous fun, that’s what. Zoom through the jungle, along beaches, through mud puddles while learning about the flora and fauna of Phuket. Experienced guides stop at key locations and point out unusual and interesting facets of wildlife on Phuket.

The great thing about this tour is that although it’s top-drawer adventure, it’s very well thought out and absolutely safe as houses so take the kids along and discover more in a few hours than in days of reading about the jungle.

Phang Nga Bay Cruise on June Bahtra Junk

 

This tour comprises good food, fantastic seascape and leisurely cruising; surely the hottest recipe going for a great day out. There are several ways to visit the majesty of Phang Nga Bay but this, cruising in a genuine Chinese junk, is the most laid back and idyllic way.

Visit a sea gypsy village perched above the water on stilts at the top of the bay, check out the ‘Man with the Golden Gun’s’ lair at James Bond Island and take in some of the most impressive rock formations in the world. All this and a delicious Thai buffet, too. Superb.

Phuket Island & City Tour

 

Khao Sok Overnight Eco Tours, Elephant Hills Luxury Safari Tents – combining the camp idea of African national parks with Thai tropical forest environment.

Various activities are offered on Elephant Hills: From the scenic canoe trip on the Sok River, to a ride on an elephant through the forest, to various trekking routes that can match all skill levels – the camp is the perfect base to meet the unique and natural treasure.
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Phuket, Thailand

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Made up of 33 islands, Phuket covers an area of 570 square kilometers (354 square miles) and has a population of about 322,000 residents. Phuket Island, the largest, is linked to the mainland by a bridge. The country’s main source of income is tourism, though agriculture also plays a key role. The island is divided into three districts: Talang in the north, Kathu in the west, and Muang in the south.

Muang District

This area provides a less expensive alternative to the west coast beach resorts. Phuket Town is the administrative center of the island and offers a multitude of affordable accommodation, shopping, and eating. The older quarters of town are dotted with 19th century buildings that are distinguished by their distinctive Sino-Portuguese architectural style. From the summit of Rang Hill (Khao Rang) in the northwest, there are views of Makham Bay, the offshore islands, and a bird’s eye view of the town. Within this district there are also tons of things to see, including Phuket Aquarium , the Phuket Butterfly Garden and Aquarium and the Phuket Orchid Garden and Thai Village .

To the east lies Siray Island , home to Phuket’s largest settlement of Sea Gypsies. About eight kilometers (five miles) south is Chalong Bay , Phuket’s principal boat anchorage and the island’s largest bay, which has a number of renowned seafood restaurants. At the northern end is Phuket Zoo and nearby Rawai Beach . To the southwest is the Phuket Sea Shell Museum , Laem Ka Beach, a Sea Gypsy village, restaurants, shops, hotels, fishing, and charter boats.

The prominent southern extremity of the island, Prom Thep Cape , is a great place to enjoy a stunning sunset. Just to the north is Nai Harn Beach , popular for swimming and as a yacht anchorage i n the dry season. The wide, curving Kata Beach also has ideal waters for swimming and snorkeling among the coral reefs. There are numerous accommodation options, restaurants, bars, and clubs, and a regular daylight bus service runs to Phuket Town and the other beach resorts. Karon Beach is the second largest of Phuket’s principal tourist beaches and is a popular destination for tourists. Between Kata and Karon there is the crowd-pleasing Dino Park Mini Golf .

Within the Muang District a number of islands can be found, including Mai Ton Island, with its natural environment, white beaches, and clear waters. Kaew Island is small, but has a fine beach and incredible coral in the surrounding water. One of the main attractions on the island is the giant Buddha statue at Wat Phra Kaew. Lohn Island is large and mountainous, while Coral Island , is part of a marine reserve that draws travelers with its many hotels, restaurants and a variety of water sports. Raya Island is actually two islands that have crystal clear waters and excellent diving and fishing.

Kathu District

Renowned in this district is Patong Beach , the lively shopping and evening entertainment district that transformed a quiet fishing village into a bustling town in a short period of time. From bars to live music to discos, plus cuisine from all over the world available in its restaurants, every possible pass time imaginable can be found here. Not to be overlooked is the fine bay and four kilometer (2.5 mile) stretch of beach that promises excellent swimming, snorkeling and more.

Among the major attractions in the vicinity are Phuket Water-Ski Cableways , Kathu Waterfall, Loch Palm Golf Club and Tarzan Jungle Bungee Jump . In Patong, the famous Phuket Simon’s Group’s Cabaret Transvestite Show is a worthwhile after-dinner stop. Nearby is the Patong Go-Kart Speedway and to the south is the Phuket Country Club Golf Course .

At the northern end of Patong Beach is the wilder, undeveloped Kalim Beach , an adventurous stop for travelers looking to get away from the crowds. Further north lies Kamala Beach , a Muslim fishing village, with a beautiful two kilometer (1.25 mile) stretch of beach where buffalo herds often cool off in the afternoons by the sea. There are plenty of hotel options here and numerous traditional seafood restaurants. Nearby is Phuket FantaSea , Thailand’s most popular water sports center.

Thalang District

Covering the northern half of the island, this district has a number of attractions, including Thalang National Museum , which has a display of ancient artifacts and exhibits relating to the famous 1785 Battle of Thalang. Nearby is the imposing Two Heroines Monument , erected in commemoration of the sisters who lead the people into battle during an invasion from Burma long ago. Also in the area is Wat Phra Tong , home of the golden statue of Buddha that emerged from the earth many years ago.

Some of the most picturesque scenery in this area can be observed at the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary , which covers 22 square kilometers of virgin rain forest and waterfalls that serves as one of Phuket’s major fresh water sources. The Ton Sai and Bang Pae sites of the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project are also nearby.

Beaches on the west coast include Surin Beach and another fabulous sunset location, Laem Sing Beach , which is small but picturesque, with outcrops of huge granite boulders. Bang Tao Beach is mostly occupied by the massive resort development of Laguna Phuket. It is also home to the Banyan Tree Golf Club and Banyan Tree Spa . Nearby is the Phuket Laguna Riding Club and the Canal Village Shopping Center , which houses over 50 shops and restaurants.

North of Bang Tao, near the airport is Sirinat National Park , which stretches to the island’s northern-most tip and includes the 13 kilometer (8 mile) Nai Yang Beach. Often referred to as ‘Airport Beach’, this is where giant sea turtles can be seen and the National Park offices are located.

Wherever you are in Phuket, there are limitless opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture and tradition. There is more than enough opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches and unique environment.
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Top 10 Things To Do In San Jose, Costa Rica

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San Jose, Costa Rica has a wide variety of attractions, from butterflys to bullfights. Read on for information about the top ten…

You’ve flown into San Juantamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela and take a taxi or bus into San Jose to your hotel.  Once you’re ready to venture from your hotel room, here are a few suggestions:

1. Zoo Avenue

Zoo Avenue is a sanctuary for injured animals on one hand and a bird-lover’s paradise on the other. See colorful macaws, toucans and others from Costa Rica and around the world, mysterious owls, hungry raptors. There are also deer and monkeys and a good-sized crocodile. Time out: 2 hours

2. La Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles

Though destroyed in 1926 by an earthquake and rebuilt after, the basilica is still a very popular attraction. When Christianity came to Costa Rica, there were many devotees to the goddesses. Because of this, the Virgin Mary became very popular. The legend states that the statue of the virgin appeared miraculously on the site. Even if you aren’t religious, this is a beautiful church

3. Art

The art of Costa Rica is preserved in several popular museums.

First is the Museo de Arte Costarricense – known as el MAC – is home to the national collection of art which includes over 2,500 pieces. Sculptures, woodcarvings, and paintings can be seen here, as well as traveling exhibits from around the world. Then there’s the Galeria Ocelote. The Galeria was created to promote Latin American handcrafts. Shown here are textile designs, sculptures and ceramics among other things.

4. Butterflies

Costa Rica is home to an abundance of magnificent butterflies. Two gardens in San Jose will let you get up close and personal with these kaleidoscopic creatures. At the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, you can learn about the natural history of Costa Rica and see the living relationship between the butterflies and their surroundings. See also beautiful plants and hummingbirds. Stop by the gift shop for lunch, all things butterfly and fabulous coffee. Open 8 to 4.

At the Butterfly Farm, just south of Alajuala, you can walk through an enclosed garden while the butterflies flutter about. You’ll see up to 80 different types of butterflies as well as see the various phases of the butterfly’s life, from egg to caterpiller to cocoon. The cocoons themselves are displayed in the shimmering colors and movement that helps keep them safe from predators. Daily bus tours leave from many San Jose hotels and is included in the admission. 2 hour guided tour.

In addition to these two, there is also the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This is an attraction that offers not only a huge butterfly garden (claimed to be the largest in the world) but takes you into the rain forest alongside the La Paz River to see orchids and hummingbirds and a series of waterfalls that are nothing short of breathtaking. La Paz may be a bit pricey, but it’s worth every peso. There’s a remarkable hotel here as well. Plan at least 2 to 4 hours to see it all.

5. Café Britt Farm

Coffee Break time? How about a trip to the coffee farm? Café Britt is one of the top coffees in Costa Rica and the company has an interesting tour at the farm 20 minutes outside of San Jose. From the plant to the roaster to the can, see all phases of production. And, of course, a trip to the coffee farm wouldn’t be complete without a taste. Differing qualities of coffee are there for you to try and there’s a gift shop and restaurant as well.

6. Lankester Gardens

Costa Rica boasts over 1000 varieties of orchids and there are over 800 here at Lankester Gardens in Cartago (30 to 40 minutes from San Jose by bus.) The gardens are administered by the University of Costa Rica and the goal is to preserve the local flora. Walk their well tended trails from sunlight to the shadow of the forest, seeing orchids in bloom everywhere. Give yourself up to three hours for this and don’t miss the gift shop.

7. Bull fighting

If you can call it that. Ticos play at bullfighting. Las Corridas a la Tica is a popular sport. No traditional blood and guts killing of the bull here, though. Ticos prefer to just tease el toro. It’s rather an enclosed running of the bulls as up to 150 toreadors improvisados ( improvised bullfighters) scramble to stay out of the bulls way. If the bullfighters are feeling particularly brave, they’ll slap the bull’s behind on it’s way by.

8. Volcan Arenal

Not technically in San Jose, but worth a day trip to see the one of the most amazing volcanoes in Central America. The night view is breathtaking as Arenal throws fireworks into the air.

9. Soccer

The soccer season runs from September to June and Ticos – native Costa Rican – are serious fans. Costa Rican soccer is as good as any in Central America and their national team has gone to the World Cup more than once. Games are usually on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and tickets range from $2 to $15. Better to pay more and get reserved seating in the shade.

The local team is Saprissa (affectionately called El Monstruo, or “The Monster”).

10. The sun has set and it’s time to party. Is there anything to do in San Jose at night?

Absolutely! Let’s face it, where there are tourists and college students – there is NIGHTLIFE! If you want to find out what’s going on while you’re there, where the local ex-pats are hanging out, pick up a copy of Tico Times and have a ball.

Gambling is legal in Costa Rica, so there is a wide variety of places to rid yourself of that pesky extra money. Play slots, poker, blackjack, roulette. Shoot craps. It’s all there for you.

There are discos, dance clubs, and bars aplenty in San Jose. Many of these will draw you to the dance floor with an intoxicating salsa beat. El Pueblo, an entertainment complex in the style of old Spain, offers a smorgasbord of places to try.

Just south of the University is a 2-block stretch called La Calle de Amargure (Street of Bitterness). While the name doesn’t sound inviting, it’s a haven for the suburbanites and college kids. Bars and cafes mixed with shops and bookstores. At night, the place hops.

Feeling a little more artsy than hanging with the wild bunch? Cool. San Jose has a great selection of theater and performing arts. Burlesque, modern dance, theater, symphony, and concerts all vie for your attention. Every March, the country hosts El Festival Nacional de las Artes and each night you will have an amazing selection of things to choose from.

Before you head out, though, a word to the wise. Because downtown San Jose is very compact, you can get pretty much anywhere you want to go on foot. Often, that’s the fastest way to get around. But street crime is a bit of a problem so be careful. Hang on to your purse – better yet, get a fanny pack. Don’t flash your jewelry or camera around. Better to be safe than sorry.

With its wonderful climate, rich growing jungles that are home to abundant color, both in plants and animals, and age-old culture, Costa Rica, particularly San Jose, is a great getaway.

Please Look at our upcoming tours page to take an amazing Costa Rica adventure with us http://www.playersclubtours.com/tours/

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Top Ten Most Popular Things to do in Costa Rica

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There are more things to do in Costa Rica than you’ll likely have days for. These are the most popular.

Canopy tours
Whether it’s a zip-line thrill ride, gondola, or naturalist educational trip through the treetops, canopy tours have exploded in popularity in the past decade.

Coffee tours
Before it was overtaken by tourism, coffee was the driving force of Costa Rica‘s economy. A tour of a coffee farm and processing facility is a great way to satisfy your curiosity about the source of your morning cuppa and get an introduction to Tico history and culture.

Surfing & Windsurfing
Costa Rica breaks are world renowned, and rightly so. Inland, Lake Arenal has constantly balmy water (66 to 71 °F, 19-21 °C), average wind speeds of 24 mph (40 kph), and an exquisite setting for windsurfers. Rental equipment and lessons for both types of board sport are available.

Volcano Watching
Arenal is the premier destination with its lava flows, fire belching, and rolling smoking boulders, but Poás and Irazú have their attractions as well.

Nature Cruise
The canals of Tortuguero, wetlands of Caño Negro, and mangroves of the Damas estuary adjacent to Manuel Antonio are the most popular places to sit back relax and let the boatman be your guide to bird and wildlife spotting.

Whitewater
As you might suspect in a country covered in rain forest that rises from one ocean to 12,000 feet and drops back to sea level in the space of 70 miles, whitewater abounds in Costa Rica. Trips cater to all ability levels and interests.

Beach
Sunning, swimming, surfing, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, and that’s just the S’s. Beach lovers might think that Christopher Columbus had them in mind when he dubbed this (or did he?) the land of the “Rich Coast”.

Nature Walk
This catchall category covers everything from a walk on a paved path to multi-night treks up the bed of a river to prime jaguar country. Most visitors to Costa Rica spend at least some time hiking through the rain and cloud forests or along the beaches.

Hot Springs
There are hundreds of hotsprings in this volcanic land and a couple of them have spawned spas. If you want to relax your tired muscles (or have a masseur relax them for you) hit the natural pools, then spend a night at Tabacón resort.

Waterfalls
Rainforests, mountains, and canyons add up to countless waterfalls and you can enjoy anything from walk up viewing platforms a few yards from a restaurant to strenuous hikes into secluded skinny-dipping pools.

Bird Watching
Everyone becomes an amateur birder as soon as they land in Costa Rica. You can’t help but notice the remarkable colors, calls and plumage, and you’ll find plenty of serious bird watchers and qualified guides to fill you in on the habits and natural history of the species you see.
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