A holiday spent lying on the beach and eating at the hotel’s restaurant may be all that some people need, while others prefer to have a little adventure. However, if you want to return with something more useful than a tan, there is a good choice of courses in Phuket.
Phuket courses cater for every age group and level of proficiency. Whether you simply want to work on your golf swing with professional coaches or teach the kids how to sail a catamaran across the emerald sea, or relax with some yoga, there are courses on Phuket for you.
Phuket Scuba Diving Courses
If the thought of being 30m below the surface and checking out marine life excites you, there’s no better place to learn to scuba dive than Phuket.
You can take a PADI or CMAS Open Water course - it takes just a few days - and afterwards you will be certified to scuba dive with a buddy. Thailand is one of the cheapest places to get certified, and one of the most beautiful to dive in. It’s best to walk into several shops to compare prices and find the one that best suits your needs…more on dive courses.
There are many beautiful and easy-to-reach dive sites around Phuket. Those looking for a bit more adventure can take an advanced course aboard a liveaboard dive boat to the Similan Islands, though the coral here of late has greatly diminished. An advanced course will better prepare you for the more difficult dives in the Similans and takes just two days. Almost all liveaboard boats offer the course in a package with the trip. Phuket’s many dive shops provide courses in scuba diving all the way to instructor level.
Thai Cooking Courses in Phuket
One of the best ways to spend a day or two of your holiday in Phuket is by joining a Thai cooking class, where you’ll learn how to make a few of the most popular dishes and enjoy eating them. Pat’s Home is a good place to stay and/or learn Thai cooking in a home environment, or visit the Blue Elephant restaurant in Phuket Town to ask about their Cookery School (BE Governer Mansion, 96 Karabi Rd., Tel: (076) 354 355, Email). Many hotels also offer courses in Thai cuisine.
The Boathouse Phuket
Learn how to create healthy yet delicious Thai dishes in this authentic cooking class including the use of Thai herbs and spices plus tips on selection, storage and ingredient preparations. Prices cost from 2,200 baht inclusive of lunch with favourite dishes such as red curry, papaya salad and pad thai noodles offered. (182 Koktanode Rd., Kata Beach. Tel: (076) 330 015-17, Email).
Thai Massage and Reflexology Courses
If you’ve experienced Thai massage and want to take the skills home to impress friends, there are a few places offering massage courses in Phuket. Phuket Traditional Thai Massage School is one of the largest and also teaches the art of reflexology. You should budget at least one week to get a good understanding of Thai massage, but becoming truly proficient could take months.
Sailing Lessons in Phuket
Phuket is an ideal place to learn how to sail, with ASA and RYA certifications available. Phang Nga Bay, to the northeast of the island, is sheltered and provides year-round sailing, while the open sea of the west coast also provides superb sailing during the high season. Some courses are taught as liveaboards, which provide you with optimal learning combined with a week-long trip. One of the best schools, offering a variety of internationally-recognised sailing certificates, is YachtPro, based at the Yacht Haven marina.
Golf Tuition in Phuket
Phuket is almost as famous for its golf courses as for its water sports. There is a choice of world class courses, including: Blue Canyon Country Club (165 Moo 1, Thepkasattri Rd., Tel: (076) 328 088, Email), Loch Palm Golf Club (38 Moo 5, Vichitsongkram Rd., Tel: (076) 321 929, Email), Laguna Golf (34 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Rd., Tel: (076) 324 350, Email), Phuket Country Club (80/1 Moo 7, Vichitsongkram Rd., Tel: (076) 319 200, Email), and Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort (195 Moo 4, Pa khlok, Thalang, Tel: (076) 310 888). If you’ve never played before, or if you think your technique could do with improvement, all the major courses have pros.
Muay Thai (Boxing) Courses in Phuket
Many visitors come to Phuket for months at a time to learn Muay Thai. There are plenty of schools around the island with Muay Thai courses to suit a variety of needs, even simply for fitness or weight loss. Most gyms offer accommodation packages and are flexible to suit your needs. If you prefer a quiet gym, try Rawai Muay Thai Camp (35/22 Moo4, Soi Pa Nat, Khuk Khak, Takua Pa, Phang Nga. Tel: (076) 486 841, Email) at the south of the island.
Yoga Courses in Phuket
Courses in yoga can be found in several places, along with other wellness, fitness and meditation courses. These include Abbysan Yoga (27/13-14 Moo 4, Vichit, Tel: (076) 304 277, Email), TAYSP (Traditional Ashtanga Yoga Shala Phuket) (Clubhouse at Land & House Park, 26/8 Moo 8, Muang, Chalong, Mobile: (080) 698 0813, Email), Mindbody Yoga (59/142 Soi Saiyuan 15, Rawai, Mobile: (086) 276 9174, Email), Ganesha Yoga Shala (25/7 Soi Salika, Viset Rd., Raeai, Mobile: (089) 868 2639, Email) and Yoga Republic (123/3-5 Moo 5, Srisoonthorn Rd., Mobile: (082) 280 3914, Email).
Cultural Courses in Phuket
Well worth a mention is the Sukko Spa (5/10 Moo 3, Vichit, Tel: (076) 263 222, Email), which offers ‘Thai cultural courses’ and spa packages. You can learn Thai cooking, yoga, massage, Muay Thai Chaiya, fruit carving, jasmine garland making, stretching exercises, meditation, water yoga, Thai beauty secrets and Thai scent making here. They also offer a kids’ programme to keep the little ones busy and learning while you are taking your course or enjoying spa treatments.