For those looking for family fun or adrenaline-pumping action in Thailand, water sports provide plenty to enjoy, and the great thing is, there’s something for everyone. While there are many activities to choose from, here are some of the best.
Snorkelling & Diving
From finding Nemo (clownfish) and Dory (blue tangs) to coming across larger manta rays, whale sharks and turtles, there are plenty of denizens of the deep to encounter when snorkelling or scuba diving! Those staying at properties of hospitality brands like Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas on islands including Koh Samui, Phuket and Koh Phangan can look forward to such escapades. The east coast of the country is ideal for such activities the whole year through, while the best time on the east coast is from December to April.
Thailand is blessed with some stunning coastal scenery complete with enchanting islands, intriguing sea caves and towering limestone karsts which can be witnessed while kayaking; as a bonus, such paddle-powered excursions offer a great cardio workout too! Apart from indulging in luxury travel experiences, ensure you go kayaking especially at destinations like Ang Thong National Marine Park and Phang Nga Bay where there is much to discover.
For those who possess an insatiable need for speed or a daredevil spirit, hop aboard a jet ski and prepare for some high-octane thrills! Destinations such as Phuket and Pattaya are ideal for this activity that beginners can soon get the hang of it as well. You can ride tandem with a skilled instructor taking you on an exhilarating journey, while those who prefer, can go on a solo adventure with the open sea providing the perfect playground.
Banana Boat Rides
One of the most popular water sports in Thailand for families, banana boats provide an epic ride full of fun thrills. Not surprisingly, the islands and coastal locales of the country are the destinations where this activity is popular. It’s easy to enjoy too and no experience is required; all you have to do is straddle a giant inflatable banana with friends or family and hold on tight. Soon, you will be pulled along the water via a speedboat on a fast and furious ride with twists and turns that will have you screaming in delight!
Thailand’s availability of a wide array of water sports is the ideal way to get that adrenaline rush running through your veins. Conquer your fears and embark on a vacation that counts. In Thailand, aquatic adventures are the way to reach island bliss, and here are some of the most popular water sports that you can attempt there.
A Fun Ride on a Banana Boat
A fun ride on a banana boat is a must during your luxury travel experiences. Banana boat rides are usually a family affair and can be experienced while holidaying at Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas in Thailand. This thrilling, wave-splashing adventure guarantees fun and frolic for you and your family as you ride on a long air-filled banana-shaped boat.
Scuba Diving for Deep-Sea Exploration
Famed as a diver’s haven, Thailand offers scuba diving for deep-sea exploration. Delve into the vibrant underwater kingdom as you explore the many species of marine life like fish and leopard sharks swimming freely, as the coral reefs that spread throughout the coastal line protect the grand blue ocean. If diving is at the top of your checklist for a Thai vacation, do make sure to schedule a holiday between the months of December and April.
Parasailing in the Sky
While you may be familiar with the term paragliding, parasailing introduces you to the heart-stopping aquatic version of this. Instead of free-flying on dry land, parasailing offers a spine-tingling, water splashing experience as you plunge into the ocean and lift into the air, alternatively. November to April winds is known to create the ideal atmosphere for this type of sport.
Speed Up while Jet Skiing
Jet Skiing is one of the most sought-after aquatic sports, due to its rising popularity, and all it takes is a little knowledge of riding a bike; yes, jet skiing does not require any expertise in swimming. While September to April creates the ideal space for jet skiing, this aquatic sport is a favourite of solo travellers that seek adventure in the waters.
A truly enchanting destination, Guizhou in China is home to ancient villages set amidst stunning natural landscapes; here are some of the top places to visit.
Matang Gejia Village
In the Matang Village, you will find the Gejia ethnic group. As you wander around the village, you will come across locals dressed in traditional costumes, charming wooden houses and batik creations for which it is famous; depending on the tour, you can even get hand’s-on experience in the batik-making process.
Xijiang Miao Village
This Miao village is surrounded by spellbinding scenery and can be explored on excursions from 5-star hotels in Guiyang including the property of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas. On your visit, you can see stilted houses made from wood, wind and rain bridges and remarkable traditional cultural performances too.
Zhaoxing Dong Village
This is one of the nation’s most well-known Dong villages and is popular for its picturesque countryside setting. The village is in a lush valley surrounded by mountains and is famed for its five distinctive drum towers; there are stages outside each of these towers where you can witness folk songs and plays at night.
Basha Miao Village
This idyllic village is the last place in the country where locals can have guns which is a part of its traditions as well; in fact, guns are used in a typical welcome ceremony for visitors. The village also hosts performances that feature unique folk customs and offer insights into local life, farming, marriage and dance.
Abu Dhabi is once more open for tourists and makes an ideal holiday destination; however, there are guidelines and protocols in place that you should know before travelling here.
Go Safe Certification
When it comes to accommodation including 5-star hotels in Abu Dhabi, ensure you choose one that has the ‘Go Safe’ certification from the Department of Culture and Tourism. These properties such as those belonging to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas have adopted stringent health and hygiene measures ensuring safe stays.
Arriving in Abu Dhabi
Depending on where you are flying from, you will have to present a negative result of a PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 48, 72 or 96 hours of departure. On arrival at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, you will have to take another PCR test as well as on day four and day eight, depending on the length of your stay.
The Green List
Those from destinations on the Green List are not required to undergo a 10-day quarantine. You need to present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours before your departure to Abu Dhabi, undergo a PCR test on arrival and self-isolate till the results are given.
You can find the Green List of countries at – https://visitabudhabi.ae/en/plan-your-trip/covid-safe-travel/permitted-countries
If your country is not on the Green List, you will have a 10-day mandatory quarantine. After the PCR test on arrival, travellers must register and will be given an electronic wristband to be worn during quarantine; the local health authorities will determine a suitable quarantine location be it a hotel, your home or other accommodation option.
Since procedures can change depending on the global pandemic situation, always check for updated guidelines: https://visitabudhabi.ae/en/plan-your-trip/covid-safe-travel
Beige sands, blue waters and palm trees fringing the shores, seems like the perfect beach dream. Except it isn’t really a dream in Sri Lanka. Ever heard of Tangalle beach? Here are a few facts about the attraction.
This was once a fishing village and guess you could say it still is. The main income for families in the area come from fishing and selling the fresh catch of the day. The village was torn apart when the tsunami hit in 2004 but has managed to get back on its feet again.
Head to the beach around 5:45 pm/6 pm, sit on the soft sand with your loved one and gaze at the horizon. This is when the sun begins to bow down to the ocean and the magic show of colours in the sky are simply amazing.
Eat at a beachside restaurant
The beach is peppered with a few restaurants here and there. So, if you happen to work up and appetite while tanning on the beach, head over to one of them and enjoy authentic Sri Lankan dishes.
Doha, the capital of Qatar, is a cosmopolitan city rooted in its rich heritage. Here are some reasons as to why it should be on your holiday destination bucket list!
A “souq” is a traditional marketplace and amongst the most popular attractions in Doha is its Souq Waqif which is more than a century old. You will find all manner of items for sale here be it handicrafts, souvenirs, Bedouin weaving, clothing or spices; it’s also home to the Gold Souq and Falcon Souq!
For some thrills in the ocean when in Doha, hotels by the beach offer plenty of opportunities for water sports. Such properties including the island resort of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas feature banana boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, wakeboarding, fishing and diving to see marine life and underwater wrecks.
Museums & Galleries
If it’s culture you are after, you can visit the uniquely designed National Museum of Qatar which offers insights into the nation’s history and heritage. Art lovers will be captivated by the Museum of Islamic Art on the Corniche, while also of note are the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and Fire Station art space.
Beaches & Deserts
Amongst the best things to do in Doha is to spend time at a private beach of a resort. There’s also the public Katara Beach which is a family favourite and Al Wakrah Beach that’s close to the city. You can plan trips to the desert too where everything from dune bashing to camel rides await amidst a sea of sand.
In the African nation of Mozambique, wildlife safaris are not only land-based but can be experienced in the water too! Here are some of the best spots for such experiences.
Bazaruto National Park
Home to a protected marine reserve, the Bazaruto National Park covers an archipelago with several islands. Those staying here including at the property of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas can explore the waters of the park and encounter dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays, sailfish, turtles and endangered dugongs too.
Quirimbas National Park
Enjoying water-based safaris at the Quirimbas National Park is amongst the best things to do; Mozambique gives travellers a chance to explore this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which has thriving wildlife including turtles, migrating humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, leopard sharks, crocodile fish and more.
Gorongosa National Park
For wildlife safaris in Mozambique on dry land, a popular choice would be Gorongosa National Park. Apart from guided safari drives, there are canoe and boat safaris here too; on your adventures, you may spot elephants, lions, impalas, warthogs, baboons, crocodiles, hippos and not forgetting more than 500 bird species.
The country’s largest conservation area, the Niassa Reserve is another wildlife hotspot with thousands of elephants, buffalos and sables along with many zebras and Lichtenstein’s hartebeests. Smaller populations of wildebeest, kudu, hippo, leopard, lion and African wild dog can also be seen for an unforgettable safari.
Many travellers love Africa for its rich wildlife. They often talk about the lion, elephant, leopard rhino, and the Cape buffalo living here, but not about the spectacular marine life available.
Mozambique – an underrated underwater paradise
Did you know that Mozambique is home to over 1500 miles of amazing coastline? Diving opportunities offered by this coastline is not known, which shouldn’t be the case. The world should really discover this treasure!
The underwater life
This is indeed the place to go to meet the underwater giants. Be its whale sharks, whales, or the mantas, divers meet every one of them in their natural habitats during diving sessions.
Diving. Is it the only way?
No- Mozambique underwater explorations are also open for the non-divers out there. Snorkelling with the experts offers them the chance to meet the cheerful dolphins, and of course the whale sharks.