Thailand is one of the best destinations in the world to try out watersports. From swimming along whale sharks, jumping 50 feet above the ocean, spinning and flipping your way over water to tackling wild rapids of untamed rivers, Thailand will give you a rush like no other.
For the adrenaline junkies and water babies out there, here is a list of the best watersports in Thailand.
Watersports to Try in Thailand
Flyboarding and Jetpacking
Do you want to dive and swim in the water like Aquaman and fly in the air like Iron man? It's not some teenage fantasy we are talking about, but an adrenaline pumping watersport called Flyboarding. A pair of water sprays attached to your feet propels you high in the air, lets you plunge into the water and fly right back up.
It just takes about 10 minutes to learn the basic movements and with some practice, you can flip, spin and dive your way through the ocean. Jetpacking is similar, the only difference is that the propellers are attached to your back. You can try Flyboarding in Pattaya and Jetpacking in Koh Samui.
Cost: 40 – 50 USD (For about 20 minutes)
Kayaking is one of the best ways to discover Thailand’s dramatic scenery. In Thailand, you can kayak through dense mangroves, caves, hidden lagoons and if you are an adventurer, then in the open ocean. You can go for guided tours or hire a kayak and go by yourself.
The best place for kayaking is Krabi, as the waterways around its mangroves and overhanging limestone karsts are perfect for exploration by kayak. If you want to explore areas around Krabi’s coastline by yourself, then Ao Nang beach and Railay beach rent out sea canoes.
Cost: Tours starting at 18 USD
For the thrill seekers who want to soar to new heights, quite literally, kiteboarding is the perfect thing. Kiteboarding, also known as Kitesurfing uses a large steerable kite to pull yourself around on a board over open water. The winds decide the speed and how high you go.
Professional Kiteboarders can jump to heights of 50 to 60 feet and float in the air for up to 10 seconds when the conditions are right. Doesn’t that seem exciting? Even if you don’t have experience,the fun of jumping even a few feet off water will have you hooked to it in no time.
Kiteboarding can be done at Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya.
Cost: Gear rentals per hour cost up to 45 USD, while for the entire day cost up to 120 USD
White Water Rafting
Whitewater rafting is one of the most exciting adventures out there and nowhere is it better than the frothing and foaming waters of the mighty Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai. From July to March, the rivers swell, transforming into raging level 3 - 4 whitewater rapids.
The daily expeditions in Chiang Mai cater to all levels, whether you are a first time paddler or a rafting pro. You can do a complete day tour which would have you rafting through 10kms of rapids. Extreme adventurers can go for multiple day excursions or even raft in the dark.
Cost: Day tours start at 54 USD and 2 day tours start at 102 USD.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The feeling of weightlessness as you glide through the water in the colony of fishes and corals is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a newbie who doesn’t know swimming or an experienced diver who wants to test new depths, there is something for you.
Scuba diving in Thailand is best experienced around the islands, and one of the best places to do it is Koh Tao. Good news is, it also works out to be the cheapest in Thailand. The underwater world here is crystal clear and abundant with colorful corals and an array of reef fish. And if you have ever fancied getting up close and personal with biggies like whale sharks and bull sharks, Koh Tao is the place.
If you are afraid to take the plunge in deep waters, don’t worry, you can still experience this fascinating world by snorkeling in shallow waters.
Cost: USD 90 onwards
Wakeboarding is one of the coolest watersports to try in Thailand. You hold on to a chord and balance yourself on a board while a speed boat takes you on a whirlwind tour over water. Once you learn the basics, you can take it a notch higher by performing awe inspiring air spins and flips. But fret not,you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy this sport.
You can try wakeboarding in Koh Phangan at Chaloklum bay, a serene fishing village with mountains in the backdrop.
Cost: Starts at USD 34 for 15 minutes.
Under Sea Walk
Walk on the seafloor and experience the underwater world, surrounded by vibrant corals and schools of fish swarming all over you. This is ideal for those who want to experience the scuba diving experience without the hassle of undergoing basic training and putting on a gear.
Here, you are just strapped to a helmet which lets you breathe underwater and plunge to depths of 20 - 25 feet. Sometimes the accompanying divers let loose bits of food to attract the fishes, and if they like you, they will eat off your hand.
This amazing adventure can be experienced in Pattaya.
Cost: USD 40
Few adventures give a rush that can match the thrill of riding monster waves in the open sea. The waves in Thailand are generally smaller and less powerful, making them ideal for those who want to learn the art of riding them. Nevertheless, surfing has picked up in Thailand and is slowly gaining popularity.
The best place for surfing is Phuket’s west coast. There are surfboard rentals around the Kata and Kamala beaches, where you can rent surfboards for an hour to a day. Phuket even organizes surfing competitions with cash prizes of up to USD 3,000. Do you even need a better incentive to try this out?
Cost: Renting a surfboard costs 4 USD for an hour to 15 USD for a day
Stand on a ski and grab the ropes tight as you get towed by a speedboat at crazy speeds - that's water skiing for you. Absolute beginners can experience water skiing at the Phuket wake park, a man-made lake, before venturing out into open water.The park even has obstacles for the pro-riders.
Cost: USD 20 hour for an hour
An adventure sport that combines both surfing and sailing. Instead of riding the waves on a surfboard, you are going use a sailboard and use the wind to give you that push. So all you need is a big body of water and steady weather. You can try windsurfing in Thailand at Lamai beach in Koh Samui. They have courses for everyone from beginners to advanced surfers.
Cost: 45 USD for a 1 hour lesson and half an hour of windsurfing under supervision. A 5 hour session would cost up to 150 USD.
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
Standup paddle boarding can be as leisurely or as intense as you want. It’s a novice’s way of learning surfing, but can be a sport in its own right. All you need is a paddle board and open water. The good thing about is SUP is that it doesn’t need big waves, even a placid lake would do. You can try out SUP in Koh Samui at Lamai beach.
Cost: Paddle board rentals for a day cost 30 USD. If you want to keep them for a week, it would cost 150 USD.