If you’re on a private villa holiday with friends in Samui, Phuket or Bali, there are plenty of group activities on offer to guarantee a fun-filled stay
Phuket and Koh Samui offer a plethora of fun activities to try out with your friends
An intriguing culture, stunning natural scenery and a wealth of exhilarating activities make Southeast Asia a fantastic destination choice, whoever you’re exploring with. If you’re on vacation with friends, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to fun-filled activities – especially in holiday hotspots like Phuket, Koh Samui and Bali. Whether you’re keen to explore the oceans or discover the nooks and crannies of the jungle, looking for wildlife as you go, there will always be an activity to match your personal preferences.
If you’re staying in one of the region’s luxury private villas, your villa manager will be able to advise you on the best activities to suit your group’s needs. He or she will also be able to book sightseeing excursions or transportation for you, so all you need to focus on is having the best time possible.
In case you are in need of a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up a selection of entertaining activities to try out with friends.
Why not charter your own vessel for a day of island-hopping fun?
Whether you choose Thailand or Indonesia, you’ll find healthy trade winds, miles of magnificent coastline and enticing jade-green seas make for excellent sailing. Thailand is well-established as one of Southeast Asia’s premier yachting hubs and Phuket in particular is a celebrated sailing destination, thanks in large part to the island’s famous yacht shows, impressive marinas and annual King’s Cup Regatta.
If you’re travelling with friends, sailing can be a fantastic activity, whether you’re keen to spend a day out on the ocean or perhaps plan a longer island-hopping trip over several nights. If you’re staying in Phuket, the other worldly scenery of Phang Nga Bay provides a stunning backdrop for a day out on a privately chartered yacht. The sublime allure of the Phi Phi islands also make for a fantastic day trip destination.
If you’re keen to charter a private yacht (with or without its own crew) for a bit longer, the Surin Islands and Similan Islands to the north of Phuket are fabulous, unspoilt destinations. Meanwhile, if you charter a yacht from Koh Samui, the proximity of the Ang Thong Marine Park and its plethora of islands makes for some ripe exploring ground. From Bali, Komodo Island’s famous dragons are a unique attraction that’s worth sailing for.
The southern seas are home to an array of fascinating marine life
Southeast Asia’s underwater world is home to just as many treasures as the landscape on dry land. From kaleidoscopes of colourful corals and impressive rock formations to haunting ship wrecks, there’s plenty to explore if you and your pals fancy booking onto a diving or snorkelling excursion. Plus, the region’s seas are home to a fascinating array of marine creatures, from adorable tropical fish and turtles to more formidable marine characters, including eels, leopard sharks and manta rays.
If you haven’t done any scuba diving before, don’t worry – most islands are home to an array of reputable diving schools where you’ll be able to pick up your PADI licence before heading out into the open water. If you already have the qualification, you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of the array of impressive dive sites on offer.
If you’d prefer a casual afternoon of snorkelling with your friends, it’s easy to book onto a snorkelling excursion that will take you by boat to all of the best sites. You may not be plunging to the same depths as the scuba divers, but if you keep your eyes peeled you’ll still see a plethora of fascinating creatures.
Discover hidden destinations
Sea kayaking offers an eco-friendly way to explore the oceans
If you’re keen to discover the wonder of Southeast Asia’s oceans from a different angle, why not book onto a sea kayaking tour? Kayaking is a fun end eco-friendly way of exploring the seas, hidden coves and lagoons. Plus, it provides an exciting opportunity to get up close to fascinating coastal eco-systems that motorboats might not be able to access as easily.
The labyrinthine network of hidden caves and lagoons around Phang Nga Bay, known locally as “hongs”, is particularly impressive. Over thousands of years, colossal crystalline limestone caves have formed, and are all ripe for exploration via sea kayak. Participants who book onto sea kayaking excursions will be guided by local experts, who will be able to point out specific areas of interest or tell you more about the wildlife that you might be lucky enough to encounter. On some tours, the guide will even do the paddling for you, leaving you and your pals free to snap as many photographs as you like.
If you’re staying in a private villa, you might even have access to a sea kayak or paddle board belonging to the property. If so, you and your friends will be able to explore the seas independently.
Phuket is home to a selection of funky attractions, including the Trick Eye Museum in Phuket Town
While Phuket, Samui and Bali are home to a choice of cultural attractions, ranging from gleaming golden Wats to colonial mansions and museums, the islands boast a selection of quirkier attractions, too, such as the Trickeye Musuem or Upside Down House in Phuket, which promise an afternoon of fun and laughs.
Situated in Phuket Town, the Trickeye Museum offers a hilarious and memorable afternoon outing. This interactive painting exhibition leads visitors through a selection of fascinating optical illusions, where visitors are able to get involved with the exhibits on show. There are more than 100 painted and sculpted treasures in total. Highlights include a painted impression of Phuket Town – complete with an enormous sinkhole, filled with frothing lava, just waiting for visitors to “fall” into. The museum is situated on the corner of Montri and Phang Nga Roads in Phuket Town, next to the Pearl Hotel.
Baan Teelanka – Phuket’s very own Upside Down House – is certainly one of the island’s quirkiest attractions. Situated on the fringe of Phuket Town, this highly unusual three-storey property has been built on its roof! Guests can explore the whole house (all upside down) before heading out into the maze of a garden outside.
Fun at home
Phuket’s Villa Minh is home to its own pool table
If you’re planning a fun evening with friends, you don’t necessarily have to leave the comfort of your private villa. In fact, the spacious surroundings and fantastic facilities make your holiday villa the ideal setting for a fun games night. Some properties come with their own pool tables and fussball tables – you could even separate into teams for mini tournaments. Other villas come with their own hi-tech entertainment suites – perfect for movie marathons.
If you’re planning a fun games and movie night with you friends, ask your villa’s professional chef to prepare some tasty snacks to nibble throughout the evening.
- Fresh summer rolls packed with glass noodles, veggies and served with peanut dipping sauce are a healthy yet satisfying option.
- Chicken and pork satays provide a lip-smacking, protein-filled treat.
- Popcorn is a classic movie snack. When coated with roasted garlic and chilli, you’re getting popcorn with a tasty Thai twist.