If you’re a fan of physical pursuits, your holiday to Thailand provides the perfect opportunity to join one of the Kingdom’s sporting events
The Laguna marathon in Phuket offers a day of fun and adventure
Thailand boasts an array of fun-packed events, from musical festivals and gigs to concerts and traditional dance performances. However, many of the Kingdom’s favourite events – particularly amongst international visitors – are world-class sporting occasions.
From Koh Samui’s half marathon to the Phuket Laguna Triathlon, there are plenty of fast-paced events for visitors to enter. If you’re not especially sporty yourself, you can still go along to support participants and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere.
Whether you’re into fun runs, amateur golf tournaments or sailing contests, there will always be a selection of top-notch sporting events to choose from.
We’ve gathered a selection of our favourites to give you a taster of what there is to look forward to on your holiday in Thailand.
Going the distance
Koh Samui’s half marathon takes participants off the beaten track
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or are new to the sport, you might be excited to learn that Koh Samui hosts its very own half marathon once a year. This year, Koh Samui took pride of place on Bangkok Airways’ series of marathons in June. Participants made the most of the chance to explore the island from a whole new perspective, thanks to a stunning route that made its way off the beaten track to other, less travelled parts of the island. The route took in fantastic coastal and jungle scenery, so runners had plenty to look at as they pounded the pavement for 13.1 miles. This year, over 1,000 runners took part in the event, which also helped to raise funds for the local charity ‘Shoes for Kids’. As well as making an online donation to the fund, many runners donated pairs of shoes to less privileged children living in Koh Samui.
The power of three
Professional athletes and amateurs take part in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon
Many people see triathlons as the ultimate physical challenge, with swimming, cycling and running all playing a key role in the race. Phuket’s very own triathlon – the Laguna Triathlon – has been running for 25 years this year. In addition to amateur sportsmen, sporty pros from around the world travel to Phuket to take part in the physically gruelling event.
The race comprises a 1.8km swim across two bodies of water – a 1.3 sea swim followed by a 0.5km swim across a freshwater lagoon. Participants then zoom along a 50km cycling course, which takes in spectacular scenery of Phuket’s Naithon Hills. This is followed by a 12km run, which is spread across a two lap course of the Laguna Phuket resort complex. This year, the event also includes a “25 for 25” sprint in celebration of the anniversary. This includes a 0.5km swim, an 18.5km bike ride and a 6km run. There will also be 5km and 10km Charity Fun Runs. This event will take place on 18th November at Laguna Phuket.
Laguna Phuket International Marathon is one of the island’s most famous events
If you want to take your running to the next level, then sign up to another of Phuket’s premier sporting events – the Laguna Phuket Marathon. This event, which usually takes place in June, features an exciting selection of events for visitors to choose from. For the keen runners, there’s the full marathon. However, for those still working their way up to the full 26.2-mile distance, there’s also a half marathon, 10km race and a 5km walk. There’s also a kids’ run for younger visitors who want to get involved in the action.
Organised by Go Adventure Asia, this year’s event marks the 13th anniversary of the Laguna Phuket Marathon. Each year, it attracts eager participants from across the globe. In fact, the event was so popular in 2017 that all of the race categories sold out. Almost 7,000 participants donned their running shoes, representing almost 60 nationalities. The race, which starts and finishes at the Laguna Resort, also winds a beautiful course around Phuket, so offers an excellent opportunity to discover the gorgeous scenery.
Swinging the iron
Amateur golfers can enter an array of tournaments across Thailand
If a day out on the greens is more your thing, then Thailand is the home of many amateur golfing tournaments, in addition to its running events. The Centara World Master Golf Championship, which takes place in Hua Hin, is one of the more famous amateur events. The contest takes place at several of the region’s finest golf courses, including Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View.
The Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Golf Championship in Pattaya is also set to be popular this year. Taking place from the 17th to the 23rd June, participants have the chance to play at the city’s finest world-class golf courses, including the Siam Country Club and Laem Chabang International Country Club. Each of the courses benefits from its stunning tropical setting, and participants will get the fantastic experience of what it’s like to play with all the trappings of a professional golf tournament.
If you’re based in Phuket, the Laguna Golf Course puts on a Monthly Medal Competition. Plus, you might also be interested in taking part in the ‘Beat the Pros Scramble’ event. In this tournament, amateur players are challenged by the course’s PGA pro team. Meanwhile for spectators, there’s the annual Queens Cup, an important event on the Asian PGA Tour.
Out at sea
Sailors form around the world enter Phuket’s multi-class Raceweek
Endless miles of sublime coastline and friendly trade winds make Thailand a haven for sailing enthusiasts. In addition to the more famous events, like the Koh Samui Regatta and the King’s Cup Regatta in Phuket, there are plenty of other events that visitors might be interested to take part in. Phuket Raceweek, for example, is a multi-class event featuring an array of categories, including cruising, yacht charters, multihulls and bareboat yachts. The event takes place at the end of July, making the most of the regions southwesterly monsoon season.
One to one
Hire a personal trainer to come to your villa and put you through your paces
If you’re keen to maintain your physical fitness whilst on holiday or are keen to kickstart a new health and wellness regime, a luxury private villa is the ideal place to get going. In addition to the fantastic fitness facilities at your fingertips – possibly including a fully equipped gym, depending on where you’re staying – you’ll be able to make the most of the services of a personal trainer. A personal trainer will be able to put together a tailored fitness plan for you, taking all of your goals and aspirations into account. They will also be able to provide nutrition advice, as well as setting out a new workout schedule for you. If this is something you’re interested in, ask your villa manager to make the arrangements – he or she will be only too happy to help.
If you’re planning to take part in one of Thailand’s sporting events, fuelling up on nutritious meals in advance is essential. Ask your villa’s on-site chef to make you one of the following dishes..
- Packed with protein, chicken and cashew nuts is a tasty yet nutritious Thai classic that will leave you feeling satisfied for hours.
- If you’re trying to load up on fresh fruits and veggies, a fresh plate of som tam will give your body a boost.
- A fresh fruit smoothie, containing mango, passion fruit, pineapple, oats and nut milk, could be the perfect tropical fuel at breakfast.