A Splash-tacular day!
By Shaan Bajaj
I am an adrenaline junkie; since I was young I’ve chased the small thrills that come with playgrounds, theme parks, and roller coasters. Water parks take these attractions to a new level, as they combine the childish wonder of coming down a slide with water. Having visited different water parks around the world, I knew I had to visit Andamanda Phuket.
From the creators of Hua Hin’s Vana Nava Water Park, this brand new 100,000sqm waterpark is built with leisure and entertainment in mind. As I walked up to the royal-blue pearl palace, my excitement to try each slide was at an all-time high. Before I could go racing up the stairs to the nearest slide, Yosita Wanapukpong, the Assistant Marketing Communication Manager, gave me a wristband to enter the park and a tour of the area, whilst informing me of the ways that Thai culture is a central element in their design. This was immediately apparent to me as the architecture proudly celebrated Thai style structures. The wristbands utilise the RFID system for users to experience a cashless experience, which I found incredibly handy as I didn’t have to worry about where to store my cash lest it get wet. Yosita also pointed out to me that the park maintains a high level of safety, and has stationed 200 life guards everywhere, which I found reassuring.
After walking through The Pearl Palace, I was greeted by The Great Nagon, the protector of Andaman Bay; I was then told of the story behind the theme of the park. The Great Nagon has divided his power into five sacred items hidden in different areas of the theme park, each with their own mascot representing the values and heritage of Thai culture, and their own attractions. Encompassing the powerful spirit of the Thai people, The Great Andaman Bay zone’s mascot is Captain Samut and Sarang, his hermit crab buddy. They hold the power of the sword of the world. The next mascot, little Nagon of the Naga Jungle, represents the peaceful spirit, and its powers are buried in its heart. Representing the protective spirit is Nora, a kinnaree who holds the powers of the emerald stone to defend the island and create thunderstorms. Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and the waterpark would not be complete without Batik of the Coral World, a joyful whale shark who has the ability to create waves with its giant silk ribbon that can transform into any object. Last but not least, we have Chaiya at The Village. To pair with his courageous spirit to protect his land and people, he is equipped with world class muay chaiya skills and the ability to listen to God’s voice. Together, they protect the gems of Andaman bay and allow you a glimpse into the magical water kingdom.
We started our adventure by heading to The Great Andaman Bay, a man made 10,000sqm wave pool with 3-metre high waves. I laid out my towel on one of the numerous lounge chairs available, but if you are a group of four, you can choose to rent out a cabana for the day (starting from THB 2,000), before making your way to the wave pool. The bay also features a replica of Koh Tapu with a stage in front of it, alongside a wave bar for guests to sip on one of their creative signature cocktails, which are definitely worth trying. For events, birthday parties or big groups, guests can rent out one of their water villas, a 40sqm air-conditioned space furnished with sofas and a toilet. The villa overlooks the bay and the wave pool.
The Great Andaman Bay also houses five different water slides. I headed to the blue and yellow Eagle flyer first, a ride for 3-5 people with a ginormous vertical drop; a must-ride for a group of people. Another group slide is Rock ‘N’ Raft, featuring a bunch of dips. For individuals looking for more, head to the Sliding Rocks, Moken’s Boat or Curving Cavern to experience your tube twisting and turning. Go alone or grab a friend to enjoy any of these three slides.
I was high on adrenaline as I stepped of those tubes and made my way to Naga Jungle at Sun Tower for some serious, off-the-charts thrills. I warmed up by racing my friend down Racing Nagas with a mat, a race she sadly won, before getting ready to have the floor pulled from beneath me at Moon Tower at Cobra Curls and Dragon’s Drop. Don’t miss the Garuda Soars either! After feeling as if I had my share of thrills, I headed to the Emerald Forest zone.
Dip into the Emerald Pool to cool off from all the action, enjoy a cocktail at Sand Bar’s swim-up pool, or relax at Sand Beach. The sand bar is also home to 10 different signature cocktails, all priced at THB 340. Once I took a break, I was ready to conquer more of the slides. As I headed up the stairs of Kinnaree’s tower to try Angel’s Slide, the longest dueling master blaster in Thailand, at 550 metres, I was nervous as I saw water jets pushing the tubes up the slide before hearing the excited screams that disappeared into the tunnels. This ride was my personal favourite and I would highly recommend it. If you want to test your swimming skills, make sure to slide down The flight of Kinnarees into a 3.1-metre pool, or head to Flowrider to surf on ocean-like waves.
After, we walked towards the Coral World zone, designed for kids and family adventures The 5,300sqm area features three different attractions with slides, interactive waterguns, and play areas for toddlers to 12-year-olds, and parents can accompany their kids on all these rides. Atoll Adventures in particular is a three-story structure with eight slides, and a bucket that unloads 500 gallons of water every five minutes. While I didn’t try any of the slides there, I did grab the closest tube to glide down Rolling Ripples, Asia’s longest 550-metre lazy river, which I recommend everybody to try for a fun and relaxing ride.
Climbing all the stairs soon had my stomach grumbling, so I headed to The Village, which hosts an array of Thai and International cuisines alongside a floating market serving traditional Thai dishes. For my lunch, I had a delicious Mediterranean roasted cauliflower salad (THB 149) alongside a Margherita pizza (THB 199). Their expansive menu also listed plenty more dishes from Italian, American and Thai cuisine with a truly impressive array of vegetarian dishes for every cuisine, something that I definitely appreciated. You can choose to order a non-alcoholic beverage like a soft drink, coconut water or even an iced tea, or opt for an alcoholic drink and choose from a range of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. The Naga jungle also has its own restaurant, Tropical Beach, which focuses on Thai-style grilled seafood, American ribs, and surf and turf dishes.
Andamanda Water Park is easily accessible, with a variety of different transfer options available. Located just 20 minutes from Phuket Old Town and 30 minutes from Patong beach, it’s the perfect day trip for anyone on holiday in Phuket, and a day pass will only set you back THB 850, or THB 550 for kids or senior citizens. Overall, I would highly recommend checking it out for a day of sun and fun for the whole family.
Open daily from 10am to 7pm
Facebook: Andamanda Phuket