three coastlines stretching for hundreds of miles and some of the
finest beaches to be found anywhere in Southeast Asia, Thailand has
become a major travel destination for lovers of all kinds of water
sports. A number of excellent resorts offer a full range of equipment
at reasonable rates for anyone who wants to spend a holiday exploring
the pleasures of deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing,
scuba diving, or swimming in crystal-clear waters.
The earliest water-sport centre, and still one
of the most popular, is Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand, just two
hours' drive from Bangkok, which has a wide variety of accommodations
to meet almost any travel budget. The main beach is located on a scenic
bay, but facilities are available along the coast for several miles.
There are also more than 30 picturesque off-shore islands with a wealth
of coral and many types of tropical fish.
The other major water-sport centre is the southern
island of Phuket in the Andaman Sea. Here on the west coast there
are more than 14 magnificent white-sand beaches, all with warm, clear
waters, as well as a large number of nearby islands that boast diving
conditions to rival the best in the world. Most of the beaches have
equipment for diving, windsurfing, and other sports for rent.