Splash Jungle Phuket Water Park
The Splash Jungle Phuket Water Park opened in early 2010. I think everyone agreed that Phuket needed a waterpark. Ideal for tourists, for family fun in the sun. I mean, OK so we have an ocean and lots of beaches, but waterparks are fun! However, not everyone was so enthusiastic when it opened. Most of the tourists in Phuket stay at the main beaches - Patong, Karon and Kata. Splash Jungle opened as part of the West Sands Resort at Mai Khao Beach, just north of Phuket Airport, and that's 40 - 45km from the main beaches. Location.
And then the price.. full rate is 1,495 Baht for adults and 750 Baht for kids. In other words for our family of 4... we'd pay 4,490 Baht. It's not cheap, although they had a "local price" for a while, and currently have some promotions... and also have a membership package which works well for people like us who are likely to be back. You can book days or member packages through my friends at Easy Day Thailand travel service.
So we drove up on a Saturday, the car park was packed with about 4 minibuses and 10 cars. To be clear - it was not very busy. Now that's my kind of place - a custom built tourist attraction without the tourists! OK, it's low season and the weather was not perfect (though I ended the day with my usual mild sunburn), but I thought there would be more people here. I know it's not "Thailand" - this place is pure watery fun, and due to the combination of price and location, I had not been. My wife and kids had been once on Thai national childrens day - there was a special promotion for the day with kids getting in for free. This time we paid up for membership, so now we are sure to go again!
Above - entrance to Splash Jungle... we're negotiating the best possible deal for a group of 3 adults and 6 kids.
When you check in, you get a wristband with a locker key attached. We all went to get changed. I kept a camera with me, then went back to put it in the locker so I could play a while, went back to get it later when I found some good angles for photos, and put it back again when the rain came! In short... if you want to concentrate on the fun, don't carry a camera unless you have a waterproof one! Also - although I generally trust my fellow man, I would not leave a nice camera lying around while I was in the water.
Inside, you have changing rooms with hundreds of lockers, then cross a bridge over the "lazy river" which runs around the whole complex - you can drift around with or without an inflatable ring (the "river" is shallow enough for even our 6 year old to stand up in). We drifted around it a few times passing under bridges and waterfalls. The river would be the least adrenaline-fuelled attraction! We found a chair to dump our stuff - the open areas are filled with beach chairs all shaded with umbrellas. Like I said, I would not leave valuables on the chair unattended, but towels and clothes and sandals are not likely to go astray. So the idea is to bagsy a chair, then go and have fun! The kids all started at the kids play area (above), but that area really is for little tiny kids. So we progressed to this:
Wasn't so long ago that my boy was scared of deep water and would cling to his Dad in the pool. Now he's fearless. There are many different waterslides - 3 of them head down to the same splash pool - this green slide was pretty scary! My son went down countless times, I went twice. The first time I went down I shocked the lifeguard at the bottom by shooting off the end at full speed, 110 kilos of speeding fat panda coming down! I'm generally not into adrenaline rushes, I prefer nice and easy scuba diving or a gentle bike ride. The waterslide called "Boomerango" seemed to be beyond me.
Boomerango looks like this from the outside. You shoot off the highest point of the slide tower down a steep ramp, shoot up the other side and then off to the splashdown pool. I was worried that someone my size might go too fast and shoot right off the top of the ramp! I found a video on Youtube here, scary enough! My kids both went on it - they kind of wandered off without Mum and Dad for a while, they had found some school friends and did the rides with them on tandem rings like the one in the photo below.
Next to the Boomerango is the Super Bowl - again you launch from the top of the tower down a tube and then into this huge bowl which you spin around several times and then out and down another tube in the center. Not too scary!
We were impressed by the safety at Splash Jungle. There are loads of staff, there are people to help to onto the rides and people in the splashdown pools to catch you. There are lifeguards all over the place, along the lazy river, in the wave pool, in every splashdown pool, so we weren't too concerned about the kids doing their own thing. They are at that age now, maybe don't want Daddy with them all the time!
West Sands Resort and the Splash Jungle Phuket Waterpark are at Mai Khao Beach which is still quite undeveloped. The picture above is the view from the top of the slide tower, looking west. And the airport is only half a kilometer to the south, which means that you'll probably see a view like this:
After a few hours and a few brief showers of rain, a bigger squall came in from the ocean, the wind blew and we called a halt to the fun. And we were getting hungry. With the price of entry, we decided not to eat at the park restaurants - there are 3 of them, since it's not that cheap for us. And you're not allowed to take your own food and drink in. Restaurant meals were 200 - 300 Baht, a small beer 150 Baht, and a glass of coke 60 Baht. Yeh, that's probably OK if you're on holiday.
I am glad to say I enjoyed the day. Fun for me, and a LOT of fun for the kids. Do note there is a restriction on little kids going on the big slides. My 6 year old boy was just about big enough. I do hope the place stays open! It does not seem to get a huge amount of business. As I mentioned, maybe partly due to the cost, and certainly due to the location being so far from the main tourist beaches in Phuket. But the lack of a crowd suits me! It might be busier in high season, someone told me they went and had to queue for the big slides. No queues for us. Another good reason to come to Phuket in the low season along with the low hotel prices. It might rain a bit, but it's very rare that rain stops us from having a fun day.
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