Phuket ATV is the most well-established ATV Company in Thailand. Set in 350 acres of wild and fluctuating terrain containing rubber trees, mangroves, hillocks, beaches and jungle, the opportunities here for four-wheel adventure are seemingly limitless.
On arrival at the ATV camp we get fitted out with helmets and gloves then, after a safety briefing on the workings of an ATV, our tour guide leads us in figures of eight on a flat piece of ground while we accustom ourselves to the machines (I’m told to relax a little more and to use the footbrake instead of the handbrake). We learn to decelerate into the many gullies and to accelerate out of them.
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After a short while, Charles, our English-speaking guide/trainer leads us through some more difficult terrain and it becomes obvious that our 150cc Yamaha ATVs can handle just about anything – in effect it’s the rider’s skills that are tested more than the vehicle. The ATV is designed so that the handlebars cannot snag or bump against trees and other obstacles – rather, the tyres take the impact and it’s almost impossible to overturn.
Pretty soon we notice more and more sand along the trail and in moments we’re in mangroves then all of a sudden on the beach itself. Here, Charles points out the sights, nearby islands and fauna and then we head back to base camp for a 10-minute breather.
The second hour is much more challenging and is spent careening down narrow jungle tracks, up and down inclines and squelching through muddy puddles “Keep a constant speed through mud,” Charles advises. We then stop by a rubber tree for a quick demonstration in how to obtain the white liquid that eventually is processed into Latex sheets. Soon it’s time to get cleaned up at the extensive bathrooms. We’ve been ‘lucky’ today in that there was no rain but Charles insists that the rainier it is the more fun there is to be had.
In fact it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that riding an ATV is Phuket’s most fun rainy day activity. Lastly, we kit up and fly down a wire suspended over a lake to land near the home base – this is the Flying Fox, an exciting climax to a very fun morning.
The schedule for our two-hour ATV session is:
• Briefing: A staff member shows us how to start, drive and brake the ATV
• Training: Figures of eight, learning how to speed up, slow down
• Separate into groups according to ability
• Stopping along the way to take in sights and fauna
• Ten-minute break on the hour
• Second hour more challenging trails are followed
• Flying Fox and soft drinks/fruit
What to Take Along
• Protective suntan lotion
• Rough and ready clothing
• Mosquito repellant
• Flip flops – take sports shoes
• Expensive clothes
There are many permutations of the ATV experience: You can ride as a passenger, you can enjoy one-hour or even three-hour outings. As mentioned, groups split up according to individuals’ abilities so if you’re after exciting challenges or you prefer to take it easy you can do either.
Children from eight years old can drive and ATV while passengers as young as four can go along if accompanied by a parent. This is recreational sport rather than competitive with a premium on safety and thus ATV Phuket enjoys an excellent accident-free record.
ATVs are forbidden by Thai law to drive on public roads. ATV Phuket is in full accordance with this law.
Phuket ATV Tour
- Remarks: Ask your hotel if you wish to book this tour
- Tel: +66 (0)76 617 747