The beach is never far away when you choose to rent a villa on one of Thailand's tropical islands. Many holiday properties actually sit right by their own stretch of sand. If you want to make the most of the location, you can always liven up a day of sunbathing with a few competitive beach games.
After a relaxing morning stroll and a laid back breakfast on your villa’s sun terrace, you might want to work off a few of those extra holiday calories with an active day on the beach.
For visitors staying in one of Thailand’s private holiday villa rentals, sand and sea are often within a stone’s throw of the garden, or at least a short drive away. Some villas even provide direct private access to the beach.
Whether you are on holiday with a group of friends or with your family; introducing a fun selection of beach activities during your stay is guaranteed to keep everyone entertained.
Below are a few seafront favourites.
Volleyball is without doubt the most popular ball game on the beach. All you really need to play is a ball, as you can simply draw a line in the sand if you don’t have a net to play with. You’ll need at least four players (two for each team) to make the contest interesting, and make sure you choose a stretch of soft sand, so that acrobatic twists, turns and leaps that don’t quite come off don’t cause any injuries. Beach volleyball offers an hour or two of irresistible seaside fun, and don’t be surprised if you make a few new friends on the beach whilst you’re playing.
Popular across Southeast Asia, takraw – as it is known in Thailand – is without doubt one of the best active games to enjoy on the beach. The game is thought to have originated from a Chinese military exercise in which soldiers had to kick a shuttlecock between each other without ever letting it touch the floor. Nowadays, a ball that was once crafted from rattan or bamboo looks more like a miniature football, and players can show off their agility by kicking it to one another over a net similar to a volleyball net. Again, if you don’t have a net handy, simply pick up a takraw ball from a local shop and draw a line in the sand… it will be just as much fun.
Every great children’s party includes a game of musical statues or musical chairs… but did you know there is also a game called musical towels? This works best if you have quite a few children to round up for a game – perhaps the kids from another villa on your private estate can join in? Arrange beach towels in a circle on the beach, folding them in half if necessary. Play some funky tunes through the villa sound system of on portable speakers and an iPod and then cut the music and see who wins the scramble for a towel. Anyone left towel-less must leave the game, and whoever is controlling the music removes one towel each time to eventually find a winner.
A beach treasure hunt might take a little bit of planning and preparation, but that's half the fun ans the result is an ideal activity for kids (and adults) who like to solve riddles and puzzles while running around the villa and beach. Start by burying “treasure” in a place that’s easy for you to remember. Then plant clues around the villa, garden and beach for individuals or teams to follow until they reach the prize at the end. Empty drinks bottles with clues rolled up inside will attract attention, and if you want to go all out, you could even start them off with a treasure map from inside the villa, with clues scattered all the way onto the beach.
Rock the Beach
If you prefer games of precision and aim to the fiery competition of volleyball and beach tennis, why not have a go at “rock the beach”, which is effectively a sandy version of boules or darts. Start by drawing a large circle in the sand with smaller concentric circles inside it. Each player should stand approximately five metres back from the circle and toss a rock, large pebble or sea shell into the middle. Whoever gets the closest to the middle of the circle wins. This is an ideal game if you’re searching for something more laid back in the heat of a tropical afternoon.