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Interested in a unique triathlon experience? Try these tips for training, racing and exploring in and around Phuket, Thailand.
Stay in pampered style at Laguna Phuket (Lagunaphuket.com), a 1,000-acre tropical paradise of reclaimed parkland housing seven deluxe hotels along Phuket’s crescent-shaped Bang Tao Beach. The resort will host Challenge Laguna Phuket at the end of this year.
Eager to try off-resort eats? A short soft-sand stroll leads to lively Lotus Restaurant and Bar (Lotusphuket.com), where you can feast on numerous Thai seafood dishes after choosing your catch from the restaurant’s tanks. You’ll be tempted by lobster with panang curry, or tiger prawns with tamarind sauce. Relax (and carbo-load) with a local Chang beer while soaking in stunning sunset views across the Andaman Sea.
Your massage budget will stretch for miles in Phuket. Wander to the beachfront at the Dusit Thani Hotel and you’ll find an open-air stall where, for roughly $16, skilled practitioners will cater a treatment to suit your needs.
Craving an early crack at the swim course? Test the water anytime during training in Bang Tao Bay, or try the organized Open Water Swim Competition, held on Thursday afternoon of the Ironman 70.3 race week.
Athletes interested in a short- or long-term training base in Thailand should look no further than Phuket’s Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club (Thanyapura.com), a world-class sports and wellness facility where you’ll find a 50-meter pool, a fully equipped gym, a sports-centered hotel, organic dining options and a focus on mind-body balance. Ironman legend Jurgen Zack heads up Thanyapura’s triathlon program with champion-level coaching.
Take a break from the bike and opt for a once-in-a-lifetime ride atop an elephant. Kok Chang Safaris (Kokchangsafari.com), known for their respectful treatment of the graceful beasts, offers 50-minute elephant jungle treks for 1,000 Thai Baht (about $31).