Fun and thrill in the Sunshine Strip

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From a sleepy fishing village in the ‘60s, Pattaya has grown into what it is now — a world-class beach destination. And one thing that has contributed to its worldwide appeal, apart from its dynamic nightlife, is watersports. Despite the rise in prominence of other beach destinations in the country, such as Phuket and Koh Samui, Pattaya has stood its ground as the place to go for watersports.

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Arguably it is now – in fact, always has been — the watersports capital of Thailand. Windsurfers from around the world come here to surf, thanks to its good sailing conditions. While the waves here are not that strong compared to those in Hawaii or Florida, many enthusiasts still enjoy coming over because Pattaya, particularly Jomtien Beach, is one of the few places in southeast Asia where enough wind blows year round.

During summer, while much of the region basks in sunlight and the beaches are full, Jomtien Beach, sometimes referred to as Pattaya’s Sunshine Strip, teems with amateur and professional windsurfers seeking to hone their skills. What makes Jomtien the favorite among foreign surfers is that it has a long coast and wind speed in the area is relatively the same year round. Also, there is little in the way of rocks or coral to watch out for in Jomtien. Due to this favorable environment, Jomtein has been host to a number of local and international windsurfing competitions.

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But windsurfing isn’t all that this resort city can offer. Another popular beach activity in Jomtien is parasailing. Like windsurfing, parasailing relies on wind. And the wind speed is perfect for parasailing. Parasailing is something that few have even dreamed about, much less tried. “My heart started to beat faster once the boat turned slowly. Suddenly, the parachute took me higher, causing an air-pocket effect,” said a first-time parasailer. “My knees felt rubbery. There was an unexplainable sensation to the whole thing. You practically felt like a bird. And it’s just great,” he added. Indeed, the sport gives those up in the air a different perspective of everything on the ground, and definitely a natural high.

How does one get to fly and watch the world while in Pattaya? Simple. Just go to the beach and ask for the parasailing team to attach the harness to your waist. Don’t forget to wear swimming goggles for eye protection. Then, get into the water and wait to be lifted to the sky. While up there, feel the wind and the freedom, and enjoy the breathtaking bird’s-eye view of Pattaya below. There are many other watersports to try here in Pattaya. They include water skiing, riding jet-ski, water scooter or banana boat, diving, kite-sailing, kayaking, cable skiing, and deep-sea fishing. So while in Pattaya, experience what many can only dream about. Take to the beach and go for some thrills that only the Sunshine Strip in Pattaya can offer.

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