Case Study: Promoting Thai Culture Through a Water Park—Andamanda
Phuket. The name of this famed international destination in Thailand conjures scenes of postcard beaches, fancy resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Its massive popularity, however, also leaves visitors longing for something more culturally authentic and at the same time, appealing to all ages.
Opened in May 2022, Andamanda water park fills this gap.
According to Proudputh Liptapanlop, Executive Director of Proud Group: “I don’t believe in doing something which is already being done in the market. My goal is to do things that are better and more unique; finding that gap within the market—something that people still want but not available at the moment.”
That “something” that has not been done before is creating the best overall guest experience in a water park that promotes the magic of Thai culture, architecture, and mythology.
Photo credit: Andamanda Phuket
Five Zones for a Uniquely Thai Water Park Experience
Covering 9.8 hectares of land, Andamanda is not just a water park; it’s the best of Phuket in one place. Featuring 21 attractions, including 32 water slides—all from WhiteWater—it is the beginning of a larger entertainment complex that would include a 300-room hotel, restaurants, and retail.
With the park’s name paying homage to the Andaman Sea, where the island of Phuket lies, Andamanda’s five distinct zones are also themed and named to reflect the region it is in. Treating guests like royalty, they begin their day at The Pearl Palace, a welcoming center in traditional Thai architecture, where they purchase tickets and enter the changing rooms.
From there, guests will explore both family and thrill attractions in four zones, with the master planning and schematic design for the park provided by WhiteWater’s Design Services team.
Photo credit: Andamanda Phuket
The zones are:
- Coral World, which reminds of the natural treasures in the Andaman Sea
- Emerald Forest, referring to the nearby Khao Sok National Park
- Naga Jungle, with Naga being a mythical serpent that is a revered guardian spirit in Southeast Asia
- The Great Andaman Bay, with features that mimic the Andaman Sea
In addition, The Village is where guests can find not only Thai gourmet but a floating market that is a hallmark of Thai heritage. Not to be missed is an outdoor theater for cultural performances. In keeping with the goal of creating an immersive cultural experience, every water slide tower is built as a concrete structure to allow for detailed theming
Families with children will find hours of entertainment in Coral World. That’s because it features a RainFortress 6—an interactive aquatic play structure with more than 220 jets and play features and houses eight slides of varying thrills, from 1 to 6 meters high. Themed with creatures from the Andaman Sea, Coral World also offers fun AquaSplash toys and a shallow pool with four kids’ slides that are gentle yet exciting for the little ones. Surrounding this family-friendly zone is a 550-meter lazy river—the longest in the country.
In the midst of the lush green that imitates the nearby national park, this zone features Dueling Master Blasters—a side-by-side version of the world’s most popular inner tube water coaster. Launching from a tower decorated with a mythical flying being called Kinnaree, two flumes start at a height of 14 meters and take dueling riders through steep drops and uphill blasts, for a total of over 250 meters of screams and laughter.
Contrasting nicely with the long Master Blaster flumes are the Drop Slides. These short slides allow riders to catch big air before splashing into the pool, creating the perfect repeatable photo opportunities.
Also in this zone is another repeatable activity: flowboarding. FlowRider® is the world’s most well-known surf machine, and it beckons guests to come back again and again to improve their skills. Strategically placed next to the Sand Bar, spectators can enjoy drinks while watching two guests on the FlowRider Double, separated by an inflatable divider, do dropknee 360° tricks or wipe out simultaneously.
Two high-thrill slide towers are found in the Naga Jungle zone. These, of course, also reflect Thai architectural theming.
The Suriyan Tower, named after the sun, hosts a six-lane Whizzard mat racer. This visually stunning structure is appropriately coloured with yellows, oranges, and reds. Its competitive environment increases repeat ridership between challengers who want to try for different results.
Whizzard, photo credit: Andamanda Phuket
The Chantra Tower, named after the moon, has cooler, bluish tones. It is the starting point for four of the most daring slides in the park. Speed Slide takes the rider down a steep drop in an open flume and then through another gut-wrenching zero gravity crest. Meanwhile, guests on AquaDrop and two AquaLoops begin their heart-pounding experience already inside the AquaLaunch capsule, where a countdown is announced before the trapdoor opens to a free fall. While AquaDrop sends the rider straight down, AquaLoop takes the rider through a gravity-defying 360-degree loop—and earns them bragging rights.
The Great Andaman Bay
The centerpiece of The Great Andaman Bay—and the water park—is the 10,000-square meter surf wave pool that can produce waves up to 3 meters high. It aims to recreate the feeling of being in the middle of the Andaman Sea, with no less than a replica of James Bond Island—the original of which is a limestone karst tower that is an obligatory photo motif for every tourist in Phuket.
Also found in this zone are two slide towers. The family raft ride complex hosts a Bubba Tub, which is like the Speed Slide but for a raft with six people. With tons of over-the-edge wall time, surprise drops, and twisting turns, this is a thrilling family experience that allows children to feel safe at the same time as they sit side by side with their parents.
This slide complex also launches the iconic Boomerango ride, where up to six guests take a raft ride down a sharp curve and then a steep drop into a near-vertical wall for a moment of stomach-tickling weightlessness, before zooming back down over an unexpected bump and into a pool, finishing with lots of giggles.
The second slide tower is home to four inner tube rides: two Open & Enclosed, one Rattler, and one Constrictor. From a height of 12.5 meters, two beautifully mirroring Open & Enclosed inner tube slides launch riders down sharp curves and 360-degree turns. Next to these twin slides is the Constrictor with not one, not two, but three coiling sections that send riders on high-banking curves. The fourth slide drops riders into 360-degree turns and into the belly of a Rattler, shaking them up with a zigzagging descent of fast, near-vertical oscillations.
By promoting Thai heritage through a water park and creating an immersive cultural experience for local and international guests of all ages, Andamanda was undoubtedly one of the most celebrated openings in the world in 2022.
See also the Andamanda project page here.