There is no denying that beaches are pure bliss! So, if you are looking for the ultimate beach break, get your sunscreen and sunglasses ready and head straight to Phuket beaches. Very few islands can stake a claim to such a treasure of beautiful sandy beaches and dazzling clear waters as Phuket, Thailand’s gorgeous and largest island place. Situated in Southern Thailand and with no less than 30 beaches, Phuket is popular for its stunning beaches, lively towns, world-class shopping and abundance of entertainment options. While a few beaches are crowded, there are many quiet ones, not to mention the hidden and secret ones too. Adventurous tourists can always embark on a quest to look for these secret Phuket beaches hidden across the island. The array of picturesque winding coastal roads bordering the west coast of Phuket island present many spectacular views and effortless entrée to some of the best beaches of the world.
Phuket Beach: The One and Only
Phuket Beach: The One and Only
There is so much that awaits a traveller at Phuket beaches! Whether one desires to savour the vibrant pace of Patong or sample perfect calm and solitude on a remote stretch of sand, Phuket beaches have it all. You can walk alone for miles enjoying a variety of scenery, fineness and textures of sand, atmospheres and facilities. There are plenty of travelling food sellers and restaurants nearby so that you don’t have to interrupt your ‘lying on the lounger and bronzing in the sun’ for lunch. You can wrap up your picture-perfect relaxing day by relishing the impressive nightlife. Feel alive at the host of lively bars and nightclubs that line the Phuket beaches. There are boat parties, full moon beach club parties to get your pulse accelerating. You can reserve a day for island-hopping as most of the islands are merely a boat-ride away from Phuket. You can explore the famous James Bond island, Koh Yao, Racha island, travel through Koh Phi Phi to reach the inhabited Bamboo island.
Even though Phuket enjoys a tropical climate, it may be a great idea to attempt a holiday to Phuket beaches from November to April to avoid the rainy days and to enjoy maximum sunshine. Tourists may find travelling to Phuket quite easy as it is just an hour and a half away via flight from Bangkok. There is an option of boarding a bus from Bangkok to reach Phuket, which may take around 13 hours. Alternatively, one can also take a bus from Phun Phin which will enable one to reach Phuket in 5 hours. There is no shortage of accommodations in Phuket ranging from luxurious hotels to cosy guesthouses to budget-friendly resorts catering to the needs of honeymooners, families and solo travellers.
With so many beaches around, it may be challenging to choose the most appealing beach in Phuket. For the simple reason that every individual likes a particular beach for different reasons. If you find yourself at your wits end with this, you can book the hotel in a more opportune beach like Patong, Kamala, Kata, Karon, Bangtao for convenience as these beaches have ample eateries, shops and nightlife and spend the day on a more out-of-the-way beach to enjoy peace and pristine waters like Nai Harn, Surin, Freedom.
Moreover, in recent times, Phuket beaches have been given a major redecoration since the government decided to sweep off commercial businesses, shanty restaurants, shabby old umbrellas, omnipresent plastic sun lounges from the beaches. You will still find adventure activities, beach vendors, sun lounges with umbrellas on the busier beaches but it is less invasive as compared to the earlier ‘getting-out-of-hand’ experience.
Let's take a look at some of the finest Phuket beaches:
An isolated beach, you are unlikely to find another beachgoer for miles together. Thus, it may be the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time or take a relaxing stroll along the clean and uncluttered shoreline which stretches up to 11 km, making it the longest of the Phuket beaches. It is also called the Sanambin Beach or Airport Beach due to its nearness to the airport. It starts where Nai Yang Beach ends, at Sirinath National Park and stretches north of Haad Sai Keow island. The northern part of the beach, Hat Sai Khao has a plantation of Casuarina trees alongside the shore. Though removed from Phuket’s busier scenes, it still has a notable choice of five-star hotels along its stretch like the Renaissance Phuket, Sala Phuket, Mai Khao Dreams Villas. But food vendors, beach chairs haven’t invaded the peaceful and deserted beach yet. Therefore, this untouched beach may prove to be a pleasing change in comparison to the cluttered beaches that lie towards the south of Phuket. Visitors often like to picnic at The National Park, especially on the weekends. Another favourite spot is to park at the end of Phuket Airport’s runway and watch the planes land as they cast their huge shadows on the alluring waters. Tourists may also like to check out the Wat Mai Khao Temple which lies hidden from the road and has a small bird sanctuary.
Kata Beach is one of the more popular beaches in Phuket, situated on its west coast, just south of Karon Beach. It is not so crowded as Patong and is a preferred family destination. It boasts of a white sandy beach with an astonishing blue sea and an iconic island placed in the mid of the sea facilitating excellent sunset pictures. With its enticing natural beauty and family-friendly facilities, it is an all-time favourite destination among tourists. It offers a great selection of dining venues, shops and a decent nightlife. Visitors may be pleasantly surprised at the range and level of cuisine they will get to relish at Kata Beach. There are many options for budget-friendly accommodations. This 1.5 km long beach includes three areas: Kata Centre, Kata South, Kata back road. Kata centre is the oldest area with an active nightlife and trendy restaurants and Beer bars. Kata South mainly comprises of the area surrounding two time-honoured hotels: The Boathouse and Kata Beach Resort. Other points of interest include Karon Viewpoint offering a lovely view of three bays, Kata Temple on Kata Beach back road, Dino Park- a mini-golf with a dinosaur theme and a cool volcano, Surf House Phuket- an artificial wave surf park.
Rawai Beach is at the southern-most end of Phuket. Although it is not your usual swimming beach, it presents many gorgeous views, serene surroundings and an exclusive local feel. It is the right place to enjoy fresh and delicious seafood as it houses the famous Rawai Seafood Market. It is exciting as one can buy or order any seafood they like from the shop and have it cooked in the close-by restaurant. The ideal way to enjoy seafood would be the way locals do; eating on mats that are placed on the floor. Or you can relish it in a setting sitting underneath the casuarina trees with the nearby islands in sight. Rawai Beach’s strategic location offers the perfect starting point to indulge in island hopping. Various long-tail boats and speedboats are available for hire if one wishes to do fishing, snorkelling or arrange a trip to nearby islands. Also, visitors may find it interesting to explore the ‘Gypsy Village’ inhabited by time-worn fishermen who live in rather precarious houses and making a living off boat chartering, fishing and selling shells. Other prominent attractions include Gypsy Village Seafront which sells local pearls and shells, Phuket Shell Museum, Promthep Cape View Point well-known for its outstanding sunsets.
Also called the ‘Millionaire’s Row’, Surin Beach is naturally beautiful. It houses several high-end luxury resorts and celebrity haunts like Twinpalms, Amanpuri, The Surin which dominate the key spots on the hilltops overseeing the Andaman Sea. Nonetheless, it is not a crowded resort town but more like a seaside village. Its clean white sand and amazing turquoise water make this spectacular beach popular with tourists. During the peaceful months, Surin’s waters are ideal for kayaking or snorkelling. Surfing and boogie boarding are some of the other popular activities. However, it is advisable to take care while swimming during the low season as the tides can become rough and robust. Surin also has a golf course which is now being re-established as a public park. Few worth visiting shops include Lemongrass which sells massage and spa products, Ginger- a fashion shop, Plaza.
This 2.5 km of bustling beach destination is the perfect place to party with its thriving nightlife, hundreds of first-class bars, night clubs, Go-Go bars and restaurants. It the heart of Phuket beaches, bright, loud and wild. It is the most famed and busiest beach in Phuket that offers a wide variety of attractions and shopping opportunities. It houses Phuket’s biggest shopping mall, Jungceylon along with interesting night markets. The nightlife mainly blooms around Soi Bangla, Bangla Road. If you want to get an idea of its legendary nightlife, take a stroll down the Bangla Walking Street during the night. You will instantly understand why it holds that distinction. Visitors may find the neon lights, steaming hot streets, lively atmosphere very fascinating and a bit overwhelming. The star attraction, unquestionably, remains its beach. The magnificent sandy shore is easily accessible and presents a massive choice of activities. The northern end of the beach is prettier with clear blue water, palm trees and less busy. The southern end is home to an old-fashioned village where visitors will find longtail boats parked. When it comes to dining venues, visitors will be spoilt-for-choices. Patong has great culinary options ranging from fast food to beachfront dining to food courts. With so many exciting things to do and see, rooftop bars, world-class nightclubs, beach clubs, there is never a dull moment in Patong!
Kamala Beach lies north of Patong and has a relaxed and peaceful vibe which makes it a favoured place among tourists. The beach is a well-enclosed bay that is encircled by forested hills rendering it unparalleled natural scenic beauty. Towards the south of the headland, there are many luxury villas from where visitors can enjoy fascinating views of the Kamala Bay and yonder. The uncluttered beach has a distinct niche which attracts tourists who want to be away from the crowds and relax in a tranquil environment. Its nightlife is also about fun shows and family-friendly events, the most notable being the Phuket FantaSea Show. The pleasant beach is full of both high-end (Café del Mar Phuket, HQ Beach Lounge) and budget-friendly restaurants catering to all kinds of tastes ranging from European flavours to local Thai food. There are some excellent beachfront dining options offering “toes-in-the-sand” dine and drink experience. Shopping opportunities are more local-centric, giving visitors an honest Thai experience. This charming beach has something interesting to do all year round from surfing (May to November), snorkelling (December to April) to spa treatments, visiting the temple or watching the fishermen cast their fishing nets.
If you wish for a brilliant beach holiday, you can’t go wrong with Bangtao Beach. One of the longest Phuket beaches, the Bang Tao Beach stretching 6 km in length is so large that its most part lies deserted. Its northern end is very peaceful untouched by development with few odd beach bars while the southern end is home to most hotels and beach clubs. Visitors can enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Layan Beach at the northern end. The waters remain clear and clam from November to April while it tends to get rougher from May to October. The shore has hardly any rocks which make the spot ideal for cooling dips between sun bronzing sessions. This sleepy place has a laidback vibe which makes it an ideal place to spend some peaceful time with yourself and nature. If you wish to seek some lively activity, you can always travel to the southern end where the atmosphere is energetic yet family-friendly. It is home to some of the world’s best restaurants and beach clubs. This delightful place is a captivating blend of luxurious resorts at one hand and a time-worn town where people still make their living doing age-old things like farming, fishing and rubber tapping. Occupying the middle of the beach is one of Asia’s biggest resort complexes, Laguna Phuket, which houses many fashionable boutique shops, Villa Supermarket, first-class restaurants and weekly night market. Other attractions during the high season include water skiing, paragliding, banana boat, jet skiing, surfing, horse riding.
The third-longest among the Phuket beaches, Karon Beach, is 5 km long with clean white sand and clear waters. Located on the western seashore between Patong and Kata, Karon Beach is a distinguished beach destination in Phuket. Its northern end is quite deserted so that one can have the beach to oneself and enjoy some quiet time. The southern end of the beach is comparatively busier and more animated. The high season which lasts from November to April has the waters crystal clear with very few waves while from May to October the beach tends to swell dangerously. Lucky travellers can spot the occasional sea turtles who usually visit at night-time to lay their eggs. The beach has many Thai seafood restaurants but apart from Beach Restaurant and Ruen Thep Seafood one may not find any ‘right on the beach’ dining venue. Visitors may like to check out resort restaurants like El Gaucho and Ciao Bistro to sample Thai cuisine. They can also enjoy motorised water sports like jet skiing, wakeboarding, water skiing, banana boats and parasailing. Windsurfing is also a preferred activity on Karon Beach for it has ideal conditions and ample space for manoeuvring. Sea kayaks, snorkelling, Hobie cats, beach volleyball are other beach activities that are available. Though Karon beach’s constantly shifting sandbanks make surfing a bit difficult. Karon Beach’s nightlife is not as wild and vibrant as Patong but visitors can still enjoy a good time at a few happening clubs and Irish bars. The beach is also home to the most family-friendly hotels among Phuket beaches, boasting of excellent facilities, fantastic location and great service.
Beach bum or not, Phuket beaches with its natural beauty, dramatic landscape, rainforests, pristine waters, tropical weather should be on your must-see list of travel destination. Any tourist choosing Phuket beaches as the holiday destination will never find a dull moment here owing to the plethora of activities and happenings to explore and experience. It is the ideal leisure land offering miles of striking beaches, remarkable waterfalls, jungle-covered hinterland with caves and exotic animals. And if this isn’t enough, tourists can also undertake several thrilling and fun adventures like bungee jumping, zip-lining, ATV riding, water zorbing and so on. You can have your dream vacation, relax, unwind, indulge yourself to the hilt, rejuvenate in the idyllic surroundings and much more here. Phuket beaches in all their sunny, glistening glory with amazing attractions truly look like the ideal travel brochure snapshots making it the go-to providence.