Five Best Beaches of Phuket
Justifiably renowned as one of the world’s premier tropical resort destinations, Phuket blends natural beauty with popular on and offshore attractions and countless tourist activities. Thailand’s largest island and just an hour’s flight from Bangkok, it is home to over 30 outstanding beaches that draw sun seekers from around the world to enjoy the white sands and gently lapping blue waters. But which are considered the best beaches in Phuket?
Given that locals know best we spoke to Matthew Hindemarch of The Aksara Collection http://www.aksaracollection.com/ and long time resident of Phuket during his recent visit to South Africa, and asked him to name his five favourite Phuket beaches. These are the ones Matthew highlighted and recommends.
- Patong Beach
No visit to Phuket would be complete without time in Patong, the island’s most famous beach resort. With its wide variety of activities and lively nightlife it has an established reputation as the best place to party and there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to enjoy, especially along Banga Road. Just minutes away the golden Patong beach is ideal for sunbathing, jet skiing, kayaking and parasailing. At 3 or 4 kilometers long, it is often crowded in the middle part and you’d be ambitious to think you’ll find parking, even for a bike. But the northern part of the beach is often much less populated. Lovers of leisure can spend the day relaxing on a sunbed or enjoying a cocktail or foot massage from one of the vendors who regularly stroll along the sands.
- Kata and Karon Beaches
A popular alternative to Patong beach, these quieter and less crowded beaches offer a more serene alternative. Karon beach or in local name Hat Karon is the longest beach on Phuket island and recognised for its beautiful fine sand and peaceful atmosphere. Kata Beach is a friendly bay just a few minutes south of Karon Beach and ideal for families with children. An all-round favourite due to its palm-lined shoreline, great restaurants, lively nightlife and traditional beach resorts. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata’s waves and from November to April the beach come to life with sunbathers. Kata Beach is split into two focal areas, Kata Centre at the northern end close to Karon, and Kata South. Give both a try.
- Mai Khao Beach
Situated north of Sirinat National Park headquarters on the northwest coast of Phuket near the Phuket Airport, the island’s longest stretch of beach at 11km is still blissfully undeveloped with only a couple of hotels to be seen. The sand of Mai Khao Beach, which translates as ‘white wood’ is possibly the roughest of any on Phuket but given that it is mostly deserted this is where you come to walk for hours without seeing a single soul. It is important to note that a sharp drop off into the Andaman Sea makes swimming between May to November dangerous here. Known for it’s turtle preservation projects, there is a Turtle Releasing Festival here every Songkran or Thai New Year.
- Nai Thon Beach
Good fortune has this beautiful stretch of sand overlooked by most resort developers, making Nai Thon beach an ideal spot to enjoy a quiet swim away from the masses. The scenic drive there is on a narrow road that takes you through some of the island’s last remaining virgin jungle and when approaching from the North you pass through a Thai village and lush green valley that will delight you even before you reach the beach. Perfect for recreation and swimming the long bay is encircled by high hills and shaded tropical plants. Activities include exploring the rocky coves only accessible by long-tail boat and scuba diving, which can be arranged at the dive shop on the Beach Road.
- Laem Sing Beach
Tucked away on the West Coast of the island, Laem Singh Beach is one of Phuket’s most beautiful and can be found between Kamala and Surin beaches. Located in a bay lined with palm trees and strewn with giant boulders, it has the feeling of a secret beach yet to be discovered. The northern part is excellent for body boarding, while the swimming and snorkelling is better in the southern part of the beach, with loads of marine life to be see around the rocky headland that separates the beach from Kamala Bay. It can be a bit tricky to reach but making the effort richly rewards.
Of course, the best way to pick a favourite beach is to spend enough time on the popular island to try them all out. Bear in mind that with a tropical climate, the weather in Phuket varies between warm, cool and rainy. It never really gets cold though. The high tourist season is from November to February when it’s cool and dry, after which it remains hot until May. Monsoon season begins mid-May and goes on until October, although even then the beaches can be enjoyed.