Phuket is a South Thailand Province, that consists of Phuket (the island) and 32 smaller islands off the coast. Due to its location, Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate and can be dangerous to visit during the months of May to October. The best times to visit are during November to February when it is cooler and drier.
Your beach trips to Phuket can be upgraded with some accessories and equipment, if you desire so. You can choose to rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and tables for 200 Baht a day, or rent jet skis, snorkeling equipment and go parasailing for around 800 Baht per person.
Known for the clear, white sand beaches and cool breezes, Phuket is the perfect beach destination for the sun-seekers. Although the "best" beach is subjective and based off of personal interests, here is a list of our top 10:
- Kata and Kata Noi
- Nai Harn
- Mai Khao
Freedom Beach is a secret hideaway that ensures privacy because of its secluded nature. Even though it is difficult to get to the location (you must walk through a jungle or take a small boat to reach it), it is definitely worth the trek.
Its quaint size of being 300m long makes it seem like an isolated beach, and visitors always comment on the refreshing feel of the crisp air, clear sea and thick green bushes that line the beach. Since Freedom Beach is private, there are no local or corporate dining establishments nearby. However, there is a family owned cafe directly on the beach that serves a variety of food, drinks and wine. Travelers are encouraged to bring their own food and snacks, or perhaps pack a picnic for an enjoyable afternoon!
Kata and Kata Noi
Kata and Kata Noi are sister beaches, close to the west coast of Phuket, that can only be reached by boat. Kata Beach runs around 1.5 km long while Kata Noi (literally meaning little Kata) is beside at only 700m. Kata beach is near to Kata Centre, a central hub featuring plenty of stalls and street vendors.
At Kata beach, you will never have to worry about finding a private and secluded location as it is big enough for you to find a private place away from the crowd. There are plenty of adventure packages available, and the clear waters and small waves make Kata Beach ideal for snorkeling and surfing. Kata Noi, on the other hand, is much quieter and smaller than Kata Beach itself, providing a private island feel.
Kata Beach has no tall buildings around, giving a perfect view of the scenery and enough shade from the palm trees to cool down while sunbathing. There are no restaurants or bars on the beach itself but there are many on the hills behind, that are within walking distance, and have great views of the region as a whole. Visitors will find a wide array of dining options, from budget street food to fine dining restaurants depending on their preferences. There also a variety of souvenir shops, marts and fashion stores to browse through.
At the southern end of Patong Beach, the water isn't as clear, but there is a small fishing village in the south where water activities can be played with. For the adventurers, it is cheap to rent jet skis, para-sails and snorkeling equipment! There is no parking space available so you will need to get to Patong Beach ideally by walking or taking a taxi. At the center of Patong beach is a central location that is convenient for exploring nearby beaches as well. Near the northern edges of the coast, it is quieter with less people.
Patong is the most popular tourist area in Phuket and also known as Asia's best nightlife. Patong means "the forest filled with banana leaves". It has become popular because of the large amount of crowds it attracts; depending on whether or not you enjoy crowds will determine if Patong is worth the hype in your eyes. Since Patong is the main tourist hub of Phuket, plenty of restaurants can be found around the area. Because it is such a cosmopolitan place, it attracts visitors from around the world and offers a diverse selection of choices for food.
Dining in Patong ranges from street carts selling kebabs and sticky rice to award-winning fine dining restaurants. There are also Thai food courts that provide the best of both worlds, middle budget food with relaxing ambiance. We recommend trying local Thai favorites such as green curry and Pad Thai for an authentic taste adventure!
Karon Beach is located on the west coast, between Patong and Kata to the north and south, respectively. Karon has three main areas. There is the Karon Center which is a small but lively city where there is an assortment of dining, shopping and nightlife as well as a temple. Karon Beach Road is where most hotels and resorts are, and Luang Poh Chuan Road is near the Southern end of the beach which has an excellent nightlife.
Karon Beach is the second longest beach in all of Phuket, making it an ideal destination for those who enjoy taking long strolls. It is also composed of white sand which is ideal for children who want to make sandcastles. Although it is the second longest beach in Phuket, it does not ever feel overcrowded and has plenty of room for those who want to partake in water sports such as snorkeling and diving. Other than the beautiful beach, there is not much around the area to explore, other than the Temple and small markets.
Kamala Beach is situated a distance north of the lights, noise and tourists of central Patong, creating a more peaceful and relaxed feel on this beach. It has an enclosed bay and fishing village that is surrounded by forested hills.
Kamala Beach is extremely family friendly. It is safe for swimming and has beautiful white sands that are ideal for building sandcastles. Since it is located in a quieter place, it is the preferred place for the older audience who are heading towards retirement. Rarely will you see loud teenagers or a wild nightlife happening around. There are plenty of nice beach huts, restaurants, cafes, shopping and hotels within the immediate area.
Bangtao is located a few minutes drive away from the small town of Cherngtalay but it's also easily accessible by foot.
Bangtao covers a 6 km radius, and is in the center of Laguna Phuket, which is one of Asia's largest resort complexes. If visitors can find the areas that have been untouched by development so far, they may feel like they are on a private beach. It is not uncommon to see locals nearby - fishing and farming. There are a few bars and restaurants nearby, but not to many options. Bangtao is a good location for families with small children who want to spend half a day away on a quiet and secluded beach.
Surin Beach lies on the west coast of Phuket and is a well-known location amongst high-end holidaymakers.
Surin Beach is also known as the "Millionaire's Row" because of the celebrities who frequent the area, and the large assortment of luxury resorts. Even though this beach is extremely popular within the tourist community, it is not a busy resort town and is more like a coastal village. This beach is great for relaxation as there are fine grains of white sand and turquoise waters with small waves. It used to be a popular destination for beach clubs and restaurants, but is no even more lively with the occupancy of trendy beach clubs. Although swimming is great during the high season, it can be rough and is not recommended for the low season.
Nai Harn is a hidden white beach with smooth sand, tucked between green hills and tiny islands in the South Phuket. The southern part of the Nai Harn beach ends with a small stream coming from the lake across the road and you will have to go inside the water to reach the other side.
Nai Harn used to be a hidden beach that was only known by the locals. Since its "discovery", however, it has retained its charm by opening very few hotels, restaurants and shops, granting it invisible from tourism. In the off season (November to April), this beach is ideal for swimming and water activities. However, during May to October, the calm seas are replaced with strong currents, making it ideal for wave sports but dangerous for swimmers. A bit south of Nai Harn is another beach called Ya Nui, which has a cove that is perfect for snorkelers.
Mai Khao is a popular beach found on the northwest coast of Phuket that stretches 11km long. It is in an undeveloped part of the Sirinat National Park, where the only noticeable buildings around it are the Marriott Resort and the International Airport nearby.
Mai Khao is distinguishable by its sand (Mai Khao translates to white wood) and is the coarsest sand out of all Phuket beaches. This beach, although beautiful, is not recommended for families or those who are inexperienced with swimming. It can be particularly dangerous when swimming because there is a sharp and unexpected drop into the sea, just a short distance into the water. There are no sun beds, towels, umbrellas or gift shops nearby, so make sure to pack well and bring your beach essentials if visiting!
Paradise Beach is on the last stretch of the Patong Beach Road towards Amari Phuket and around 5 kilometers southwest of the center of the city. Be careful when driving down this steep and winding road - it can get quite dangerous.
The beach itself is tiny, a mere 150 meters long, but is compact and directly across from Patong Bay, creating beautiful views of the city. There are natural wonders such as palm trees, tropical almonds, large granite rocks and a coral reef. Water sports are not allowed on this beach, making the atmosphere and ambiance of Paradise Beach fairly quiet and relaxing. There are amenities nearby such as beach volleyball and access to water sport rentals (snorkeling, diving etc) for a neighboring beach directly beside it.
We hope that you learned more about our top 10 beaches in Phuket! We know that you will have an enjoyable time at whichever beach you decide to visit!