Phuket Island is a dream destination for many overseas visitors who leave the island wanting to experience even more while others can leave feeling disappointed, particularly when it comes to the much-hyped beaches portraying silky white sands & azure blue waters. For some their expectations shattered after after booking a location & selecting an area with the wrong atmosphere or a beach that fails to meet their needs.
For most being close to the perfect beach is a priority, as much of their time will be spent in the sun enjoying water based activities including swimming, snorkelling & all manner of water sports. The first step in planning the perfect Phuket Island holiday is to find a beach that suits your needs.
Families with young children for example, prefer calm waters in sheltered bays providing plenty of shade. Adrenaline junkies like beaches where water sports are on offer such as jet ski hire, parasailing or speed boat rides.
1. Ao Sane Beach
Ao Sane Beach is a rock encrusted beach situated on Phuket Island's southwest coast. Ao Sane is small in comparison to the many other beaches on the island at just 200 metres in length. This beach is favoured by locals for its diving & snorkelling, its waters crystal clear. The beach is relatively free of hordes of tourists & there is plenty of shelter provided by its tree lined perimeter. The wide sandy beach has provides room for everyone to stretch out - even during the high season the beach is a peaceful place.
Ao Sane Beach features a number of simple bungalow structures with a restaurant which gives the area a community vibe. Alternatively the yacht club restaurant nearby is happy to welcome visitors. To access Ao Sane Beach head out to the Nai Harn Hotel. Drive through the hotel grounds to reach the parking area. From there its just a short walk down the hill.
2. Banana Beach
Known also as Banana Rock Beach or Haad Hin Gluai (to the locals), this stunning 200 metre long stretch of beach is named after the unique rock formation at the southern end of the beach. Situated between Nai Thon & Bang Tao Beaches its slightly north of the five star Trisara Resort. The beach features white powdery sand, coconut palms & its beautifully unique rock formation. The water is calm & clear, making this sheltered bay ideal for families with young children who enjoy swimming & snorkelling. A small restaurant serving up Thai staples can be found at the southern end of the beach.
3. Kata Noi Beach
Slightly south of Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach provides a natural & relaxing environment in comparison to its nearby beach neighbours. Kata Noi is a small inlet around 700 metres in length & is popular with locals & visitors alike. Although the facilities are limited, vendors can be found moving along the beach selling beverages & snacks. The beach has no public restrooms, but guests can utilise the facilities at nearby hotels. A few local street vendors sell snacks & beverages to beachgoers. Sun lounges & umbrellas are available at certain points along the beachfront providing shade from the sun's powerful rays.
4. Mai Khao Beach
Situated approximately 20 minutes by road from Phuket International Airport, Mai Khao Beach is the longest beach on Phuket Island, extending further than the eye can see - at a total of 11 kilometres. Beginning at Sirinath National Park extending through to Sai Kaew Beach, there's plenty of space where beachgoers can spend a day in relative isolation away, compared with many of Phuket Island's crowded beaches. Mai Khao beach is one of the few areas left on Phuket where the critically endangered Giant Leatherback Turtles come to lay their eggs. If you are lucky enough, you might just witness nature's wonder, the hatching of baby turtles on the beach.
5. Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Beach is located south of Kata Noi Beaches, north of Promthep Cape. The beach features a natural lagoon making it perfect for swimming. A wide variety of water sports can be enjoyed by young & old alike however swimmers should monitor conditions by remaining vigilant as surf lifesavers may hoist their red flags warning of the dangerous currents during the monsoon season between May to October. After spending a delightful day at Nai Harn Beach, head over to Promthep Cape to enjoy a beautiful sunset, fiery red & spectacular to witness. Nai Harn Beach is secluded, nestled between Bang Tao Bay & Nai Yang Beach.
6. Nai Thon Beach
Nai Thon Beach is a rare gem indeed on Phuket Island, due to its uniqueness compared to most other beach locations in that the surrounding landscape is free from development. Visitors to Nai Thon Beach will notice there's not a hotel or resort in sight making it an ideal location for a quiet day out at the beach. Around a 50 minute drive from Patong the ambience makes it well worth the effort to get there. Its for these reasons Nai Thon Beach is popular with the locals. The water is clear, making it a perfect spot for snorkelling & scuba diving. The rocky coves nestled along the shoreline are fun to explore.
7. Pon Beach
Pon Beach is known by the locals as Nai Yair Beach & is one of the rare beaches in Phuket which remains relatively untouched by development, aside from the luxury resort hotel which sits nestled in the clifftop above the beach. Pon Beach is a great location for snorkelling & bathing however the seabed is rocky & bathers should tread carefully. Fast fact: The land was formally owned by the Mayor of Patong & is now in the hands of developers. No doubt in the coming years the area will be developed & limited access for resort guests only, is inevitable.
8. Tri Trang Beach
Tri Tra beach is located slightly south of Patong approximately 3 kilometres away, yet it remains relatively free of crowds. Tri Trang has a northerly aspect & as a result the beach is drenched in sunshine throughout the day. The beach stretches approximately 500 metres in length & there are a number of restaurants serving delicious food throughout the day & into the night. Guests can access restaurant bathroom facilities for comfort breaks. Tri Trang Beach is a quiet location idealfor families who appreciate a desirable beach location, where you might be lucky enough to see its local identity (an elephant) bathing nearby. If accessing the beach on foot, simply follow the road at the southern end of Patong Beach until reaching the Merlin Beach Resort. To the left of the entry to the resort, there is a walkway leading directly to the beach.
9. Tristana Beach
The private beach enclave of Tristana Resort occupies prime beachfront & access is strictly enforced to maintain guest privacy. The naturally occurring cove shape reinforces its privacy making it completely enclosed to outsiders. Unless you have very deep pockets, then you can only dream of spending a night or two at the exclusive Tristana Resort.
10. Yae Beach
Situated only 5 kilometres from Patong Yae Beach is a 200 metre long beach. At anytime the beach is generally quiet when compared to many of the nearby beaches, & visitors to Yae Beach can find sun lounges for hire, a beach bar & restaurants & toilet facilities making it an ideal location in which to spend a day away. Much like many of the other beaches around, swimming is not recommended when the tide is low due to the rocky seabed, however snorkelling & swimming can be enjoyed at other times of the day.
If you'd like to get your hands on a copy of my free e-book 'The Phuket Beach Guide 2018' my 44 page guide listing all 38 beaches on Phuket Island in Thailand, click on the below image to download a copy.