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What to do on Mai Khao Beach?

Mai Khao is the longest beach in Phuket, and because it is part of the Sirinath National Park, it still looks in some parts as deserted as when we first visited it in 1990. A few luxury hotels appeared at a respectable distance from the beach, but there are no beach chairs, no umbrellas and no food vendors in sight, except at the south end when the planes land over the beach. It might just be a question of time, but you can still walk 11 kilometres or more and only meet three local people fishing.

What to Do in Mai Khao?

Mai Khao Beach starts at Sirinath National Park, where Nai Yang Beach ends, and runs for eleven kilometres to the very north of the island at Sai Keow beach, close to the Sarasin Bridge. There are a few highlights worth mentioning in Mai Khao, excluding those five-star resorts.

The Beach

Mai Khao Beach in Phuket

The immense and natural beach is obviously the main reason why travellers choose to visit or even stay here. The beach is an eleven kilometres long stripe of white sand with a clear warm blue ocean during the high season. The sand is a little more coarse than on the southern beaches but it still soft and beautiful. The beach has remained untouched and there are no jet skis, parasailing, beach chairs or vendors.

Plane Spotting

Plane Spotting in Phuket

Then our favourite spot is to watch the planes landing at the very end of the runway of Phuket International Airport. It’s a bit of a walk in the sun, but it is awe-inspiring and loud. They get close to the beach, as you can see in the photos, and watching these monsters casting their massive shadow on the turquoise water is just amazing.

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Baan Ar Jor House Museum

Baan Ar Jor is a hotel, a restaurant and a museum with a long history that started in 1936. This house has always been one of the most mysterious old mansions of Phuket, standing lonely near Mai Khao Beach in the north of Phuket.

Address: 102 Thep Kasattri Road, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Open: 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: 062 459 8889
Price: 200 baht

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Splash Jungle Waterpark

Couple ride at Splash Jungle Water Park on Mai Khao Beach

Next to the Phuket Airport is the Splash Jungle Waterpark, Decent in size, it probably won’t impress you if you are a waterpark fan. Few attractions include sliding down tunnels and spinning funnels, a quite impressive high slider, and an artificial waves pool. Kids love it anyway, but the entry fee is high.

Address: 65 Soi Mai Khao 4, Tambon Mai Khao, Phuket 83110
Open: 10 am – 5.45 pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Phone: 076 372 111
Price: 1,850 baht per adult, 950 baht per child (5-12 years old)
Free of charge for children under five years old

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M Beach Club

M Beach Club Phuket on Mai Khao Beach

Address: 231, Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Open: 12 pm – 12 am
Phone: 076 336 111

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Wat Mai Khao

The Mai Khao Temple is less known but worth a photo (Wat Mai Khao). The temple itself is tucked away from the road. It doesn’t have any particular architectural interest, but it hides a little treasure: a small bird sanctuary hidden in the park behind it. Surrounded by a protective wall, a small lake with trees growing in the water is the shelter for many white birds, probably cattle egrets. Since it is quite a strict temple, it’s not recommended just to drive through.

Nai Yang Beach

Nai Yang Beach Phuket

Just south of Maikhao is the calm and relaxing Nai Yang Beach, a vast sandy crescent and shallow water. Since Mai Khao doesn’t have any facilities on the beach, Nai Yang is just a short drive away, and the many restaurants on the beach are perfect for slowly enjoying cocktails and Thai dinner with a sunset.

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Sports Wake Park (IWP)

Address: 49/12 Soi Mo Yiam, Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 081 538 4003

Soi Dog Foundation

Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket

Soi Dog Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping street dogs and cats around Phuket, Thailand and beyond, spaying and neutering them to avoid proliferation and rescuing injured and abandoned animals.

Address: Moo 4 167/9 Mai Khao 10, Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Hours: 9 am – 11:30 am, 1 pm – 3:30 pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
Phone: 076 681 029
Website: https://www.soidog.org

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Baby Turtle Release

Baby turtle release in Phuket

Once a year on Mai Khao Beach, during Songkran Festival, you might be lucky to witness the baby turtle release, usually supported by one of the nearby resorts. It is a magic moment and a fun experience to sponsor one of the baby turtles and bring it yourself near the water. Unfortunately, we all know that the chances to see these turtles coming back are relatively thin.

Sirinath National Park

The National Park, where locals like to picnic or camp for the weekend with kids playing all day in the water, is not very large nor very interesting, but park ranges will ask for a 200 Baht fee at the entrance (or 40 if you are a local or an expat). If you plan to cross to Nai Yang Beach, you better take the other road a bit farther from the airport.

Where to Stay in Mai Khao?

Despite being a national park, a few properties and resorts appeared, which are excellent. We loved Sala Phuket, Renaissance Phuket and Mai Khao Dreams Villas further north. The beach remained mostly untouched, and it is such a welcome contrast with the crowded beaches in the south of Phuket. Read more about Hotels on Mai Khao. ►►►

Sala Phuket Resort

Sala Phuket

Sala Phuket Resort and Spa is one of our all-time favourite hideaways in Phuket. This hotel is a resort dedicated to couples, with a private pool in each villa for total privacy. Such a feature doesn’t come cheap but still is affordable.

Range: 5-star
Swimming pools
: 1 (plus 1 in each villa)
Restaurants and bars
: 2
: 333 Tambon Mai Khao, Amphoe Thalang, Chang Wat Phuket 83110
Phone: 076 338 888
Open: 24 hours
Bookings: see the rates

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Renaissance Phuket

Renaissance Phuket Resort

Renaissance Phuket is a great luxury resort if you want to enjoy the relaxing side of a tropical island and still have the option to drive to discover the restless nights of Patong Beach. With so many restaurants and outlets, you can choose to chill in the resort or use it as a base to explore the north of Phuket.

Range: 5-star
Swimming pools
: 2
Restaurants and bars
: 2
: 555, Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Phone: 076 363 999
Open: 24 hours
Booking: see the rates

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JW Marriott Phuket

JW Marriott Maikhao in Phuket

JW Marriott Phuket is an immense resort with a more traditional layout. It has many excellent restaurants, vast conference rooms, and the best for families: it has a fantastic kids club!

Range: 5-star
Swimming pools: 3 pools (2,810 sqm)
Restaurants and bars: 10
Address: 231 Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Phone: 076 338 000
Bookings: see the rates

Holiday Inn Mai Khao

Holiday Inn Mai Khao

Holiday Inn Mai Khao is the latest resort to open in this part of the island and probably the only one so far in the north. The hotel is convenient and affordable, but it offers a very narrow beachfront behind a line of trees while it is very close to the sea.


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Maikhao Beach Business Directory

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Willy Thuan
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.