What is the best beach in Phuket?
What is the most beautiful beach of Phuket; a frequent and challenging question to answer since each person likes a beach for so many different reasons. Somehow, there are two kinds of beaches in Phuket: those where people book their hotel and those where people spend the day.
- What is the best beach in Phuket?
- 1. Freedom Beach
- 2. Kata Beach
- 3. Patong Beach
- 4. Karon Beach
- 5. Nai Harn Beach
- 6. Kata Noi Beach
- 7. Laem Singh Beach
- 8. Ya Nui Beach
- 9. Kamala Beach
- 10. Bangtao Beach
- 11. Mai Khao Beach
- 12. Surin Beach
- 13. Paradise Beach
- 14. Pansea Beach
- 15. Nai Yang Beach
- 16. Naithon Beach
- 17. Ao Sane Beach
- 18. Banana Beach
- 19. Panwa Beach
- 20. Rawai Beach
- Map of Phuket Beaches
- FAQs about Phuket Beaches
1) Beaches where people book their hotel 🏨 : Most people like to book their hotel in Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala and Bangtao beach for convenience. These beaches do have a lot of restaurants, shops and of course nightlife but on the downside, they tend to be busy or even crowded.
2) Beaches where people only spend the day ⛱️: These beaches usually have very little or no accommodation at all but are great to spend the day for the quality of their sand and water and a relative peacefulness you won’t find in Patong or Kata Beach. Best known are Nai Harn, Freedom and Surin.
Freedom Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Phuket, blessed with an incredibly soft white sand and bathing in clear blue waters. Surprisingly, it’s just next to the crowded Patong beach, but despite being a little heaven, it’s relatively quiet. The reason is simple: there are only two ways you can access it: by boat during high season or from the top of the hill, through a very steep slope. It’s worth the effort.
2. Kata Beach
Kata Beach is the second most loved beach of Phuket after Patong. It is a popular choice for families as it also enjoys a wide white sandy beach with an incredibly blue sea during high season. Kata is less crowded than Patong and offers a large selection of dining, shopping plus a decent nightlife. There are plenty of hotels for all budgets, but only a handful of them are right on the beach.
3. Patong Beach
Patong is the main beach on the west coast of Phuket and choosing to book a hotel here is a personal choice. It’s a big town full of restaurants, shops, markets, bars and go-go bars, but it’s not really Thailand anymore. The middle part of the beach can get busy but is still beautiful and relatively quiet on the northern end. There are thousands of hotels to choose from but just a couple of luxury hotels, plus only three hotels on the beach itself. If you are here to party, Patong is the place for you to stay.
4. Karon Beach
Karon Beach is the second longest beach in Phuket and one of the most popular. The beach is an impressive stretch of white sand and clear blue water in high season, so vast that it never feels crowded. There are many good hotels just across the main beach road, but Centara Grand Beach Resort is the only one to have real beach access. You will be able to enjoy a lot of restaurants, small shops, a bazaar, a temple market and even a decent nightlife.
Nai Harn is a lovely and top-rated beach surrounded by green hills and small islands. The sand is incredibly soft, and the water is bright blue in high season (November to April). It’s very different from the touristy spots of west coast like Patong Kata Karon. It hasn’t changed much because the park surrounded the bay is somehow protected, but you can find plenty of Thai restaurants and street food just behind the line of trees. With only a handful of hotels, Nai Harn still holds on pretty well to its original local atmosphere. The beach is in a sheltered bay where sailing and fishing boats anchor in calm waters.
Kata Noi Beach is a wonderful bay if you want to be near Kata but stay away from the tourist herds. This beautiful strand of sand had incredibly clear blue water during the high season and was once voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Fortunately, its ‘Out of the way’ location kept it relatively quiet, and unless you know about it, you probably will miss it.
Laem Singh has always been one of Phuket favourite beaches, like a Caribbean beach, a bit nostalgic, very green with its palm trees leaning over the sand and you have the beach almost for yourself. It looks and feels like a secret Robinson Crusoe hideaway, even more since access to the public was closed in 2017. But there is still a way to go there.
8. Ya Nui Beach
Ya Nui is tiny but has the charms of a small beach, tucked in a cove between the Windmill Viewpoint and famous Promthep Cape in the very south of Phuket Island. It looks like a secret beach, but it is not, and a lot of people come to enjoy it, especially for snorkelling and even beach diving. It’s just easy to miss it if it was not for the number of cars parked along the road.
9. Kamala Beach
Kamala Beach used to shine by a lack of particular signs, but everything changed with the arrival of Fantasea Park and the world-famous Cafe Del Mar beach club. It is a beautiful beach with clear waters, especially in the northern end, and the village of Kamala offers a decent amount of dining and shopping options, several hotels, including some with beach access.
10. Bangtao Beach
Bangtao is one of the longest beaches in Phuket, halfway between airport and Patong on the west coast of the island. With its beautiful stretch of sand, Bangtao is always associated with the resort complex known as ‘Laguna Phuket’. In recent year Bangtao has become one of the most lively and trendy beach destinations in Phuket with many beach clubs and the vast choice of beach dining.
11. Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach is 11 km long, the longest in Phuket. Strangely it still looks as peaceful and deserted as it was when I first visited it in 1990. They built a few hotels, but beach chairs, umbrellas and food vendors didn’t invade the beach yet. You can still walk eleven kilometres and only meet three people, and the beach remained mostly untouched.
12. Surin Beach
Surin beach is now an empty beach. It used to be a great place to relax on beach chairs, walk to one of the many bars or restaurants all along the beach and choose from a myriad of vendors. You could rest on the comfortable sofas of the many beach clubs but all this is now long gone, and Surin beach is now 100% natural.
13. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach’ sounds good. With such a name, people expect to discover another ‘beautiful-secret-hard-to-find-beach’ located near Patong. And yes, to its credit, the sea is very blue, sand is powdery and cute little boats are gently bobbing in the bay. Yes, it is small, remote and not easy to find. But paradise beach has become a theme park with an entry fee of 100 baht or more.
14. Pansea Beach
Private beaches are not allowed in Thailand, but you can get around by merely owning all lands around that beach. And those beaches are often the most beautiful ones. Pansea Beach, shared by ‘The Surin Phuket’ and ‘Amanpuri Phuket’ is one of those amazing beaches.
15. Nai Yang Beach
Nai Yang is one of our favourite beaches because it is just a little away from the main road and therefore, has remained relatively untouched. This sandy crescent features a few welcoming restaurants and bars, right on the beach and in the shade of trees. The bay is home to a few luxury resorts such as The Slate and Marriott Nai Yang, but you can easily find affordable hotels a little further from the beach. Nai Yang is a beautiful little hideaway far from crowded beaches but with enough to do all year round to have a good time.
16. Naithon Beach
Naithon Beach is another hidden gem on the west coast of Phuket, also because it is far from the main road. The beach is immense, the colour of the sea is surreal in high season, and the sand is soft and white, perfect for those in search of a peaceful spot with just enough facilities. There are a few restaurants and convenience stores around to provide what you need for a weekend escape. You will only find a few hotels around, including the superb Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Resort. Ideally, you should rent a car or a motorbike to make the best of a stay on Naithon. It might feel a little too quiet if you plan to stay during low season, from May to November, but some travellers like it this way.
17. Ao Sane Beach
Ao Sane is a tiny hidden beach, visible from Nai Harn Beach, but unless you know that you need to drive through The Nai Harn hotel, you will never find out. Ao Sane consists of three tiny sandy bays, and you can walk from one to another through the few beach bungalows.
18. Banana Beach
Phuket is a world-wide famous holiday destination. Every corner of this tropical island has been explored, invaded, sold, developed and exploited. Or so you thought! Still, one tiny beach is hiding from the crowd, but it won’t last long.
19. Panwa Beach
Panwa Beach, also known as Khao Kat Beach, is not a swimming beach, and yet has the charm of these remote bays not many would take the time to explore while visiting Phuket. Located on the east coast but facing west, the area is home of luxury villas and few resorts, a great alternative to relax away from west coast crowded spots.
20. Rawai Beach
Located at the south end of Phuket island, Rawai is not a swimming beach but offer beautiful views on the many nearby islands in a peaceful local atmosphere. It’s a great place to enjoy fresh seafood and a good starting point to do some island hopping.
Map of Phuket Beaches
FAQs about Phuket Beaches
Q. What are the most popular beaches to stay in Phuket?
a. There are 5 beaches where visitors mainly book hotels:
Q. Are there beaches just to spend the day?
a. Here are 6 much-loved beaches visitors go for a day:
Q. Are there still any quiet beaches to book a hotel in Phuket?
a. There are a few superb and peaceful beaches to stay: