Phuket Island is surrounded by many beautiful beaches, some long, some short, some with pounded by big surf and some with wonderful corals that are teeming with brillant tropical fishes only meters from the shore.
Phuket has many great attractions and certainly at top of the list are the many wonderful beaches. Phuket has more than 50 beaches of every type and length. We have long beaches with tiny coves, beaches crowded with sunbathers and vendors, and quiet beaches you have to take extra effort to reach. Many are within sight of hotels, shops and bars, while others may have only a local little restaurant that will make your food to order.
In general the beaches along the western shore have surf action while those along the south and east coasts are stony beaches more suited to walking, shell collecting and exploring the tidal pools and splash zone for observing interesting sea life and plants.
All beaches are public although many times they may not appear quite so. Often local people or a hotel may make it difficult to access a beach, or access for free. It is usually not worth a confrontation and best to move on or settle peacefully. Sun lounge chairs and services are along most of the popular beaches and rental is available for a small fee. Small fees may be asked for you to park your motorbike too.
Watch for the posted signs warning of rip tides, which mainly happen in the rainy season when we have high surf and large waves. Take heed if warned by a local hotel staff or a beach employee.
The busy beaches are all alive with activities offering banana boats, parasails and jet skis. These beaches should have cordonned off sections where bathers can swim safely.
Patong is Phuket's central tourist and nighttime entertainment district, and where you'll find one of the most popular beaches. Over the years, Patong has turned from a fishing village into one of the island's two main cities. The famous Patong bay stretches nearly 4 km. and is bounded on the north and south ends by rocky headlands. There is virtually every kind of entertainment imaginable awaits visitors, with bars catering to every nationality and even live music in some of the parks. Patong beach is popular during festivals when the lively atmosphere takes in the beach, parks and town. Watch out for traffic jams, better yet, plan on spending the day and evening.
You can only reach Freedom beach only by boat but it is well worth the effort. Boats area avilable from the south end of Patong beach, or Tritrang beach another 10 minutes south. Freedom beach has white, powdery sand in a small bay and is surrounded by jungle covered hills. Your taxi boat will deliver you to the center of the beach where you can walk north and south where there are cordoned off areas for swimming.
The south end of the beach has several small restaurants, sun loungers for rent, toilets and showers. Off the beach here is one of the best snorkeling locations in Phuket. The rocks and corals start close to shore. As you push out into the deeper water the visibility clears and a lot of the corals are visible. There are plenty of colourful fish, some quite large. The north end of the beach has a sandy seabed ideal for bathing.
Site of a Chao Ley or Sea Gypsy village, many restaurants and bungalows, shell handicraft shops, and both fishing and charter boats. The waters are okay for swimming snorkeling on the reefs off shore. Rawai is 7 kms. West of Chalong Circle. Evening dining along Rawai Beach is very popular for the local people that "know where to go."
The smallest of Phuket's three main tourist beaches, Kata is different in appearance and style from Karon or Patong. The beach itself is broad and curving, and structures bordering it are low-rise. The waters are perfect for swimming, and at the north end is a coral reef with many varied corals and fishes, which stretches out toward Koh Poo. Is about 1/2 km off shore. Facilities, for every price range, include hotels, bungalows, tour companies, restaurants, bars and clubs. Regular bus service to and from Phuket Town during daytime.
South of Kata is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with only a few hotels and little other development. The beach is superb. Many fish inhabit the rocks and corals along the beach less shoreline stretching south. To get there take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata, but stay along the water and don't turn left or you'll go up and over the mountain to the viewpoint lookout.
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The second largest of Phuket's principal tourist beaches. Large resort complexes line the road back of the beach, but the strand itself, long and broad, has no development. The sand is very white and squeaks audibly when walked on. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Poo Island. Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. Karon is possibly one of the more up-scale of Phuket's beache towns and offers regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.
Kamala is a Muslim fishing village north of Patong. Tourist development on the beach Much of which is covered by a Muslim graveyard and a police outpost has been slow in coming. Buffalo herds still come down to the beach to cool off in the afternoon. The beach is beautiful and about 2 kms. In length. There are accommodations ranging from guesthouse to international class, and a number of small Thai restaurants specializing in seafood for the tourist. Kamala is the perfect place to get away from it all and has little to offer in the way of entertainment for that go across the mountains to Patong.
This beach is really a continuation north of Patong's beaches and separated with some beautiful rocks where the surf bursts into the air. This is a great place to photograph the surf, diamond sparkel spray, and fantastic sunsets. Further past the rocks is a stretch of sand and always some great local food. Low tide here is for beach combing. From here is a wonderful view back to Patong. There are some great accommodation choices in this area and the waters contain extensive coral reefs.
The name means Lion's Point in English in this case, the mythical, stylized lion of Chinese literature, not the African variety there have never been any lions found in Thailand. The beach is in a small, curving bay with rocky headlands at the foot of forest-fringed cliffs and is among Phuket's most beautiful. Located about 1 kms. South of the entrance to Surin Beach. Look for signs indicating the path down to the beach.
Bang Tao is a large open bay on the western side of Phuket with one of Phuket's longest beaches. This long beach is actually comprised of several named stretches that include Bang Tao to the south, Laguna Beach and Lyan Beach to the north. The Laguna area was once used for tin mining which resulted in a landscape ideal for development into luxury resorts and beautiful lakes. Within the expansive Laguna resort complex are seven five-star hotels complete with golf courses, boating and many activities to be found along the seashore. External to the Laguna complex there are housing developments, hotels, restaurants and plenty of shopping and tour companies. A short drive from Lyan, Laguna and Bang Tao puts you into the picturesque towns of Surin Beach, Cherng Talay and Thalang. All watersport activities are to be found along this great stretch of beach. At the beach's north end is the small picturesque beach known as Layan, separated from the main section of the beach by a very small river. At this point the bay is calm and ideal for children to safely swim and play and even walk out to a small island at low tide, or look at some coral. A bit more remote and not as easy to discover it's well worth the effort to visit Layan Beach.
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This quiet bay nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of sand. There are some accommodations but virtually no other business. It's often nearly deserted. Located between Bang Tao Bay and Nai Yang. From Thep Krasatri Road. Turn at the first traffic light north of Thalang Town heading west, which is the Nai Yang Road (so called because it passes through rubber plantations, or yahng in Thai) Look for signs indicating the turn-off to Nai Ton.
Many kilometers of deserted beach characterize Mai Khao. There is little tourist business. The water is fine for swimming during. The dry season. The rainy season brings big waves and strong currents that are dangerous. This lonely beach is another where sea turtles. Come to lay eggs. It is also home to what the Thais call a sea cicada, which is a form of marine life. To get there go to the northern tip of Phuket the beach lies along the road's length.
This strip of sand is really just the northern portion of Mai Khao Beach and has much the same character. Located west of the bridges spanning the channel between Phuket and Phang Nga provinces. although one of the most distant of beaches on Phuket it is absolutely unique in open space and long surf lines. Along the top of the sand dunes are several great local restaurants serving their local flavors of fresh, fresh seafood. This is a great place to totally relax in a fresh sea breeze.
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