Phuket Island is surrounded by many beautiful beaches ranging from kilometers long down to 20 meters short. While some beaches are pounded by big surf others have only small waves hardly noticeable. Many beaches are visible from your car or motorbike and some take a dedicated effort to find the path. We have beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, tide-pool exploring or near-shore snorkeling where you can see beautiful corals teeming with brilliant tropical fishes.
Discover the pristine beauty of Phuket's Beaches and Outlying Islands
Take the time to explore the low-tide zones for shells and sea-life that differs between the beaches around Phuket
Explore from the freedom of a a motorbike, or the air-con comfort of a rental car, or by hired tuk-tuk. Be adventurous and hire a longtail boat...
Go by yourself or go with your friends, but go.
No two beaches are the same and each has something unique to offer...
And in addition to the wonderful beaches, surf and sun are the many varied communities nearby. Many of these towns and villages have their own local-style of food.
You'll discover that each part of the island and each of the outlying islands are special with a character of its own making.
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, or sand shaped as a lounge chair and some services are along most of the popular beaches and space-use 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, para-sails and jet skis. These beaches should have cordoned off sections where bathers can swim safely but it's always best to be aware of your surroundings.
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 3 km. and is bounded on the north and south ends by rocky headlands. There is virtually every kind of entertainment imaginable awaiting visitors, with bars catering to every nationality & whim. Often there is live music in some of the parks along the beach. 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 walking; it lets you see much more. Patong is a shopping paradise where you can enjoy many shopping areas, some of which spring up overnight and are gone in just a few days.
Most people travel to Freedom beach by taking an exciting longtail boat which is well worth the effort. Longtail boats area available from the south end of Patong beach, or Tritrang beach another 10-minutes south along the beach road in Patong. 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. You can motorbike along a rough dirt road at the top of the first hill driving from Patong toward Karon.
The south end of Freedom beach has several small restaurants, sun loungers for rent, toilets and showers. Off the beach there is one of the best snorkeling locations in Phuket. The rocks and corals start close to shore. As you adventure out into the deeper water the visibility clears and a lot of the corals are more visible, with plenty of colorful fish, some quite large. The north end of the beach has a sandy seabed ideal for some relaxing bathing.
Here is the location of a Chao Ley or a Sea-Gypsy village with many restaurants and bungalows, shell handicraft shops, and both fishing boats and charter boats. The waters are okay for swimming and snorkeling on the reefs off-shore. Rawai is 7 kms. south 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 beach is different in appearance and style from both Karon beach and Patong beach. The beach itself is broad and curving, and the buildings 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 extend out toward Koh Poo (meaning 'crab' in Thai) which is about 1/2 km off shore. You can find offerings at every price range that include hotels, bungalows, tour companies, restaurants, bars and clubs. Regular songtaew (meaning 'two tails' or two long bench seats) open-air bus service to and from Phuket Town is available during the daytime. Many of the buses now being used are modern affairs with windows kept open except when it rains.
South of Kata beach is Kata Noi beach, 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.
The second largest of Phuket's principal tourist beaches Karon beach is within walking distance of large resort complexes that line the road across from the beach and within minutes walking of many smaller guesthouses. The beach itself is long and broad free of 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 end as well. Karon is possibly one of the more up-scale of Phuket's beach towns and offers regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.
This beach is really a continuation of Patong beach and the northern end and separated from Patong beach with some beautiful rocks where the surf bursts into the air and is a popular place to photograph the surf and diamond-sparkle spray and fantastic tropical sunsets. Kalim beach itself has a stretch of sand and is a popular place to enjoy some great local Muslim food in the evenings until quite late. Low tide at Kalim beach is great for beach combing and looking at shellfish and starfish in the tide pools. Kalim beach offers wonderful views back toward Patong. Kalim surf can curl enough to be a popular place for surfing. There are some great accommodation choices in this area directly across from the beach.
Kamala is a Muslim fishing village about 7km north of Patong. There's plenty of tourist development along the beach and a Muslim graveyard at the northern end. Until very recently herds of water buffalo would come down to the beach to cool off in the afternoon. The beach is beautiful and about 2 km long. There are accommodations ranging from guesthouses to international-class small and large hotels and quite a few small Thai restaurants specializing in seafood. With plenty of small shops and a few bars Kamala is the perfect place to get away from it all. And for those wanting more entertainment Patong is only a short tuk-tuk ride away.
The name means Lion's Point in English and in this case it represents the mythical, stylized lion of Chinese literature. The beach is in a very small, curving bay with rocky headlands at the foot of forest-fringed cliffs and is among one of Phuket's most beautiful beaches, located about 1 km 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, Cherngtalay 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.
This quiet bay nestled at the foot of high hills has a beautiful length of sand. There are some accommodations directly across from the beach and a few restaurants but it is virtually devoid of other business. It's often nearly deserted. Nai Ton Beach is located between Bang Tao Bay and Nai Yang. Driving north along Thep Krasatri Road turn left on the old airport road headed toward Nai Yang (so called because it passes through rubber plantations, or yang in Thai). Watch for the signs indicating the turn-off to Nai Ton and enjoy the drive over the steep pass followed by a great view looking down over Nai Yang beach and the sea.
Many kilometers of deserted beach characterize Mai Khao where there is little tourist business. The water is fine for swimming during the dry season and the rainy season brings big waves and strong currents that are dangerous yet very beautiful. This lonely beach is another place where sea turtles come to lay eggs. Mai Khao Beach is also home to what the Thais call a sea-cicada, which is a very edible form of marine life. Mai Khao stretches many kilometers along the northwestern tip of Phuket.
This strip of sand is really just the northern portion of Mai Khao Beach and has much the same character and is 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. This is a great place to totally relax in a fresh sea breeze and well worth the drive. There are plenty of small restaurants in the general area serving absoutely fresh seafood.