WOW! Phuket’s beaches really surprised us! For some reason, we’d expected overcrowded and, above all, dirty beaches. Nothing could be further from the truth – as we ‘discovered’ that there are in fact some incredibly beautiful, tropical beaches in Phuket. And if you make the effort to get up early, you can even enjoy – virtually – empty beaches. In this comprehensive beach guide, we would like to show you which beaches in Phuket you simply must visit!
Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is blessed with more than 30 sandy beaches; each one more beautiful than the next. And boy, did we notice!
We enjoyed our little quest, our search for the lesser-known beaches of Phuket – which are all even more beautiful than Phuket’s most populair beaches: Patong, Kata and Kamala. These are our 8 personal favorites!
1. Banana Beach
Yes! Banana Beach!
Hidden amongst palm trees in the northwest of Phuket and accessible via a steep roadside path, lies a small paradise that’s hardly been developed.
Because it’s so remote, it doesn’t get overcrowded with tourists. In the afternoon, a few long tail boats from other beaches arrive, but it never gets crowded. The water is crystal clear and there’s still plenty of shade from the palm trees in the morning.
Bring a book, a beach towel and a snorkel and you can spend all day chilling out. There’s also a small restaurant on the beach in case you feel peckish. A favorite!
2. Freedom Beach
Wow! This is so incredibly beautiful!
Completely hidden from the outside world, just around the corner from Patong Beach, you’ll find Freedom Beach.
You can take a long tail boat from Patong Beach to get there. Depending on your negotiating skills, it’s between 1,500 and 3,000 baht for a return trip. Which of course is extremely expensive!
We grabbed our motorbike and took a left at the ‘Avista Hideaway Resort’ T-junction. You soon hit a dirt road, which has arrows pointing you in the right direction.
You then park your scooter, pay 200 baht entry per person and follow an easy path towards Freedom Beach.
Going first thing in the morning? Great, because you’ll have the beach all to yourself! It gets more crowded in the afternoon.
3. Ya Nui Beach
The southern part of Phuket has a rugged coastline with small islands, adventurous roads and quiet beaches.
We stumbled upon Ya Nui Beach along the roadside and couldn’t help but park the motorbike and visit the beach! It’s a beach where you can rent a snorkel for 100 baht and do some beautiful snorkeling.
From the Windmill Viewpoint you’ll have a spectacular view of the beach and the surrounding area from. Wow!
4. Bangtao Beach
Right before Banana Beach, there’s a six-kilometer stretch of sandy beach called Bangtao Beach.
And the northern part of Bangtao Beach (Lavan Beach) in particular, is still quite unspoiled and really quiet. This greatly surprised us, as this was the very first quiet beach we saw in Phuket.
We briefly relaxed in the shade of the pine trees, took a sip of water and continued on our way.
But we can certainly understand why you would want to stay here longer! It’s a beautiful and quiet place in Phuket.
5. Naithon Beach
For some reason Naithon Beach gets completely overlooked by the big hotel chains. And it’s a good thing!
This beach is situated on a quiet road, which makes you forget you’re in busy Phuket.
At dusk, street food stalls with red-hot barbecues appear, offering delicious food right in the street. There’s still a surprising amount of locals to be found here.
Of course, there are also plenty of restaurants, but if you like small-scale tourism, this may just be the best and nicest place in Phuket!
6. Laem Singh Beach
During our stay in Phuket, we were tipped about Laem Singh Beach, slightly north of Kamal Beach, on numerous occasions. “Go there in the morning and leave at two o’clock!”, a waiter told us.
But we didn’t because by this time we had only just arrived at the beach. A beautiful, tropical bit of beach – that does indeed get very crowded if you don’t arrive until the afternoon. Go early in the morning and you’ll virtually have the beach all to yourself!
Entry is 20 baht by the way, and it’s well worth it!
7. Nai Harn Beach
The south is where you’ll find of one of Phuket’s best-rated beaches – where, funnily enough, it always feels calm.
From November to April you can lie on the beach and swim here endlessly, but from May to October it’s one of Phuket’s most dangerous beaches due to the strong current. Take this into account.
It’s good to know what the road doesn’t stop at Nai Harn Beach. A few hundred meters onward is Ao Sane Beach. One of the island’s main snorkeling and diving hotspots!
8. Mai Khao Beach
Last but not least: Mai Khao Beach i.e. “the plane spotter beach”.
Wow, this is amazing!
This beach is located right by the international airport in the far northwestern part of Phuket, with airplanes passing by right over your head. Expect to see at least ten planes landing every hour. It’s spectacular and also a great place to enjoy the sunset. Go see it for yourself!
Good to know:
The best time for a beach holiday in Phuket is November to April. The sky is clear, the sea is calm and the water is almost transparent. It’s peak season however, so it will be very busy.
May to October is quieter in Phuket and rates for tours and accommodations are lower than during the high season. The sea and weather are more unpredictable this time of the year, which means that some beaches may suddenly seem a lot less heavenly.
You also need to take into account the strong current and waves during this period. On the more popular beaches, they indicate (with flags) whether it’s safe to swim.
The locals are sure about one thing: Phuket is at its most beautiful during the rainy season (May to October). It’s a lot less crowded, nature is green and vivid, the waterfalls spring back to life and the beaches are a lot quieter!