The greatest thing about Phuket’s golden coastline is that there is a wide variety of beaches. With more than 30 of them around the island, there’s a lot of difference in vibe, scenery, facilities and even textures of sand on offer. From the popular party beaches with plenty of activities to the quiet, serene beaches that are almost empty, visitors to this gorgeous island are spoiled for choice. And with so many choices, how does one decide the best place to get that surf and sand? Well, here it is, our list of the best beaches in Phuket.

1. Patong Beach: Best For Party People

Undoubtedly the most popular stretch of coastline on the island, it’s fair to say that it is a victim of its own popularity, being generally busy right along its 2.5 km length. That said, there is no part of Phuket with a more livelier atmosphere. The town behind the beach is home to many great restaurants and hotels, as well as the best of Phuket’s nightlife, while the beach itself has an amazing view and plenty of attractions and activities.

By day, it’s busy with tourists renting jet skis, riding banana boats, and drinking on the beach but as sunset approaches, be prepared to sample the exuberance of Patong’s party scene. Popular with young tourists due to its party atmosphere and close proximity to the neon lights of Bangla Road, you would either love it or hate it, but everyone should experience it.

2. Kata Beach: Best For A Family Day Out

Kata Beach has it all — beautiful soft sand, nodding palm trees, clean waters with a soft seabed, good surfing in the low season, snorkelling in high season, and a fantastic laid-back atmosphere. Very popular with families, Kata is an all-round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife, and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach.

From May to October, surfers flock to catch Kata’s waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sun seekers. It has colourful long tail boats moored at the northern end, with a few budget food and drink vendors often found nearby, while the southern end has a choice of beachfront hotels and restaurants, and an exciting flow-rider park at Surf House. At about 1.5 km in length, it doesn’t usually get too crowded, either.


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3. Freedom Beach: Best For Adventure Seekers

Freedom Beach is an exclusive gem on Phuket’s west coast. The 300 metre-long strip of white sand is set in a beautiful bay dotted with granite rocks that are surrounded by green hills. Freedom Beach’s exclusivity comes from its rather difficult accessibility, but any extra efforts taken to visit this gorgeous 300-metre strip of beach is well worth it. A few people come here, so you will be left in relative peace to enjoy the clear, turquoise sea.

Apart from sunbathing, popular activities that can be enjoyed at Freedom Beach are beach soccer (two mini-goals are available), beach volleyball, and snorkelling. The shallow waters at both ends of the beach host gorgeous underwater fauna and flora. There are no jet-skis or other noisy marine leisure activities at Freedom Beach; the only audible engines are those of the long-tail boats bringing and taking away visitors.

4. Kamala Beach: Best For Sunsets

Located just north of the lively Patong Beach, Kamala Beach is almost a polar opposite to its noisy neighbour. Its calm, shallow waters make it ideal for families or those who want a serene beach experience, and its length means you won’t have to fight for a place to pitch your towel. This well-enclosed bay and fishing village surrounded by forested hills is one of the most beautiful places in Phuket.

With its quieter pace, over the last few years, Kamala has become a favoured spot for retirees and other longer-term visitors staying in small hotels, villas and apartment rentals around the village. On the headland to the south, there are a number of luxury villa developments, with great views of Kamala Bay and beyond along its winding road.

5. Surin Beach: Best For A Luxurious Meal Along The Coast

Surin beach has in the last few years become an abode for the rich and wealthy, with a number of high-class resorts and hotels nearby, as well as a golf course. It’s known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’ due to the top-end celebrity haunts among the luxury resorts there, including Amanpuri, Twinpalms and The Surin. Although popular with tourists, it’s not a busy resort town – it’s more like a coastal village.

And it’s definitely not hard to see why it’s so popular. White sand gives way to a scenic row of palm trees, while the sea itself has both light and deeper blue tones. A word of caution though: the sea here gets deeper than in other bays, so one has to be careful when it comes to swimming. Other than that, it’s an extremely pleasant beach with a number of good restaurants and bars just a short walk away.

6. Ya Nui Beach: Best Views On The Island

Ya Nui lies in the shadow of two of Phuket’s loveliest points to catch the view – Prom Thep and the large white windmill/propeller power generators. Rather than views of resorts, it features the view of nearby Koh Keyao Noi island, and has dramatic rocky outcrops set alongside the cerulean sea that look ready-made for photographs.

In terms of activities, this little charming cove has body-boarding, and snorkelling, with some of the best snorkelling to be found out by Koh Keyao Noi, which is only a short kayak away.

7. Nai Harn Beach: Best For Surfing & Sunbathing

Once a quiet and secluded spot at the southern end of Phuket, the 660-metre-long Nai Harn Beach has been very definitively “discovered” and continues to grow in popularity. Located in the south of Phuket, this beach is a small bay that changes from calm in the high season to strong currents in low season, making it a popular spot for Phuket’s surfing and kite-boarding crowd.

Thanks to the relatively small size of the bay and the presence of a large lake almost immediately behind the beach, the spot hasn’t been excessively developed, so it retains its quiet charm. With its pristine sands, lifeguards on station, and very gently sloping seabed, it is quite a family-friendly beach, with a good choice of hotels, shops, and restaurants nearby. On windier days, it is also a good spot for kite-surfing and stand-up paddle boarding.

8. Bang Tao Beach: Best For People-Watching

Bang Tao is a study in contrasts. With luxurious resorts and villas lined-up along its six-kilometre stretch of golden sand, this beach is just a few minutes away from the town of Cherng Talay, where many villagers still make their living as their ancestors did – by fishing, farming, and rubber tapping. It is also home to the famous Laguna Complex, an area consisting of seven upscale resorts and a private golf course.

Laguna dominates much of the centre of the beach, with a number of hotels and bungalows operating at the southern end. The northern tip of the beach, so far untouched by development, is still an area where visitors might find that they have the beach to themselves.

9. Laem Beach: Best For Bay Watching

Laem Singh is a small hidden cape, only 280 metres long, with rocky headlands at the northern and southern points. But it is a beautiful little beach that is located 20 minutes north of Patong, nestled between Kamala and Surin Beach on the west coast of Phuket. With its thick, green bush, large rock boulders, and view of your dreams, the only downside here is that it’s become much more popular in recent years than it once was.

Still, it’s one of the most scenic bays on the island and a great place to spend a few hours. Inflatables and body boards can be rented from the nearby restaurants, and the snorkelling kits that are available allow you to take advantage of the clear water and explore the world beneath the waves.

10. Banana Beach: Best For Exclusivity

Beautiful and almost deserted, Banana Beach (sometimes called ‘Banana Rock Beach’) is not known to many people in Phuket as it is relatively isolated. Nevertheless, it really is one of Phuket’s most glittering hidden gems as far as beaches go. At high tide, the waves can sometimes wash up as high as the tree line, so care should be taken as to where you pitch your tent along this beach – the extreme southern and northern ends are perhaps the best bet.

Along its 180-metre stretch, Banana Beach has fantastically clear waters for swimming from November to May but is definitely not a swimming beach during the rest of the year.

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