It’s a question that just keeps coming back, like a boomerang, like the monsoon season, like a heat rash – what is the best beach in Phuket? And the answer isn’t a simple one. The answer is – it depends. On what? On you! Depending on what you expect, what you’re after, what your heart desires, you will find a different beach in Phuket appealing. Here is our Phuket beach guide, in it you will find the best beach in Phuket – the best one for you.
The best beach in Phuket if you want to party:
Patong is by far the most crowded, touristy and lively beach in Phuket. If you like to spend you time in an international crowd, if you like a fair amount of buzz – not to call it noise – if you like jet-skis and paragliding, if you enjoy easy access to countless bars, restaurants, fast foods, muay thai rings, Thai massage parlors and “massage parlors”, Patong is the place for you. Oh, and did we mention Bangla Road? Phuket’s party hotspot? It’s in Patong too!
“Real travelers” drag Patong’s name through the mud, accuse it of not representing the “Real Thailand”. We disagree, Patong is as real as any other part of Thailand, it’s one of many faces of the country, which is by no means limited to rice paddies and Buddhist temples. Moreover, there is no shortage of classy restaurants, resorts and bars hidden amongst Patong’s general disarray, you just need to know where to find them.
The best beach in Phuket if you’re on family holidays:
Kata beach is long, wide, not as crowded as Patong, but not as remote as the beaches in the island’s north. Kata is a seaside town, where the beach is adjacent to a sunset strip, lined with restaurants, shops, massage spots and other attractions.
Karon beach possess this postcard beauty that made Phuket world famous and just as Kata, isn’t far away from dining and entertainment venues.
There are also some good viewpoints nearby, offering perfect photo ops that will make your Instagram followers boil with envy.
The best beach in Phuke if you like it quiet, but are no Robinson Crusoe:
Despite the recent spike in beachside property development, Kamala remains a tad off the beaten path on Phuket’s beach map. While fancy resorts and numerous super-luxury villas line the so called “Millionaire Mile” south of Kamala and there are some beach clubs and a big resort coming up north of it, the town itself still resembles a roadside settling (the curvy road leading to Patong runs through it) more than a seaside resort. Authentic local food is still easy to find, the beach itself is spacious and relatively empty and the surrounding hills truly picturesque.
Developers already spotted Kamala’s beauty and are hard at work, building new resorts and condos. But for the time being, it is still a good choice if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
The best beach in Phuket if you’re a surfer:
NAI HARN, NAI YANG
Yes, Phuket has waves. They might not be as impressive as those in Bali or Malibu, but in the monsoon season they are more then big enough to be surfed. If you do surf, go where the local surfing crowd goes – to the southern beach of Nai Harn. Except for waves, it has some lovely vistas and enough food and drink in its vicinity to keep you from starving. It’s also one of the expat community’s favorite beaches.
Another beach popular with surfers is Nai Yang, near the airport. Best surfing can be enjoyed more to the south of Nai Yang, while best sunsets await in the north (along with spectacular sunsets and a nice happy hour at Marriot Nai Yang Beach Resort)
The best beach in Phuket if you like it all inclusive:
LAGUNA / BANG TAO
If money is not an issue, Phuket will feel great for you. Fancy resorts, hotels, restaurants – they all abound on the island. And one of the best spaces to enjoy those pleasures in Phuket is Laguna in Bang Tao beach, which is home to a couple of five-star hotels (Dusit Thani, Outrigger, Angsana, Banyan Tree) and a golf course.
The best beach in Phuket if you want to get away from it all:
Mai Khao is both the longest and the emptiest beach in Phuket. It’s miles away – literally and figuratively – from Patong and its crowds, and it’s just as far from the island’s shopping malls and entertainment. Having said that, there are some outstanding resorts here ( JW Marriott, Sala and Renaissance come to mind) and an abundance of silence and natural beauty. A perfect getaway, also for Phuket residents.
None of the beaches mentioned above looks like this strip of white sand with coconut palms swaying in the wind, you’ve seen at the travel agent’s office. To enjoy this kind of natural circumstances, head for Cape Panwa, find the Cape Panwa Hotel and take the funicular (yes, you’ve read it right!) to the beach. There you will find the poster-like perfection you’ve been looking for.
If your surname is Kardashian or DiCaprio, you have 3 million followers on Instagram or you’ve recently won a lottery, consider getting off Phuket and going just north off the island, to Natai Beach, to check into Iniala Beach Resort. There designer villas, fine cuisine and a spotless stretch of beach await those with deep pockets. Well, the beach is actually for free, for anyone.