The Ultimate Guide to Phuket Beaches (Part 1)

If you are tired of seeing articles that talk about only some of the beaches in Phuket (not all), then this post is for you. Although it is divided into two parts, as it may be too long for just one page, consider this as your ultimate guide in terms of the different beaches to choose from on the island.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Phuket Beaches (Part 2)

  1. Patong Beach

Patong Beach, which is 3 kilometers in length, is a famous destination in Phuket. A known landmark is the Phuket International Airport located about 35 km north of Patong. It offers many fun and enjoyable activities such as snorkeling, beach volleyball, traditional Thai massage, jet skiing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and surfing. Beach facilities such as public restrooms and parking spaces are available for the guests’ convenience. It has a bustling nightlife with numerous world-class hotels, fine restaurants and nightclubs that contribute to the dynamic atmosphere you can see everywhere. Everything you could possibly desire is conveniently available in Patong.

  1. Kata Beach

Kata Beach is one of the most popular and alluring beaches in Phuket. It has a 1-mile strip of golden colored sand and is located just south of Patong. Kata Beach is around an hour drive to Phuket Airport and about 30 minutes drive to Phuket Town. While the beach exudes a busy atmosphere, unlike the other beaches, Kata Beach is not too crowded. Additionally, beach facilities available include umbrellas, beach mats, clean restrooms, shopping outlets, and restaurants. Beach masseurs and wandering vendors are a normal sight. This is the perfect place for various activities guaranteed to give visitors an exciting and new holiday experience.

  1. Kata Noi

Despite being one of the smallest beaches in Phuket, Kata Noi is one of the most popular among local and foreign travelers.  This 700-meter-long beach boasts of crystal clear waters, soft sand, and a lush jungle backdrop. Kata Noi has about the same driving time to Phuket Airport and Phuket Town – around half an hour. The beach has no public restrooms, but guests can go to nearby hotels. A few local restaurants and vendors selling different snacks are conveniently located near the beach.  

  1. Karon Beach

Karon Beach is approximately an hour drive from the Phuket Airport and just a 12-minute drive to Patong. This is a very long beach – with a 5 km stretch of white sand and clear, pristine waters. Small bars and restaurants are found along the shorelines. Thai seafood restaurants to the north of the Karon Circle serve delectable Thai dishes. Guests wanting to satisfy their watering taste buds can choose from a wide array of dining options along the beach road.

  1. Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach is a 40-minute drive to Phuket Airport, and only 16 minutes drive to Patong. Kamala is known to be a quiet, tranquil and calm beach, which make it perfect for sunbathing or even a simple bonding holiday with the family. Swimming is very safe as water remains calm from November to April – the best time to visit Kamala Beach. There are no provisions for public restrooms, but beachfront hotels and restaurants are easily accessible and accommodating.    

  1. Surin Beach

Surin is a 25-minute drive from Patong and a 34-minute drive from the airport. The clear waters of Surin are perfect for an enjoyable kayaking and snorkeling bonding with family or friends. Boogie boarding and surfing are also popular activities on the beach. Umbrellas and beach mats are available for rent. There are no public restrooms, but visitors can use the facilities in nearby restaurants. Surin has apparently, the best selection of food options in Phuket. Click here for more travel tips in Surin Beach.

  1. Bang Tao Beach

To reach Bang Tao Beach from Patong, you need to pass the Laguna properties as this mega hotels and resorts group dominate the largest part of the beachfront area. The beach is about 30 minutes drive to both the Phuket Airports and Patong Beach. This 6km-long beach is very quiet and calm – visitors can almost feel like they are on a private beach. Sunbeds are provided by the hotel exclusively for their guests only. Restrooms are available only in hotels and restaurants, which are conveniently located along the beach. You may also check out our post on attractions to see & activities to do in Bangtao Beach.

  1. Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao, about 20 minutes drive from Phuket Airport is the longest beach on the island spanning 11km yet it still offers a secluded ambiance. There are not so many beachgoers and tourists in this particular beach, making it perfect for travelers looking for a quiet, relaxing getaway. The beach starts at Sirinath National Park and ends at Haad Sai Kaew Beach. Beach facilities are accessible and available in adjacent resorts and restaurants located along the beach.

  1. Nai Thon Beach

Nai Thon is one of Phuket’s unique beach getaway destination as it has no resort and hotel. Mainly popular among the locals, Nai Thon Beach is ideal for a quiet swim. Accessible by a short 13-minute drive from the airport and around 50 minutes drive away from Patong, this beach offers thrilling activities such as scuba diving and exploring rocky coves.

  1. Nai Yang Beach

The Nai Yang Beach is not as commercial as Patong or Karon as it is where you will usually spot fishermen mooring their boats and crafting their fishing nets. From the Airport, you can reach the beach via a short 6-minute drive. On the other hand,  Patong is about 50 minutes drive away. With its friendly and relaxed village atmosphere, this beach is usually frequented by visitors for outdoor picnics. Restrooms are provided but they come with a 5 THB per use.  

  1. Layan Beach

Layan Beach is located on the west coast of Phuket, and it has a very tranquil and relaxed atmosphere. Unlike the usual beach scenario, there are no long lines of beach chairs and umbrellas by the shore. The sea is almost always calm. A small pier on the beach with a few small shops is a unique feature of this beach. If you are coming from Patong Beach, it is about 40-minutes drive to reach Layan Beach. Alternatively, the airport is just 20 minutes drive away. There are nice restaurants, kayak rental shops and restroom facilities just beside the pier.  

  1. Rawai Beach

To get to Rawai Beach, just go to the main road and drive south until you see the inviting waters. The area is not as commercialized as the others, and it offers plenty of shaded areas, making it comfortable even on hot days. However, Rawai Beach is not ideal for swimming or sunbathing. Usually, visitors rent long-tail boats or shop at the seafood market. The beach is about an hour drive from the Phuket Airport while Patong is just 40 minutes drive away.    

  1. Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn is a popular beach among the local in Thailand. It is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket. The beach is about 40 minutes drive from Patong and about an hour drive from Phuket Airport. Nai Harn is enveloped on both sides by thick jungle mountains. Nai Harn is particularly busy during weekends. Umbrellas, sun shades, and beach mats are available, and there are public restrooms at the north end.

  1. Ya Nui Beach

Equally famous landmarks near Ya Nui Beach are the Phrom Thep and the large windmill power generators. The beach is about 40 minutes drive from Patong and an hour drive from the airport. Ya Nui is a small cove that is great for snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. It is a relatively busy beach, especially during peak season. Vendors selling snorkeling gears and other products are easily found by the beach. Restrooms are available across the road.

  1. Kalim Beach

Kalim Beach is just up north of Patong Beach. The beach is about 50 minutes drive from the Phuket Airport. It is considered as one of the best surfing spots in Phuket, but it is not as appealing for swimmers. The beach retains a very local Thai atmosphere with excellent dining venues, parking space and street food markets.

  1. Chalong Bay

Chalong Bay is not a swimming destination but a place for yacht mooring and other boating activities. The bay is about 50 minutes drive from the Phuket Airport while Patong is around 30 minutes drive away. Facilities include a 720-meter long jetty, parking area and a good number of restaurants, retail shops and tourist information centers.

  1. Sai Kaew Beach

Sai Kaew is at the northernmost part of Phuket beach located only 20 minutes drive from the airport. It exudes a very secluded atmosphere that is great for relaxing and unwinding. Travelers looking for a quiet getaway from the bustling cities find this beach perfect as there are practically no beach activities available. There are a few restaurants along the shore.

  1. Palai Beach

Palai beach is said to be the least impressive of all the Phuket beaches in terms of appearance. However, Palai is more popularly known to and frequented by travelers looking for the best seafood restaurants on the island. This beach is about an hour drive from the airport and 30 minutes drive away from Patong. Interestingly, Palai Beach features a beautiful view of the Chalong Bay.

  1. Hua Beach

Hua Beach is located at the south end of Kamala. It has a very secluded ambiance with only a few tourists spotted on the beach. Hence, it is perfect if you want some privacy and quiet moments to yourself. There are no beach facilities, and even rental sun loungers are not available.

  1. Pon Beach

Pon Beach is located on the western coast of Phuket and very near Patong beach. This beach is completely undeveloped and still very private. The beach is ranked above average with its slightly rocky sand and shallow water. If you visit this place, make sure you bring everything you need as there are no restaurants or beach loungers available. You need to bring your own snorkeling equipment.

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