Phuket has become synonymous with images of clear crystal waters and perfect soft sandy beaches. In Thailand’s most popular island, an abundance of beaches abounds, with over 30 of them found all around the coastline, with some being “hidden” and relatively unknown to tourists.
But how do you find the best beaches in Phuket? The best beaches can be difficult to list since a great beach can mean differently to different people. But if you’re looking for crystal, calm waters, fantastic sand, and access to conveniences, here are our top 10 picks of the best beaches in Phuket.
1. Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi literally means “little Kata,” since it’s a relatively smaller yet close beach to the more popular Kata Beach nearby. Located south to the popular tourist spot, Kata Noi is a more peaceful and calmer choice for locals and tourists, and at just under 700 meters long, its sea is among the most beautiful and its sand some of the finest in the area.
There are only a couple of hotels along its length, so you’ll pretty much have a lot of space for some peace and quiet on this beautiful beach.
2. Banana Beach
Also known as Banana Rock Beach, this is one of the last remaining beaches on the island that is relatively “hidden.” There are no big signs that tell you where it is, and trees pretty much cover up the coast so it can be a little difficult to locate if you don’t know where to look.
Banana Beach is only 180 meters long, but its waters are shallow, making it perfect for families to splash around its waters. There are also large trees so looking for an ideal shaded area away from the blistering heat of the sun won’t be a problem.
There are no big restaurants or vendors here but a small seafood restaurant has been serving up great fresh seafood for decades, so you won’t have to go far and wide to fill your tummy in the middle of the day.
3. Freedom Beach
Freedom Beach is the least accessible of all beaches in Phuket. You can trek for one kilometer through thick jungle over private land, or you can hire a boat to take you there.
It only has a small 300-meter strip of sand, but you can find one of the finest white sand beaches of all of Phuket here. There are a few beach chairs you can use, and the beach also has a restaurant that serves up food and drinks.
There are no jet skis or parasailers in the waters and vendors are nonexistent here. So if you’re looking for a remote, quiet, calm, and peaceful beach to spend the day in, Freedom Beach is the place to be.
4. Laem Singh Beach
Located between Kamala and Surin beaches, Leam Singh is popular with Italian tourists and has been dubbed as “The Italian Beach.” There are no solid permanent structures here, but a few restaurants have been serving local Thai dishes as well as Napolitan cuisine.
A small cove with only 150 meters of sand, it is nestled in a hidden bay and has the feeling of a “secret beach” due to its location and setting.
There’s an entrance fee of 100 baht, but it still gets crowded during peak season, despite having the appeal of a hidden beach.
5. Kata Beach
One of the more popular great beaches in Phuket, Kata Beach is a popular stopover for many tourists as the sand and seabed are soft, and its waters have a beautiful crystal clear turquoise hue. It’s also home to many restaurants that range from budget stalls to fine dining options.
At 1.5 km in length, it is home to many resorts on its northern side yet still has a very laid-back atmosphere.
6. Nai Harn Beach
One of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches facing the Andaman Sea, Nai Harn Beach is located on the southern end of the island. At 660 meters long, it has remained largely undeveloped due to its small size and the presence of a lake located right behind the beach.
Its calm waters are a crystal clear azure color, and its sand is soft – perfect for families with small kids. An excellent choice of hotels, shops, and restaurants are nearby, so you’re not sacrificing convenience for a peaceful and charming beach that gives you peace and quiet.
7. Surin Beach
With an area known as “Millionaire’s Row,” Surin Beach is home to a good number of luxury hotels and resorts in Thailand such as The Surin, Amanpuri, and Twinpalms, as well as high-end restaurants and wine bars. But its charm doesn’t lie in its luxurious villas and million-dollar homes located on the nearby hilltops; but it’s the beautiful, fine, white sand, and turquoise waters that draw both developers and sun worshippers alike to the area in the first place.
8. Bangtao Beach
One of the longest beaches in Phuket at 8km long, it is home to the popular Laguna Complex, where an area hosts 7 luxury resorts and one golf course. While it is home to several hotels and resorts, because of its length, there are still some spots on its northern side where visitors can find a place to enjoy some fine sand and clear waters all for themselves. Catch Beach Club, which is one of the coolest beach clubs on the island is also located along the stretch of Bangtao Beach.
9. Nai Thon Beach
Located on Phuket’s west coast, Nai Thon is quite relatively unknown to tourists. An ideal spot to get away from crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet, it is long and wide and trees offer the perfect shade to hide away from the Phuket sun.
The beach is divided into two parts by a small rock formation, and just a small walk from this formation, you can find several spots to enjoy a slice of paradise to yourself, amidst its smooth sand and clear waters.
A few small restaurants can be found on its southern side and just across the road are bars, a mini market, restaurants, and a dive shop.
10. Kamala Beach
Just north to the famous Patong Beach is Kamala Beach, a 2-km stretch of a white sand strip with a more relaxed and quieter atmosphere. It’s a well-enclosed bay and home to a small coastal fishing village, giving it a rustic vibe nonexistent with other more popular beaches.
It is, however, still popular with tourists, though, especially retirees and tourists who stay for more extended periods of time in Phuket. There are some excellent beach dining, shopping, and hotel options on the beach. And just nearby is the popular Phuket Fantasea Park, where shops, stalls, and acrobats perform in a park at night.
There you have it, our top 10 Phuket Beaches that are a definite must-visit when you find yourself on this beautiful island. Take your pick and choose from crowded beaches with a great nightlife to lesser-known spots with the feel of a secret beach.