Once a staging post on the major trade route between India and China and a centre for tin and rubber production; the island of Phuket now uses the natural beauty of its tropical beaches as a major global tourist attraction. The island is in the far south west of Thailand in the Indian Ocean’s Andaman Sea, approximately an hour and a quarter’s flight from the capital Bangkok.
With around 35 to choose from, Phuket’s beaches are truly stunning; vast tracts of beautiful sandy beaches with crystal clear seas with activities, or none, to suit all tastes for a perfect holiday. A selection of beaches include:
Big, bold and brassy; the Patong Beach area is lively and vibrant. The beach itself is around two miles of white sand with all the services and development you would expect from a place that offers fun by day and night.
South of Surin Beach, Kamala is a long tranquil beach which gets less developed as you move further northwards from Kamala town, the beach is popular with repeat visitors who like the lack of fuss and bustle of some of Phuket’s livelier beach areas.
Over four miles of white sand and, in high season, calm seas make this a popular destination for families, tourists and locals alike. Wide enough that it rarely feels busy the beach offers a range of watersports such as waterskiing, windsurfing and paragliding; the main resort complexes are in the centre of the beach with the northern end still largely undeveloped.
Towards the north western tip of the island, close to Phuket International Airport, the six mile beach includes part of the Sirinat National Park. Mai Khao has long been home to nesting sea turtles, with April’s Songkran Festival seeing the release of thousands of hatchlings.
Haad Pak Phra
The last beach on the north end by the Sarasin Bridge, this out of the way beach is quiet but nothing special by Phuket standards. However it is home to jellyfish processing. Huge open air vats of jellyfish, with kids playing in the white mass of jelly hold the fishermen’s catch before it is marinated and dried before being transported to the markets of Bangkok.
This isolated idyll is said by some to be Phuket’s finest beach. Only a few minutes from Patong Beach, the beach is only accessible by boat during high season as it is surrounded by private land – there is a very rough and steep path across private land but it is often shut off. The soft white sand and crystal blue seas make this the perfect picture post card beach.