Phuket is a common destination after Bangkok. And for good reason. After all the parties and vibrant noise in the capital of Thailand, it’s time for some beach serenity.
Phuket offers a lot of beaches. From nightlife (in case you’re not done yet) to water activities, to quiet and secluded beaches, and even a jungle beach, you’ll find a perfect beach for you. Here are the best Phuket beaches that are well-recommended by travel bloggers:
10 Best Phuket Beaches
10. Patong Beach – Best for Nightlife
Patong Beach is quite popular with tourists of all ages, and my experience there was truly unforgettable as I visited Patong Beach during my very first visit to Thailand.
It is famous for its crystal-clear waters and soft white sand. It’s among the Phuket beaches that offer lovely views, especially at sunset. It has a vibrant nightlife and offers many activities and watersports, as many people tend to include this in their itinerary, even when they’re visiting Phuket in June – the start of the wet season.
Parasailing and jet skiing are popular on this beach. There are many restaurants, bars, and pubs where you can have a fun night out, especially at Bangla Street. You can catch a Cabaret show or even watch Muay Thai boxers on the stretch in the evening.
However, because it is so famous, Patong Beach is busy and crowded, especially during sunset. I recommend heading to the southern part of the beach, which was my favorite, as it is quieter and much more laid back.
Patong Beach is a perfect balance of both quiet and fun, depending on what you’re looking to do. Remember to taste some delicious local cuisine, as street food here is budget-friendly! Keep an eye out for traffic while you do so!
Patong Beach is a short distance from Phuket International Airport. Amari Phuket Hotel Patong is an ideal accommodation with stunning views of Patong Beach.
By Lavina of Continent Hop
9. Rawai Beach – Best for Local Culture
We were looking for lunch and fresh juice when we stumbled upon Rawai Beach after we visited the Big Buddha and Promthep Cape. We had to stop our motorbike when we saw its Maldives-like view.
Although not suitable for swimming, Rawai Beach provides a peaceful escape from the usual tourist crowds. For swimming, you can head to Yanui Beach, a secluded cove just 2 kilometers west of Rawai.
Next to Rawai Beach is Rawai Pier with the Rawai Seafood Market, where travelers can purchase seafood directly from local fishermen and ask the nearby restaurants to cook them.
On the right side of the pier, a beach road hosts bars, shops, and hotels, along with some excellent local restaurants, which is what we initially saw.
Rawai also serves as the departure point for island-hopping trips to destinations like Coral Island and Bon Island.
Rawai isn’t a hub for nightlife or water sports but instead offers serenity, stunning views, and a glimpse of local culture.
To reach Rawai, take a taxi or a private transfer from Phuket International Airport, which is approximately a 1-hour journey.
If you’re a fan of glamping, book one of the tents at Roost Glamping. It offers a unique and luxurious outdoor experience with comfortable tents, modern amenities, and a tranquil tropical oasis.
By Gladis (yup, that’s me!) of Happiness on the Way
8. Karon Beach – Best for Watching Sunsets
Karon Beach is a three-kilometer stretch of white sandy coastline making it one of the longest Phuket beaches. It’s known for its quiet atmosphere and sunsets, and as you head further north, the beach becomes even more spacious and peaceful.
During our two-week stay in Karon, we went to Karon Beach for a quick dip, dined in local restaurants nearby, watched the sunsets, and simply enjoyed a nice evening walk almost every day.
Nearby, you’ll also find Wat Suwan Khiri Khet, a beautiful Buddhist temple that hosts a night market on Tuesdays and Fridays. Here, you can enjoy local Thai delicacies, exotic fruits, and the famous Mango Sticky Rice.
Karon has many local restaurants offering affordable Thai dishes. We particularly loved Red Corner Restaurant with its fresh seafood meals and complimentary slices of fruit for dessert!
Karon’s nightlife is pretty laid-back. We only saw two restaurants featuring live music, and they usually stopped at 10 p.m.
We stayed at the Karon Butterfly Apartment. It has spacious rooms, a charming pool, and a gym, all within a few minutes’ walk from Karon Beach and local restaurants. It’s located on a hill, so it’s best to have a scooter for your stay.
By Gladis (that’s me, again) of Happiness on the Way
7. Kamala Beach – Best for Families
Kamala Beach is one of our favorite Phuket beaches and is ideal for anyone seeking a slice of paradise. It is the perfect blend of natural beauty and a laid-back atmosphere.
The beach’s powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters create a tranquil oasis perfect for unwinding and soaking up the sun. The waters of Kamala Beach are clear and calm from November to April (high season), but you may experience large waves during the monsoon season between May and October.
It’s not as bustling as some of the other Phuket beaches such as Kata Beach, making it ideal for a serene getaway or a family vacation. The peacefulness here is a rare find, especially if you’re looking to escape the crowd.
What we love about Kamala Beach is that it is one of the few places on the island where the bars and restaurants are practically set ‘on the beach’ with unhindered views of the ocean. You can enjoy a cold Mojito with your toes in the sound or dine at one of the many local restaurants serving up an array of Thai and international cuisines.
To get to Kamala Beach, you can fly into Phuket International Airport, which is around a 40-minute drive away. It’s the perfect base for exploring Kamala and its surrounding attractions such as the Phuket FantaSea cultural theme park and the vibrant Patong Beach nightlife.
We recommend staying at the Thai Kamala Beach Front Hotel. This beachfront hotel not only provides stunning ocean views but also boasts comfortable rooms, excellent service, and a range of amenities. It is the ideal location due to it being on the beach and surrounded by great bars and restaurants.
By Peta and Jonas of Exit45 Travels
6. Mai Khao – Best for Relaxation
It’s no secret that Phuket beaches can often be overcrowded. However, it is still possible to have a secluded paradise beach experience on this popular island.
Mai Khao Beach, located on the northwestern coast of Phuket, is the place to go to experience serenity and untouched local nature. It is part of the Sirinat National Park and this status protects Mai Khao from development, despite being a 20-minute taxi ride from Phuket International Airport.
At 11 kilometers long, Mai Khao is the longest strip of sand in Phuket, ideal for those long beach walks. You won’t see any beach umbrellas, food stalls, or water sports equipment hire anywhere on Mai Khao. Instead, you can still find completely deserted sections where you will have the beach pretty much to yourself.
In my opinion, Mai Khao is the perfect destination for a romantic couple’s retreat. If you are after a lively beach setting and nightlife, many other Phuket beaches will fit the bill.
The only exception to Mai Khao’s tranquility is its southern tip which is at the end of the flight path of the airport. During the high season, this spot attracts crowds who take selfies with descending planes just before their land. If you do go there, keep your wits about you as the sound of the jet engines can be quite deafening.
Those looking for privacy and seclusion will find a small range of high-end resorts and villas to choose from. One of my favorite resorts in the area is Melia Phuket Mai Khao. It’s close to the beach and all rooms feature either an outdoor bathtub or a private swimming pool.
By Ksenia of Explore with Wonder
5. Kata Beach – Best for Surfing
Kata Beach is one of the most beautiful Phuket beaches, with clear turquoise waters and soft golden sands. It offers a variety of dining and hotel options while maintaining a toned-down nightlife and a less crowded atmosphere compared to Patong Beach.
Kata Beach is also a haven for water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers who gather here during the monsoon season, with waves perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers.
Kata Beach has diverse food options, from beachfront seafood restaurants to a vibrant night market of Thai favorites. This beach is also known for its beach massages from morning until night.
In the evening, the town comes to life with a lively nightlife scene, including bars and live music.
Kata Beach serves as an excellent base for exploring the iconic southern Phuket attractions, such as The Big Buddha (12 km), Wat Chalong Temple (9 km), and Promthep Cape (10 km).
To reach Kata Beach, you can take a taxi or a private transfer from Phuket International Airport, which is approximately a 45-minute journey.
For an affordable luxury stay immersed in Thai art and culture, stay at Sawasdee Village Resort & Spa. Its award-winning spa and amenities set the tone for peace, relaxation, and healing.
By Gladis of Happiness on the Way
4. Kata Noi – Best for a Quiet Beach Experience
Beside the famous Kata Beach lies a hidden gem – Kata Noi Beach. Unless you know about it, you’ll probably miss it! Too bad because this beach was once voted by TripAdvisor as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world!
Kata Noi is a stunning sandy bay with clear, turquoise waters during the high season. It strikes the perfect balance – it’s neither overcrowded nor deserted. I love how you can simply swim, walk, and even take a nap on the beach here in peace.
Kata Noi’s gentle waves make it one of the best Phuket Beaches for swimming but still be careful. We swam here on a cloudy day, and suddenly the waves grew bigger!
Its northern end of the beach is a favorite spot among surfers who occasionally catch some decent waves. You can also enjoy fun activities like parasailing, snorkeling, and tubing. However, it’s not a hub for nightlife, ensuring a peaceful night.
You’ll also find Karon Viewpoint here, despite its name; it’s located at Kata Noi. This scenic spot is one of the best-known landmarks in Phuket.
To reach Kata Noi Beach, you can walk from Kata Beach or take a quick tuk-tuk ride.
Kata Noi isn’t the place for a budget stay in Phuket. If you can splurge a bit, check out the luxurious Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, where you’ll wake up to stunning sea views – a perfect choice for a romantic escape!
By Gladis of Happiness on the Way
3. Surin Beach – Best for Upscale Dining
Surin Beach is a small, quiet beach located on the Andaman Sea Coast of Phuket. Often overlooked for its larger neighbors, Bang Tao to the north and Kamala Beach to the South, Surin is an 800m serene stretch of soft golden sand with shallow, calm waters, ideal for a family day at one of Phuket beaches.
This is far from being a party town that most of Phuket’s west coast is becoming known for. You can easily access the beach via the Phuket Smartbus, tuk-tuks, or taxis.
There are some food vendors along the beach, though like many beaches of late, they have been cleared from the beach itself, leaving large, peaceful, shaded areas to set up your towels under the palm trees that line the beach. Surin Beach is known for smaller beachfront restaurants and bars that cater to those looking for a bit of luxury.
Note that like many west coast beaches, swimming conditions can be a little rough in the wet season. The beach is lifeguard patrolled and more often than not, you’ll see the red flags during May to October, but the beach itself can still be lovely.
We’d recommend Destinations Resorts Phuket Surin Beach which is a small tropical paradise. Putting you only a minute’s walk onto the beach, they offer a great range of short and long-stay rooms, including family rooms with bunks!
By Keri of Mama Loves Phuket
2. Nui Beach – Best for Snorkeling
Hidden in the greenery of south Phuket’s jungle, Nui Beach is tucked away from the island’s typically rowdy atmosphere. This secret beach, as some call it, is much quieter and one of the prettiest beaches in Phuket.
Nui Beach is a small, 120-meter stretch of sand surrounded by palm trees and large rocks dotting the landscape. The sand is always spotless and the beautiful water invites one to swim and snorkel.
Under the management of a private beach club, they have designed aesthetic-looking decor, photo spots, and a giant swing. There is even an on-site dive shop.
Unlike many other Phuket beaches, this one doesn’t see nearly as many tourists. The reason is likely due to the adventurous journey required to reach there.
Situated 2.5 km into the jungle, the road to the beach begins just before the famous Karon Viewpoint. Most Phuket tours won’t include this destination, so I rented a motorbike to get there. Since the last stretch of the road is incredibly steep, the beach club offers a shuttle ride for a fee, along with a 100 baht entry to the beach.
For accommodations, consider staying at Sugar Ohana Poshtel, a modern-designed lodging near Kata Beach, just a short drive from Nui Beach.
By Catherine Xu of Nomadicated
1. Freedom Beach – Best for Off-the-Beaten-Path
Freedom Beach in Phuket is one of the most suggestive, and I am not talking only about the soft sand and clear water that is readily available everywhere on the island.
The particularity of Freedom Beach is that you have to pass through the jungle to get there. Well, there are other ways, such as by boat or through the nearby hotel, but definitely, the hike is a fantastic experience.
Phuket Freedom Beach is located close to the Patong area, one of the most popular but secluded in a bay that is difficult to see from the road.
The only way to get to the parking lot is through a bumpy, non-conventional side road full of potholes, where the street exists, otherwise only gravel. Be careful driving the scooter and getting there.
The hike takes 15-20 minutes to get down if you are fit, double if you are not. Remember to bring water with you, as you will pass by the humid jungle. There is a kiosk at the entrance where you can refill.
Also, we loved Freedom Beach because it is free to enter, and there is also a parking spot, free as well.
The best way to enjoy one of the most beautiful Phuket beaches is to spend the whole day on Freedom Beach, have lunch at Bearfoot Bistro, and spend the night at the luxurious Marriott Hotel nearby. You can’t miss the positive vibes of this hidden gem while exploring Phuket.
By Toti and Ale of Passport and Stamps
FAQs: Phuket Beaches
What is the most popular beach to stay in Phuket?
Patong Beach is often considered one of the most popular Phuket beaches to stay at due to its numerous accommodations, nightlife, restaurants, and water activities. However, the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and interests.
What is the least touristy beach in Phuket?
Despite the popularity of Phuket, there are relatively less developed and less crowded Phuket beaches such as Mai Khao, Nui, Kata Noi, and Freedom Beach
Which beach has the clearest water in Phuket?
Freedom Beach and Nui Beach are known for having some of the clearest and most pristine waters on the island. Both are excellent choices for swimming and snorkeling.
Which beaches can you swim in Phuket?
You can swim at many of Phuket beaches like Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Kamala Beach. These Phuket beaches are generally safe for swimming, but always be aware of local currents and follow any posted warnings to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.
Which are the Phuket beaches for families?
Phuket offers several family-friendly beaches, including Kamala Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Surin Beach. Each of these Phuket beaches provides a relaxed atmosphere, shallow waters, and safe water activities for children.
When is the best time to visit Phuket beaches?
The best time to visit Phuket for a beach holiday is from December to March. During this period, the weather is generally sunny, and the sea is calm, making it ideal for swimming, water activities, and beach relaxation.
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Phuket’s diverse beaches offer something for every traveler, from vibrant nightlife to family-friendly destinations and secluded retreats. Which of these Phuket beaches is your kind of beach?