Everyone is familiar with the long lines of sun beds along Patong, Kata and even Nai Harn beaches and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this alone is Phuket’s beach culture. But you’d be wrong to do so.
With an adventurous spirit, a set of wheels and a map of the island you can discover some beach gems that will have you coming back for more. Here are Six of the Best: Phuket’s ‘Secret’ Beaches.
With its three mini-beaches, hulking granite boulders, rough sand and great snorkelling, Ao Sane is an attractive place to spend the afternoon, especially as it enjoys a fair bit of shade afforded by its groves of tropical almond trees. A yacht mooring spot from November to May, Ao Sane has its share of colourful personalities and a simple yet charming beach restaurant with toilet and showering facilities. Read More...
- How to get there: Head toward the Royal Phuket Yacht Club at Nai Harn Beach’s northern end. Follow the road under the hotel and keep going. The beach is well marked.
The archetypical tropical beach complete with nodding palms, white sand and shallow waters, Ao Yon is also home to oyster growing rafts a few hundred metres out to sea and is a small beachside village in its own right. Southerly facing, it can get busy at weekends as locals love to picnic there but is pleasantly peaceful on weekdays. Read More...
- How to get there: Located between Cape Panwa and Novotel Cape Panwa; park on the hillside road and walk down to the beach.
You’ll understand why this beach is so named when you emerge onto its crescent-shaped strand. Hard to find, yet rewarding, it’s a bit of a trek downhill through a wooded area and at high tide on a windy day you won’t have much space but when the weather is calm there’s no beating Banana Beach for tranquility and beauty. There is a beach restaurant there. Do not swim between the months of May and November. Read More...
- How to get there: Go south from Naithon Beach, pass the Andaman White Beach Resort and stop a few bends later. There is a rickety sign. Park and walk down.
Nui Beach is one of the most beautiful ‘secret beaches’ in Phuket. Renamed Water Beach Club after the company that takes care of it, this 120 m strip of sand dotted with large boulders is located roughly 3 kilometres through the jungle after Kata-Karon Viewpoint, on the road linking Kata and Nai Harn beaches. Nui Beach is really a tropical dream destination come true: perfectly maintained and cleaned up by the staff of Water Beach Club, it features a bar/restaurant, as well as many activities – snorkelling, beach volley, sea kayaking, and a stylish spa at which you can have a massage and enjoy a sauna. Read More...
- How to get there: Head down the side road next to the Kata viewpoint of the hilly road from Nai Harn to Kata. Pass the Reggae Bar and park at the set of stairs heading down to the restaurant.
Khao Kad Beach (Panwa Beach)
Panwa Beach (or Khao Kad Beach) has managed to remain exactly the same as it has been for years in spite of intensive urbanization in the direct area. It's still tranquil and a haven for people who like peace and quiet. Khao Khat is eight kilometres east of Phuket Town and covers the west coast of Cape Panwa. Its sand is rather rough and the water shallow but it's certainly very scenic with views out across Chalong Bay and Lone Island. Luxury villas and condominiums line almost the entire beach but dotted in between are fishermen's huts and at the far west end of the beach there is a mangrove swamp.
- How to get there: Head south from Kamala Beach towards Cape Sienna and Paresa resorts until you notice two concrete pillars and a concrete drive leading down to the beach.
This 200-metre long beach five kilometres north of Patong is secluded enough to be quiet on any given day which is good news but it still sports sun loungers and a beach bar. Still, with a feeder road from the main road it’s only a matter of time before it’s ‘discovered’ so enjoy the peace while you can! Yae is not a particularly good swimming beach due to the rocks there and when the tide is out it’s impossible to swim. There is a beach bar/club there with western toilets. Even though it would be great for sunset viewing, the difficult track leading back to the road discourages this.
- How to get there: Heading north from Patong Beach, pass the Thavorn Beach Village and Spa and take the road to the left up a steep hill. Drive about a kilometre to a dirt road down to the beach.