Plane spotting is a popular activity in Phuket. The hotspot for watching planes coming into land is at the western end of Phuket International Airport runway, at the southern end of Mai Khao Beach. The place is idyllic: Mai Khao Beach is up to 50 metres wide at low tide, and the turquoise colours of the sea, especially between 10am and 2pm, offer stunning photo opportunities. Every day, many people gather at the end of the runway to get their photo taken with a plane. With a capacity of 30 flights per hour at Phuket Airport, you do not need to wait for too long between planes landing.
As planes must face the wind when they take off and land, you have 2 plane spotting seasons in Phuket. During high season, from December to April, the wind blows from the northeast toward the southwest, landing directly over the beach. It’s just the opposite in low season: planes take off toward the west, so you can see them departing overhead.
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How to get to the best plane-watching spot in Phuket
You can get to the western end of Phuket Airport runway on Mai Khao Beach either from the south or the north. From the south, you can park by the Sirinath National Park checkpoint and walk about 1 km northward along the beach to get there. From the north, you can get to the beach through Soi Mai Khao 6. There’s a paved trail heading south that starts right next to the Coriacea Boutique Resort. You can drive on this path with a motorbike. You’ll pass in front of Grand West Sands Resort & Villas, and reach a point where you’ll find a few stalls selling food and drinks under the shade of the pine trees that fringe the beach. The airport is just a few metres away from that point. There’s also about 1 km between the Coriacea hotel and the plane-watching spot.
Phuket plane spotting cautions
The airport authority does not see the presence of plane spotters in a very favourable way. They tried to restrict the area in 2016 but failed to do so as the beach is public land. Simply be cautious if you go there. Some planes land very low above the fence and the sound of their jet engines can cause permanent hearing loss. Objects left carelessly around could potentially be thrown by the power of the aircraft turbines.
Photos of Plane Spotting in Phuket
Recommended Hotel Nearby
Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villa
Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villas is to be found along Mai Khao Beach on Phuket Island northwestern stretch.Mai Khao is the longest beach on the island and is therefore tranquil and almost virgin.The resort is set in 47 acres of land and has a beachfront 500 meters long.The focus of Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villas is a unique water park with swimming pools, a lazy river, and waterslides - a favourite destinations for families on the island that provides days of fun and excitement.The resort features 275 Deluxe Rooms, Luxury Suites, and three- and four-bedroom Penthouse Pool Suites and Villas equipped with private pools of up to 40sqm. Read More...
Plane Spotting in Phuket
- Location: Mai Khao Beach, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand