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Are you planning a trip to the idyllic island of Phuket, Thailand? Then you’re in for a real treat.
While the island is mostly known for being a party island full of Full Moon Parties and Patong Beach, we can assure you there is a lot of natural beauty, peaceful towns, and family-friendly beaches in Phuket – it’s beautiful!
While most people think of Phuket beaches as all being like Patong Beach, we were finally able to explore the rest of the island were happily surprised to stumble across some hidden gems and beautiful landmarks.
By all means, if you’re looking for tourism on steroids including a packed beach, jet ski city, tons of accommodation, loads of shopping and restaurants, endless bars, and nightlife, Patong is where it’s at!
But if you’re after peace and quiet, family-friendly fun, and relaxation, then these are the most popular beaches in Phuket for you!
Disclaimer: We travelled to Thailand courtesy of Tourism Thailand, but all the ideas and opinions in the guide are our own.
At A Glance: Which Phuket Beaches Did We Like?
Our pick for the four best beaches in Phuket were Layan Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Surin Beach. We liked these beaches because they were not only beautiful but clean and family-friendly.
We’re not so big on the party crowds of Patong Beach, and we found these beaches to be relaxing and low-key.
You’ll find personal photos and tips on these Phuket beaches in this guide.
The 15 Best Beaches in Phuket
But these four beaches are not the only nice beaches in Phuket! If you’re not sure which beach to visit, or where to base yourself during your visit to Phuket, then take a look at these beaches below.
1. Layan Beach, Phuket
In our eyes, Layan is the best beach in Phuket, and we stumbled on it almost by accident.
It was our first stop on our Phuket beaches discovery drive with Mr Dam. We were in the Bangtao Bay area, and if we didn’t ask for a coffee stop, we may have never visited Layan Beach.
We pulled up at the end of a narrow beach road, stepped out of the car, and there in front of us was our Thai bliss.
Easily the quietest and most beautiful beach we visited in Phuket.
I can’t believe we almost had this piece of paradise all to ourselves, in peak season! No jet skis, no touts, the water was crystal clear, the white sand felt was soft, and it had an overall super chilled vibe.
Layan Beach is just north of Bang Tao Beach and we were at the southern end of Layan. We picked a spot in front of a hand full of quiet restaurants, such as Sabays, and this location was PERFECT for our family.
We had access to all the essentials: good food, beach chairs, beer, coconuts and a fresh water shower. This beach made our Phuket holiday! The best beach in Phuket for families for sure!
2. Karon Beach, Phuket
We spent the most amount of time at Karon, as we were staying across the road at the Hilton Phuket.
We enjoyed Karon Beach. The water and sand are nice, and it’s a long beach which is great for walks. Although there are quite a few resort developments, and plenty of restaurant options, it’s nowhere near as developed as Patong!
On most days we could be found enjoying a sunset beer, or a cocktail, and the vibe is great for families, couples, or a solo travellers.
If you’re standing in front of the Phuket Hilton, head left or right and you will discover plenty of eating options.
The Night Temple markets were a hit, and we loved the location as far as exploring the rest of Phuket.
You can walk to Kata Beach, and if you need the crazy mental party scene of Patong, it’s in close proximity.
3. Kata Beach, Phuket
Kata is one beach further south from Karon, and probably a bit more scenic as it’s more of a cove-shaped beach.
And whilst it was busier with tourists than Karon, it didn’t feel like it and still had a nice calmness to it, again, perfect for families. If you want a really quiet beach, head around the corner to Kata Noi Beach on the South side of Kata Beach.
We liked the tree-lined street running adjacent to the beach which also provided some nice shady spots on the sand – it’s HOT in Thailand – even under big beach umbrellas!
After a day on Kata, we recommend you head up the hill for a sunset drink at the “After Beach Bar”. Just don’t do what we did and choose the cloudiest day of your trip to watch the sunset.
4. Surin Beach, Phuket
On arrival, I didn’t take to Surin much, but it grew on me. It’s the smallest of the four best beaches in Phuket and whilst full of beach chairs and umbrellas, it’s quite scenic actually with lots of colors going on.
We ended up spending a whole day at Surin swimming in the ocean, chilling on the beach chairs, getting a great Thai massage (400 baht), and grabbing a delicious cheap lunch from the street carts nearby.
In the early evening, we found a nice restaurant on the beach, Pla Seafood, and enjoyed a good quality, reasonably priced dinner, whilst watching an amazing sunset.
5. Freedom Beach
This is one of the best beaches for those who are looking for hidden gems. It’s an almost secluded cove on Phuket’s west coast and is surrounded by dense green forest and dramatic coastlines.
It’s not too far from Patong Beach so you can easily access it in a half-day trip if you are staying in this area.
The beach looks just like the postcards, with pure white sand and turquoise waters, plus you’ll find the iconic long-tail boats resting on the shore’s edge. It’s total bliss!
6. Paradise Beach
As you might expect from a name such as Paradise Beach, this beach is absolutely gorgeous! It’s another iconic white sand beach lined nestled in a rocky bay, with palm trees with swings attached, it has the iconic backdrop you see online.
You can rent snorkelling gear and swim out to the coral reef, as well as play beach volleyball from the shore.
Though it’s a small beach, it has all the facilities you could want and need such as showers and changing rooms, plus a few beach bars. There are also a few sun loungers and umbrellas you can rent here, too.
7. Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach is a stunning undeveloped beach in the Sirinat National Park. It’s famous for being close to Phuket airport and you can see planes coming in to land from what feels like touching distance.
If you’re a photographer and you’re looking for a cool and unique beach shot in Thailand, then you’ll want to take a visit to this beach.
As well as the planes, it’s also a nesting ground for sea turtles who come to lay their eggs on the shores at night.
This beach is one of the few where sea turtles come to nest, and so the beach is protected by the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation.
While all eggs are collected and incubated by the foundation, visitors can still watch the release of the baby turtles during the Songkran holiday in mid-April. You can also learn about conservation efforts at the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is open to the public Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 3.00pm.
8. Bangtao Beach (Laguna Beach)
Located on the West Coast of Phuket is Bangtao Beach. It’s one of the longest beaches on the island at roughly 8km long. The curved beach is surrounded by forest and trees, making it a quiet escape from the busy towns of Phuket Old Town and Patong Beach.
If you’re looking for a beach with watersports, jet skis, banana boats, and kayaks, this is not it. Bangtao Beach is quiet and serene, you can almost feel completely at peace here. It also connects to Layan Beach on its North edge.
While it’s quiet and peaceful, it’s also lined with resorts, restaurants, and beach bars. This is all about finding your zen, which is part of the charm of visiting Thailand.
9. Nai Yang Beach
Also located near Sirinat National Park, is Nai Yang Beach. It’s another postcard perfect beach with white sand and blue waters. The beach is lined with restaurants and resorts, but what really brings people here is the sunset.
Since the beach faces West, it’s the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a sunset whilst sipping cocktails from a coconut.
You’ll also see some air traffic overhead, but not as many planes as you do at Mai Khao Beach.
10. Rawai Beach
If you’re looking for a beach to take a boat tour from, then it’s Ra Wai Beach. This is not a beach for swimming, as there’s too many boats in the water and there’s also a thriving coral reef that needs protecting.
However, it’s a great place to sit and watch the sunset since it faces West, and take in the scenic views of the long-tail boats.
11. Haad Laem Singh Beach
Haad Laem Singh Beach is the epitome of tropical beaches. If there’s a beach in Heaven, it would look like Haad Leam Singh Beach.
There’s a small hike to this beach down a little dirt road, but because it requires some effort to get to, very few people go here. This is the biggest draw to this beach, as it’s not often you find a beach that’s this quiet.
You can find the usual facilities here such as restaurants, cafes, places to rent snorkeling equipment, and sun loungers. You may also see a long-tail boat or two in the water.
12. Ya Nui Beach
Ya Nui is a small and secluded beach in a cove between the Windmill Viewpoint and the Promthep Cape at the far South of the island. Although it’s not a secret beach, it feels much more secluded than the rest of the beaches in Phuket.
It’s a great place to go snorkeling or diving from the shores. In fact, the waters here are so clear you can see small fish from where you’re standing at the water’s edge (if you stay still long enough for them to get close to you).
If you’re looking for stunning soft sand beaches with crystal clear waters, then Ya Nui Beach is a great option.
13. Nai Thon Beach
Located on the West coast of Phuket, this gorgeous beach is far from the crowded Patong or Kata Beach areas. It’s unusual in that it doesn’t have any facilities – no restaurants, bars, sun loungers or nothing. Which makes the beach completely untouched by humans and a place where you can just enjoy being in nature.
However, you can find some street food and shops nearby if you take a little walk onto the beach road.
One thing to bare in mind when visiting Nai Thon is that the waves are a little strong, so be careful if you take your children here.
14. Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Beach is a small and quiet beach with a small resort atmosphere. You’ll find some boho stores selling Thai crafts and beachwear, as well as a few quirky restaurants.
The waves can get quite high here, which attracts a lot of surfers. There is a somewhat hippy vibe to the place but that’s what gives it its charm.
If you’re visiting with children, make sure to keep an eye on them paddling on the shores as the waves are quite strong. There are also lifeguards on the beach as well if you’re concerned about safety in the water.
It’s also located near to the gorgeous Nai Harn Lake, a freshwater lake that is a great spot for paddle boating.
15. Kamala Beach
Kamala Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Phuket and is turning into the new Patong. It’s a huge beach with a lot going on – you can rent jet skis, banana boats, and other water sports.
It is lined with resorts and beach bars, as well as market stalls and massage shops. It’s a great place for those who enjoy being in a lively area but not quite as crazy as Patong Beach.
It’s another hot spot for sunset since it faces West, and since there’s a lot going on here after dark, it’s a great place to enjoy some nightlife too (but not as crazy as Patong nightlife).
Where to stay in Phuket, Thailand?
Deciding where to stay in Phuket is the hardest part of planning a vacation here as there are so many nice beaches and resorts to choose from.
However, you don’t need to stress about this. Most of the top attractions in Phuket are within a 30 minute drive of each other. Phuket, at least the touristy areas and the beaches, are not that big. Phuket Airport is about an hour’s drive away from most beaches.
Use the information above about the beaches to decide on an area that sounds nice to you and fits in line with your travel style, and then start looking for nearby accommodation.
For more information on places to stay in Phuket, Thailand check out a range of hostels, hotels, luxury villas, and guesthouses with our partner Booking.com. Choose from the largest range of accommodation with free cancellation on most rooms, and in most cases, you only pay when you stay.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Beaches in Phuket?
Most beaches in Phuket are free to visit, however, there are some additional costs you need to consider. Here’s a rough guide to how much you are likely to spend at the beach.
2 Beach chairs, umbrella and table = 200 Baht ($6.70) per day!
Singa Beer = 80 Baht ($2.70)
Fresh Coconut = 50 Baht ($1.70)
Bottle of water = 20 Baht (65 cents)
1 Hour Massage = 300 – 400 Baht ($10 – $13)
Lunch (Pad Thai, Green Curry, Tom Yum Goong) = 120 – 150 Baht ($4 – $5)
Looking for some water sports action?
- 30 Minute Jet Ski Hire = from 800 Baht ($27)
- 5 Minute Parasailing = from 800 Baht
Best Time to Visit Phuket
You might also be wondering when is a good time to visit Phuket – and the answer is, any time! Phuket is a popular beach destination all year round, but you might find some months are better than others.
The rainy season, or monsoon season, happens between July and October. Although you might think this sis a terrible time to visit, typically the rain lasts for an hour or two and then it dries up, so you can still enjoy the beaches during this time.
November is a great time to visit as the rain has dispersed and the weather isn’t ridiculously hot. November until February is considered the high season in Phuket as many visitors want to escape the winter cold back home.
Spring is a great time to visit as it’s reasonably quiet and the weather is decent. Although you may find it a bit crowded during Easter in April.
For Thailand Resources
Are you thinking of visiting other parts of Thailand on your trip? Then you should check out these other helpful resources to help you plan your trip.
Before You Go
Now you know about all the best beaches in Phuket and what you need to consider when visiting, it’s time to pack up your flip-flops and sunglasses, as you’re ready to hit the beach!
Before you go, remember that the weather in Thailand can be deceiving. The wind breeze and fresh ocean air can make it feel cooler than it is, but the sun is still strong.
Wear sun protection, seek shade in the middle of the day, and don’t underestimate the sun! Other than that, have an amazing time on Phuket’s beaches!
Do you still have questions about these beaches in Phuket? If so, we’d be happy to answer them in the comments!