Phuket is the biggest island of Thailand with an area of 543 sq. km. From all the sides it is washed by the Andaman Sea which flows into the Indian Ocean. Phuket’s coastline is diverse, with yellow sandy bays and stone and rocky shores alternating with white gentle sand and palms.
The island is rather big, so it is better to choose your holiday spot in advance. Every beach can be compared to a city with its own infrastructure. When choosing a beach, it is necessary to pay attention to its coastline, cleanliness, presence or absence of the waves and the number of people.
We will begin our review with the most popular beach - Patong - which is situated in the south-west of the island, 37 km from Phuket Airport. Despite the fact that the beach has a long coastline, it is always crowded with tourists. Patong beach is wide with a flat shore which allows to walk into the water gently and comfortably. There are no big waves, the water is usually calm here. Along the seashore there are many cafes and restaurants, and here is the epicentre of the nightlife in Phuket - Bangla Road. If you are an extrovert, love meeting and talking to new people and enjoy large companies - then Patong is a perfect place for your holiday. You will never get bored there!
Further to the north, along the western coast of Phuket lies a small beach - Kalim. The coastline is narrow, there are no facilities for a relaxing beach rest and no tourists.
Going further to the north, we find ourselves at Kamala Beach. It is popular among Russian people, its infrastructure and the seashore are suitable for a family holiday.
This is the beach with white sand and flat shore which allows to walk comfortably into the water, The place is quiet and not crowded with tourists. However, you should be careful and pay attention to the warning signs forbidding swimming due to big waves. If you are in Phuket for the first time, you absolutely should see the FantaSea show which takes place in Kamala.
Phuket mostly has a mountain relief. If you move along the seashore, you will see a lot of viewpoints. One of them is situated on the way from Kamala further to the north, after which we get to Surin Beach.
Surin Beach is very popular among photographers. The wonderful atmosphere of a beach paradise is created by rocky ledges of the coastline, palms bent over the seashore and fine gentle sand. At Surin the waves and undercurrents are stronger than at the beaches described above, which makes the place more exotic and attractive.
Up to the north stretch Bang Tao and Laguna beaches. The infrastructure here is represented by big hotels and villas. There is a big number of luxurious villas which are considered to be the best on the island. The peculiarity of Bang Tao and Laguna is beautiful lakes. Nearby the Cassia hotel lies a lake where a small ferry travels back and forth taking tourists from the hotel to the restaurant at the seashore.
Bang Tao and Laguna beaches are rather quiet, with white soft sand and wide coastline which proves their “luxury status” of VIP beaches. There you will also find the best nightclub in Phuket - The Catch.
Moving further to the north, we see Banana Beach - very much-advertised among tourists. The only difference from all the other beaches is more palms at the seashore. However, many tourists travel there from the other side of Phuket to take unforgettable exotic photos. You can get to Banana Beach (and to most Phuket beaches) by taxi
The next beaches - Naithon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao - can surely be called peaceful and lonely. They are situated far away from the center of Phuket. Here you can relax and have a good rest. However, please take into consideration that many tour agencies charge an extra fee for transfer from this districts. Naithon and Mai Khao have a wide spacious coastline. Here you can see kitesurfers - both advanced and beginners.
Nai Yang Beach is situated in the territory of Sirinat National Park, that is why it is necessary to pay a fee at the entrance. However, tourists can often get to the territory of the beach for free. Local people also like spending their weekends here with their families and friends. Here you can hide in the fade of the mangrove trees from the heating sun which is very important for Thai people - they do not like sunbathing.
The particular feature of Mai Khao Beach is the longest coastline (about 11 km) and of course, its closeness to the airport. Depending on the direction of the wind, you can watch airplanes taking off and landing. The latter is very impressive view, you sometimes have a feeling that the plane might literally touch your head. When we visited Mai Khao, we could only watch the taking offs because of the wind direction. Planes take off here very often - every 2-3 minutes, but during the taking off they do not fly as low as during the landing. In Mai Khao Beach there are mostly lux villas and 5* hotels. The seashore is flat with fine soft sand and evergreen trees along the coast.
We have reached the northernmost point - Phuket Airport - and we continue moving to the south-east. The north-eastern and central coastline of Phuket does not have beautiful beaches and romantic views. This part of the island fulfills a more practical role - there are berths and Chalong Pier from where ferries and boats travel to the main Phuket islands. From Rung Hill viewpoint there opens an amazing view of Chalong Pier and its area.
Then our way goes through the historical part of Phuket - Phuket Town - to Panwa district. There are some nice viewpoints with beautiful views over Panwa Beach. The ebbs here are noticeable, it is better to visit this place during the rising tides.
Going along the eastern coast further to the south, we get to a fisherman’s village and Rawai Beach. There is a famous fish market with a wide choice of fresh seafood at affordable prices. In the restaurant you can get fresh seafood and take it away with you (50 THB per 1 kg) or you can also order to cook it (100 THB per 1 kg). At the market it is also possible to buy souvenirs and jewelries made of sea shells and pearls at good prices. Do not hesitate to bargain, the price may be lowered down to 2-3 times.
Rawai Beach is usually easily recognised in the photos by a big number of fishing boats at the seashore.
Having reached the southernmost point of Phuket - Promthep Cape, we will see a magnificent enchanting view over Phuket and neighbouring islands. Promthep Cape is also famous for its beautiful magic sunsets. Dozens of tourists come here every day to admire the sunset. If you want to spend time in a more peaceful and relaxing atmosphere far away from the crowds of people, you can go to another well-known place which is situated to the left of Promthep Cape.
Moving from the cape to the west, we get to one of the most beautiful beaches - Nai Harn. Its wide coastline with white sand has a nice view over the nearest islands. From Nai Harn Beach you will enjoy not only a sea view, but also a view over a mountain covered with mangrove trees which adds much charm and authenticity to the beach.
On the way from Nai Harn to our starting point Patong stretch Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches.
Kata Noi and Kata are popular among windsurfers because of the waves which are high enough to get a rush adrenaline in your blood. It is better to catch the wave at Kata Beach. Here the surfing competitions take place every year. Near the beach there is a special slide which is designed to imitate the waves to help to learn surfing.
Karon is also quite popular among surfers. However, this place has everything for a usual beach holiday - white sand, clean water, sun chairs, umbrellas and even exercise equipment.
To sum everything up, it should be said that all beaches of Phuket are beautiful and unique in their own way. Everyone will be able to find a suitable place for comfortable and enjoyable holiday at the Andaman seaside.