Phuket is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations and the major reason for that is because of its countless beautiful beaches – and there are so many of them.
It’s not just a difficult decision where to book your hotel in Phuket but also what beaches to check out during your trip.
By far the best way doing so is to rent a motorcycle and drive all around Phuket island, exploring some of the more and some of the less commercial and crowded beaches by yourself.
I have done just that already three times so I can tell you which are the best and most beautiful beaches in Phuket that you shouldn’t miss out visiting.
To serve all tastes I have included each one commercial, picturesque and absolutely quiet and calm beach. I have also included the locations of each beach on the map.
Patong Beach – Nightlife Capital
Patong beach is Phuket’s party and nightlife capital and most developed area and that’s why it’s also by far the most crowded beach on the island. However the beach as such is the most beautiful in Phuket in my opinion, just imagine Phuket 50 years ago and the locals making the decision which beach to build the first hotels, restaurant and girl bars on. They chose Patong Beach because it’s long, has white sand and this beautiful half-moon shape with lush green hills dramatically arising on both ends.
Sure it’s full of people today but that makes it also a lot of fun to hang out and meet new people. Patong beach obviously also has the widest range of water sports activities, sun beds, short trips to islands and street vendors around and its neighbor beach at Karon 15 minutes down the road catches up with new hotels, bars, restaurants and shops every year.
Karon Beach – Picturesque
Popular for its crystal clear turquoise water and fine white sand, Karon is maybe Phuket’s most picturesque beach. Going by motorbike from neighboring Patong it’s a relaxed 15-20 minute drive south up and down the hills along the beautiful coastline.
Even though a lot more quiet than the party beach, Karon Beach has the highest concentration of Luxury Hotels in Phuket but still keeps its fairly calm coastal village flair with some of the island’s best international restaurants and wine bars.
Nai Thon Beach – Off the Beaten Track
As I got off my motorbike and walked along Nai Thon Beach there was only one group of young local boys and girls around, drinking Thai whiskey and as they took notice of me they invited me to join, hang out and drink with them.
That doesn’t happen a lot down south in Patong or Kata too much I thought and indeed, the two hours I spent on calm Nai Thon Beach I was the only foreigner around. Just as I left I met a retired couple from Denmark, driving around the island like me and looking for a relaxed beach which is not too easy these days.
Not too far from Phuket International Airport on the northwest coast, Nai Thon Beach can basically only be reached with your own means of transport and if you come from Phuket Town it takes about 30 minutes, or 45 minutes from Patong Beach. If you’re out for a relaxed afternoon before heading back to Phuket’s great nighlife spots you will love Nai Thon Beach.
I know Phuket has so many more beautiful beaches but it’s quite hard to make a trade off and with this kind of list but I think there’s something for everyone depending if you want it loud and bustling, picturesque or just quiet and relaxed. What is your favorite beach in Phuket?