Thailand may have energetic sprawling cities, dense forests and rolling mountains, but one of the country’s best assets is its coastline. Thailand’s beaches are among the most stunning in the world. Complete with turquoise waters, white-sand coast, ocean air and lush greenery nearby, Thai beaches are postcard exotic destinations.
Phuket is among the most popular beach vacation spots in Thailand, where the coast stretches along the Andaman Sea. But which one is the best? That really comes down to what tempo you prefer. Do you prefer jet skiing in the water or laying in the sand on a private beach owned by your hotel? Each beach is different. Here are the most popular Phuket beaches on the West coast.
Best Beaches in Phuket
Phuket’s major city, Patong, boasts an exciting scene complete with restaurant and nightlife opportunities. If you’re looking for a place to party, Patong is for you.
But a few steps away from town lies Patong Beach, a great place to see and be seen among locals, luxury travellers and backpackers alike. There are plenty of leisure opportunities located around the beach, including mini-golf, beach volleyball and good, old-fashioned sunbathing.
Patong beach itself isn’t the best, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as the horror stories I’d heard. Sure, you can find cleaner water, less crowds and softer sand elsewhere along Phuket’s coast. But Patong is still enjoyable, with gentle waves, water sports providers on the beach, and evenings completed by a stunning sunset. I caught this stunner of a shot on the beach – Rebecca
You can also meander away from the waterline to enjoy noodles, seafood and other eats from vendors who set up shop along the beach’s promenade. Occasionally, beach vendors will come around and offer to sell you a drink, ice cream or draw henna. They will however go away immediately if you politely decline.
P.S. I wanted a little girly time out for myself, and for that I absolutely loved my stay in Patong Signature Boutique Hotel. It’s on the quieter end of Patong, with a bedroom facing the sea and a spa tub in some rooms! Dreamy! The pool is not as amazing as the picture, but still a great view to yourself.
If the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach isn’t for you, check out the quieter option among Phuket beaches – Kamala Beach. This tranquil oasis boasts the perfect combination of calm and activity. The serene nature of the beach stems from its less-densely frequented reputation: While there are generally a few beachgoers to rub elbows with, you’re less likely to experience crowding here than you would at Patong.
As for the activity angle, one of the more popular things to do on Kamala beach is to go snorkelling just off the main stretch of beach.
CC 2.0 / Kent Wang
Surin Beach is situated close to a number of multi-million dollar homes, providing eye candy and perhaps some pleasant delusions of grandeur. However, one of the best features of Surin Beach is its abundance of water sports. Have you always wanted to try your hand at surfing? Do it at Surin Beach!
There are also a number of parks and the quaint coastal village of Surin nearby if you need a break from this Phuket beach.
“I didn’t get the chance to go myself, but the locals I spoke to said if they had to pick 1 beach, they’d pick Surin. So that’s the local choice of the best beach in Phuket – Rebecca “
CC 2.0 / rosana632002
Last on this list of Phuket beaches is Karon Beach. Karon Beach draws crowds for a number of reasons.
First and foremost is the town itself, which is home to a thriving art community, a number of restaurants of bars, and historic architecture. The beach itself is lined by shops that allow visitors to browse for goods and souvenirs before and after their time near the water. With clear blue waters and an even clearer blue sky (unless it’s Monsoon Season), Karon Beach is as beautiful as it is charming and fun.
It’s just south of Patong Beach, about a 15min tuk tuk ride away so you don’t have to spare a whole day to go.
On my last day I decided to squeeze in a visit to Karon Beach. A quick ride from Patong to Karon (but expensive at about SGD20) and I was a beautiful beach where time slowed down. I had lunch on the beach, got a bit of a tan reading a book on the beach, popped up to this restaurant for a juice with a view (cool reggae bar below), splashed about in the shallow waters for a bit, then headed back to Patong. I even had time to take another walk around Patong town before getting my taxi to the airport! – Rebecca
Further south is Kata Beach and Kata Noi, both beautiful beaches too. Kata Noi is a little less accessible, but the most pristine of the three. Definitely spend more time than on Patong beach if you can!
And there you have the most best beaches in Phuket if popularity equals best. Below are some other beaches, including some on the quieter East Coast and North Coast. Which one is your favourite?
More Phuket Beaches