Before we move on to our guide of Phuket’s south and south east coast beaches, there are a few lesser known beaches along the South West Coast that are well worth exploring should you be looking for something a little less of the beaten track.
Guests staying at the Thavorn Beach Village Resort have exclusive access to this beautiful stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters right on their own doorstep. There is superb snorkelling around natural coral just off shore, which guests can access by walking along a wooden jetty to the resorts very own boat the ‘Float at Nakalay’. From here they can dive into the refreshing, azure waters, enjoy a cocktail or two or just lie back and soak up the rays on a sunlounger.
Sometimes, to find a truly beautiful and secluded beach you will have to put in a bit of effort. This is certainly the case with Nui Beach to the south of the Kata viewpoint and it is not one for the lazy or faint hearted. If you are up for the challenge then you will first have to brave a shear drop dirt track in an ATV 4X4 vehicle or trail bike. From here you will have to park up and walk the remainder of the way down a steep path to the beach, where you will be charged 250 baht per day for your troubles. Access to this beach is over private land and this particular landowner has decided to charge for the privilege. To put this in perspective though, the price includes a sun lounger and free drink, which you will more than likely pay for on some of the more crowded beaches and for this idyllic location away from the mayhem on some of the island’s busier resorts you will be well rewarded for your efforts.
Ya Nui Beach
Frequently referred to as one of the island’s best kept secrets, this quiet little beach hides away at the bottom of a hill between the Phrom Thep and the Windmill viewpoints and right under the noses of a couple of large resorts. There is good snorkelling to be explored in this alluring little cove as well as sea kayaking and fishing. All equipment can be hired for very reasonable prices as well as sunbeds at the island standard (200 THB per day).
Ao Sane Beach (Jungle Beach)
Lying just to the north of Nai Harn and accessible by a small dirt track is the quiet and peaceful rocky beach of Ao Sane,or as it is sometimes known as, Jungle Beach. Here you will find a friendly, laid back atmosphere with very little going on. Bring a towel to lie on as sunbeds seem to detract from the rugged, bohemian ambience of the place and you will not find any for hire. You will however find some fabulous shady spots on the beach, some pretty decent coral to explore and a couple of small, friendly restaurants with relaxed atmosphere and decent thai and international cuisine.
A more relaxed side to Patong Beach
There are a couple of beautiful, white sand beaches close by to Patong that offer unparalleled views over Patong Bay. Situated on the southern headland, Emerald Beach and Paradise Beach are both close enough to visit the raucous atmosphere of Phuket’s busiest beach destination, while offering a welcome retreat if it all gets a bit too much. These beaches are perfect for sun-worshippers owing to their north facing location and have a small, but adequate selection of the essential beach amenities. You will often hear people talk of Kalim Beach, but in reality this is just the rocky northern tip of Paong Beach. There is good snorkelling around the rocks and the rainy season sees some impressive waves, but take extra precaution here as the rocks can be sharp and dangerous.
Laem Singh Beach
Many people drive right past the entrances to this stunning, hidden gem without realising it is even there. Located somewhere between Kamala and Surin, it not known whether the impossibly small signs advertising the beach are deliberately part of a master plan to safeguard the tranquil location from the hordes of tourists. Those that do make it down the steep slope will find a delightful small bay surrounded by palm trees, punctuated with giant boulders and host to a famous weekly beach party during high season (Soundwave Sunday at the Laem Singh Sound Bar) which features quality sounds from International DJ’s and has been known to be the hangout of many a celebrity.
Freedom Beach is only accessible by hiring a longtail boat from Patong. A 10 minute ride around the southern coastline brings you to this stunning stretch of fine white sand with a coral reef offering an interesting variety of marine life.
Sai Kaew Beach
Sai Kaew Beach claims the title of the most northerly beach on the island, but in reality it is just the northern tip of Mai Khao Beach curving gently round to the northern coastline close by to the Sirinan bridge spanning the channel between Phang-nga and Phuket.