From Mai Khao, the most north-westerly beach on the island, we now move down to a very special beach nestled on the southwest tip of the island. Nai Harn is home to the delightful beach front Samnak Song Nai Harn monastery, which dominates most of this quiet, tranquil beach and allows it to maintain an undeveloped, unspoiled ambience. Within easy reach of Phuket Town and Karon, this charming beach retreat is popular with both locals and expats alike, who come here to relax and enjoy the mountain jungle vistas, sparkling fresh water lagoon (Nai Harn Lake), fine white sand beach and crystal clear waters, which during the high season shimmer gently reflecting the runs rays like a mirrored surface. Nai Harn manages to maintain a non-touristic feel and is popular with joggers who take advantage of the stunning natural course encompassing the beach and lagoon. During the high season, the small bay to the north is awash with sailboats.
Nai Harn is all about relaxation and for many people a gentle swim in the shimmering and perfectly still crystal clear waters, especially during the high season months, is all the activity they require. The waters to the north of the beach also provide perfect conditions for snorkelling. As the low season approaches, the beach becomes a popular destination for surfers and bodyboarders especially at the southern end where conditions are enhanced by a permanent sandback. The northern end of the beach offers a safer environment for kids to enjoy the waves and boards can be purchased or rented through a number of outlets and beach vendors.
Nai Harn lives up to it’s billing as one of the most beautiful beach destinations in Phuket and the stunning natural scenery is unrivalled anywhere on the island. Nai Harn lake provides the perfect setting for a relaxing family picnic and many people like nothing more than taking a relaxing stroll, jog or bikeride around it’s gentle shores. As evening approaches, Nai Harn provides some of the best viewpoints on the island for witnessing the spectacular sunsets. Phromthep Cape to the south, is by far the most impressive, but unfortunately the most famous, so you will have to jostle for position with the rest of the crowds as hoards of tourists ascend to the hop of the hill to take in one of nature’s greatest displays. Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse at Promthep is another popular destination for viewing the sunset and serves up spectacular views from the outdoors viewing balcony. Try visiting the cape during the day when it is less crowded and sit and take in the vast and wonderful view of the Andaman coast and it’s many islands looming proudly in the distance. No visit to Nai Harn would be complete without paying homage to the beachfront monastery which has so far played a large part in staving off the development that has affected the serene and tranquil nature of many of the west coast resorts. Early-risers can witness the morning ritual where the local villagers pay their respects and offer donations to the Buddhist monks.
In comparison to some of the busier resorts, nightlife in Nai Harn is fairly low key, but there are still a number of enjoyable and relaxing bars and restaurants to be found in the areas surrounding the beach, inland lake, village and Yacht club, many which get busier as the evening draws on and have a friendly, lively atmosphere. For a laid back evening chilling out to funky beats, live music and reggae sounds head for the lakeside bars of Yoonique Stone Music Café and the Reggae Bar. If you’re feeling energetic then hit the dancefloor at Icon Nightclub located along the road to Kata, which gets packed out on a weekend and hosts DJ’s spinning tunes through a pumping soundsystem. Across the road, is a collection of bars known as the ‘Beach Plaza’ which is well worth a visit for it’s endearing hostesses and lively, fun atmosphere. Nai Harn village serves up some of the liveliest and intimate settings with many bars operating as saunas during daytime hours then transforming as the sun goes down offering friendly hostesses, large screens showing major sporting events, pool tables, darts and dancing. With a large number of expats and locals calling Nai Harn their home, a wide variety of of establishments have sprung up in the village offering speciality dishes from the best International and Thai menu’s and of course not forgetting the outstanding fresh seafood an offer. For truly fine dining head in world-class settings overlooking the bay go to one of the high end resorts at the northern end of the beach and dine in style as the sun sets slowly over the azure waters.