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You might also be interested in Phuket’s Lessor-Known Beaches and Viewpoints.
Patong Beach is Phuket’s most famous beach, located in the middle of the island’s west coast, at about 3.5 metres long.
There used be a recognisable gay section in front of La Flora Resort, with food vendors, rainbow flag and sun beds. Today, the entire area has been cleaned up. Umbrellas and loungers are no longer allowed.
Patong Beach still attracts a lot of gay tourists and locals, particularly in front of the new KUDO Beach Club located just to the south of La Flora Resort.
Located about 15 km north of Patong, Surin Beach is sometimes called ‘millionaire’s row’ due to the occupying 5-star hotels, upscale restaurant and shops.
Surin Beach is also home to a new beach club that attracts a large gay crowd. The beach itself has a clear water and beautiful white sand, and is lined with tall trees.
Just north of Surin is Pansea Bay, a scenic enclave occupied by luxury resorts.
Regarded as one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches, Laem Sing is located north of Patong between Kamala and Surin, this cape and its 150-metre beach is nestled in a hidden bay fringed with palm trees and lush green surroundings.
Despite being a bit off the beaten track, the beach does get crowded during peak season and parking can be a challenge.
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Bangtao (aka Laguna Beach) is one of Phuket’s longest beaches, located a few miles north of Surin Beach and can be reached by car from Patong in about 20 minutes.
At the far north end of the beach is the exclusive DREAM Beach club.
Kamala Beach is located just 5 miles north of Patong, but it is much quieter. The beach is popular with longer-term visitors staying in small resorts, villas and apartments around the village.
There is a great choice of cheap restaurants, bars and market stalls on the main Kamala Road. The southern end of the beach can get busy during the high season, but the northern part is usually peaceful all year round.
A very peaceful beach on Phuket’s west coast, reminiscent of what the beaches were like 20 years ago. The fine sandy beach at Nai Thon is a great spot for those who want a quiet swim away from the crowds.
Immediately behind the beach are tall trees providing nice shady spots, an equally quiet village with some good value-for-money restaurants. At the north end of Nai Thon Beach, is the Pullman Phuket Arcadia Resort.
Located few miles south of the airport and about a 40-minute drive from Patong. En route, the road winds through hills, passes a number of beautiful sandy coves and continues on towards Bang Tao Beach.
Located just a few miles south of Patong, Karon Beach the third longest beach and one of the more popular beaches on Phuket.
Karon has good snorkelling spots and a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife nearby. Due to its length, the beach is rarely overcrowded.
Favourite spot for sunbathers. Kata Noi is 10 km south of Patong Beach (about 2o minutes by taxi), just passed Karon Beach.
The palm tree-lined Kata Beach is divided into two sections: Kata Yai and the smaller, quieter Kata Noi. Both have clear water, some shops and food options along the road behind the beach.
This nice, quieter beach is tucked between grassy hills and small islands.
Nai Han Beach is popular among expats and locals with its laid-back atmosphere, soft sand, clear water and couple of small shops and restaurants.
The area is great for swimming from November to April. A few well-known hotels including The Nai Harn are located here.
Next to Nai Han Beach is Yanui Beach. This beautiful little cove has gorgeous soft sand and is great for snorkeling, kayaking and fishing.
The northern part of Yanui is good for swimming (the southern end is a bit rocky). There are a couple of restaurants nearby. Just offshore (about 200 metres), there is an uninhabited island called Koh Mun which is great for snorkeling.
Rawai Beach is generally used to moor fishing boats, long tail boats and speed boats. The boats are available for hire for a trip to neighbouring Coral Island and Racha Island, or for a fishing or snorkelling trip.
Located at the southern tip of Phuket, the beach is not suitable for swimming. There are many restaurants, shops and a popular, well-respected Thai boxing camp, Rawai Muay Thai.
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