Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations, with fine white sands, palm trees, glittering sea and lively towns. It has something for every taste and budget, with hundreds of hotels to choose from and a wide choice of activities and nightlife options.
Having a tropical climate, the weather in Phuket varies between warm, cool and rainy. It never really gets too cold. The high tourist season lasts from November to February, when it’s cool and dry, after that it gets quite hot until May. The rainy season begins mid-May and goes on till October.
|Location||1 hour drive from the city of Phuket||25-minute from Phuket airport||15-minute drive from Bangtao beach||1 hour away from Phuket airport||Located between Patong and Kata beach||30-minute drive from Kata beach|
|Known For||Peaceful beach||Luxurious travel||Hidden gem of Phuket||Stunning views and still water||Large and clean beach||Exotic beach|
|Popular with||Few travelers and locals||Travelers and locals||Travelers||Both travelers and locals||International Travelers||All travelers|
|Get there by||Private car or cab||Shared mini-van or taxi||Air-conditioned car or shared bus||Car or shuttle bus from hotels||Taxi or car||Private car or shuttle bus|
|Crowd levels||Least crowded||Crowded during high season||Moderately crowded||Crowded with tourists||Not too crowded||The most crowded beach|
Khao Lak Beach
Khao Lak is a relatively new beach destination, in an area that previously had virtually no local population or nearby villages and towns. It's a relatively quiet beach resort area for Thailand, ideal for those who want a reasonable level of peace and quiet, but not suitable for those who need entertainment and activity at night.
Families and Honeymooners
Khao Lak is a 'peace and tranquility' beachfront destination, and in this it succeeds admirably with a range of beaches, ranging from quiet to entirely lonesome. Most of the hotels and resorts in Khao Lak are located on the shore, with indirect public access.
This 25-kilometre long beach resort is not for those seeking fun and exciting things to do. The underwater topography is flat, with minimal marine life, and cloudy water often gives poor underwater visibility, so snorkeling and diving can be boring. Swimming and sunbathing in a peaceful place are the best you can do.
Travelers who are considering to visit this beach should be aware that there are not many activities you can do in this area. Restaurants and bars are also limited and only provide low-key entertainment. It is recommended to bring extra snacks and water just in case you can’t find a restaurant nearby.
Bangtao beach (or Bang Tao) is one of the longest beaches of Phuket. With such a beautiful stretch of sand, Bangtao has long been home of the famous Laguna Phuket. This immense complex hosts some of the most luxurious and largest resorts on the island.
Families and Honeymooners
Bangtao has probably the most five-star hotels of anywhere in Phuket, especially in the Laguna complex. From luxurious villas to expansive resorts, it's the absolute lap of luxury. Each resort and villa has its own private beach which is accessible by the guests. This is excellent for couples on honeymoon and for families with children.
Horseback riding on a tropical beach is a great leisure activity, Bangtao beach offers a good choice of riding lessons and rides for the whole family. You can also play golf, mini-golf and do wakeboarding. Sunbathing or swimming are always good options, and so is relaxing at a beach club.
The best time to visit this lovely beach is in November when the air is cool and dry. It’s not all high class and high cost, you can always visit this place during low season, from mid-May until October, for lower pricing in almost everything. It is still recommended to bring some extra cash.
Surin beach is a millionaire’s haven, but also a beautiful beach to visit. This place is simply amazing, with a vast selection of huge millionaire villas and five-star resorts. It is known to be a celebrity hot spot. The properties, set on the hillside overlooking the Andaman Sea, are some of Phuket’s finest.
Set on the west coast of Phuket, Surin beach has golden white sands and very clear water. Even though it is a tourist spot, the place is not too over-crowded. It’s rather peaceful and has a relaxing atmosphere. Surin beach is family friendly, and there are many things you can do.
Due to the lack of a launch area, speedboats are rare along Surin beach - a fact which pleases many of its patrons. Even in high season, jet skis are quite rare here. Kayaks can be hired from a booth or from your hotel. In the low season (May - October), boogie boarding and surfing are popular.
During the monsoon, Surin beach has a very strong undertow, so swimmers should exercise extreme caution. Red flags are a signal for a beach to be closed. Resident lifesaver "divers" often have to go out and rescue people who've gone out too far.
Kata is an all-round favorite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata's waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sun seekers.
Kata beach is a pleasant bay, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach. It entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. This beach is very popular with families on vacation, because you can do lots of things, from sunbathing or swimming to adrenaline sports like surfing and snorkeling.
There's a small island at the north end with good snorkeling around it, and kayaks can also be used for exploring. Parasailing is also good here as the reefs at either end can be seen from the air. Windsurfers and Hobie Cats are available for hire by the hour. Scuba diving enthusiasts and students are active at the northern end, particularly during the high season, when the water is at its calmest.
During the north-east monsoon season (November to April) the warm sea is often flat, crystal clear and turquoise in color. The south-west monsoon season (May to October) can produce rougher conditions, so it's this time of year that the surfers flock in to enjoy the waves. If you see red warning flags, you should not enter the water due to dangerous rip tides.
Karon beach is one of the longest beaches in Phuket and the 3rd in popularity. Karon enjoys a huge stretch of white sand with a decent choice of dining and nightlife. And yet it never seems to draw crowds of tourists. Karon can be divided into three areas: Karon Center, the Lake and the Beachfront Road.
Families and Honeymooners
Karon is probably the most family-friendly part of Phuket. It has a very long beach with plenty of activities, a great choice of family resorts, nice restaurants and a modest nightlife. Couples can also come and enjoy the atmosphere of this large and clean beach.
Apart from a fantastic beach there is not so much to do around Karon. The temple at the end on Soi Patak is a nice photo opportunity and is famous for the popular Karon Temple Market every Tuesday and Friday. Never miss a chance to visit it, it’s full of fun things to try, games to play and unique local food.
The beachfront road goes all the way from the lake to Kata beach and is mostly occupied by massive resorts with few small hotels squeezed between. So if you are there for the sun and swimming, make sure that hotel has access to the beach.
Patong beach is the heart of Phuket. The original success and popularity of Patong beach rotates around two things: its amazing beach, and its nightlife. The beach is 3 or 4 kilometers long and often crowded in the middle part.
Families and Couples
This 2.5 km beach destination is famous for its vibrant shopping and nightlife as much as for its soft-sanded cove, which is popular throughout the year. Families and couples certainly will have a good time in this area, because there’s always something to do by day and at night.
There are many activities you can do in this area; during the day you can relax on the beach with your loved ones or you can swim. Apart from that, you can try the surf house and learn how to surf safely. Going for a spa is always an option and so is watching cultural shows. In the evening you can go to a market to buy some Thai souvenirs or go to a shopping mall if it’s raining.
If you plan to visit the central part of Patong beach and you are driving a car, park it in the Jungceylon underground parking. Buy or drink anything in the shopping complex and keep your receipt.
Even if you plan to go to the beach, it’s better to park there and walk down through Bangla Road rather than to drive in a circle on the beach front. If you plan to use a Tuk Tuk, always bargain your price clearly beforehand. Walking is always an option if you stay nearby.
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