In Phuket there’s a beach for every preference. There are small, quiet beaches for anyone looking for a quiet day on a secluded paradise. There’s a party beach for those seeking endless jet skis, parasailing, bars, girls, and clubs. And everything in between.
Read on to figure out which beach you’ll fall in love with!
Nai Harn Beach – Tiny Paradise
Nai Harn is considered, by many, to be the nicest beach on Phuket. To find a prettier beach, you might have to change islands. It’s a relaxed little piece of sand that isn’t over developed. There are some shacks selling food but it’s mostly just quiet and peaceful.
It’s smaller than some of the other popular beaches but that is what gives it such a pretty environment. There one resort with villas on the hillside. That’s it. There are no resorts on the beach.
The restaurant selection is limited to a half-dozen shack restaurants. Prices are higher than a local spot (150-300 baht per entree) but you can still find a few options for 80-100 baht. Near the south end you may be able to find a foot cart with some grilled chicken.
Patong – One Big Ugly Party
Patong is the party beach. It’s littered with trash and tourists terrorize the water on jet skis. If you’re looking to swim in paradise, you’ve got the wrong beach. If you’re looking to get drunk and go clubbing, you’ve hit the jackpot. Patong is also the center of the sexpat lifestyle.
You’ll find endless options for getting a 300 baht ($10 USD) massage and the girls will cat-call you every time you walk past with a “massage?” call that is sometimes tempting and sometimes very irritating. You’ll come across crepe carts and I suggest you partake. You cannot go wrong with a Banana & Nutella crepe. Honestly, if you take any advice from me, trust me on the crepe. Then move on to the endless bars and wash down the crepe before heading to the clubs to work off the calories. Read more on Patong.
Karon Beach – The Jury is Still Out
This one’s a bit tricky. It’s a mixed bag. The beach is huge. A mile long maybe. It has far fewer jet skis and motor boats, compared to Patong. The sand is a bit squeaky, which is odd because I didn’t know sand could have that feature. Overall, it’s quite pretty and a great place to be on a hot day.
The main thing about Karon beach is the town. The town is pretty basic, has slightly inflated prices, and lacked any restaurants that we’d have been excited to eat at.
The main strip running parallel to the beach:
Main road through town:
Karon beach is certainly worth a visit and if I lived nearby I certainly wouldn’t mind visiting the beach regularly. When making the 30 minute bus ride from Phuket town though, I’ll choose Nai Harn.
Sarin is one of my favorite beaches. It is pretty and has just the right amount of development. The new 2014 government demolished all the shacks that had built right on the beach. Now across the sandy road there are some great places to sit on a nice couch and get a drink.
Sarin beach is on the northwest part of the island. It’s about 45 minutes from Phuket Town but only 15-20 minutes from the airport. If you can get there for cheap with a large group in a taxi or rent a scooter, it’s definitely a nice place to visit.
Really, one of the best reasons to visit might be the Italian restaurant on Sarin beach. If you walk past all the more expensive places on the North part, about halfway down is a small Italian joint. It has antipasti that is amazing. The pizzas are pretty damn good too. For 180-300 baht each, you can’t go wrong.
Sarin also has a beach setup that I love. Some people setup right on the beach and tan. Most people, however, take advantage of the sandy beach-like area under the palm trees. It’s like hanging out under a natural umbrella.
And yes, those are huge bean bags. You can rent them from one of the restaurants. They give you a clean towel to put over the bag and suddenly you’ve got a rockstar seat on a beautiful beach.