Phuket's success can be boiled down to its beaches. Miles and miles of them on Phuket's west coast: fine-grained white sand so soft your feet sink wonderfully into them, and crystal-clear waters lapping at the shores and rushing back to the Andaman Sea. Combined with Phuket's dreamy tropical climate, you have here a recipe for Paradise that keep tourists coming back for more - with some of them staying for good!
The more popular beaches also have the most deeply-entrenched tourist industry: hawkers roam the beach selling anything from cold drinks to massage services, and bustling commercial districts have sprung up around areas like Patong Beach and Kata Beach.
For more details, visit our gallery: Phuket’s Beaches.
Patong Beach: Phuket’s the busiest, most developed, and most popular destination in Phuket. At night, it’s a seedy, garish, raucous Gomorrah of excess, with Soi Bangla’s clubs, bars, karaoke lounges, massage parlors, go-go bars, katoey (lady-boy) bars, discos, and cabarets catering to all appetites till the wee hours.
Ao Bang Thao: A relatively secluded stretch of beach whose hotels serve a more upwardly mobile clientele.
Surin Beach: caters to domestic tourists, who usually come for the beachfront seafood stalls lining the shore.
Kamala Beach: A relaxed and laid-back stretch of beach, ideal for visitors avoiding Patong’s party atmosphere. Phuket FantaSea is near Kamala Beach
Karon Beach: A cleaner, more family-friendly alternative to Patong, its hotels and nightclubs are less densely distributed along its almost 2-mile length.
Kata Yai and Kata Noi: South of Patong, you can choose between Kata Yai's gentle surf and mile-long scenic beachfront, or the more secluded Kata Noi and its great surfing opportunities (and not much else).
Nai Yang: a remote and underdeveloped stretch of beach, half of which is taken up by the Hat Nai Yang National Park. From November to February, giant Ridley sea turtles lay their eggs on this beach and swim back to sea.
Rawai Beach: Phuket’s first beach resort, Rawai serves primarily domestic tourists who come to enjoy the seafood served on rustic tables alongside the beachfront.