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THAILAND: PHUKET
The Best Beaches in Phuket

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Phuket Beaches

The largest of Thailand's islands, Phuket is one of its most highly visited. Travelers to Phuket enjoy the powdery white sand, tree-fringed beaches, and unbeatably crystal-clear jade waters of the Andaman Sea.

With over 30 beaches along Phuket's breathtaking coast, you won't have to worry about being stuck somewhere you don't like. Whether you're looking for a boisterous and entertaining spot, a high-end luxury experience, or a secluded seaside escape, Phuket's beaches offer a bit of everything.

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Freedom Beach

A 300-metre-long strip of some of the finest white sand in Phuket, Freedom Beach has all the isolation of a pristine desert island but also with a restaurant and beach chairs available. It has none of the usual jet skis, parasailing and wandering vendors to pester you while you’re chilling out (as are common on some of the busier beaches), making it the best balance of peaceful and quiet without sacrificing convenience. It’s a little tricky to get to, being accessible only by long-tail boat or a steep footpath down a hill, so it has an air of exclusivity.

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Bangtao Beach

At 6 km in length, Bangtao is one of the longest beaches in Phuket. Along that length, you'll find some of the island’s top hotels, restaurants and beach clubs, making it a popular place for all kinds of visitors and locals. While the scenery is perhaps not as picturesque and the sand not as soft as some of Phuket's other notable beaches, Bangtao is still one of the best beaches in Phuket thanks to the sheer variety of nearby attractions and the sheer size. This simply means it’s never that hard to find a quiet spot to enjoy some peace and quiet.

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Karon Beach

Karon Beach at 3.3 km in length, is the third-longest beach in Phuket and is close to being perfectly straight. It's beautifully lined with trees for a lot of the southern end, with volleyball nets and beachfront restaurants in the northern half. The sea here is very approachable, though it is noted for its strong riptides in the low season. There are virtually no rocks along the length of the beach, so you can take a cooling dip with no risk of hurting your feet.

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Kata Beach

Kata Beach has it all – beautiful soft sand, nodding palm trees, clean waters with a soft seabed, good surfing in the low season and snorkelling in the high season, and a fantastic laid-back atmosphere. Colourful long-tail boats are moored at the northern end, with a few budget food and drinks vendors often found nearby, while the southern end has a choice of beachfront hotels and restaurants and an exciting flow rider park at Surf House. At about 1.5 km in length, Kata Beach doesn’t usually get too crowded, either.

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Kata Noi Beach

Kata Noi is the neighbour to Kata Beach and is just under 700 metres long but is an amazingly beautiful spot. The sand here is among the finest, the sea among the nicest and the surrounding restaurants among the best in Phuket. There are only a couple of hotels along its length, but they too are rated among the best available. A much quieter place than its big brother to the north, it has a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere while still offering the same great surfing and snorkelling opportunities.

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Nai Harn Beach

The 660-metre-long Nai Harn Beach was once a quiet and secluded spot at the southern end of Phuket. It has been very definitively 'discovered' and continues to grow in popularity. Even so, thanks to the relatively small size of the bay and the presence of a large lake almost immediately behind the beach, the spot hasn’t been excessively developed, so it retains its quiet charm. With its soft sand, lifeguards on station and very gently sloping soft seabed, it's quite a family-friend beach, with a good choice of hotels, shops and restaurants nearby. On windier days, it is also a good spot for kite-surfing.

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Ya Nui Beach

Ya Nui is one of Phuket’s smallest beaches and yet is amazingly popular for its size. It has a total length of less than 200 metres in an L-shaped curve. The shore has beautiful sand and sea and offers striking scenery, set just beneath Windmill Viewpoint. The beach’s rocky outcrop is somewhat iconic, is easy to climb on for striking holiday snaps and helps create great conditions for snorkelers. In spite of its small size, there's a good selection of nearby restaurants, vendors and accommodation options.

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Surin Beach

Surin Beach once the home of several of Phuket’s top beach clubs and a bustling local market, now sadly gone, the beach retains its raw natural beauty, with tree-lined soft white sand and clear tropical seas. The 800-metre-long beach remains a very popular choice and the home of a good selection of Phuket’s most exclusive hotels, shops and restaurants.

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Paradise Beach

Less than 200 metres in length and with a little rocky headland making it technically 2 beaches, this tiny cove near Patong has calm waters with a soft seabed pretty much throughout the year. The lovely white sand is shaded by nodding palm trees which look like they came straight off the cover of a holiday brochure. Being the home of Paradise Beach Club, the little cove has a great choice of facilities, including restaurants, bars, sea kayaks, beach chairs and more. It's also the home of Phuket’s only Koh Phangan-style beach parties. 

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Patong Beach 

No list of the best beaches in Phuket could be complete without mentioning Patong. Undoubtedly the most popular stretch of coastline on the island, the beach could be said to be a victim of its own popularity, being generally busy right along its 2.5 km length. However, there's no part of Phuket with a livelier atmosphere. The town behind the beach is home to many great restaurants and hotels, as well as the best of Phuket’s nightlife, while the beach itself has nice sand and offers plenty of attractions and activities.

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