views of freedom beach on a hill in Phuket, Thailand

8 Must Visit Beaches in Phuket, Thailand

Are you looking for the best beaches in Phuket? Well, you’re in the right spot! I’ve compiled a list of must visit beaches in Phuket, you must consider!

Phuket is home to some of the most excellent beaches in the world. It’s one of many reasons many tourists visit the island every year.

The best part about the beaches in Phuket is that they’re mainly located along the west side of the island next to one another, so visiting a different beach is easy to do when visiting!

Having been to Phuket a few times now and sometimes staying as long as one or two months at a time, I’ve visited all the beaches in Phuket multiple times. I will also include my favorite restaurants in each beach area, so you have a restaurant recommendation to try as you visit!

TIP: Beach chair rentals in Phuket for the day are 100 Baht per chair and come with an umbrella.

Karon Beach

sunset by a stunning large palm tree at one of the best beaches in Phuket, Karon Beach

Karon Beach is famous for being one of the most extensive beaches in Phuket, there’s plenty of space along the shoreline here.

Along with its size, Karon Beach is stunning, the waters here are shades of shades of turquoise, the sand is soft, and mountains surround the shoreline at the end.

The entire beach measures around 4 KM and the water here is relatively calm, so it’s ideal for those who aren’t great swimmers and those who visit with kids.

There are several beach lounge chair rentals offered by vendors here, which you can rent for the day for 100 Baht, and they come with an umbrella. Some beaches in Phuket run out of chairs, but you don’t have to worry about that in Karon Beach. You’ll always find a chair to rent here!

No matter what end of the beach you decide to spend the day at, there are convenience stores, restaurants, and shops right across the street.

Hotel Recommendation: Pullman Phuket Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: Napoli in Vespa Pizza

Surin Beach

clear beautiful sand and turquoise waters at Surin Beach in Phuket

Located on the northern half of Phuket is the stunning Surin Beach, a white sandy beach with beautiful turquoise blue waters—the shoreline curves in, so when on the beach, you can easily see the entire shoreline.

Surin Beach is one of the best beaches in Phuket for a relaxing day. The shoreline is picture-perfect. Surin Beach is up there with Freedom and Banana Beach as one of the beaches with the clearest waters in Phuket.

At the end of the beach by the rocks is an ideal spot for snorkeling, take advantage of it. Surin Beach offers a limited number of beach chair rentals, so if you want to rent one, show up to the beach early.

The waves here can be aggressive some days, and the water gets deep relatively quickly, so those who can’t swim should be careful.

Also, while the beach is family-friendly for those with kids, the water isn’t. So, if you choose to visit as a family, accompany your kids as they go into the water.

Regarding the food at Surin Beach, no beach is better. There are countless street food vendors along the road before the beach here daily, and It’s very convenient.

Seriously, the options for food here go on and on. Cocktails, fried chicken, pad Thai, pad kra pao, ice cream, Thai pancakes, charcoal BBQ seafood, and much more!

Hotel Recommendation: Outrigger Surin Beach Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: Beach Street Food Vendors

Banana Beach

several tourists crowded on Banana Beach, a secluded tranquil beach in Phuket with turquoise waters and several palm trees

Banana Beach is also located in the northern half of the island. This is the perfect beach for those looking for a smaller, more secluded beach, the type of beach we all crave when visiting an island.

At Banana Beach, you’ll find plenty of large rocks along the shores, clear waters, a calm shoreline, and dense forests surrounding the beach.

There aren’t many shady spots here, so be aware before visiting, and don’t stay under a coconut here. There’s usually coconuts, and it’s a safety hazard.

While the beach is gorgeous, you should know there aren’t any restaurants or amenities here, and two vendors serve a few food options and some drinks.

So, if you’re looking for a beach to spend most of your day, you may want to reconsider. It’s up to your preference.

Banana Beach is perfect for those looking for a unique, relaxing beach that best represents island living!

Due to its location, you should take a taxi/Grab to get to the beach. For those looking to drive here, parking is limited, and you most likely won’t find room for your motorbike.

Hotel Recommendation: Andaman White Beach Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: PRU

Freedom Beach

views during a hike of Freedom Beach in Phuket

Arguably, the nicest beach in Phuket, Freedom Beach, the beach is something out of a movie. As you go down the forest space before the beach, you’re met with a small, secluded beach surrounded by dense green forest and large rocks.

Freedom Beach has the clearest waters in Phuket. At the right end of the beach, it’s slightly quieter, and you’ll also find a fresh spring water stream.

Visitors should know It costs 100 Baht to enter this beach, so bring cash to pay for your entrance.

The beach is in a tranquil setting, though it is busy on some days due to its popularity. Besides the beach, there isn’t anything there, but that’s precisely what you want when visiting a stunning secluded beach. There are a few local food and drink vendors there.

To get to Freedom Beach, take a taxi and then do a 10-minute hike toward the beach. The other way to get here is by taking a longtail boat taxi from Patong.

For those visiting with families, Freedom Beach isn’t the easiest to get to, and other beaches in Phuket are more suitable for families. Freedom Beach tends to attract a younger crowd for the most part.

Hotel Recommendation in the Area: Crest Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: Eat at the Beach

Kata Beach

several beach lounge chairs along the Kata Beach in Phuket

Kata Beach is one of the best beaches for couples and families because the beach has plenty of amenities, and the shoreline is just stunning!

The landscape at Kata Beach curves in, the water is clear and offers a bit of waves, but not aggressive ones. In the background, you’ll spot dense hilly jungle and even the Phuket Big Buddha!

Kata has plenty of beach chair rentals for those looking to rent a chair and many restaurants and shops nearby. You’ll also find many food vendors along the road next to the beach, from pad Thai, burgers, fried chicken, rice dishes, and cocktails. There are several food vendors here!

One of the most popular activities to do here is surfing, the waves at Kata Beach are beginner-friendly and there are many schools offering lessons here. Near the end of the shoreline, you’ll spot many large rocks. Walking over, you can spot several fish swimming near the shore!

Another great thing about Kata Beach is how close it is to Karon Beach. It’s only 15 minute walk from Kata. If you choose to visit both beaches in one day, it’s possible!

Hotel Recommendation: Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: The Pad Thai Shop

Bang Tao Beach

stunning colourful sunset with various shades of orange in the clouds at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket Thailand

Bang Tao Beach offers an extensive, calm beach shoreline full of palm trees and is surrounded by many 5-star resorts and residences.

The water in Bang Tao is a beautiful turquoise blue hue with various shades, and the shoreline is perfect for those with family because of all the space. Bang Tao is famous for its mesmerizing sunsets!

While this is one of the best beaches in Phuket, for those who like conveniences such as beach chairs, restaurants nearby, etc., there are better beaches than Bang Tao for such amenities.

There are some shops and restaurants that exist, but everything is far from each other.

If you’re with your family, Bang Tao Beach is a must-visit because it’s family-friendly, quiet, and offers plenty of room.

Hotel Recommendation: Saii Laguna Phuket

Restaurant Recommendation: Bocconcino Phuket

Nai Harn Beach

turquoise waters with clear skies and an empty Nai Harn Beach in Phuket

Located in the southern part of the island is Nai Harn Beach, a relatively small beach shoreline that attracts families and locals. The water here is crystal clear, and the waves aren’t aggressive.

Nai Harn Beach gets quite busy in the afternoon, so if you’re looking to visit and rent a beach chair, you better come early, or you will be out of luck. But regardless, there’s plenty of shady space near the beach.

A few restaurants with beach views are nearby, so you can take a break and eat lunch with a great view. There are also shops and everything you’ll need for the day, including washrooms.

Once you’re finished from the beach, I recommend heading south of the island to Cape Phrom Thep, the most famous sunset viewpoint in Phuket!

Hotel Recommendation: Sunsuri Phuket

Restaurant Recommendation: Unni’s Restaurant Nai Harn Beach

Kamala Beach

sunset views at Kamala Beach in Phuket

Kamala Beach is ideally located centrally along the western coastline of Phuket. It’s known for its beautiful, spacious shoreline with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and a sandy beach area offering beach lounge chairs for rental.

There are parts of the beach where the sand is rough, and I recommend you head to the ends of the beach for softer sand. With its tropical atmosphere, many amenities, and excellent location, Kamala Beach is a great beach to visit!

There are several beach chairs for rental in Kamala, and the beach is large and suitable for families.

For those looking for convenient beachfront resorts, you’ll find a few in Kamala Beach!

Overall, Kamala Beach is one of the best areas in Phuket for families or couples to stay in. The area offers plenty of restaurants, attractions, and neighbors, the popular Patong Beach.

During the nighttime, there is a night market at the end of the beach after 6:00 PM, so if you’re hungry and want to snack after a long day at the beach, head there!

If you’re visiting Phuket and looking for the best beach club on the island to spend the day, look no further, Cafe Del Mar in Kamala Beach is ranked the best beach club on the island.

Hotel Recommendation: Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort

Restaurant Recommendation: SILK Restaurant & Bar

a woman under a few palm trees on a sunny clear day in Phuket, Thailand

How to Get Around Phuket

Besides renting a scooter, here are the most efficient and cheapest ways to get around Phuket.

Phuket Smart Bus: This local white bus operates on the West side of the island, driving and stopping at all the popular beach areas, including SurinKamalaPatongKaron, and Kata. The bus also reaches the Phuket Airport.

Each beach area has designated stops, so make sure to wait there. The bus stops around every hour and costs 100 Baht/$2.88 US – Check the Schedule.

GRAB: You can download the Grab app and find a ride quickly. It is safe, efficient, and one of the best ways to get around in most places in Thailand, including Phuket.

Songthaew (local Blue Bus): The local blue bus picks you up and drops you off anywhere you want along the route. Stand on the side of the road and wave for the driver to stop. Once you’re at your destination, press the button and pay the driver 30-50 Baht (they’ll tell you).

This bus has several different routes on the island. It operates from Old Phuket Town and outwards from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The bus frequents each route approximately every 30 minutes (sometimes slightly longer).

Tuk-Tuk/Taxi: The fastest way to get around Phuket is by taking one of the many red tuk-tuks you can spot all over the island. While convenient, the only downside is that you must prepare to negotiate with the drivers because sometimes they inflate prices.

TIP: If you need to know what to pay for a taxi/tuk-tuk, use the Grab/Bolt apps to look up your trip and negotiate based on the price you see in the app!

Get as close as you can to that price, and even if you pay slightly more, the convenience of not waiting for a Grab or Bolt is worth the small extra cost.

views of condos and hotels, the ocean, and many trees from a Kata Viewpoint in Phuket, Thailand

Best Beaches in Phuket for Couples

Now that you know what the best beaches are in Phuket, I’m going to share with you the best beaches in Phuket for couples. These beaches offer a calmer setting to spend time with your loved one.

Bang Tao Beach: Known as the luxurious area in Phuket, Bang Tao Beach offers an extensive shoreline, and during sunset, it’s perfect for a beach walk.

Freedom Beach: Couples who prefer adventure will appreciate Freedom Beach due to its secluded location and exceptional tropical traits.

Karon Beach: If you go to the right end of Karon Beach, it’s far quieter than the main portion of the shoreline—a perfect spot to spend the day with your partner.

colourful skies at sunset at Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand
Sunset at Karon Beach

Best Beaches in Phuket for Families

Some Phuket beaches are more family-friendly than others in Phuket because they offer more extensive shorelines, amenities, and shops nearby.

These beaches have washrooms, convenience stores, restaurants, and even shops to buy toys for the kids!

Karon Beach: Because of its large shoreline, there is more than enough room for the family to enjoy the beach and several accommodations.

Kata Beach: Everything is close to each other in Kata Beach, which is very convenient for families. There are public washrooms there for changing as well.

Kamala Beach: Kamala has many small stores for toys, the boardwalk is full of restaurants, and several washrooms are here.

Nai Harn Beach: Nai Harn is a small enough beach where everything is close to each other has washrooms, and plenty of shady room.

sun pealing through the clouds at a crowded Kata Beach in Phuket, Thailand
Kata Beach

Best Beaches in Phuket for Food

Last but not least, foodies, this is where you need to go for the best beachside street food in Phuket!

To clarify, I’m not referring to restaurants. I’m referring to local stall-like vendors selling delicious food along the road.

All the beaches have restaurants nearby, but not all have street food vendors selling just about everything, including cheap cocktails!

Surin Beach: The number of food vendors at this beach is crazy. So much food is being sold at Surin Beach: fried whole fish, pad Thai, burgers, and all sorts of meat skewers. I can’t list them all. You MUST come here if you like street food!

Kata Beach: There’s a fair share of street food vendors along the road next to Kata Beach selling several foods, from meat skewers, fried chicken, burgers, pad Thai, and more.

Kamala Beach: At Kamala Beach, there are only a few stalls here selling pad Thai, pad kra pao, and other classic Thai dishes, but after 6:00 PM, there is an entire night market at the end of the beach serving plenty of food!

walkway street full of several street food stalls at Surin Beach in Phuket
Vendor Stalls at Surin Beach

What is the nicest beach in Phuket?

Freedom and Banana Beach are the most excellent beaches in Phuket.

Both beaches offer an authentic tropical atmosphere, which many of us desire when visiting a beach on an island!

What beach in Phuket has the clearest water?

Freedom Beach has the clearest water in Phuket, the water here is crystal clear. The beach is surrounded by plenty of jungle and forests.

Is Karon Beach or Patong Beach better?

As a beach shoreline, Karon Beach is far nicer than Patong Beach.

However, regarding the atmosphere, Karon Beach is better for those looking for a laidback day by the beach, while Patong is better for those who prefer a lively atmosphere.

What is the most crowded beach in Phuket?

Patong Beach is usually the busiest beach in Phuket because it’s the most touristy area of all beach areas along the west side of Phuket.

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