Top 6 Beaches For Parties, Watersports & Relaxation
Located in the Andaman sea, the jungle-covered island of Phuket is high on most tourists and backpackers itineraries. Thailand’s largest island is home to over 40 pristine tropical beaches, making it one of the top reasons tourists flock there.
What makes Phuket so popular is how it offers something for everyone. Whilst many come to party, others come for the vast array of Muay Thai and fitness camps, or simply just to relax and take some downtime.
The island’s variety is reflected in its beaches. Whilst the most well-known touristic beaches are loud and bustling, it is not hard to find an abundance of secluded, scenic and peaceful beach spots too. Whatever you are looking for during your time in Phuket, you will find your perfect beach paradise. Here are our top 6:
- Kata Beach
This well-known hot spot is popular with tourists and locals alike. Although it can get busy, Kata Beach at around 1.5km long means it’s big enough to never feel too crowded. Therefore, Kata Beach can maintain a laid-back feel even in high season. This beach has it all, from palm trees, clear glistening water, and pure white sand, to restaurants, bars, and beach massage parlors.
Kata Beach is a great choice for watersports. The waters are typically calm during high season (November to April). In this period you’ll find opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and even paragliding, all of which are located at the northern end of the bay. During low season (May to October) the rougher conditions of the sea make it the ideal time for surfing.
- Kata Noi Beach
If you are looking for something smaller and more intimate, just south of Kata Beach you will find a small strip of sand known as Kata Noi Beach. With only a couple of resorts around, there is not much development here. This gives Kata Noi a much more private and peaceful atmosphere than it’s neighbour.
Along with the tranquility and peacefulness this bay exudes, the soft sand, crystal clear water and jungle backdrop make it a charming spot to spend an afternoon. If you do happen to get bored sunbathing, grab a snorkel and get out into the water. Head towards the rocks at the southern end of the beach where you will find an abundance of coral reefs and colourful tropical fish to admire.
If you are looking for an Instagrammable sunset photo, this beach will provide it. Come here for sunset to get truly beautiful photos without the worry of people walking into your shot!
- Freedom Beach
Despite being located in Patong, the busiest area of the island, Freedom Beach is surprisingly a quiet, peaceful and undisturbed spot. The reason for this is that to reach this hidden gem, you will need to trek through the jungle, or otherwise take a long-tail boat from the southern end of Patong Beach. The boat usually costs between 1,100 and 1,600 baht for a return journey which is pretty expensive for a 10-minute trip, however it does save you the steep trek through the jungle.
The island’s lack of accessibility is what keeps the beach clean and unspoiled, as well as what keeps the crowds away. Therefore, if you are looking for a secluded spot, Freedom Beach is well worth the adventure of getting there.
At only 300 meters long, Freedom Beach is a little slice of heaven. Without the noise of jet skis or big boats, the waves and birds are all you will hear, allowing you to connect back to nature and find some inner peace.
- Patong Beach
Situated in the heart of Phuket, no Phuket beach guide would be complete without Patong Beach. This is a beach that you will either love or hate. This stretch of beach attracts the party crowds, so expect a busy and lively environment.
Although it’s not the most scenic of Phuket’s beaches, and definitely not the most quiet, you will not get bored here. By day, Patong Beach provides many activities and attractions such as hiring a jet ski or riding a banana boat, and by night, you can choose to partake in (or observe from the sidelines) the lively, party vibes and neon lights of Bangla Road.
- Paradise Beach
It’s hard to believe that just 10 minutes from the bustling Patong Beach, you can find a tiny cove that will make you feel like you have stepped into a postcard. The majority of this 200-meter bay is shaded by palm trees allowing you the perfect place to cool down from the heat, escape the crowds and replenish your energy.
Despite its size, beautiful Paradise Beach offers all the amenities you need including restaurants, bars, kayaks, and sun loungers. It is also home to the popular ‘Koh Phangan style’ full-moon beach parties, as well as half-moon and black-moon events.
- Banana Beach (Coral Island)
Although not technically in Phuket, the stunning Banana beach on Koh Hey Island (more commonly known as Coral Island) is a popular and blissful day trip to take from Phuket. If you are wondering about the name, it comes from the shape that the jungle backdrop creates around the bay.
You can access Phuket’s unique attraction by booking a day trip from one of the many tour operators you will find around Phuket. These tours will take you to and from Banana Beach via a speedboat. They usually include lunch and snorkeling gear, as well as the opportunity to try out other watersports such as kayaking in a glass-bottom boat!
If you fall in love with the serenity of Coral Island, you can stay at the beachfront hotel, Coral Island Resort. Staying the night on Koh Hey will give you all the privacy and peacefulness you could ever need, allowing you to witness stunning sunrises and sunsets!
As you can see, whatever vibe you are looking for in Phuket, you will find a beach to match it. After exploring the Old Town, Giant Buddha, the temples, and markets you may find that a few hours of beach time is exactly what you need to rejuvenate, take a break or recover from last night’s party!
This is just a handful of the 40-plus beaches Phuket and its surrounding islands have to offer. Whether you are here for a while, or just passing through, be sure to check out some of these gorgeous Thai beaches during your stay.