Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations, with fine white sands, nodding palm trees, glittering seas and lively towns. It has something for any taste and budget, with hundreds of hotels to choose from, a wide choice of dining and partying options. Aside from visiting the fantastic attractions of Thailand’s biggest island, you can take an exhilarating speedboat trip to the many nearby tropical paradises, including the famous Phi Phi Islands, or enjoy a serene cruise around the mystical Phang Nga Bay. Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Kamala have always been the most popular, but the north of the island reveals some hidden gems for travelers searching for a more romantic atmosphere.
Phuket Weather (When to Visit)
The temperature is high throughout the year, in fact, average highs never drop below 86 °F. Karon has some very humid months, and above average humidity throughout the year. The best time to go to Phuket for a beach holiday is the dry season, from late December to March. However, surfers prefer the period from June to September, when waves are higher in the beaches exposed to the west, like Pansea Beach, Karon Beach, and Kata Beach.
Best Phuket Beaches
Karon is one of the longest beaches in Phuket. It enjoys a vast stretch of white sand with a decent choice of dining and nightlife, but never seems to draw crowds of tourists (which might be a good thing). The sand of this beach is also known to make a fun squishy sound when walking on it.
Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi Beach is a beautiful little bay along Phuket’s west coast, and one of the best beaches on the island. Located just south of the main Kata Beach, it has lovely soft sand and stunning scenery. It is home to some of Phuket’s most luxurious resorts and restaurants. On the hillside road behind the beach, you’ll find some of the best sunset bars available, with stunning views over the sand and out to the horizon, which you can enjoy with a tasty dinner and a refreshing drink.
Patong Beach is the heart of Phuket and what makes it so popular to some is often what other people hate most about it. Patong is big, bold, crowded, bright and loud, yet millions people flock there every year like flies on honey. If Bangkok is the Big Mango, then Patong is the Big Durian: you’ll love Patong… or you’ll hate it! The original success and popularity of Patong beach rotates around two things: its amazing beach, and its worry-free wild nightlife. Of course you have great shopping, dining, and foot massages.
A 300-meter-long strip of some of the finest white sand in Phuket, Freedom Beach has all the isolation of a pristine desert island, but also has 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, making it the best balance of peaceful and quiet without sacrificing convenience.
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. It has colourful longtail boats moored at the northern end, with a few budget food and drink 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.
Ya Nui Beach
Ya Nui is one of Phuket’s smallest beaches, and yet is amazingly popular for its size. It has beautiful sand and sea and striking scenery, being 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 is a good selection of nearby restaurants, vendors and accommodation.
Phuket Tours & Activities
John Gray’s Hong by Starlight with Sea Cave Kayaking and Loy Krathong Floating
Travel from midday to midnight to the hidden wonders of Phang Nga Bay, including a kayaking tour of limestone sea caves and cliff-lined lagoons. Ride a power boat to the emerald waters and keep an eye out for sea eagles, egrets and other wildlife while you paddle your kayak with an expert guide. After dark, float your own self-made flower ‘krathong’ at a Loi Krathong festival, followed by a seafood buffet dinner. Lunch and round-trip transport from Phuket hotels or airport included. Learn more about this Sea Kayaking & Loy Krathong Floating Tour.
Phang Nga Bay Sea Cave Canoeing & James Bond Island by Big Boat from Phuket
Take in the highlights of Phang Nga Bay on this action-packed full-day cruise from Phuket. Paddle around Panak and Hong islands on a canoe; admire the natural wonders of James Bond Island; take a swim at Lawa Island; and tuck into a delicious lunch onboard. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included. Learn more about the Phang Nga Bay Sea Cave Canoeing.
Phi Phi Islands Early Bird & View Point Hike
This Early Bird tour will take you to the best spots of Phi Phi Islands for snorkeling and sightseeing. Take a glimpse of the famous Maya Bay at Phi Phi Leh and go for a swim in the Pileh Lagoon. See the monkeys at Monkey Beach and pass by Viking Cave. Then hike up to the Phi Phi Don View Point and enjoy the incredible views. Explore the underwater world Snorkeling and relax at Bamboo Island and it’s beautiful beach. Learn more about the Phi Phi Islands Tour.
Phi Phi Sunrise by Simba Sea Trips
Popular for azure waters and white sand beaches, the Phi Phi Islands are a major hotspot for visitors to Thailand. While the islands are picturesque, being stuck on a slow, crowded tourist boat can spoil the experience. On this tour, take a small speedboat to see the well-known sites and secluded spots where you can take in the islands’ natural beauty. Learn morea bout the Phi Phi Sunrise Tour.
Amazing Phuket Island Guided Tour & Big Buddha
The island of Phuket is known for its stunning white-sand beaches but the island is also bursting with culture and history. Take a guided tour around the island to discover some of its most beautiful beaches, Siamese architecture, Buddhist temples, and the Big Buddha made of marble. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors who want to know more about the island’s culture. Learn more about the Phuket Island Guided Tour.
Best Phuket Restaurants
EAT Bar & Grill $11 – 30
EAT Bar and Grill Phuket is a great option for enjoying some Western-style grill dining. You’ll find a varied menu of meaty favorites, an expansive selection of drinks, and reasonable prices. There’s also excellent service to each and every guest. The Swedish chef combines high-quality imported cuts with fresh local ingredients, putting as much effort into the presentation as the taste. The professional team members are well versed about the various imported meats, and are able to provide quality recommendations. Telephone: 66 (0)85 292 5652 Web: Eat Bar & Grill.
On The Rock $11 – 30
This restaurant is at the end of a rocky promontory in the grounds of the incredibly verdant Marina Phuket Resort right by the sea. Sounds romantic? It is. With good service and a predominantly seafood menu, as well as a broad wine list, On the Rock is an attractive alternative to, well just about anywhere in Kata or Karon. Some dishes, such as the clay pots with seafood in them, are well worth trying out. Reserve a table ahead of time and try for a table for sunset as the colors here are wonderful. Telephone: (0)76 33 0625 Web: On The Rock.
2Gether $11 – 30
2gether Restaurant & Bar is one of the most popular diners in Karon Beach on Phuket Island’s west coast. Established in 2005 and under Swedish management, the restaurant has been rewarded by TripAdvisor as the ‘Best Karon Beach restaurant in 2012 and 2013’. The menu is in Swedish and English, and presents a perfect selection for international travelers, with choice dishes from Sweden (the obvious meatballs), Italy (pizza, pasta), French (Chateaubriand Provençal), Australian (beef), and of course Thai choices. Telephone: 66 (0)90 280 2239 Web: 2Gether.
Coast Beach Club $11 – 30
With its breathtaking seafront views, Coast Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort offers a laid back barefoot vibe, featuring a cocktail bar, bar restaurant and the opportunity to host unique private events. Sample some delicious tapas, pizzas and a varied selection of international and local cheeses accentuated by the perfect glass of wine or cocktail. Coast Beach Club is the perfect place to spend a hot Phuket day or delight in the cool breeze of the Andaman Sea as you watch the sun go down across the bay. Telephone: 66 (0)76 201 234 Web: Coast Beach Club.
Ging Restaurant $11 – 30
A very popular Thai restaurant amongst visitors staying around Soi Old Phuket Resort area, Ging keeps things simple and delivers good Thai food with all the old favourites on the menu. An outstanding positive point of this simply designed restaurant is its service: Friendly, warm, and with lots of initiative, the wait staff and management at Ging go the extra mile. Fan-cooled, Ging is open sided with tiled interiors and a décor that won’t exactly remind diners of a five-star, award-winning, world-class restaurant but the important thing is that the food is reasonably priced with generous portions and the service remarkable. Telephone: 66 (0)62 592 2361 Web: Ging Restaurant.
Best Phuket Bars
Coast Beach Club
With its breathtaking seafront views, COAST Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort offers a laidback barefoot vibe, featuring a cocktail bar, bar restaurant and the opportunity to host unique private events. Sample some delicious tapas, pizzas and a varied selection of international and local cheeses accentuated by the perfect glass of wine or cocktail. Plus, enjoy menu items such as the Blue Swimmer Crab and the Three COAST Sliders. Choose to lounge in either the indoor or outdoor section of the club, offering comfortable sofas, the restaurant or simply at the bar. Live music and DJ sets also fill the club on selected evenings. Telephone: 66 (0)76 201 234 Web: Coast Beach Club.
This Irish pub is one of its kind in Karon – serving international ales, bottled beer and all-day quality and value-for-money pub food, there are no over-flattering girls telling you how handsome you are, and there’s no ear-splitting music but expect plenty of sports on the huge screens and a genuine pub feel to the place along with an international feel to the place. There is also occasional live music and when there is, it’s the place to be in the area as the place rocks. Telephone: 66 (0)93 696 1718 Web: Angus O’Tool’s.
Karon Aussie Bar
The Karon Aussie Bar, is a popular Aussie sports bar, that is located just over 300 metres from Karon Beach and Traffic Circle. They have a house band called Cold Chilli that plays on stage a wide range of music to suite all tastes. After the band, later at night there is a DJ that plays top dance music. Sports shown include Formula F1, football, rugby, golf, cricket and tennis, shown live. The Karon Aussie Bar has a free to use pool table. It is a fun and friendly place to have a drink at and is not a girlie bar so hassle free. Web: Karon Aussie Bar.
Walkabout Sports Bar
The Walkabout Sports Bar is a friendly & lively family orientated bar showing the maximum amount of weekly sports we can on our 9 Screens which includes an 80 inch main screen. With as good selection of bottled drinks and Aussie draft beer on tap, they try to cater for all our customers needs. They provide free 6MB Wi-Fi to their customers; just ask the staff for the current password. Try Walkabout Pizzas on a Wednesday and Saturday Nights. So go on a Walk About to Walkabout Sports Bar and enjoy good music, Cold Beer and Live Sports! Web: Walkabout Sports Bar.
Roadhouse Grill & Bar
The Roadhouse Phuket offers live Blues and Rock 3 nights a week, normally on Sunday, Monday and Friday nights, by a Thai band called “Moody Blues”. It has a sit up bar section, a dining section with tables and chairs, a stage and a small dance floor. The Roadhouse is Aussie owned and provides warm, friendly hospitality and large flat screen TV’s showing the latest international sports events, plus has a free to use pool table. Web: Roadhouse Grill & Bar.
Best Phuket Hotels
BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel
Just a 5-minute walk from Patong Beach, BYD Lofts offers stylish serviced apartments surrounded by shopping and nightlife options. It features a rooftop pool and free Wi-Fi in the entire property. Well-furnished, modern apartments at Hotel BYD Lofts feature a separate living area with a 46-inch flat-screen TV, iPod docking station and DVD player. Extras include home theater system, Blu-ray DVD player and internet TV. For convenience, the European kitchen is equipped with cutlery, crockery and pans. An espresso coffee machine is also available in the room. Guests can relax with the massage treatments provided or take a dip in the outdoor rooftop swimming pool.
The Chava Resort
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. The Chava Resort is a 2-minute walk from Phuket’s Surin Beach. It offers 5-star service apartments with full kitchen facilities, a dining area and free WiFi. An outdoor pool and restaurant are available. The spacious apartments at The Chava Resort feature modern décor and private balconies. The lounge area is equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD player and a iPod dock. Bathtubs are included in the private bathroom. Guests can lounge by the 100 feet swimming pool or book a day trip at the tour desk. Chava also provides laundry services and currency exchange.
Set on a private bay, the award-winning Trisara boasts a luxurious spa and free round-trip airport transportation. Its spacious rooms feature private pools and sweeping views of the sea. The elegant rooms at Trisara come with modern décor, a separate living area and outdoor deck. Each well-equipped room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. The resort has a wide range of facilities that include a fitness center and tennis court. Guests can also enjoy windsurfing, snorkeling and diving activities. Shaded by tall coconut palm trees, the outdoor dining area offers local, Western and seafood dishes.
Andara Resort Villas
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Located on Phuket’s West Coast overlooking Kamala Bay, Andara Resort Villas offers luxurious accommodation with views of the Andaman Sea. The resort features a spa and an outdoor pool. Andara Resort Villas provides villas and suites with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and spacious living and dining areas. Each villa features a pavilion for outdoor dining and a private chef. Guests can enjoy a relaxing massage and various treatments at the Andara Spa or workout at the fitness center. The resort provides a free shuttle service to the Kamala Beach.
Impiana Private Villas
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Impiana’s luxurious villas offer a private pool, personal butler service, and beautiful views of the Andaman Sea. The resort features a gym, spa facilities, free Wifi and free parking. Impiana’s villas are stylish and have a flat-screen TV with DVD player, iPod docking station and Hi-Fi. They also come with a fully stocked mini bar, espresso coffee maker and safe. Located on Phuket’s quiet Kata Noi Beach, guests can enjoy a sea cruise on a luxurious yacht or relax at the spa with a massage.