In recent times, Phuket’s top earner has been tourism, which has transformed the island into Thailand’s wealthiest province. Expect prices to be a bit higher than on the mainland. The west coast of Phuket was hit severely by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, but almost no evidence of the damage now remains. Phuket enjoys great popularity as a travel destination. Thailand’s largest island is beautiful beaches, clear water, coral forests, pearl farm, limestone cliffs, caves, mangroves, fishing villages and national park.
Chalong’s muddy East Coast shoreline makes it rather unsuitable for swimming but it’s an ideal and natural spot for yacht mooring. As well as the Boat Lagoon, Yacht Haven and Royal Phuket Marina, Chalong is a centre for intense boating activity. Early mornings and late afternoons are the busiest times at Chalong, when diving and day trip groups are bundled on and off boats. The Ao Chalong Yacht Club, which organises regular sailing races, makes its base here, and its bar is a favorite spot for sailors to swap yarns and party.
The amazing theme park Phuket FantaSea is located at Kamala Beach, an experience you won’t want to miss. FantaSea is also home to Asia’s largest buffet, tourist shopping and a spectacular show that involves acrobats, performing animals and much, much more. You can find some good seafood restaurants in the beachside part of the village, plus several fine-dining establishments to the north.
Karon Beach is one of the best beaches for water fun. Here the sea is calm throughout the dry season and the sand is fine and powdery. Karon Beach has merged with Kata Beach to the south and now resembles a quieter version of Patong Beach. Dino Park miniature golf is located between these beaches. Relax Bay has only one hotel, the luxurious Le Meridien Phuket Hotel.
The pleasant bay of Kata, entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. Very popular with families, Kata is an all round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata’s waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sunseekers. Kata is split into two focal areas: Kata Centre, which is at the northern end close to Karon and Kata South, home to several resorts. Visitors will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets.
Nai Thon and Nai Yang
Nai Thon and Nai Yang are two adjacent quiet beaches in northern Phuket. There are a few hotels, guesthouses and restaurants in Nai Thon. The atmosphere is generally laid back and quiet. New hotel projects are in the process of buing built so it will change here too.
Nai Yang Beach is the longest stretch of sandy beach on the island, covering 9 km. It is here that you will find giant sea turtles and throughout the dry season, October through February, this is where they come ashore to lay their eggs.
Nai Thon nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of sand. This quiet bay is suitable for swimming.
Patong Beach is an astonishing combination of breathtakingly beautiful white sand beach edged by the glittering Andaman Sea, and the most concentrated area of tourist accommodations, shops, nightclubs, restaurants and attractions. The nightlife is centred around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road) however there are quiet parts of town.
Nowadays, Rawai is a ‘working beach’ and a launching point for day boat excursions out to Phuket’s surrounding islands. Many long-tail boats available for hire line its shores, where you can arrange a trip to Coral Island, Koh Lone or Racha Island, or a fishing or snorkelling trip. The beach is also used as a mooring point for the many fishermen who live in the area. Rawai is an off-the-beaten-path area of Phuket that attracts devotees of Muay Thai martial arts
Although popular with tourists, it’s not a busy resort town and is more like a coastal village. Fine white sand and turquoise water has ensured that the picturesque beach is very popular with tourists and Thais alike. The whole area is awash with high-end hotels and housing which, in turn, has created opportunities for high-end restaurants and wine bars.
Do you like the beach?
You can see interesting things: