Thailand insider guide: Phuket’s top beaches

In Holiday Reviews - Asia, Holiday Reviews - Thailand, Islands & Beaches by Simon N. Ostheimer

With golden sands and dazzling blue waters, Phuket and its offshore islands are blessed with unbelievably beautiful beaches. Want to discover them for yourselves? We’ve tracked down some fabulous options…

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Ao Yon

Ao Yon

We’d like to say that most tourists are drawn to Thailand for its culture and cuisine, but for many there’s only one place on their mind: the beach. While there’s many great options, including the sandy shores found on the smaller islands of Koh Chang and Koh Samui, for your money there’s no better destination than Phuket, the original tropical-island getaway. While the famous beaches can get busy, there are still coves you can discover to get away from it all. 

Ao Sane

Ao Sane, Naiharn

At the back of this isolated beach, a small sheltered bay hidden away on Phuket’s south coast, there’s an open-air restaurant serving Thai staples like khao pad gai (chicken fried rice) and pad see ew (fried flat noodles), which looks out onto waves crashing onto the huge boulders dotting the sand. Just offshore, where the sand drops away, snorkellers gently swim over the colourful coral and tropical fish that thrive in the waters here. 

Coral Island

Banana Beach, Coral Island

Sometimes, even escaping to a tropical island isn’t enough. Don’t worry though, as Phuket has a dozen more isles just offshore that make for a perfect day trip. On the top of that list is Coral Island, known locally as Koh Hae, and famed for its crystal-clear waters. If you want to keep your Thailand experience authentic, it’s easily reached via a longtail ride from Phuket, which costs approximately 1,500 baht for a 30-minute return trip. 

Laem Sing

Laem Singh, Surin

Halfway down Phuket’s west coast lies the idyllic beach of Laem Singh, accessed via a steep set of stairs that leads down to the beach. Down on the sand you’ll be treated to popular massage huts, great swimming, and the tasty Italian-Thai cuisine of Ristorante Da Ali. According to old Phuket hands, Laem Singh was once known as the Italian Beach, due to the preponderance of that nationality who came here to sunbathe. 

Ao Yon

Ao Yon, Cape Panwa

Every Sunday, as the sun rises in the sky, a small fleet of dinghies set sail off Ao Yon’s Phuket Youth Sailing Club. Here, experienced foreign coaches are on hand to teach visiting water enthusiasts the basics of controlling dinghies, powerboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. After you’ve worked up an appetite out on the water, you should head east to the next bay for dinner at the chilled out Secret Cove restaurant.  

Looking for a dreamy place to stay in Thailand? Find plenty of inspiraiton here