Arguably one of the best beaches in all of Thailand, let alone Phuket, is Freedom Beach. Ironically enough, it is just a short drive away from Patong Beach, the seedy stretch of sand chock full of men and women wearing bikinis a few sizes too small with normally some type of liquor in tow. While a day at Patong is certainly an eventful one, best and beautiful are not the adjectives that come to mind. Freedom Beach, on the other hand, is one of the most stunning stretches of secluded sand visitors will ever come across.
After paying a small entrance fee, visitors must take on the sloping staircase, cross through some shrubbery, and step over a rock or two before finally arriving at Freedom Beach. Its sandy shore curves and makes a half circle, all the while hugging the still sea that lightly laps its shore. With seemingly no large waves in sight, visitors can swim out as far as they please and enjoy the incredible jungle views found surrounding this beach. This is the perfect spot for those wanting to be free (pun intended) of tourists and simply enjoy the sand, sun, and sea.
The less people, the better, and this is certainly the case at Kata Beach, found in the southern part of the island. Many of beaches found around Phuket have lovely cliffs and shrubbery acting as a backdrop on one side and beachside restaurants and tacky souvenir shops on the other. Kata Beach on the other hand lacks the tourist-driven vibe and instead gives off a laidback one, with no high-rise buildings in sight. It has its fair share of beach chairs visitors can rent to lounge on, but in comparison to Phuket’s other beaches, Kata Beach is one of the most secluded. Those who do work up an appetite soaking up the sun will be happy to find there are restaurants and bars to indulge in, just not right off the beach.
Though not as large as its sister beach, Kata Noi Beach, located south of Kata Beach, is certainly just as noteworthy. Visitors who found Kata Beach to be secluded will be happy to hear that Kata Noi Beach is even more so, with less travelers making the trek out here because it is both smaller in size and more difficult to reach. The white stretch of sand that makes up Kata Beach is about 700-meters in length, which is quite long considering it is one of the island’s smaller beaches. Kata Noi Beach is a great spot for surfers too, as the waves tend to be relatively large during the low season.
Those looking for luxury should look no further than Surin Beach. It lacks cheesy souvenir shops and rickety beachside restaurants and is instead decorated with luxury resorts and homes. The beach is clean, not as busy as you might think, and provides visitors with some of the best views of the Andaman Sea from its white sand beaches. The beach has also been dubbed as the “Millionaire’s Row,” so visitors can rest assured it is going to be a luxurious yet expensive day at the beach, as the restaurant and wine bars here are not necessarily cheap.
Nestled between Kata Beach and the unruly Patong Beach, Karon Beach provides visitors with a happy medium between the two. In addition to its beautiful stretches of sand and seemingly never-ending sea, it is also equipped with a vibrant market once a week. It is one of the longest beaches on the island, with plenty of spots to both snorkel and dive for those travelers who are feeling a bit more ambitious. The beach is also great for lounging, with nearby dining and shopping options for those who want to do more than just lay out.
Sand does not get much whiter than that found on the beach of Nai Harn. The looped bay where Nai Harn Beach is situated is surrounded by jungle on almost every side, with a handful of restaurants tucked in-between the greenery. During the high season, not a wave is in sight, and the crystal-clear water goes out as far as the eye can see. With surrounding, smaller islands, this is a great spot to see the sunset. Visitors will want to return to this beach long after departing for its local vibe, stunning water, and sand that is more comfortable than most hostel beds. Nai Harn Beach also just underwent a major clean-up, making the beach look as pristine as ever.
Flat as a pancake and unquestionably clean is Paradise Beach. This stretch of sand is certainly living up to its prestigious name, decorated with sloping palm trees for shade and granite rocks on the coastline. The area is home to some high-end restaurants, so expect to dish out a few hundred baht for a meal near Paradise Beach. The beach, which is only about 150-meters in length, somehow tends to remain its pristine self regardless of the season, so this is a great beach to visit for those in the country during the monsoon or low season, as well.