It is true that it is harder and harder to find a beach in Phuket that has not been filled with tourists. But there are still plenty of lesser known beaches that are usually enjoyed by the locals and expats. Most don’t have fancy beach chairs or vendors but you would easily find a couple of local restaurants and tiny bars that are enough for a tranquil and leisure day. If you really want to experience a Phuket of 20 years ago, pay some efforts to get to these 5 recommended beaches. Most of them are usually located further away from the tourist center, but what you get is very rewarding.
1. Ya Nui Beach
Ya Nui, favorite fishing and picnic spot of many locals, is a charming small beach, tucked in a cove between the Windmill Viewpoint and famous Promthep Cape in the very south of Phuket Island. It’s actually two really small beaches separated by a large rock formation. The smaller of Ya Nui’s subdivisions looks innocuous, but will vacuum you out if you’re not careful. Keep an eye out for the loads of vibrant fish species and the pointy rocks and barnacles. Kayaks, snorkel gear and a handful of umbrellas are available for rent.
2. Ao Sane Beach
Ao Sane is a tiny hidden beach, very visible from Nai Harn Beach, but unless you know that you need to go through a narrow path under The Nai Harn Resort, you will never find out. It consists of three very small sandy bays and you can walk from one to another through the few beach bungalows. Because of the rocks on the beach, the rough texture of its sand, and a marked slope down to the sea, not a lot of sports such as volleyball and football are played at Ao Sane but it is undeniably a magnificent snorkeling and diving spot.
3. Freedom Beach
Freedom Beach is one of the, if not the, prettiest beaches with an incredibly soft white sand and blinding clear blue waters. Just around 15 minutes away from the most populated beach in Phuket, it is, yet, surprisingly peaceful and quiet. Some days it’s a bit crowded, some days you’ll get the whole beach to yourself. Restaurants are at the southern end where the best snorkeling is. Freedom Beach is only accessible by long-tail boat, and only during high season, which usually is from December to June.
4. Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi Beach is a beautiful little sandy bay if you want to be near the lively Kata Beach while staying away from the usual tourist herds. This nice wide strand of white sand has incredibly clear blue waters during the high season and fortunately, its ‘out of the way’ location kept it relatively quiet. Unless you know about it, you probably would miss it. Except the beach itself and two resorts, not much is going on around Kata Noi Beach, the usual tailor, convenience store, massage and few bars seem to be waiting for the hotel’s guests.
5. Laem Ka Beach
Laem Ka Beach is one of those beaches that are not so heavily attended and neither signposted and of course not visible from the street. The beach is rather small and offers a great view on some islands off the coast and is a really good spot to take a swim. The southern end of the beach is rocky but at high tide it is perfectly possible to swim out and snorkel. The middle of the beach is dominated by large granite boulders – the habitat of many crab species whereas the northern end offers fewer rocks and is a favourite splashing, frolicking and swimming spot. Laem Ka is a kids-friendly beach because of its safe waters and shade-giving trees.
Feeling tempted? Check out our inspiring journeys to Phuket and more trips across 10 Asian countries.