Phuket beaches Travel Guide
About Phuket beaches
The self-styled 'Pearl of the Andaman' is the largest, most celebrated and most popular of Thailand's resort islands. Blessed with tracts of tropical rainforest, a myriad of clean sandy beaches and surrounded by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea, it is easy to see why Phuket is a popular Southeast Asian getaway.
Phuket has plenty of great beaches where you can unfurl your towel. The busiest is in the main resort town of Patong. Patong Beach is a fully-equipped beach with sun loungers, sun umbrellas, watersports, beach bars and restaurants. Kata Beach, 10km (6 miles) south of Patong, tends to be a little quieter and when the surf is up, they are popular with windsurfers and surfers. Even more relaxed beaches are on offer for holidaymakers willing to drive out to more remote spots - a top spot for low-key vacationers is Freedom Beach. Freedom beach is only accessible by long-tail boat or a steep walk down a dirt path, making it one of Phuket's hidden treasures.
Beyond the beach:
The resort towns are pretty much given over to the needs of tourists, while the capital of Phuket Town is more interesting. Over the years Chinese, Portuguese and Malay influences have woven into the architecture and culture. The town is home to the most attractive architecture on the island and also to some excellent restaurants where holidaymakers can sample the fiery local cuisine.
Phuket these days is very popular with families. The best facilities are within the grounds of the luxury resort, with children's clubs and crèches both available. The island's beaches are also great for children. Phuket Fantasea (www.phuket-fantasea.com) is a theme park with rides as well as some colourful cultural and dance performances.
Koh Hae is a very popular day trip option and with good reason. This fellow Andaman Sea island south of Phuket, which translates as 'Coral Island', is much quieter and less developed than Phuket. There is little to do after the scenic boat ride to the island, but relax by the sea, or go snorkelling or scuba diving are excellent on Koh Hae.