Patong Beach is usually the first that comes to mind when one thinks about Phuket, and for good reason: this beach is the most vibrant and appealing if you are looking for a place to party, and party hard. With plenty of bars, go-go bars, places to eat, and people to see, Patong Beach boasts nightlife like no other, and plenty of activity in the daytime as well. For some quiet time, you can try going toward the northern end of the beach to get away from the bustle. However, this is not a good choice of beach if you are not a fan of crowds.
Easily the second-most vibrant beach after Patong Beach, Kata Beach is one of the best beaches in Phuket because there is an endless amount of things to see and do here. While still reasonably crowded, it is not as crowded as Patong, so it is more comfortable to visit even casually with your young kids. Rent a sun lounger and a parasol to curl up with a book and enjoy the breathtaking view in front of you, or even just drink, eat, and shop the day away at the retail establishments lining the beach. This beach is best accessed by staying at Club Med Phuket, Kata Beach’s next-door resort.
While technically still in the Patong area, Freedom Beach is a far cry from the boisterous Patong Beach. Quiet, secluded, and pristine, it’s not hard to see why this 300-metre stretch of beach is one of the best beaches in Phuket. However, there is a catch to visiting this beautiful beach: you can only get to it after trekking through a jungle or paying up for a long tail boat ride almost half an hour long.
A quieter nearby beach to Kata Beach in Phuket is Kata Noi Beach, a 700-metre beach that is relatively untouched by development compared to its vibrant neighbour. Perfect for lounging and contemplating life, there isn’t as much to do on this beach, which is why it’s great for those who need a respite from the crowds. Clean sands, clear blue water, and an especially fantastic sunset view make this beach worth the 20-minute walk from Kata Beach if you have the time.
Up north from Patong is Kamala Beach, which is one of the more serene beaches on this list. Providing a change of pace from the more touristy beaches around Phuket, this beach has shallow waters that are not too choppy, making it suitable for families with young children or those who just want to relax in the water. If you plan to visit this beach, you may as well also make a trip to the nearby Fantasea Park, which has plenty of places to shop, take photographs, eat, and entertain everyone in your entourage.
Surrounded by lush greenery and being minimally developed, Nai Harn Beach is one of the best beaches in Phuket to visit if you want more natural views rather than the built-for-tourists offerings of other popular beaches. You are likely to find more locals than tourists on this beach anyway. This beach has calm waters in high season, but in the low seasons, currents can get pretty strong. There is also a lake behind the beach where you can take a romantic ride in swan-shaped pedalos or go fishing.