Phuket has many beaches, mainly on the west coast of the island. I know that a major part of travelers rent a motorbike as it is the easiest way to move around and explore, but I didn’t. So, I have been exploring Phuket beaches on foot.
I’m staying in Patong for 4 months so I have time to slowly explore the surroundings. Therefore I did some long-distance walks to other beaches nearby.
The beach is not so far for a walk from Patong, but be sure that you will find steep hills on the way. There are actually two paths to get to Freedom beach: a free one and one that you have to pay for.
I didn’t know about this so we went to the paid one besides having a gate saying private area. There were some people outside that told us to get in. Only 2 minutes after we realized that there was a man requesting 200 Baht to access the beach. We were shocked! No way we would pay to go to the beach, so he mentioned another fee trail. So, apparently, this paid walking path has better conditions than the other one. But we still opted for the free walk to the beach. The free trail is steep, muddy, but totally doable. There are also some ropes to help you on the way. It is a bit tough but totally doable. We were unlucky to have rain with us all afternoon so hiking that muddy trail was super slippery.
The beach itself is not that big and there was almost no one there. Maybe because it was a rainy day… For this reason, we were not able to enjoy the watercolor properly so the beach was not that impressive.
But, I keep listening wonders about Freedom beach so I walked there again on a sunny day and look at the difference:
On another day I hiked by myself to Kata Noi beach (about 10km away from Patong)
Karon Noi beach
On my way south, the first beach I saw was Karon Noi, the most beautiful one I saw during this trek. I was not expecting to find such a beautiful beach because I haven’t seen much about it but later I understood why. So, this is a private beach to the customers of Le Méridien Phuket Resort. The resort claimed that beach for itself, so if you want to go, you have to pay them an entrance fee and apparently can enjoy their beach chairs, etc. This is not cool as this beach looks amazingly beautiful and I couldn’t even have a proper view of it. There is a viewpoint, but the view is very covered by trees.
I was very intrigued about Karon Noi beach so one day I decided to give it a shot and try to sneak in. I walked my way there from Patong beach, my hat and mask on, looked no one in the eye, and continued my walk past by the security. And that’s how I made my way in through the hotel. But, they got me on my way back. I thought they were suspicious because when I was leaving, the security asked me about my room number… I said I have just been to the beach. He starts laughing and says that I can’t do that. He said to me not to do it next time. I never tried again anyway…
The beach is beautiful and was very empty has the hotel guests at this time might not be that many. I found my way on the sand and appreciated the beautiful watercolor that at that time was filled with jellyfish- I think it was jellyfish season. They have this beautiful green wall with plants looking amazing for pictures. I was very happy that I could visit. I didn’t use anything from the hotel or get nearby their facilities. Just been to a beach bar where a big bottle of water was 100 bahts!!
The next beach I saw on my journey south was Karon beach and seeing it from the hill was way better than seeing it from the beach itself. Because I was walking towards it, I found this amazing spot with a clear view of Karon beach, and the best viewpoint from the street. Near Centara Villas is where you will find this gorgeous view of Karon beach
The next beach on my journey to the south was kata beach. It is a pretty beach with a small rocky island nearby. The beach was not that busy and apparently, you can rent a kayak here. I didn’t see this beach from above, so it didn’t impress me either.
Kata Noi beach
Next and the last beach for me this day was Kata Noi beach, a beach 10 min walk away from Kata beach. Kata Noi is way smaller than Kata beach but I found it more charming. There were a lot of surfers there although there weren’t those many waves. The beach is pretty and I had the best sunset here. Sunsets in Phuket are so amazing as the sky turns pink 360º around and all the surround helps to the magic of the moment.
After the sunset, I headed back to Karon beach making my day a little less than a 20 km walk. My original idea was to go to Karon Viewpoint but I was too tired for it. On this journey, I found that there is a local bus connecting Rawai- Kata- Patong- Airport. To know more about the local buses and their routes, you need to install this app called “dotsmobi” which will tell you bus routes, prices, and schedules. But those are not all the beaches I have visited so far.
Near Patong, there are other Phuket beaches that can be reached within less more than an hour’s walk. That’s the case of Tri Trang Beach and Paradise beach, so one day I decided to walk there.
Tri Trang beach
My first stop was Tri Trang beach that to my surprise was completely empty. There are some big resorts nearby and the beach is actually big and very pretty if seen from above. From here you can see Patong in the distance. Near the beach are some nice restaurants with a privileged view of the beach and its different tones of blue. It was one of the most beautiful ones I have seen so far in Phuket. *Please note this post has been written during the pandemic
Not far from Tri Trang beach is Paradise beach.
On my walk to Paradise beach, I saw some elephants a few metes away. They were not chained or whatsoever.
To access paradise beach they were demanding 100 bahts. Well, I’m not a fan of paying to access beaches, but I came all the way for it… I even asked if there was another path that was free, even if I had to walk further, but they said there is no other way to enter the beach because it is private. At least with the 100 baht, I got a “free” soft drink at the bar and could choose a beach chair.
Paradise beach has the clearest water of all the beaches I have seen so far. There are many corals and rocks, and therefore not so easy to walk in the sea. For this reason, it is an area when you can see some fish, snorkel and I also saw a group going out at sea diving. The beach is not very big and the sun sets exactly on the opposite side so expect its absence earlier than sunset. But there is actually a sunset viewpoint on the other side.
At the beach, you can rent kayaks or just enjoy the beautiful water.
For sunset, I headed to the rock viewpoint where it’s even clearer the number of boats standing there that we can see from Patong beach. Those are squid fleets and if you notice a green sky at night, it is due to these boats’ presence.
I get the name of the viewpoint as “Rock Viewpoint” as this is really a view of the impressive rocks that connect the land and the sea. The place is very pleasant, there is a swing that we had for ourselves cause no one else was there and there is a hotel right next to it as the pure jungle. The spot is lovely but unfortunately, the weather didn’t cope that day.
I walked all the way back to Patong beach in the dark and the journey is good to be done.
But, there are also beautiful beaches on the south of the island, so I decided to do my own day tour to the area.
I went from Patong to Rawai by bus for 100 bahts which is actually expensive for a local bus in Thailand. But, there are mostly foreigners on this bus that connects Rawai to the airport.
However, hoping on this bus was not easy. Because the bus schedules here are not trustable at all!! They can show up 20 minutes before time or 20 minutes after. The trick is going to the bus station and wait … I was about to give up after waiting 45 minutes for this bus in Patong when it finally showed up and I could get a picture of the bus schedules, which was awesome cause the information on the app “dotsmobi” is not reliable.
Phuket bus schedule starting 8 Jan 2022:
I left the bus in Rawai and walked all the way to Nai Harn beach with several stops along the way
This is not the beach where you go to lay in the sun and bath on the sea. The beach is filled with all types of boats and is basically where you should go to rent a longtail boat to visit nearby islands such as CORAL ISLAND.
The beach is beautiful with amazing blue waters and has some waterfront restaurants that looked very appealing.
From Rawai Beach I walked to Promthep Cape which has amazing views of the surroundings. I couldn’t go to the tip of the cape cause the path was closed, but the views are majestic anyway. Although the views are nice here, they turned better as I walked towards Yanui beach which is so beautiful!!
This might be one of the prettiest Phuket beaches I have seen from above. It can be seen from the area around Promthep Cape and from the Windmill viewpoint. Seeing it from above is the best as it reveals different tones of water colors. There is a sandbar connecting to some rocks which makes it even more stunning.
And this was the next stop from Yanui Beach. From Windmill’s viewpoint, you will see Yanui Beach from a different perspective and you can also see Nai Harn Beach getting closer. The views are stunning and this is definitely a must-visit.
Nai Harn beach
From the Windmill viewpoint, I kept walking until one of the most beautiful Phuket beaches: Nai Harn beach, which is quite a walk, but I was so glad I did it. I was not expecting to be surprised on the way with the most beautiful sight of Nai Harn Beach ever. I must say one of the most beautiful I have seen so far in Phuket. From the street, as I walk down, I look to the side and I’m mesmerized by this view of Nai Harn beach and huge sandbanks surrounded by the bluest water. This is such a great viewpoint and it is not even marked on the map. I visited at about 2 pm and maybe I was lucky for being low tide cause maybe the views change with the tide.
Down on the beach, the sandbanks area is really beautiful and Nai Harn beach is very pleasant too. The beach is not that long and there are no people trying to sell you things like in Patong.
Surin Beach and Pansea Beach
I have also visited Surin Beach, but on a rainy day, so the water colors couldn’t be appreciated. I can’t tell how beautiful the beach is like this, but I have heard wonderful things about it.
On the north side of the beach, there are many rocks that I feel like no one is exploring otherwise I would have seen more people walking there. And the truth is that if you venture a little further, you can actually access the next beach Pansea Beach which seems to be a private beach of Amanpuri Hotel (but not sure it is), the second most expensive hotel on the island with stays at more than 3000€ a night and where celebrities like Angelina Jolie stay at when in Phuket.
Besides the weather, the waters surrounding Pansea Beach seemed pretty blue and pretty, so I might have to go later to check it out. The beach is small and very quiet.
To get to Surin Beach from Patong I boarded the bus for 100 bahts.
Mai Khao Beach and Airport view
To get to Mai Khao beach I hopped on the local bus that connects Phuket airport and Rawai beach for 100bh. The bus doesn’t stop exactly next to the beach so the bus driver told me I couldn’t go to Mai Khao Beach, but I told him I would walk. Of course, he found that weird but he stopped where I asked him to, near a road that would lead me to Sirinat National Park. From the street to the park it didn’t take longer than 15 min walk, so it was very reasonable. It is clear that this area is not as touristy as the rest of Phuket.
There is this park that is a green area by the beach where I stayed for a while before heading to the viewpoint where you can see the planes landing so close to you. It was a very nice experience that I never had before in my life. You can check for the arrivals and departures online and wait for the planes. This was during the Covid pandemic so the flights weren’t those many… but the place still had a few people simply waiting for airplanes to take pictures and videos. No one was actually in the water or enjoying the beach itself.
Further down next to Sirinat National Park the beach looks way more beautiful and empty as well. If Phuket is too crowded for you, then come to this area and you won’t feel the same.