Phuket's glory is its magnificent coastline.
Beaches range from gentle crescents of white sand with calm waters to
rocky headlands pounded by raging surf. Secluded coves lie hidden among
densely forested headlands tumbling around white beaches. In several such
places, visitors can feel years away from civilization.
Phuket's Indian Ocean coastline boasts the finest
beaches while the eastern coastline overlooks some 30 lesser islands
occupying largely tranquil seas. Islands vary greatly size, some are large
enough to sustain fishing communities, coconut plantations, deer and wild
boar. Others are little larger than massive rocks. Others again resemble
fortresses, are riddled with caves containing the birds' nests prized
Counterclockwise from Phuket's northern tip, the island's major
beaches, temples and botanical parks are as following:
The pine-lined Mai
Khao Beach (34 kilometers from town) is Phuket's longest beach, site
between November and February each year, where gigantic sea turtle struggle
ashore to lay theirs eggs.
Yang Beach, to the south (30 kilometers from town) forms part of National
Park and is peaceful, excellent for swimming and relaxation.
Inland from Nai Yang Beach is Wat Phra Thong where a famous partially-buried
Buddha is enshrined. Further east, (20 kilometers from town), the beautiful
Ton Sai Waterfall Forest Park and Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Park have innumerable
birds, wild boars and monkeys to enliven botanical beauty cooled by sonorous
Further south, Pansea
Beach (24 kilometers from town), Sing
Cape and Kamala Beach unfold in rapid succession. A public 9-hole
golf course fronts Surin Beach where swimming is not recommended due to
powerful surf and a treacherous undertow. The northern end of Kamala
Beach is suitable for swimming.
Patong Beach (20 kilometers from town) is Phuket's most developed beach.
Cabin and bungalow complexes, hotels, bars, nightclubs, discotheques,
shop and restaurants front the crescent bay. Windsurfing, snorkeling,
sailing, sunbathing and swimming number among major activities.
(20 kilometers from town) and Kata (17 kilometers from town) are the next
major beaches. Both are long, largely peaceful and eminently suitable
for swimming, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and sunbathing. Kata
is partially fronted by Club Mediterranean Complex.
Nearing Phuket's southernmost point, the white Nai
Harn Beach (18 kilometers from town) fronts a shallow lagoon between
steep headlands. Swimming, windsurfing, sailing, sunbathing and snorkeling
are popular activities.
The nearby Promthep Cape marks Phuket's southernmost point is the perfect
place from which to view spectacular sunsets.
To the east, the palm-fringed Rawai Beach (17 kilometers from town) hosts
Phuket's best known 'sea gypsies'. several offshore islands have gleaming
white beaches, and dazzling underwater scenery that attracts dedicated
fishermen and scuba-divers.
To the northeast, Chalong Bay (11 kilometers from town) extends in a broad
sweep and, a few kilometers inland, Wat
Chalong enshrines statues of Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang,
Phuket's most revered monks.
Finally, on the southernmost tip of Phanwa Cape (10 kilometers from town)
is a Marine Biological Research Center and Phuket's Aquarium which displays
several hundred exotic, grotesque and flamboyantly colorful marine species
found mostly in Phuket's teeming waters.