Phuket Beaches Patong Beach:(15 km from Phuket town) Phuket's most developed beach offers numerous leisure, sporting, shopping and recreational options along its 3-km long cresent bay. Windsurfing, snorkelling, sailing, swimming and sunbathing number among the many popular daytime activities. Patong is equally well known for its vibrant nightlife, among which seafood restaurants feature prominently. Karon Beach: (17 km from Phuket town) the second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches. Large resort complexes line the road behind of the shoreline, but the long, broad beach itself has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked upon. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Bu Island. Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south end, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. The narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses as well as the Dino Park Mini Golf facillity. Karon is the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches. There is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town. Kata Beach: (20 & 17 km from Phuket town) Beautiful Kata is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Bu Island sits offshore. Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its beach more peaceful than Patong. Naiharn Beach: (18 km from Phuket town) South of Kata Noi and north of Promthep Cape, Naiharn is not Phuket's longest beach, but it borders the most gorgeous lagoon on the island. The middle of the beach is dominated by the Samnak Song Nai Han monastery, which has obstructed excessive development and is the reason that the beach is generally less crowded than other spots on the southern part of the island. A wide variety of water sports can be enjoyed, but swimmers should be alert for the red flag which warns of dangerous currents during the monsoon season from May to October. One can walk to nearby Promthep Cape to observe sunsets, which are often fiery and spectacular. Kamala Beach The beach is a favoured spot for witnessing sunsets. The northern end of Kamala Beach is suitable for swimming. Surin Beach: (24 km from Phuket town) Evergreen trees line this small, curving bay, beneath the foothills north of Kamala. Surin is home to Phuket's first golf course, a nine-hole course laid out more than sixty years ago during the reign of King Rama VII. It is now largely in disuse except as a park.
The steep incline of the beach, turbulent water, and big waves make Surin a dangerous place to swim. Panwa Beach: (10 km from Phuket town) The southernmost tip of this cape is home to a Marine Biological Research Centre and Phuket's Aquarium where visitors may inspect several hundred exotic, grotesque, and flamboyantly colourful marine species found in the teeming waters of Phuket and elsewhere.
Phuket Natural Attractions
Promthep Cape”Promthep Capeis a headland forming the extreme south end of Phuket. "Prom" is Thai for the Hindu term, "Brahma," signifying purity, and "Thep" means 'God.' Local villagers used to refer to the cape as "Leam Jao", or the God's Cape, and it was an easily recognisable landmark for the early seafarers traveling up the Malay Peninsula from the sub-continent. Khao Rang: A great view of Phuket Town, the southern part of the island, and some of the offshore islands, can be obtained by going to the top of Khao Rang Hill, on the town's northwest border. There are also several restaurants featuring spectacular views of the city, a health park for exercise enthusiasts, and a comfortable, expanse of grass s at the top with a bronze statue of Phraya Ratsada Nupradit, the model Governor of Phuket during King Rama V's reign. Bangpae Waterfall: Best known as the site of the Gibbon Fund, a project to return domesticated gibbons to the forest, Bang Pae is a small waterfall with a shady forest and thick foliage.
How to get there: Ggo to the Two Heroines Monument and take the road running east, the Pakhlok Road. Bangpae is 7 km along this road. Look for the posted signs. Sirinat National Park: Located near Phuket International Airport, the national park covers an area of 90 square kilometers. The park stretches all the way to the island's northern tip. There are a number of interesting places to visit: Nai Yang Beach,Nai Ton Beach, Mai Khao Beach, Sai Kaew Beach. Mangrove Forest Situated in Sirinat National Park, near Ta Chatchai on Phuket's northern tip, the mangroves--saltwater swamps with unique eco-systems much prized by scientists searching for clues about adaptation and evolution--cover about 800 rai. Anyone with an interest in horticulture will be interested in the many unusual perennial plants found here: mountain ebony (kong kang bai lek), red cycas (prong daeng), black myrsina (samae dam), the Lady's Nails quisqualis (leb mue nang), and various creepers and climbers are among the more significant. There are also many mangroves-dwelling animals with unique evolutionary characteristics. A nature trail has been cleared for the convenience of visitors with signs indicating and explaining the various species.
Ton Sai Waterfall A small falls, over which pours a great volume of water during the rainy season. The trees, watercourses, and pools nearby provide one of Phuket's loveliest scenes.
The park headquarters and a small restaurant with an excellent view are also at Ton Sai. Located near Thalang Town, 22 km. from Phuket Town.
Khao Phra Taeo Wildlife Park 22.28 square kilometers of virgin forest are coverd by this park, which also actively conserves a number of wild animals; they would otherwise be extinct in fast-growing Phuket. It is a center for study of the environment and the forest vegetation is spectacular. Giant trees supported by huge buttresses are thick with creepers and climbers of every description. One species of palm, the Governor's Palm or White Back Palm (palm lang khao in Thai) is especially rare. Langurs, barking deer, mouse deer, deer, bear, wild boar, monkeys, gibbons, and many species of birds inhabit the forest. Khao Phra Taeo serves also as one of Phuket's most important water sources.
Nearby Islands of Phuket
Coral Island or Hey Island: This Island off Phuket's south coast is so well known for its coral reef that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. In addition to the splendid reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west. Koh Hey is part of a marine preserve, but accommodations, restaurants, various watersports and diving are all available. Boats leave from Rawai and Chalong. See also Coral Island Tour Raya Islands (sometime written Racha Island): Two islands running roughly northeast to southwest off Phuket's southern coast. Raya Yai Island On the west coast is a fine beach closed in by the hill that stretch away from it like to arms of a horseshoe called alternately Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. Clean sandy beach and crystal clear waters of Raya Yai attract daytrippers from Phuket. From the top of the hill to the south of the bay is the viewpoint from which the whole island can be seen. On the east, at Ao Kon Kae Bay, is an excellent site for diving. Raya Noi Island: This Island, 10 kms. From Raya Yai, is the result of coral reef builds up, and there are more rocks than beaches. In a small bay on the west is a boat anchorage. The waters at Raya Noi are emerald green, and fishing is famous, but swimming is not recommendable. To get there contact a charter boat at Ao Chalong or Rawai, or go to travel agent for details on package tours to the islands. By long-tailed boat the travel time is about two hours. Larger boats operated by tour companies will make the trip in about one hour. Travel to Raya Islands is restricted to dry season and periods when the monsoon is not blowing. See also Raya Island Tour Rang Yai Island Lying off Phuket's east coat, this small island has been developed for out-of-doors minded tourist. Among the many activities are snorkeling on the coral reefs. sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting the island's pearl farm. To travel to Rang Yai Island, boats may be hired from Laem Hin Pier from Phuket Boat Lagoon. SeeRang Yai Island Tour Sire Island: Separated from the mainland of Phuket by the Khlong Tha Chin, a shallow mangrove swamp, this twenty square kilometer island is connected by a causeway to the city. Wat Ko Sire, on the hill, has a large Reclining Buddha and provides fine views of the surroundings. Phuket's largest settlements of Sea Gipsies, or Chao Ley, are on Ko Sire at Leam Tuk-kae. Swimming is not present because of the muddy bottom. Thre are some popular seafood restaurants on the eastern shore. Nakha Island: This small, quiet island with fine sandy beaches lies just off Phuket's northeast shore. Waters are suitable for swimming. One item of interest at Ko Nakha Noi not found in many other places is its pearl farm. Boats can be hired from Ao Po Pier, off Pa Khlok Rd., for travel to Ko Nakha Noi, and package trips are available at tour agencies, generally including lunch and a visit to the pearl farm. Phi Phi Islands (Sometime written Ko Phi Phi or Koh Phi Phi) these islands group is one of the loveliest to be found anywhere, and makes a fine day-trip destination out of Phuket. The beauty of the two Phi Phi Islands has made them world famous. But fame and easy access (Phi Phi is only a 45-minute jaunt from Phuket) has its price: hundreds of visitors land on Phi Phi's shores every day, crowding this tiny island oasis. The upside of this is that the bulk of these visitors come at 10 a.m. and leave by 3 p.m. staying the evening at one of the island's many bungalows is recommended, if you want to enjoy the tranquility of the island in the early morning and evening. See also Phi Phi Island Tour James Bond Island: This famous landmark first found its way onto the international map through its starring role in the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun ". And this is where they seem to take all of the tourists - all at one time. The entire area surrounding this island with its signature rocky pinnacle is indeed spectacular, but most of the tours bus visitors up the main highway for an hour on the same well-worn itinerary. An integral part of that tour is lunch at Koh Pannyi. See James Bond Island Tour
Koh Pannyi or Koh Panyee (Muslim Fisherman floating village) this is a remarkable village, the whole of it built out over water on stilts and with a giant rock monolith guarding its rear. At lunch time, up to 3,000 tourists on the James Bond Island tours are brought in to eat and shop for handicrafts. As soon as the tourists leave, the community closes up its restaurants and trinket shops and transforms itself from a tourist trap into a quiet community of fishermen. See Phang Nga Bay Tour Kohyao Island: The perfect island to get away from it all, ways away from hectic holiday tours and hideaways from the bustle. Koh Yao Island sometimes written Ko Yao or Koh Yoa. The Island is made up of 2 large islands: Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) and Koh Yao Yai (Big Long Island). Located in The south of Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi province. Covers an area of 137.6 square kilometers. Koh yao Noi is half the size of its counterpart but all of the government offices and most of the population are located on Koh Yao Noi. In the beginning of 1700 century people from the southern of Thailand (Trang, Krabi, Satun and North of Malaysia) moved to Ko Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. Nowadays the particular dialect spoken on the islands still bear obvious Malaysian lexical traces. Many words in native language are from Melayu. The total populations in Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai approximately 13,000 (in 2008) 99 per cent of the locals’ people are Muslim. They have retained their traditional Muslim culture and therefore traveling to Koh Yao islands is like traveling to peaceful island and virgin land. The people on the islands are friendly. The name of Koh Yao islands have gained worldwide attention in 2002 after receiving the world legacy ward for destination stewardship from Conservation International and International Geographic Traveler magazine for the eco-friendly home stay programs and eco-tourism offered by Koh Yao local residents. For a good choice of hotels with discount prices, visit Where to stay in Phuket for more information.