Everyone has heard of the beauty of Phuket and it seemed like everyone was headed over there too. If you’re after the tranquil, deserted beaches you see on Pinterest then you need to be prepared to do some research and venture out from the main spots. When you find them it’s absolutely worth it!
For us, Phuket started off unpromising – at the time it even felt disastrous. Our hotel was far away from everything and when we went to bed the air con from the next room was making so much noise it felt like we were on a construction site. On top of that, the first time we went to the beach we got the worst sunburn (note to self, the sun here is less forgiving then the one in Europe). After a night’s rest and a room change we slowly started to discover the beautiful chaos of the island and learnt to dance to its rhythm.
Phuket Town has an artsy, laid back vibe. There are plenty of amazing cafes to choose from that could easily rival the ones in London. We stopped a couple of times at Chino@Cafe’ Gallery.
We walked up and down the main street admiring the old, colourful architecture and taking many pictures.
We went to the Central Festival Phuketmall for a bit of shopping and afterwards hand around at the Indy Market, a small cool market with clothes and food stalls. It looked like it is really popular particularly with locals and teenagers and even had live music at times. Food is delicious and affordable! Speaking of food, we ate a few times at Kopitiam by Wilai as they have plenty of veggie options.
Other nights we visited Chillva Market, a hip market with absolutely everything you’d ever want to shop for. Very popular with locals and felt like a great place to experience a glimpse of the local lifestyle.
Once we spent enough time in Phuket Town, we hopped on the local buses or rented a scooter and visited a few of the gorgeous beaches.
I always wanted to ride a motorbike (or a scooter for that matter) but never felt comfortable enough to do it. After several days of getting frustrated because of poor and expensive transport links from and to our hotel I just said to myself “well how hard can it be?” – and to be completely honest, it was really easy! For someone who had never even rode a moped before I felt comfortable and safe at all time. It seems like the Phuket locals are used to tourists on scooters and always give them extra space or drive a bit further to allow them the space they need. I wouldn’t drive a scooter through London but I wouldn’t say no to a bike ride in Phuket.
Kata Noi Beach
Our first pick was Kata Noi, a small hidden beach (right next to the popular Kata beach) with white fine sand and crystal blue water. There are fewer people than you’d find on other beaches so if you’re after some quiet time but still want sun loungers it’s perfect.
The adventure on Kata Noi beach left us with some uncomfortable sunburns so the next day we skipped the beach and spend the day exploring Patong.
It’s busier and more crowded than Phuket Town but it’s seemed like a fun place to stay in if you’re travelling with a group because you can find everything you need close by. The beach was very crowded but lively.
We passed Rawai on our way to Nai Harn. It’s a lovely beach and perfect if you want to get that signature Thai beach picture with the fishermen’s boats (as it’s a fishermen’s beach). Not great for swimming though precisely because of that.
Nai Harn beach
We enjoyed our day in Nai Harn as it wasn’t too crowded but still had 4-5 rows of sun beds and a few reasonably priced restaurants as well as street food stalls around.
Sai Kaew Beach
This was the dreamiest of all! We headed to Sai Kaew Beach hoping to have a beach all to ourselves and enjoy a day away from the crowds in an unspoilt location. It was quite a long journey but definitely worth it.
I have to admit I’ve never seen such a peaceful beach (in the summer time) and I felt like I could have lived there for the rest of my life. Until I saw the crabs. There were crabs everywhere! I don’t do crabs and she didn’t miss her chance to make fun of me.
We spent a week in Phuket so we decided to go on a day trip to one of the nearby islands. It was confusing to research where to go and more difficult and expensive to go on a trip on your own by taking a regular boat as opposed to an organised tour. There are regular trips to Phi Phi Islands or Phang Nga Bay (with the famous James Bond Island) but we chose not to go because we were looking for something more quiet.
Locals recommended going to the Racha Islands, Racha Noi and Racha Yay and we went on an amazing snorkeling trip.
We had a great time in Phuket and would love to go back to Thailand and visit some of the other amazing islands. Have you been and if so which one was your favourite?