Freedom by name, freedom by nature. Despite being located in the boisterous district of Patong, Freedom Beach is far from what one might expect. A quiet, unspoiled beach, it’s much less accessible than the majority of beaches on the island as land access requires getting in touch with your adventurous side and trekking through a jungle, but is also reachable by boat. Any extra effort you take to visit this gorgeous 300m strip of beach is well worth it; few people come here, leaving you in relative peace to enjoy the clear, turquoise sea and the backdrop of thick, green bush that lines the beach.
At around 1.5km long, Kata Beach is big enough never to feel overly crowded and ensures you’ll always have ample space for a towel on the beach. Palm tree-lined with soft, white sand and plenty of places to eat and drink nearby, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with tourists and locals. As well as activities such as surfing available, there are plenty of shops nearby to engage in retail therapy, plus resorts if planning on staying a while. With lots of space and so much going on, it’s ideal for families or those who want a break from the more raucous beaches in the area.
Nai Harn Beach
Located to the south of Phuket, Nai Harn a small bay with powdery-soft sand and sea that changes from calm in the high season to strong currents in low season, making it a popular spot for Phuket’s surfing and kiteboarding crowd. With much of the land owned by the Samnak Song Monastery, it’s avoided overdevelopment thus far, which makes a change from some of the more popular beaches on the island. Just behind the beach is a lake, where people come to fish and take a ride in swan-shaped pedalos, which makes for a pleasant change of scenery.
Ya Nui Beach
What Ya Nui beach lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. Just south of Nai Harn, it may only be 200m, but size isn’t everything. Rather than views of resorts, it features the view of nearby Koh Keyao Noi island, and has dramatic rocky outcrops set alongside the cerulean sea that look ready-made for photographs. In terms of activities, body-boarding is popular here, as is snorkeling, with some of the best snorkeling to be found out by Koh Keyao Noi, which is only a short kayak away.
A beach that was once visited by the late King Rama IX in the 50s, it’s since become a playground for the rich and wealthy, with a number of high-class resorts and hotels nearby as well as a golf course. It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular; soft, white sand gives way to a scenic row of palm trees, while the sea itself has both light and deeper blue tones. A word of caution — the sea here gets deeper than in other bays, so be careful if you’re planning on swimming. Other than that, it’s an extremely pleasant beach with a number of good restaurants and bars just a short walk away.