Phuket is essentially surrounded by beaches, and most corners will have at least one or two that are absolutely breathtaking and comfortable to visit. Some popular beaches here according to location are:
South coast - Here you will find Rawai Beach, where you can eat great seafood and enjoy beautiful sceneries, though it’s not really the best beach to go swimming at. For a quieter destination along this coast, consider going island-hopping to Phuket’s Coral and Raya islands, where you can snorkel to look at beautiful coral reefs. A must-visit is Kata Beach, a pristine beach with white sands just a stone’s throw away from Club Med Phuket.
West coast - On the lower edges of Phuket’s west coast is Patong Beach, a very lively beach with lots of tourists engaging in adventurous activities like paragliding and jet-skiing. There is also Karon Beach which is nearly two-kilometres long, a perfect choice if you really don’t like being too close to other people for too long (just find your own patch of sand to claim!). There is also serene Surin Beach, where you can rent chairs and umbrellas to sit facing the gloriously blue water and watch the day go by.
- North coast - Closer to the airport, you can find Mai Khao Beach, where you can sit by the beach and watch planes fly off into the distance. You can also visit Nai Thon Beach, with its shallower waters more suitable for children, and an amazing sunset view.
There are various other beaches as well, but these are the better-known ones in the region. Travelling between beaches is not possible with public transport; if you do want to go beach-hopping on Phuket island, then you would be better off renting a car or motorbike to get around.
Many Phuket beaches have water activities you can do (some involve a small fee), such as snorkelling, scuba diving, jet-skiing, paragliding, flyboarding, parasailing, and surfing. You will likely be asked if you want to partake in these activities if you walk around the beach, so it’s unlikely that you’ll miss the opportunity. Of course, you can choose to just lay around on a mat or blanket, take photographs, or bum around on a beach chair instead. Don’t miss sunsets at the beach while you’re in Phuket, and do try some of the mouth-watering food that small vendors sell there as well. Certain beaches also have vendors selling souvenirs and other things you may need. To visit beaches off the mainland of Phuket, take on an island-hopping tour so you can visit other islands, a famous one being the Phi Phi Islands.
As with most touristy places, it’s important to practice common sense and be wary when visiting beaches in Phuket. A common scam that occurs here is the motorbike/jet ski scam, where when you return the bike/jet ski, the rental operator claims you have damaged the vehicle and threatens you into paying a lot of money for repairs. For this reason, it may help to avoid renting these jetskis or motorbikes unless it’s from a very trusted operator. Pickpockets and snatch thieves are not uncommon, so keep a close eye on your belongings, especially around overly friendly locals. Another thing to note is to never swim in the ocean during the monsoon season and high tide, and especially so when the beach is lined with red flags to signal that the water is unsafe for swimming. Don’t take this for granted as drownings have happened in the waters near Phuket before. Additionally, ensuring you wear life jackets on boats and avoiding water activities/boat rides in unfavourable weather is recommended as well for your safety.
All this being said, don’t scare yourself into avoiding the beautiful beaches of Phuket, especially since you won’t be getting these experiences back home. Just practice some common sense and be alert when you are out and about, and you will get by just fine. Enjoy your vacation to Phuket Island!