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With the influx of tourism over the past two decades and the resulting urbanisation of its pristine coastline, it’s hard to believe secret beaches in Phuket still exist. I for one was amongst the sceptics, especially after visiting Phuket in passing some years ago. What was touted as a rustic paradise, was instead crawling with big resorts, package holidays and families in search of a cheap and cheerful trip. I was disappointed; it seemed like anything off-the-beaten-track was well and truly on the crowded road to development.
But I was wrong.
After recently spending some time in Phuket with a friend who’s lived there half her life, I saw a completely different side of the island – a side much similar to the paradise I imaged from Alex Garland’s, ‘The Beach’. Ergo, it did help I visited in rainy season (although it only rained for an hour or so each day) and so the crowds were at their yearly minimum, and we didn’t dare visit the long lines of sun-beds on Patong and Kata beaches, but all-in-all I was pleasantly surprised to experience beaches that were still much quieter than your average south-east Asia stretch of sand.
I can happily say that if you’ve got a scooter, some patience, a map and an adventurous spirit you can still find a few secluded, secret beaches in Phuket only the locals and a few expats know about. You just need to be able to find them!
Secret Beaches in Phuket: Sai Keaw Beach
- Not your typical Thai Palm Beach
Since the Thai army removed all its beachfront restaurants in 2014, Sai Keaw has become a ghost-town – but in a good way! As you need to pass through the Thai provincial checkpoint, you’d be mistaken for thinking you were entering an entirely different country – what with the pine trees dotting the oceanfront instead of palms. This long stretch of beach is a world away from resorts and you’d be hard-pressed to find even a beach vendor if you’re hungry. Surfing alligators on the other hand…
Secret Beaches in Phuket: Ao Sane
- Great snorkeling
- Three mini-beaches in one
Most people stop at Nai Harn Beach and don’t realise that the road running underneath The Nai Harn Hotel is open to the public. If you follow this road for about 3 minutes on scooter you will find the sign for the beach 300m long. There is a tiny little beach café and bathroom facilities.
Secret Beaches in Phuket: Banana Beach
- Crystal Clear Water
Sometimes called Banana Rock Beach, this beach is truly off-the-beaten-track and quite difficult to get to even if you have directions as it’s hidden by a jungle path. Go south from Naithon Beach, pass the Andaman White Beach Resort and stop a few bends later. There is a rickety sign. Park and walk down.
For step-by-step directions, stay tuned for our ‘How to Get to Banana Beach’ post. During the summer months there are a few masseuses on the beach for a 300BAHT back-rub.
How To Get To Phuket (and its secret beaches)
If you want to take an easy and affordable trip to Phuket to check out these gorgeous secret beaches, Jetstar Airways has daily flights from most major cities in Australia direct to Phuket. You’ll be flying on their hi-tech Boeing 787 Dreamliner if you depart from Sydney or Melbourne, which overall provides a better in-flight experience. Jetstar is the only airline flying direct to Phuket from Australia on the Dreamliner, which, is a big positive if you ask me. The Dreamliners are 60% less noisy than other planes their size, emit less nitrous oxide, meaning they are better for the environment and have low cabin altitude which enables passengers to absorb more oxygen on board. Say bye-bye to being drowsy and hello to uninterrupted sleep! For more visit Jetstar.com.
Stefanie Acworth was sponsored by Jetstar Airwayson her trip to Phuket. As always, she is keeping things real and all opinions are her own.