04/10/2019 Sepp Hatzl 2,404 views Phuket Beach Article No Comments
You’re retired, or feel like you are, and want to know all the best Phuket beaches to find what you’re looking for. In the following blog ” Best Phuket Beaches for Retired Visitors ” we’ve got everything you need to know about. Bookmark it, print it, or write down the URL so you don’t lose it!
We’re not sure what the stats are, but there must be an almost equal number of retirees and younger folks on Phuket on any given day. There are thousands of retired expats living in Phuket, and then add to that the heaps of others taking months-long vacations on the island from almost every country in the world, and it all adds up.
We know retired doesn’t mean ‘ready for the retirement home,’ so we’ve put together a variety of beaches for you, with an emphasis on relaxation and other activities you might enjoy, like eating at great restaurants.
What Criteria do we use in Recommending the Best Phuket Beaches for Retirees?
We list our TOP 5 RECOMMENDATIONS in reverse order for retirees that fit these criteria below. Keep in mind that there are always more things to do than we can list on this page. If you’re more daring than most, some of these beaches are probably safe for FKK. You must know that public nudity in Thailand is not permitted and you may have a visit from the police if you’re offending someone.
The first 5 Top Beach Recommendations are based on the criteria above. The bonus is a great party place because well, you’re (and I’m) not dead yet… and some of us can still enjoy crowds, bikini swimsuits, and a bottle of spirits or ice-cold Thai beer! Or two…
At the southernmost tip of Phuket Island and sandwiched between Ao Sane and Yanui beaches is Nai Harn Beach (Nat Nai Han), one of the nicest stretches of sand to spend a few hours looking out at the stunning view. This is a medium-length beach that doesn’t have so many people that it ever feels crowded. In fact, most times there will be just a handful of people here, and you’ll find yourself wondering – why aren’t there MORE people here at this amazing beach?! Just enjoy it while you can and know that this is a rarity in Phuket!
Besides places to eat, there are also restrooms and shower facilities at Nai Harn Beach, located just behind the restaurants. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be found over approximately 10% of the area of the beach – great for those who want to avoid the sun’s hash rays due to Phuket’s proximity to the equator.
Swimming and Views! Within view from the beach is Promthep Cape, a large bay where you can always find yachts and catamarans anchored, and rocky beaches meeting warm blue-green ocean. The water is shallow for a few meters, so it’s ideal for wading or swimming. Lifeguards are usually posted, but it’s a good idea to check the flags for warning of strong riptides before entering the water.
Thai Massage + Drinks! Massage is available, and cocktails are served at all hours.
Sunset! Because Nai Harn Beach faces southwest, the best sunsets will be during the months of December to February because the sun will be fully visible and not hidden by the hill on the north side of the beach.
Surfing! For surfers, this can be a good spot when the waves are up. Wave breaks are short and fast here, so rides of just a few seconds are the norm. This is not a great longboard spot. If you’re looking for that, you could try Surin Beach or Karon Beach.
There is a small surf shop located on Nai Harn Beach called the “Green Room Surf Shop.” This is a convenient place to rent a surfboard, bodyboard, or snorkeling equipment as well as a place you can buy beach essentials.
There are a few good places to eat here! Try Le Terrazza Phuket Sunset Lounge Bar or one of three different restaurants at Yacht Club Thailand. Promthep Cape Restaurant is also worth mentioning and found at the cape. This has excellent views and the food receives high marks.
If you’re not looking for a full restaurant experience, there are food stands along the beach offering barbecued meats, chicken, seafood, fruits and beverages of all kinds.
If you’re looking for a quiet place to stay for a few days, there are a few places we recommend. At less than 2,000 THB per night, an inexpensive option is the All Seasons Nai Harn Phuket Hotel. This one is not on the beach but is close enough to reach with a short walk. The next level up is The Nai Harn resort. This is one of the most often booked hotels at the beach, with room rates starting at 6,000 THB per night. Excellent rooms, restaurant, and service – with the reviews on social media backing that up.
If money is no obstacle, and you’re coming with family or friends, you should stay at Villa Nadya at NaiHarn By Favstay. These are large villas starting around 12,000 THB per night.
It’s easy to reach Nai Harn Beach, basically you can hop on any highway going south, and eventually get there. More specifically, take Highway 4233 south if on the west side of the island, and Highway 4024 south if on the east side. Distance from Patong Beach is 19 km (11.8 miles) and from Phuket Town, 21 km (13 miles).
If you’re not looking for a full restaurant experience, there are food stands along the beach offering barbecued meats, chicken, seafood, fruits and beverages of all kinds.
Though you never know when this beach is going to be open or closed, Laem Singh Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches on Phuket, and in all of Thailand for seniors or visitors of any age. It’s a shame that the owners of the property around the beach sometimes close access from the highway (Hwy 4025). No matter if the path from the road is closed, the beach is meant to be open year-round, so you can always take a longtail boat around to Laem Sing if the entrance from the road is closed. Some will prefer this option over walking down the steep and sometimes very slippery trail.
Laem Singh Beach is found between Surin and Kamala beaches. Just follow the highway north from Patong Beach and you’ll see a sign on the left as you crest the hill after passing Kamala Beach. Distance from Patong Beach is just 12 km (7.5 miles) and from Phuket Town it’s around 24 km (15 miles).
If not open from the highway, Laem Singh Beach can be really quiet and one of the most peaceful places to relax on Phuket. If the highway entrance is open, the beach can have a couple hundred people at the most and may feel somewhat crowded. Still, this is one of the island’s top beaches, and well worth the charge to park your car and use the path down to the beach from the road.
Laem Singh Beach has deep sand and nice clear water. Like most beaches on Phuket’s west coast, there are rocks on the north and south sides, adding to the scenery and ambiance of the place. Behind the beach is a large hill, and trees surround all sides. Waves during the tourist high-season are usually calm and not dangerous, but this can be a good place to surf during other months of the year.
There is little to do at the beach besides the usual: sun tanning, wading, and swimming. The water is really nice here but there some submerged rocks. Snorkeling can be good at either end of the beach, so bring your gear if you’re interested in what sort of sea life is lurking beneath the surface. Unfortunately, there are no boat, board, or beach chair rentals at Laem Singh Beach. When waves are bigger, this can be a great place to surf because there will typically be few other surfers in the water due to the fee to use the path, or the cost of a longtail boat ride to arrive here.
Thai Massage! Massage is sometimes available, again contingent on whether the road entrance is open.
Few. One, to be exact. There is a small restaurant open at various times of the year during high season where you can get lunch or dinner. The restaurant isn’t even listed on Google Maps at the present, so we don’t know whether to recommend it or not. During our visits it has been closed.
Of course, you can bring your own food and have a picnic!
Though there is no hotel or resort on the beach, there are a couple of options within short driving distance. On the high-end, Keemala Phuket has unique villas with good restaurants you’ll enjoy. Reviews are off-the-chart for this resort, and if you have 14,000 THB burning a hole in your pocket, you can enjoy a night here.
The Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort is another fine place to stay in and still be in close proximity to Laem Sing Beach. This is a 5-star resort on the south end of Kamala Beach with rooms starting at 4,000 THB nightly.
Found less than 4 km (2.5 miles) south of the Phuket International Airport (HKT), Nai Thon Beach is on the northwest coast of Phuket Island just around the bend from Nai Yang Beach. Naithon is 28 km (17 miles) from Patong Beach and 33 km (20.5 miles) from Phuket Town, so it’s a bit out of the way unless you’re planning on staying close by. This is one of the top beaches in Phuket on social media. Raters on Google Maps give it 4.6 out of 5 stars with many commenters calling it their favorite beach on the island.
Nai Thon is a wide beach with soft, deep sand around 1 km (.6 miles) long which faces due west. It is surrounded by low forested hills and has an isolated appearance on the map. This beach is not typically overrun with tourists. For instance, it doesn’t have near as many visitors as Surin Beach. The vibe here is super laid back and quiet, it’s one of the ultimate beaches for relaxation in Phuket.
The sandy beach has some large rocks scattered about and slopes gradually into the sea. The seawater at Nai Thon is generally crystal clear and free of trash and debris. The beach is not all that clean, apparently nobody is tasked with cleaning up on a regular basis. There are some submerged rocks the deeper you go but wading and swimming is lovely here and most days there will be lifeguard(s) posted.
If you are staying in a resort close by Nai Thon Beach, you can hire a longtail boat here to take you to one of the other beaches on the west coast.
Swimming! As mentioned, swimming and wading in the clear water is one of the prime activities here. The waves are calm during main tourist season, and there won’t be jet skis zooming by to cause you any grief.
Snorkeling! Snorkeling is terrific at Nai Thon, there are rocks along the coast on the north and south ends that will provide you with hours of enjoyment on calm days. Do be careful to swim with a snorkeler’s flag (Diver Down Flag) so drivers of boats can see you. Longtail boat captains are not all that aware of people in the water if they don’t usually see anyone in that location, and there have been accidents over the years.
Sunsets! Nai Thon has one of the best beaches for sunset on Phuket, with unobstructed views of the sun setting during any month of the year. Bring a beach mat, some food and chilled beverages and treat yourself to one of the best sunsets in Thailand!
Massage! Another way you might relax and make your visit to Nai Thon Beach a truly memorable experience is to take advantage of the massage services at the beach. You can ask for light or hard touch, depending what you’re in the mood for. Do be aware that some women are capable of inflicting a lot of pain on the joints during a Thai massage and you may want to start with a light massage and see how it goes.
Surfing! Surfing can be good from April to November as swells arrive. There are often bodyboards for rent on the beach. If you’re looking for a surfboard to rent, or other gear, you can stop by the Saltwater Dreaming Surf Shop in Cherng Thale about 14 km (9 miles) south of Nai Thon Beach.
If you’re in the mood for Italian after a day on the beach, you can head straight for Macarona Italian Restaurant centrally located on Nai Thon Beach. This restaurant is rated highly and has a variety of entrées including pizza, pastas, soups, and meat and seafood selections. Of course, the beer is always flowing, and the mixed drinks are quite satisfying.
If you want outdoor seating under a tented roof on the beach, you can visit No. 24 Bar & Restaurant. This large restaurant is open for early lunch and dinner and stays open late. No. 24 can handle many people at a time and the chef specializes in seafood meals prepared with care. They have a large selection of alcoholic beverages.
Bismarck’s Paradise Luxury Villas – about 9 minutes away up Highway 4018 is this lovely estate consisting of private luxury villas set on a mountain between Nai Thon and Nai Yang beaches. Visit to enjoy the genuine Thai hospitality and highest levels of guest-centered service found on Phuket Island. All units are updated yearly and unlike anything you’ve seen on the island before. Try it!
You’ll enjoy your private pool and walled garden so much that you may start to feel like it’s home.
Some people love it, and some people don’t! Paradise Beach is a tiny beach just over 1 km (.6 miles) west of Patong Beach that is like a private cove with music, shopping, and gear rentals. Visitors who love it return year after year, and indeed it’s getting more crowded with the passing of time.
Paradise Beach is just a short drive from Patong Beach going south. The road turns westerly and then gets smaller and involves navigating steep hills. Though the road is now paved, and not dirt like it was in the past, some people will not feel comfortable riding a motorbike on their own here. In that case, taking the taxi service down to the beach is probably the best idea, just to be safe.
The atmosphere here is different than most Phuket beaches, so that’s why some like it and some don’t. There is often loud music playing, and it seems there is a fee for everything – taxi, parking, chairs, life-vests, etc.
Chairs are located close together, and there isn’t much privacy at all here at Paradise Beach. The beach itself is lovely with white sand on a tiny cove with a view of Patong Beach in the distance. There is a large hill behind the beach, and if you’re curious you can take a walk over the nearby small hill and find a boulder-strewn area that offers mind-blowing photo and exploration opportunities.
For such a small place, there is a lot to do here.
Snorkeling! Snorkeling at either end of the beach can be good, as well as in the area over the small hill but you must dive down to 10 meters (11 yards) or so to reach the fish and other sea life. There is no shallow area in this spot, it is deep as soon as you jump in.
Adventure! There is a lot of rental gear available – like kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear. There’s also a “Dive & Water Sports” shop where you can rent or buy all sorts of gear.
Volleyball! Occasionally there is a beach volleyball net set up, and they have a ball available.
Staff at this beach include many “beach services” for visitors paying the fee to get in.
Caution, drones are not permitted at Paradise Beach because they annoy others. Believe it or not, drones are actually confiscated until you leave.
Paradise Beach of yesteryear is gone, and in its place is a sort of private club-type atmosphere where you can enjoy shopping, drinking, eating, and even dancing during the full and half-moon parties. There are five bars and lots of activities planned for each full-moon party. These attract a diverse crowd and might be worth a try if you’re in the party mood.
If you have any questions about activities at the beach, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entire area behind Paradise Beach is filled with shops and bars. Besides Patong Beach, this is probably the most commercialized beach on the island. During daylight, not all of the facilities are open, but you can always eat at the Paradise Beach BBQ. This is a large restaurant specializing in grilled meats and seafood. As mentioned before, there are a number of different bars open to cater to the full-moon party crowd on those special nights.
There is no hotel or resort on the beach, but you can stay anywhere in Patong Beach and be close enough to visit often.
One of our all-time favorite beaches, and probably the beach we highly recommend more than any other beach on Phuket is Surin Beach. This is an awesome stretch of sand lined with shade trees and dozens of vendors selling all sorts of food and renting out flotation devices, blow up beach chairs, and other fun stuff.
Most of you will be staying in Patong Beach for your vacation and if so, you’re already close enough to Surin Beach for a short drive up the coast. You’ll find Surin beach just north of Laem Singh Beach and just south of Pansea Beach.
Surin Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Phuket Island, and many visitors return here over and over each year to enjoy the serenity of this relaxing place. Surin’s soft sun-bleached sand is usually free of trash, glass, and bottle caps. It’s one of the cleanest beaches you’ll find on Phuket. The beach faces due west, so this is a prime place to enjoy sunset if you happen to be here around 6:30 pm.
Surin Beach is rather long at 780 meters (853 yd.) and there is always plenty of space to sit without being too close to other people because the beach is 50 meters (55 yd.) wide in some spots. The water quality is good and the beach slopes gently toward the sea There is a shallow area for kids to play that is safe when there are no waves. Adults can often be found lying in the shallow water, letting it wash over them. The water is warm and there are plenty of shady trees to block the sun if you want to ease off on the ultraviolet rays for a while.
Most visitors enjoy wading in the water and swimming in the clean water, but if you’re looking for more, there’s a bit more.
Adventure! Vendors have kayaks available when the waves are calm, and you can rent snorkel gear during the low-wave season as well. We strongly recommend you buy some decent equipment if you’re into snorkeling… rental equipment is often not in great shape and doesn’t fit right. With your own snorkel gear, you’ll enjoy it more!
Surfing! When the waves are bigger, Surin Beach is a fantastic beach for surfing on long and short boards – depending on the type and speed of waves coming in. Waves break all along the almost 800-meter-long beach, so despite many surfers in the water you can all get your own waves without any problem. If you haven’t surfed or ridden a bodyboard, you might want to stop at the nearby Saltwater Dreaming Surf Shop (108/3 Bang Tao, Choeng Thale, Thalang, Phuket 83110) before coming.
Massage! Massage ladies are available for a relaxing rub down or traditional Thai massage if you like. There are also women who braid kids’ hair with colorful beads. There is some shopping at stands behind the beach for small items like flotation devices, mosquito lotion, suntan lotion, sunglasses, and other small things.
Island Hopping! Longtail boats line Surin Beach and can take you to Laem Singh or other beaches along the west coast, usually for reasonable cost.
There are restrooms and showers at Surin Beach, though you will need to pay a small amount to use them.
Surin is one of the best beaches for finding a variety of food and drinks, and literally anything else you may need at the beach. On a recent trip we found fruit smoothies, raw fruit, soda of all varieties, water, beer, and barbecued beef, pork, chicken, fish, squid, shrimp, and mussels. If you’d rather not eat from the food stands lining the beach, you could go to the Patcharin Seafood restaurant at the south end and eat in style. Up to you!
When you visit Surin Beach, you’ll most likely see plenty of people over 60 years of age because it’s just a great beach for everyone, and especially people who just want a quiet and low-drama day at the beach. Another reason I think there tends to be more retirees here at Surin Beach than other beaches is because it became a habit over the years of returning to Phuket Island. Some of us have been coming to Surin Beach for decades.
As nice as it is, in the past it was even better than it is today!
In years past, the same Thais working the small bamboo restaurants and food stands would be there year after year. It felt like family if you were a regular because some of the same expats and visitors would come back every year and spend their vacations together. Sure, we long for the way it was – ultra laid back – with the best vibe of any beach on the island… but, things change. Despite that, Surin Beach still maintains some of that 1970’s era charm that some of us remember fondly.
So, all the bamboo shacks and permanent restaurants that were behind the beach have been torn down by the military a couple years ago. There are still plenty of mobile food stands to eat from, and the variety has never been better. Some may see that as a good thing.
Sun beds are not available, but there were plenty of blow up recliners and umbrellas you can rent by the day.
The natural beauty of Surin Beach has never been better, and it is cleaner than in the past. Those are two more positives, if you’re looking for reasons to go check it out! Oh, and it’s free! Public access to the beach is provided and parking is free for cars or motorbikes.
Surin Beach is our #1 Suggestion for Most People! Unless you want to be in the center of the action… then read on!
You knew we couldn’t forget it, right? Patong Beach has something for all ages and types. It can be fun for families, teens, singles, friends, hetero couples, gays or transsexuals! Nobody is left out. There are good reasons this is the most visited beach in all of Thailand for families or seniors, and probably all of southeast Asia. This is the main area of Phuket for the beach, shopping, personal care spas, massage, coffee shops, eating, and partying – day or night. It’s also THE place to be for sunset since it faces directly west and has more bars and restaurants with a sunset view over the water than any other beach on Phuket.
Many retired people from all over the world make Patong their home base while on Phuket, and some don’t even leave during their stay. If you’re after the nightlife – just book a room in Patong. If you’re the type of person who thrives on crowds, and on activity going on around you, definitely – come to Patong Beach!
Patong is a large, almost 3 km (2 miles) long beach on Phuket Island’s west coast. It is about 40 km (25 miles) south of the Phuket International Airport, and fairly easy to reach from any part of the island, being roughly centrally located between the north and south regions of the island. The beach at Patong is nice to look at and might be called ‘scenic’ but, if you compare it with some of the other truly stunning beaches on the island, its aesthetic beauty pales in comparison.
During daylight hours, Patong Beach is packed with people. You can always find a place to throw down your beach mat but at times you might not be able to rent a chair and umbrella because it does get quite crowded during the high season.
High season months are between November and early May. The water is usually calm during this time and you can wade or swim in the very warm water of the Andaman Sea. At times, it’s so calm you can fall asleep laying in the very shallow water with the waves lapping at your feet.
Sand at Patong Beach is thick and light in color. Sadly, the sand is sometimes dirty, with bottle caps, cans, bottles, or paper and plastic trash scattered around the beach. Thailand has yet to embrace the idea that beaches should be clean and free of debris, no matter how much it costs.
The waves are generally very calm during Thailand’s high tourist season and swimming and wading are ideal during this period. During the low-season months, the waves grow, and currents can become dangerous. Do pay attention to the lifeguard flags at the beach notifying you of any dangers you should be aware of.
To be honest, most people visiting Patong Beach are there to get some sun (tanning), eating, drinking, and to try to recover from long nights in Patong Beach so they can do it all again!
Swimming! The water at Patong is sometimes clear, but there is a lot going on – many people in the water and many boats coming and going, stirring up the sandy bottom. Wading and swimming are enjoyed here without too much of a threat from submerged and sharp rocks and coral. Still, it happens, so take some precautions while in the ocean.
See Other Beaches! You’ll notice many longtail boats on the beach ready to take you to other nearby beaches or islands. You can try to negotiate a good price, but the prices are already set, and they won’t likely come down very far. Patong Beach is one of the most expensive places in Thailand, and all transportation costs are in line with that.
Rentals! There are rental kayaks, paddleboards, and jet skis available up and down the beach. Do take some time to read up on beach rental scams, especially with jet skis. If you’re even more adventurous, you could try paragliding behind a boat. They’ll pull you up on your parachute to a couple hundred meters above the water for incredible views. This is not always the safest activity, so read up on how it’s supposed to work before entrusting your life to people who may not really understand what they’re doing!
Surfing! Patong Beach can be a good place for riding some waves during a swell. There are many people here, and the best breaks will have a few people on them, but the beach is kilometers long and you’ll be able to find your own private break to ride with surfboard or bodyboard. Lifeguards are posted at Patong Beach year-round, be sure to pay attention to the posted warning flags about waves, currents, and jellyfish.
Shopping! You may get tired of the beach. It might be too hot. It might be raining. What else can you do besides eat? Shop! There are more places to shop in Patong than any other place on the island, including Phuket Town. Though if you’re really a serious shopper, you’ll shop both Patong and Central Festival and other shopping centers in Phuket Town.
The best restaurants on the island are found in Patong Beach. There are hundreds to choose from, whatever your preference you will find a restaurant to please you. You can find Black Angus steaks, and authentic Italian, German, Indian, Swiss, Japanese, Korean, and a variety of other great restaurants along with the usual fast food selections – Starbucks; KFC; Burger King; Swenson’s; McDonald’s; etc.
Grab a sandwich, pizza, soup, or meat dish at Rustic Eatery and Bar at the southern end of Patong Beach. This is an upscale bistro on the beach with a large selection of food items along with mixed drinks of all kinds. They have indoor and outdoor seating and get great ratings from reviewers.
Though located just off the beach, Sam’s Steaks and Grill is a phenomenal place for a meal, and a must visit establishment while in Patong if you love great steak or grilled meat or seafood.
Wine Connection Bistro Banana Walk (how’s that for a name?) has great sandwiches and other dishes that will put a smile on your face. But if you’re still not smiling, they have a vast selection of wines to choose from – highly recommended for a drink, even if you’re not eating.
Yes! You won’t feel like an outsider. There are a lot of retired expats living in Patong Beach and just outside the area within a short driving distance in Phuket Town, Kamala, Kata, Karon, etc. Some expats own bars or other businesses and some are just on permanent vacation and prefer to spend their time in Patong because it has the most action, and most of the best bars on the island. Add to that the thousands of retirees who choose to stay in Patong Beach for the duration of their vacation and you can see – there are PLENTY of retirees in Patong Beach on any day or night of the week.
It’s hard to get a grip on what the breakdown is by age for visitors and expats in Patong during the day or night because it tends to be the younger crowd that is more visible. You can see them walking up and down the streets, stopping into a number of different venues to see what’s on offer. The older crowd tends to either know what’s on offer or doesn’t care and just seeks out the type of establishment that provides the best of whatever is important to them.
Not only is Patong the center of all the action going on in Phuket, but it’s also convenient to other places you might want to visit during your stay. If you base yourself in Patong at one of the nice hotels, you can easily get to some of the best beaches mentioned above which are only 20-30 minutes away – a short drive by motorbike, rental vehicle, or taxi. If you need to do some shopping, Phuket Town is just 25 minutes away.
There are hundreds of accommodations to choose from in Patong. We’ll recommend a couple that will take the guesswork out of it for you. Choose one of these, based on your budget, and you’ll probably have an enjoyable stay because thousands before you have.
The next two resorts are in the middle of the range of rates possible in Patong Beach for accommodations.
On the north end of Patong Beach is a lovely place to stay that actually has a courtyard. No joke! Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa is a breath of fresh air in Patong, where space comes at a significant premium. Another bonus is an indoor bowling alley. Yes, we know, unbelievable! Rates begin around 5,000 THB per night.
Close to the center of the city is the Grand Mercure Phuket Patong resort. They have modern accommodations and are centrally located. Rates around 5,000 THB per night.
We have 2 more resorts to recommend in Patong Beach. These are high-end, luxurious places to stay if money is not your concern.
The Holiday Inn Resort Phuket is not all that expensive but offers an incredible amount of value. Their property covers a lot of ground and is filled with high-rated restaurants and swimming pools with wet bars. Rates start around 4,000 THB for a room, while 9,000 THB is closer to the rate for the nicer accommodations.
Finally, we suggest Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay which is just to the north of Patong Beach, but offers a great ocean view of nearby islands, Patong Beach, and the city of Patong. This luxury resort features infinity pools in some rooms – with a panoramic view over all of Patong Beach and as far as the eye can see. Rates start around 13,000 THB per night.
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