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PHUKET : Beaches : Islands : Getting There : Hotels & Resorts : Apartments

Beaches: Patong | Karon | Kata | Kata Noi | Naiharn | Kamala | Singh | Kalim | Karon Noi



Patong Beach
Phuket's most developed beach
offers numerous leisure, sporting, shopping and recreational options along its 3-km long cresent bay.
Windsurfing, snorkelling, sailing, swimming and sunbathing number among the many popular daytime activities.
Patong is equally well known for its vibrant nightlife, among which seafood restaurants feature prominently

Karon Beach (20 & 17 km from town)
The second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches. Large resort complexes line the road behind of the shoreline, but the long, broad beach itself has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked upon. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Bu Island.
Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south end, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. The narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses as well as the Dino Park Mini Golf facillity. Karon is the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches. There is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.
Kata Beach (20 & 17 km from town)
Beautiful Kata is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Bu island sits offshore.
Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its beach more peaceful than Patong
Kata Noi Beach (20 & 17 km from town)
South of Kata is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with only a few hotels and little other development. The beach is superb. Many fish inhabit the rocks and corals along the beachless shoreline stretching south.
How to get there: Take the narrow beach road up over the hill from kata.
Naiharn Beach (18 km from town)
South of Kata Noi and north of Promthep Cape
, Naiharn is not Phuket's longest beach, but it borders the most gorgeous lagoon on the island. The middle of the beach is dominated by the Samnak Song Nai Han monastery, which has obstructed excessive development and is the reason that the beach is generally less crowded than other spots on the southern part of the island.
A wide variety of water sports can be enjoyed, but swimmers should be alert for the red flag which warns of dangerous currents during the monsoon season from May to October. One can walk to nearby Promthep Cape to observe sunsets, which are often fiery and spectacular.
Kamala Beach
The beach is a favoured spot for witnessing sunsets. The northern end of Kamala Beach is suitable for swimming.
Singh Beach (About 1 km from Surin Beach)
The name means Lion's Point. The beach is in a small, curving bay with rocky headlands at the foot of forest-fringed cliffs and is among Phuket's most beautiful spots.
Look for signs indicating the path down to the beach.
Kalim Beach
Just north of Patong Bay, starting from about the Novotel Resort Hotel Patong to Thavorn Bay Resort, this area consists of rocky but quiet beaches, and an interesting road leading up into hills with high viewpoints and a few good quality restaurants perched on the edge and top.

Some housing compounds are now being built on the hillsides and the whole area is steadily moving upmarket
Karon Noi Beach
A 4 km long straight beach with fewer visitors than its big sister, Karon. Nightlife is pretty much confined to dining and a few beer bars.

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Islands: Coral | Maiton | Phi Phi | Rang Yai | Raya Noi | Raya Yai | Similan | Si-Re

Coral Island
Koh Hey, off Phuket's south coast, is so well known for its coral reef
that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. In addition to the splendid reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west of the island.
Koh Hey is part of a marine preserve, but accommodation, restaurants, various watersports and diving are all available. Boats leave from Rawai and Chalong. Package tours are also available.
Maiton Island
This tiny island off Phuket's southeast coast is highly prized for
its still perfect natural environment, including fine white beaches and crystal waters; ideal for swimming, diving, or fishing. The only business of any kind is the plush Maiton Island Resort.

Those not wishing to stay overnight may take a daytime excursion leaving from Ao Makham Deep Sea Port.
For details contact (076) 214954-7.
Phi Phi Islands
Of the two islands, Phi Phi Don is the larger and more developed
. The smaller, Phi Phi Le, recently took the title role in the film adaptation of The Beach - starring opposite Leonardo Di Caprio.
Despite misinformed protests and bad press
regarding environmental damage to the island during filming, Phi Phi Le is, in fact, in better condition now than before filming began. International environmentalists report that the removal of two tons of tourist rubbish before filming could begin, did not adversely affect the island's delicate ecological balance.
Rang Yai Island
Lying off Phuket's east coast, this small island has been developed
for the soft adventure tourist. Among the many activities are snorkeling on the coral reefs, sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting the island's pearl farm.
How to get there: Boats may be hired from Laem Hin Pier at Phuket Boat Lagoon. Package tours are providede by Richy Island Tour (Tel: (076) 238163) and other tour agencies.

Raya Noi Island
This island, 10 km from Raya Yai,
is the result of coral reef build up, and there are more rocks than beaches. In a small bay on the west is a boat anchorage. The waters at Raya Noi are emerald green, and the fishing there is famous, but swimming is not recommended.
How to get there:
Hire a charter boat at Ao Chalong or Rawai, or go to a travel agent for details on package tours to the islands. By long-tailed boat the travel time is about two hours. Larger boats operated by tour companies will make the trip in about one hour. Travel to Raya Islands is restricted to dry season and periods when the monsoon is not blowing.


Raya Yai Island
The clean, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of
Raya Yai are a major attraction for daytrippers from Phuket.

On the west coast of Raya Yai is a fine beach,
closed in by a horseshoe-shaped hillside, called alternately Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow.
From the top of the hill to the south of the bay is the viewpoint
from which the whole island can be seen. On the east, at Ao Kon Kae Bay, is an excellent site for diving.


Similan Islands
From the north to the south, the archipelago comprises Koh Bon, Koh Ba Ngu, Koh Similan, Koh Payu, Koh Miang (actually two islands), Koh Payan, Koh Payang, Koh Ku Yong. Except for park officials and occasional tourist groups, these petite islands are mostly uninhabited.

The waters around the islands are home
to a considerable variety of fish and crustaceans, and other marine life flourishes. The water in the area is as clear as glass and makes an excellent deep water dive site.


Si-Re Island
Separated from the mainland of Phuket by the Khlong Tha Chin
, a shallow mangrove swamp, this twenty square km island is connected by a causeway to the city. Wat Koh Si-Re, on the hill, has a large Reclining Buddha and provides fine views of the surroundings.

Phuket's largest settlement of Sea Gipsies, or Chao Le, can be found on Koh Si-Re at Leam Tuk-kae. The muddy seabed means the island is not good for swimming. There are some popular seafood restaurants on the eastern shore.

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Getting There: By Air | By Train | By Road | By Sea

By Air - Several carriers now fly directly to Phuket International Airport from locations abroad, making a stopover in Bangkok unnecessary. Particularly in the high tourist season, flights come directly from all over Asia, Australia and Europe. It is still the trend for many tourists to come through Bangkok however, catching domestic flights via Thai Airways, which run regularly through the day, 7 days a week. Flight schedules can be found on the Thai Airways web page or by Tel: (02) 232 8000 (Bangkok office); or (076) 327 144 (Phuket office).
From the airport, travel to Patong can be undertaken by taxi or hired minivan, unless your hotel has arranged transfer for you. A trip to Patong in a shared minivan will cost approximately 100 Baht. If hiring a taxi, expect to pay up to 600Baht. The trip to Patong takes approximately 40 minutes.
By Train - Train lovers can travel from Hualomphong Station in Bangkok to Surathani Province, and catch a bus from there to Phuket. Travel to Surathani by train takes approximately 12 hours, with various classes of seating available ranging in price from 187 Baht to 1040 Baht. Train schedules for the State Railway of Thailand can be found by contacting Tel: (02) 220 4334. Advance tickets are available at all principal stations or the Bangkok Advance Booking Office. Tel. (02) 225-0300 ext 5200-3. For bus timetable and information contact the Surathani Bus Terminal on 077-200031-3
By Road - From Bangkok the journey to Phuket can be undertaken by bus - a trip that takes about 14 hours. Daily services leave from the Southern Bus Terminal, and there are many private services available from almost any travel agent and hotel tour desk in the city. Most services will bring you directly to the Phuket Bus Terminal in Phuket Town, from where you can take a local bus to Patong, or a taxi truck or Tuk Tuk.
If you want to go your own way, drive down to Phuket in a hire car - the road system is good and well sign-posted. Travel on Route 4 from Bangkok to the south, passing through Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap-Khirikan, At Chumphon go right to Ranong where you must head south through Kraburi and Kapoe Districts to Phang-nga Province. In Phang-nga the road passes through Kuraburi, Takuapa, and Thai Muang Districts before reaching the town of Kok Kloy. From here cross the Sarasin Bridge to Phuket Island. Head down the main highway and follow the signs that take you on a bypass road to Patong on the southwestern coast of the island, about a 40-minute trip from the bridge.
There are many
car hire firms in Bangkok, including international rental companies such as Hertz, Budget and Avis, which offer full insurance. An international driving license is required.
By Sea - Cruise and cargo ships come to Phuket from abroad. Contact your travel agent for information about the many different ships that stop at Phuket. For private vessels entering Phuket waters, there are regulations that should be observed which include that all vessels must report upon entry to:
Phuket Port Control Center
2nd Floor Phuket Fishing Lodge Hotel
52/2 Moo 9 Tambon (Sub District) Chalong
Amphoe Muang, Phuket,
Latitude 7o 49' 0" N, Longtitude 98o 22' 0" E,
Tel. and Fax. 66 76 381614.

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