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Bang Tao to Sarasin Bridge

Nai Yang beach, Phuket
Nai Yang beach, Phuket | Photo by IMAGE asia

One mile offshore the northern tip of Bang Tao is Koh Waeo and a collection of rocks, which offer the best snorkelling on this part of the coast.

On the headland are the Anantara and Trisara boutique resorts within private villa resorts. At Trisara there’s a floating jetty in the high season for visitors and an upmarket restaurant for that special occasion.

From Bang Tao to Nai Yang Beach, there are three idyllic white sand beaches nestled between the rocky headlands. Seldom visited by large numbers of tourists, these hideaways are a quiet and a welcome change from the busier west coast beaches.

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North of Laem Sai and Nai Yang Beach, Mai Khao, a 7-mile-long beach being developed rapidly, stretches longer than any other on Phuket’s west coast. A National Park borders the ocean along some of this beach.

There are several resorts hidden behind trees along this beach: the Marriot four miles north of the airport and, at the southern end, Centara West Sands just north of the runway. Phuket International Airport’s new terminal can be seen, just under a mile south of this resort. Transport can be arranged from either hotel to the airport or to town.

North of the airport the beach continues dead straight to the channel entrance between Phuket and the mainland.

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Bang Tao Bay to Sarasin Bridge
  • A

NAITHON BEACH

13 miles from Patong Bay

NAITHON BEACH. 8°3.621N, 98°16.458E

In the north, and the largest of the three beaches on the headland, Naithon Beach offers good holding in the centre of the bay in 6-10 metres on a sandy bottom.

Good snorkelling may be found on either point. Ashore, you’ll find a beach road that leads to the airport, some new resorts and, in the small bay one mile south, the older Andaman White Sands Resort.

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  • B

NAI YANG BAY

15 miles from Patong Bay

NAI YANG BAY. 8°5.477N, 98°17.469E

Anchor in approximately 8-10 metres on a sandy bottom to the north or south of the reef outcrop in front of the hotels, visible behind the trees. Good facilities are available at the hotels and there are some local restaurants ashore. Transport to town or the airport can be arranged.

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  • C

MAI KHAO BEACH

17 miles from Patong Bay

MAI KHAO BEACH. 8°11.148N, 98°17.189E

Look for anchorage 100 metres offshore about one mile or more south of the bar marking the entrance to the channel between Phuket and the mainland. The sand bars around the channel entrance are constantly shifting, and entry is not recommended in a keeled vessel. It should not be attempted without local knowledge even in a shoal-draft boat.

Although anchorage is possible anywhere along this beach, do not anchor within half a mile of the airport runway, which is clearly visible from seaward.

The beach is steep, and the sand coarser than that on other west coast beaches. The road runs close to the beach in the north; near the restaurants local buses can be hailed heading to the bridge or main highway.

As part of the government drive to ‘beautify’ Phuket’s beaches, this beach has lost almost all the ‘coconut’ seafood restaurants which used to nestle under the casuarina trees at the back of the beach. Once a favourite with locals for lunch it’s now almost deserted.

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Mai Khao beach looking towards Phuket airport
Mai Khao beach looking towards Phuket airport | Photo by Bill O’Leary

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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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The copyright holders of all content, in print and digital editions, are: Published book © Phuket Publicity Services Ltd. Part. / Texts © Bill O’Leary, Andy Dowden & Grenville Fordham / Design, layout & charts © Grenville Fordham / Photography: © as indicated in photo credits. All rights reserved
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